When you first buy a Cricut Maker or Cricut Explore Air 2, it's easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer number of Cricut tools, materials, and other products you'll need to start creating. However, you don't need to buy everything at once. My suggestion is to choose a few simple designs to start and buy only what you need for those projects. Here are the best Cricut accessories, especially if you're fairly new to the crafting machine.
Even if you don't buy anything else on this list, consider this basic toolset. Until you try weeding vinyl, you don't know how badly you need a weeding tool. A scraper helps you clean off a sticky mat in seconds. You might well get the whole set; it works out a lot cheaper than buying each tool on its own.
Your machine comes with a mat or two, but you can never have too many mats. You need them for every single project you'll do. The "middle sticky" StandardGrip Mat is the one I use the most, and it doesn't come with the Cricut Maker or Explore Air 2. You get two in this package; you'll find the stickiness wears out over time, so you'll be glad to have two.
For paper crafters
If you're working with paper or cardstock, you'll find yourself needing a scoring stylus at some point. This is the tool that helps you get a perfect crease for making envelopes, cards, boxes, giant flowers, and more. If you're not going to work with paper, you could skip this one.
Of course, you can just use an ordinary iron. But for the most precise application of HTV (Heat-Transfer Vinyl used for iron-on projects) and Infusible Ink, the Easy Press 2 is what you need. You set it for the exact temperature and time that you need for the best result every time. It comes in different sizes, but the 9-by-9-inch size listed here is a nice middle size.
You're bound to make some mistakes starting out, so cardstock is a great place to experiment. It's inexpensive and easy to find in a huge variety of colors and weights. Try making some simple cards, flowers with this colorful cardstock.
Write in style
One of the very cool things the Cricut does is write in fonts of your choice. You'll need Cricut pens that clamp right into the machine. If you use them a lot, you'll enjoy the color variety and save money in the long run by buying the big package.
Cut in a straight line
You might have a talent for cutting in a straight line with scissors, but I do not. Take the stress out of cutting your materials to your precise measurements with a trimmer like this one.
When you're getting started making decals, it's not a bad idea to start with removable vinyl if you change your mind about its placement. Don't worry; it doesn't fall off easily on its own. You can get a roll of single-color vinyl or a sampler pack with sheets of multiple colors.
For apparel and more
Many people buy a Cricut primarily to make iron-on t-shirts, pillows, and more. For that, you'll need HTV (High-Temperature Vinyl). There are tons of options out there, but Cricut's own Everyday Iron-on is a good place to start. You can buy a single color roll or a sample pack.
For flawless transfer
If you're working with any kind of vinyl, you'll need transfer tape to get your vinyl design from the backing onto the blank of your choice correctly. This isn't an exciting item, but it's an absolute must-have.
Infusible Ink is unique to Cricut, and it's one of my favorite materials to work with. Once you iron your design onto your fabric, it's permanently infused. It can't peel off or deteriorate.
The best Cricut accessories from the start
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You'll definitely need some tools, and the Cricut Basic Tool Set is a great place to start. The StandardGrip Mat is also a must-have. And you must download Design Space onto your Mac, or at least your iPad and/or iPhone. You literally cannot do anything with your Cricut machine without Design Space.
Where you go from there really depends on the kinds of projects you wish to do: paper/cardstock, decal vinyl, iron-on vinyl, or Infusible Ink. I'd recommend starting small and mastering a few projects before you buy more tools and supplies, but this list will hopefully get you off to a good start!
I didn't forget about the Cricut Joy. The list above is aimed at Cricut Maker and Explore Air 2 owners, but the Cricut Joy is a different size, and most of the supplies are not interchangeable. If you're looking for the best accessories for the Cricut Joy, we've got you covered there with a separate list.
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Karen is a contributor to iMore.com as a writer and co-host of the iMore Show. She’s been writing about Apple since 2010 with a year-long break to work at an Apple Store as a product specialist. She's also a contributor at CNET. Before joining iMore in 2018, Karen wrote for Macworld, AppAdvice, WatchAware. She’s an early adopter who used to wait in long lines on release days before pre-ordering made things much easier. Karen is also a part-time teacher and occasional movie extra. She loves to spend time with her family, travel the world, and is always looking for portable tech and accessories so she can work from anywhere.