Just a couple of days ago global craft giants Cricut announced their latest machine – the Cricut Joy Xtra and I’ve been lucky enough to give it a crack to try and understand why it exists and who it’s for.

At it’s simplest, the Cricut Joy Xtra sits between the entry-level Joy and the premium Maker 3. It features the design of the Joy – a sleek layed back or italic design but still elegant. In fact, it’s designed to be seen.

Many Cricut users are hardcore, and have a crafting room, even cabinets or cupboards designed for their machines and all the gear and accessories that come with it.

But imagine a school teacher, wanting to utilise Cricut for some form of craft in class, the Maker series is huge, the Joy is great but doesn’t take A4 paper, so enter the Joy Xtra and we’ve got the best of both worlds.

Now the Cricut Maker 3 does things that I’ve never even seen – like cut wood or foil and things that are beyond “simple” vinyl cutting. The Joy introduced the ability to feed through meters of material for cutting.

But one thing that has gained a lot of traction of late is the Print and Cut area of Cricut Design space.

People using materials to print out designs on their inkjet printers, onto special paper made to be ironed on, but instead of a big A4 sheet of iron-on on the front of a Jumper, use the Cricut to cut out the design so the iron-on is precise.

Similarly, print and cut stickers is another huge area of growth in crafting. And my best example of that is fine details and multi-coloured designs.

Every week when we iron the kids school clothes, they go on a hanger and its their job to take them upstairs. So my wife purchased some nice new wooden hangers and we decided we’d label them for the kids.

With a Cricut Joy (or Maker) we could just choose a nice colour of vinyl and cut their names. That means cutting, then weeding out the name, transfer tape, application and such. It’s a process. But it is also limiting. We can’t (easily) use multiple colours. Nor can I choose a little car icon for Harri, or a Planet for Victoria.

So, into Cricut design space I went, found a cool car, and a cool planet, put them beside their names, and chose colours for names and icons.

Put some printable sticker material into our standard home InkJet printer and send it off to print.

Boom, we’ve got a design.

Now, apply a simple layer of protective laminate to make the material waterproof, and put it into the Joy Xtra.

This couldn’t be done on the Joy. And the Maker is more expensive, so the Joy Xtra plugs that gap perfectly.

Moments later, the Joy Xtra has carefully but quickly cut around each of the labels, and now I have stickers which I can apply to the coathangers.

Boom! Honestly, very easy.

The first two times I felt the stickers were not coming off that easily, so I chose to increase the pressure, then the last most successful cut (on the video review) I chose the correct material in Design space and the stickers peeled off with absolute ease!

Cricut Joy Xtra is “only” a little more than $100 more than the Joy, and frankly, it’s the new ideal Cricut for people looking to do basic vinyl cuts as well as this newly popular print and cut stuff like Stickers or Iron on.

For me personally, I can see this as an outstanding way to make your very own Laptop Stickers!

If I can do it, anyone can – let’s be honest.