Though the Cricut Joy does have its own proprietary materials you don't have to use them if you don't want to. The Joy can use other materials as long as you cut them down to size and use the small mat that comes with the Joy. We've put together a list of our favorite alternative materials for you to use.
SGHUO Faux Leather Earring Making Kit (opens in new tab)
Who would have thought you can make jewelry with your Cricut Joy? That's right, you can create trendy faux leather drop earrings, and this kit has everything you need to make hundreds of pairs. You're not limited to earrings, however. You're only limited by your imagination.
Kassa Clear Dry Erase Board Sticker (opens in new tab)
Unique boards for students
As a teacher, I'm always on the lookout for creative and well-priced school supplies. This 17.3-by-78-inch sticker can be cut up to make individual dry erase boards for each student, just stick it right on any hard surface. You can use the Cricut Joy to make custom shapes more interesting than rectangles. It comes in Clear or White.
Craftopia Stencil Film Masking Vinyl (opens in new tab)
Create a stencil with this vinyl on your Cricut Joy, then use the stencil to paint items of your choice. It works great for painting wood and making signs. You can also use it for glass-etching projects. You can make a lot of stencils with this 12-inch-by-12-foot roll.
Neenah Creative Collection Specialty Cardstock Starter Kit (opens in new tab)
Cut down card
You can cut any paper or cardstock up to 80-pound cardstock with the Cricut Joy. This cardstock kit has 72 65-pound sheets of cardstock in 18 different colors. Each sheet in this set is 12-by-12-inches and can be cut down to fit the Cricut Joy.
Hygloss Products Mirror Board Sheets (opens in new tab)
Shiny poster board
This metallic poster board with a mirror-like finish is a popular item for bulletin boards, science projects, greeting cards, and more. Use your Cricut Joy to cut out letters, shapes, and other designs perfectly.
Hygloss Products Corrugated Cardboard (opens in new tab)
Yes, even cardboard
I don't know what kinds of projects you'd do with corrugated cardboard, but it's on the list of materials that the Cricut Joy can cut! I think it would be great for kids and school projects, or just for crafting.
XMIAO Premium Removable Vinyl Sheets (opens in new tab)
For removable decals
Decals are often one of the main reasons that people buy a Cricut machine. If you want to be able to remove your decal easily and move it around, you need to purchase removable vinyl. This set comes with 40 12-inch-by-12-inch sheets in assorted colors, plus 20 transfer sheets.
Oracal 651 Glossy Vinyl (opens in new tab)
For permanent decals
I spend a lot of time online in crafter's groups to learn more about the Cricut Joy, and Oracal 651 vinyl is a huge favorite amongst the professional crafters. This pack contains 24 12-inch-by-12-inch sheets of permanent vinyl in Oracal's most popular colors. Make decals for your water bottle, coffee mug, or just about anything made of wood, glass, metal, plastic, and more.
Milcoast Bright Neon Full Sheet 8.5 x 11-inch Adhesive Sticker Paper Labels (opens in new tab)
Make your life more fun
Pinterest-ify your kitchen, pantry, kid's room, playroom, classroom, or craft room with adhesive paper and your Cricut Joy. It's perfect for making labels. The Joy will both write and cut your labels, so organizing and labeling everything is a snap. This package contains 25 8.5-by-11-inch sheets in five bright neon shades.
JANDJPACKAGING Heat Transfer Vinyl HTV Bundle (opens in new tab)
Make fun T-Shirts
Another major reason people buy the Cricut machine is to make iron-on apparel and other items. Heat transfer vinyl, also known as HTV, is a popular way to personalize anything made of fabric. This bundle contains 25 12-by-10-inch sheets of HTV in assorted colors.
Con-Tact Brand Shelf Liner (opens in new tab)
Move your creations safely
After you cut your vinyl designs, if they are at all intricate, you'll need transfer tape. This allows you to move your design from the vinyl's backing to your blank without messing it up. You can save money using Con-Tact paper instead of transfer tape. If it's too sticky, just press it against your clothing a few times before using it.
So many choices
While there are a plethora of branded, Joy specific products available, it can be a little expensive compared to the alternatives. When you make something proprietary it gives you free rein on the cost of that product. Fortunately, alternative materials can be cut to size with no issues.
There is a whole world of non-Cricut branded materials that your Cricut Joy can cut. I'd start with the SGHUO Faux Leather Earring Making Kit (opens in new tab), so you can craft faux leather jewelry and lots more. For permanent vinyl decals of all kinds, you can't go wrong with the massively popular Oracal 651 Glossy Vinyl (opens in new tab).