How to Set Up Your New Cricut Maker, Explore, or Joy
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How to Set Up Your New Cricut Maker, Explore, or Joy

so you got a cricut maker, explore or enjoy… now what? Here’s what you’ll find in the cricut box, plus how to set it up, turn it on, and connect it to your device.

Cricut Maker

Bringing home a new Cricut can be overwhelming—I totally get it! I know crafters let their machine collect dust in the corner because it’s too scary to take it out of the box.

Reading: How to connect maker to computer

Today’s post is for absolute beginners. the beginner who hasn’t even opened the box. Let’s take a look at what’s in the box, get an overview of the anatomy of your cricut machine, and connect it to your device.

then at the end of this post i’m going to share some of my favorite beginner posts to help you get started creating with your cricut.

click below to go to each section:

  • getting to know your cricut maker
  • getting to know your cricut explore
  • getting to know your cricut joy
  • connecting your machine
  • best cricut beginner tutorials

Stop pulling your hair out and start creating confidently with your cricut! Check out our helpful Cricut Resources – everything you need to know to learn and love your Cricut.

cricut maker

inside the cricut maker box

Cricut Maker

The Cricut Maker‘s box contains the machine, a USB cord, a power cord, a fine point blade and housing (installed in the machine), a rotary blade and housing, a pen, a welcome book, and two mats—a 12” x 12” pink FabricGrip cutting mat and a 12” x 12” blue LightGrip cutting mat.

If you purchased a package, you may also have additional tools and materials.

take everything out of the box. Hurrah! your cricut maker is no longer in the box. pat yourself on the back.

Use the power cord to plug in your machine and click the power button to turn it on. it will click and growl a little, it’s alive!

your device

You will need an internet-connected device to use with your Cricut and Cricut Design Space: a desktop, laptop, iPhone, iPad, or Android device. high-speed internet is ideal.

You can use your cricut offline, but you’ll need internet to connect to a device to get started.

knowing your cricut maker

To open the machine, simply lift the lid and it will open smoothly, along with the front door.

Cricut Maker

In the center of the machine, you’ll see the Cricut carriage. This carriage holds the Cricut blades and other accessories using two clamps labeled A and B.

Cricut Maker Carriage

There are also control buttons on the top of the machine: A power button, a load/unload button (a double-sided arrow), a pause button, and a go button (the Cricut “C”).

Cricut Maker Buttons

Cricut Maker has two tool cups on the left side, as well as storage in the bottom door—just flip it open.

Cricut Maker Tool Cup

Cricut Maker Tool Storage in Door

Inside your machine, you’ll also see mat guides—plastic guides that tell you exactly where to put your mat when you load and unload it.

There are also four-star wheels. these start out evenly distributed on the machine roller, but you may need to slide them to the right if you’re working with thicker material like leather or chipboard.

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Cricut Maker Mat Guides & Star Wheels

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That’s it! See, it’s not so scary. Now head to the bottom of this post to find all of my best tutorials for beginner Cricut crafters.

cricut explore

This section refers to all cricut explore machines. the only one currently being sold is the cricut explore air 2, but the other cricut explore machines look and function similarly.

inside cricut scan box

Cricut Explore

The Cricut Explore box contains the machine, a USB cord, a power cord, a fine point blade and housing (installed in the machine), a Getting Started guide, a pen, a cardstock sample, and a 12” x 12” green StandardGrip cutting mat. In some of the newer machines, they include a 12” x 12” LightGrip cutting mat instead of the green mat.

If you purchased a package, you may also have additional tools and materials.

Use the power cord to plug in your machine and click the power button to turn it on. will make some noises, you’re ready to go!

your device

You will need an internet-connected device to use with your Cricut and Cricut Design Space: a desktop, laptop, iPhone, iPad, or Android device. high-speed internet is ideal.

You can use your cricut offline, but you’ll need internet to connect to a device to get started.

getting to know your cricut explore

To open the machine, click the open button on the left and it will open smoothly, along with the front door.

Cricut Explore

In the center of the machine, you’ll see the Cricut carriage. This carriage holds the Cricut blades and other accessories using two clamps labeled A and B. (If you have a Cricut Explore One, it only has one clamp.)

Cricut Explore Carriage

On the top, Cricut Explore has a dial to choose the material settings. You just turn it to the material you are cutting—if the material you are using is not on the dial, choose Custom and then set your material in Cricut Design Space.

There are also control buttons on the top of the machine: a power button, a load/unload button (a double-sided arrow), a pause button, and a stop button. home (the cricut “c” button).

Cricut Explore Dial and Controls

Cricut Maker has a tool cup on the left side, as well as storage in the bottom door—just flip it open.

Cricut Explore Tool Cup

Cricut Explore Tool Storage in Door

Inside your machine, you’ll also see mat guides—plastic guides that tell you exactly where to put your mat when you load and unload it.

Cricut Explore Mat Guides

That’s basically your whole machine! Now head to the bottom of this post to find all of my best tutorials for beginner Cricut crafters.

cricut joy summary

inside cricut joy box

Inside your cricut joy box, you will find the machine, a power cord, a fine point blade and housing (installed on the machine), a pen, a 4.5″ standard grip cutting mat x 6.5″, materials for your first project, and a getting started guide.

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You will notice that the cricut joy does not have buttons. just use the power cord to plug in your machine and it will turn on automatically.

your device

You will need an internet-connected device to use with your Cricut and Cricut Design Space: a desktop, laptop, iPhone, iPad, or Android device. high-speed internet is ideal.

You can use your cricut offline, but you’ll need internet to connect to a device to get started.

meeting your cricut joy

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Lower the front door to open your cricut joy.

So you got yourself a Cricut Maker, Explore, or Joy...now what? Here

Cricut Joy is a very simple machine. It has no buttons and uses just two tools—a blade or a pen. There are no tool cups or storage. That means this machine is light and easy to move around compared to the other machines.

In the center of the machine, you will see the cricut carriage. This cart holds the cricut blade or pen in a single clamp.

Cricut Joy Carriage

Inside your machine, you’ll also see mat guides—plastic guides that tell you exactly where to put your mat when you load and unload it.

Cricut Joy Mat Guides

That’s basically your whole machine! The Cricut Joy is truly a simple machine to use and the easiest Cricut to set up.

connecting your cricut to your device

You will now need to connect your cricut to your device to set it up. This could be a mobile phone (ios or android) or a laptop or desktop computer. For purposes of this section, “device” refers to any of the above.

connecting your cricut via bluetooth

Make sure your cricut machine and device are within 10 feet of each other and your cricut is plugged in and turned on.

windows

Open device manager and find the bluetooth radios section. if you don’t see this section, your computer is not bluetooth enabled and you will need to use the usb method below.

go to control panel and click on devices and printers. then click add a bluetooth device. your computer will locate the cricut. double click the icon to open the pairing options. enter 0000 in the device pairing code box and click next. your computer and cricut will pair.

mac

Open system preferences and find the bluetooth section. if you don’t see this section, your computer is not bluetooth enabled and you will need to use the usb method below.

open system preferences and find the bluetooth section if bluetooth is off, toggle the switch to on. your computer will locate the cricut or wireless adapter. click pair to start the process, enter 0000 in the code box and your computer and cricut will be paired.

ios device (apple phone, ipad, etc.)

open settings on your phone or tablet. if bluetooth is off, toggle the switch to turn it on.

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your phone will locate the cricut or wireless adapter. Touch the cricut or wireless adapter name and enter 0000 in the pin box. A box will appear asking for permission to communicate between Cricut Design Space and your device. touch allow. Your iOS device will pair with your Cricut and you will be redirected to the Cricut Design Space app.

android device

open settings on your phone or tablet. touch bluetooth in the menu on the left. if bluetooth is off, touch to turn it on. touch the cricut or wireless adapter name to start pairing. enter 0000 or 1234 in the pin box and tap done. your android device will be paired with your cricut.

connecting your cricut machine via usb

If you don’t have bluetooth on your laptop or desktop, use the usb cable to connect the two. Turn on your cricut and connect the usb cable from your cricut to your device. open a browser window and go to https://design.cricut.com/setup. Follow the on-screen instructions to create a Cricut account, install Design Space, and accept your free Cricut Access trial. you’re ready to go!

note: you’ll need to have the usb cable plugged in whenever you want to cut, but you can always unplug it if you’re not using it.

If you are having trouble connecting your machine to your device, please contact cricut support. they can walk you through the steps and troubleshoot if you run into problems.

best beginner cricut tutorials

good! your machine is ready to use, turned on, configured and connected to your device. let’s do stuff! Here are some of my favorite tutorials you’ll want to check out:

cricut design space

  • how to upload an svg to cricut design space
  • how to upload jpg and png images to a cricut design space
  • using attach in cricut design space cricut design
  • using solder in cricut design space
  • all about cricut design space fonts
  • how to upload fonts to cricut design space cricut design
  • work with script fonts in the cricut design space

cricut tools & materials

  • best blanks for cricut projects
  • best places to buy cricut supplies
  • how to use cricut tool set
  • the ultimate guide to cricut blades for better cutting
  • the ultimate guide to cricut pens

iron on vinyl (also called heat transfer vinyl or htv)

  • iron on vinyl
  • warm peel vs cool iron on vinyl
  • iron on vinyl weeding
  • all about the cricut easypress
  • iron vs. easypress vs. heatpress

adhesive vinyl

  • how to use adhesive vinyl
  • adhesive weeding vinyl

other materials

  • how to cut felt with a cricut explore and maker
  • all about cricut infusible ink

I hope you found this tutorial helpful in overcoming the hurdle of setting up your cricut. I can’t wait to see what you’re going to do!

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