Learn how to use your Cricut with these
6 amazing courses from Hey, Let’s Cut Stuff starting with a free basics course.
I volunteered for the Valentine’s Day party at my daughter’s preschool with one of the other mom’s. We decided to overtake the bulletin board and send home blank hearts with the kids a week before so they could write down what they loved best about their teacher and we could proudly showcase them on the board in the hallway. Other classes thought the idea was so cute they wanted to participate too, which meant we needed A LOT of blank hearts.
“No problem, I’ll make the hearts.” said the other mom.
Why on earth would she volunteer to cut out over 200 hearts by herself? That would take forever to do.
It turns out she had a cutting machine that did all the work for her. She cut out 200 perfectly symmetrical hearts in various colors with little effort on her part.
What was this machine I didn’t know about?
Panic and the Fear Of Missing Out washed over me. Now that I have kids and my life is engulfed in theirs, had a missed a new trend? A new must-have? My world now revolves around a 2-mile radius of my house, consisting of dropping the kids off at school and going to the
wine grocery store. What was this cutting machine I was missing out on having? I wanted one.
Guilty, I didn’t do much research and immediately went out to Michael’s, bought the Cricut Maker and claimed a small room downstairs in the basement as my craft room. (Apparently, my husband had his eye on that room for his ‘man cave’ but sorry, if you haven’t done anything with the room in 2 years it’s up for grabs, right?) So I now had a craft room and a brand new machine I had no idea how to use except for the cute card project that came in the box.
While I was looking for projects and resources on Pinterest, I stumbled across Cori George’s website/blog, Hey Let’s Make Stuff . Her blog is a great resource with ‘how to’ posts about anything and everything you would want to know about your cutting machine. I could spend hours on her site and I HAVE spent hours on her site.
The best part about Hey Let’s Make Stuff is the Hey, Let’s Cut Stuff Academy (formerly Cricut Academy). As I’m starting from the very beginning and knew very little about how to use my Cricut Maker, this set of 6 courses had exactly what I needed:
- Free Cricut Basics
- Cricut Design Space
- Cricut Extras (Do you need to buy all the other stuff?)
- Tools & Materials (This machine can do so much you’ll learn what tools to use with which material)
- Projects & Tutorials
- Adobe Illustrator (This is where I fell in love with designing)
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The Free Cricut Basics course has 9 lessons is an overview of the Cricut machine, Cricut Design Space (but don’t worry there’s another course on this one) and the tools/mats. At the end of the lessons, you’ll make your first project, a sweet Hello card, which includes designing from scratch in Cricut Design Space.
The flow and layout of the lessons are perfect for what I needed. As a busy mom, often times I only had a few minutes and I could easily get through a lesson or two or three. It’s so easy to get sucked in. Which is exactly why I went on to buy the bundles of courses. I had to learn more.
The Cricut Design Space course goes in depth on how to use Cricut’s Design Space which you need to learn in order to use your Cricut. I’m sure you could figure out how to use Design Space, it’s an intuitive program, but I didn’t want to waste time fumbling around trying to figure things out myself. This is the perfect course to go into the nitty-gritty on how to use Design Space.
The first few lessons you can go through pretty quickly as they walk you through the Main Menu of how to set up your machine (which you probably already did), the Design Panel of how to create/save/open projects (which again you probably already explored) and the Edit Tool Bar which follows the same rules of cut and paste as other programs. While most of the information I already knew, it never hurts to have a refresher and I still learned a few new things. Then the course gets fun with the Layers Panel, Fonts & the Text Edit Toolbar (I definitely needed to know how to use those icons at the bottom) and walks you through the Prepare & Make Screen. This is exactly what I needed and I learned so much in a quick amount of time.
The Cricut Extras course talks about three of the Cricut extras: EasyPress, Brightpad and the Cuttlebug. The lesson on the EasyPress is great. Cori walks you through the difference between using your home iron, the EasyPress or a commercial heat press. Needless to say, I went straight out and bought an EasyPress2 to make my first t-shirt project. Since I’m getting started using the Cricut, the Brightpad and Cuttlebug are a great overview of those products but I’m not there yet. Down the road, I’ll revisit these lessons if I feel like I need them. For now, the Easy Press is a great investment I use all the time.
The Tools & Materials course is the longest course but one of the most important. While I am eager to learn about the tools and materials, I want to know everything already. However, take the time to go through each of the lessons as there’s so much to learn in each one.
The first lesson is on the Cricut Materials. Wow, the Cricut can cut so many different types of materials, I’ll never get bored. Cori walks you through 18 of them. This is definitely going to be a course I have to come back to and retake as I work on projects with each of the different materials. I learned something in each of the lessons, like trying to cut tissue paper isn’t worth the hassle and you can paint chipboard but not balsa wood, who would know that?
The second lesson is on the Cricut Mats. It’s important to know which mat to use based on your materials or you could mess up your project. This lesson walks you through each of the mats, what materials you use on them and maintenance to ensure they last as long as possible.
The third lesson is on the Cricut Blades, so many to choose from. The Rotary Blade and the Knife Blade are two blades made only for the Cricut Maker. The Knife Blade lesson includes the top ten things you need to know about the Knife Blade before using it. These are tips and tricks straight from the Cricut team you’ll want to ensure you follow and reference every time you use the blade.
The fourth lesson is on the Cricut Scoring Tools. This is where I learned the difference between the scoring wheel and the scoring stylus. They serve the same purpose so there wasn’t a reason for me to buy both. Now I know how to tell Cricut which one I want to use if they suggest the other one and having the scoring stylus means I don’t have to switch the blade.
The fifth lesson is on the Cricut Writing Tools. I’ve only done a few projects that use the pen but excited to do more, including using the fabric pen. This machine can do so much.
The sixth lesson is on the Cricut Hand Tools. This is a great section and one I’ll go back to in the future. I don’t see the need to get these tools now but when the time comes Cori did a great job of comparing the different options and providing alternatives to the Cricut products. Definitely worth bookmarking so you can come back to this section when you want to buy tools in the future. I did end up buying the Rotary Cutting Kit and I use it ALL THE TIME. Even on projects not related to Cricut.
The seventh and last lesson in this course is on the Cricut Print Then Cut feature. I have to say this is one I’m going to have to play around with a bit. The Print Then Cut feature is still a little confusing to me but Cori talks about how she used this feature with Printable Vinyl and I’m going to try. The only concern is understanding if I have the right printer to be able to use this feature the right way. That’s something I wish she added to the lesson but perhaps in the future.
Wow, Cori did a ton of work to put together the Projects & Tutorials course to practice all the skills you learned in the other courses. Guilty, I have not taken each lesson because let’s be honest, it would require supplies and tools I don’t happen to have and don’t want to invest in right now. However, Cori has 12 amazing projects to complete from a Monogrammed Tote Bag to Wall Decals to Print then Cut Stickers.
Pick a few skills you’re interested in learning and start with those projects. The rest you can save for later when you’re ready to expand your knowledge base. You have lifetime access to these courses so you can always come back and trust me I come back.
The Adobe Illustrator course launched in January 2019. I’m not going to lie, the day I got the email it was available I took the course. This is THE BEST Adobe Illustrator course for those of you starting out and wanting to learn how to design your own files. Cori did an amazing job teaching you the basics in Adobe Illustrator. Yes, you can use Cricut Design Space to design files but if you want to design your own files, I highly recommend learning Adobe Illustrator. The quality and the additional features will set you apart from the rest. Plus you can impress your friends when you say you design your files in Adobe Illustrator.
In addition to taking the Adobe Illustrator course through Hey, Let’s Cut Stuff Academy, I also took the Illustrator CC 2019 MasterClass through Udemy which is absolutely amazing. If you loved Cori’s class and want to learn more I highly recommend this course which will bring your Adobe Illustrator knowledge to a whole new level. Martin Perhiniak, one of the world’s top 10 Adobe instructors teaches the course and this course is the real deal.
Overall, I can’t recommend these courses enough. Cori has done an amazing job. The lessons are conversational like she’s sitting there right next to you, sipping her coffee while she teaches you everything she knows. I love her tips and tricks throughout each of the lessons too; like what types of brands she likes to buy and where to buy them or links to her favorite blogs to buy bundles. These tips are incredibly helpful. Crafting is not a cheap hobby to have and I love having the inside scoop on where to get the best deals.
My world now revolves around my kids and my Cricut Maker!
If you’re starting out with your new Cricut please check out the Hey, Let’s Cut Stuff Academy, you won’t regret it.
Have you already taken one the Hey, Let’s Cut Stuff Academy courses? Tell me about your experience in the comments below.