Looking to acquire a new vinyl cutter? Well, honestly it is hard to pick the best vinyl cutter to use at home especially if you don’t know much about this kind of machines. A vinyl cutter is a machine that is mostly used in trimming different shapes and letters on a vinyl or any kind materials.
A home vinyl cutter is not actually a big machine but it actually looks like a computer printer in where you can also connect to your computer by a cable. This machine can be controlled by the computer to make sure that the blades of the machine move properly and cuts the perfect shapes and letters that you wanted.
Below will be a list of different kinds of vinyl cutting machine to help you avoid picking a bad equipment to keep yourself from being frustrated and cause failures with your project.
1. Cricut Explore Air
This vinyl cutter has a great potential to satisfy all your needs, it is designed to cut from the basic Do-It-Yourself (DIY) crafts to your most complicated projects. The most fascinating thing about its feature is the machine’s capability to work wirelessly by connecting it with your device via Bluetooth. Meaning that you can also send images from your devices like phone, mac, tablets or PC for the machine to cut a material.
Since this is intended for home use only this Cricut Explorer Aircan improve your creative potential into another level. You can make all kinds of invitations, decorations, and favors so much easier and you can also add your personal touch.
The Cricut Image Libray has more than 50,000 of images, fonts, and projects present so creating incredible designs would be endless.
Does a dual carriage in one step for cutting and scoring or writing and cutting.
Connects via Bluetooth
You can upload your own images in these formats (.svg, .gif, .dxf, .jpg, .png, and .bmp)
Cuts through materials from paper to leather
Has an Electronic Smart Set Dial
Has a free online software for Cricut Design space and an iPad app
An integrated storage compartment
2. Cricut Maker
By using this machine you can enjoy a new level of achievement, work easily with a lot of different types of materials, and you can almost do any kinds of DIY projects without any hardship and this is because of the newly improved design of the machine’s expandable suite of tools and its new rotary blade.
The Cricut Maker can smartly adapt to any kind of materials from the softest fabric to tougher ones like matboard, leather, and balsa wood. Also, this machine offers an excellent toolset where you can easily cut, score, and write in different kind of materials with control and precision. The features of this machine don’t stop there because it also offers the possibility to constantly expand by bringing more tools any time.
This machine can easily be used by novices and its perfect job of cutting materials will surely catch a lot of attention from DIY enthusiasts and crafters. Seeing how this machine executes its flawless cutting job and its multiple features to make the process much easier, the cost will be rather low and because of this, it is highly recommended.
Adaptive Tool System
Design Space Softwares
Cuts from soft to tough materials
Improvised Rotary Blade
Digital Sewing Pattern Library
3. Cricut Explore Air 2
The newest model of the Cricut Explore with its new features will catch the attention of people that are into scrapbooking. The new model is set to cut much faster than the older models.
Cricut surely implemented the quote “Time is Gold” on the newExplore Air 2, they have installed a fast mode in the cutter to improve its speed performance for the benefit of the use. Aside from speed, the machine can also cut through materials like vinyl, cardstock, iron-on and to thicker materials like the leather.
If you are the kind of person who values details in their crafts then this machine suits you the best since this machine can cut the finest details on the material of your choice. Another feature of this new model is the Smart set dial, it always finds the best setting that suits your project.
The machine also supports Bluetooth devices making it easier to send and upload customized images to the cutter. You can create your own design on your phone, computer, iPad, or iPhone and then with just one click, the vinyl cutter will receive the file and immediately do its job.
Dual Tool Holder
Integrated Storage Compartments
Smart Set Dial
Cut 100+ of Materials
Smart Cut Technology
Upload images in Different Formats
4. Silhouette CAMEO 3
The Cameo 3 is the new installment of vinyl cutter after the Cameo 2, the new machine still has all the great features of the old model but with new additions to make the upgrade worth it. Since technology keeps advancing at a fast pace, a lot of industries, including vinyl cutting industry are struggling to meet the neverending demand for improvement.
Like other vinyl cutters, this machine also has a Bluetooth receiver that allows users to send their crafts wirelessly without worrying about plugging the cables into their right places and the machine doesn’t always need to be connected to the computer.
This vinyl cutter can also cut through various materials like vinyl, paper, iron-on, matboard, leather, denim, and much more. Finding the best design for your craft is not easy but with the help of the Silhouette Studio, which is a free software by the Silhouette, it will lend you a hand by suggesting their ready-made designs from their store and will give you the option to customize it on your own.
Cuts Multiple Materials
USB Port that directly Reads and Cut files
5. Silhouette Portrait
This vinyl cutter is much smaller compared to the Silhouette Cameo but it still offers a decent performance and great flexibility. Apart from its size, it can still cut through a wide selection of materials in quality same as other vinyl cutters.
The machine is highly portable since it only weighs in 3.5 pounds and measures up to just 16.25 inches. Despite the machine’s small size, the excellence of its performance can still keep up with other vinyl cutters that are bigger than its own size. The cutting process of the Portrait is simple and easy as you’ll just need to connect the machine on your computer with the provided USB cable and then you can start with your work.
For those who are looking for a balanced investment, theSilhouette Portrait will be the best choice for you, it is simple, lightweight, flexible, and it offers a wonderful quality of its performance for your crafting needs.
Cuts 100+ Materials
Maximum Cutting Thickness: 0.8mm
Maximum Cutting Width: 8 inches
Includes 8” Cutting Mat
Both brands of the vinyl cutters offer the same quality of performance. In buying the best vinyl product of your own personal use, do not just look at the speed, price, and the force of it. Because even if you buy the most expensive and fastest vinyl cutting machine, if the quality of the cut does not meet your standard then it is just a waste of money.
The best strategy when purchasing this kind of machine, you should consider thinking about how complicated your designs will be, how thick or thin, and choose a company’s product that will offer you the best customer support service to help you with your problems if needed.
A few years ago, pencil, ruler, and scissors are the main tools for creating crafts and designs that you might use for a birthday party decorations, home decors and designs, and even sewing. Now, with the combination of advanced technology and great minds filled with curiosity, crafting is now easier than ever.
What is a Cricut machine?
For real crafting enthusiast, Cricut is but a common word.
Made by Provo Craft & Novelty Inc., Cricut is the brand name of home die-cutting machines which can be used for scrapbooking and other projects.
Die-cutting is the process of using a die (a specialized tool used to shape or cut materials using a press) to shear webs of low-strength materials like sheet metal, foam, plastics, paperboard, corrugated fiberboard, paper, cloth, foil, fiber, and rubber.
Cricut machines are mainly used for cutting fabric vinyl, felt, paper and other crafting products.
The Evolution of Cricut Models
The very first Cricut machine has 6 inches by 12 inches cutting mat. The images can be cut in a range from 1 inch to 5 ½ inches tall. This original Cricut is compatible with all first Cricut cartridges. However, it does not possess the ability of newer models of Cricut which can cut a wider variety of materials. The original Cricut, however, can make Deep Cut Housing and Blade, which allows a user to cut materials that are 1.55mm thick like stamp materials, chipboards, and magnets.
When compared to the previous model, Cricut Expression offers more advantages. First, it allows its users to cut fonts and shapes in a range from ¼ inch to 23 ½ inches. It comes with 12 inches by 12 inches cutting mat with adjustable slides that eliminate the hassle of trimming the media to 6 inches by 12 inches.
Cricut Expression can cut a wider variety of materials such as thin foils, vinyl, chipboard, fabric, and vellum. In order to preview the work, an LCD screen is added with features such as Auto-Fill and Quantity. They also added a mode called “Paper Saver” and choice between Landscape or Portrait Orientation. It includes 2 cartridges: Accent Essentials and Plantin Schoolbook.
Cricut Expression 2
An update of Cricut Expression, Cricut Expression 2 shows off an all-new exterior. Like the Cricut Expression, it has 12 inches by 12 inches cutting mat. However, this particular machine does not have a keyboard like the original and Cricut Expression have. Instead, it boasts an LCD touch screen in full color.
Its LCD touch screen allows you to see where your image will be on the mat prior to cutting and displays the keyboard on the screen. Also, it has an added feature of image rotation and independent image sizing directly on the LCD screen.
It is a small electronic cutting machine for personal use. It has a unique mat size of 8.5 inches by 12 inches and can cut images in a range of ¼ inch to 11 ½ inches. Not like the previous Cricut machines, the Cricut Mini only works with the use of a computer. Standing alone, it cannot cut an image. You will need to use the Cricut Craft Room software.
It contains more than 500 images which are unlocked automatically when it is connected to the Cricut Gypsy device or Cricut Craft Room. The Cricut Mini does not have a port for cartridges which is compatible with all Cricut cartridges except for one: the Cricut imagine cartridge.
Cricut Explore Air
The Cricut Explore Air is an electronic die cutting machine with embedded Bluetooth for wireless cutting of materials from fabric to paper and more.
Cricut Explore Air 2
An updated version of Cricut Explore Air, the Cricut Explore Air 2 works much faster. With an added feature called “Fast Mode”, it makes writing and cutting 2x faster. “Precision Mode” perfectly makes the most intricate cuts.
Cricut Explore Air 2 can cut over a hundred materials from specialty materials such as bonded fabric, cork, and glitter papers to iron-on, vinyl and cardstock. It has a double tool holder which keeps the pen and blade at hand and seamlessly shifts between embellishing with a written note or cutting a shape.
Control your Cricut Explore Air 2 without any wires with its embedded Bluetooth technology that helps you connect to your mobile device or computer. It comes with Design Space software for Window, iOs, and Android devices. It has an Offline Mode which allows you to download projects and images to use when offline. The Cricut Explore Air 2 has 50 ready-to-make projects with projects that demonstrated what it can do. It is compatible with all Cricut Cartridges.
The newest addition to the Cricut family, Cricut Maker can cut thicker materials like Basswood and Balsawood and also non-bonded felt, leather, and fabric. It has a digital sewing pattern library with hundreds of the pattern from brands like Riley Blake and Simplicity which you can access.
The Cricut Maker comes with an expandable suite of tools— powerful scoring tool, pens, and blades— which scores, writes and cuts more material faster and with greater control and precision than ever before.
Washable Fabric Pen – a pen that automatically marks pattern pieces for you to always know how they fit together.
Knife Blade – an extra-deep blade which slices through thicker materials like a 2.4 mm matboard or balsawood with ease.
Rotary Blade – This sharp blade cuts through any fabric accurately and quickly without any backing materials because of its rolling and gliding action.
It also features an Adaptive Tool System which intelligently controls the blade’s direction and adds 10x cutting force. It is fully equipped with advanced features like Offline Mode, SnapMat and Print Then Cut. It also includes 50 ready-to-make-projects, with 25 patterns for digital sewing and other projects for demonstrations of what this machine can do.
Cricut Essentials are other equipment and accessories that help add the finishing touch to your projects. Cricut Essentials have what you need to finish details, handle delicate pieces and prep materials.
a) Cricut EasyPress
Just finished cutting an iron-on project? What’s left to do is to stick it to your clothes, pillows, and others.
Cricut EasyPress finishes the job in just a minute or less. With its simple controls, huge heating surface and safety features, you will have a professional iron-on result that will last for a very, very long time.
b) Cricut BrightPad
Cricut BrightPad has an ultraslim profile and adjustable LED light that allows you to see every detail as you are tracing, weeding, jewelry-making, or paper-piercing quilt patterns.
The Cricut BrightPad is essentially suited for lighting up hard to see cut lines in iron-on and vinyl.
c) Cricut Accessories
Whether you need to cut something down to size, grab a teeny edge, or smooth things out, these accessories that are carefully engineered and designed will guarantee that you have the right tool for each and every crafting tasks.
d) Cricut Materials
Cricut also has their own collection of high-quality materials you will need for crafting such as iron-ons, vinyl, paper and more that are all designed to be perfectly cut by the Cricut machine. With different finishes ranging from sassy, flashy and fun to refined, rich and polished, these materials will surely provide you with the exact look you are after.
e) Cricut Cases
Cricut has premium cases for storage, protection, and organization of machine and supplies. You can use it for everything you might need on the road or organize things at home. Functional, sturdy and stylish these cases are built to last a very long time of crafting nights and DIY days.
How do you use it?
The simplest explanation is that Cricut is a cutting machine that looks like your typical printer. Except that instead of printing, Cricut cuts a design on whatever materials you choose using a very precise blade and a series of rollers. Amazing right? Cricut can also “print”. With the use of Cricut Pen, you can draw out your design. You can also score or emboss your design if you want. It all depends on what accessory or tool you mount in the dual cartridge head of Cricut.
Here are the 3 simple steps on how you use a Cricut Machine for your crafting needs:
1. Create your Design
In order to create a design, you will need a free web app available for Mac and PC called “Cricut Design Space”. If you want to use your iPad or iPhone to design, you can use the app Design Space for iOS, or if you are using Android, there is beta-version of Design Space for Android available now.
Design Space is a software that helps connects your computer or device to the Cricut Machine. There are thousands of pre-designed projects in the Cricut Design Space library that you can create yourself or download.
You can either customize the design or make the project exactly as it is. When clicking a project from the library, you will see options to “Make It Now” where you can recreate it exactly as the original design or “Customize It” where you can change the text, resize it and more.
Or if you are feeling the creativity, using the design tools within the Design Space, you can create a brand new design from scratch. You have the freedom to add or upload your own images and text, resize modify colors and shapes and more in order for you to create the perfect design you will love.
2. Prepare your Cricut Machine
Once you have the design that you want, it is time for the Cricut Machine to shine.
This step is really, really simple! All you have to do is turn the machine on.
In case, this is your first time to use a Cricut Machine, then you might need to pair your computer or device with the Cricut machine first via Bluetooth Technology. After the first time, you do not need to pair the machine every time you open your Cricut machine since it will automatically remember the pairing and will always be ready for action.
3. Send your design to the Cricut Machine
The last step is for you to send your project to the Cricut machine. If you really are happy with your design and is now ready to create it with your Cricut machine powered on, you just need to press the “Make it” button at the Cricut Design Space’s top right corner.
The software will start previewing all different mats. For each mat is a 1 sheet of material. In case you have 3 different colors for your projects then you will need 3 different mats. If you are using a fabric and paper for your project, you will need 1 mat for each material.
The first thing you need to do on this screen is to set the quantity that you need to cut. For instance: If you are making 2 cards, you can tell the software to create 2 project copies from the top left. The standard size for most materials you will be cutting is 12 inches by 12 inches. However, if you want a different size, you can change it from the Material Size drop down. And if you are creating an iron-on design, then click on the “Mirror” to flip your design so that it appears correctly on the finished project.
If you have set all desired settings and are now ready to send your design to the Cricut machine, click “Continue” from the bottom right corner. It will then walk you through the loading of materials and setting the dials.
The machine will start with Mat 1 and moves on. You need to choose the material that you are going o use for the 1st mat and then set the dial for the particular material. The Cricut machine will adjust the blade’s speed, pressure, and depth automatically in order to ensure that your project will come out automatically.
Put the material you will use on the Cricut cutting mat and load it into the Cricut machine. In case you are using 2 or more materials for your project, then you do not need to worry since the software will help you through loading multiple materials.
Once you have cut out every mat you can now assemble all cut-out pieces and you are done.
What can it do?
If you want me to list everything that a Cricut Machine can do then it will be a very, very long list to read. I know you don’t want that. So here is a short list of general projects you can create with Cricut machine:
From jars and coffee mugs to framed arts and wall graphics, vinyl is the one material to create an easy and quick statement. You only need to choose a design from thousands of selection, place your vinyl in the machine and press the Go button. Vinyl designed from Cricut machine will always deliver perfect results.
Watch this tutorial video for a Vinyl “Welcome” Sign here:
2. Sewing Project
With hundreds of digital patterns available from top brands like Simplicity, Cricut machine revolutionizes the traditional sewing craft projects. With just a few clicks and the strong cutting power of Cricut machine, you can immediately create your own stuffed animal or doll.
Iron-on is possible with Cricut machine with a wide range of effects, finishes, and colors which are perfect for customizing pillows, bags, scarves, t-shirts and so much more. Just cut a design and use the Cricut EasyPress, or an iron if needed, in order to apply it to your desired project.
Check a hands-on tutorial for creating an Iron-On T-shirt here:
The Cricut Knife Blade is now better and reliable than ever! You can now cut matboard, chipboard, balsa wood of up to 2.3 mm thick. Create wall art, architectural models, skeletons, puzzles and so much more!
5. Paper Crafts
Paper has been the original crafting material ever since. It comes with a wide range of finishes, weights, textures, sizes, and colors. You can use it for so many things such as notes, cards, paper flowers, table settings, or party decorations. Your imagination is the limit!
Learn how to create beautiful and amazing scrapbooking materials for a memory-filled scrapbook page:
Save more time for creating a great gift. With Cricut machine, cutting quilt blocks is now easier, faster and more accurate than ever. You can start with your own digital design or find one design from Rile Blake. You can skip all the hassle and time-consuming cutting of all block with your own hands and let the Cricut machine do the job in a minute.
A birthday party? An anniversary? There is nothing more beautiful than giving a customized card in order to show some efforts and that you really care. You can use the Cricut Pens to create beautiful “handwritten” envelopes or pens. Or you can bring a wide range of materials together such as fabric, foil, corrugated cardboard, decorative papers, crepe papers or cardstock to create a unique, connecting composition. Cards are very easy to design and make and are perfect for any occasion.
Learn how to make a “handwritten” card with Cricut Machine:
Stencils add an amazing flair to a wide range of projects, big or small. It is very easy to create with the help of Cricut Machine. Cricut Machine helps deliver sharp masks for a detailed etching on metal jewelry or glassware and even large stencils that are up to 12 inches by 24 inches for decorating large surfaces like furniture and walls.
Always in trend, Leather is a must-have accessory for most people. With the help of Cricut machine, leather crafts can be more accessible than ever. You can use Cricut Knife Blade in order to cut a wide range of grains that includes extra thick, split and full grain. You can find the best leather project at Cricut leather collection library.
Printables are the perfect way to show your own personality. You can create customized printed iron-on, decals, and stickers in just a minute. Just use the Cricut printer to print designs you want on the material of choice. After that, use the “Print then Cut” feature from Design Space for a perfect cut out. You can print on iron-on, vinyl, sticker paper as well as a magnetic sheet.
Check out this video on how to create a fridge photo magnet using your own photos:
11. Bringing awesomeness to furniture
Furniture— what you see is what you get. It is really hard to find furniture that suits your style and taste. However, with Cricut Machine, you can do something about it and add your own style and design. You can add texture or color to a table, add a vinyl motif to a dresser or dress up a chair. With Cricut machine, it does not take much to turn boring furniture into something so awesome!
Cricut is not just an innovative electronic machine that can create crafts easier and faster. It is also a great machine that offers thousands to probably millions of design and style possibilities that can awaken every crafter’s imagination and creativity to create endless craft ideas and innovation.
With the advent of technology, it is easy for most of us to print designs onto vinyl substrates. Before, heat pressing was the only way you can transfer designs to banners or other displays. Graphics back then were not durable and did not last long. Furthermore, complex designs cannot be fully displayed so ideas are being limited.
However, digital printing brought a significant change in all these. Transferring designs to a vinyl substrate have never been faster, easier, and of better value. There are so many vinyl-cutting machines on the market, and Cricut and Silhouette are two of the leading household names in the industry.
The Cricut Explore Air 2 machine offers a lot of functions to its users. It can cut sophisticated details with utmost precision. You name it. Whether that is some lace stationary design or fine snowflakes, the machine can handle them well. It also writes using Cricut Pens. This makes your cards appear as if they were handwritten. It has more than 370 fonts to choose from. And thanks to its scoring stylus, this machine can make perfect fold lines from cards to acetate pinwheels or 3D paper crafts.
Cricut boasts that this new and hit die cutting machine is two times faster than any other. It can work wirelessly via Bluetooth too. The manufacturer claims it makes life beautiful as it can work with more than 100 different materials. These include the usual cardstock, fabric, paper, and vinyl as well as specialist media such as metals, leather, and foam.
This DIY, smart cutting machine can also be run using an app. The app contains predesigned projects that you can quickly cut. The Explore Air 2 has the size of 24 by 9.5 by 9.5 and weighs 16.84 pounds.
Personally, Cricut Explore Air 2 is my machine of choice for cutting any projects. It is the easiest to use, and the cuts are nice and clean. Its smart dial technology ultimately won my heart. This feature lets you choose the type of material you will be working with, and then the machine will adjust the pressure.
Includes 3,000 test projects with materials for you to try hands-on
Comes in different colors and has one of the sleekest designs you can ever see in a cutter
Highly accurate scoring stylus with more than 350 fonts
Fast Mode feature allows you to work on your crafts twice as fast
Easy installation and use of the software – The Cricut Design space is very user-friendly. It comes with online instructional videos, making it ideal even for beginners.
Has a Bluetooth feature for wireless cutting – You must have a Bluetooth connection from your computer or iOS mobile device. It is good to note that this machine was the easiest to connect to Bluetooth.
Does not have mat slipping issues
Can cut designs made in Adobe suite
Uploading images is free
Different formats like .svg, .jpg., .png, .bmp, .gif, .dxf are accepted
Design software lacks advanced features
Software does not work offline – It requires broadband internet connection and internet browsers. It is not a stand-alone machine.
No android app available yet (manufacturer says it is coming soon)
Minimum system requirement updates are necessary to update the software – Updating and meeting these requirements may require upgrading your entire computer system.
Silhouette Cameo 3
Silhouette’s latest cutting machine is quite similar to its predecessor but with a few key upgrades and brand new features. It has been making waves among enthusiasts so reviewing this is a bit exciting.
The Cameo 3 can cut more than 100 different materials up to 12 inches wide and 10 feet long. It comes with a built-in AutoBlade. The powerful blade can easily and quickly cut grips. Do take note though that the AutoBlade only auto-adjusts. It does not figure your settings for you. You still need to set all of the materials, while the Autoblade fine-tunes. You can also cut materials without using a mat following the introduction of the matless cutting.
The Cameo 3 has a very sleek design. Many say it resembles like your home printer, to which I strongly agree. The machine flaunts a modernized touchscreen design. It has incorporated wireless connectivity via Bluetooth. This means you do not have to deal with a lot of tangled cables and wires. It can be a bit bulky though measuring 22.5 by 8.5 by 6 inches and weighs about 12 pounds.
The dual-carriage feature is Cameo 3’s notable upgrade. Such feature allows the machine to carry out two different functions in one operation. Yes, you can cut and sketch all at the same time. And what does this mean? Of course, more work is done within a period of time.
Broadband internet is only necessary to download and update the software. It is also needed for downloading fonts and images from the store. Other than that, this is a stand-alone tool.
It cannot be denied that the Cameo 3 cuts well with all images. However, there are times when the machine experiences paper jamming, compromising small cuts. It does not have a smart dial, so you are responsible for setting the material and for testing if the pressure is correct. It can be tedious especially for beginners. You can find some cheat sheets though.
12-inch cutting and drawing width
Responsive and user-friendly LCD touchscreen
Recognizes Pixscan Technology
Works with both Windows PC and Mac
Has wireless Bluetooth connectivity
Has three different types of blades (standard blade, deep cut blade, and AutoBlade)
AutoBlade setting automatically calibrates the blade based on the materials you are working
The Deep Cut Blade setting lets you effectively work on thicker materials
Cutting clearance has been increased from 0.8 mm to 2 mm to cut more materials
Dual carriages for non-stop cutting and printing
Matless cutting ability to cut lined media to up to 10 feet long
Cutting force not improved with the same 221 g/s just like the last model
Design program is very advanced and requires previous knowledge
Requires payment to use SVG or your own fonts
Comparison of Cricut Explore Air 2 and Silhouette Cameo 3
Both machines are equipped with good software, but each has different learning curves. The Silhouette Cameo 3 is more sophisticated. It allows you to make and personalize images and make it your own. It has some toolbars and layer panels too that work just like Photoshop. But its complexity is not for everyone. Some find it not user-friendly. The application needs to run on a computer too. This means you will need to download and set it up, and of course, it will take some space on your hard drive. However, you will not be dependent on Wi-Fi to use.
Meanwhile, Cricut calls its software Design space. It is the exact opposite of Silhouette’s as this is very easy to learn. You can easily navigate through the application, and everything is visually there. You do not need to hover over the icons. The only drawback is that it needs the Internet to work. Its speed and performance highly rely on the strength and stability of your Internet connection. You will also be required to log into your account. But on the brighter side, it will not take any space on your hard drive.
Each machine has its own strengths and weaknesses. In terms of cutting abilities, Cricut Explore Air 2 works best on different materials, particularly the thick ones. But Silhouette Cameo 3 has a better precision even on intricate designs. It can beat previous Silhouette machines.
For the print-then-cut feature, Cricut Design Space limits the sizes of images you can cut. Printing quality is low too. Images do not appear sharp, while the colors are not as vibrant. The only advantage it has is its simplicity. The process of uploading images is very short. Meanwhile, Silhouette Studio can be a bit challenging to work with, but its outputs are impressive. Both images and colors are of high quality, even with very large pictures.
The pen feature of Cricut Explore Air 2 allows you draw and write anything. It still has the dual head technology, single line fonts, and a place for fine tip pens just like the original Cricut Explore. However, one downside for this machine is that the pen leaves a dark dot on the spaces you started and ended drawing or writing with.
On the other hand, Silhouette Cameo 3 allows you to make any cut sketch similar to Cricut. You can also purchase and download sketch items from the online store. While you can use different fonts, the Cameo 3 does not employ handwritten or single line fonts. But there is more room for creativity in this machine. It offers fill sketch for texts and more edit features for fonts.
When handling materials, both are compatible with several different materials. Cricut is capable of a deep cut. A head-to-head study found that Cricut is better than Silhouette when it comes to the ability and preciseness.
Mats and Tools
The mats from Cricut are sturdier than Silhouette’s. It comes in three different strengths too – light, medium, and strong. Silhouette’s mats feel so delicate. Its light sticking mat makes it difficult to cut heavier materials. However, this might not be a major issue at all with Silhouette matless cutting ability. The machine allows you to conveniently cut vinyl without a map and up to 10 feet long. You can easily work on very large projects without the need of loading and uploading the mats.
Design and Appearance
Both machines have sleek designs. But I love the available fun colors of Cricut. Silhouette only comes in white. The Cricut machine is more portable as it is much smaller in size too. Silhouette can eat up a large amount of space as it requires a taller and wider clearance.
Both devices have onboard tool storage. Cricut’s is a bit larger and can hold more tools. And like I said earlier, the Silhouette Storage tray looks like the typical printer tray that you pulled out. The area is small too, and the paper guides easily fold out.
The two machines are equipped with double tool holders. The one tool holder goes for the blade, while the other for pens or the scoring tool. The Silhouette boasts a touchscreen LCD. You can find here tutorials such as how to insert blades or mats on the machine. Cricut, on the other hand, does not leave any room for error. Its smart dial feature will ensure that there are no guess works.
Both brands have been rivaling to be the best cutting machine maker. Although they have lots of differences, they also share some similarities. Both machines can handle and cut intricate designs. They are compatible with a variety of materials too. They are capable of wireless connectivity via Bluetooth and are installed with different software incorporated into a design store. You can work on a cloud too, permitting you to work on other devices such as iPads and laptops. I particularly love both their sleek appearance and dainty designs.
I say beginners should choose the Cricut Explore Air 2. It is very easy to work, and you do not need a day to learn everything. It is great for home decorations and scrapbooking. Pick the Silhouette Cameo 3 if you work with larger images. It is not only intended for home decorations but also for mug or T-shirt printing.
Overall, both cutting machines have flaunted their advantages and disadvantages. Each has its own unique feature to boast. It is really difficult to pick which is which. It is either you get the fast cutting or the stable, multi-featured cutting. But at the end of the day, it all boils down to what purposes you want these machines to serve.
Crafting is never easy, but if you really love what you do, then you will only see the fun side of everything you make. Especially the overwhelming feeling of excitement when an idea hits you and you just can’t wait to start it.
Cricut machines are heaven sent for most crafting enthusiast. Not only does it make crafting easier and faster, but it also brings out their creative side due to the infinite ideas you can create with a Cricut Machine.
What is a Cricut machine and how do you use it?
Cricut Machines are home die-cutting machines made by Provo Craft & Novelty Inc., for crafting and scrapbooking projects. These DIY machines look like a typical printer. Not only does it print on materials, it also has a set of sharp blades and precise rollers in order to cut designs.
Depending on what type of tool or accessory you add to your Cricut machine, you can emboss, score, cut, print, and more to create amazing DIY crafts. You only need to create a design on their free web app called “Cricut Design Space” and send it to your Cricut Machine for cutting or printing.
10 Creative Cricut Project Ideas
Cricut machines can do anything from papercrafts and printables to creating models, sewing projects, and even quilting or leatherworks. It literally creates any crafts you can think of. So, if you are lacking ideas or just want to create something different with your Cricut machine, here are 10 creative Cricut project ideas you can try!
1. Leather Cut Out Wallets
Ladies, forget about rummaging through the department store for your next fashionista wallet and going home pretty disappointed since all the wallets displayed do not suit your fashion style. If you have Cricut Machine, create one for yourself now. This could give you the freedom to design your own wallet, add the necessary pockets to it and gives you uniqueness.
Watch this tutorial on how to create your own leather wallet:
2. Chalkboard Calendar
Make your calendars more fun and creative using your Cricut Machine. Instead of using your traditional “display and rip” calendar, why not create one that only needs to be erased every now and then? With a Cricut machine, you can create a chalkboard family calendar somewhere in the corner of the house where family members can write and see daily activities and plans.
Here’s a video tutorial on how to create chalkboard art with Cricut:
3. Phone Decals
Tired of the same old phone cases? Maybe you want something fresh and unique to go with your phone? Now, don’t throw your old phone cases. With just a few designing and sticking, you can make it look new and fresh. With a Cricut Machine, you can design your own phone cases, something that is not available on your local phone stores.
Here is a video tutorial on how to customized phone cases:
4. Fridge Magnets
Decorate your refrigerators with family photos and motivational sayings. Use photos for ultimate personalization and print them on magnetic materials using your Cricut Machine.
Check this video for to learn how to create a fridge magnet using Cricut:
5. Engraving Dog Tags
Do you have an adorable puppy at home? Well, give that good boy a personalized dog tag, so that people will know he’s your buddy.
Watch this tutorial for engraving dog tags:
6. Personalized Doormats
Welcome visitors with a unique personalized mat on your doorstep. Also, this personalized mat will make a perfect gift for newly married couples.
Check out this video on how to create personalized doormats with Cricut Explore:
7. Printed Plate
Customized your plates with a Cricut Machine that you either choose to eat on it or just add to your home decors.
Here is a video on how to customize plate with Cricut Explore Air:
8. Photo Candles
Impress your partner by adding a new twist to your candlelight dinner. You can add pictures or even romantic words to the candles itself using a Cricut Machine.
Here is a sample video:
9. Reversible Headbands
Tired of your hair getting on your face? Create fun reversible headbands for a chic-looking you with a Cricut Machine.
Watch this video tutorial on how to make reversible headbands:
10. Play foods
Create play foods made of felt for your precious little ones so they can invite their friends to a little dinner role-playing.
If you are knowledgeable in operating and using a Cricut machine, perhaps you are now looking for some Cricut projects to sell in order to make some money. Actually, learning how to make Cricut projects or crafts that you can sell takes a lot of research, patience creativity, effort, and of course time. But one thing is for sure, creating Cricut projects is very fun.
However, for those who are new to Cricut machine, it is a cutting machine that regularly used for making a scrapbook, signage, classroom decoration, and more. Not only that, it is also a valuable equipment that can help you to earn money even if you’re at home.
Either way, whether you’re new to Cricut or already made lots of Cricut projects, look no further because this article is for you. In this article, we will be listing 10 Cricut projects that will surely give you some money.
So let’s get started.
10 Cricut Projects that can give you Money
1. Gift Tags (Snowman Gift Tag)
Cricut Explore machine
StandardGrip Cricut Mat
Cricut DesignSpace – Software
Cricut Metallic Pen
Cricut Color Antiquity Pen
How to make a Snowman Gift Tag
Established the colors you would like to implement for the strained lines.
On your screen, follow the instructions on how to draw and cut the image.
After cutting the image, you can put the design you want. But make sure do not put unnecessary things because it may affect the final look of your gift tag.
2. Personalized Tumbler
Cricut Adhesive Foil
Cricut Cutting Mat
Heat or Iron Press
Cricut Iron-On Foil
How to Make a Personalized Tumbler with Cricut
Prepare all the needed materials mentioned above.
Cut the vinyl to fit on the Cricut cutting mat. Afterward, attach the cut vinyl to the cutting mat, in this project you can utilize a 12 by 12 standard grip mat.
Make your own image but first measure the tumbler so that you will determine how large the image is.
Cut the image using the Cricut machine
Prepare the glue foil image using Cricut essential equipment to eliminate unnecessary things from the tumbler.
Place a tape (Cricut Transfer Tape) on top of the adhesive foil.
Place the transfer tape together with the adhesive foil on the tumbler. Then peel the transfer tape slowly.
3. Butterfly Lampshade
Cricut Explore Machine
Glue sticks and a glue gun
Ironing board and iron
White glitter, iron-on vinyl
How to Make a Butterfly Lampshade
Look for a ready-made design in Design Space Cricut software. Since we are making butterfly lampshade, look for butterfly images.
Cut the butterfly pictures in two sets on iron-on vinyl or white glitter. When designing always select the “mirror design”. Place the glossy side of the vinyl downwards then established the custom dial to cut and iron-on your design.
Remove all the excess materials
Place the two sets of vinyl on each side of the lampshade using the iron
To add a 3D effect, cut out butterflies from the vellum or cardstock.
Use the glue gun so that the vellum butterfly will stick on top of the cardstock butterfly.
4. Planner Folder Pockets
Single Hole Punch
Cricut Scoring Stylus
How to make a Planner Folder Pocket
Decide on what folder shape you want to create
Select how to mark your planner pocket.
Size your planner folder pocket
Fit your dial to custom for glitter or cardstock then cut the planner pocket
If you’re creating a double-sided planner pocket, make sure to glue the two pieces together facing on the right side.
Fold the planner pocket closed and glue both the bottom and outside edge
Make holes for the planner pocket
Snap the planner pocket and design with impressive and gorgeous things
5. Memory Game
Vinyl In Lime
How to make a Memory Game with Cricut
By utilizing the software called Design Shape, pattern the dinosaur shapes.
Size them to 1.25 inches or you can change it depending on the size of the available wooden squares.
Remove the shape of the dinosaur from the vinyl using the weeding tool.
Afterward, attach them to the wooden squares
6. Canvas Banner
Iron or Easy Press
Ribbon or Twine
Popsicle Stick or Dowel Rod
How to make a Canvas Banner with Cricut
Download or make your own quotations
Once you have downloaded a quotation, cut your chosen quotation using a Cricut machine on an iron-on vinyl.
Using the weeding tool, weed the quotation. Afterward, place the quotation in front of the canvas banner.
Using the easy press, attach the vinyl quotation to the canvas banner
Once you’ve attached the vinyl to the canvas banner remove the glue backing carefully
Make your own design on Cricut Design Shape software
Add the dowel rod or popsicle stick at the back of the canvas banner
Make a hook for the canvas banner using a ribbon or twine
7. Pillow Cases
Cricut cutting machine
Pillow Cover or Fabric
Heat Transfer Vinyl
How to make a pillowcase with Cricut
Cut the fabric
For the front part of the pillowcase, cut out the heat transfer vinyl using a Cricut machine
Place the vinyl sign in the middle part of the pillowcase then iron it.
Finish it, by sewing the pillowcase but make sure to insert a pillow first before you begin to sew.
8. Party Banners
SVG Cut Files
Glue or Sewing Machine
Cricut Iron or Easy Press
Glitter Iron-on Vinyl
How to make a Party Banner with Cricut
Using the Cricut maker, cut out the iron-on vinyl. Make sure to place the vinyl on the glossy side of the mat.
Weed it to remove unnecessary spaces
Once you have weeded your vinyl, attach it to the canvas banner using an iron or Easy Press
Cut out the stroked, once the iron-on is finished.
Upload the project then press the “Make It” button, then the Cricut Maker will do the rest.
Use a spray glue to attach the letters to the banners. However, you can glue or sew the banner together
9. Paper Flowers Magnet
Glue sticks and a Glue gun
Cricut machine preferably Explore Air 2
How to make a Paper Flower with Cricut
In Cricut Design Shape software create petal shapes as well as circles for the flower’s base. These will serve as your paper flower’s petals
Established the Cricut Explore Air 2 to cardstock then cut out the petals
Place a glue on the left side of the petals and glue the opposite side carefully
Once all the petals are glued, place them on the circle base using glue sticks.
Add the center of the flowers
Lastly, place a magnet on the back of the paper flower
10. Prism Sculptures
Masking Tape or Adhesive Tape
Glue Gun and glue sticks
Spray Paint (any color)
Sketching and painting supplies
Chipboard or Artboard
How to make a Prism Sculptures with Cricut
Create shapes (geometric) in Design Shape software or you can use ready-made images
Once you have finished creating your own shape click the “Go” button then go to “Custom” setting to cut out the shapes.
Lay the pieces on a flat surface.
Tape the pieces altogether using a masking tape or adhesive tape
Glue the outside part of every prism using a glue gun
Dry for few minutes
After drying the sculptures, you can paint them to make them look more appealing and attractive.
There you have it, the 10 Cricut projects that you can sell to earn more money. As a matter of fact, with Cricut machines, you will be able to make countless of fun projects especially if you have unlimited ideas and wide imagination. Nevertheless, we hope that this list of Cricut projects will help you a lot.
So, you have finally entered the exciting world of crafts by buying a Cricut machine. Now, is the time to explore your creativity. It is very easy to use the machine; proper instructions are given in the user manual. Still, as you are a beginner, here are some tips that can help.
Removing stickiness of the mat
The cutting mat is the surface where you cut the materials. Initially, you may find it too sticky, and your designs may tear off or get distorted when trying to take it off the mat. One trick is to rub the mat with your hand or on a piece of cloth before using it. This way, the stickiness will go away. You also need to clean the mat properly after every use; otherwise, the mat will feel sticky when you try to cut your new design.
Before you start your final work, test it on a small area. Cutting needs practice. So, you should practice cutting various materials. Before cutting make sure that your cutting knife is sharp.
Subscribe to design sites
You will find various design sites online. By getting subscription to these sites you can access hundreds of new design ideas. So, if you are regular at craft works, these designs will help you create new things.
You will now find various forums and social groups on craft works. You can join one of these groups and discuss with others on how to improve your work. You can learn new things from experienced designers.
Cricut machines are very useful in making crafts. You can use it to design bags, clothes, artworks, etc. Designing is now much easier after the invention of this machine. Before you use this machine, you need to know what tools are required to use this machine.
1. Cutting blades
A Cricut machine has different types of cutting blades. There are a regular blade, a deep cut blade, and replacement blades. The regular blade can cut paper and other lightweight materials. For working with thick materials like wood, chipboard, fabrics, etc. you need to use the deep cut blade.
2. Cutting mats
In order to cut a material properly, you need to use a cutting mat. The mats are available in different sizes and grip levels. You need to change the mats often; otherwise, they will get sticky and you will have a hard time cutting the materials. You should use a spatula to clean the mats.
You should have different types of pens to write on materials like paper, chipboard, wood, etc. You can have different colored pens for writing and creating designs.
It is necessary for vinyl projects. You should use this to pick the pieces from the project. It can be used for iron-on as well. If you don’t know how to use it, you can watch a tutorial online.
There are many other tools available as well for various kinds of projects. However, these are the common tools needed. You can get some of these tools along with your Cricut machine. If you have any confusion about how to use them, you can look at different online resources.
If you visit Pinterest, you see that many artists and designers have shared their creative craft works that have done with Cricut machines. You can make similar stuff at your home too! Here are some DIY projects you can try.
Paper crafts are very popular for making cards or decoration pieces. You can make lots of paper crafts using Cricut machine. You can choose from various types of papers, textures, colors, etc.
You can make create designs on stuffed animals, clutches, etc. using the cricut machine. It will give a new life to these things.
You can do framed artwork, wall graphics, designer coffee mugs, etc. using Cricut machines. Just select a design, put the vinyl in Cricut machine, and you will produce beautiful designs. Cricut vinyl is made for Cricut machines and they can deliver excellent results.
The Cricut knife blade lets you cut hard materials like wood, chipboard, etc. So, you can create various models like skeletons, wall art, architectural models, etc.
You can use iron-on materials to make personalized T-shirts, bags, pillows, etc. You can choose from lots of colors, effects, and finishes.
You can visit Pinterest and look for ideas. Before starting your project, you must make sure that you know how to use the machine well. You should get all the tools necessary and use them the appropriate way. Craft works are great fun and you must make time to be creative and make something by yourself.