Cricut Machines... What are they? and are they worth the £££?

Friday, June 26, 2020

If you're a part of the insta bride community, then I am sure you know what a Cricut machine is, they have become increasingly popular with many avid crafters over the last year or so. To those of you that don't know what a Cricut machine is; Cricut is a brand of cutting machine that allows you to complete a huge number of crafting projects. Depending which version of the Cricut you purchase, there are hundreds of different fabrics and materials you can cut on these machines. The D.I.Y possibilities truly are endless. 

They are however rather pricey. The most popular version seems to be the Cricut Air 2, which comes in at around £260, however you also have the Cricut Joy; £180, and the Cricut Maker; £380. *these prices have all been based on Hobbycraft. As well as the machine, you need to take into the account the tools you need to go with the machine; weeding tool, scraper, tweezers etc, and of course the vinyls and card to make your crafting dreams a reality. 

We have been in touch with a few lovely ladies from the insta bridal community, who have purchased cricut machines, and they have all provided some AMAZING advice and inspo. 

What machine do you have?
For 2 and a half years I have been using a Cricut Explore Air 2 machine and loved it! It was like my first child (so well behaved ha). I have recently purchased a Cricut Maker - hopefully will be able to tell you about this in a few months time!

What have you used your machine to create?
What haven’t I made?! For my wedding nearly everything was made using this machine!
- Guest name vinyls for flutes as our wedding favours
- Ring security briefcase and sunglasses
- Personalised hangers for my bridal party
- Bridal squad sunglasses and tumblers for my hen do abroad
- Friends themed hen do t-shirts
- Country centrepieces for our wedding
- Friends themed wedding wine glasses
- Guest globes (alternative to guest books) for our wedding day
- Whiskey glasses for the gents
- Personalised candles for wedding party gifts
- IKEA greenhouse card box
- Wedding pj’s and slippers for the bridal party
- Beer pong table for entertainment at our wedding
Now I use it for my business @bystephanievanessa where I make so many different customised
things like Guest Books, and Vinyls for Flutes, Hangers, Jacket transfers, T-shirts and so much more!
Now with my Cricut Maker I’m going to be looking to expand on this and see what I can come
up with next!

What is it that you love about Cricut?
What’s not to love! It allows you to be as creative as you want to be. I love that you can import images from google and fonts which is a really good feature, you can also set the machine to fast mode for times when you are in a hurry to get your project done as fast as possible. With the now desktop version of design space you are able to work and save projects offline which is a game changer and have multiple projects open at a time which is helpful for me doing multiple orders.

What you don’t like so much/what doesn’t work as well as you wish it did?
From the top of my head the only thing that doesn’t work as well is when you have to print really small projects, the machine just doesn’t like it that well (which is annoying) but I’m talking really small. I know some people don’t like weeding the vinyls but for me it’s like therapy! The noises it makes is any thing, it’s just a little on the loud side for me (wish there was some sort of quiet mode)
Would you recommend others planning their weddings purchase a cricut?
I would absolutely recommend other brides but my advice is to write down why you want the machine and what you would be using it for and how to use the machine (Hobbycraft offers demonstrations in store and the obvious YouTube) before you buy it. They are a costly piece of equipment but with it for a lifetime investment or sell it on once you’ve finished with it!

A bit about starting your business...
ByStephanieVanessa originally began in February 2018 selling customised Mother's Day mugs. I took a long break to concentrate on planning our wedding and making crafts for our wedding which I posted on my instagram and had such a positive reaction from fellow brides which prompted me to re-open my shop in September 2019 selling custom bridal items. Having a small business is hard at times trying to find the balance. I work a full time Monday-Friday job which is quite full on and run ByStephanieVanessa 95% of the time on my own (on occasion my husband helps out but I very much prefer to do it myself), then having time for my husband, friends and family and time for myself is also very important to me. I used to have my processing times as 2-3 days or less than a week but that is not always practical so nowadays I have a 2-3 week processing time but most of the time I can turn it around in a couple of days. It’s always better to manage expectations.

Stephanie was also kind enough to let us know her top 3 cricut tips! These are so useful!

1. Wash your mats - this is something I literally just tried and it worked perfectly - when I think back to the amount of mats I’ve thrown away in the past I literally kick myself. I saw this method on YouTube. Using a cellulose dish sponge and washing up liquid with water scrub the dirt away, pat dry with some kitchen roll and leave out to air dry and guess what? It is still TACKY after it has dried! 

2. Make WELD your best friend! It is there for a reason, allocated in the layers section on the right hand side of the screen at the bottom - editing the letter space doesn’t weld the letters it just puts them side by side. So first type the word, edit the letter space or ungroup and move around (whichever is easier) and once you are happy with how the word looks click weld. It’s much nicer to have a welded piece of vinyl than to have cut throughs or separated letters. 

3. Buy good quality vinyl - I know people see the prices of the cricut vinyl and say it’s too expensive and go elsewhere to get it cheaper but there's a reason it’s expensive because the quality can’t be beat! I have bought cheaper vinyl elsewhere and instantly regretted it. For me it’s how long would that product last rather than how cheap can I get it to sell an item. I know there are other places to get vinyl which I’m not disputing but nothing will beat the quality of Cricut - let’s face it they know their stuff!

What machine do you have?
Cricut Explore Air 2 in Mint Green

What have you used your machine to create?
- Place settings for guests
- Dress hangers for myself and my maid of honour
- Signage including; table numbers, welcome sign, order of the day, Instagram hashtag sign, Polaroid guestbook sign
- Stickers for my favour jars
- Vinyl decals for confetti and slipper boxes
- Day and Evening invitations
- Gifts including mugs/champagne flutes
What is it that you love about Cricut?
Buying a cricut has given me the push to let my crafty side out and it’s been a great distraction during lock down to help me focus on the wedding DIY that I’ve chosen to do. I love that you can make absolutely anything with it, I even quite like the little fiddly jobs too! It’s also given me the opportunity to start my own little side business Ever After Designs. I’m very excited to be launching a clothing range soon too!

What you don’t like so much/what doesn’t work as well as you wish it did?
I haven’t found the Cricut that difficult to use personally but depending on your project there are some fiddly parts to it! My only annoyance so far (and it’s a tiny one) with the Cricut is that sometimes you have to play around with the material settings to get the cut just right!

Would you recommend others planning their weddings purchase a cricut?
I absolutely would recommend buying a Cricut and the other Cricut accessories to other brides! However in saying that I’d definitely say it’s worth weighing up whether it’s cost effective depending on how many projects you’re planning on doing. If you’re just looking for a few vinyl decals then you’re definitely best just purchasing the decals themselves but if you’re wanting to DIY a lot of your wedding like me then 100% go for it! For me it was a no brainer and I’m still adding to my Cricut collection too!

Chloe has also been kind enough to offer our readers a 10% discount on anything ordered through her etsy store - Ever After Designs, using the code: “frombrideswithlove”. 


What machine do you have?
Cricut explore air 2 (in the colour rose pink)

What have you used your machine to create?
So far I have made for the wedding and my friends weddings: 
- Personalised gift bags
- Personalised champagne flutes (no picture unfortunately)
- Bridesmaid/Bridesman proposal boxes
- Envelopes for save the dates
- Table place cards
I plan on personalising our wedding bike too.
What is it that you love about Cricut?
I love that you get the chance to create your own exact style of personalisation and can express your creativeness. That there are so many things you can do (I don't actually know everything it can be used for, I just know there are loads) I at the moment only using the cutting knife for vinyl and the pen for writing.
You can literally put your personal stamp on anything!

What you don’t like so much/what doesn’t work as well as you wish it did?
Cost, the initial machine is very expensive. You can only use cricut products, which are also very expensive and all adds up. It is very complicated to use and takes a lot of getting used to, youtube will be your best friend for this! And even when you think you have got it, something else gets thrown at you. You have to pay for fonts and additional patterns. I wish there were clearer instructions for beginners, however hobbycraft now host cricut mornings, showing you how to maximise usage and show you how to's.

Would you recommend others planning their weddings purchase a cricut?
I highly recommend it for DIY brides, you will always find a use for it! As long as you are willing to put in the time it's a great investment. Also top tip, a lot of brides get these and sell them on marketplace etc when they are done for a fraction of the price, so it's always worth checking!

What machine do you have?
I have the Cricut Maker in Rose Gold

What have you used your machine to create?
I haven’t made much for the wedding yet due to storing the signs. I have made cake toppers, and a table set up for our sweet table.

The cricut also helped majorly with my wedding invites and save the dates. For our save the dates I designed the whole thing on cricut print and cut which links your printer and cricut together. With the save the dates and the invite the writing feature wrote all our envelopes, both to our guests and for our RSVPs. You could do your wedding invites from home using print and cut, but I designed them on Cricut and sent them off to be printed, it still worked out at less than £2 an invite and so many people commented on how lovely they were! I made the bellyband from plan vellum paper and cut on the cricut..

My next projects are;
- Seating Plan
- Table Names
- Wedding Signage
- Bathroom baskets
- Cupcake toppers

What is it that you love about Cricut?
I was a bit intimidated by it at first, but once I’d watched a few YouTube videos, I was making things with success in a day or two! I bought the machine to do a lot for our wedding day. When I worked it out, for signage alone we would be spending the cost of the machine (£380 in the amazon Sale). 

What you don’t like so much/what doesn’t work as well as you wish it did?
You have got to have patience! I’ve sometimes gotten something wrong 3/4 times and wasted a lot of material, but it’s bound to happen and mistakes iron out the longer you have it! I can get a cake topper designer and cut in 10 minutes now. In the past it’s taken me an hour and four pieces of card later!
The only other thing I’d bear in mind are materials can be quite expensive, but these again build up over time and after my initial outlay of vinyl (around £100 for lots of colours) I’ve not bought any since last year!

Tell us a little bit about the business you started...
I decided to start a little hobby of making cake toppers for family & friends at £4.50 a topper. Within a week I’d made £35 to put in our little wedding jar! I’ve had many sales since then and it’s all helping towards our dream Disneymoon! People have asked me to do all sorts, baby shower banners & decorations, hen party T-shirt’s (I didn’t take a photo of these 😞)

I never thought I’d be starting a little business and it turns out there is quite a lot of work to be done. My sister, who’s a marketing exec, and I are just this week in the process of setting up. My business pages will be called @JemsTreatsandToppers
Would you recommend others planning their weddings purchase a cricut?
If you're the crafty type, yes! If you're not interested in doing other bits with it afterwards, or don't intend to use it post wedding, then I'd recommend doing a rough list of the things you plan to make and getting quotes from a few different suppliers to compare and see if buying a cricut is actually worth your while. I had no intention of doing anything but wedding bits and have fallen in love with it. I'll be using it for years to come for sure.  

We hope you found the above tips and tricks useful, and that this post has helped you make the decision as to whether or not purchasing a Cricut Machine is right for you. If after reading you have decided that buying a cricut machine isn't for you, we can recommend the below sellers, who are always willing to work with customers to bring to life their ideas:

By Stephanie Vanessa - Available on Etsy
Everli Studio - Available on Etsy
Ruby Elisabeth Crafts - Available on Etsy


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