Cricut Basics: The Setup


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Article Courtesy by Heidi Anne Giebel

Here are some basic tips and tricks to help you get started with your Cricut Personal Die Cutter or your Cricut Expression.

Getting Started:

When you open the box for your Cricut you will find two cords; I’ll call them cord #1 and cord #2.

Cord #2 fits into cord #1.

Then cord #1 plugs into the back of your Cricut and cord #2 plugs into the electric socket in your power source.

Once you’ve plugged your Cricut in, open up your cartridge box. You will find a manual, a cartridge and a keypad overlay. Place your keypad overlay on the Cricut keypad and insert the cartridge into the machine at the bottom right (as shown below). Then turn your machine on.

Tip: it is recommended to turn your machine off when you are removing or inserting a cartridge.

The Cutting Mat:

The cutting mats are sold in sets of two. If you keep your cutting mat clean and store it properly it can last a long time.

The first thing I do when I get a new mat is to write the word UP and the date on the plastic overlay with a permanent Sharpie marker. This way I will always be able to replace my plastic overlay so that it faces the correct way.

Tip: I have found that if I replace my plastic overlay upside down, it sticks to the mat and pulls pieces of the adhesive off with it the next time I remove it.

The cutting mat can be inserted into the Cricut machine two ways; these are labeled with arrows on either end of the cutting mat.

I clean my cutting mat after every use. A baby wet wipe works the best. Rub the wet wipe all over the surface of the cutting mat, rubbing harder to get off any dirt or paper residue. Let your mat sit for a few minutes to dry off and then replace the clear plastic overlay.

Next time we’ll look at the buttons on the keypad and how to use them.


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How do I install ink cartridges, i can't fit it in the needle holder.