Decor & DIY

Every Crafter’s dream come true – the Cricut Maker

My new Cricut Maker was sponsored by The Wholesaler, sole importer of Cricut products to South Africa. But all opinions are my own.

Lovilees, I cannot even begin to tell you the excitement taking the leap to Cricut. I have been eyeing the Cricut Maker for quite some time as it is literally the ULTIMATE smart cutting machine. Every year I aim to be more creative and do more of what makes me happy and this special new cutter is just the thing I had on my wish-list. The range of Cricut products are now readily available in South Africa thanks to The Wholesaler, the sole importer of this brand to South Africa.

What is a Cricut Maker and what can I do with it?

For those that are new to the world of smart cutters let me share more. Where a printer (which most people are familiar with) prints on paper, a Cricut Smart Cutting machine has an array of tools that instead of printing, can cut with a blade, in some cases, score and even draw on more materials than you can even imagine. There is off course always the manual way of cutting by hand with a pair of scissors or a kraft knife.

My main use is for cutting vinyl, big or small designs, iron-on vinyl and paper that I transform into boxes or party decorations. Then there are the two reasons that I am most excited about – The ability to cut and create beautiful dollhouse furniture for The Tiny Dollhouse SA (my side-hustle) from balsa wood and being able to perfectly score paper for folding without doing it by hand. This is the ONLY smart cut machine that I have come across that can do this.

Using the Cricut Maker

What makes the Cricut Maker different from most other smart cutters?

The Cricut Maker changes everything and opens up a whole new world for any serious creative with the ability to cut, write and score on over 300 different materials ranging from delicate fabrics and crepe papers to leather, paper, chipboard and balsa wood. I love that it has an expandable suite of tools – it grows with you as you learn each new craft. You can purchase extra tools for embossing, debossing and perforation for instance. It gives you access to a digital sewing pattern library with hundreds of patterns from brands like Simplicity® and Riley Blake®.

Some other really useful extras include a USB charging port on the side if you have your phone close by and must charge your battery and wireless Bluetooth functionality that actually works and is supported in South Africa! It is also a beautiful design that complements any aesthetic and actually compliments rather than detract from your decor.

Unboxing your Cricut Maker

In the box you will find the following items:

Unboxing the Cricut Maker

  • A ‘Let’s Get Started’ box with items that you need to create your first project
  • ‘Open me First’ envelope that has cards to guide you through the set up of the machine
  • A ‘Welcome booklet’ with some inspiration to get your creative juices flowing
  • A rotary blade and drive housing. This blade is designed to be used on most fabrics and delicate materials that do not have a backing material. This includes felt.
  • A Premium Fine-Point Blade that is perfect to cut light to medium-weight materials with. This includes vinyl, paper and iron-on transfers.
  • A Cricut fine point black pen that you use to draw with via the machine. Perfect for calligraphy or illustrations.
  • Your Cricut Maker’s warrantee booklet
  • A USB cord to connect your Cricut Maker to your Computer
  • Two 12″ x 12″ Cutting mats, the blue LightGrip mat and a pink FabricGrip mat for items like paper and vinyl, specifically designed to cut fabric on.
  • A Cricut Maker (available in an array of colours not just a standard white)
  • A power cord to power up your Cricut Maker

How to set up your Cricut Maker for first-time use and your first project

You can either use the instructions provided in the ‘Open me First’ envelope inside the box or follow my instructions below. The most daunting step will be taking the machine out of the box it is that easy to set up!

  1. Unbox your machine, plug in the power cord and power it up.
  2. Visit www.cricut.com/setup to download the Cricut Maker Software.
  3. Open the Cricut Design Space .exe setup file once it has been downloaded to your pc to start the installation process.
  4. Follow the prompts to start setting up your machine.
  5. You will be prompted to create a user ID and select a password during the registration process, a process that took me less than 5 minutes!
  6. All the instructions are part of this process that allows you to cut your first project!

Cricut Maker buttons

Are there any other Cricut Products available in South Africa?

In addition to a whole range of creative tools, add-on blades and cutting mats, there are two Cricut machines available locally. The Cricut Maker that I introduced you to and a smaller, mini-me version for creatives that DIY but need a little less of the functions, called the Cricut Explore Air 2. There is a nice and useful comparison table with the differences between the two machines available on the Cricut Africa website. Both of these have wireless Bluetooth functionality and are beautiful in design.

Where can I purchase one of these amazing Cricut Makers or the Cricut Explore?

There are loads of stores that stock the Cricut range of products that include Takealot, PNA and loot.co.za. You can also find a list of other Cricut suppliers in South Africa here.

Cricut Maker accessories

About The Wholesaler

The Wholesaler The Wholesaler is one of South Africa’s largest paper craft wholesalers bringing you the most exciting scrapbooking, card making and crafting products from all corners of the earth! They do not sell directly to the public but have a range of outlets and online stores that you can purchase from.

Sign up for an inspirational newsletter filled with ideas or visit their blog for some creative ideas.

Thank you for the beautiful images Hello Love Photography!

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Karen Kelly is the founder and editor of lovilee.co.za. She is a creative at heart and passionate about all things DIY. Learn more about her here and connect with her on social media on the links below.

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