For the past month or so, I’ve been sitting on a big little secret. Earlier this year, my all-time favorite brand, Cricut, invited me out to Salt Lake City to preview their newest machine. After picking myself up off the floor from shock, I couldn’t help but wonder…of all the bloggers and all the Cricut super fans out there…why me? And then they revealed Cricut Joy, and I instantly knew why I was there. Because this little but mighty machine is PERFECT for YOU…my readers. For my DIYers who want to update their spaces on a budget. For my organizers who want to label every little thing with gorgeous labels. For my renters who don’t have any space for a craft room or bulky supplies. For my busy mamas who need quick, easy and fuss-free party decor, teacher gifts, classroom crafts, and more. It’s the Cricut machine for ALL of us, and today I am both honored and thrilled to show you what Cricut Joy is and what it can do!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

Cricut Joy

What is Cricut Joy?

Cricut Joy is the newest addition to the Cricut family of cutting machines. It is Cricut’s smallest smart cutting machine (measuring just 8.5” wide, 5” deep, and 5” tall), making it super lightweight, easily storable, and perfectly portable. Don’t let its small size fool you though…this little lady has some serious state-of-the-art capabilities that will allow you to create like no other machine in the Cricut family.

Cricut Joy

Like other Cricut machines, Cricut Joy both cuts and writes, but it does so using a whole host of tools and materials specifically designed for its smaller footprint. From vinyls and papers, to iron-on and card kits, everything for Cricut Joy is…well…little…but more importantly, intentionally designed to eliminate fuss and frustration while maximizing ease and flawless results. 

To be clear here, everything for Cricut Joy is uniquely designed…pens, blades, mats, materials, charging cord…everything. Although other materials you may already have on hand can be cut down to fit Cricut Joy’s mats, any Maker/Explore blades, mats, tools, pens, etc cannot be used with Cricut Joy. To make sure what you’re using is compatible, always look for “Cricut Joy” clearly marked on the packaging. 

Matless Cutting

One of the most exciting and innovative aspects of Cricut Joy is matless cutting! (Cue the confetti!) 

I’ll be honest…I didn’t realize how time-consuming and annoying dealing with mats was until I didn’t have to use them! I’m totally hooked, and the ability to cut without a mat has me consistently reaching for my Cricut Joy over my other, bigger machines.


Until now, cutting on a Cricut machine required adhering some sort of material (paper, vinyl, iron-on, etc) to a sticky mat and then loading that mat into the machine. Once the design was done cutting, you’d unload the mat, remove your material from the mat, and (quite often) clean it. 

However, Cricut Joy eliminates that entire process. It features sensors under the feed guides that allow Cricut Joy Smart Materials to be cut without a mat. You simply feed these specific materials right into the machine (similar to how you would load a laminating machine), and your design will be cut with the same precision as any other Cricut machine. 

Cricut Joy

What Are Cricut Joy Smart Materials?

Cricut Joy Smart Materials are sized and designed to be cut, matless, on Cricut Joy. Not only do they have a firmer backing (which provides the stability necessary for cutting), but they feature bands on either side of the material that allow them to feed directly into the machine. These Cricut Joy Smart Materials come in both vinyl and iron-on, in a whole host of colors and finishes, and in lengths of 48”, 10 ft, and 20 ft rolls (in limited colors)!

Yes, you read that right…20 foot rolls! And do you know what that means? Yep – you can cut up to 20 feet of designs, all at once, without having to unload and reload mat after mat. Current Cricut users know what a serious game changer this truly is!

Cricut Joy

Does Cricut Joy Only Cut Smart Materials?

No…you can use mats with Cricut Joy! The machine comes with a 4.5×8.5” Standard Grip Mat. Cricut Joy 12” long Light Grip, Cricut Joy 12″ Standard Grip Mats, and a Cricut Joy Card Mat are also available. The mats are used for all paper cutting, non-smart vinyl and iron-on, and scraps. These mats look, feel and work just like the Cricut mats you already know and use, but they are fed into the machine just like the Cricut Joy Smart Materials (rather than loaded and unloaded with a button).

Cricut Joy

What Else Can Cricut Joy Cut…and How Big?

It is important to note here that Cricut Joy primarily cuts a wide variety of vinyl, iron-on, paper, and cardstock. However, it does not have the power nor the interchangeable tools to cut fabric, chipboard, wood or other heavier-duty mediums as seen in the Explore and Maker models.

And with such a little machine, you might be wondering how big can it actually cut? Bigger than you might think!

  • Cricut Joy Smart Materials with Matless Cutting – any design that is 4.5” wide x 48” long or smaller
    • With a 10’ roll, you can cut the 48” long design twice
    • With a 20’ roll, you can cut the 48” long design 5 times, all without unloading!
  • Mat Cutting 
    • 4.5×8.5” Mat – 4.2” wide x 6.5” long
    • 4.5×12”Mat – 4.2″ wide x 11.5” long 

A Streamlined Design

Before we dive into a sample project so you can get a sense for how truly easy Cricut Joy is to create with, let me first chat about how it looks and fits into your home. 

First, there are no buttons! To turn it on, you simply plug it in. As I mentioned before, to load the machine, you feed your Cricut Joy Smart Material or mat right into the guides. “Go,” “Pause,” and “Unload” functions are all controlled via Cricut Design Space (on desktop, mobile and tablet). Admittedly, if you are already an Explore/Maker user, not having the Load/Unload button or flashing Cricut button does take some getting used to. That said, the mobile app makes it so easy to both design your projects AND run your machine with a simple tap of a button. (Yes! That means a computer really isn’t necessary…making mobile cutting a real reality!)

The machine features an ultra-modern, sleek and simple design that will seamlessly fit into your home…wherever you need to put it! It looks nice on kitchen counters, desks, and cubbie bookshelves yet also tucks perfectly into bins or baskets for out-of-the-way storage.

For those of you who write to me and say “I’d love a Cricut but I have nowhere to keep it,” this is the machine for you! Not only can Cricut Joy (and its just-as-small accessories and supplies) be easily tucked away, but it can also be quickly pulled out whenever creativity strikes. Spreading out on the kitchen table is no longer a big production, as Cricut Joy can be setup and cleaned up in mere minutes!

Cricut Joy

Speaking of a quick project, let’s pull Cricut Joy out and make some vinyl wall decals!

Cricut Joy

How to Make Vinyl Wall Decals with Cricut Joy

I want to show you how really quick and easy this newest machine is to work with…so below is a quick video overview of my wall decal project. Then read on below for all the specific details!

One of the quickest, easiest and most temporary ways to decorate your walls are with vinyl decals. Sure…they’ve been around for a loooong time, but with countless designs, vinyls, and finishes now available, they are still a really fun and fresh way to update your space!

Even the smallest of walls will require a few dozen decals, which is why Cricut Joy with a roll of Cricut Joy Smart Vinyl are the ideal tools for this project! Here’s what else you need:

Cricut Joy

Cricut Joy | Cricut Joy Smart Vinyl | Transfer Tape | Tools

Start In Cricut Design Space

Just like with every Cricut project, let’s start in Cricut Design Space (Cricut’s design software that is used for all their cutting machines). Use the Image Library to find a decal design for your wall or upload an image you love. I chose this simple Honey Bee for its modern yet playful aesthetic, and sized it to about 2.5” wide.

When you hit the green “Make It” button, you will be asked if you want to cut Without a Mat, on a Mat, on the Card Mat (I’ll be showing you this fun new mat next Friday!), or a combination of the two:

By selecting ‘Without Mat” (because I’ll be using Cricut Joy Smart Vinyl), you’ll see that my cut screen populates the matless vinyl. I’ll need a lot of decals for my laundry room, so I adjust the project copy to 30. But notice how much wasted space I have along the right side of my vinyl.

I hate wasting material, so I wanted to take better advantage of the vinyl width. Back on the design canvas, I duplicated the bee and attached the two together. After ensuring the pair measured no bigger than 4.5” wide (the widest I can cut on smart vinyl), I sent it to cut.

You can now see I have a lot more bees on my smart vinyl! But…there is still a lot of wasted space between each pair, isn’t there? Currently, Design Space tells me I need almost 30” of material for 12 sets of bees:

But by manually tightening up the bees (just drag and drop right on the cut screen), I can now fit 12 sets of bees in 22” of material!

Once you are satisfied with the layout of your design on the vinyl, click “Continue,” and you will be prompted to select your material. Because you have already pre-selected “Without Mat,” you will only be able to choose from a variety of Smart Materials. Simply choose the material that matches the one you are using for your project.

Cut Your Decals with Cricut Joy

With your material set, you will be prompted to load your material into the machine.

To load the Smart Material, you literally just slide it right in. No measuring, no cutting, no mat, no buttons. Just slide it right under the guides until the rollers catch it.

Cricut Joy

Notice how I just said no measuring, no cutting. That’s because Cricut Joy will do it for you! As soon as you load your Cricut Joy Smart Material, Cricut Joy will feed it through the machine and measure it to ensure you have enough for your project. It will also straighten out the vinyl if you happen to load it in slightly crooked. Once your material is loaded into the machine, you will be prompted to click “Go” in Cricut Design Space, and your design will start cutting!

Cricut Joy

Once Cricut Joy is done with the design, you will be prompted to “Unload” via Cricut Design Space.

Cricut Joy

Preparing the Decals for Your Wall

Once your design is cut, all you need to do is weed out the negative aspects of your design (the unwanted elements)…

Cricut Joy

…and use transfer paper to pick up your design and move it to your wall! (Learn how to do this here.)

TIP! If your decal design is fairly small and not intricate, you may not need to use transfer paper at all. My bees were sturdy enough that I could peel them off the paper backing (even without weeding!) using the weeding tool and then transfer them to my wall by hand…just like stickers!

Literally, within 30 minutes, I had decals designed, cut, weeded and applied to our laundry room wall, and Cricut Joy cleaned up, closed up and loaded back into the cabinet! More than any other tool, system or gadget, Cricut Joy makes customizing and personalizing your spaces as quick and easy as it is fun!

Oh but friends…vinyl decals are just the tip of a very large iceberg. While I love being able to quickly cut vinyl, what I am MOST smitten with on Cricut Joy is its ability to make gorgeous labels for pretty much every room in our home.

From simple vinyl cut words…

…and pens on the brand new (and so awesome) adhesive-backed paper….

…to my absolute favorite: pens on writable Cricut Joy Smart Labels! (Can you hear me squealing?!?!)

Cricut Joy

The possibilities for us organizers are truly endless, and I’ll be breaking down all these awesome label ideas for you back here next Tuesday!

Friends, Cricut set out to reduce your most common barriers to crafting: time, space, and fear of failure. And Cricut Joy so perfectly accomplishes that mission! The machine features such a sleek, small footprint, that it can find a place in even the tightest of homes. Its ease of use (no mats, no measuring!) means you can easily fit projects into your busy, messy, overflowing life. And its perfectly precise cutting that Cricut is known for means you will get great results on your projects…every time. Cricut Joy is so aptly named…I can’t wait to show you all the ways it can help bring a little more joy to your life and home! 

See You Soon!