For Starters – Cricut And Other Materials You May Need

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How many of you out there that received a Cricut machine for Christmas? I know for a fact, that there will be lots of newbies searching for tips, tricks, hacks, ideas and all of the what’s this and what’s that, right?

So let’s talk about the basic tools and materials what you might need to know for starters.

This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission but it won’t cost you a penny more)! Read my full disclosure.

There are 4 different types of cutting mats. There’s a blue, green, purple and pink mats.
Each of these mats has their own purpose, and if you look at the top right corner of the mat. It will state what type of grip mats they are.

I have this basic set of tools from Cricut. And you don’t have to purchase this one, if you don’t have the money or don’t have the need for it. I will talk about the budget friendly tools here.
Image below is the Basic Tool Set and the Scoring Stylus Pen.

Portable Trimmer
When I was a Cricut newbie, I did not purchase this trimmer right away. Because I wanted to see if my scissors itself will do. As it turns out when you have so many projects in line, a trimmer is a must-have. It saves you time and it makes the cutting so much faster and cleaner, so it’s totally worth it. I definitely would recommend having a cutter next to you.

By now you are probably a bit confused when it comes to which vinyl to use or how can you tell which is which and how to use it? Don’t worry, I will talk about it as simply as I can.

The companies that carries adhesive vinyls are Oracal and Cricut. These are the names of the company that are popular across the board when it comes to Cricut crafting groups. So let’s talk about the vinyls.

There are 2 kinds of vinyls that you will see in what most Cricut community uses and will be talked about.
Adhesive Vinyl (there’s a permanent and removable)
Heat Transfer Vinyl (aka HTV)

Adhesive vinyl comes in a permanent and a removable.
Removable vinyl is recommended to be used on walls or any surface that you don’t want to be ruined.
Permanent vinyl is used on mugs, tumblers, car decals, wood signs, food containers, any surfaces that you want to put it as permanent etc.

Transfer Tape
Transfer tape is what helps you transfer the adhesive vinyl image to the project (like mugs etc).

And there are tons of different kinds of transfer tapes that you can purchase. I personally have multiple different kinds, and I use each of them depending on what my project is. Big or small.

Heat transfer vinyl also known as HTV which it’s used for fabric like onesies, shirts, towels, blankets and so forth. And what most you will find what HTV Cricut crafters uses are manufactured by Siser or Cricut.

Teflon sheet, which it’s placed between the HTV and the press plate when pressing. This will protect the upper hot plate from any vinyl that may stick.

Cricut also carries pens (fine and medium) that you can use with your Cricut machines to write and draw.

If you have one of the Explore machines or the Maker, you will need to know which blades that belongs with your machine.

For Explore machines. See all blades below:
– Fine Point blade
– Deep Point blade

For Maker machines which it’s the ultimate cutting machine and has adaptive tool system. See all blades below:
– Scoring wheel (single/double)
– Fabric blade
– Fine Point blade
– Rotary blade
– Knife blade
– Perforation blade
– Engraving tip
– Deboss blade
– Wavy blade

The tools I mentioned above are for Cricut owners that wanting to know what starter tools that they many need. I didn’t want to talk about too many things and add on to the confusion. I wanted to focus on the simple things first, spread a little knowledge.

Please comment below if you have any questions.

Happy Cricuting and enjoy your machine!

Join the Conversation


  1. Thank you for explaining this. I was confused about the difference between adhesive and heat transfer vinyl. It sound like it it was self explanatory but it I still had some reservations until you explained it. The diagrams are fantastic also.
    The tools are also what helped me the most as well as the mats and their use.
    Thanks you for the explanations.

    1. Hi Jenn, oh you are very welcome! I am so glad I am able to do explain it in so little words. My blog is fairly new and would like to simplify things as much as I can and share it with all of you. Thank you so much for being here with me! 🙂

  2. CeCe, thanks for the information. I got my Maker in September as a home/family gift and promptly started having vision problems. Long story short after 3 procedures I can now see well enough to return to my hobbies. I have been watching various YouTube videos and have gotten the terminology and the main ideas and goals down. I appreciate the list that you made, It’s sensible and to the point.

    1. Hi Gwen, that is great news! I am so happy to know you’re vision is getting better. Also am glad that my list is helpful, and will be updating them when needed. I so appreciate you being here, thank you so much! 🙂

  3. Thank you for the briefing! Very helpful.
    Question: do you know of an inexpensive adapter for the Air in lieu of buying the Cricut pens?

    1. Hi Rhonda, thank you. I have the explore air machine as well, and there’s no need for an adapter. It actually is with the machine. Hope that helps 🙂

  4. Thank you for sharing this pertinent information. I received my Cricut Air for Christmas and I am interested in making wedding invitations with it along with several other projects.

    1. Hi Tonya, you’re welcome! How exciting! Just watch out, it’s pretty addicting 🙂 ..You’re gonna love it! xoxo

  5. Omg. This was so so so helpful. I was so confused and you hit the nail right on the head. I’m so nervous about this machine and also excited at the same time. The tools, this sheet that sheet everything was everywhere in my head and you sorted it out thanks again. I’m ready now

    1. Hi Annetta, yey! I understand what you mean, coz I was the same way when I first started I was so confused.. But I am so glad to know that I’m able to help and that you are ready! Woot! Just wanted to mention that I also have easy and simple projects that you can follow on here on my blog or on my YouTube channel. Just come on over if you need anything, Happy New Year! 🙂 <3

    1. Hi Patti, I only recommend using HTV on fabrics.. Although, I’ve seen some uses it on ceramics or wood. Hope that helps, thank you for being here!

  6. Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wished to say
    that I’ve really enjoyed browsing your blog posts.
    After all I’ll be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again very soon!

  7. The Cricut trimmer is one of my favorites. I resisted buying it until it went on sale(like I do most things!). I probable have about a dozen different kinds and this is one of my go-to’s.

    1. hahaha omg i just LOL’d when i read your reply! ..i know what you mean coz i am the same way, i waited for it to go on sale (like i do on most things).. it can be a struggle when it comes to purchasing lol.. but you’re right, i love the cricut trimmer myself! gonna need a blade back-up/replacement for it real soon, coz i use it so much! 🙂

  8. Exactly what I need to get started with learning the ins and outs of my machine. Overwhelming at first and this basic info is very helpful.

    1. Hi Michelle,
      So glad to know my simple blog helps you get started. Also, check out my simple beginner Cricut projects. It might give you ideas on what you can make and gift to family and friends. I’ve got video tutorials too that you might find it helpful.. I appreciate you being here xoxo 🙂

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