5 Simple Ways I use my Cricut Joy

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Cricut for Cricut. All opinions are 100% mine.

2020. What a year, amiright? I would never have known with I received the new Cricut Joy from Cricut back in March that I would a) be about to take on an extended summer with my kids home for what felt like 1 million days and b) have so many ways to use the Cricut Joy in my daily life.

I have previously used a Cricut Explore Air 2 and was curious to see how easy it really was to use the Cricut Joy in comparison to my Cricut Explore Air 2. Well, since I’ve received the Cricut Joy, it has become my go-to machine. It is so easy to use, portable, set up is easy, mats are optional thanks to smart materials…. I could go on and on. I love that I can ask one of my children to go upstairs and get my Cricut Joy in its cute little tote bag and not have to worry about it being too heavy or cumbersome for them to carry for me.

I would love to share with you today 5 little ways that I have used Cricut Joy throughout my day to day life, especially with Covid going on.

1) Make and send cards. We did this for family members in March and April, Teachers in May, birthdays for friends. My boys have loved playing around with the card options in Cricut Design Space and finding new things they can make and send out.

2) Car Stickers. My husband and I go through phases of wanting to redo our car sticker situation…. I don’t know exactly why, but I like to change things up. I uploaded my favorite band’s logo to Cricut Design Space, with the help of my husband, and made myself a fun, new Weezer sticker for my car. As always, when you are doing things with a specific logo, make sure you are only using it for personal use and not for profit.

3) Labeling buckets. I already said 2020 was a weird year, but we have upped our storage of commonly used items not knowing what the future holds. For us, we go through a lot of flour, sugar, and our favorite smoker wood pellets. This was a fast, easy project that I made using Cricut free fonts and labeled my buckets according to what is inside of them. This project took MINUTES and only required smart permanent vinyl, transfer tape, and time!

4) Label my quilting rulers. This one might seem silly not knowing when I will be sewing with friends again, but I really wanted to label my quilt rulers. Some of these rulers are super pricey and I would hate to have one walk off unintentionally. I searched for “Tulip” in Cricut Design Space. When I did that, I found a free “Window Cling Flower Box” project. Through the “customize” feature, I got rid of everything except a cute little tulip and added a “J” to the center of each tulip. I cut these out on permanent smart vinyl and adhered them to my quilting rulers.

5) Water Bottle Labels. Our elementary school has asked that each child brings a refillable water bottle to school each day. I have heard similar things from different friends and family throughout the country. In order to make sure my kids know which bottle is theirs, I used a Free Cricut font and made BIG letters. My oldest wanted his initials and my kindergartener wanted his name so it was something he was familiar with.

Each of these projects were easy to make using my Cricut Joy in 5 minutes or less. I loooooove organizing my house just a bit and making things personalized as well. Cricut Joy is available for purchase online and in-store (I’ve even seen it at Target!). If you are considering a Cricut and don’t currently have one, I highly recommend the Cricut Joy as an easy, everyday machine.

Spread a little Joy with Cricut Joy Insert Cards

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Cricut. All opinions are 100% mine.

This is such a weird, weird time in our lives right now. Many of us are feeling isolated, at home with family, some are alone. Life feels a bit overwhelming if we let it. It’s hard to get out of my own way and help others at times. I am so excited to share a fun project I made on my Cricut Joy with you today.

Cricut Joy is the newest (and smallest!) addition to the Cricut machine family. It is amazing what such a small machine can do! My family and I have had a fun time playing with it and doing different things over the past month. Today I’m going to share with you how to make a complex looking card which is actually quite simple, thanks to the Cricut Joy. Here’s what you’ll need:

Cricut Joy

Cricut Joy Card Mat

Cricut Joy Insert Cards, Princess Sampler

Cricut Joy Metallic Markers

Cricut Joy Starter Tool Set (if you have tools from a different Cricut machine, those will work just great)

Cricut Joy Tote (this is obviously optional, but it is SO wonderful for storing your Cricut Joy!)

To begin, you’ll need to set up your Cricut Joy and link it to your phone or iPad or tablet or computer via Bluetooth. This is extremely easy and Cricut has done a great job of including instructions on how to do that with the actual Cricut Joy packaging. You will also want to make sure you have downloaded Cricut Design Space, which is where you will find Cricut Joy insert card ideas and files for cutting.

Once in Cricut Design Space, you will want to filter the results in alllllll of Cricut Design Space to just those for “Cricut Joy Insert Cards” as shown in this screenshot.

I chose to make 3 different cards which I sent to 3 different people on the frontlines of this COVID-19 fight. For my NP neighbor, I made the “Hearts Rising” card. For my paramedic/firefighter neighbor, I made the “Out of this World”card. For my dear police officer friend, I made the “You Are My Hero” card. All 3 were incredibly easy to cut out and make. If you haven’t made any cards on the Cricut Joy yet, I recommend reading this awesome how-to created by the folks at Cricut to show you the process.

Remove the film on the Cricut Joy Card Mat, then place insert the plastic in between the two layers of your card. Push down on the front of the card so it adheres to the sticky part of the plastic. 🙂

For this demo, I made the “You Are My Hero” card. Choose that file in Cricut Design Space, and click “Make It” in the lower right hand corner. You will then be prompted to make the card, which does require you to start off with a Cricut Joy maker in the housing. I used a black marker, but a metallic marker would make this card stand out even more!

Once the machine is done drawing the outlines of all of the letters, it will prompt you to change out the marker and insert the blade. From there, the Cricut Joy will take over and cut this awesome card out for you. Use your tools to carefully weed all of the excess cardstock and then remove the card from the cutting mat.

Now comes the fun part! Insert the holographic piece behind the cutout, write your message inside, and voila! We are hooked on making card with the Cricut Joy. My boys picked out family members and sent them cards. You could send card to a nursing home nearby and thank the staff for their work. You could send a card to anyone. We all need a little Joy in our lives right now and sending a card can be that pick-me-up someone needs!

Making a Quilted Pillow with Cricut Explore Air 2

I am excited to share a fun experiment gone right with you today. I was invited to participate in The Fat Quarter Shop’s Pillow Fight (I outlined what that means and all about the amazing book HERE) and thought this would be a fun time to experiment with my Cricut Explore Air 2.

Because I wanted to cut out circles from fabric, but I wanted extreme control over where the fabric was cut, I decided that using freezer paper would be my best option to get the results I was desiring. Did you know you can cut out freezer paper using your Cricut Explore Air 2? I sure did not.

To begin, make sure you have freezer paper. I found the cheapest place to get this is at the grocery store. Shocker there. 🙂

Cut the freezer paper down to the size of your Cricut light grip mat. I used a 12″ x 24″ mat, so I cut my freezer paper down to 12″ x 24″ using my rotary cutter that has been deemed my “paper” rotary cutter. Adhere it to the mat with the shiny side DOWN. Work in Cricut Design Space to prep whatever shape you are wanting to cut out (for me it was circles).

When you go to cut out your freezer paper shapes, turn the Smart Set Dial to “custom”. You will then need to search the custom materials until you find parchment paper. That will cut your freezer paper perfectly!

If you are using freezer paper to center on a fussy cut section of fabric, simply heat your iron up, and press it shiny side down onto the RIGHT side of the fabric. Good news. If you mess up a bit, you can lift it off and readhere it using your iron. Freezer paper is the best!

But wait, there’s more!!! You can also use your Cricut Explore Air 2 on the exact same settings to cut Heat ‘n’ Bond Lite!!! I cut out the circles I needed for my fabric fussy cuts using the same process outlined above (just make sure the paper side goes onto the sticky side of the Cricut mat)

I loved this experiment and I am so glad it worked out in my favor! If you are interested in making a pillow of your own, be sure to grab Edyta Sitar’s book Pillow Talk from The Fat Quarter Shop HERE!