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Crafting is all about breaking out of your comfort zone and making something that is truly yours. After all, a little bit of elbow grease, coupled with your brain’s creative juices, can lead to remarkable results.

That being said, welcome to HLCW Crafts Blog! Be sure to keep reading! Never stop crafting!

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The 6 Best Cricut Machines for Beginners [2019]

To make sure that you make the right decision as a beginner buying your first Cricut machine, we have curated a list below that includes some of the best Cricut machines for beginners that you can consider purchasing depending on what suits your needs.

Cricut Explore Air 2

cricut explore air 2 for beginners

Intro

The fastest variation of the Cricut explore range of machines, the Explore Air 2 brags the ability to cut more than 100 types of materials including but not limited to speciality paper, adhesive foils, cardstock and many more. The intricacy of the Explore Air 2 is quite impressive as it has a function that allows it to create cuts at just the right depth and with the perfect amount of pressure that is dependent on the type of material being cut. With a cloud-based free Design Space software, users can customize and edit their projects on the go as they please.

Pros

  • Beginners will find the Explore Air 2 to be extremely useful as they can enjoy more than 3,000 pre-made design ideas and projects.
  • Unlike other Cricut machines, this one does not experience any difficulties when cutting through printable images.
  • It is two times faster than other Cricut machines in the Explore range of machines.
  • The design of the machine is extremely stylish with beautiful vintage colors that users can pick from to suit their aesthetic.
  • It is quite sturdy and durable as it is well made.

Cons

  • Several users have reported that they found the software to be problematic.
  • The machines cutting mat loses its adhesiveness pretty fast.

Cricut Maker

Cricut Maker for Beginners

Intro

Debuting in August 2017, the Cricut maker is extremely versatile as it has the capability to cut wood and fabric, unlike other Cricut machines. Equipped with a rotary cutter for crepe paper and fabrics and a knife blade for thicker materials such as foam board, and wood this device can be used for almost any project including vinyl decals, iron-on, and papercrafts and leather crafts, balsa models and sewing projects.

Beginners will appreciate the fact that the Cricut maker is equipped with a bunch of helpful paraphernalia such as blades, pens, and scoring tools that they can use. The Cricut maker is more than ideal for beginners because of how it simplifies quilting and sewing projects. Finally, the Cricut Maker is Bluetooth enabled and is available in four different colors that you can pick from depending on what suits your aesthetic.

Pros

  • In comparison to its competitors, the Cricut maker is more versatile.
  • It is easy to use.
  • Users can achieve elaborate scoring when embossing
  • Fabric designs are included as part of the package.
  • Users can upload their own designs, images and fonts effortlessly

Cons

  • The knife blade and scoring wheel must be purchased separately, which adds onto the cost of purchasing the machine.

Cricut Explore One

Intro

The first Cricut machine to include internet technology for its design space functionality, the Cricut Explore one is ideal for novices who are just starting their crafts journey. The Explore One is an inexpensive version of the Explore Air 2 Cricut machine. The Cricut explore one introduces beginners into the DIY world as they can cut almost anything including vinyl, leather, paper, cardstock, poster board as well as fabric. Unlike the Explore Air 2, the Explore one does not have Bluetooth technology, but users can purchase an adapter that they can use when they want to cut designs wirelessly from their gadgets. With the possibility to design user-specific designs on different materials, beginners can achieve precise cuts of different sizes and shapes. Additionally, the machine uses a German carbide blade that offers users quick and accurate cuts on a lot of fabrics.

Pros

  • It is equipped with a smart set dial function that facilitates cut accuracy for the designs regardless of the materials.
  • Beginners are guaranteed of precise cuts if they use this machine thanks to the various technologies that facilitate this.

Cons

  • For the Bluetooth adapter, one has to buy it separately from the machine, which increases the cost that one has to incur.
  • It still uses cartridges which tend to be quite costly.

Cricut Explore Air

Cricut Explore Air for Beginners

Intro

The Explore air is a perfect entry-level machine that allows beginners to customize designs as they wish. The Explore Air includes everything a beginner may require to accurately create spectacular crafts and projects using different materials such as thick fabrics, vellum, adhesive vinyl, iron-on amongst others.

Unlike the Explore One, the Explore Air can cut a card and simultaneously write a personalized message on the card in a single step thanks to the dual carriage that includes a cutter and marker. Similarly, it can cut boxes and thereafter score the boxes’ fold lines.

Equipped with an integrated Bluetooth function that facilitates wireless cutting, users need to connect the machine to their phones or computers which are used to control the machine without the need for wires.

Pros

  • Beginners can rely on the machine for wireless cutting.
  • The designs cut using the Explore air are typically centered thanks to the orange grid lines.
  • The installation and set-up processes of the machine are quite effortless.
  • The Explore Air can precisely cut over 60 different materials
  • The build of the machine is well done such that it ensures durability. And it has some equally well-made blades.

Cons

  • The machine’s design software is rather slow in comparison to its competitors.
  • It can only function if it is connected to the internet.

Cricut EasyPress 2

Cricut Easy Press for Beginners

Intro

One of the best ways to customize your gifts and things is by heat transferring vinyl and iron-on on to them. Unlike the other Cricut machines we have discussed in our list above, the Cricut EasyPress 2 machine is a little different as it is mainly used for high-speed heat pressing on T-shirts, blankets, banners, sweatshirts and several other materials.

With intuitive buttons that help with the operation of the machine, beginners can effortlessly enjoy working with crafts and DIY projects

Pros

  • The machine is available in three different sizes, with the largest being 12 x 10 inches.
  • Beginners can easily transform iron-on onto several materials in a minute or less.
  • It is extremely compact and lightweight with a slim build that is aesthetically pleasing and ideal for use in small spaces and at home.
  • It is extremely easy to set up and use which makes it perfect for newbies
  • The machine heats up pretty fast

Cons

  • Several users have complained that the machine requires several presses for the iron-on to stick as the machine loses heat easily while it is in use.
  • It is rather costly, falling on the higher end of the price spectrum which a few beginners may not appreciate.

Cricut Cuttlebug Die Cutting & Embossing Machine

Cricut Cuttlebug for Novices

Intro

The Cricut cuttlebug is also ideal for beginners who are interested in die-cutting and embossing on different materials such as foils, thin leather, acetate ribbon, tissue paper amongst others. Beginners will enjoy using the Cricut cuttlebug machine as it adds dimension and texture to their projects, and the cuts are crisp and clean with a professional appearance. This machine features a compact fold-n-store profile, a suction, and a collapsible handle.

  • Pros
  • It is extremely easy and straightforward to use.
  • It can be used on a variety of materials, including thin leather and even tissue paper.
  • It is the perfect machine for embossing.
  • Despite its simplicity, you will be hard-pressed to find a machine that can deliver similar results for the same price.

Cons

  • Users may want to consider a different machine for their more intricate designs as the Cuttlebug does not cut all the way through for the extremely detailed designs.

Final Thoughts

Cricut machines are well-regarded by most DIY enthusiasts and professionals for their ability to achieve precise cuts when crafting. The market is flooded with many alternatives for Cricut machines and finding one that best meets your needs as a beginner might be extremely complicated. A lot of times, beginners are usually tempted to choose the latest, Cricut machine which is not always a good idea simply because as a beginner you may not know how to manipulate the machine. So how then does one decide on which Cricut machine to acquire? The most important elements that should influence your choice of a beginners Cricut machine should be your needs, budget, and ease of use.

If you are a craft lover, a Cricut machine is a handy tool that should be included as part of your arsenal. The machine takes away the hassle of hand-cutting shapes and designs on the different materials and as such, facilitate the ability to create beautiful decorations, letterings, and shapes on the said materials. Aside from the previously mentioned factors that beginners have to consider, there are a couple more considerations that may need to be made before the final purchase decision is made. Some of these considerations include; the machine’s software, wireless capability, wireless capability, compactness, cutting speed, and finally its ability to cut through as many materials as possible.

 

Choosing the Right Color for Your Kitchen Cabinets

Most people would tell you that living in a rental often leads to an undesirable cabinet situation. However, as any expert crafter would tell you, there is no problem that you shouldn’t be able to solve by yourself.

Choosing the right color

It is vital that you understand that the number of shades and colors are virtually limitless. The most important thing is to take your time and figure out what works best. The secret to success is working with your space and the existing colors.

Consider the color of your floor, backsplash, and walls. You will need to start from there and choose a color that complements these elements. If you wish to establish a neutral color scheme then simply paint it white. You can also opt for gray or beige for a subdued look.

Just a word of caution, though, painting kitchen cabinets entail a long and tedious process. However, if done right, then all your efforts would surely be worth it. Luckily, we are here to help you do just that.

DIY Project: Watermelon Invites

The summer season is finally upon us once again. While basking in the sun and getting a tan is nice, it is also important to let your hair down a bit and unwind. It just happens that there is no better way to do just that than to throw a tropical-themed beach party.

Presented below is a guide to help you craft the perfect invitation for your summer shindig! First, you will be needing the following materials:

  • 8.5 x 11 Card Stock (choose warm colors)
  • Scissors
  • Hole puncher
  • String

Download a printable template or design one of your own. Be sure to state the theme of your party and make the layout as attractive as possible. Then, once you are done designing the invitation, the next step would be to print it out on your 8.5 x 11 card stock.

If you want to keep things simple then you can stop here. However, if you wish to step things up a bit, then feel free to do so. Just take your scissors and cut the invitations according to the desired shape. Just be sure that it follows your party’s summer theme.

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