The Cricut is a personal die-cutting machine that is most often used for paper crafting, like card making and scrapbooking. It can, however, be used for craft projects other than paper crafting. Cut your own stencils using the Cricut machine and the images on the Cricut cartridges for screen-print T-shirts, painted glass decor items or even painted signs. You can also use the Cricut-cut stencils to craft gifts for friends and family.
Measure your Cricut cutting mat and cut a piece of freezer paper for fabric, vinyl for glass and other surfaces that the vinyl can adhere to and be peeled from, and card stock for a stencil to be used with paper, that will fit.
Peel the plastic cover off of your new Cricut mat. Place the paper or vinyl onto your mat, lining the bottom left corner of the material up with the bottom left corner of the cutting mat and press the material onto the sticky surface of the mat. Rub your hand over the surface to securely adhere it to the mat.
Place your selected cartridge into the machine and the corresponding keypad overlay onto the keypad. Turn the machine on.
Place the mat at the opening of the machine in the direction indicated by the arrow on the mat. Press the "Load Paper" button. If your material doesn't cover the entire cutting surface of the mat, move the blade to the upper right corner of the material using the directional arrows surrounding the "Cut" button,.
Select the design that you would like to cut. Set the pressure at "medium". Set the speed according to the intricacy of the design you have chosen. Select a slower speed for more intricate design and a higher speed for a less intricate design. Set the blade depth at 5. Press "Cut."
Press the "Unload Paper" button once the design is finished cutting. Peel the cut-out design off of the mat.
To use the waxed paper stencil on fabric, place the shiny side of the paper against the fabric and run an iron set to "medium" over the stencil for approximately 30 seconds to adhere the stencil to the fabric before applying fabric paint over the stencil. The Cricut will not cut stencils in a way you may not be used to. The stencil may be cut in several pieces that you have to piece together, especially if you want to use the layers of the design.