making on the move with cricut joy

Cricut Joy: How to Make Beautiful Cards in a Flash!

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Cricut Joy is the perfect companion for your Maker or Explore Air. It’s also a perfect starting point for those overwhelmed by the Cricut universe! In this post, I’ll show you just how quick and easy it is to make a personalized card with Joy.

It’s amazing how much can change in a month.

One month ago, Handan and I found ourselves sitting in a large room on the second floor of a huge event space in Salt Lake City.

Beyond the wall-to-wall windows, the snow-covered peaks of the Wasatch mountains thrust up into a cloudless cerulean sky.

I could have gazed out those windows all day. Little Cottonwood Canyon was right there – practically a stone’s throw away. Home to the ski resorts Alta and Snowbird, Little Cottonwood Canyon was the place I dreamed of when I was small and learning to ski on the icy slopes of New England.

High school brought the opportunity to visit and ski those fabled mountains. I felt like a child walking through the halls of gods.

And now here I was again, back at this hallowed place.

The mountains seemed smaller, and they no longer called with the promise of adventure.

Those days are over.

Now they simply offered a breathtaking backdrop to what was happening inside the room in which Handan and I sat.

With us in this room were a couple dozen other bloggers.

We had all agreed to meet in this place under a veil of great secrecy.

We couldn’t tell anyone the purpose of our visit. Actually, that would have been impossible, as we didn’t even know why we were there!

I sat with one hand clutching a paper cup of coffee and the other popping pieces of pumpkin bread into my mouth.

Anticipation hung thick in the crisp morning air.

We were here at Cricut’s invitation.

But none of us knew why.

We all had our guesses, of course.

The most popular theory was that Cricut was going to introduce a bigger cutting machine.

I secretly prayed for a Cricut Ice Cream Machine. Ohhhh man, I’d be the Cricut King with an ice cream machine, for sure!

In the end, we were all wrong.

Cricut Joy

When Cricut Joy was presented, every blogger gasped and squealed1, and then the room erupted in shouts and applause.

Now here’s the thing about Cricut Joy. Well, honestly there are a whole bunch of “things,” and I’ll get to them all in good time, but here’s the thing that amazes me right now.

Cricut Joy is a smart cutting machine that can be used anywhere.

And I mean anywhere!

Cricut Joy

This idea of being able to craft in any corner of your house (or outside of it, as long as you have power) is one of the central messages that the fine and noble folks at Cricut explained to us as we sat, enthralled, in that second floor room in Salt Lake City that overlooked the Wasatch mountains.

It’s also one of the messages they wanted all of us to share with all of you.

Okay, okay, in case you haven’t figured it out already, this is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. But, as always, the opinions and text are all mine. I don’t let anyone write for me, but believe me, that doesn’t stop them from trying! Every day I’m swamped with emails from people asking to post on our site.

Please. Nobody touches The Navage Patch but me and my babes!

Anyway, I sat there thinking, “Aww, man, but I have a totally bitchin’ craft room that I just built with Handan! Now I gotta go do some projects somewhere else in the house?”

What can I say? I’m a creature of habit. Crafting is done in the craft room.


But not everyone is like me.

And not everyone has a craft room.

And soon enough, neither would I.

Wait, what?

I’m just going to leave that there for a minute while I go powder my nose.

Cricut Joy and Accessories


Okay, I’m back.

I told you a lot can change in a month, didn’t I?

Well, I already told you a few weeks ago that Handan took a new position within her company.

And I told you that she’d be spending a fair amount of time away from home for a few months.

That was all true.

What I didn’t tell you is that she’s not coming back.

Don’t worry! All is good!

She’s not coming back, because we’re going to her!

I’ll have a lot more to say on this subject in the coming weeks and months.

Suffice it to say for now that we’ve packed up about 90% of our house and loaded our life into a few PODs. Soon, I’ll be putting our house up for sale.

Meanwhile, I’ve moved Handan to a short-term apartment in XXXXXXX (I’m not telling you where yet, heheheh) where she will live until I get the house sold and Barish’s school year finishes.

And that is where we are right now. I’m writing this post from a mattress on the floor of a small studio apartment next a local joint that serves some kick-ass Mexican food.

I’m only here for a week to help my babes get settled into her new job and new temporary accommodations.

And that’s when it hit me.

This was the perfect place for Cricut Joy.

This is exactly what Cricut was talking about.

There’s no craft room in this studio apartment. There’s just one room with a kitchen along one wall.

And that is precisely where I intended to set up my Cricut Joy so I could make a couple of cards for Handan.

But first, I want to tell you about Cricut Joy, because you haven’t seen anything like this before!

Cricut Joy


Cricut Joy Doesn’t Want to be Alone (But it Can Be)

Okay, first and foremost, Cricut Joy isn’t here to replace your Maker or your Explore Air.

In typical internet fashion, a few people went bonkers during the product announcement because they has just bought a Maker and thought that Cricut was trying to pull a fast one on them by making the Maker obsolete already.

Not the case!

Cricut Joy has no interest in being the Napoleon of the neighborhood, kicking and spitting on all the bigger kids while demanding all attention and glory be showered upon it.

Cricut Joy wants to play nice and make friends. It’s not a replacement for any of your machines. Rather, it is a complementary tool.

And it can do things that Maker and Explore Air can’t, but it can’t do everything that Maker and Explore Air can do either.

That said, if you don’t have a Cricut smart cutting machine, Cricut Joy is the perfect stepping stone into the Cricutverse. It’ll let you dip your toes in Cricut’s waters and see if they’re to you liking without having to drop a substantial sum to do so.

There are some fundamental differences between Cricut Joy and the rest of Cricut’s smart cutting machines. For some, these differences are enough for them to stand up and start lobbing wads of cash in the general direction of Salt Lake City.

“Shut up and take my money!”

We heard that phrase a few times during the unveiling ceremony for Cricut Joy. When you want something, you want it, and you don’t need to listen to someone blathering on and on about how great it is.

Except me. You have to listen to me. ๐Ÿ˜€

Mats? Cricut Joy Don’t Need no Stinking Mats!

Yep, you heard me. The Wizards and Eggheads of Cricut’s R&D department have engineered this little beauty to work with a new material they invented called Cricut Joy Smart Vinyl. Think of it as vinyl and mat all in one!

Now, there are mats available for the Cricut Joy, and there are times when you may want or need to use them, but you could live a full and Joyous life with just the Smart Vinyl.

Oh, Yours is 12 Inches? How Nice. Mine is 20 FEET!

Everyone knows that bigger is better, amirite, ladies? Hmmmm?



Is this thing on?

Anyway, with Cricut Joy and Smart Vinyl, you can cut a pattern up to 4 feet long and a repeating pattern up to 20 feet long!

Jeezum Crow, that’s a lot of feet! Just think of the epic banners you can make!

And yes, they have rolls of Smart Vinyl in those specific lengths, but the 20-footers are available only in certain colors.

Keep it Simple Stupid

One of the best features of Cricut Joy is its simplicity.

It has been designed only to work via Bluetooth, so there are no messy cables to fight with.

There is also only one blade – no perforation blades or debossing tips or wavy cut blades or any of the specialty blades that are offered on the bigger machines.

Cricut Joy likes it simple.

And it can also write with special pens that fit into the same housing as the blade.

Some projects may call for the pen and the blade, and it’s just a simple matter of swapping one for the other and carrying on with the Make.

Cricut Joy

Cricut Joy Goes Where You Go

This is where things get really interesting with Cricut Joy.

It’s portable!

If Cricut had indeed come out with a bigger machine like so many predicted, I would not have been able to write this post.

Our lives have turned upside-down since we left Salt Lake City, but because Cricut Joy is so easy to transport and small enough to use anywhere there’s an electrical outlet, I was able to toss it in the car and bring it with me on this journey to establish Handan in a new city and state.

Here’s my Cricut Joy in Handan’s little kitchen.

Cricut Joy on a kitchen counter

(I know you’re dying to find out where we’re moving, but I’m not telling! I will have a clue for you later, though.)

And that brings me to the last incredible feature of Cricut Joy, and the project I’m about to show you.

Cards Are Now a Joy to Make!

Do you like to make custom cards for special occasions?


Me neither.

I saw what was involved in custom card-making and took a hard pass.

But with Cricut Joy, I’ve been putting Hallmark to shame.

And it’s all because of a new type of mat the WE Team (Wizards & Eggheads) at Cricut invented.

Behold the Glory of Cricut Joy Card Mat!

Cricut Joy card mat

Holy crap, it’s so easy now! This is revolutionary, and it will reshape the papercrafting landscape as legions of new crafters will be drawn to making cards for their friends and loved ones.

When I first saw this feature, I immediately thought of my mom. She’s a card giver. Always has been. Always will be. I kept thinking how much she would love making cards with Cricut Joy. It really is so easy that even a total crafting noob like my mom could whip up a stack of Christmas cards for everyone on her list in under an hour!

So what better way to show you how quick and easy it is than to make a couple of cards for Handan in her micro kitchen while she’s at work?


Since I would soon be leaving my babes alone – a stranger in a strange (but friendly and welcoming) land – I wanted to make her a couple of cards to mark this milestone in our lives.

Now, since Joy works over Bluetooth, I could make her cards either with the Design Space desktop app or using the Design Space mobile app.

I chose the mobile app. I like that I can keep things super portable by not having to lug around a laptop to start making.

The first step was to connect with Joy in the Design Space app.

Cricut Joy design space

Once I signed in, I was able to select Cricut Joy from the list of machines.

cricut design space

Next, I opened Settings and then Bluetooth on my phone.

pairing cricut joy with bluetooth

And I paired my Cricut Joy with my iPhone.

I selected Cards from the categories and scrolled until I found one I liked.

cricut design space

Best Day Ever.

It was perfect.

It describes the day Handan got her new job, and we hope once we get the house sold and we’re all together again, it will describe each and every new day from there on out.

At this point, I readied my card.

Here’s how it works. Card packs come with cards, inserts and envelopes. There are all different colors and textures to choose from.

The card goes into the Card Mat and gets cut and/or written upon. The insert gets tucked inside the card, and it shows through whatever areas the Cricut Joy cut out.

I put the card into the Cardmat.

placing a card into Cricut CardMat

By the way, I did this project without my trusty and beloved babes at my side, so I only had one hand to work with while the other hand took pictures with my DSLR camera!

placing a card into Cricut CardMat
making a custom card with cricut joy

Once the card was in the Card Mat, I pressed Make It on the app.

making a card with cricut joy

I was then instructed to insert the Card Mat into my Cricut Joy.

Here’s another really cool thing about Cricut Joy – you no longer have to worry about feeding the mat or material in straight. It will automatically grab it, feed it and straighten it out for you!

making a card with cricut joy

I pressed Go, and my Cricut Joy took over.

making a card with cricut joy

This tiny wonder did its work on a small piece of countertop next to the kitchen sink.

making a card with cricut joy
making a card with cricut joy

When my Cricut Joy finished cutting, I peeled the top of the card from the Card Mat. It was almost perfectly weeded just peeling it from the mat.

making a card with cricut joy

What was left on the Card Mat was easily removed with Cricut Joy’s scraper.

making a card with cricut joy

I weeded the remaining scraps from the card.

making a card with cricut joy

Next, I placed the insert into the card, one corner at a time.

making a card with cricut joy
making a card with cricut joy

I love this holographic insert and the way it plays with light.

making a card with cricut joy
making a card with cricut joy

The next card I made called for drawing and cutting.

making a card with cricut joy

I gave them to Handan just before I left so she would have something to look at and remember me by as we while away the weeks until we can see each other again.

making on the move with cricut joy

Yay for my babes and her new job and for the opportunity for The Navage Patch to sprout anew in a new and better place!

making on the move with cricut joy

I’ll have so much more to tell you in the coming weeks!


Get your Joy March 1

Cricut Joy goes on sale March 1 for $179. You can buy it at, Amazon, Hobby Lobby, Michaels and JOANN.

Update: Cricut Joy is now $129, but it is often on sale for even less!


Oh, and here’s your hint!

cars in the rain


It should be noted for the record that I most certainly did not squeal, for at the moment of unveiling, I was slurping some coffee to wash down the last bit of pumpkin bread. Squealing at that moment would have led to coughing and spraying bits of coffee-soaked pumpkin bread all over my tablemates.

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  1. Squeeeeeeaaaal – she’s so cute!!!!! And tiny, and maybe I can buy one now….. And awwwwwwww, she’s adorable. Oh and I missed you guys. Wishing you so much luck with the chaos and madness that goes with a big move, but I’m guessing you’ll do it with laughter and love and lots of creative ideas as always <3

    1. LOL, thanks, Michelle! This move has been a big battle, and it’s not over yet. I’m just keeping my head down and plowing forward with the work. Soon enough, it’ll all be over, and we can be a proper family again.

  2. First thought was “ooh, hope that comes to the UK, it might be a Cricut I can afford!”
    Second thought “Oh no! They’ve made such a wonderful home with so many amazing projects, how sad to leave it.”
    Third thought “Shiny new (at least to them) house – how many fab new projects will be coming our way once they are all settled in!
    Hope the house selling, house buying and home moving all goes well – and that Handan’s new job is everything she wants and needs and more.
    Being in the UK the clue to your new home went over my head, but it looks like it could be very cool fun. Looking forward to what comes next, x

    1. Yes, yes and yes, Suzie! Handan loves her new job, and I’ll be working my tail off to get us back together again as soon as I can! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Love the โ€œLittleโ€ Cricut. I might see one in my future. Can I guess Atlanta Ga? Buttercups are blooming so I imagine youโ€™re moving South. ?

      1. By the way Greg buttercups are daffodils in the south. I knew it was south as they are blooming along with dogwood and phlox, and there are no front plates on the vehicles. Which down here are known as tags.
        Hope your coming to Alabama.

  4. You went through so much trouble to talk about how the Cricket Joy doesn’t need a mat…just to show an example….USING A MAT!!! Reading your article is 10 minutes of my life that I can’t get back. I do not find your “stories” amusing.

    1. You seem like the sort of person on whom reason would be wasted, so I’ll instead refer you to a website more suited to your temperament –> <-- Article upon article of fascinating and scintillating political jawboning! Imagine the hours of fun you’ll have!

      1. Iโ€™m so excited for you and your family! I was hoping you might be moving to Canada (where your humour is sure to be appreciated but even if it wasnโ€™t we wouldnโ€™t say anything!) but it seems like the South got lucky! The Joy is adorable but do you know if you can use that same mat with the other machines? I know you can make insert cards without it but it seems like it might be easier to weed a detailed card with it.

        1. Canada has a lot to offer, but alas, we’re moving south! Regarding the Joy, you could use the some mats if you cut them down to size! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. I’m pretty new on your site, but as I received the email I jumped into your blog as a refreshing way to escape the Covid-19 virus (I’m in Singapore but a US citizen). Anyway, I’ve always been a map hound and based on the only two discernible clues (for me anyway) in your photo I’d say the location is Atlanta, GA.

    1. Oh jeez, Ken – stay safe! I’ve been following it since early January when it wasn’t even in the news cycle here yet. I’m glad to be a distraction from the gloom!

  6. Hmmm, well if the Coca-Cola truck is the clue then I’m guessing Atlanta, Ga. Better weather then where you are at but oh the traffic! Anyway I know you guys will make your new house a home!

  7. The Cricut is adorable! And EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE, you’re moving!! How exciting and nerve wracking, can’t wait to find out where you’re headed. We’ve moving in July and I’m in full on “all this crap has to go OMG we’re moving” mode. lol

  8. In fact, I’d say you just exited from the Coca-Cola Museum? (the clue is the street sign and the big red Coca~cola truck. The home of Coke!

  9. First of all I want one of those, or need one for sure!! Secondly, WOW I’m so happy for you guys, moving and a new job sounds like a huge undertaking. I wish you all the best in your new job and space!

  10. Congrats on the new job and adventure. Can’t wait to see what your new house will be like. Hope the sale of the old one goes by quickly and profitably. Not seeing much of a clue in the hint, though except it must be someplace warmer than New England since the daffodils have bloomed. Maybe the mid-southern states like NC, SC, VA, TN or KY?
    Does the Cricut Joy cut wood or just paper?

    1. Hello Laurie, it cuts 50+ popular crafting materials including vinyl, HTV, infusible ink, cardstock, paper, construction paper etc. Chipboard and wood are unfortunately too thick for it to cut.

  11. Well, hellanta it is! That’s what we call it anyway. It’s my neck of the woods. As I type this, I too am house hunting in that area as well. My husbands job with the state has moved us more south in the state.
    The thought of moving to hellanta is daunting, but it is what it is. I wish y’all a smooth transition and togetherness ASAP!
    As far as the cricut, it looks amazing for a newbie like me to get a feel for it. After we are done moving, I’m gonna give it a whirl. If ya need some “neighborhood” help, hollar at me!

  12. The Cricut Joy is adorable and looks like something I might actually use…not a real crafty person here. Can it do labels? Decorative, not file folder?
    Also, I think your hints to new location are “telling” . The jonquils are blooming but trees have no leaves, warm enough but cold enough. You’re comment that Handan is somewhere “friendly”, l am a GRITS (girl raised in the south) and Southern hospitality isn’t just a phrase, it’s an expectation. Not throwing shade y’all, many lovely, warm and friendly folks in all areas of US.
    Three other potential hints, first the biggy – Lovejoy Rd/St, many in the south, Portland, Oregon too. Hint number 2 eliminates Oregon, none of cars in photo have front facing license plates like Oregon and 30 other states. Of the 19 that don’t, the trees, flowers, general topography my first guesses are Georgia, NC, SC. But then there’s the big red herring, or just a truck in traffic with no symbolism at all. Is the Coke truck the third hint and pointing to the Atlanta area? (Coca-Cola founded in Atlanta almost 150 years ago…I told you, GRITS, we’re expected to know these things.) Hmmm, time will tell.
    No matter where, good luck, safe travels and best wishes for a marvelous new life journey for all of you.

  13. This is all so exciting. I don’t envy the move, however. That is always an ordeal to get through. I’m sure you will have a home with lots of new projects to share. I could be wrong, and frequently am, but I think the clue with the Coca-Cola truck and street sign point to the Atlanta area.

  14. Hey Greg.Hope all stays very well with Handans job ,And your back as family again soon..I bought a cricket along time ago..funny thing haven’t used it.Tree came onto roof, now it is s machine of rust..From all the water that came in ..Maybe I can get little cricket..And take care of it..Well still reading and you all have many blessings to you and the readers.

    1. Thank you, Shelley – I can’t wait to get us back together again! You know, you could take this little Cricut on the road with you! Imagine all the things you could do to your rig with this little guy at your side! Our blessings to you, Shelley. Stay safe! ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. When you mentioned Salt Lake City several times, I thought that might be the clue. Oh, well, that would have been too wonderful, because that is where I LIVE!! Did you just love the time you spent here at the Cricket convention? What views, right? I am really excited about this new machine and will look into getting one soon. Best of luck with everything you have going on right now, and hope you can find a bit of time for a project for us all soon.

  16. Well Greg being another UKer the hints passed me by. I hope all goes well for Barish’s finishing his current school, for packing, selling, moving, for Handen’s new job and temp life. Then A Fantastic Time reunited as a family once more, starting out on another amazing adventure. Loved the sell on the Cricut, but sadly for me the small size would be brilliant but the price tag is way out of my reach – so for this crafter it’s a case of setting up a craft room and sticking with a healing mat and scalpels.
    Take care all of you, and I think the cards were a lovely idea.

  17. If you’re not moving to Atlanta, I’ll eat my Cricut Joy once I get one! Can’t wait to try it out for myself :). Best of luck with the move; I hope everything goes perfectly smooth!

    I’m so happy that it all worked out for you guys. It’s so ironic how life can throw so many curves balls and then turn completely around. Sounds like it’s all for the best and I’m sure there will be some exciting new and happy ventures in your near future!

  18. Awesome news on the job…but moving sucks (especially your basement!), but it will be fun to find a replacement for your woodworking studio. On your cards…good thing there was typing under the Best Day Ever card because I thought it said Best Lay Ever!! Your bird friends are going to miss you when you move down south…that much I got from the totally-out daffodils, the green and the rain. Too bad none of the cars have front license plates!! Good luck with selling your beautiful home.

  19. Iโ€™ve been eating up news on the Joy because I am one of those people who have a โ€œcraft roomโ€ that is just a tiny desk in the dining room. The Joy would be the perfect size. I do think itโ€™s a little expensive and they should have brought the price down (I shudder to think what they will charge for it here) a bit to make it more enticing as a gateway machine, or for those who already have a Maker.

    I know nothing about American cities, of course, but everyone else proved to be little investigators and guessed! Iโ€™m so excited for the move. Your house was beautiful and you did so much work to it, but there were also aspects you never liked including the weather ? A move to a new state gives you the opportunity to find a house you know will suit your needs as a family growing up, but also one you can work on and make your own once again! And think of all the great stories we will get!

    Congrats to Handan for her new great job, and best wishes for the move and buying/selling process.

    1. Thank you, Jay! Ooooh, you’d love the Joy! I hope they sell it down under. I’m thinking they will be, because they have an international sales team. ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. You are moving to the only place that won’t break my heart. I am in tears that New England is losing you! But I have a son and a niece and their families in Atlanta so I am comforted. Stay safe and healthy!

      1. By the way, Decater, the city, has wonderful schools and is lovely. My great-nieces went to them, One is at the high school there. If you check out a lacrosse game, online I believe, she is called “The Badger”. Her older sister was (and is in college) “Maddog”! I’m not too proud!

        1. Oh yeah, Decatur is a fantastic town! Unfortunately, it’s greatness has led to super high real estate prices, so we’re kinda priced out of that market! ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. Hi from Kansas! I hope all is well with you and your family and that your move is progressing smoothly! I had guessed Atlanta due to the Coke truck in the photo…?
    Just thought I would check in with you since I havenโ€™t seen any recent Navage Patch posts, and I miss them! Stay safe and healthy!
    June in KS

  22. I was thinning out mail I didn’t need to read and found your post. Then I realized I hadn’t had any posts from you for a while. I hope you are all well and have made progress with your move since this post was written! What a project in the midst of the Corona 19 debacle! Stay safe!

    1. Hi Kathy, thanks for checking in! Oh, the progress we’ve made! I’ve packed up our entire house into 4 1/2 PODs (I’m about to head back there and finish off the last of the final POD), and next week we’re closing on this, and I’ll be driving down to Atlanta to be with Handan again. I can’t wait! I will be resuming my regular posting schedule in early May! ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Hi. Where did you buy your cards from? I have only been able to find the Cricut Joy cards in the small size (4.25โ€X5.5โ€). Also when I try to design my own it cuts bigger than the size of the card despite my putting in the correct dimensions.