The Best Cricut Accessories You REALLY Need: with so many Cricut accessories available we’ll tell you which ones you need to begin with.
There are so many cool products you can get to use with your Cricut. But, which accessories are the ones you really need to get started and will get the most use out of?
I’ve had a Cricut for over 10 years -that’s a long time, and have been lucky enough to work with Cricut and been sent some really cool Cricut accessories over the years. Let me share with you the best accessories that I’ve found most helpful and used over and over again, and would definitely recommend for the beginner. There are some accessories that are nice to have, but can wait until later. Let’s start with what the new cricut owner needs.
My Must Have Cricut Accessories
- Basic Tool Kit
- Transfer Tape
- Extra Standardgrip Mat
- Replacement Blades
- Cricut Pens
- Storage Solutions
The Cricut Basic Tool Set
I would highly recommend the basic tools kit for anyone starting out as my number one cricut accessory. I’ve used all the tools at one point or another. You can buy these Cricut tools individually, but it’s a better deal to purchase the whole kit.
My favourites are the weeding tool, which you will need to weed any vinyl project you make. The sharp little hook like end makes it easy to grab the vinyl you’re weeding away.
The scraper tool is great for getting any little bits off of your mat that have been left behind when removing a project from your cutting mat. There is also an XL scrapper, that is helpful, but this is one of those accessories that’s nice to have but that you can get later.
I really like the Cricut scissors. I’m sure all of us already have scissors, so what makes these ones make it to my must have list for new Cricut users? They are small enough to use for intricate projects, the ends are nice and pointed for getting into tiny corners, and they are very sharp, making them a really great tool. Store these with your Cricut machine and don’t let anyone use them around the house to keep them nice and sharp.
The spatula tool is really helpful for paper craft projects. To avoid tearing paper with intricate designs as you remove it from the cutting mat, use the spatula tool to lift the paper off the mat from underneath. This also helps avoid the paper curling.
This tool is so helpful to run over materials you are adding to the cutting mat. Can you use your hands to pat things down? Yes of course, cut the brayer applies even pressure over the entire material, and is faster too. This is a tool you will use all the time.
The Paper Trimmer
This is a tool that I was sent and was surprised at how much I use it. I have a larger paper trimmer, but this is the one I grab all the time. It’s lightweight, easy to store, and really useful. I use it to cut paper when I need a straight edge. I also love that you can replace the cutting blade really easily, so if it gets dull from using it alot, it’s not ruined. Swap out the blade for a new one, and it will cut perfectly again. It also has a ruler guide that pops out for aligning larger pieces, like 12 x 12 -a lot of people don’t know about this feature and it’s really useful.
When I first started cutting out vinyl on my Cricut Machine, I didn’t think I really needed transfer tape. Big mistake. It’s so much easier to apply your vinyl when using the transfer tape. It not only helps to line things up with the grid, or keep them aligned exactly the way they cut out, but it also keeps you from accidentally stretching or messing up your vinyl trying to transfer it with your fingers. I like the Cricut brand transfer tape, partly because of the grid printed on it that makes it easy to line up. One time I did buy extra strength tape, thinking it might be better, but it was too sticky and I couldn’t get my vinyl project off of it. I learned later that it’s only for things like glitter vinyl, so avoid the mistake I made and stick with the regular transfer tape.
Extra Standardgrip Mat
You don’t have to have an extra mat, but it’s one of those things that can make life a little bit easier for you. All Cricut mats do run out of stick and need replacing eventually, so you’ll have to buy a new mat at some point.
But there is another reason to get at least one of the green mats that you’ll use most often right away. Very often when you’re cutting out a project on your Cricut machine, the project will require multiple mats to cut it all out. You can run one mat through the machine, remove the material, and reload it for the next cut. But, it’s much faster if you have two mats and you can be cutting out the next one, while your removing the material from the mat of your first cut. This system will just speed things up for you, and since you ultimately need to buy more mats at some point, it just makes sense to get at least one more green one right from the start.
If you are cutting larger projects, you might also want to invest in the larger size cutting mat. The 12×24 mat is really useful for big projects, but not something you likely need right away as a beginner -so consider it in the nice to have category.
Extra Replacement Blades
Another item you will need eventually is a replacement fine point blade. This is the most commonly used blade, and over time they wear out and need replacing. You can replace just the blade, not the entire housing. You won’t need a replacement blade right away, you’ll have many, many great cuts before you need to put a new one in. But, it will need replacing eventually, and it can be very frustrating when you realize it’s time to replace the blade and you’re in the middle of a project, but don’t have one on hand. So I think it’s better to buy one and have it ready.
You can store it on the magnetic strip inside your tray in the Cricut Maker and Explorer machines -in fact this is what that strip is designed for, and that way you won’t lose this small part or not be able to find it when you do need it.
The Cricut machines are designed to work perfectly with their pens. Make sure you purchase the ones that are compatible with your machine -there are specific pens for joy or explorer and maker machines. They come in lots of different and beautiful colours, and if you work with paper at all, I think they’re worth getting.
It’s a good idea to think about storage solutions right from the beginning. If you are fortunate enough to have a craft room, you might want to consider how you will store your Cricut machine, accessories, and materials. If things are packed away and hard to get to, then you will be far less likely to use them regularly. So consider where you will put things and in what kind of storage.
Different bins or shelves can be helpful for organizing paper and vinyl supplies that you don’t want to wrinkle or crease while storing. Lots of people enjoying housing their Cricut supplies on a rolling cart for easy access. This is a great way to keep all your supplies together, and makes it easy to roll everything to your work area for a project and roll it back when your finished.
Difficulty in storing extra supplies is just one of the arguments for not over buying, especially in the beginning when you’re not sure of what materials you will end up using the most. I recommend buying materials for individual projects. Many Cricut crafters are tempted buy bundle packages that save money, but if you never use the supplies or don’t love the colours and end up having to store them and have money tied up in them are they really such a great bargain? These are all things to consider.
Cricut Accessories That Are Nice To Have For Specific Materials
A lot of what you need depends on the different materials you will be cutting for different cricut projects. These specific accessories are nice to have, but not essentials for the beginner. As you work with your Cricut and become more confident, these supplies make sense for working with special materials.
For Paper Projects:
If you plan to use your Cricut for a lot of paper projects, you will find the scoring tool very helpful. You can also use the scoring stylus, but it doesn’t score as deeply and most paper crafters prefer the scoring wheel. There are two different scoring wheels available, the single scoring wheel and the double scoring wheel. The single is recommended for thinner and lighter materials like paper, and the double is recommended for cutting heavier materials like card stock.
A variety pack of card stock in different colours that you use often is also really helpful to have on hand, if you find you do a lot of paper crafts. Look for sales at craft stores for these. Many cricut crafters also have a strong preference for a solid core cardstock, rather than the white core cardstock. If a cardstock is solid cord, it means that the core runs all the way through the cardstock down to the core, whereas white core cardstock has the colour on the top and bottom layer, but is white in the middle core. Many people don’t like the white showing on the edges of their cut projects.
Cardstock also comes in many weights, from 65lbs, to 110 lbs. Many people have a preference for working with a weight of 80lbs. You can experiment and figure out what you like best, but it’s good to keep these things in mind and not stock up before you figure out if you prefer a certain weight and solid core vs. white core.
For Fabric Projects:
If you have a Cricut Maker series machine you can cut fabric using the rotary blade. You will also need the pink fabric mat. Another great accessory for someone who sews is the washable ink fabric pen, which allows you to add patterns or stitch lines to fabric as well. These are probably all on the must have, buy right away list for anyone who uses their cricut for sewing projects, but more on the nice to have list for anyone who will only use their cricut for sewing occasionally. I wouldn’t recommend the bonded fabric blade right way, because it’s specially for fabric with a bonded adhesive backing, and the rotary blade is for regular fabric.
For Vinyl Projects
If you plan to use your Cricut many for vinyl projects then the main thing you’ll need is vinyl. There are lots of different brands of adhesive vinyl available. Different users have different brand preferences. I tend to use Cricut brand, but lots of other makers have lots of good to say about other brands too. My advice would be to buy small quantities and experiment a little in the beginning until you find what you like working with best. You will definitely need the weeding tool, and transfer tape for vinyl work, which I’ve already mentioned.
For work with Heat Transfer Vinyl (HTV) the Cricut easypress is definitely nice to have. You can use a household iron with HTV, but the Easy Press is easier -thus the name. I don’t think it’s something the beginner needs, but is definitely nice to have if you plan on using HTV or infusible ink often. It’s also available in different sizes, depending on the projects you plan to make with it.
Cricut Joy Projects
If you have a Cricut Joy, I would get all the things I mentioned on list at the beginning, the toolkit, extra mat, pens, just be sure things like the mats and pens are specifically for the Joy. I think the card mat and card inserts that work with it are fun for making cards too, probably in the nice to have category, along with the Cricut Joy carry bag. Because this little machine is so light and portable compared to the larger machines, the carry case is definitely handy to transport it safely. There are some other joy specific products, like labels that are great if that’s something you want to make, but not necessary.
Wood, Engraving, Leather, Foil
There are lots of fun accessories for the Cricut machine that allow you to cut and use these more unusual materials. The foil tool is a fun accessory if you want to add foil to project -something like a special paper card. Is this a must have? Certainly not. Is this a nice to have? If you will use it, it is very cool.
There are several things that only the Maker machines can do, and if you bought one, chances are you wanted to experiment with some of these materials. I feel the same way about most of these as I do about the foil tool. Very nice to have, but not necessary for the beginner. The engraving tool can create some really cool projects, nice to have if that’s something you’d like to do with your Cricut.
The Cricut can cut leather, faux leather and wood. Some people even use the engraving tool to tool leather. There are really some amazing things you can create but you will need things like a stronggrip mat, and a deep-cut blade or knife blade, as well as the actual wood, leather, or faux leather. Definitely buy these supplies with a specific project in mind. These materials are actually harder to cut, and may involve a bit of experiment so they are not on my must buys for a beginner, in fact, even someone very experienced might never try these materials. So please don’t feel the need to buy all these specialty materials at the beginning.
You may hear people talk about blanks in the Cricut community and wonder what they are talking about? A blank is a general term for a blank item that you can add something you’ve made on your Cricut to. Things like plain tote bags, t-shirts, cups, signs backgrounds, and mugs are all nice to have, but especially at the beginning I would buy these as needed for specific projects so that you have the size you need and aren’t storing blanks that take up a lot of room.
With all the best Cricut accessories that you will really use, life really is a party!