One minute review
Cricut machines are the Thermomix of the crafting world – a status symbol with a cult-like following, and the love for Cricut is justified. Cricut machines used to be only bulky and expensive, but the Cricut Joy offers even more options for the cunning types, and is the perfect machine if you’re short on space and money.
Think of Cricut as a plotting machine that can cut and draw. It works minimally on card, vinyl and iron-on transfers. Attach knives or markers to the Cricut Joy and it will cut or draw accurately on these materials.
The Cricut Joy weighs less than 2kg and you can pick it up with one hand so you can really carry it with you. And the only cable you need is the power cable thanks to Bluetooth connectivity (which thankfully isn’t a problem when pairing your device).
The design is simple and sleek, so it will look great when you’re shooting photos and videos for your Instagram or TikTok followers. When it’s running, it’s a little louder than you’d expect, but no louder than the average inkjet printer.
A word of caution, though: your Cricut crafting can turn into an addiction quite easily. You get STS (Shiny Tool Syndrome) and SMS (Shiny Material Syndrome) and get addicted to tutorials on Instagram and TikTok. RIP your credit card and phone battery.
Cricut Joy price and availability
- Announced March 2020
- MSRP of $179/£179/AU$249
The latest machine to join the Cricut ranks is the company’s smallest and most affordable, bringing joy to crafters around the world.
The Cricut Joy is on sale at most major craft stores and online retailers, setting you back $179 / £179 / AU$249. This price includes not only the machine itself, but also a carrying case, a cutting blade, a fine-tipped pen, a grip mat and some material to get you started.
The ongoing costs of making materials must be considered, which vary in price depending on what you are looking for. Please note that you cannot use vinyl or paper available for crafting in the store – you must purchase the material made specifically for the Cricut Joy.
Cricut Joy: What Can You Make?
The great thing about this machine is that you can make completely customized gifts, for yourself or a loved one, or make a little money on Etsy.
You can at least make customization
- greeting cards, bookmarks, streamers, party decorations
- labels for containers in your fridge and pantry, in offices and in classrooms
- mugs, glassware, reusable bottles and cups
- wall, mirror and car stickers
- clothes and carrier bags
If you have a few hours to waste, Pinterest is the mecca of Cricut project ideas.
Cricut Joy: Design
- Smallest Cricut machine yet
- Sleek design
- Comes with carrying bag
Cricut Joy is the smaller sibling of the original Cricut machines, giving it some limitations; it can only cut thinner materials and only on materials up to 11.4 cm wide. That said, you can still create a decent amount with the Cricut Joy.
The design of the machine is simple and sleek, and although the body is plastic, the Cricut Joy feels sturdy enough when you handle it. The teal clamp that holds the blade is easy to find and release, so switching to pens or a new blade is a breeze.
The guides make it easy to place the materials in the machine and the rollers automatically move the material in the Joy. By using the ‘smart’ Cricut materials, the machine can ‘read’ the material and make sure it has enough to do the job.
When you need to pack, it’s easy to unplug the power cord and remove the gear from view.
Cricut Joy: Setup and Ease of Use
- Requires Cricut Smart materials
- Easy to set up and use
- Cricut Design Space app needed
The Cricut Joy comes with one blade and one fine-tipped black pen, so all you need to do is buy supplies to run through the machine and some transfer tape.
There are plenty of material types and many multi-packs if you’re not sure which colors to try. That said, when looking at materials to buy, make sure you look at the Cricut’s ‘smart’ materials as these are the only ones that will work in (and fit into the small dimensions of) the Cricut Joy . Cricut Smart materials include:
- Permanent and removable vinyl (including gloss, glitter, translucent and holographic colors)
- Pre-folded cards and insert cards
- Writable labels and paper
- Iron on (includes gloss, glitter and holographic colors)
Transfer tape is what you need to get your cut out design onto the finished product. It’s like clear contact.
There are a myriad of other accessories and consumables you can buy, but keep in mind that your credit card can really take a beating here.
Setup is pretty simple: connect to your device via Bluetooth and install the Cricut Design Space app which is available for iOS, Android, and desktop.
It may take some brainpower to make your design the way you want it to be cut. Do some trial cuts until you get the hang of it, or be prepared to run out of your favorite materials before completing a project.
If you’re familiar with vectors and SVG files, you can also import them into the app and let the machine do its job.
Should I buy the Cricut Joy?
If you’re up for trying something new with your crafting, you can’t go wrong with the Cricut Joy. Before you know it, you’ll be showing your creations to your friends and family and maybe even earn some pocket money.