12 Most Asked Cricut Questions
If you’re new to Cricut – or maybe you just want to level up your Cricut skills – this is a great place to start. We are providing answers to our 12 Most Asked Cricut Questions today. Throughout the years of working with Cricut machines and teaching others how to use them, these are the questions that pop up again and again.
If you’ve ever felt held back because you didn’t know the answer to your Cricut questions, be sure to check out the answers below. You might just find the one you need to take your Cricut crafting to the next level.
12 Most Asked Cricut Questions
Which Cricut Should I Buy?
Do you suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out)? If so, easy answer. You need the Cricut Maker 3. It has all the bells and whistles and can do more than any other Cricut machine. This is their top-of-the-line machine at the moment and the one you need to buy if you want to be able to do it all.
Are you more of an economical crafter? If you’re looking for a machine that will still deliver a lot, but at a more budget-friendly price, you want the Cricut Explore. You could look at the Cricut Explore Air 2 (which is the older model but still a great machine) or the newer Cricut Explore 3. You could even look at getting a legacy Cricut Maker. Again, it’s still a great machine and there really isn’t a big difference between it and the newer Maker 3 other than the Maker 3’s ability to use Cricut Smart Materials. Here’s our secret though – we don’t actually use Smart Materials as we prefer to use the kind that is cut on a mat.
Pro Tip: If you purchase a Cricut Maker, you will still receive 2 cutting mats with it. Mats are not included with the Maker 3 or the Explore 3 as they use Smart Materials and are capable of matless cutting. Even with the newer machines, you will find that there are times when you need a mat.
What is Cricut Access and do I need it?
Cricut Access is not the same as Cricut Design Space. Cricut Design Space is the software you need to use your Cricut machine and it is free to use. On the other hand, Cricut Access is a subscription service that gives you access to Cricut’s library of cut files and fonts. However, once you cancel your membership to Cricut Access, you no longer have access to those files and fonts. With a Makers Gonna Learn membership, you get to keep any files and fonts you downloaded forever. Cricut Access is optional and you don’t have to have it in order to use the free Cricut Design Space software.
How Do I Know If I Need to Seal My Projects?
For the vast majority of projects, you do not need to seal them. If you watch any of our tutorials here at Makers Gonna Learn and we don’t mention sealing, then don’t seal it. It’s simply not necessary. In fact, sometimes by adding a sealant, you can make your project look less professional. The only times when you might need sealant is for an outdoor project that will get quite weathered or something of that sort, but when we demonstrate such projects for you, we will always show you which sealant we recommend and how to use it. If you need to use a sealant, we recommend spray sealers to avoid the appearance of brush marks.
Pro Tip: It’s important to note that we use high-quality vinyl and paints/stains and that plays a factor in the longevity of our projects as well.
Learn more here: How to Make Cricut Projects Last
What are the Different Types of Vinyl?
When you see vinyl with the grid backing on it, it is adhesive vinyl. Adhesive vinyl is like a sticker – you peel off the backing and apply it. The adhesive is activated by pressure. If you see vinyl that has a dull side and a shiny side, it’s heat transfer vinyl (also known as iron on vinyl). As the name implies, you have to use heat to activate the adhesive and make it stick to the surface of your blank.
Our favorite vinyl – for both price and quality – is from 143Vinyl. We really like the Starcraft and Siser EasyWeed brands.
Pro Tip: To keep the different types of vinyl straight (glitter vinyl, flocked HTV, iridescent vinyl, etc), we like to label ours with a piece of masking tape.
Check out the Ultimate Guide to Vinyl here.
How Large a Project Can I Cut with my Cricut and How Can I Make Something Larger than Mat?
With a regular mat, you can cut a design that is a little less than 12 x 12 inches. With the larger mat, you can cut a design that is a little less than 12 x 24 inches. Remember that with a Cricut Maker 3 or Explore 3, you can do matless cutting. This allows you to make longer than mat projects but you are still only able to make them 12 inches wide. Beyond that option, you will be looking at a multi-mat project if you want to make one that’s larger than mat. This means you will need to divide up your design and slice it into pieces to fit on the mats. Then, you will reassemble your design on your blank.
Pro Tip: A larger than mat project is an advanced craft. It’s possible but it’s more complicated than a basic design that fits on one mat. If you find that you consistently need to cut larger designs, look into an industrial cutter that can handle wider materials.
How Do I Make My Letters Touch?
In previous tutorials, we taught our viewers how to manually kern their text. Cricut has updated its Design Space capabilities and now with many fonts, you will find that when you use them in Design Space, they are already kerned for you. This can be both a blessing and a curse at times.
You can see in the text above that it has been kerned automatically by Cricut and while the H and e are nicely done, the rest of the letters are just too close together. To fix this, go to Advanced, Ungroup to Letters. Use your arrow keys to move the letters until you’re happy with their arrangement. Then, select the whole word and choose Weld under the Combine Menu which is below the Layers Panel.
Can I Use My Household Iron Instead of a Heat Press?
Yes, you can but you may not get consistent results. Your results will vary depending on your particular iron. In addition, if it’s a steam iron and you’ve been using water in it, this won’t be good for applying your heat transfer vinyl. A household iron tends to have different temperatures at various points on the plate, whereas a heat press offers consistent heat on every part of it. How do you combat that? Move the iron to different parts of the design until you see the bubbles that indicate that the vinyl has released from the transfer tape and is adhering to your surface instead. So yes, you can use a household iron but it may not work as well as a heat press would.
Should I Get an EasyPress or a Heat Press?
If you are interested in sublimation, we think that you should skip right over the EasyPress and go for a heat press. It works better with sublimation and will give you the best results and of course, you can use it with heat transfer vinyl as well. With sublimation, you tend to need a larger heat press, but if you’re not planning to make sublimation projects, we suggest going with a 9 x 9 EasyPress or an EasyPress Mini.
Check this out! >>>> A Comprehensive Guide to EasyPress
Why Won’t My Print Then Cut Print?
Most of the time, it’s because your image is too large. The maximum size Cricut allows for Print then Cut is 9.25 x 6.75 inches.
What is the Difference Between a PNG and an SVG?
PNG stands for Portable Network Graphic. SVG is a Scalable Vector Graphic. We offer both at Makers Gonna Learn. A PNG is what we use for our Print then Cuts – anything that has so many colors that it would be impractical to break it up into layers and cutting them all out. An SVG has all the layers available for cutting. When you scale an SVG up or down in size, it will retain its quality and not become pixelated. If you try to scale a PNG up, you will begin to lose quality.
Do I Need to Prewash My Shirts?
We often buy prewashed shirts and that takes care of the issue for us, but if you’re not buying those, yes, you do need to prewash them. This is so that if there is going to be any shrinkage, it happens prior to adding any heat transfer vinyl. Otherwise, when you wash the shirt, it might shrink but your HTV design won’t and your design will be ruined.
Pro Tip: When you prewash the shirt, make sure not to use any fabric softener.
What Cricut Accessories Do I Need?
Check out this video for all of our Cricut Must Haves!
Tanner, Courtney, and the rest of the Makers Gonna Learn Team are all here because we love die-cutting and especially love sharing fun projects and tutorials with fellow makers. We are all great friends and are always having a blast when we are together- you will see this on camera, especially during live streams! We are here to inspire and support you in your crafting journey!