Can I cut chipboard with my Cricut? If you’re wondering this, including what Cricut machine and blades you need to use to cut chipboard, this tells you everything you need to know! I’m sharing tips and tricks about how to cut chipboard using the Cricut Maker’s knife blade, as well as how to cut thinner chipboard in the Cricut Explore Air 2.
Can I Cut Chipboard With My Cricut?
This post is brought to you by quarantine and me finally getting around to doing some of the crafts I’ve been meaning to do and can finally do while forcibly stuck indoors! That was a mouthful. I don’t know when I’ll publish this post, but I am doing the project and writing the post while stuck inside. Hopefully by the time it publishes, all of this will be a distant memory.
What is chipboard?
Today I’m talking all about cutting chipboard with my Cricut. What is chipboard, you ask? Well, it’s a fairly versatile crafting material. Think of it as a thicker, stiffer cardboard. And it’s more resilient. The thicker the chipboard, the strong it will be for your projects.
The biggest difference between chipboard and cardboard is that chipboard isn’t corrugated. That means it’s not hollow, meaning it’s stiffer. (Note that Cricut can also cut corrugated cardboard.) Since chipboard comes in a variety of different thicknesses, it can be used in tons of different applications: book covers, construction sites, furniture, crafting, and more.
It’s cheaper than wood, so it’s a good alternative. For example, When making these monstera leaves, I knew I would be covering the chipboard leaves with vinyl. So why would I spend the extra money to cut the leaves out of Cricut’s basswood? Though, thinking about it, these would look *pretty* cool cut from basswood and only half covered in vinyl. That way you could see the pretty basswood grain. Maybe next project. 🙂
Want to learn more? Check out my ultimate guide to using the Cricut Maker’s knife blade to cut wood, as well as my guide to using iron on material with wood. I also have a roundup of different wood and chipboard projects you can make with a Cricut!
What thicknesses of chipboard can Cricut cut?
If you want to cut chipboard on your Cricut, you’ll likely need a Cricut Maker. That’s because you need to use the Cricut Maker’s knife blade to cut. A deep point blade or regular blade won’t work. Here are the types of chipboard Cricut produces:
- 2mm chipboard: This is the thickest chipboard your Cricut can cut. It is marketed as perfect for creating wall art, frames, decor, and more. The 2mm thickness makes it sturdy and not terribly pliable. It comes in packages of 5 sheets, each of which measures 11 inches by 11 inches.
- 1.5mm plain kraft chipboard: Also coming in 5-sheet packages that measure 11 inches by 11 inches, this chipboard is just a bit thinner. But it’s still very sturdy and sturdier than cardboard. I used this chipboard for my monstera leaves.
- 1.5mm damask sampler: This chipboard also comes in 5-sheet packages of 11 inch by 11 inch chipboard. The difference is just the damask print already printed on the chipboard.
How should I cut the chipboard?
Cricut recommends that you take your chipboard out of the package and let it lay flat for 24 hours before cutting it. However, I didn’t do this 🙂 And it was fine. Just so you know. You should use the purple StrongGrip mat for most of the heavier/thicker materials you can cut on the Maker. The chipboard comes in the 11 inch by 11 inch size, which is 1 inch smaller than the standard 12 inch by 12 inch mat.
That’s because you’ll need to move the Cricut machine’s white star wheels all the way to the right before cutting the project. Since chipboard is a thicker material, you don’t want the star wheels to run over your material while cutting it. It could leave imprints in your design that you don’t want. Since the chipboard comes an inch smaller than the mat, this provides the extra 1 inch of room on the right for the star wheels. Make sense?
When putting your chipboard on a mat, make sure your StrongGrip is free of debris so you can get a firm, even seal on the mat. Use painter’s tape along the sides of the chipboard to help ensure the chipboard stays in place while you’re cutting.
What size design can I cut out of Cricut’s chipboard?
Keep the following in mind while you’re creating and laying out your designs in Design Space: the largest design you can cut from your chipboard is 10.5 inches by 10.5 inches. You also shouldn’t cut anything smaller than ¾ inch by ¾ inch. So, about the diameter of a pencil. And this includes interior cuts on more intricate designs.
Do you have an idea for an intricate design you want to cut? Sadly chipboard probably isn’t the best material. If you make cuts that are smaller than ¾ inch by ¾ inch across, the machine might have a hard time navigating the cut. And if you can successfully cut it, it might break after the fact.
It’s also super important that you don’t put your designs too close to the edge of the chipboard. That’s because your knife blade will likely be damaged if it crosses the edge of the chipboard. And the knife blade is expensive…we don’t want to damage it!
How long does it take to cut chipboard on the Cricut Maker?
It will take a while, so have another activity ready to do while your machine is cutting! That’s because your machine goes over your design multiple different times with the knife blade, applying more pressure each time. These are called “passes.” Thicker materials take longer in general, but more intricate designs will take even longer.
When you begin cutting your design into chipboard, Design Space will give you an estimate of how long your cut will take, as well as the estimated number of passes. Monitor your cut every few minutes to make sure there are no stray pieces of chipboard or debris. These could jam your machine or mess up your cut, so just quickly pick them off. The sharper your knife blade, the fewer issues you will have.
Once your machine is done cutting, Design Space will prompt you to check and see if you need to make additional passes. Do not offload your mat and project from your machine yet! Gently lift up a corner of your design to see if it cut all the way through.
If you need to cut more, press the “C” Cricut symbol on your machine. You can do as many additional passes as you need to do to cut through your design. Once your blade has cut through completely, you can offload the mat.
Want to learn more about using Cricut’s Infusible Ink? Check out my tutorial for how to make custom coasters using Infusible Ink, how to personalize a tote bag using Infusible Ink transfer sheets, and how to mix and match Infusible Ink transfer sheet patterns and colors!
Why is my knife blade getting stuck?
When I was trying to cut smaller letters out of chipboard, I kept experiencing an issue where my blade would get stuck. It was always at the same spot. If this happens to you, check to make sure there isn’t loose material. In all but one case I was able to remove the loose material and try the cut again (sometimes a few times) to get it to work.
However, on one of my pieces of chipboard, I simply couldn’t get the blade to cut all of the letters. My machine kept stopping in the same spot and beeping repeatedly, giving me an error. The knife blade just couldn’t cut through everything, sadly. Eventually the chipboard was just shredding too much. I had to chuck the piece and try again. Here is an example of when I started seeing the edges get a bit rough:
Cutting chipboard with cricut explore air 2
There is one type of chipboard that you can cut on the Explore Air 2—light chipboard. That’s chipboard that measures .37mm thick. If you choose to cut this on your Explore Air 2, you can even use the fine-point blade. You don’t need the deep point blade. But since this chipboard is much thinner, it isn’t really useful for structural crafts. (You can also cut .37mm chipboard on the Maker using the regular fine-point blade.)
Can I purchase my own chipboard to use?
Yes, but Cricut doesn’t recommend it and can’t guarantee results. If there are bad spots in the chipboard, it may damage the knife blade. If you want to try your own chipboard, just make sure that the thickness is under 2mm for the Explore Air 2 and under 2.4mm for the Maker. Enjoy!
Like using your Cricut for decor? Check out my tutorial on how to make DIY wall decals using your Cricut! You can also check out my post, “Which Cricut Should I Buy,” which outlines the differences between the Joy, Explore Air 2, and Maker machines!
Here are my finished chipboard leaves…
Aren’t they cute? I cut the same pattern out of gray vinyl, black vinyl, and hunter green vinyl I had in my Cricut materials drawer. They look gorgeous and give my new little workspace corner’s blank white walls a nice facelift. 🙂