Beginner Guide: Setting Up Your Cricut Maker 3 and First Project

Getting Started with Cricut Maker 3

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Cricut beginners guide Pinterest pin. Features an image of a Cricut tool kit, "you got this" decal, and a Cricut Maker 3 Cutting Machine.

Cricut Beginner Guide: Setting Up Your Cricut Maker 3 and First Project

If you are here, I think it is safe to assume that you have just gotten a new Cricut machine OR like me, you have finally decided to open yours after it has been sitting in the box staring at you. Either way, congratulations on making that first step and welcome to the Cricut community! :) Throughout this little beginner series, I am going to take you along on my journey on learning how to use my Cricut Maker 3. Let's get started! 


1) First things first, let's get that machine out of the box and plug it in. Included in the box is a few samples of material, which we will use later, so keep them handy!

Cricut Maker 3 Cutting Machine on desk

2) Now, let's set that machine up! First, download Cricut Design Space onto your device. 

3) Now that it is downloaded, let's set up the machine. It will have you create an account and then ask what machine you would like to set up. In my case, I was setting up a Maker 3. It will then prompt you to make sure your machine is plugged in and that Bluetooth needs to be on. I set my machine up on my phone, so it popped up on my phone to connect the Maker to Bluetooth. For some reason I had a TON of issues trying to connect my machine. During the set-up/update of the machine it kept disconnecting from Bluetooth, so I had to keep going back into my settings and re-connecting it. After almost giving up a few times I finally go it to stay connected (keep pushing through, it'll be worth it!!). 

4) Now that your machine is set up, we are ready to do our first project! Design space gives you a few projects that you can choose to do right away or you can pick your own. For the sake of learning and not trying to overwhelm myself, I picked one of the pre-made design options. Once I selected my design it walked my through making sure my machine was ready to cut.

Test cut images on Cricut Design Space. There are four options to choose from and each option cuts out either three or four decals. I chose the option that has "Cricut" written in a circle with stars, a "create" decal, and a "you got this" decal

Remember when I talked about those material samples? Here is where they come into play! I grabbed the sample of Smart Vinyl (which can be used without a mat) and loaded it into my machine. Once it is in position the load button will be flashing and then you click that button on the machine. The machine then calibrates itself to the material and once it is done, the start button will flash signaling that it is ready to go. Design space will allow you to select what material you are using and in this case I selected Smart Vinyl. The machine will do its thing and soon enough you will have your cut decals!!

Cricut Maker 3 Machine and included supplies (Smart Vinyl, Cardstock, Iron-on Vinyl and Transfer Tape

5) Next we will weed our project and transfer it! Weeding took way longer than I expected. The pre-made design was three different decals, so I definitely got some practice with weeding. I did figure out that I was weeding the wrong things, so I would have your design pulled up to make sure you are weeding the correct parts!

Applying transfer tape to the Smart Vinyl Decal

I have no idea why, but I stared at my transfer tape for a good five minutes trying to figure out how to apply it to my design. I first cut a piece of transfer tape to the size of my design. Pro tip: if you are struggling to remove the transfer tape, use your weeding tool to help lift it up. Don't make the mistakes I made and put the transfer tape right on all of the vinyl because it isn't so easy to remove. I then decided to weed the background vinyl and try the transfer tape that way, but the background was still in the way. Eventually, I had the lightbulb moment to cut out the design and remove the background vinyl and then put my transfer tape over my design. Once I did that it was smooth sailing. I used the transfer tape to lift my decal and add it to a notebook all in one piece. 



@craft.e.corner Are you new to Cricut or have you been staring at your unopened Cricut for months because you are nervous to start like me?! Let’s set it up and do our first project together! 🤩 Mistakes are okay, the first step is the hardest part! #cricut #cricutprojects #crictok #cricutmaker3 #cricutmade #createwithcec #smallbusiness #smallbusinesslove @cricut ♬ Aesthetic - Tollan Kim



Woo, that wasn't so bad now was it? I hope you are as ready as I am to dive into more projects! The next part of this series will be how to layer vinyl, so stay tuned for that. In the mean time, feel free to check out some of our other blogs or our YouTube channel for more how-to's and other tips. 

Don't forget that it is okay to make mistakes. Start simple and have fun, you got this! :)



Check out these other blogs for more inspiration and other tips!

1. Cricut Newbie Tips and Tricks Series: All About Materials

Learn the difference between materials and learn what is best for your next project!

2. New! Heat Activated Color Changing Vinyl // Cool Mom Mug

Want to add vinyl to a cup? Check out this blog for a how-to. Plus, Cricut Color-Change vinyl adds such a fun touch to this project!

3. Bridal Shower Welcome Sign with Cricut Vinyl

Wood signs are a perfect beginner project! Learn how to add vinyl to a wood sign, good for any occasion! 

 Cricut Getting Started for Beginners Pinterest Pin. Features "you got this" decal, Cricut tool kit and mats, and Cricut Cutting Machines including the Cricut Maker 3, Cricut Joy, and Cricut Explore 3


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