The Best Materials and Supplies for Cricut Explore and Maker

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Best materials for cricut machines

It’s pretty widely known that Cricut machines can cut materials like vinyl and paper. But do you know that these little powerhouses can cut sooo much more than that?! I’m talking everything from wood to types of plastic and fabrics!

Well, today is your lucky day because below I am covering a list of specific Cricut materials, where to find them, and what blade they work best with!

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Or maybe you are familiar with what the machine can cut, but struggle to find these Cricut materials in craft stores and wish you knew where to look online.

Some of these Cricut materials can be used with more than one blade – Cricut blades are so versatile! If you are relatively new to Cricut you might just be surprised at what it can cut!

I will tell you that when it comes to sorting out where to buy the wide variety of Cricut materials, that can be used for your projects, you are best to avoid main steam craft stores, especially if you want to save money. Most craft stores price things, like vinyl and leather 2x higher for half the amount.

I also have created a cutting guide for Cricut users. Download my free cutting chart in my crafter’s resource library! Cutting Edge Crafter members already receive access to this in their bonuses!

The best beginner's guide for Cricut

So let’s dive into all the Cricut materials!

What does cricut cut? Which blades do you use for fabric, vinyl or wood?

Cricut Materials that can be used with the Fine-point blade

The materials listed in the section below all work well with the fine-point Cricut blade. Easily adjust the pre-labeled settings on the dial or in Design Space to match what you are using. I will also note the settings below.

Iron-on vinyl

Iron-on vinyl is predominantly used on things that are fabric based in some way such as t-shirts, totes, cloth napkins, etc. Check out a board full of ideas here!

For iron-on vinyl be sure to use the iron-on setting on your Cricut.

Iron-on vinyl (a.k.a heat transfer vinyl or HTV) is an absolute favorite for most Cricut users and works well with a fine-point blade, but what are some of the very best iron on vinyl to use?

1. Siser Heat Transfer Vinyl – Easy to weed and they have been around for a long time! Siser also has glitter vinyl options, patterned vinyl, floral patterns as well as holographic options! Shop them all here!

2. Cricut Heat Transfer Vinyl – Cricut’s vinyl are great because they are made for Cricut and by Cricut. They also offer a wide variety of colors and textures like glitter.

3. My Vinyl Direct – Vinyl Direct has a lot more than just HTV, so I will point you back to it more than once. They have plenty of patterns, colors, and textures to shop!

4. Firefly Heat Transfer Vinyl – Firefly is a widely known and trusted brand. Not only does it have great reviews but they also have a fantastic selection! And if you are looking for great fuzzy flocked vinyl or glitter vinyl they have you covered!

5. Fame Heat Transfer Vinyl – This brand is great when you are hunting for a wide selection of colors. The other benefit of this brand is that it is cheaper then some alternatives if you are on a budget!

Mat to use: Generally the standard grip mat will work with all vinyls.

Adhesive Vinyl – Use Vinyl Setting

Adhesive vinyl is a close favorite to the HTV. There are countless uses for adhesive vinyl such as wall decals, mugs, ornaments, containers, wall art, etc. Here are some of the best brands below for AV!

There are basically 2 categories of adhesive vinyl – permanent outdoor and removable indoor – with various types within each category. Vinyl will always be clarified as one of those types and you should use accordingly to the project for best results.

For example, removable adhesive vinyl would work great as a removable wall decal while permanent vinyl will work better for a wood sign you plan to hang on your front door.

For adhesive vinyl, you will generally use the vinyl setting on your Cricut.

1. Oracal Vinyl – This vinyl is my personal top choice when I am thinking about starting an adhesive vinyl project. Oracle is regarded as the industry leader when it comes to craft vinyl. This vinyl is designed to last years. You can also find rolls of this on Vinyl Direct here in both glossy or matte!

2. Cricut Adhesive Vinyl – Cricut is still a great go-to resource for AV. As a whole Cricut does tend to be more pricey BUT there are times that I find a better shade in a color I am searching for with Cricut’s vinyl.

3. Expressions Vinyl – Expressions vinyl is another favorite and easy to use. They have a good color selection of glitter as well!

Glitter 12"x24" Vinyl Sheets

4. Happy Crafters – Honestly this is just a happy place website – you will find vinyl of all sorts and much other craft-related supplies!

Mat to use: Standard grip work as well for adhesive vinyl.


Paper and cardstock are near and dear to me because I love to make paper flowers. In fact, you can get access to my whole library of goodies when you sign up! Click the pink button below.

But my point is that I know cardstock well. So my favorite resources are below.

When crafting with cardstock, set the dial to cardstock or one setting further to your left on the dial for anything above 65-pound cardstock.

1. Recollections cardstock – Recollections is a brand by Michael’s craft store, but they can also be found online! I use this brand the most for my papercrafts.

2. Savage Universal paper rolls – I recently discovered how wonderful Savage paper works for paper crafting. Even though it seems a little pricey upfront, it lasts so much longer!

3. Paper and More – Paper and more is a trusted resource I have used and I love the more unique colors they have.

4. Cards and Pockets – This site has been with me for years and for good reason, the color options are unparalleled to most.

Mat to use for cardstock paper: Standard grip

Additional Fine-Point Blade Materials

Let’s also cover other materials that work with the fine-point blade and also the standard grip mat:

Thin chipboard – good for wreaths or large letter or number cutouts. Set dial to custom and select chipboard.

Thin poster board – use for projects with backgrounds or large cutouts. The dial should be set to the poster board.

Stencil Sheets – Create your own customer stencils with your Cricut! I generally have used the cardstock setting for stencil material but if you buy a different brand that is thicker then 6 mil you may to go up on the pressure.

Sticker paper or tattoo paper – If you are using the print and cut feature, consider doing it on sticker or tattoo paper for a fun project. I like to cut my own planner stickers! Use the cardstock setting for these as well with the fine-point blade.

Vellum – Vellum is just another type of paper that is usually delicate and translucent. It works great for any variety of papercrafts. For vellum, make sure to set the dial to paper or vinyl.

Cellophane – Every now and then I find a project I am creating needs a flexible and clear like material – cellophane works great for that and your Cricut can cut it! Cellophane will need to be cut at the lightest setting, usually paper or the one dot before it.

List of materials that Cricut Explore and Maker can cut!

Deep-cut blade – What Can I cut? 

For each of the materials below, you will want to set you dial or machine to custom and search the name of the material to set the proper cut pressure.

Chipboard – If you need thicker chipboard then what the fine-point blade can handle, then put your deep cut blade to work!

Rubber – Want to make your own stamps? You totally can with this great rubber and the deep-cut blade.

Wood veneer embellishments – You might be able to use a fine-point blade with the wood veneer if it is thin enough, but probably will want the deep blade in most cases.

Magnets – Creating your own magnets can be really fun. A fabulous teacher appreciation gift in fact.

Leather – Leather is all the rage right now, especially those snazzy leather earrings!

Craft foam – Foam is especially wonderful for kids crafts. Pre-cut a bunch of fun shapes and have your kids enjoy some crafty fun time! I love this project here!

Matboard – Matboard is essential cardboard but nicer. So any project you want to use cardboard for can work with the deep cut blade!

Felt sheets – Love felt flowers or crafts? Then let your Cricut do the work for you! You can also do stiffened felt sheets!

Glitter cardstock – I love my glitter cardstock for all sorts of projects. I have cut it with the fine-point blade but the deep works better especially with the chunky glitter paper. Craft stores often have some or use the link I provided!

Settings: For the materials in this section you will probably select custom for many of them and then specify in Design Space which one you are using on the cut screen. Design Space has a setting for most of these options anyway.

Mats: For things like felt and leather, the fabric mat will be best. If you are cutting chipboard, glitter cardstock, wood veneer or mat board a standard mat will generally work fine. Rubber or magnets may require the strong grip mat.

Fabric Blade – What Can I Cut?

The fabric blade is pretty specific to fabric and you will generally keep the fabric setting in place on the dial. Here are a few of my favorite fabric places to shop. You can also cut fabric with the 2 previous blades discussed but I recommend giving the fabric intended blade a try!

Spoonflower – If you want A LOT of fabric to pick from or to custom design your own fabric in a few short clicks then Spoonflower is the way to go!

Joann Fabrics – Many of you have probably heard of Joann’s Fabrics. They have been around a long time and some of you may have a store nearby. If you don’t, you can shop here online!

Fabric Direct – If you want a big website full of fabric and at wholesale prices, then be sure to check out fabric direct. I have purchased velvet from them for some fall pumpkin crafts and loved it!

Mat to use: Fabric grip mat or standard grip.

Knife Blade (Cricut Maker only) – What Can I Cut? 

With the knife blade (Cricut Maker only) you can cut a lot of similar Cricut materials as with the deep blade BUT the difference is that it can cut 2-3x thicker materials then the Explore can handle! In fact, the knife blade can cut material up to 3mm thick! More importantly, it does it with a more accurate and clean precision cut then the deep cut blade with Explore.

Thick balsa wood or basswood – this material is excellent for cutting out wood frames, ornaments, or even building small objects like a birdhouse!

Thick leather – The knife blade has been praised for how well and clean it cuts thicker leather materials. So if you want to make those snazzy leather earrings or maybe a clutch purse then this is exciting! By the way, check out this gold and silver leather!

Thick chipboard – If you want a thicker chipboard material the knife blade can take can of that.

Thick craft foam – Up your thickness with the knife blade with using heavier craft foams!

Mat to use: A fresh standard grip mat will work for materials thinner than 1 mm but usually the knife blade is used on thicker materials, so I recommend the strong grip mat. If you’re using something like 3 mm balsa wood you may also need to use some painter’s tape around the edges to ensure it doesn’t slide mid-cut.

Settings: For the wood, chipboard, and leather there are settings you can select with you click on “view all materials” in Design Space. Craft foam usually works well on the thicker cardstock setting.

Rotary Blade (Cricut Maker only) – What Can I cut? 

Washi Sheets – Washi Sheets are awesome specialty papers. Usually, they have fun textures or prints on them. They work beautifully for cards!

Crepe paper – Can you say easy crepe paper flowers?!

Cork – Cork can be delicate to cut so the rotary blade is ideal!

Tissue paper – Cut tissue paper with too! Make sure to choose a higher quality paper like the one linked here.

Delicate fabrics – Fabrics that are more delicate like tulle, organza, and lace are a good fit for the rotary blade.

Mat to use: You can use a fabric grip mat for light fabrics and cork, but use a standard or light grip mat for crepe and light for tissue paper.

Settings: Delicate fabrics should be set to the fabric selection setting, while the tissue, crepe, and washi paper should be placed on their named setting within custom settings.

Wow! That was a long article, guys! I hope this gives you some solid direction for finding Cricut materials, which blade to use, mat and settings!

Cricut Maker Quickswap Tools

Engraving Tip – What can I Engrave?

Metal – Jewelry is the first thing that comes to mind when using the engraving tool. I love Impress Art’s supply options! Be sure to use the strong grip mat for metal engraving. Check out my FULL engraving tutorial here to learn how to make your own dog tags and jewelry!

Acrylics – Plastic is another great option for engraving. Check out Cricut’s project here. Be sure to use the strong grip mat with painter’s tape when engraving acrylic projects.

Perforation Tool – What Can I Use?

Paper – Paper is the go-to material for the perforation tool. I love the idea of candy favors that are easy to tear open because of this new addition to the Cricut Maker. View all my favorite paper resources here. Also, Check out this design idea from Cricut Access.

You will want to use the light blue mat for paper in most cases.

birthday hat favors

Debossing Tool – What Can I Deboss?

Paper is the most common material to deboss. Additionally, you can also deboss leather! I love to use Cricut’s leather or this brand here.

Leather works best with the standard green mat or the fabric mat.

Wavy Edge Tool – What Can You Cut?

The wavy edge tool is very much like the rotary blade in what it can cut. Things like crepe paper, cardstock, and fabric are the best choices but instead of a lean straight edge, a subtle wavy design will be added. Scroll up to find links for all my crepe paper and fabric resources.

Find this inspiring wavy-edge shadowbox project below in Design Space!

Fabric mats for fabric and light blue mats for cardstock work best with the wavy edge blade materials.

New to Cricut?

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One Comment

  1. It’s nice to hear useful information from you regarding the best material from Cricut. It’s an important machine to have true crafting. It is a good way to cut different shapes.

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