Are you looking for the best and essential Cricut tools and accessories? I’ve got you covered. Below you’ll find a list of essential tools, optional accessories, materials and beginner advice.
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Table of Contents
Must-Have Cricut Tools
The first accessory you need to have is a weeding kit. It comes with a spatula, one weeder, one scraper, one pair of scissors and one pair of tweezers. I have several weeders, but I use the Cricut one exclusively. It’s just at the correct angle to get all those little pieces of vinyl! The tweezers are great at getting leftover pieces off of the Cricut mat when I’m trying to clean it off, and I love using the spatula to help lift cardstock off without harming the mat.
A brayer is a roller that is used to press vinyl onto your project. This Cricut tool helps ensure that the vinyl is adhered to the mat evenly and prevents any bubbles from forming. You can get away with not using a brayer, but you will notice a difference in the quality of your cuts and weeding if you start using one. I recommend starting out with one.
Cutting mats are used to hold your material while it is cut in your Cricut machine. They have a sticky surface that your material clings to. There are 4 types of mats: LightGrip, StandardGrip, StrongGrip and FabricGrip mats. Each progressive mat has stronger adhesive. In the beginning, you will most likely use the LightGrip (blue) and StandardGrip (green) mats the most. If you buy glitter cardstock or glitter vinyl, you must have a StrongGrip (purple) mat as well.
You may have seen or read about off-brand Cricut Mats like Nicapa. If your Cricut is still in warranty, it is recommend to use Cricut brand mats. Using non-branded mats may void the warranty for your Cricut. So you may want to hold off on off-brand mats like Nicapa until your Cricut is out of warranty.
You’ll also need to have a good pair of scissors. These aren’t your fabric or paper scissors; just a good pair of craft scissors that you can use to cut pieces of vinyl and cardstock with, along with the occasional plastic wrap, etc.
If you’re going to work with fabric or cardstock you must have craft glue. Craft glue is much stronger than Elmer’s. It can bond many different materials. E6000 is a common brand which many crafters use. I use it, also use Aleene’s Tacky Glue and Bearly Art Precision Craft Glue.
General Office Supplies
Rubber bands, binder clips, pens, pencils and post-its have come in handy. I have a small desk that I keep these office supplies in. I use drawer organizers to separate the supplies, but you can certainly easily make some custom fit and cute ones!
5-Size Desk Drawer Organizer Trays Storage Tray for Makeup, Jewelries, Utensils in Bedroom Dresser, Office and Kitchen, Clear
Unless you plan on cutting fabric, you probably won’t need another Cricut blade other than the Premium Fine Point Blade. For the first 3 months, I used the fine point blade for my Cricut. I was taking online craft classes, but almost all of the projects I made were cardstock. You will need the Cricut Rotary Blade if you want to cut fabric, and it doesn’t come with the
Also, you don’t need to get extra blades right now. If you keep your blade clean, it should last for a while. If your blade isn’t cutting well right out of the box, you may need to replace it (this happened to me with both of my Makers). To Learn more about the different Cricut blades, read my post on The Guide to All Cricut Blades.
Optional Cricut Tools
Cricut’s large scraper is a great tool to have. A small one comes in the Cricut Essential Tools. If you use the small scraper, you will quickly notice how much work scraping paper and vinyl off your mats is. The large scraper is more efficient and easier on your hands. I prefer the large scraper because it’s easier on my arthritic hands. Plus, you can use it to help clean your mats quickly.
Use instead: Bondo Spreader (I haven’t used this but it was recommended.)
5.75″ x 3.25″, Vinyl Scraper Tool for Larger Projects, Quickly Clear Cutting Mats, Works with Iron-On, Paper, Vinyl & More
You can use Cricut pens to create cards, invitations, sentiments and more. They come in many colors and types! You’ll want at least one black pen (Amazon) around, especially if a birthday catches you off guard! Washable fabric pens are also a great Cricut tool to have for sewing projects.
Use instead: Use non-Cricut pens in your Cricut
A self-healing mat can save your work table from harm while crafting. I have a simple 12×12 self-healing mat that I use so that my work table doesn’t suffer damage.
Use instead: cut pieces of boxes
A craft knife is another essential Cricut tool for vinyl crafters. It’s perfect for cutting out small details in your projects. I also use it to cut around any vinyl I need to weed so that I don’t have to wrangle with so much vinyl.
Use instead: Fiskars Heavy Duty Craft Knife
Kraft or Butcher Paper
If you’re going to paint or do anything that might mar up your table surface that requires a larger space than 12″ x 12″, consider getting a roll of craft/butcher paper that’s at least 18″ wide. I keep 2 rolls in my craft room: one that is 18″ wide and one that is 36″ wide.
Use instead: cut pieces of boxes
A paper trimmer is a must-have tool if you are going to work with vinyl and/or cardstock. You will have material remnants even if you don’t do vinyl crafts. It’s perfect for all types of paper projects and can save you from having to use scissors (which I am not good at). If you have a Cricut Series 3 machine, you’ll need a 13″ trimmer.
Use instead: scissors
Rolling “tape” is really nice to have if you’re going to work with cardstock. If there’s anything that can replace working with hot glue, I’ll take it! In a lot of cases, this works perfectly and it doesn’t show at all.
Use instead: hot glue
A tape measure can come in handy, an many of us have one. It’s perfect for measuring the dimensions of your projects and ensuring that everything is cut to size. I use my tape measure so much I wear it! I also have two of them on the table at a given time because I’m so prone to forgetting where I put one. I double measure everything it seems. If you are going to work with fabric, a tape measure is a must!
Use instead: ruler (won’t work for everything)
Crafting with vinyl generates a lot of waste material. It’s helpful to have a small trashcan next to your work area so you can easily discard the excess. This has been indispensable to me. I use it for almost all of my weeding, even though I have a weeding ring.
Use instead: larger trashcan around the house or twixxy weeding ring
You’ll want a couple of reams of copy paper if you don’t normally keep it in stock at home. This will cover your printing and using it for practice/testing for cardstock, sticker and decal practice.
For awhile when you first start crafting, it can be helpful to make all of your projects out of inexpensive cardstock. You’ll want a good supply of blank, white cardstock.
Some cardstock drags and does not do well in the Cricut, though. I recommend reading the reviews and searching specifically for electronic cutting machine users. I use Recollections and American Crafts white cardstock, and I prefer to purchase cardstock that is 12” x 12”. I also tend to prefer 65# over 80# for most projects.
Adhesive Vinyl: Permanent
Purchase permanent vinyl if you plan on creating projects that will either be outdoors, on signs, or will be drinkware-related. Some people buy the off-brand vinyl through Amazon, and some purchase well-known brands from the beginning. This really comes down to what you can afford, and what you prefer and find reasonable.
As you gain more experience, you might consider investing in higher quality craft vinyl. Check out my guide on The Different Types of Adhesive Vinyl to learn more.
Adhesive Vinyl: Removable
The same is true for removeable adhesive vinyl. You may want a little more removeable than permanent in the beginning while you are learning. If you plan on making mugs, opt for permanent. But if you are going to try vinyl out on plastic, mirror, glass, frames and walls, get some removable to work with. It will help because it is easier to reposition, which is nice when you are starting out. And if you don’t like the result, it’s much easier to remove.
If you plan on doing any adhesive vinyl crafts, you will need transfer tape. You do not necessarily need to use Cricut brand transfer tape, even if you buy Cricut adhesive vinyl. There are other brands out there.
You can even use alternatives to transfer tape as it can become expensive if you craft frequently. Read my post on How to Use Adhesive Vinyl Without Transfer Tape for more information.
Alignment Grid Application Tape for Silhouette Cameo, Cricut Adhesive Vinyl for Decals,Signs, Windows, Stickers
Cricut Everyday Iron-On (HTV)
T-shirts and other fabric crafts use iron-on vinyl, otherwise known as heat transfer vinyl (HTV). Consider Cricut Everyday Iron-on or Siser Easyweed Heat Transfer Vinyl. Siser Easyweed is the industry standard for HTV/iron-on, but there are many options available.
If you don’t have a heat press and plan to use an iron, consider investing in a Cricut EasyPress. Heat presses like the EasyPress have a larger surface area that maintains a consistent temperature well.
Compatible with Siser Romeo/Juliet & Other Professional or Craft Cutters - Layerable - CPSIA Certified
Learn more about Iron-On/HTV in my post What Are The Different Types of Heat Transfer Vinyl?
Printable Vinyl Sticker Paper
If you want to make stickers, decals or printed labels, consider getting some sticker paper and/or printable vinyl. For the cost-conscious, try Avery Shipping Labels for experimentation and practice.
You can learn more about making Print Then Cut stickers and decals in my guide How to Make Print Then Cut Stickers for Beginners. Also, check out my post on The Best Printable Vinyl for Stickers to see how the different brands tested.
These Iris boxes from Michaels are perfect for storing your supplies. They can hold cardstock, adhesive vinyl, heat transfer vinyl, transfer paper and more. They even hold some regular size rolls! The 12″x12″x3″ size is great if you’re just starting out with craft storage solutions. They stack, which is nice, allowing them to fit in easy places such as corners and closets. They even fit several on top of each other in a 13” cube organizer. Each of these boxes will have room as your supplies grow. And you can buy more and continue to part out your supplies into multiples of them.
Craft Tool Organizer
A tool is helpful for crafters. One that’s on everyone’s list is the Simply Tidy Storage Desktop Carousel at Michaels . However, I use is the DeskMaid Die Stamp and Supply Storage from Joann . I like it because it has customizable partitions. They are usually about the same price and go on sale frequently. In my opinion there isn’t much difference between them except in style (I prefer the rectangle to the carousel).
This handy, compartmentalized desktop carousel is perfect for keeping all your markers, scissors, pens, pencils, inks, brushes and more tidy, organized and accessible.
If you need something less expensive in the beginning, consider a smaller iris box or other portable organizer to carry your tools to your crafting area. It will make a difference to have them placed conveniently next to you while you make your projects.
Advice for Cricut Beginners
- The material I use the most is white cardstock. I practice and test my projects a lot before I run the “real” project through. I use white cardstock mostly when doing this, so I don’t waste money on expensive materials. If you choose to do the same, stock up on white cardstock. It’s less expensive than the other cardstock as well.
- I also use copy paper for test and practice for high value cardstock projects, stickers and practice sublimation transfers. It can be worth it to keep copy paper around if your projects of choice are in these areas.
- Some people buy their supplies as needed (by project) and some buy in bulk. You really need to find out what works for you. Will you be doing projects just for you? For family, friends, church and charity? Do you plan on selling crafts? Do you know specifically what type of crafts you will be making? The answers to these questions will help you decide how much and when to buy your materials. As for where to buy, I have found that Cricut doesn’t get products to me fast enough to buy on a project-by-project basis, so I buy in bulk from them during their sales (which can be amazing, especially if you have Cricut Access). I can rely on Amazon, but a lot of times, I want to do projects in the moment. So, I tend to keep more materials around than some others.
- You don’t need to buy all the supplies at once. Try cardstock projects at first. Then try vinyl. Pick the one thing you’re interested in first. If you choose vinyl or HTV first, You’ll need to buy “blanks” so it can get expensive fast. Blanks are the items you will “put” your vinyl on or adhere your iron-on vinyl to. So, cardstock is a good material to start with as you don’t have to buy mugs or t-shirts or other types of blanks to craft with it.
- Don’t be afraid to use your materials. That’s why having a big supply of white, inexpensive cardstock is important. You will make a lot of mistakes. Allow yourself to make them so you can learn.
- Once you get your supplies, don’t hold onto them. Use them and have fun!
I hope this list has been helpful in providing you with the tools, materials and organization items that will be essential to your crafting. Please share in the comments below anything that you’ve found you can’t live without or has been important to you in the beginning that isn’t on this list. I love hearing from you!
Also, if you’re interested in what you might need sublimation, check out our guide on Everything You Need for Sublimation.
Happy, happy crafting!