Cricut Maker Set Up for Beginners

Step by step guide to Cricut Maker set up for beginners. Learn how to get the machine out of the box and get going with simple first projects.

Cricut maker and a few paper crafts on table

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.


The Cricut Maker is a very powerful machine but that big box can be so intimidating!

It is full of promises of an exciting new level in the craft journey, but all that tech and having to figure out the mats and the blades and materials can easily translate into procrastination to open that box.

I was really excited to be invited to join Cricut’s influencer program and I have wanted to play with the Cricut Maker for a long time!

And being a complete newbie to anything Cricut, I am going to walk you through exactly how to get the machine out of the box and set it up. Plus make my first project or three.

So, like I say with everything- if I can do it, you can do it too!

What Can a Cricut Maker Do?

The Cricut maker is a cutting machine that can cut, write or score hundreds of different materials.

Like which ones you ask? Here is a sampling –

  • Paper of course! – various thicknesses and types!
  • Chipboard
  • Vinyl
  • Fabric
  • Basswood (you know I am the most excited about this one!!!)
  • Leather (yes!!)
  • The list goes on and on!

So, yes, the possibilities are endless – from scrapbooking, cards, designing t-shirts, leather bracelets, wall decals, window clings, Christmas ornaments, personalized pillows… the list is endless!

Now that we have established we all need the Cricut Maker in our lives, here is how to get that Cricut maker out of the box and put it to work!

Pssstt: Here is a sneak peek of the projects I made the first day-

close up of paper flower and luminary made usig Cricut

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What All Comes With a Cricut Maker?

The Cricut maker comes with basic supplies to get you started right away.

  • The Cricut Maker machine (of course!)
  • 12″x12″ FabricGrip Mat
  • 12″x12″ LightGrip Mat
  • Premium Fine Point Blade + Housing
  • Fine Point Pen
  • Rotary Blade + Drive Housing
  • Welcome book
  • USB cable
  • Power adapter
  • Cricut Access free trial membership ( you do have to enter your credit card information to access this)
  • Materials for your first project

In addition to the above, you also need a computer, tablet or mobile device that is connected to the internet

How to Set up a New Cricut Maker

What I absolutely loved about the setup process was that everything walks you through step by step.

Step 1: Open the Box

As soon as you open the box, you are greeted with a box that tells you exactly what to do!

Inside view of the Cricut box

I like how everything is labeled and all you have to do is follow the instructions step by step.

All the items inside the Cricut maker box


Step 2: Turn on the Machine

Here is basically what you do –

  1. Connect the machine to power and power it up.
  2. Connect the machine to a computer with the cable provided.
  3. Go to and follow onscreen directions. It walks you through every click.
  4. You have to create a Cricut Design Space account along the way. You can start with a free account or start the free trial.
Cricut machine set up page

Step 3: Try Your First Project

The machine came with materials for a first project – a cute card and I love this idea to get you going right away!

How do you make the first project on Cricut Maker?

The system automatically walks you through every step of the way to show you how to load the pen, switching blades, how to add paper to the mat, what options to choose and basically gives you the lay of the land of the Cricut Design Space.

How to start your first project in Cricut Maker

The project is made of 2 basic parts –

  • Loading the pen and printing and cutting card stock
  • Switching out the blade to a rotary blade and cut fabric
Cricut machine cutting cardstock

It even gives you little tips along the way like pulling the mat from the card stock instead of the card stock from the mat to prevent curling.

Pulling away mat from cards tock cut by Cricut

It ends with a simple and cute card!

Simple Smile card in front of Cricut Maker machine


My Second Circut Project –

When I started exploring Cricut Design space projects, the first ones that showed up were these pretty luminaries.

Given that Diwali is coming up real soon, I just had to make them!

I got a scoring stylus and used it along with the fine point blade that came with the Cricut Maker.

It was a pretty intricate pattern but was so fun to watch it emerge! I did have to be extra careful when I took it off the mat though!

RELATED: How to Use Basic Cricut Tools

Paper cut on the cricut maker to make DIwali luminaries

A little bit of hot glue and here it is – SO pretty! I think I need to make a few more of these!

DIY Diwali luminary made on the Cricut on table with other traditional decor


Oh, and I also made that flower 🙂

Safe to say I can’t stop thinking about all the projects I can make!

Wait till I start using the knife blade with the balsa wood!! 🙂

How Long Does It Take To Set Up Cricut Maker?

Not long at all! I got all of the above done in under 90 minutes!

Really, the setup was only about 15-20 minutes – that too because I was taking pictures along the way. And the 90 minutes also includes making that luminary!

  • Set up was about 15-20 minutes
  • Doing the first project – 30 minutes including waiting for the machine to do its thing.
  • Making the luminary – about 30 minutes.

So there it is guys!

A total newbie’s look at setting up and using a Cricut Maker for the first time – actually any Cricut or cutting machine for that matter.

What will you make first with a Cricut Maker?


READ NEXT What is design space and how does it work?

More Questions About the Cricut Maker?

  • How much does it cost?
  • What materials do you need?

Get answers to these and many more FAQs here.

Some awesome resources for getting to know more about the Cricut machine and project ideas –

Anika's goal is to inspire and empower beginners with woodworking, DIY, home improvement, and home decor ideas.
She wants everyone to unlock their creative potential and experience the feeling that comes with making something. Nothing feels better better than seeing something and saying "I can make that!"

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