I’m continuing my Cricut Basics series with a question that many crafters ask: Will I use the Cricut machine enough to justify the price? In this post, I’m going to answer the question specifically from the point of view of someone who isn’t a paper crafter and who enjoys working with fiber (fabric and yarn). I’ll also introduce a brand new Cricut product that may be right up your alley if you love to sew and quilt, and share a roundup of 60+ tutorials and cut files for fabric and yarn lovers.
This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation (at no added cost to you) if you make a purchase using these links. Photos included in this roundup are copyright the individual designer/blogger and are used with permission. Materials for this post were generously provided by Cricut.
This question, obviously, is a bit more personal than some of the other ones Cricut newbies ask, but let me share what I’ve discovered after owning a Cricut Explore Air for about a year.
- As I mention in this post, Cricut machines have multiple features including cutting, writing, print then cut, and scoring, so they are more than “just” cutting machines.
- As a (mostly) fiber crafter, before I got my Explore Air, I assumed these were really machines for scrapbookers. Since then, I’ve learned that you can use a Cricut to cut fabric, make iron ons and stencils, write “handwritten” gift cards, cut and score gift boxes, and more. (I’ve included a roundup of over 60 Cricut projects and tutorials for fabric and yarn lovers at the end of this post so you can see for yourself what some of the non-paper possibilities are.)
- Cricuts are great for last-minute gifts. As a crocheter, I don’t always have time to just “whip up” a scarf or hat, but I can add a quick touch of homemade to my gifts with a Make It Now project.
- Like most crafts, the major costs are in the materials you use for projects. While the Cricut Explore machines seem pretty expensive up front (with retail prices starting at $149), I think of the Cricut like a sewing machine: a long term investment. You don’t need to buy cartridges or dies and you can keep costs low by designing your own projects with the beginner-friendly Design Space, uploading your own images, or by adapting free projects you find online.
- Cricuts are often on sale. If you check Cricut, Amazon, Jo-Ann, or Michaels regularly, you can get a big discount on the machine, or be able to buy a bundle with lots of included supplies for the same retail price as the machine.
Only you can really answer how much you’ll use a Cricut. If you’re new to cutting machines, it may seem a really hard question to answer. (And, if you’re still considering which machine is right for you, you may want to check out this post.) But, I’ll close with a few reasons why I think you probably will use the machine enough to justify the price.
- Cricut Design Space is very beginner friendly and there are lots of tutorials available, as well as a toll free hotline, to help out if you have questions. This means your machine won’t languish in the box because you’re afraid to use it.
- With nice greeting cards now going for $4.99 and up, most of us could pay our machine off in a year or two in savings on greeting cards alone. My money-saving tip here is not to pull out the Cricut and make one card. Instead, take a little extra time and have a little stockpile of birthday, thank you, and holiday cards ready so you don’t end up buying something at the drug store at the last minute. If you have a medium to large family, this is a big money saver.
- If you are a multi-crafter, you’ll find that having a Cricut opens up a lot of fun projects using your favorite materials, including paper, vinyl, fabric, yarn, and more.
- When you’re feeling uninspired, you can search in Design Space for projects by cutting material. This can help you use up your existing materials stash of vinyl, faux leather, etc. instead of running out to buy more supplies.
If you’re wondering what supplies and tools you really need to use your Cricut (so you can calculate any other costs), check out this post.
Just as I was writing this post, Cricut announced a new machine launching on August 20, 2017. The Cricut Maker is designed for fiber lovers. It will use a rotary blade that can cut fabric without a stabilizer and has access to hundreds of digital sewing patterns.
In my opinion, this is kind of a game changer for fabric lovers who are on the fence about buying a Cricut. Read more about the Cricut Maker and how it compares to the Cricut Explore series here. Sweet Red Poppy just did a post introducing her new Cricut Maker (along with an adorable scissor pouch project) here. You can watch a video of the project being made below.
This brief promotional video from Cricut shows off some more of the features of the Cricut Maker.
While the Cricut maker has a higher retail price than other Cricut machines, it does have more features and can cut fabric without the use of a stabilizer, so it may be worth the higher cost to you.
I hope this post has helped you think through whether a Cricut is a worthwhile investment for you! (Probably yes, is my guess.) And, if you’re a yarn or fabric lover (or want to experiment with these materials), read on for my roundup of over 60 free Cricut projects and tutorials for fiber crafters.
60+ Cricut Projects and Tutorials for Fabric and Yarn Lovers
Roundup by Underground Crafter
Faux Leather Crafts
These eight tutorials use Cricut Faux Leather, which is available in a variety of colors, to make craft supplies organizers, accessories, ornaments, and baby gifts.
- Faux Leather Crochet Hook Roll by Underground Crafter
- Hair Bows by 5 Little Monsters
- Custom Photo Ornaments with Faux Leather and Yarn by Moogly
Second row, from left to right:
Bottom row, from left to right:
- Flower Clips by 5 Little Monsters
- Faux Leather Baby Shoes by Everyday Jenny
- DIY Leather Key Fob by Lydi Out Loud
No-Sew Fabric Crafts
If you’re looking for a no-sew Cricut project using fabric, here are over 16 projects and tutorials to get you started. Learn how to cut fabric and felt with the Cricut and find projects for home decor, accessories, baby gifts, stencils, and appliques.
Left column, from top to bottom:
- DIY Wine Gift Bags and Charms by Lydi Out Loud
- DIY Snowflake Buffalo Check Coasters by Lydi Out Loud
- DIY Fall No-Sew Pillow with Buffalo Check by Lydi Out Loud
Center column, from top to bottom:
- DIY Felt Flower Garland by Inspiration Made Simple
- How To Cut Freezer Paper Templates with Cricut Explore by Mean Right Hook
- Monogrammed Napkins by PMQ for Two
- How To Create Fabric Appliques with a Cutting Machine by Sew What Alicia
Right column, from top to bottom:
- How To Customize a Pillowcase with Cricut by Sew What Alicia
- Mend Clothing with Cricut by Feather’s Flights
- Customized Fabric Napkins by Hey Let’s Make Stuff
- No-Sew Ruffled Lace Canvas Tote by Laura’s Crafty Life
- How To Cut Fabric with Cricut Explore by Mean Right Hook
- Cut Fabric with Cricut Explore with links 6 sew and no sew projects using appliques by Silly Pearl
- Felt Floral Headband by Kiss My Tulle
- DIY No-Sew Felt Woodland Baby Mobile via Project Nursery
- How To Cut Felt with the Cricut Explore by My Sister’s Suitcase
Sewing Fabric Crafts
These twenty-six Cricut fabric crafts for home decor, accessories, games, quilts, and garments include patterns or sewing tutorials.
- Customized Denim Lavender Sachets by Underground Crafter
- Glam Noel Pennants by Hey Let’s Make Stuff
- Luggage Tag DIY by Fleece Fun
- Applique Children’s Totes by This Heart of Mine
- Pencil Case Tutorial and Tips for Cutting Fabric with Cricut by Crazy Little Projects
Second column, from left to right:
- Mr. and Mrs. Pillows by Always Expect Moore
- Star Wars I Love You Pillow by 5 Little Monsters
- Quilt Applique with Cricut Explore by See Lindsay
- Tropic Like It’s Hot Mini Quilt by The Tattooed Quilter
- Semi-Quilted Bike Pants Leg Cuff by Underground Crafter
Third column, from left to right:
- The Sibyl Purse with Cricut by Spindle & Seams
- Fabric Gift Tag Teacher Gifts by Life Sew Savory
- Harry Potter Memory Game by Life Sew Savory
- Make-Up Bag and Eye Mask by SookEe Designs
- DIY Tassel Pillow by Sweet Red Poppy
Fourth column, from left to right:
- DIY Leather Cut Out Clutch by Sewbon
- Fabric Scrap Matching Game by Swoodson Says
- Unicorn Backpack by Sew Much Ado
Right column, from left to right:
- Boho Tunic with Cricut by Spindle & Seams
- Faux-Embroidered Beach Cover Up by Maker Style
- Customizing Fabric with Cricut and a Free Skirt Pattern by Wild + Wanderful
- DIY Custom Printed Fabric Infinity Scarf by Polka Dot Chair
- DIY Sleep Mask by Amber Simmons
- Ballet Bag by Made by Melli
- I’m Sew Busy Sweatshirt by The Sara Project
- DIY Stenciled Burlap Pillow Sleeve with Free Cut File by Polka Dot Chair
Tools and Gifts for Fiber Lovers
These seventeen projects and cut files make great tools, decorations, and gifts for crocheters, knitters, sewists, and quilters.
Left column, from top to bottom:
- Yarn Lover Cut File by Underground Crafter
- It Takes Balls to Knit Cut File by Love Ria Charlotte
- All You Knit is Love Cut File by Love Ria Charlotte
Second column, from top to bottom:
- This is How I Roll Knitting Cut File by Love Ria Charlotte
- A Spool Full of Love Cut File by Love Ria Charlotte
- Yes You Do Need More Fabric Cut File by Love Ria Charlotte
Right column, from top to bottom:
- Sew Much Fabric Sew Little Time Hand Lettered Cut File by Love Ria Charlotte
- Hand Lettered I’d Rather Be Sewing Cut File by Dawn Nicole for Sew What Alicia
- 8 Crafty Handmade Labels Cut Files by Sew What Alicia
- DIY Sewing Room Décor Ideas with Cut Files by Polka Dot Chair
And, let’s not forget the yarnies! These two free crochet patterns use heat transfer vinyl or iron-on for embellishment.
- Personalized Gift Card Holders (at left) by Underground Crafter
- Iron-On Vinyl on Crochet (at right) by Moogly
As you can see, there are plenty of great projects that even non-paper crafters can make with a Cricut machine. (And, sewing and quilting enthusiasts can make even more with the new Cricut Maker.) If you have another question about Cricut machines (or how to use them), let me know in the comments and I may answer it in an upcoming post.