The Cricut Joy machine is compact and portable crafting machine that allows crafters of all levels make on the go quickly and easily. This post will share with you all of the unique features of Cricut Joy, how it’s different from the other cutting machines on the market, and what to consider before buying a Cricut Joy.
If you ever wanted a portable and affordable cutting machine, the Cricut Joy is going to be a machine you are going to absolutely love. The Cricut Joy machine is a brand new product that’s going to revolutionize the way crafters of all levels in making home decor, shirts, labels, and especially custom greeting cards! It is perfect for crafters who do not have a dedicated crafting space.
In exchange for its small size and portability, you won’t be able to change out the blade and are limited to materials that the blade can support, which I’ll explain below.
This new cutting machine is the perfect companion for any crafter (or someone who doesn’t know they’re a crafter yet). Cricut Joy provides quick, seamless projects because of its smart materials (matless that come in rolls up to 20 feet!), introduction of new card kits, and new card mats. The small size of the machine makes it perfect to leave on a kitchen counter or on a desk.
Did you forget to make your kid a card for Teacher Appreciation Day or a birthday card for a friend? No problem! With Cricut Joy, you can have a beautiful and personalized card in a matter of minutes.
What is a Cricut Joy Machine?
The Cricut Joy is Cricut’s latest craft cutting machine that boasts powerful features in a small, yet mighty design.
If you have a current cutting machine, if you have ever tried to lug your machine up or down the stairs or even into a new room on the same floor, you realize it is no easy feat. In some cases, you just wish for the ability to port the machine in a different room for various reasons such as:
- Crafting with your family in a bigger space
- Being able to port it for a fun project with a group at work or school
- Having a machine dedicated for a particular room that you could use a machine in
The Cricut Joy solves the problem of portability and so much more. Daily, practical personalization projects have never been easier with this portable cutting machine.
Not only is this machine intuitive, the design of this machine is so thoughtful, making crafting and producing a craft less time than ever before. Provo Craft, the company behind the expansive Cricut line, has seemingly taken a nod from how Apple works by designing their product line around the people that use them and making easier than ever before to choose the right materials with the right machines to do the job.
Who is the Cricut Joy Machine for?
The Cricut Joy is for anyone from experienced crafters all the way to hobby dabblers. While it seems like it covers everyone, there are two blended audiences that the Cricut Joy can be marketed to.
It’s for newbies to craft cutting machines that don’t want to fork over three benjamins for a craft cutting machine that they don’t know whether they’ll use or not. With the intuitiveness, buttonless features that it boasts along with not needing a mat, this is a great way for beginners to get used to a machine.
For crafters who are experienced in scrapbooking, t-shirt making, or general crafters that do it often, this machine can be seen as a companion machine along with their workhorse of the Cricut Explore Air 2, Cricut Maker, or Silhouette Cameo that they may already have at home.
This machine provides the portability that their current machine doesn’t offer, such as easy labeling capabilities, and the ease at which you can make a greeting card.
The Cricut Joy has been intentionally designed and made for those that need to craft on the go as well as being a beginner die cutting machine for new enthusiasts.
Cricut Line Up of Machines and Where Cricut Joy Fits
For those that aren’t familiar with the products, the Cricut line of craft die cutters make it easy for crafters and makers to cut and draw shapes, pictures, and text on various types of materials like card stock, vinyl, foam, felt, leather, fabric, and so much more.
Currently, there are three machines from Cricut in this family:
- Cricut Joy – Entry machine that provides portability
- Cricut Explore Air 2 – Mid-grade machine that does 80% of what crafters need
- Cricut Maker – Cuts thicker materials and has more features
Cricut Joy Best Features (not found in the other machines)
I want to list out the Cricut Joy’s best features as compared to the other three most popular machines on the market today: Cricut Explore Air 2, Cricut Maker, and Silhouette Cameo. Here are some of the things you’ll find different that Cricut Joy provides that makes it a big differentiator on the market today.
This is the most obvious feature. The Cricut Joy is 75% smaller than the other machines and weighs less than four pounds. At 5" by 8" in size, this means that you can take it with you wherever and whenever you feel like labeling or crafting.
Because it is smaller, the width size that it can cut is limited. You can cut images up to 4.5" in width. However, you can also do continuous cutting for up to 20' long. Yes, FEET.
In addition, you can repeat patterns for up to 20' as well. Simply incredible.
And for those wondering where you would buy 20' long rolls of material, along with the launch of the Cricut Joy, they are launching a line of new material which includes rolls up to 20' in various colors. (Kind of like how Apple introduces new accessories when they introduce a new port. Smart business move, Provo Craft.)
Greeting Card Making Is Easy with Card Mats
With the Cricut Joy, you can make meaningful, customized greeting cards in no time. Greeting card making is easier than ever because they have also introduced card mats that only allow the top layer of the card to run through.
Label Making Is Way Easier
Before with current machines, you would have to make sure that your machine lined up the right way, you designed your outline and pushed in the mat perfectly so that the machine could get the labels just right.
However, with the Cricut Joy, you can make labels precisely with this machine along with the new materials they are coming out with.
Cricut also launched a new set of marker and label sets where you can write on vinyl labels with no smudging or fear that the marker will rub off.
Cutting Mats No Longer Required
Cricut Joy also introduced a new line up of brand new materials that are categorized as "Smart Material" technology that allows you to feed the material straight into the machine without a cutting mat.
Remember: It also comes in extended sizes up to 20 feet long where you can cut them CONTINUOUSLY.
If you plan on using existing vinyl, those will obviously need a mat and you'll need to buy a different mat size to fit the machine.
Buttonless Setup with Automatic Feeding
And taking a nod from Apple's amazing design, Cricut has done away with buttons. The only thing you'll be interacting with is the tool housing and the opening enclosure. Everything is setup via bluetooth. No longer will you need to go into Design Space and set the settings, then go to the machine and hit the button to start (which I think is kind of annoying), the machine will sense all of this and automatically feed the material into the machine.
You will only need to click the button ONCE. Simply incredible, this is what I call listening to your customers.
Pros and Cons of the Cricut Joy
I wanted to be transparent with you on all the things a Cricut Joy can and cannot do.
Benefits of Cricut Joy
At a compact size of 5″ x 8″ with less than 4 pounds, it can be quickly packed up and set up for easy crafting. I can only imagine how amazing this could be in a classroom setting as well.
You’ll find that there aren’t buttons on the Cricut Joy. In addition, the machine will allow an automatic start to feeding through the material. Once the Cricut Joy detects the vinyl being pushed into the opening, the machine will automatically feed it through.
With no buttons, the design is intentionally to allow the machine and the software to work seamlessly. All of this is controlled by the Cricut App and Design Space software.
In addition, Smart Vinyl material will auto load into the Cricut Joy with no mat required.
Labesl are a breeze and allows you to create labels without smudging, which is a huge game changer. You will not need to weed, use transfer tape, it will go on like a regular sticker!
Disadvantages of the Cricut Joy
By condensing the size of a cutting machine, you’ll obviously lose a few features (but can gain many as well). I wanted to make sure that you were aware of what you might be missing out on if this is your first cutting machine.
If you are wanting to make more complex and larger designs, you’ll need to modify your design so it divides the width for the machine, which can be a pain. Again, this machine is marketed as a companion machine, so you can’t say I didn’t warn you.
If you want to make cards, a pack of a dozen insert cards are around $7.00.
Cricut materials are a little on the high side. Like Apple though, you pay a premium for quality and ensuring everything works together seemlessly.
If you already own a few Cricut pens and markers, you won’t be able to use them with the Cricut Joy. You’ll need to buy specialty Cricut Joy pens and markers made specifically for the machine.
What Can the Cricut Joy Do
The Cricut Joy allows you to both cut and draw. While you can trade out the blade with the Cricut Joy, currently the only thing supported is cutting and drawing.
You may be wondering what other features are there outside of cutting and drawing if you are a novice with these machines. It’s a valid question – you can emboss, deboss, etch, and so much more. However, for even a hobbiest, cutting and drawing have been the ONLY things I’ve done with my current cutting machines.
What Can You Make with the Cricut Joy
With the Cricut Joy, you can cut a wide variety of materials from paper, vinyl, card stock, heat transfer, infusion ink, craft foam, vellum, and so much more.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- wall decals (check out my kids playroom here for inspiration on playroom decals)
- personalized mugs, tumblers, phone cases, bags
- throw pillows
- shirts and other apparel
- tote bags
- personalized birthday and holiday cards
- home decor
- stencils for painting walls
How Do You Use It
Regardless of what Cricut machine you have, they operate with the free desktop app called Design Space where you can design your own images, shapes, and text to cut with your machine.
The Cricut Joy has a lid that flips down, a clamp that swivels open and close, and the housing for the pen and blades.
What’s Inside the Box?
The Cricut Joy machine comes loaded with just a few important things you need to get started. In the future, I can guarantee you that someone will be setting up an amazing bundle package that includes all the materials you need at a great price on both the Cricut site and Amazon.
- Cricut Joy machine
- Power cord and adapter
- Cutting blade with included housing
- Cutting mat
- Fine Point Pen, 0.4 mm
- Practice cut material
Software for Cricut Joy
The software that the Cricut Joy uses is the same as the other Cricut machines – it uses Design Space. The only way to connect Cricut Joy to Design Space is with the bluetooth.
Design Space is free and it allows you to choose from a variety of projects as well as allow you to upload and design your own images. There is also a subscription level that allows you to access a large library/catalog of premade designs that you can use as a start and customize as needed. It’s truly a robust software that goes hand in hand with the entire Cricut line of products.
Cricut Joy Tutorials for Beginners
As always, with a new machine or a new model, there’s always a small learning curve. If you are familiar with the Cricut Explore Air 2 or the Cricut Maker, getting to know the Cricut Joy will be a breeze. If you have the Silhouette Cameo, learning the Design Space software may take a little getting used to.
I’ll be sharing a ton of tutorials for the Cricut Joy for the topics listed below (the links will be embedded once the blog posts go live). In addition, you can subscribe to my newsletter (scroll down to the end of the post) so that you know exactly when these tutorials go live.
- Must Have Cricut Joy Accessories
- How to Cut Greeting Cards with Cricut Joy
- How to Cut Vinyl without a Mat with Cricut Joy
- Organizing Labels with Cricut Joy
- Patterned Designs with Cricut Joy
Frequently Asked Questions
In this section, I answer the most frequently asked questions about the Cricut Joy so that you can see what others are wanting to know as well. It’s always great when you see what other people are asking because you may have never even thought of asking those questions to begin with. I hope you are able to learn from what others are asking:
What are the types of Cricut machines so that I can compare the Cricut Joy?
The other Cricut machines in the line are: Cricut Joy, Cricut Explore Air 2 ,and the Cricut Maker. The Cricut Maker provides more features than the Cricut Explore Air 2 by way of being able to do a few things with some blades like embossing and cutting heavy chipboard at a higher price tag.
The competitor to the Cricut family is the Silhouette family of machines. The most popular rivalry is that between the Cricut Explore Air 2 versus the Silhouette Cameo 4. The one thing that Silhouette does well is that the machine cuts exactly where it is designed on the mat without the extra need to “attach” the design. However, most Cricut users will say that the benefit to a Cricut is that the software lays out the design in a way that minimizes material waste.
What’s the difference between the Explore Air 2 and Cricut Joy?
The form size is the most visual factor between those two machines. In addition, the Cricut machine is smaller and has no buttons. Cricut Joy does not have any scoring tools or specialty blades.
The Cricut Joy can do extra things like cut on Smart Vinyl without the need for a mat, write on labels with new pens on writeable vinyl, and make beautiful greeting cards with a card mat.
Do you need to get the Cricut Joy if you have a Cricut?
While I love having both, you don’t need both. However, the Cricut Joy does makes crafting so much easier and faster because you can make cards easier. In addition, labeling and organizing everything is a complete breeze. If portability and ease is important to you (so that you can craft more), it’s definitely worth it.
If you need portability, Cricut Joy is for you.
If you need flexibility for a wider range of products, the Cricut Explore Air 2 may be better.
Where can I buy the Cricut Joy?
You can buy it in brick-and-mortar stores like Michaels, Walmart, Target, Hobby Lobby, and Jo-Anns. A few days later, you can buy it on HSN and Amazon as well. It will retail for $179.99.
Can I use the Cricut Explore Air 2, Cricut Maker, or Silhouette supplies with Cricut Joy?
In terms of supplies, you can definitely use regular vinyl, but you’ll need to purchase a Cricut Joy Mat.
Can I use my Cricut Explore or Cricut Maker mats with the Cricut Joy?
No, you’ll need to use and buy Cricut Joy Mats. But since Cricut Joy has Smart Vinyl and Smart Iron On without a mat, you won’t need them.
Can I use my Cricut Explore or Cricut Maker blades with the Cricut Joy?
No, Cricut JOy’s blade and housing are completely different and it’s smaller in the Cricut Joy.
Can I use the Smart Vinyl with the Cricut Explore Air 2?
Yes, you can use the Smart Vinyl using the Explore Air 2, but it will need to be placed on a cutting mat.
Is the Cricut Joy worth it?
Yes, in terms of portability, features, and functionality, I think it is worth the price if it allows you to use it more often.
Can the Cricut Joy make labels?
Yes, there is a new set of markers and labels that can write on vinyl and not rub off, a new card mat, and Smart Vinyl (vinyl that doesn’t require a mat to cut or draw).
Can you write with the Cricut Joy?
Yes, a full suite of Cricut Joy-compatible pens with a variety of pen types and line weights draw and write in a variety of styles.
When was the Cricut Joy released?
The Cricut Joy was released on March 1, 2020.
What are the new supplies that Cricut Joy is coming out with?
When Cricut Joy launched, there are new materials and accessories that were also released at the same time. This includes:
- Smart Iron-On
- Smart Vinyl
- Smart Labels
- Infusible Ink
- Inert Card Sets
- Transfer Tape
- Pens and Markers
- Card Mat
- Cricut Joy Travel Bag
What is the card mat?
With the Cricut Joy, they also introduced an amazing mat for an Insert Card, which allows you to prefold card stock and allow it to create a design on top without cutting the other folded piece.
Does the Cricut Joy come in a different color?
Currently, Cricut Joy is only available in blue.
Final Thoughts on the New Cricut Joy Cutting Machine
This little adorable machine writes and draws like you are already used to with the Cricut Explore Air 2 and Cricut Maker, but it sets up instantly and fits in the palm of your hand.
This is an amazing cutting machine and perfect for people with limited space who want to be able to move around really easily with the machine. If you are looking for mobility on WHERE you are crafting, this machine reigns supreme on that aspect.
It is so easy to set up and use, you’ll find yourself pretty much addicted to personalizing, organizing and personalizing everything in sight.
Now, if you are wanting to scale your small business by experimenting with bigger materials and tougher items like chipboard, this might not be the best option (check out the Cricut Explore Air 2 or the Silhouette Cameo).
With the portability of this little machine called the Cricut Joy, you’ll be able to whip up a quick label for organizing, a birthday card for a last minute party, and help with kids school projects!
Have you bought or are thinking about buying a Cricut Joy? What projects do you want to make using the Joy? Let me know in the comments below!
Other Cricut Posts You Might Love
If you loved this guide and review on the Cricut Joy, you might also enjoy these other posts on my Cricut machine below!
- What is a Cricut Machine
- Stencils with a Cricut Machine
- Cricut Infusible Ink Project Ideas
- Cricut Infusible Ink Pens Tutorial
- How to Use Cricut Markers and Pens
- Make Earrings with Cricut