Sunday, December 31, 2017

Alternative Markers For Cricut

The pens I use in my Cricut Air 2 are all pens that fit right in the pen slot.  I do not  remove the pen adaptor, I do not add tape or pencil grips..  if they do not fit "as is", I don't mess with them.  

Nearly 100 FREE fonts that will work as writing fonts - 

Markers That I use on a regular basis, that work well:
  • Jot Markers from the Dollar Tree
  • Leisure Arts Markers from Wal-mart
  • Precise V5 pens
  • Crayola Markers (these did the best on fabric - sample near the bottom of post)
  • Bic Round Pen

Pens I have heard work well, but have not yet tried:
  • Double tipped markers from the Dollar Spot at Target
  • Bic Atlantis pens
  • Much longer list after the samples here, of pens others report work without an adapter
I'm really, really impressed with the Dollar Tree markers!!
Those are all free fonts - find them all (and many more) here:

More Options:
After posting this on a couple of cricut facebook groups, I received the following additional suggestions for markers that work:

  • Black Slick Writer Pens From Hobby Lobby
  • Recollections Brand Pens
  • Markers from Dollar General
  • American Crafts Chalk Markers (BOLD does not work.  Only the smaller tips work)
  • American Crafts Galaxy Marker (medium tip)
  • American Crafts Slick Writers (fine or medium)
  • American Crafts Precision Pens (fine)
  • American Crafts Metallic Marker Fine or Medium Point
  • Amy Tangerine Slick Writer - fine tip
  • Bic Round Stic Ballpoint 
  • Crayola Fine Line (Use care not to push the barrel down too far in the housing otherwise the tip will drag on your paper!)
  • Marvy LePlume II (for ultra fine tip)  
  • Pilot Precise V5 pens Extra Fine .5mm Rolling Ball.  
  • Project Life pens (by American Crafts)
  • Recollections Fine and Medium Point (bold does not work in the Explore)
  • Recollections Photo Marker Set (Fine and Medium)
  • The Write Dudes Infinity Neon and Accent Pens (These Infinities work; the metallics do not.  Take care not to push them down too far. Great, bright colors!) 

    Using Pencil Grips:
    You can remove the pen holder, and use pencil grips to make a variety of Dollar Tree Markers work in the machine.  I haven't tried that, I'm not sure I ever will, but this site has good information on how to do that, and a comparison of markers -
    More Options & Samples:

    Early tests & samples from when I first got my cricut - 

    Today I set out to compare marker options for my Cricut Air 2.  I wanted SIMPLE options.  I do not want to take my machine apart, use pencil grips, wrap masking tape around pens, or buy adapters.  These are all options I may eventually explore - but for the amount of writing I do, I'd really prefer to keep this super simple.

    I stopped at Wal-Mart and bought thin Crayola Markers, thin sharpies, and a pack of Leisure Arts double ended markers.  The Leisure Arts Markers were not in the pen aisle, nor in the crayola aisle, but rather in the back of the store in a craft area.  I believe others have found them with the adult coloring books, near the books and magazines.  

    I've read that Sharpies can be used in the cricut, but these did not fit in mine.  

    These fit - but they are a "loose" fit.  They don't wiggle around, but it is possible to push them in too far.  The second time I used one of these, I had it in a bit too far, and it made drag marks as it moved across the paper.  It's not hard to put them in "just right" - I have a fairly short attention span & patience level, and didn't have any trouble using these, it's just something to be aware of.

    These were my favorite when I did a second test, on fabric.  I haven't yet washed the fabric to see how the ink holds up.

    Leisure Arts:
    These are my favorite!  I love the thin end of these.  I did a sheet of all the fonts that work as writing fonts, using both a cricut marker, and a leisure arts marker, and the LA sheet is so crisp and pretty, it's the one I hung in my craft area.  BUT - I also love the cricut fine tip marker - I just only own one of those, in black. 

    On fabric these worked great, but it was hard on the tip.  After using one on fabric, it did not work well on paper.  These are cheap enough that you could keep one set for fabric, and one for paper, if needed.

    Cricut - 
    I love the fine tip pen, and the medium point markers are ok.  The metallic have not held up for me - they dry out really fast.  I wouldn't buy more of those.  The medium point cricut and the thicker end of the Leisure Arts markers are pretty similar. 

    I've started storing all of my cricut markers upside down, and was surprised at how my metallics have come back to life - they work now!

    Precise V5-
    These are a bit more expensive - it was $11 for 9.  But they write beautifully!

    This is how they wrote on a lightweight canvas fabric.  Writing on the fabric was hard on the markers, I wouldn't use a marker that I really wanted for paper on fabric.  The cricut thin tip did not work well at all.  Here it was an issue of the fabric moving.  My brand new purple mat did not hold the fabric as well as I think it should have - but even when it held, the cricut fine tip did not write as well as the Precise V5 - it's not meant for fabric, none of these are, so the only real surprise is how well the Crayola DID work for this.

    The font I used for this comparison is a free font from DaFont.  It is NOT an official writing font from cricut.  Most fonts that are not official handwriting fonts in cricut will write as an outline. But there are some that will "collapse on themselves" and look like single line handwriting.

    Free Fonts That Will Write As Handwriting (without being an outline) in Cricut, sorted by which size pens they work with, and all with the links to download them - 

    And the cricut will write FUN fonts too!  


    1. Great information. Thanks for sharing. I have your page bookmarked.

    2. Can you share a picture of the leisure arts fine tip?? Or an amazon link?? Want to make sure I have the right ones. :) Thank you

      1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      2. In the photo at the top of the post, they are the markers on the far right.. in the box that says Double Ended Markers. :-) Here they are on Amazon -