CRICUT EXPLORE MACHINE: Basic Starter Kit for Cricut

Basic Starter Kit for Cricut

My friend and business partner was just gifted her first Cricut machine.  She is so excited to join the Cricut craze and she asked me what are the basics that she needs to get started using her Cricut Explore.  So I created this post to give my suggestions for a Basic Starter Kit for a new Cricut owner.  Basic Starter Kit for Cricut

Starter Kit for Cricut Explore

YEA!  You just got a Cricut!  Now whether you have the Cricut Explore or the Cricut Maker you have a very powerful machine that can literally make most (if not all) of your crafting dreams come true.  So I want to personally welcome you to the crazy good world of Cricut owners.

Cricut Maker Machine

I have owned a Cricut machine for many years.  My current Cricut is actually my fourth machine and I LOVE IT!  Almost every day I come up with new ways I can use my Cricut to accomplish some crafting creation.

I know you will love your machine as much as I do.

But if you did just purchase this dynamic die-cutting machine, you probably know too well how much of an investment it is.  That being said you might not be in the mood or budgeting mindset to fork out any more mullah for more Cricut stuff.

I hear ya!  That machine ain’t cheap!

Well, the good news is the machine actually comes ready to create right out of the box.  And to tell you the truth, you can do quite well with what’s in the box.  But depending on your crafting endeavors, there are a few accessories that can make working with the Cricut a whole lot easier.

7 Must or Nice-to-Haves for your new Cricut Machine

A Few Must-Haves Basic Starter Kit for Cricut

Basic Starter Kit for Cricut
1. Smoother

They actually call this tool a scraper, but I use it more for smoothing out vinyl on mats so I call it a smoother or smoothing tool.  Anyway, this obviously has a few uses; you can use it to scrap the remnants left after a cut, use it to scrape clean a dirty mat and as I said, to smooth vinyl.  BONUS:  They have a basic tool set that includes the scraper and a few more useful tools.

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Basic Starter Kit for Cricut

2.  Weeding Tool

Full disclosure; I actually tried to hack this tool and for quite a while using a dental pick in place of this Weeding Tool.  It can be done, but when I finally upgraded to the actual weeding tool I was so happy and so were my hands.  Basic Starter Kit for Cricut

3. Long Cutting Mat

You can get by with the short mat that comes with the Cricut, but it won’t be long before you will be wishing you had this longer mat.  Especially if you are working on larger projects and with vinyl.

Related Reading:  How to Deep Score on Cricut Explore
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Now the Nice-to-Haves

4. Lighting Mat  Basic Starter Kit for Cricut

I actually just purchased my Lighting Mat.  I actually wanted to get the new Cricut LightPad, but it just didn’t work with my budget.  So I found this alternative.  Not as cute as the Cricut, but half the price.

The lightweight, low-profile BrightPad makes crafting easier while reducing eye strain.

What do I use it for?  

Well, if you ever decide you want to work with glitter vinyl you will see all too well.  The cut lines are almost invisible (probably because of the glitter) making it nearly impossible to weed.  Having a light from underneath makes the lines visible.  So even though I list this as a Nice-to-Have, it became a Must-Have for me.

Basic Starter Kit for Cricut
The Cricut adjusts to cut thick materials

5. Deep cutting Housing & Blade

If you are like most Cricut users, you will probably want to at least experiment with all the different materials that the Cricut can Cut.  I have just gotten into cutting leather.

And yes, it does cut leather beautifully.

The many materials the Cricut can cut vary from the very thin to the very thick.  If you do want to cut thicker material, more than likely you will need to get a Deep Cutting Housing and Blade.  In fact, this sharper blade is a must for cutting things like chipboard and leather.

6. Strong Grip Mat

And if you do work with any of the thicker materials, you will probably also need a Strong Grip Mat to hold the material securely while the machine cuts.

See how easy it is to cut leather!

Basic Starter Kit for Cricut

Here’s a great tutorial by Damasklove.com for cutting leather with the Cricut Explore.

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7. Cutting Mat

And finally, my last accessory for using the Cricut is also a recent purchase.  If you are like me and don’t (yet) have a dedicated craft room, you are probably working on your dining room table.  And if you are, before you have to start searching for a new dining room table, consider getting yourself a Cutting Mat like this.

A nice big (26″ x 39″) cutting mat like this one acts as a barrier between the nice finish on your table and also allows you to cut, arrange and do all those crafty things without destroying your heirloom.

Time to get Cricut crafting!

Basic Starter Kit for Cricut

So there is my list of Must or Nice-to-Haves that I shared with my friend.  What do you think?  Do you have a Cricut Must-Have list of your own?  Did I miss something?  Let me know in the comments below.

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