Cricut 101: The Machine That Changed The DIY Craft Game

Cricut (Photos courtesy of Martha Stewart and Cricut)

For decades, Martha Stewart was and still is the gold standard for all things baking, crafting and home décor. So much so that she teamed up with Cricut for the Martha Stewart special edition of the Cricut Explore Air 2, a cutting machine that makes imaginative design ideas come to life.

Karley Hall is the Cricut education program manager and it is her job to teach people how to use and get the most out of the machine using the free Cricut Design Space web program. And while it may seem daunting (I myself studied and meditated a bit before opening the box), Hall holds true to her belief that with the Cricut, anyone can craft.

It is now a household name. Tell me about the Cricut.

Simply put, it’s a cutting machine. It may seem overwhelming, but it’s a powerful DIY tool that allows you to import designs using the Cricut Design Space program and electronically cut those designs. Anyone can be a crafter.

Some people consider the Cricut a 3D printer of sorts. Can you explain how it works?

The web-based application Cricut Design Space communicates with the machine for any font or style or shape you tell it to design. Simply upload the design onto the program and cut out whatever you want to. Some people refer to it as a printer but there is no ink. Instead, there are super tiny, very fine-point blades that cut the material. You can use different pens and scoring tools to cut and embellish your products for a variety of looks.

How has the Cricut revolutionized the DIY and crafting game?

It really allows someone with a simple idea to execute their vision. The Cricut turns everyone into a crafty person and there are so many different versions of the machine at affordable price points. The Design Space program is intuitive and you can be up and cutting in five minutes.


Back in the day, scrapbooking was popular, but now, the Cricut has truly changed how brides plan their wedding décor and how party planners execute events. Can you speak on that?

People want to be able to customize and they see this machine as a way to put their own touches on things. Weddings are perfect for DIY brides because a wedding alone is a huge expense, so if you can make something with the Cricut for a few dollars and customize it in minutes, it will save so much time and money.


From paper and vinyl to fabric and leather, it seems there’s nothing this machine can’t make. What products are fun to make on the Cricut?

The intimidation is real so I recommend starting with a cardstock material. Play around with the web program—we have 75,000 images and fonts. As for the machine’s tools, there is the machine blades, which are similar to sewing sheers; a fabric bonded blade; a fine point and deep point blade; a spatula and scraper, all of which are very important when you’re crafting.


What kind of maintenance is involved?

It can get dirty and you may have to wipe it down and get new mats, which hold down your material, but it’s overall minimal maintenance. You’ll need to buy replacement blades once in a while as well.

Why should someone invest in a Cricut?

If you have an interest in the craft space, a Cricut is a must. It really is a life changer. There is such a sense of accomplishment when you complete your first project and it’s such a proud moment when you gift your creations and custom projects to friends and family. So many people have opened small businesses and it is even seeping into schools and universities.

Need more help with your Cricut? Visit for available resources and for ready-to-make projects.

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Jennifer Fauci
Jennifer Fauci is the former managing editor of Long Island Weekly, Anton Media Group's award-winning special sections and Anton’s local magazines. Her passion for literature, travel and the arts lend to the unique content in her publications. In her time at Anton, she has received first place in the Folio Awards, second place for the NYPA awards and is the recipient of six PCLI awards.

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