Your Cricut Joy Beginner’s Guide



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Y’all the Cricut Joy was announced today and I am so happy to be bringing you all of the details on the newest Cricut machine. Today I am going to do a Cricut Joy Beginner’s Guide as well as an easy project. Stay tuned, however, as I am going to do a post on each of the features of the smallest Cricut machine before the order date so you have all of the information you need to know if you are going to buy one or not. This is the first new machine since the Cricut Maker and it is really a game-changer. Why? So many reasons including matless cutting, a portable size, and a machine that is easier to use than ever before. Are you ready to dive in? Keep reading for all of the details below!

Learn how to use the new Cricut Joy whose features include matless cutting, a smaller size, and a machine that is easier to use than ever before! #cricut #cricutjoy #cricutcreated #cricutmade #cricutmachine #cricutprojects #cricutlove

Cricut Joy Video

If you would rather watch a video all about the smallest Cricut machine ever, then just hit play below. I will cover all of the information in the video below but I know some of you just love watching videos for your information.

You can also click here and subscribe to our YouTube channel so you don’t miss any of our future videos all about this machine.

The New Cricut Joy

The newest machine in the Cricut family is also the smallest. It is tiny but mighty! This machine is easier to use than ever before and it is rolling out with some new features that will have the most die-hard of Cricut fans lining up to get one. I am going to walk through some of the features as well as some new accessories that are launching with the Cricut Joy below. I will also sum everything up at the end as to why you will want to consider adding this machine to your home.

If you are ready to take your Cricut everywhere you go, this Cricut machine is for you! This small, lightweight machine is literally ready for crafting on the go. Plus, it is perfect for those quick and easy projects when getting out your larger machine seems like such a chore. So, are you ready to see what all is inside the smallest Cricut machine ever?

new cricut machine

What comes in the box?

In the Cricut Joy box, you will find the following:

  • Machine (with blade included)
  • Power cord
  • Standard Grip mat (4.5″ x 6.5″)
  • Black pen
  • Materials for your first project
  • Get started guide

cricut joy unboxing

Plugging It In

The first thing you will note is that there is only one cord included in the package above. That is because the Cricut Joy only takes a power cord that plugs into the back. There is no cord for hooking up to your computer as this Cricut machine operates solely on Bluetooth. You will also notice that there are NO buttons. We will cover the operation of this Cricut machine a little later in this post.

small cricut machine

Changing the Blade

First, there is only one blade! That is right! I told you this was the easiest Cricut machine ever. To change, you just need to open the clamp and remove the blade housing. Look how little that housing is! It is definitely much smaller and not the same as the ones for the other Cricut machines.

NOTE: To open the Cricut Joy itself, you literally just flip down the front flap. No button or anything to worry about pushing.

putting in cricut joy blade

Then you can depress the plunger on the top and remove the blade. Add in another replacement fine-point blade by depressing the plunger again. The blades themselves are different from the fine-point blades for the other Cricut machines. The blade is specifically for Cricut Joy and is not interchangeable.

changing cricut joy blade

Then just add the housing back to the machine and close to the clamp. So easy! You only need to do this procedure when your blade gets dull. You can see more about how to know when to change your Cricut blade here.

cricut joy clamp

Also, if you need a whole new housing, the package to look for is shown below. You shouldn’t need this as you can just replace the blade itself.

cricut joy replacement blade

Using Cricut Joy Pens

Yes, the smallest Cricut machine also writes! You will, however, need the special pens that are sized for this machine. They are smaller and different from the pens for the other machines.

cricut joy markers

You will find a wide variety of colors as well as sizes at your local store once Cricut Joy hits the shelves. Look for packages like the one below.

cricut joy pen set

Adding your pen is a bit different than any of the other Cricut machines. With this machine, you literally just open the clamp and drop it in. There is no need to press down anymore!

how to put markers in cricut machine

Once you drop it into place, close the clamp and you are ready to write!

markers in cricut joy

Cricut Joy Mats

You may have noticed the small size of the mat mentioned in the box contents. Currently, you can get the following mats for this machine:

  • Standard Grip 4.5″ x 6.5″
  • Light Grip 4.5″ x 6.5″
  • Standard Grip 4.5″ x 12″
  • Light Grip 4.5″ x 12″

The mat size indicated is the size of the grid area on the mat. The actual size of the mat is a little larger.

cricut joy mats

The mats fit perfectly inside your machine and can be used with the materials you already have for cutting anything that the fine point blade will cut now.

putting mat in cricut joy machine

Cricut Joy Matless Cutting

You read that right! The Cricut Joy will cut without a mat! This is the only Cricut machine with this function and I must say it is fabulous. To cut without a mat, you will need to look for Cricut Smart materials. You can find the matless feature in vinyl, iron-on, and label material that we will discuss later.

cricut smart materials

The material will fit perfectly inside your Cricut Joy!

cricut matless cutting

And certain colors of vinyl come in up to 20-foot lengths! That is right…you can cut up to 20 feet of material using the smallest Cricut machine of all time. Is your mind blown? It gets better.

cricut long rolls of vinyl

The best part about the matless feature is this Cricut machine will self-correct the alignment of your material. So, no more crooked material when you get to the end of a long cut. Now that is something amazing, right? You will also love the fact that Cricut Joy will measure your material BEFORE you cut to make sure you have enough. Have I convinced you yet that you need this little machine? Keep reading because it gets better! And I have a matless project in this post that you are going to love as well.

Writable Vinyl Smart Labels

I mentioned that you could cut label material without a mat. The Smart Label material is actually writable vinyl that you can use with the pens above. And it will not smear! I will be doing another post putting this material to the test so be sure to stay tuned.

cricut smart label writable labels

Insert Cards and the Card Mat

I did mention that it gets better right? The Cricut Joy is currently the only machine compatible with the new card mat and the insert card sets that are being released with the machine. The Insert Cards are a set of 12 cards (already cut and folded), envelopes, and inserts for the cards. Wait? How do you cut a card that is already cut and folded? The card mat is the answer!

cricut insert cards

The card mat is a genius little device that allows you to insert your card into a pocket in the mat itself.

cricut card mat

Then just fold over the front of the card onto the sticky portion of the mat

cutting a card on a cricut mat

You are ready to cut the front of your card while the back stays protected inside that pocket. Genius right? I am going to do a whole post on the cards and card mat so you can really see it in action.

how to use the cricut card mat

Other Materials for the Smallest Cricut Machine

There are a few other things that you can look for that are specifically sized for Cricut Joy. First is transfer tape that is already the size needed for the Smart Vinyl.

cricut transfer tape

Second is, of course, Infusible Ink! You will need the mat for the transfer sheets or you can pick up the markers sized just for Cricut Joy.

cricut infusible ink

Finally, there is some special adhesive-backed paper that is launching as well. I will do another post and video on this so you can see just how it works.

cricut adhesive backed paper

Tools for the Joy from Cricut

You can’t have a Cricut machine without matching tools! Whether you just want to match or this is your first Cricut machine and you need the basics, give this starter toolset a try.

cricut joy tool set

Cricut Joy Tote

One of the best parts about this new Cricut machine is that it is small enough to take anywhere. So, you are definitely going to want the tote to go with this one. It fits your power cord on one side.

cricut joy tote

And the smallest Cricut machine on the other side!

cricut machine in tote

Then you can carry around your Cricut machine in something that is probably smaller than your purse. Now, that is amazing!

small cricut tote

Mat Free Cutting Project Idea

So, now that you have seen a little about the machine itself, it is time to do a Cricut Joy project. I wanted to demonstrate that you can actually make really BIG things with this small machine. I like to say this machine is mini but mighty! So, let’s make this extra-large bathroom rules sign for my farmhouse style bathroom.

Use the Cricut Joy and the matless cutting features to make this farmhouse style bathroom rules sign for your home! It is so easy to make big projects with the smallest Cricut machine ever! #cricut #cricutjoy #cricutcreated #cricutlove #cricutmachine #matless #matlesscutting #farmhouse #farmhousestyle #bathroom #bathroomrules

Materials needed to make this bathroom rules sign:

supplies to make bathroom sign

How to Make a Farmhouse Style Sign

First, you will note that I am in my kitchen completing this project. This is for two reasons. The first is to illustrate that with Cricut Joy you don’t have to have a craft room! This machine will work just about anywhere. The second reason is that your kitchen island or even the table is a great place to really spread out and get creative. With this Cricut machine, you can move from room to room depending on your project and just take the Cricut fun with you wherever you go.

cutting matless with a cricut

How to Use Mat Free Cutting on a Cricut

I am using the permanent Smart Vinyl in a 20-foot roll. You can see the back in the picture below with the easy to cut grid lines. But, you don’t have to cut this at all! No measuring or trying to fit this material on a mat. Cricut Joy is going to do all of that for us.

cricut smart materials

Open up the Cricut cut file for the bathroom sign here. Once you click “make it”, your screen will look similar to the one below. When you are cutting with no mat, Cricut Design Space will tell you exactly how much material you need to complete your project. Click next on this screen then connect your machine. You will want to choose Smart Vinyl for your cutting material.

mat free cutting with a cricut

Then, we need to load our material into the machine. But, remember, I said there are no buttons on Cricut Joy. So, how do you get the material inside the machine? Well, there are sensors on both sides that will automatically sense when the material is close and pull it into the machine.

loading material in cricut machine

Remember, it is okay if it is a little crooked! The Cricut Joy will straighten the material itself as well as measure it to make sure that you have the right amount to complete your project. So, once your material is loaded. The machine will run all 70.25″ (in this case) of material through the machine.

cricut joy checking material length

Then we finally get to the fun part! It is time to cut! But how do you start your cut with no buttons? You just click go right in Cricut Design Space.

how to start the cricut joy

You can also unload the material right from that screen if you have loaded the wrong thing or there is some other error. Please note that my screenshots are from the desktop application, however, Cricut Joy is compatible with mobile as well. Then you can actually work on the other parts of your project while the smallest Cricut machine does its thing. No loading or unloading mats of materials. Just let it run while you add a coat of paint to your sign. Once painted, set it aside and allow it to dry.

making a farmhouse style bathroom sign

Working with Smart Vinyl

Once the cut has completed, Design Space will prompt you to unload your material. You can also choose to run it again for those materials that may not have cut through on the first pass. Once unloaded, you can then cut the vinyl into the pieces needed for your sign. You will also want to store the remainder of that roll for use on another project.

weeding cut vinyl

You will then need to weed away all of the excess from each of the three strips of vinyl.

how to weed cricut permanent vinyl

Weed all around the outside as well as the centers of letters. A weeding tool really helps here.

weeding insides of letters

Once everything is weeded, you can add your vinyl to the painted sign.

bathroom sign cut vinyl

For this, be sure to use transfer tape as it will help keep your design in place.

how to use cricut transfer tape

Add a strip of transfer tape over the entire vinyl strip and use a scraper to rub over it both on the top as well as from the bottom.

transfer tape adding vinyl to sign

You can then peel back the transfer tape while removing the vinyl from the backing. The backing on the Smart Vinyl is thicker than other vinyl products so here are a few tips and tricks:

  • Use a blow-dryer on high for 20 seconds across the back of your vinyl strip.
  • Then run your scraper across the backing paper again.
  • Then use the blow-dryer once more for about 20 seconds.

This will help the vinyl release from the backing paper much easier.

Your Cricut Joy Beginner's Guide

Then just put the vinyl in place on your sign and once again, burnish it down well with the scraper. Peel back the transfer tape leaving the vinyl in place on your sign.

using cricut vinyl on a bathroom sign

Repeat with all three strips of vinyl to complete your bathroom rules farmhouse sign. Be sure to burnish all of the vinyl down well once it is on your sign.

glossy vinyl on a sign

Then just put this in any bathroom. Heck, with Cricut Joy, you could even make a sign like this IN the bathroom!

bathroom rules sign

It is so portable that you can quite literally take it anywhere.

farmhouse style bathroom sign

I am in love with how this sign turned out and how it looks in my farmhouse-style home.

rules for bathroom sign

A gorgeous bathroom sign that is extra-large out of a Cricut machine that is extra-small. Yes, it is all possible with Cricut Joy.

how to make a sign with a cricut

Why Do You Need the Cricut Joy?

So, now we are getting to the bottom line. Why do you need the Joy in your life? Perhaps you already have a Cricut machine or perhaps you are new to Cricut crafting. Either way, there are several reasons you will want to consider adding this Cricut machine to your home. I am going to run down five reasons for both types of individuals but there are so many more.

We are listing all of the reasons why you need the Cricut Joy in your life! Whether you have a Cricut machine or want to buy your very first Cricut, you will need to read this post first! #cricut #cricutjoy #cricutcreated #cricutmachine #crafts #diy #crafting

Why Current Cricut Owners Need Cricut Joy

Even if you already have a Cricut machine, you really need this little nugget in your life. Why? Here are my 5 reasons:

  1. The matless cutting feature is hands-down the top reason. This feature makes those long cuts possible and opens up a whole new world of crafts.
  2. A machine that can go anywhere so you can be ready to craft at any time. Think of events, parties, and so much more.
  3. The card mat will change your card-making world and you can only use it on Cricut Joy.
  4. Organizing has never been easier! Grab the Smart Labels and this Cricut machine and head right into the pantry for some organization right where you need it.
  5. Ever wanted to give the gift of Cricut? Well, now that is easier and more affordable than ever. Think about adding this to a gift box for anyone who you are celebrating this year.

smallest cricut machine

Why Cricut Newbies Need Cricut Joy

New to the world of Cricut? Yes, you do need the smallest Cricut machine of all time and here is why:

  1. This machine is so small that you don’t need a craft room. Craft with Cricut Joy anywhere in your home at any time.
  2. It works in your decor so there is no need to even hide it! Display it in any room and no one will know it is a craft cutter unless you open the front flap.
  3. This is hands-down the easiest Cricut machine ever! With just one blade and easy to follow instructions, this Cricut machine will have you creating gorgeous projects in no time at all.
  4. This newest machine is also a great introduction to Cricut. If you have been wanting to try a machine but are intimidated, Cricut Joy is the answer and you can upgrade later if you really find you need to.
  5. If you love flexing your creative muscle, Cricut Joy will be a welcome addition to your home. From making home decor to personalized gifts, you will find that creating has never been quicker or easier.

cricut joy in bedroom

Where to Buy the Cricut Joy

So, now that you are ready to make a purchase, where do you sign up for this newest Cricut machine? You can click here to be notified on March 1st when Cricut will start accepting orders. This Cricut machine is not exclusive to any one outlet so you will also find it at your local craft retailers after the first as well.

cricut joy in kitchen

Be sure to get the machine itself and any accessories you read about above that you want to try. Trust me, once you start using this little machine, you will not want to stop. And just look at how well it blends with the decor in my home. I was a little worried as I love all things rustic and farmhouse. But Joy looks right at home in my space! I hope y’all have enjoyed this Cricut Joy beginner’s guide. Be sure to comment below with any questions you may have that I did not answer.

cricut joy in farmhouse decor

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