This post is sponsored by Cricut and filled with only my opinions and projects, you may also find a few affiliate links!
Often the first question you’ll have when buying a Cricut machine is what can it cut? What materials can I use? You want to know what types of projects you can make right!?
And now that there are 3 main machines (the Explore Air 2, the Cricut Maker and the Cricut Joy) you’ll want to know which machines can cut the materials you’re looking to work with. Basic materials like vinyl, iron-on and infusible ink are compatible with all 3 machines but if you want to start cutting basswood, cardboard or fabric without a backing you’ll need to grab a Cricut Maker.
You can go over all of the pro’s and con’s about which machine is right for you here (I’ll help you decided which machine is the best for your specific needs). But in the mean time let’s take an in depth look at allllllll of the materials you can use with your Cricut.
We’ll go over each material, showcase what type of projects you can make with that material and then highlight what machine is compatible.
Let’s get started.
If you're layering cardstock for a multi-dimensional look adhesive cardstock can be the best option. You can cut your design and then apply the cardstock without needing to apply a glue between the layers. Check out a few options here. (Explore Air 2, Maker, Joy (cut to size))
Similar to Vinyl these adhesive wood sheets can be cut with your Cricut and then applied to any project blanks! Since they're already adhesive they're the perfect solution to adding a layer of wood to any project. Although they're not an offical Cricut blank you can find them here. (Explore Air 2, Maker)
Balsa wood isn't an official Cricut material but it is compatible with your maker, just make sure you don't use anything deeper than 1/16. Check out all the options here. (Maker Only)
When it comes to fabric we have a few options... basically your Maker can cut any fabric (it's rotary tool cuts through fabric like butter). The Explore Air 2 needs a little help, it can't cut through fabric without any backing. It's too thin! However if you have a bonded fabric the bonded fabric blade will work with your Explore Air 2 for all your fabric projects. If you can't find a bonded fabric you can add a backing like this iron-on stabilizer or this fusible web backing and volia... now you have a bonded fabric. Basically you can cut thicker, stiffer fabrics with your Explore Air 2. Thinner fabrics are better on your Maker. (Explore Air 2, Maker)
Looking to add a little something extra to your next project? You can easily paint a canvas and then cut it out with your Cricut. Which is perfect for layering multiple textures and pieces into one project. While you may be able to cut Canvas with a bonded fabric blade and your Expore Air 2 a rotary blade on your Maker is your best bet. (Maker Only)
Cellophane is soooo shiny yet completely transparent, it's great for inlays and overlays. Basically layering is your friend! Thin enough to cut on any machine be very careful when peeling your piece off the cutting mat as cellophane is super easy to tear. Check out all the options here. (Explore Air 2, Maker, Joy (cut to size))
Similar to wood chipboard is thick and sturdy... but it's a little less expensive then wood and is easy to layer. Making it the perfect material for large projects! Want to add a little extra flare to your next piece? Cricut has patterned chipboard that you'll love. Grab your Chipboard here. (Maker Only)
Similar to cardstock construction paper is thicker than normal paper... but construction paper is typically less expensive and comes in a large pack. Bonus points if you can steal a few sheets from your kids art supplies! It comes in lots of colors but rips easily. Snag a pack of construction paper here. (Explore Air 2, Maker, Joy (cut to size))
Looking to make a fun pegboard with different shapes and pieces... or maybe you want a cork bottom to your new coasters? Grab a rotary blade and a sheet of cork board and you're good to go! Cork is thick so you'll want to stick to your Cricut Maker on this one, and while some reports say the knife blade works well I've had the best success with my rotary blade. Try both out and see what works for you! Grab a few cork sheets here. (Maker Only)
Dry Erase Vinyl
If you thought chalkboard vinyl was cool then you're going to love dry erase vinyl! Basically you can cut out your own labels and then write on them with your dry erase pens... which is perfect for that organizational queen out there. Grab a roll here. (Explore Air 2, Maker, Joy (cut to size))
When it comes to un-bonded fabric your Cricut Maker is your best choice. You can add it to a fabric grip mat and your rotary tool will make quick work of all those cuts. This is perfect for cutting out a sewing pattern perfectly every. single. time. Those pieces will definitely fit together when Cricut's doing the cutting. Pick up a few color coordinated fabric packs from Cricut and get started. (Maker Only)
Kraft board is another form of chipboard so it's super strong but not quite wood. It does come in plenty of colors and patterns though so you'll always have a fun option for your next project. Check out Cricut's kraft board options here. (Maker Only)
While cutting metal isn't a Cricut ability (yet) you can engrave metal... which is pretty dang cool! I actually engraved a few metal sheets for the cardstock wedding invites I made further up. Check out the entire engraving process here. (Maker Only)
Whether you're working with flocked paper, scrapbook paper, thicker glitter paper or parchment paper your Cricut can cut all. the. papers. Literally any paper. Just make sure you're using the right setting and you're good to go! Browse Cricut's paper selection here. (Explore Air 2, Maker, Joy (cut to size))
This is literally the perfect opportunity to DIY one of those giant maps with a fun photograph from every state! Just load a photo onto your cutting mat and cut out a custom shape. (Explore Air 2, Maker, Joy (cut to size))
Similar to printable vinyl with printable iron-on you can make 100% custom designs and then iron them onto fabric or wood! I've used printable iron-on sheets to make custom shirts and bags for friends kiddos and they love having their favorite characters and their names together. Win/win! Grab some here. (Explore Air 2, Maker, Joy (cut to size))
Printable Magnet Sheet
Talk about custom save-the-dates... you could make a bunch out of one sheet! Of course they'd be great for other projects as well but that's where my brain jumps! Check out the options here. (Explore Air 2, Maker, Joy (cut to size))
Perfect for custom stamps you can use the engraving tool to make your very own pieces! No one else will have this stamp! Grab rubber sheets here. (Maker Only)
Smart Label Writable Paper
if you're looking for address labels or organizing stickers this writable paper is perfect. You can load it directly into your Joy without a cutting mat and write on it with your Joy or by hand. Perfection. Grab a roll here. (Joy only)
Iron on but for your Joy... this iron on comes in different colors and is perfectly proportioned to fit directly into your littlest machine. PLUS it's a smart material which means you don't need to use a cutting mat, just load it into your machine and go. Grab a roll of smart iron-on here. (Joy Only) (Also comes in larger rolls for your Maker... size dictates machine compatibility)
Smart Sticker Cardstock
Ready to roll? This sticker cardstock can go directly into your Joy without a mat. It's perfect for whipping up labels in the kitchen or organizing the craft room. And easy is literally the goal around here. Grab a roll here. (Joy only)
If you're looking to layer a bit of tissue paper to your latest project then the Maker has your back. It can cut simple shapes or patterns out of even the thinnest material with the rotary blade. Just make sure you firmly press the tissue paper down onto a light grip mat with a brayer... we need a strong enough bond that the machine won't tear the material but a light enough mat that the tissue paper can be peeled off the mat without tearing the material. (Maker Only)
Just think of the implications! You could use the print and cut feature to make several different layers of one tattoo and then put them all together. I am not a tattoo artist by any means but this would be amazing to watch! (Explore Air 2, Maker, Joy (cut to size))
If you're looking to add tulle to your latest sewing project then the Maker has your back. It can cut simple shapes or patterns out of even the thinnest material with the rotary blade. Just make sure you firmly press the tulle down onto a light grip mat with a brayer... we need a strong enough bond that the machine won't tear the material but a light enough mat that the tulle can be peeled off the mat without tearing the material. (Maker Only)
Oh velvet, fluffy, beautiful goodness. Most people know what velvet is since it's a fairly traditional fabric but now that you can use your rotary blade to cut velvet for your next sewing project we're at a whole new level. (Maker Only)
Washi is a thin (almost translucent) material that is typically adhesive on one side. It typically comes in a roll as a tape but now you can buy larger washi sheets... which are perfect for layering. Cricut has a few amazing options that work with a light grip cutting mat, check out all the patterns here. (Explore Air 2, Maker, Joy (cut to size))
Similar to Washi sheets but tape comes in a roll... similar to scotch tape! If you roll it out onto a cutting mat you can cut projects out of your tape same as a washi sheet! Plus if you're a crafter you probably already have a few *ahem* ok a bunch of washi tape rolls already in your arsenal. (Explore Air 2, Maker, Joy (cut to size))
I'm kind of in love with this one! Depending on your project you could paint a beautiful picture and then cut out a shape... or cut out shapes that you can paint a beautiful picture on. Either way I've seen several amazing projects with watercolor paper and your Cricut. This is the watercolor paper I use here. (Explore Air 2, Maker, Joy (cut to size))
One of the oldest materials window cling is severely underused. You can cut out shapes or letters to make custom decals... think of all the places you could put a pretty window cling. A car window, a large mirror for a wedding, a bathroom mirror for your kiddos... and the list goes on! Check out the window cling options here. (Explore Air 2, Maker, Joy (cut to size))
Similar to basswood Cricut's Wood Veneer sheets are thin and work with your Maker to make beautiful wood projects! They come in both walnut and maple so they're perfect for plenty of projects. Check out both versions here (Maker Only)
Although wrapping paper is fairly thin there are plenty of different patterns... and chances are you already have a few options you like! Looking for even more options? Here are a few you might like. (Explore Air 2, Maker, Joy (cut to size))