Come and learn about my favorite tools for using a Cricut or Cameo machine!

 Come and learn about my favorite tools for using a Cricut or Cameo machine!  

Hello!  I decided it would be a great idea to show you the tools I use for my Cameo and Cricut machines.  I really enjoy using these machines and both brands are really great machines.

I've tested branded items and the off brand items and these are my favorites!

We are going over the following categories:

  • Weeding & Vinyl
    • Pin Pen Tool
    • Tweezers
    • Dental Tools
    • Scrap holder
    • Brayer
    • Scraper
    • Spatula
    • Cricut True Control Knife
  • Cutting mats
    • Cricut
    • Silhouette
    • Off-Brand (Monicut HTVront Nicapa)
    • Dollar Tree Mat
  • Heat Presses
    • Cricut Hat Press
    • Cricut Mug Press
    • Cricut Press Mini
    • Cricut Easy Press 2 (9x9)
    • Cricut Easy Press 2 (12x10)
    • Fancier Studio 15x15 Digital Heat Press
  • Cricut Joy Specific Tools
    • Crafters Square adhesive cutting mat 4.5x6.5 in
    • Crafters Square insert cards
  • Transfer Tape
    • Dollar Tree Contact Paper
    • Amazon JandJpackaging transfer tape
It can get super confusing when you are starting up and I am sure there are better tools and brands out there but these are the ones that have worked for me over time.

Weeding and Vinyl

1. Pin Pen tool-  This looks like a pen includes a retractable needle in the end of the pen so that you can weed out excess vinyl.  I like this tool because it grabs the vinyl up really easily and has a super sharp and small tip to get into those tiny areas.  You can buy this on Amazon or you can simply make your own with a needle and retractable pencil.  This one was bought on Amazon and is glittery and pretty.

2. Tweezers- I have 2 that I often grab.  I bought them on Amazon and they didn't have a brand.  The most important thing is you want a sharp pointed tip.  This allows you to punch into the vinyl and grab a bit of the vinyl and it will lift right off.  The pink tweezers are my go to but I use the black ones when I need to do more of a scrape motion.  If you are buying one, buy the pink, straight, sharp, pointed tweezers, they are a must have.

3.  Dental Tools- If you have a Harbor Freight near you, you can grab a set of these for under a few dollars.  They are great for starting up and are very sharp.  

4. Scrap holder- I found this at the dollar tree for 1.25 and it helps me scrape off my scraps as I'm weeding a project.  I also use my hand but this is easier and it keeps me from getting those little bits stuck to my project.  This one also suctions to the table so it doesn't fall all over the place.

5.  Brayer- This is something I did not use for the longest time.  It's used after placing your vinyl on the mat to adhere it better.  I used to just use my hands but I have found using a brayer works so much better.  You do not need a Cricut branded brayer.  I used any old brayer I had laying around but ended up buying on Amazon an off brand named Realike.  It is similar to the Cricut brand and seems to work equally as great.  I like the softer rubber roller than the typical ink brayers and it helps keep your substrate on the mat so that it doesn't move around while the machine is cutting.  

6. Scraper- I use this when adhering the transfer tape to an image I have cut as well as adhering the vinyl to an item.  You can use an old credit card, or really any scraper but I have found the Cricut branded scrapers have a softer plastic and tend to not scratch the vinyl or item.  The Cricut scraper below is the Cricut XL Scraper and its my favorite tool.  You can really press hard and it doesn't damage the vinyl or transfer tape.  The smaller one is a dollar tree scraper and it works great but isn't as soft as the Cricut scraper.  It still works great and I recommend the dollar tree scraper as well.

7.  Spatula- This is used to help you get your paper or other substrate off of a very sticky mat.  I bought this one from the dollar tree and it works just fine.  I will caution you that the dollar tree variety isn't made well and will bend and break.  

8. Cricut True Control Blade- This thing is so awesome.  It is really, really, really, sharp though so don't drop it on your foot (from experience).  I have a few different knives like this one and this one by far cuts smoothest.  It comes with extra blades and don't lose that cover, you need it!

Cutting Mats

Cutting matts are my go to.  I know with my Cameo and Joy I can cut without a mat and do often but I prefer cutting with a mat.  In my experience it cuts nicer and deeper if I have that extra support of a mat.  I have found that off brand mats work fine.  If you have a hobby lobby near you, their brand is great, and on Amazon I have found that the Monicut, HTVront, Nicapa, brands work great too and I have been using them for a long time.  I also found that the Dollar Tree carries the cricut joy size mats and they work good on the Cricut Joy!  There are so many options but I really do not have a favorite brand.  Just be sure you are buying the right mat for the correct machine.

Heat Presses

1.  Cricut Hat Press-This works great for hats.  You can use sublimation or vinyl with this press.  You simply use the hat form, tape on your vinyl or sublimation image and it transfers the image to the hat.  I have found that Cricut hats are really nice quality.  You can get sublimation hats on Amazon but I wasn't impressed with the quality and some were dirty.  I am sure there are brands that are better than others.

2.  Cricut Mug Press- I have only used sublimation with the mug press but it works perfectly.  I highly recommend it for mugs.  Its simple, and it works perfectly every time.  You would either need a sublimation printer, sublimation image printed out from someone, or some Infusable Ink made by Cricut to use this machine.  If you are looking to convert an Epson printer to use Sublimation ink, check out my other blogs.

3.  Cricut Press Mini- This is a very small little tiny iron look a like but it works way better than an iron.  It has 3 settings and I even used it for sublimation!  If you are using this for sublimation, make sure to move it around a lot so that you are not sitting in once place too long as it can create a line or uneven results.  I use it for small vinyl projects that I am not washing.  Some people have used it for t-shirts but I do not recommend the Cricut presses for them.  I don't feel they provide enough pressure to get it to adhere enough so that it doesn't come off in the wash.  With this said, I have a large industrial type heat press that I use for T-shirts.  Some people may use these for things like baby onesies and have no problems.  I just cannot confirm or deny that it would work for apparel that you plan on washing in a washing machine.

4.  Cricut Easy Press 2 (9x9)- This can be used for sublimation and that is almost all I use it for.  The size is perfect!  I use this one more than any other sized Cricut press.  If you are buying a Cricut press due to space, I would recommend this size.

5.  Cricut Easy Press 2 (12x10)-  This one also can be used for sublimation and is larger than the rest.  Its heavier too, so I typically use the 9x9.  If you are using the Cricut presses for larger items, I would recommend this one.  I don't love moving the larger presses around on sublimation.  You risk getting a line in your transfer if it sits too long in one spot then you move it.  For vinyl its fine to keep it in place longer then move, you won't typically get a line.

6.  Fancier Studio 15x15 inch Digital Heat Press-  I bought this press in 2018 and it still works great.   If you have room for a large more industrial heat press, this is the route you should go.  It retails for around 190.00 and is available on Amazon.  I did buy the warranty for a couple years but It was not needed.  It can sublimate and I've never had any issues with vinyl.  It heats up the room and it is super heavy so you won't want to move it around.  I bought a wheeled cart from Harbor Freight but I still do not move it around.  Its a powerhouse and I love it, I highly recommend it, and if I were buying one press, this is the press I would buy.

Cricut Joy Specific Tools

1.  Crafters Square adhesive cutting mat 4.5x6.5 in- As mentioned above you can get this at Dollar Tree and they actually carry a variety of vinyl rolls there too.  I don't recommend Dollar Tree's vinyl rolls as they are pretty thin and hard to work with but they are still there and can be used.

2.  Crafters Square insert cards-  These are very similar to the insert card kits that Cricut sells but are half the price.  Each set comes with 4 envelopes, cards, and inserts.  Cricut has a lot of different colors and styles to choose from but in a pinch the Dollar Tree card kits work just fine.  I was so excited to find these that I took a pic at the store before I even purchased them!

Transfer Tape

1.  Dollar Tree contact paper-I have used this for years and it works well and it isn't very sticky.  Not being very sticky means that your vinyl is transferred pretty well onto your item.  This comes in a roll and is located with the colored contact paper section.  In a pinch it works great and I always have a few rolls on hand.  Now that Dollar Tree is 1.25, it doesn't really save as much money as it used to and I love option 2.

2.  Amazon JandJpacking transfer tape, you can find it by clicking here.  My sister in law uses this brand and I have fell in love with it!  Its a 50 foot roll and is inexpensive.  It works so well and I use the same pc over and over and over.  The grid is over the entire role and helps when trying to cut it straight.  Buy this!

There are so many ways to use your cutting machines and so many cheaper products that perform well.  I hope this helps you get on your cutting journey and helps provide some great tools.  

Do you have any other favorite tools or supplies?  Comment and let me know!  I am always looking for an easier way to make fun things.

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