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28 Cricut/Design Space Hacks That Beginners Should Know

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The best 28 Cricut and Design Space Hacks that every beginner should know. These Cricut hacks will keep you organized and help you in Design Space!


Owning a Cricut is very exciting. It can also be a little intimating and overwhelming for a beginner. Whether you are a beginner or a more seasoned Cricut crafter, these 28 Cricut Hacks and Secrets will save your sanity and help you stay more organized along the way. I’m sharing my very best Cricut tips for beginners and give you some Cricut instructional guides and resources you will love.

Before we get into these Cricut hacks make sure you enter your email and download my FREE Cricut Map Key Printable! Log into the Freebie Vault and search Cricut Printable to print this free Cricut guide to keep by your machine.

Okay, now let’s get started with those Cricut hacks!

1. Peel your mat away from your material

It may seem instinctual to peel your material (cardstock, vinyl, etc.) away from the mat but it is actually better to gently curl and peel the mat away from the material. This helps to prevent too much distortion to your craft materials.

Cricut hacks

2. Use IKEA plastic bag storage for vinyl

Another one of my favorite Cricut hacks, which has already gained some popularity over the last few years is IKEA plastic bag storage holders. They work well for holding rolls of vinyl. You can also find some here online!

The best 28 Cricut and Design Space Hacks that every beginner should know. These Cricut hacks will keep you organized and help you in Design Space!

3. Clean your blade with tin foil 

To keep your material cutting smoothly you can clean your blade with a ball of tin foil. By cleaning residue off the blade like this effectively cleans and mildly sharpens the blade.

4. Store your blades in your Cricut

This Cricut hack may seem very obvious, but when I was a new Cricut owner I was unaware that the inside of my machine could hold my blades and small tools for dust-free, safe storage.

Cricut hacks

5. Use a lint roller to pick up small pieces from your mat or design (Works for glitter too)

If you have an intricate design that is cut out on paper or vinyl you can easily collect the excess small pieces on a lint roller to save time!

Oh, and this works fabulous to pick up stray glitter on your workspace too. We’ve all been there!

The best 28 Cricut and Design Space Hacks that every beginner should know. These Cricut hacks will keep you organized and help you in Design Space!

6. Use pen adapters to use more than Cricut pens with tour machine

Having your Cricut machine write for you is an amazing feature. At some point, you will probably wish you could use pens other than the Cricut brand.

The good news is if you own an Explore 2 or newer you can purchase pen adapters to use nearly any brand pen! I’m talking sharpies, brush pens and more! Check out my full post and video tutorial on how to use these adapters here.

The best 28 Cricut and Design Space Hacks that every beginner should know. These Cricut hacks will keep you organized and help you in Design Space!

7. Use a nail polish holder for vinyl scraps

This is probably one of my favorite Cricut hacks! Buy a cheap nail polish holder to collect tiny vinyl pieces when weeding.

How to weed vinyl with a nail polish holder

8. Learn to make your own SVG cut files for free in Inkscape

Finding freebies and purchasing Cricut Access are awesome ways to get SVG files for Design Space. But what about creating your own?

After all, sometimes we need to bring an exact vision to life or personalize an item. Inkscape is a free open source program that can be downloaded to create SVG files from scratch OR convert images to layered SVG files. You can learn more about how to do this in my program here, FREE the SVG!

How to use Inkscape to design your own SVG files for Cricut Design Space.

9. One-click magic to convert an image to an SVG

If you are not yet ready to learn how to design your own SVG files then try the one-click image to SVG converter. This post here will walk you through step by step!

How to convert an image to a SVG cut file.

10. Use a pegboard to store all your Cricut supplies 

Pegboards are so essential to keeping my supplies organized, plus you utilize bare wall space! Pick these up at IKEA or Amazon! Plus Cricut hacks like this totally add to the prettiness of your craft space.

Pegboard for craft organization.

11. Clean your mat with baby wipes. Resticky the mat with Easy Tack

Breathe some fresh life back into used Cricut mats by cleaning debris off with baby wipes. You can also re-sticky any mat for 5-10 more uses by spraying a few layers of Easy Tack onto the surface.

How to make your Cricut mats sticky again.

12. Use slap bracelets to keep vinyl rolls tight

I have LOTS of vinyl, so I tend to have more than one way to store my rolls. Cheap slap bracelets offer an easy way to hold vinyl rolls together!

Use slap bracelets to keep vinyl rolls together.

13. Keep your vinyl organized by type in wood bins

It’s important to keep track of your types of vinyl (iron-on, adhesive, textured, etc). Using bins can be a simple way to store by type and label each bin for quick recognition.

Wood bins to organize vinyl rolls.

14. Use a straight edge to trim vinyl to avoid uneven edges

Vinyl is one of those things that is easy to waste if you aren’t careful. Trimming your vinyl before using it to cut can help keep edges straight and eliminate too much waste.

Use a straight edge to cut vinyl

15. Find amazing SVG freebies

Free SVG files for Design Space can be found in places like blogs and Pinterest searches. Here at Abbi Kirsten Collections, we have a large Freebie Vault that has hundreds of free SVG and printable templates! Sign up below to access them.

16. Use painters tape for thicker materials

If your items are sliding around on your mat, then painters tape will be your best friend. It is especially important with wood projects and chipboard materials.

How to use wood with Cricut

17. Cut slits in your transfer tape when applying vinyl to curved surfaces

How do you get your vinyl smooth on a curved surface?

I’ve definitely heard this question before! Aside from practice, one trick is to cut slits around your transfer tape at the edges. This allows the tape to have more give as you are placing the design. See an example in my Glitter Christmas Ornament Tutorial here!

how to put vinyl on a curved surface.

18. Use cheat sheets to remember what all the functions are for

Understanding Cricut terms and the functions of Design Space can be a lot to remember. One of the best Cricut hacks is to keep printable guides nearby to help you like using this glossary cheat sheet. Download yours below!

19. Store vinyl scraps in a magazine holder

Don’t waste those odd and end vinyl pieces! They can still be used for small cuts. Store your scraps in a clear magazine holder to easily see what you have to work with.

Keep vinyl scraps organized in a clear magazine holder.

20. Use a setting guide printable

Just like Design Space functions, trying to remember all those material settings or custom settings is nearly impossible! I’ve created a handy cutting chart guide that is free inside the Freebie Vault as well! If you are already a member, log in right here and find it by searching Cricut printables or create a free account here. Need help entering the vaultRead this helpful post here.

Free printable cutting chart for Cricut and Explore and Cricut Maker machines.

21. Use iron-on vinyl (HTV) on wood 

Yes! You can use iron-on vinyl on wood! Cricut even has a heat guide right here to help you. I LOVE the look of heat transfer vinyl even more than some adhesive vinyls, so I like that this is an option.

Use iron-on heat transfer vinyl on wood.

22. Use iron-on vinyl on tumblers with the Cricut Easy Mini-Press

In 2019 Cricut released a mini version of the Easypressthe Easypress Mini! This little tool is so cute and handy, it even makes it possible to iron-on vinyl to your tumblers!

Cricut easypress mini to iron-on vinyl to tumblers.

23. Check Cricut design space for freebies

Did you know that every single week Cricut shares a new set of freebies available to everyone, even those without Cricut Access?! Find the freebies under Images > Filter > Freebies!

Cricut design space freebies

24. Know where to find the best materials

Sorting out where to buy the best-priced Cricut materials can be time-consuming and a lot of trial and error. Lucky for you, this girl happens to be a 9 year Cricut veteran, and I know exactly where to find the best deals right here!

where to find the best materials and supplies for Cricut

25. Download free fonts online

If you haven’t yet discovered the power of installing free fonts for your Cricut you are really missing out! Check out my list of the 60 best free and paid fonts PLUS my exclusive Christmas font post!

Free fonts for Cricut Design Space

26. Use character maps to import specialty designs to design space

Downloading fonts is one thing but learning to make a word look like a million bucks is a whole other skill! It took me a while to discover that you can use your “character maps” or “glyphs” on your computer to access those special scrolly letters.

  1. Go to your “search” on your PC and search for character map or character viewer on Mac.
  2. Then use the drop-down to select your font of choice.
  3. Scroll through until you find the letter you need.
  4. Click on it to select and then copy.
  5. Paste your font character into the text box in Design Space.
How to add glyphs in Design Space

27. Keep track of your favorite vinyls

So many vinyls, so hard to remember! There are loads of vinyl types, textures and brands to keep track of. To help keep track, store scraps of vinyl with the brand and type of vinyl on a metal ring, so you can always find your favorite vinyl!

Don’t have a favorite resource yet? I LOVE Expressions Vinyl and they even have sample rings you can order!

Vinyl storage hack

28. Use storage carts for materials and machines

Storing your supplies and machines is important. One of my favorite ways to do this is with a storage rolling cart! Find some amazing options here or try your local Michaels store!

How to organize your cricut machines.
Craft caddy carts for Cricut supplies

Wanna be a Cricut Master and learn to create your own craft design files like me?

Do you own a Cricut machine or want to own a Cricut but maybe you are overwhelmed when you look at the Design Space software and feel lost with all the functions?

Maybe you wish you could create your own design files rather than being forced to spend money on every design for each project you make?

Let me share with you the 3 biggest mistakes Cricut crafters make and my proven steps to not only master your Cricut but also transform yourself into a craft designer!

If that sounds like it’s for you be sure to join me here in my FREE masterclass!

I hope you enjoyed that list of Cricut hacks! I’d love to know which ones surprised you the most or if you have any others I should add to my list. Leave me a comment below!

More Crafty Inspiration

About Abbi Kirsten Collections

I have spent the last 9+ years building my creative skills and sharing them with others. My flower designs are created with simplicity, color and crafty fun in mind. If you haven’t yet, be sure to join the subscriber community to gain access to all my freebies or visit my signature design shop here!

Want to join my Facebook community to share your crafts and learn from the best? Click here to request access to my group, Crafters and Cricut Lovers.

Free Cricut Design Space help for beginners. Free Cricut classes.

Join the FREE Cricut Workshop!

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  1. Loved your presentation of the hacks. I’m inspired to get started with learning all about my Cricut. Thank you for the time and effort! I will be signing up for your workshop.

  2. Is there any other product you are able to use for the mats instead of the original film it came with?? Just got my first cricut and my fiancé accidentally threw away my clear film for my mat. Help

  3. Your idea of slap bracelets is GENIUS! I am going to try it on wrapping paper rolls as well. I am enjoying your postings.

  4. Does iron on used on a tumbler have better staying power than permanent vinyl. Do you think it would work on mugs.

    1. Yes, it would definitely work on mugs. Yes, the iron vinyl is stronger than regular vinyl and the glitter texture is more vibrant.

  5. Hi, great tips! I’m new to the cricut world and just purchased my own cricut explore. How many mats do I need to buy? I get each one is for different type of materials but how many of each or how to know when do I need to buy another one?
    Thanks you

    1. Hi! it depends on how often you use the mat but you can definitely make the mats last longer by washing them with warm water and soap. Baby wipes also help for a quick clean. If you craft about once a week you will probably need to mats every couple of months or so.

  6. I LOVE your page! Do you know what type of vinyl and the best place to purchase vinyl for creating the design for sand blasting? I think it has to be very durable.
    Thank you!

  7. I almost purchased a maker and a joy machine when they were recently on sale. The fact that I know nothing about them and that I don’t even have my home office/craft area set up yet is what prevented me from pulling the trigger. I decided to wait till I have somewhere to put them instead of them laying around in a box untouched. I love your site and can’t wait to learn more! Also, I don’t own a computer, laptop, Mac, iPad, etc. other than an iPhone. I need to purchase one of those because I’m now homeschooling my youngest but also would like to have one before I purchase a cricut. Is any one of those any better at working with the cricut over another? Do any of them make it easier to work with the cricut? I’d like to keep that in mind when purchasing a computer or tablet. Btw, your site has given this adhd ocd Moma of 5 the cheat sheets to the cricut and the confidence to at least give one a try! Thank you!!!

  8. Hi abbi. Curious about the new Maker 3 and I do not see “Smart Wood Veneers” to cut without a mat. Can a mat be inserted with a wood veneer? Many thanks.

    1. Hi Amy! You can still use a mat with the new machines too! I do not believe they have created any Smart Wood yet so you will still load it onto a mat. 🙂

  9. I have searched the Freebies Vault for the Cricut Map Key Printable mentioned above, but I’m unable to locate it. Suggestions? Thanks!

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