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Learn about which Cricut materials work with each Cricut machine as well as the essential materials to get started with.

Cricut Maker 3 Infusible Ink

This post is sponsored for Cricut but all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. 

One of the most commonly asked questions is “I bought a Cricut what materials should I get first?” My answer is always the same get the essentials and figure out what kind of Cricut crafter you are. But Michelle, I know what kind of Crafter I am. I thought so too. I was a paper crafter that loved making cards. Then I got my Cricut and my crafting door was blown open.

I suggest starting with these materials see what you enjoy and then start expanding to different materials.

What are the essential materials for Cricut?

  • Cardstock Paper A heavier weight paper usually colored or patterned used to make scrapbooks, cards, paper flowers, etc.
  • Permanent Vinyl- adhesive vinyl that you want to adhere permanently to your project. Use to make signs, tumblers, window decals, labels, etc.
  • Removable Vinyl- can be removed easily without leaving a residue. Typically you will see this used for wall decals or stencils.
  • Iron-On Vinyl- also called HTV (heat transfer vinyl) when heated to a certain temperature will adhere to different fabric and materials. This is ofter used to customize clothing. Best results come from using an EasyPress or heat press.
  • Infusible Ink is an ink transfer material in the form of a transfer sheet or pen that is permanently infused into your base material. Once heated the dry ink will infuse into the fibers of your material. (note you must use a base material that has a high polyester count for this to work)

If you are looking to buy a Cricut machine or just to familiarize yourself with the different cutting machines check out this article; what Cricut should I buy.

Cricut Explore 3 smart vinyl

Now that we have the essentials covered lets get into other materials. Some materials are specific to certain Cricut machines. So let’s start with smart materials. The latest Cricut machines support smart materials.

What are Cricut Smart materials?

The Maker 3, Explore 3 and Joy can cut matless using smart materials such as smart vinyl or smart iron-on vinyl. Cutting without a mat allows you to cut up to 12 feet long. Using these smart materials make both machines cut up to 2x faster than the previous models.

Cricut Smart Materials

Smart Materials for Cricut Maker 3 and Explore 3

How long is a roll of smart vinyl?

Smart vinyl come in a few sizes 3 ft, 12 ft and 21 ft rolls in both permanent and removable vinyl. While smart Iron-on vinyl come ins 3 ft and 9 ft rolls.

While the newer machines can cut without a mat I find myself using the roll holder on larger rolls of smart vinyl or iron-on.

Smart Materials for Cricut Joy

Since the Joy is a smaller machine it has different smart materials that it can cut matless.

Cricut Maker 3

What materials can you use with the Cricut Maker

The Cricut Maker and Maker 3 are the most versatile of the Cricut machines. Meaning the Maker can cut thicker materials and has an adaptive tool system which allows it to swap out blades and attachments to not only cut but do things like score and emboss.

The Cricut Maker 3 cuts over 300 materials where the Explore 3 only cuts 100+ materials. The Maker 3 can cut up to 2.4 mm (3/32″) thick with the knife blade. This includes materials like balsa wood, heavy chipboard and leather to name a few.

While the Explore 3 can support 6 tools the Maker 3 supports 13 tools. The Cricut Maker offers the widest range of tools the biggest difference being the adaptive tool system. These tools allow you to not only cut but score, engrave and add decorative elements to your projects.

Cricut Materials

Cricut Maker Materials

For a full list of materials check here.

What is the thickest material you can put in a Cricut Maker

The thickest material a Cricut Maker can cut is 2.4 mm (3/32″) with the knife blade.

Cutting basswood on Cricut Maker

Can a Cricut cut wood?

A Cricut Maker or Maker 3 can cut wood. It can cut veneer, balsawood and basswood up to 2.4 mm (3/32″) thick. You can check out a tutorial on how to cut basswood here.

Cricut Explore 3 smart vinyl

Cricut Explore Machines

The Cricut Explore 3 is the newest of the two machines. The difference between the Explore Air 2 and the Explore 3 the ability to cut mat-free using smart materials. The Explore 3 can cut up to 12 feet long in just one pass using these smart materials.

The Explore 3 has a sleek new design and the dial has been replaced with buttons similar to the Maker. It cuts much faster than the Explore Air 2.

What materials can you use with the Cricut Explore

The Cricut Explore family consists of the Cricut Explore Air, Explore Air 2 and the Explore 3. The Explore 3 cuts 100+ materials. You can find a full list of materials here.

Cricut Joy

Cricut Joy

The Cricut Joy is a small yet mighty machine. Less than half the size of Cricut Explore 3 and Cricut Maker 3. It’s perfect if you live in a small space or don’t have a dedicate craft room. The Cricut Joy is the most portable of all the machines but it is limited on the width that it can cut. It is also the least expensive Cricut machine.

This machine is best for labeling, quick card makers and beginner crafters. This is the easiest Cricut machine to use.

What materials can you use with the Cricut Joy

You can reference the full list of Cricut Joy materials here.

Buffalo Check Pumpkin Spice Mug with Cricut Mug Press

Infusible Ink

Infusible Ink is an ink transfer material in the form of a transfer sheet or pen that is permanently infused into your base material. Once heated the dry ink will infuse into the fibers of your material. Unlike iron-on vinyl it does not sit above the surface which means no flaking, no peeling, no cracking, and no wrinkling.

Types of Infusible Ink

  • Infusible Ink Transfers– pre-inked sheets available in an array of solid colors & patterns.
  • Infusible Ink Pens– Illustrate original artwork with a variety of colors and line weights to transfer onto blanks.
what cricut should I buy

If you are looking for an in depth guide of Cricut materials and how to use them check out this beginners guide to Cricut materials.

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About Michelle Beaton

Welcome to Weekend Craft. Life is busy so I am all about getting projects done on the weekend, whether it be crafts, DIY, home decor, or crafting with your Cricut.

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