This Thing Rules

The Cricut Maker fulfills my wildest crafting dreams

This do-it-all craft machine can cut all kinds of fabrics and materials with incredible precision.

Like many Americans, I jumped back into my love of crafting when quarantine began a year ago. But prone to frustration and now, less free time than in those initial two weeks, I found myself leaving projects unfinished and supplies untouched.

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Much of my crafting includes upcycling old or thrifted clothes, but working with a sewing machine can get tedious. You’ve got to design a pattern, cut it out, and meticulously pay attention to detail. It’s a time-consuming process, but essential to my style and sustainably keeping up with trends.

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Enter the Cricut Maker smart cutting machine. This bad boy can handle over 300 materials, including fabric, leather, paper, and even balsa wood, with ultimate precision.

With just a few clicks, I found myself able to cut out sewing patterns, intricate decals, and fun labels. Frankly, it took me longer to decide what I wanted to make with the machine than to actually craft it.

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My first project included testing out Cricut’s new Infusible Ink sheets, which are a far cry from your average iron-on. Instead of sitting on the fabric’s surface, the infusible ink does what its namesake claims — infuses the cloth with your selected design — once activated with heat.

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The results

I paired this intricate papel picado design with an old tank top of mine to create a vintage-inspired look with the infusible ink.

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While an iron works great for transferring your cut-outs to fabric, I’m a fan of Cricut’s EasyPress machine. Available in a few sizes, the tool allows you to completely cover your design, making sure heat is distributed evenly.

You can use the Cricut Maker by itself to create too. I had the machine cut out these fabric flowers out of scraps to make a headband, matching an upcycled top I made out of an old dress.

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The Cricut in action.

I also made more traditional, less style-centric crafts — check out this trinket tray I made cool with the Cricut’s cut-outs.

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That being said, the Cricut Maker is certainly an investment. Smaller models, like the Cricut Joy and Cricut Explore Air 2, retail at lower prices with differing features.

$370

Price of the Cricut Maker, on sale from its usual $400.

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Considering how much the Cricut Maker has helped me upcycle old into new, though, I think the price is totally justifiable. Once you get a feel for the workflow and the precision, there’s no going back to hand cutting, especially if there are a lot of small details.

Trust, it’s worth the investment.

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