There’s so much misinformation regarding Cricut Access out there. Some people will say you need it, other people say you don’t.
I am here to tell you everything you need to know about Cricut Access. I was so confused regarding this topic that I had to do tons of research to really understand what it is and how it works. There wasn’t a single post that could answer all of my questions regarding this topic.
Before we dig in let’s clarify what Cricut Access is:
Cricut Access is a paid membership that gives you instant access to an amazing and giant library filled with over 90.000 images, hundreds of fonts, and ready to cut projects.
Depending on the plan you have you can get other benefits like discounts on licensed images, fonts, and physical products.
If you were looking for a short answer that was it. 🙂
Here’s the thing, I don’t want you to buy something you don’t need or are never going to use. But I also don’t want you to miss out on cool stuff for you to make.
By the end of this post, you will know whether Cricut Access is a good fit for you or not.
Note: If you are still learning what a Cricut is and which one you should get; I highly recommend you to read this post where I walk you through 50+ questions before and after I got the Cricut. FYI I spent multiple hours of research and a whole week to put together this ultimate guide.
Are you ready? Let’s get started!
What is the Difference between Cricut Access and Cricut Design Space?
This is where most of the confusion is. A lot of people – including myself in the early days – confuse Cricut Access with Cricut Design Space.
The difference between Cricut Design Space and Cricut Access is that the first one is the FREE software where you upload your projects, touch them up, and finally send to your Cricut Machine to be cut. And the second one is a paid membership full of graphics, fonts, and ready to cut projects that can be used within the Cricut Design Space.
Even if you don’t have a Cricut Access membership you are able to see and use all of the graphics that they offer inside Cricut Design Space. However, you will need to pay for those digital files when you send your project to be cut.
It’s always very clear when something costs money or not. So if you don’t want to pay at the end or don’t have Cricut Access, stay clear from those designs.
With Cricut Design Space – and for free – you can upload your own designs, use your own fonts and also create minimal designs made with common shapes like squares, circles, hearts, etc.
Is Cricut Access Worth it and do I need it?
I think Cricut Access is worth it if it’s going to encourage you to use your machine more often, you don’t know how to illustrate or create your own projects, and you don’t want to look for free projects online.
Everything in life has a cost of opportunity, I love designing and creating my own projects. That’s what motivated me to buy my own Cricut, so I could cut them more easily. For me, designing is half of the fun.
Do you create your own illustration and projects? If you do, then you don’t need Cricut Access.
Are you willing to scour the Internet for free projects and ideas? If you said yes to that, then you don’t need Cricut Access.
As you can see you DON’T NEED Cricut Access in order to cut something. There are always other options for you to consider. However, there’s something you always need to trade-off, and that my friend is TIME!
Designing and searching for the perfect project can take a while – It can take me 3 hours to come up with something simple – and if you just want to cut something right away, it’s so much easy to find a ready to cut project.
When you find a project online there are always things you need to touch up, and extra steps for you to make sure that you will cut things the right way. However, when you use the images and ready to cut projects from Cricut Access all that second-guessing is pretty much gone. No extra doubt, you just have to press MAKE IT and follow the cutting instructions.
Look at this project I created with my computer’s fonts. I totally ruined it lol.
I spent about an hour trying to design it, and then when the moment came I didn’t considerate that the letters were too tiny and intricate.
So, I ruined my materials and also left my husband without an anniversary card. (It was our 4th year anniversary)
However, I really don’t care. I am here for the process. My point is that If you don’t care either and just want to learn, then you don’t need Cricut Access.
If having Cricut Access is going to make your life more simple and just enjoy the fun part of cutting and putting together your project, then I think the membership is worth EVERY SINGLE PENNY!
I get it!
The membership can add up, and it’s an extra expense on top of your bills. But, if you think about it you’ll see you spend 10 dollars on so many silly things.
I spend that money 10 or 20 times on eating out, our buying things I don’t really need. So, if you need to justify the money, just cut your eating out spending.
Also if you are planning on buying more materials, accessories, and machines from cricut.com they have great discounts for Cricut Access Members. Therefore, if your purchases are big enough; technically Cricut Access would be free when you apply the discount.
Cricut Access Plans Explained
By now you must have an idea of whether Cricut Access is a good fit for you or not.
Now, let me explain to you their available plans, what they have in common and how they differ from one another.
ALL Cricut Access plans include Access to:
- Unlimited use of 50.ooo+ images, graphics and ready to cut projects.
- Unlimited use 400+ Fonts
- 10% Savings on ALL of the physical products and goods purchased on cricut.com
- 10% Savings on images, cartridges, cut ready projects on fonts from brands like Disney, Sesame Street, Hello Kitty, etc.
- Priority Member Care Line (50% less wait time)
Now let’s see the names and differences of each plan:
This is the perfect plan if you are just testing the waters and want to see if Cricut Access makes sense to you, if it doesn’t you can cancel anytime. This plan is billed monthly and it costs $9.99
It has the same benefits as the Perfect Starter Plan. It’s billed annually, but you pay $7.99 per month – instead of $9.99 – Here you are making a one-year commitment and you pay upfront $95.88.
In addition to all of the perks that I mentioned above. The best value also gives you:
- More discounts! Up to 50% on licensed fonts, graphics and ready to make and cut projects. (It doesn’t include brands like Disney, Sesame Street, Hello Kitty, and other big brands)
- When you order more than $50 you get Free Economy Shipping.
Billed Annually, You pay upfront $119.88. (Monthly would be $9.99)
I like being able to cancel at any time, and if you really love it and find yourself using it a lot and buying extra licensed fonts you can always upgrade to either the big-time benefits or the best value plan.
What is the Difference between Cricut Access and Cricut Cartridges, Licensed fonts, and images?
Cricut allows you to buy individual images and ready to cut projects individually and in packages. A Cartridge is a set of special images, graphics, and fonts.
The main difference between Cricut Access and Cricut Cartridges is that the first one is a membership, and the second one is a one time purchase that you can use at any time within any project inside Cricut Design Space.
With Cricut Access you get access to THEIR amazing and huge library. However, that doesn’t extend to Disney, Sesame Street, or other famous – licensed – illustrations, fonts, and ready to cut projects.
If you want those sorts of images and fonts you need to get them either in a set – cartridge-, or individually. Cricut has managed to come in agreements with big brands like Disney, Sesame Street, Hello Kitty and more to allow you to cut and create amazing crafts with your favorite characters.
Do I have Cricut Access?
I don’t have it because for me designing what I am going to cut is what makes me happy and fulfilled. However, I might get it at some point.
There are just so many cool things to make and create that one day I might do it!
Update: After a year of having a Cricut I got Cricut Access and I gotta tell you that it is worth it. It’s nice to know that you can create any project you want without worrying
Pros & Cons for Cricut Access
If you are still on the verge of getting Cricut Access or not. Maybe these Pros and Cons will help you to finally decide:
Pros of Having Cricut Access
- It encourages you to use your machine more often.
- It’s so much easier for you to learn and making beautiful projects at the same time.
- You get extra savings on machines, accessories, and materials from cricut.com
- You don’t need any prior experience in order to make something beautiful
- Find pretty much anything you want for any occasion, any time of the year
- Rest assured that the graphics and fonts you have access to will work if you follow instructions (Remember my Cricut Project Failure above?)
Cons of Having Cricut Access
- It’s a recurrent expense. When you stop paying you won’t have Free access to any of the previews used fonts or graphics.
- You can only use them within Cricut Design Space. Forget about integrating those fonts and images with other programs like Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape.
Are there other alternative Options for Cricut Access?
In order for you to cut your projects, you need Cricut Design Space. However, and as I mentioned it at the beginning of this post you can have your own cut files and upload them.
The question is. Where can you find these files?
- Cricut Design Space offers Free Cuts every week, so take advantage of that opportunity.
- There are tons of bloggers that love Cricut and have tons of cool projects and tutorials for you to download. You can find tons of files and tutorials on Pinterest and Google. Good news for you! I have a growing library with tons free of printables and SVG files for my daydreamers (subscribers) and you can use them anytime you want for personal use. Check out a preview of the library. Or get access here.
- You can buy them: Websites like Etsy, Creative Market, and my favorite TheHungryJpeg, have hundreds of options for you to purchase.
- You can design and create them! This is a whole level and it takes time and patience, it’s like learning a whole new skill and well, this is what I do and I love it. You can use a paid software like Illustrator – I have the whole creative cloud and I pay over 50 dollars a month for it – or you can use open-source software like Inkscape.
Am I missing something?
I hope this guide helped you to know whether Cricut Access was the right fit for you or not.
If there’s something I am missing let me know in the comments down below. I want this to be the perfect guide for anyone trying to figure out whether they should invest in Cricut Access or not.
By the way!… Sharing is Caring! I spent a whole day putting together this post for you! If you learned something and think someone else can benefit from it. Would you please share it on Pinterest and Facebook?