This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.
I have never owned or even used a cutting machine until recently when Cricut sent me a Cricut Maker. On Pinterest and other blogs I have seen plenty of Cricut projects but many of those involved vinyl or paper. I honestly thought about getting one but none of those machines cut fabric until the Cricut Maker.
Once I saw the projects that people were making with the Cricut Maker I couldn’t wait to get one. Now that I finally have one I’m giving you my full Cricut Maker review!
What’s a Cricut Maker?
A Cricut Maker is a cutting machine. You can use it to cut images, shapes, or text out of a variety of materials. It can actually do more than just cutting designs it can also draw them with a Cricut pen or score lines onto something for fold lines too.
The Cricut Maker is available to purchase in various bundles. The basic bundle comes with the Cricut Maker, Rotary Blade, Premium Fine-Point Blade, Black Fine Point Pen, a 12X12 inch FabricGrip™ Mat, a 12X12 inch LightGrip Mat, a free trial membership to Cricut Access™ (for new subscribers), and 50 free ready-to-make projects, including 25 sewing patterns.
There are additional accessories you can purchase to give your Cricut Maker the ability to make even more projects.
What Can It Cut?
What sets the Cricut Maker apart from other cutting machines is its ability to cut fabrics without having to back them with something beforehand. As someone who sews this is huge!
I’m also excited that it can cut paper, vinyl (a whole new world for me!), leather (hello earrings!), balsa wood, chipboard, and more. This opens up a whole lot of new crafting possibilities for me and my mind is spinning with all of the different project ideas.
Is It Complicated to Use?
In any Cricut Maker review I think it’s important to talk about ease of use. If something is difficult to use then you’re not as likely to use it but if it’s easy to use then it is enjoyable, which it should be!
As soon as I got my Cricut Maker I ripped into the boxes. Well, I might have hugged it first, then ripped into it. Set up was very simple. I plugged it in, powered it up, plugged it into my computer, and headed to the site listed on the instruction cards that came with the machine.
After installation the Design Space program walked me through my first project- making a little paper card. All of the materials for this were included in the box. Being walked through the making process enabled me to become more familiar with how to use the machine.
You do have to learn a few basics but there are some great tutorial videos to help you learn how to use the machine fairly quickly. I feel like Design Space walks you through each project step by step which is helpful. Design Space also has a library of projects, patterns, images, and fonts. Some are free and others are available for purchase.
My First Projects
For my first projects I decided to do something familiar and something completely new. For my familiar project I decided to see how the Cricut Maker would do with cutting out the fabric to make a baby bib. I make baby bibs a lot using my baby bib pattern.
So first I needed to get my pattern into the Design Space program. There are already projects in the design space (including a few bibs) so you can use a pattern that is already in there (some are free and some you have to buy) if you do not want to make your own design.
I wanted to use my own design so I uploaded a jpg file of my bib pattern. I selected Cut and then clicked the Make It button.
A screen then pops up with and image that shows you how the pieces of your project will be cut out. It’s pretty simple for the bib since I was just cutting out one thing (2 really from the front and back but they were the exact same cut). For projects with multiple cuts from different fabrics this screen will show you the order in which you need to load your fabrics into the machine.
Once you have clicked continue you will then see a screen where you need to choose the material that you are cutting. If you don’t see your material among the favorites you just click “Browse All Materials” and you can search for your material.
Once you have selected your material then Design Space will tell you what tool you need to use to cut. You use the rotary blade for fabric. It also tells you where to install it ( it’s super easy, they just pop right in).
Then you load up your mat, press the load button, and then hit the start button. The machine will pull the mat with the fabric on it into itself and start cutting.
The Cricut Maker did a great job cutting out the woven cotton fabric for the front of the bib. I was confident that it would do a good job with that fabric but I was a little worried that it might have trouble with the fluffy terrycloth fabric that I like to use for the back of my baby bibs.
The Cricut Maker cut through the terrycloth just as easily and precisely as it did the woven cotton fabric.
I feel like having the machine cut out pieces like these for sewing projects (especially small pieces) would speed up the creation process especially for crafters who make a large quantity of items.
For my second project I did something I had never done- I cut a word out of wood. For this project I used basswood, the knife blade, and the StrongGrip mat.
In Design Space I used the text tool to type out some letters. Then I welded them together since I wanted the wooden word to be all one piece. Design Space has a number of free fronts you can use and there are more that are available for purchase.
I wrote out the word “Noel”. Last Christmas I wanted to make a wreath with the word “Noel” on it. I could not find a wooden cutout of Noel that was the right size. I was practically giddy when I realized that I could make one not only in the right size but also in the perfect font.
The Cricut Maker had no trouble at all with cutting through the wood. The letters popped out perfectly. I cannot wait to finish making the wreath that this will be a part of.
As excited as I am about cutting fabric I am equally excited to expand my crafting horizons. I’m looking forward to more projects with wood. I feel like I could make some cute Christmas ornaments, picture frames, earrings, wooden signs, and who knows what else.
I wanted to test out the drawing capabilities of the Cricut Maker so I selected an image from Design Space and had the Maker draw it onto cardstock.
The pen did well! I am excited about the possibilities of projects that combine the drawing functionality with the cutting functionality. I’m also looking forward to trying out some of the other pens.
How Well Does It Cut?
This is an important part of the Cricut Maker Review because while it can do other things it is at its heart a cutting machine. I feel like it cut everything perfectly.
The rotary blade cut the curves of the bib pieces exactly as they are in the pattern. The knife blade made clean cuts through the wood. I’m very pleased with how well the Cricut Maker can cut.
Cricut Maker Review Synopsis
Overall, I am very much in love with my Cricut Maker. It’s easy to use and it works very well. If you want to be able to make all kinds of projects then you’ll love the Cricut Maker.
I’ve only begun to scratch the surface of everything that I can do with the Cricut Maker. I’m excited to keep learning and make more projects.
I want this to be a thorough Cricut Maker review so please leave me any questions that you have about it in the comments below! Comments submitted may be displayed on other websites owned by the sponsoring brand.