Cricut for the New User Post 1 of 5 and GIVE AWAY

This post is from 2011 and is more of a history of Cricut post now.

Hello!  If you just got a Cricut you’ve come to the right place!  I’m going to dedicate the next 5 posts to information specifically tailored to the new Cricut user (or those of you who’ve told me that you’ve had a Cricut for a long time, but have never taken it out of the box).  Rule #1.  Your Cricut will never work if you don’t take it out of the box.

So, let’s remove the Cricut from the box.  That’s soooo important.

You thought I was joking didn’t you? Nope. I actually have a post where I take my Cricut out of the box.

If you took a look at that post you might have noticed that I had purchased a red Cricut Expression.  That leads me to another bit of information for you.  There are several different Cricut’s available.  The one I use mostly is the Cricut Expression.  It comes in a variety of colors now, but all of the Expressions work the same way, they just look a little different.  The most confusing of all to many Cricut users is the red Expression.  Why?  Because it looks just like the Cricut Cake.  That’s a Cricut machine used to cut fondant, icing sheets, tortillas and other thin food items.  The Cricut Cake initially came out in the very red of my Expression.  It is now available in white and also as a Cricut Mini (which I have).  The Cricut Mini is only available at Joann.com.  It’s a smaller version of the Cricut Cake and has fewer functions. (In 2012, the Cricut Cake machines were discontinued.)

Which Cricut Should I buy? What’s the difference?

There are other Cricut’s too!  If you don’t have a Cricut yet, this post can help you choose the right one for you.  Here’s a post I wrote comparing the different Cricut’s.

What supplies do I need?

Here’s a list of things you might need or want as you enter the Cricut world.  I don’t discuss Cricut blades here, but that’s ok.  😉  I have a whole other section on that! 😀

Cricut Supplies You’ll Either Need or Want

Cricut Blades – Deep Cut Blade, Regular Blade & Settings

Regarding blade settings, I tend to keep my machine with the settings all on high.  When I cut thinner materials I lower the blade depth and pressure.  When the cuts are more intricate I lower the speed.  If you think about the materials you’re cutting you can usually come up with a logical reason to raise or lower depth, pressure and speed.  If the material is chipboard (try cereal boxes for a great chipboard like surface)  you’ll want depth and pressure pretty high (and use multi cut).  If you’re cutting vellum your blade hardly has anything to cut through because vellum is so thin.  In that case, turn your blade down to a lower number.  The lower the blade number is, the less blade is actually sticking out of the housing and vice versa.

Cricut Blade Settings

Cricut Blades Compared

Tomorrow, I’ll have a video showing you how to get started with your first cut!

Here’s something you really need!  A give away of this great new DVD “Cricut for Beginners”!  If you don’t win it you can buy this DVD from Custom Crops (where you can also pick up Joy’s Life products) .  Custom Crops has donated this DVD for one of you!  Just leave a comment to be eligible to win.  The winner will be chosen Jan 10, 2011 and listed on this post.


2011/01/04 at 12:44 PM
I have had my cricut for awhile, but I still feel like a beginner sometimes. I am sure there are tips on that DVD that would help me!

I hope today’s post was helpful to you!  Come back tomorrow for Day 2 of 5 and a video tutorial!

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  1. Happy New Year, Joy, and thanks for the helpful tips! Just got a Cricut for Christmas and have been struggling with paper tears— especially on the more intricate cuts (and smaller cuts.) I will definitely try reducing the speed. One thing I’ve noticed is that the textured cardstock seems to cut lots better than some of the smooth with a mat finish– very strange. Very excited about your posts this week. I’m an art teacher trying really hard to fall in love with my Cricut, but it’s been a rollercoaster ride so far!

  2. Great tutorial. I really apreciate that you take some time to teach us.

  3. paulacraiglow says:

    I have had a baby Cricut for a long time and just got my Expression. Am kinda afraid to take it out of the box and can’t wait to see what you have to show us next. Thanks

  4. What a great day to start off the year! I love all your tips and ideas! Thanks for the opportunity to win the DVD, Happy New Year!

  5. Love all the great information and ideas!!


  6. Maybe I can learn some tips that I still don’t know about. Thanks

  7. Thanks for being a great teacher! Is there a larger chart somewhere with blade settings for more paper types?

  8. Thanks for the tips! A refresher course is always nice!

  9. KristaK66 says:

    Thanks so much for all the tips! I’m just starting out with the baby Cricut, and been doing it “trial & error”. I just bought a Gypsy, and now with all the holiday sales going on have become a cart addict! I’m also new to the blog world, and your’s is my first to join!

  10. lambert808 says:

    Thank you! My craft room is only a few days away from being cleaned out, and re-organized. Then my expressions will come out of the box – and I can’t wait! I already bought MTC. These posts will be so helpful as I get started (because honestly, it scares me a little. LOL!)

  11. Happy New Year, Joy! Mikey says hello and he is really excited to see a young man on your design team! He wants to make our Christmas cards this year! EEK! I might need to start now!

  12. Thank you for doing this. I have had my expression for a few months and even though it has been out of the box!! I really don’t know what to do with it. I think what I really wish you’d cover is the real dial size for the cuts since it seems like sometimes what I think is not what really happens.

  13. DelaneyRose says:

    I love that you’re so eager to enable others to get into the Cricut world!! 🙂 Your posts are always so helpful. Thank you!

  14. I’m so glad you’re doing this. I’ve had my Cricut Expression for a little over a year. I’m still having issues with some cuts. These tutorials are a God-send. It’s so much easier “watching” someone do the cuts than trying to read them in a manual.

    Thank you so much for the hard work you do it putting these tutorials together for us.

  15. trixsey52 says:

    I’ve had my Cricut for 2 years and it was a year before coming out of the box. Wish I hadn’t waited so long. Love this post as I learn something new everytime coming on Joy’s Life. Thank you for being here for us. Happy New Year everyone.

  16. I love the cricut and all you can do with it. We have one with about 5 of us useing it. thanks for all you do. with out you help I would be lost.

  17. Awesome series, thanks for taking the time to do it!! I’ve had my cricut for 2 years but I learn new things it can do all the time!

  18. Thanks for the info!! Love learning more about my Cricut!! =)

  19. I’ve been wanting this video and I was hoping it get it for Christmas. That didn’t happen so I would love to win it. Theres so much info I still need to learn. Thanks for the chance to win. papermemories4u at yahoo dot com

  20. SpunkyOne says:

    Thanks for all the info Joy. I found your site just before DH purchased me a Cricut. Had I known he’s was gonna buy me one I would have printed all this info out for him 😉


    [email protected]

  21. scrappingrandma says:

    I have had my expression for a year and love it but I need to know how to do all the extra things not just cut. So thanks Joy for this series…

  22. Thank you for doing this!! I seem to learn something new all the time about my Cricut.

  23. I am so excited you are back to teach and inspire me! Today’s info was all helpful. Thanks for the give-away too. I need all the help I can receive. Have a great day!

    [email protected]

  24. Georgia Jill says:

    Thank you, Joy! You are a wealth of information! I can’t wait to sit down and put in to use all the tips and hints you have shared today! Happy New Year!

  25. Christine says:

    Thank you for teaching us about the Cricut.

  26. I have had my cricut for awhile, but I still feel like a beginner sometimes. I am sure there are tips on that DVD that would help me!

  27. I have my Cricut Expression for over 2 years and I know I need to learn some more basic stuff. I love it though! Kathy

  28. bkking1962 says:

    Thanks Joy – you’re such a great teacher. Any advice on what blade settings work best for vinyl – and regular blade of deep cut blade? Also, please please please help me with my Gypsy – I am so darned confused and frustrated!

  29. you are awesome! Thanks for your help! I am going to send your page to a friend. She just bought her E and G!

  30. justina1218 says:

    Thanks for the tips! I hope to use my cricut this year. I will be back tomorrow for more tips!

  31. Thanks for sharing your helpful information!

  32. RichStampin says:

    Hello Joy,
    Yes I am one of those who purchased a cricut about 2 years ago now. I have been buying cartidges ever since. I actually took mine out of the box and placed it on my desk and there it sits… I have over 100 cartidges and the neighbors have used them and I have yet to plug them into mine or my gypsy~ it is a sad affair. I look forward to your posts and I will be doing lots of things now.


  33. RichStampin says:

    Hello Joy,
    Yes I am one of those who purchased a Cricut about 2 years ago now. I have been buying cartridges ever since. I actually took mine out of the box and placed it on my desk and there it sits… I have over 100 cartridges and the neighbors have used them and I have yet to plug them into mine or my gypsy~ it is a sad affair. I look forward to your posts and I will be doing lots of things now.


  34. Love my expression but know there is so much more I could be doing with it. Plus my DH suprised me with an Imagine for Christmas. I really need to get in there and start doing some things. Your tips really help!

  35. I love my Expression and I am still learning how to use it. My son loves to help me pick out the next “picture” each time I set it up! I love all of the tips & advice! Thanks for a chance to win a DVD!


  36. Great tutorial. I really apreciate that you take some time to teach us. I would love to win the beginner dvd

  37. Reneeleeak says:

    Thanks for all the great information! It’s very much appreciated! ?

  38. sy3_smith says:

    Great post! I laughed about take the cricut out of the box! haha

  39. Pinky Paulette says:

    I can use all the help I can get! Thanks Custom Crops!

  40. nativetexangirl says:

    Thanks for the new Cricut owner posts you are doing. I just got a turquoise Cricut Expression. I am the Newbie. My sister (the old pro on the Cricut) sent me to you to learn all there is to know about the Cricut! She loves your site and I do too. She doesn’t live in the same town with me or I am sure she would be showing me the ropes. P.S. I do have it out of the box. Just not plugged in yet. 😀

  41. scottandcarr says:

    Thanks for keeping the information coming, Joy!! And for your great give-a-ways!

  42. Joydee1963 says:

    I had my expression a year. I keep learning all kinds of stuff on your site.Great job.Great job on all the gyspy stuff ,too,Joy

  43. I love your site! I just got a Cricut Create and am learning so much from your site. You are GREAT!!!!

  44. VinDeeLoo says:

    I just got a cricut for Christmas. i have used it quite a bit, but I am sure there is much I have yet to learn.

    vndlewis at rocketmail dot com

  45. I hate to admit it, but I am one oft “those people” that have had a Cricut for quite some time still sitting in the box. I really do like reading and becoming educated about the different cartridges on your blog. Thanks.

  46. scrapbooknut67114 says:

    Thanks for all your hard work, your videos, your tutorials, and your information! It is greatly appreciated!

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