Everyone needs a tote bag, be it a ballet bag, a shopping bag, a book bag – it’s an easily personalised gift for all ages that will be put to good use! This would make an ideal gift for teachers this Christmas too.
Just like the rest of 2020, Christmas is going to look a little different this year. Despite the recent announcement of a temporary respite, the holiday period will still see more restrictions than ever before, with families shaping up to be a little more distant at a time which usually brings us closer together.
Despite all of the hardships the country has been through as a collective, 2020 has also brought out the best in people. We’ve celebrated lockdown birthdays, made friends with our postmen, and clapped for our key workers – recognising some of our real heroes who have helped the country keep going. While the prospect of restrictions easing in the spring there is a sense of a tough winter period ahead – and we all need a bit of a lift heading into 2021.
One of the easiest ways to give people a lift – whether it’s a friend, family member or neighbour – is kindness. Even just small, thoughtful acts can go a long way to showing someone you care. It even makes us feel good too. We carried out research to find out the nations latest attitudes towards kindness and its importance. We found that over half (58%) of people prefer giving, to receiving acts of kindness.
Being kind is important to us at Cricut. It may seem obvious, but we’ve always been struck by the power our products have to bring joy, thoughtfulness and kindness to someone’s day – from making someone a personalised card, to customising a gift for a special occasion. Cricut really does have the power to add little touches, which make a big difference.
That’s why this Christmas, we’ve launched the #MessagesOfJoy campaign, celebrating the small acts of kindness each of us has the power to bring to someone who might need it.
We’ve partnered with the fabulous Katie Piper to create the #MessagesOfJoy positive affirmations – beautifully crafted quotes that can be added to a gift, decorations, cards and more, to give that special someone the lift they might need. From ‘Thankyou For Being You’ to ‘Kindness Is Love Made Visible’, the mantras have been crafted to get people thinking, and creating.
We’d love to see you recreating Katie’s projects or maybe even creating your own personal messages for your loved ones. Don’t forget to share them with us on all of our social channels using #MessagesOfJoy. Because at Cricut, we care about kindness, and this year, we could all use a little more of it.
Get into the Christmas spirit with this curated playlist hosted on Spotify.
This is the perfect soundtrack to your Christmas crafting and you’ll have it playing on a loop whilst the Cricut magic happens.
Here’s a small selection of what treats await:
There are more than 30 tunes in total, including Celeste’s soundtrack to this year’s John Lewis Christmas advert – A Little Love, and Cricut’s very own craft ambassador Zooey Deschanel’s duet with Leon Radbone – Baby It’s Cold Outside.
Pour a glass of mulled wine, warm cider or a cosy hot chocolate and get your Christmas craft on!
Getting started with your Cricut machine shouldn’t feel daunting, here are some tips and tricks to get you started on your Cricut journey!
First of all, Download Cricut Design Space, and follow the steps to set up your machine. The screen will guide you through plugging in your new Cricut machine and will help you cut out your first image.
Once you have cut your first project, have a play with Design Space! Start with a simple vinyl decal or a cut-out image to create a card. You can use the spare materials that came in the box to get you started. Search in the image library for something that catches your eye, add it into the canvas, resize it to fit then click ‘make it’ to cut it out of your chosen material!
To start with, focus on one material, get to grips with that then everything will be simpler for you from there. This material could be vinyl or cardstock or even iron-on, whatever takes your fancy!
The free projects category is another great place to start. Each project has instructions for you to make it as is or click customise to open up the project in the canvas to be able to edit it. This is a great way to play around with a project without starting from a blank canvas.
There is lots of help available to you as you need it, here are some places to find it:
Join a Facebook group:
On Facebook, you will find lots of Cricut Facebook groups to join. As a beginner, these are a great place to get expert help and answers to all of your questions.
These groups are also a great place to make Cricut friends and join the Cricut community! You come across inspiration for your upcoming projects too. Search in a group for a topic, no doubt others will have asked similar questions before, or create a post asking for help – There are no silly questions; we’ve all been there!
Many groups have lives, workshops and online events to join in with, as well as units or files full of information to help you.
The following Facebook Groups are led by Cricut Product Experts (These are group admins who have been approved by Cricut):
Purchase your machine from John Lewis and you can get a free workshop. Simply click the link on the product page on the John Lewis web site, complete the form, send a copy of your proof of purchase and you’ll be sent a link to view the workshop. Follow along at your own pace, pause, replay and watch as many times as you want to.
Cricut Wednesdays at Hobbycraft:
On Wednesdays Hobbycraft run ‘Cricut Wednesday’, where you will find a resident Cricut expert answering Cricut questions on the Hobbycraft Facebook page and sometimes Instagram stories and you’ll discover takeovers from Cricut experts, video tutorials and inspirational projects too.
You’ll find Cricut experts instore and check out your local custom crafting store for a wide range of Cricut supplies.
Follow fellow Cricut lovers on Instagram too, search the hashtag #cricutcreated on Instagram to find Cricut content and inspiration created by Cricut users! You’ll see creators using their machines for everything from home décor, sewing, organisation, paper crafting, model making and more, so it won’t take long to find someone whose projects will inspire you.
Cricut YouTube channel:
The Cricut YouTube channel has hundreds of easy to follow videos, these are a helpful resource for beginners as you will find short videos with everything you need to know.
“Which Cricut machine should I choose?”… a question we often get asked and one we love to help answer! There are so many things to consider when buying a machine that we have put together this guide to help you make the best decision on which Cricut Machine is the right match for you!
It’s helpful to have a few things in mind to help you decide on a machine. Thinking about each of these points will help you match your needs with the best Cricut machine for you. In this article we also look at each machine in more detail, there’s a comparison chart at the end which summarises the key differences between the machines, and we’ve even created a little flow chart to help you further. But for now, let’s have a think about what we need to consider:
Is the size of the machine important to you and how portable you would like it to be? Cricut JoyTM is compact and can be taken out and about easily. Cricut MakerTM and Cricut Explore AirTM 2 are much bigger and heavier so will probably be harder to move around.
Think about what materials you would like to be able to cut. The cutting of different materials is one of the biggest differences between machines. So, is a good starting point to think about when choosing which machine is for you. Cricut Joy cuts 50+ materials, Cricut Explore Air 2 cuts 100+ materials and Cricut Maker cuts 300+ materials.
Have a rough idea of what you would like to make, looking for the best machine for you will be much easier if you have a few projects in mind! If your projects are big in scale and complexity then a machine with a larger cutting width such as Maker and Explore will be best. If your projects are more compact, or you don’t mind arranging smaller images together as one larger image, then Cricut Joy would be great.
Similarly, consider what size of cutting area you are interested in. Cricut Joy has a cutting width of 4.5 inches and a cutting length of up to 20 feet compared to the Maker and Explore machines that can cut up to 12×24 inches.
Think about the other tools you might be interested in besides cutting. Cricut Explore Air 2 and Cricut Maker can both add foil embellishments and both can score; Explore with the scoring stylus and Maker with the stylus or the scoring wheels. The Cricut Maker also has the Adaptive Tool SystemTM so with additional tools can also engrave, perforate, deboss and there’s a knife blade for thicker materials such as basswood or heavy chipboard. It comes with the rotary tool for cutting fabrics too.
Will you want to do more in the future? Consider what your cutting needs might be in the future once you get the Cricut bug! If you think you’re going to want to try lots more and grow your craft skills then you’ll need a machine that grows with you. Cricut Maker is best for this as it can do the most.
Once you have a preferred machine in mind, there are a few other things to consider:
Everything you need to get started comes in the box with your machine, but we recommend buying a basic toolset, an extra set of mats and a few materials so that you can get playing straight away. If you are looking at using iron-on vinyl for your projects, consider the Cricut EasyPressTM to accompany your machine.
Download the software, Cricut Design Space. You can download the free Cricut app onto your smartphone or tablet direct from your app store (iOS and Android) or download the software on to your computer from https://design.cricut.com/ before you have a machine. This means you can have a play with it to see if it’s right for you. This is the software that you use to design your projects then cut them on your machine. All machines are driven by the Design Space App so there is no difference for beginners when it comes to using the software, however, Cricut Joy does have a simpler app you can also use, to help you create quick projects on the go. Click here to find out more about Design Space and click here for details of the app created specifically for Cricut Joy.
All three machines use Bluetooth connectivity to connect to devices via Bluetooth. Cricut Joy has no cables to connect to the computer it works solely with Bluetooth, the Maker and Explore Air 2 have an optional USB cable to connect them to a computer or laptop.
Still can’t decide? Emma Jewell of Emma Jewell Crafts, has put together this handy guide which leads you through a series of questions to find the Cricut machine that fits you best!
Of course, this is a bit of fun to start you on your search. Please use this information to help guide your search rather than give you a definitive answer!
Follow the questions to see which machine the guide recommends to you:
I want to know more about Cricut Maker
• The most versatile Cricut machine, with additional tools and blades, the Maker can cut 300+ materials.
• Cutting area of up to 12×24 Inches. Comes with two 12×12 cutting mats to keep materials in place while cutting.
• Cuts any fabric using the rotary blade that comes with the machine.
• Cuts thick/dense materials Like Balsa wood, foam and leather using the add on Knife Blade.
• Has an Adaptive Tool System with a range of add on tools – Debossing, Perforation, Engraving, Scoring, Knife Blade, Wavy Blade and foiling tip
• Can cut materials like Cardstock, Paper, Vinyl, Iron-on and Vinyl with ease.
• Can draw or write with a pen.
• Can cut out an image printed to your printer onto any colour of material. This is a great feature for making stickers.
• Connects via Bluetooth or USB cable to your device.
• Available in Champagne or Rose colours.
In the box:
-Fine point blade
-Rotary blade (for cutting fabric)
-Pink cutting mat (for fabrics)
-Blue cutting mat (for materials like card, vinyl and iron-on)
-Power cable and USB cable.
-Materials for your first project.
I want to know more about Cricut Explore Air 2
• Great for cutting Iron-on, Vinyl and Cardstock, and cuts 100+ materials.
• Can draw or write with a pen.
• Can add on a deep cut blade for thicker materials like leather.
• Can cut cotton fabric that has been bonded with an interfacing using the fine point blade.
• A Scoring Stylus is available for scoring projects.
• Can add on the Cricut Foil Transfer System for adding foiled elements to projects.
• Can cut out an image printed to your printer onto white material. This is a great feature for making stickers.
• Has a cutting area of up to 12×24 inches.
• Connects via Bluetooth or USB to your device.
• Comes in a range of colours.
In the box:
-Cricut Explore Air 2 machine
-Fine point blade
-Blue cutting mat
-Power cable and USB cable
-Materials for your first project
I want to know more about Cricut Joy
• The most portable machine. Its small size makes it easy to carry around and store!
• Perfect for quick projects.
• Cuts cardstock, iron-on and vinyl with ease – cuts 50+ materials.
• Compatible card mat and ready-to-make projects in Design Space make card making even easier.
• Can cut up to 20ft of length with a width of up to 5 inches
• Works with Cricut Smart Materials to cut without a mat.
• Can draw or write with a pen.
In the box:
-Cricut Joy machine
You’ll find a handy machine comparison guide below (prices, subject to change!) to help you compare the three machines:
We hope you have found this article helpful and now have a better idea of which Cricut machine is right for you, but if you’re still undecided, we’ve worked with John Lewis to offer a concise video to compare our machines.
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