Many of us got into DIY crafting last year with prolonged periods of staying at home. This little device from Cricut takes that to the next level.

We get to review all kinds of weird and wonderful tech here at STACK, but occasionally something turns up that presses all the right buttons – literally in this case – and that is the Cricut Joy. So, what is it exactly? The Cricut Joy is a ‘smart’ cutting and writing machine that can be used in a myriad of different applications, from creating greeting cards to vinyl stickers and iron-on badges.

The Joy is the company’s entry-level device designed to be highly portable. At only 21cm long by 110cm high and 1.75kg in weight, it is certainly that.

The good thing about the Joy is you don’t have to be artistic to enjoy its benefits – it’s accessible for the beginner right through to the intermediary crafter. And it’s simple to set up, too.

The device connects via Bluetooth and once you’ve downloaded the Cricut Design Space app to your smartphone, tablet or through a desktop computer (PC or Mac), it’s time to create. From here you can select many different designs – some at a small cost through a monthly subscription, and others free. Alternatively, you can get quite expressive and upload your own designs or pre-existing computer fonts direct.

There are over 50 different Cricut materials you can choose from including card, stickers, paper, iron-on material and vinyl – loaded at the front of the machine. It can print and cut lettering (you just need to swap out the blade and put in a Cricut fine-point pen to combine cutting and writing – it’s easy to do and you will be prompted through the process) up to 110cm in height and in 1.2 lengths on a six metre roll, for banners or for kids’ bedroom wall art. If you’re like us, the first thing you’ll do is experiment with birthday cards, and the materials for this are inexpensive.

Buying birthday cards at a shop should come with a health warning, and, infuriatingly, you know your seven-dollar investment will likely be tossed in the recycling bin within 24 hours. As such, we got quite excited here and immediately ran off four cards for upcoming kids’ parties. They not only look good but they’re a real point of difference!

But it doesn’t stop at cards. By utilising the vast array of different materials available, you can create stickers for jars in the pantry or waterproof stickers that can be affixed to a coffee mug (you can have some real design fun here), or names on drinks bottles. Iron-on materials can be used to name-label school clothing or for putting different patterns or business names on T-shirts.

And the 1.2-metre strips are perfect for wedding and birthday celebrations, or decorating nursery or play areas. Imagination is the only limiting factor here.

Whether you’re organising your storage solutions or planning that 50th, the creative possibilities for the Joy are boundless. A word of warning though – this is one very addictive bit of kit.

Buy now at JB Hi-Fi

How to make a card in less than five minutes

  1. Locate the design you want to use through the Cricut Design Space app.
  2. Place the material you want into the card mat.
  3. Put the card mat into the front of the Joy – it will automatically feed in.
  4. Be mesmerised as the Joy goes about its business. You’ll need to manually swap the cutter for the pen halfway through – it’s easy to do.
  5. Slip in a sparkly backing sheet and, hey presto, your card is done!