Cricut pen alternative

Cricut pen alternative DEFAULT

My Current favorites are the Dual Tip Markers from The Target Dollar Spot ($3 for 12) and the Jot Markers from The Dollar Tree ($1 for 20!)  No kidding.  The cheapest markers are the ones I use the most- The Dollar Tree Markers being my go to favorites.

Quick Links:

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 adapter, I do not add tape or pencil grips..  if they do not fit "as is", I don't mess with them.  

The Pens:


VERY short clips of the machine writing with various pens.  There's no audio on most of these, it is just to show that the pen works - 

I'm really, really impressed with the Dollar Tree markers!!

Those are all free fonts - find them all (and many more) here:


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!  

Learn how you can use the pens and markers you already have at home in your Cricut by getting simple adapters.

The holiday season is approaching and you’re wondering what to put on your wish list? Well, I have a great idea for you!

Not only will this idea save you money and make you discover a lot more possibilities, but you will also encourage a small Canadian company!

Pen and makers adapters for the Cricut

This post is sponsored by Springbok Craft Supply. All opinions are 100% my own. This article contains links to affiliated products for your convenience and at no additional cost to you. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

It was while researching my article on How to Use Crayola Markers with the Cricut that I came across the Canadian company Springbok Craft Supply.

I was immediately impressed by the number of positive reviews related to their products, especially the Cricut pen adapters.

These are compatible with Cricut Explore, Explore Air, Explore Air 2 and Cricut Maker.

They have 14 models of adapters and what I particularly liked is that you don’t have to buy the 14 at once. You can compose your own groups of 3, 4, 6 or 8 in addition to being able to buy them individually! 🙌

Springbok Craft Supply Adapters

Here are all the pens and markers that can be used:

(I would like to advise you that some of the links lead to exorbitant prices on Amazon for Canadians. But you can at least have a visual of the pens.)

How to install the adapters in the Cricut

I invite you to view the video for all the details. There’s nothing better than seeing it to understand and see how easy it is.

Note that using a product other than Cricut is at your own risk. If your Cricut is still under warranty and you break something with a product other than the Cricut brand, Cricut may refuse to honour the warranty!

Testing adapters


For sharpie pens, I did not have the Sharpie ultra-fine point, but considering the superb result of Sharpie fine point, I would be very curious to try it.

Sharpie markers and adapters for the Cricut

Sharpie fine point markers are really in a category of their own. You will see below, I could not compare them to any Cricut pens I had. It looks like an in-between between the medium tip and the calligraphy tip. But oh! What a result!

Sharpie writing test with Circut adapter

As a matter of fact, Springbok Craft Supply offers a set of 3 Sharpie pens or 4 Sharpie pens.


The 3 Crayola markers worked great too.

Crayola with adapters for cricut
Crayola writing test with Cricut adapter

Parents or grandparents will be able to search in the children’s markers and use their Pip-Squeak markers! They really impressed me!

And the other two Crayola markers were just as effective. And just like the Sharpie pens, Springbok also offers the Crayola in a bundle.

And all the others

The Sakura pen had trouble, but it has nothing to do with the adapter. This type of gel pen is known for not having a continuous flow of ink.

Writing test with several other pens and markers with adapters for the Cricut

The best pen to use (best result)

I compared the results above with the 3 main Cricut markers: the “Fine Point 0.4”, the “Medium Point 1.0” and the “Calligraphy” pen.

Cricut Fine point 0.4

Among the markers I tried, Sharpie Art Pen markers, Staedtler Triplus, Prismacolor Premier Fineline and Pilot Fineliner are very similar to the Cricut Fine point.

And even better than the others, the Pilot Fineliner did not leave small dots where the Cricut made stops. However, it is difficult to insert into the adapter. This is normal according to the Springbok owner because this pen requires to be very tight in the adapter to get nice writing. If you struggle with this pen and the adapter, check out the video above to see my trick.

Cricut Medium point 1.0

The pens that most closely resemble the Cricut Medium point are the 3 Crayola. Strangely, they are even a little bit more accurate than the Cricut!

Cricut calligraphy

Unfortunately, I didn’t find a calligraphy-tipped pen that worked in the adapters so I couldn’t compare it.


Is it worth buying adapters with pens or markers?

Difficult to compare all prices, sales, etc. For Crayola, these are very inexpensive markers and you will probably save if you buy these with adapters instead of the Cricut medium point pens. It’s probably the same for the Sharpie brand.

On the other hand, the other markers are almost as expensive as the Cricut brand. So if you already have these markers at home, it’s probably worth using them with an adapter instead of spending money on new Cricut pens.

So my best advice is for you to do the math and see if it’s worth for you.

Do adapters work with the Cricut Joy?

No. The Springbok website states that the adapters are compatible with Cricut Explore, Explore Air, Explore Air 2 and Cricut Maker.

In conclusion

If you’re looking to use new colours or markers you already have at home, I invite you to encourage Springbok Craft Supply, a small Canadian company. Ben and Helaine offer excellent service.

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Buying Cricut pens can be expensive. This post will show you how to use other markers, such as Crayola, in your Cricut machine.

Did you know that it’s not just Cricut-branded pens that you can use in your machine?

Several other markers, including fine line Crayola markers, can work in your Cricut Explore Air or Cricut Maker without the need for an additional adapter.

However, there is a caveat! If your Cricut is still under warranty and you break the pen holder (the clamp A) using a product other than a Cricut product, Cricut may well refuse to replace it. So be very vigilant!

You can visit the Cricut website for specific information about your machine’s warranty.This post contains links to affiliated products for your convenience and at no additional cost to you. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

How to use Crayola markers in a Cricut

First, I need to tell you right away that these markers will work for the Cricut Explore Air 2 and the Cricut Maker. Unfortunately, the Cricut Joy doesn’t have the same pen holder so I can’t include it in this test.

So to lighten the text, when it’s written “Cricut,” I mean the Explore Air 2 and the Maker.

Second, not all types of Crayola markers work in the Cricut. I tested a few other Crayolas I had at home and most of them were too big to fit inside the Cricut pen holder.

The ones I tested and that work very well are the Crayola fine line markers.

When a Cricut pen is inserted into the pencil holder, it must be pushed down until a “click” is heard and the small triangle disappears.

For the Crayola marker, there will be no “click.” It will just hold tightly in the pen holder.

It is therefore necessary to determine how high to place the marker. For this, I use washi tape to mark first the height of the Cricut pen in the clamp A.

Identify the Cricut pen with Washi tape to compare it to the Crayola marker.

Then, by pressing the two markers side by side on a sheet of paper, I add washi tape to the Crayola marker, at the same height as the one on the Cricut pen.

Compare the height of the Cricut pen with the Crayola marker

All that remains is to gently insert the Crayola marker into the Cricut’s pen holder until the washi tape is at the right height.

Add washi tape on the Crayola marker at the same height as the Cricut pen.

It is important never to force the pen holder,even for Cricut pens. The clamp should never be hard to close. If it’s difficult, there is probably something wrong.

Don’t hesitate to watch the video to see exactly how I do it.

Cricut pens vs Crayola markers

I chose to compare Crayola markers to Cricut’s 1.0 medium tip. These are the two tips that are the most similar.

The result is quite impressive! The only major difference is that Crayola’s black is less intense than Cricut’s.

Writing test with the Cricut pen and the other with the Crayola marker.

But for the price difference, who is willing to live with that? 🙋

And if it bothers you, you can always use the Crayola for colours and the Cricut pen for the black. A good compromise that still saves money!

It is still important to note that the tip of the Crayola markers is still wide and that the smaller the drawing or font, the less these markers will give a beautiful result.

Still, the Crayola marker gave a more detailed writing for the smaller font than the Cricut pen.

No matter which marker you use, if the chosen design or font contains very close lines, you’ll need a fine tip like Cricut 0.4.

Other markers

I tested several other markers I had at home thanks to my daughter who really likes pens and markers!

4 other styles of markers to replace Cricut pens that did not work, unlike Crayola markers.

I have not been able to make these markers work.

  • The Midliner was too big to fit in the pen holder.
  • Although smaller, the Gelly Roll didn’t want to enter and I didn’t want to force it.
  • I thought I had succeeded with the Staedtler triplus fineliner but when I closed the clamp, it bounced off!!
  • The Crayola supertips was also too big to fit into the pen holder.

If you want to use other types of pens in your Cricut, I think it’s best to get adapters for each pen. This will prevent you from breaking the Cricut pen holder.

I found these adapters that are made by a company called Springbok Craft Supply.

Canadian company that offers adapters to use with Cricut

The feedback is all positive, delivery is included and you have the choice to make your own combo of adapters. This allows you to buy only the adapters you need! Awesome!

I even tested them all and was very impressed!You can see the detail of the testing in this post by clicking here.

A good gift idea to ask for Christmas!!

Other Single line Fonts and SVG

If you use standard SVG cut files or standard fonts to draw with your Cricut, you’ll end up with a double line.

In fact, you have to imagine that what the Cricut would have cut with the blade is what will be drawn with the pen.

How to find single line images in Design Space

In Cricut Design Space, click “Images.”

Cricut Design Space to find single line images to use with Crayola markers.

Then click “Browse All Images.”

Cricut Design Space to find single line images to use with Crayola markers.

In the “Art type” category select “Draw only.”

Cricut Design Space to find single line images to use with Crayola markers.

If you also want to see the free images, you can also click “Free” in the “Ownership” category.

How to find single line fonts in Design Space

In The main window of Design Space, click “Text” and immediately click the “Font” drop-down menu.

Cricut Design Space to find single line fonts to use with Crayola markers.

At the top right you will click “Filter” and select “Writing”.

Cricut Design Space to find single line fonts to use with Crayola markers.

If you only want to see the fonts you don’t have to pay, you can also click on “My Fonts”.

If you’re not a Cricut Accessmember you’ll only see free fonts and fonts you’ve already purchased, if that’s the case.

If you’re aCricut Access member, you’ll see all Cricut Access fonts as well as those you’ve already purchased, if you have purchased some.

Other places you can find single line fonts and SVG

The SVG files and fonts that will be adapted to the drawing are also those that are designed for engraving, embossing and Foil Quill. In other words, they are single line files.

In addition to Design Space, you can find them in several places.

On the Design Bundles website, just click on “Crafters” in the menu and then on “Single line designs”.

Its twin site, Font Bundles, also offers some single line fonts. To find them, click on this link and enter “Single line” or “Hairline” in the search bar.

On the SoFontsy website, by clicking on“Foil Quill”you will have access to many super interesting files!!!

You can also check out the Single Line Fonts website which sell, obviously, single line fonts!

If you’ve tried other pens, markers or pencils that work in the Cricut, leave it to me in the comments!

P.S. Want to unravel in the different Cricut blades, wheels and tips? Sign up for my newsletter and I’ll send you my cheat sheet for free!

Don’t forget to share and pin!

Pinterest image of Crayola markers to use with your Cricut
Stop Buying Cricut Brand Tools and Materials!


Cricut pen tutorial

Owning a Cricut machine is wonderful! There is so much you can do with it. But sometimes you want to venture out beyond the means of what Cricut provides, like with Cricut pens.

I don’t know about you, but there have been many times I wish I could use a Sharpie or Bic marker with my Cricut machine.

So what if I told you there was a stupid simple easy way to make almost ANY pen work with your Cricut?!

Are you doing your happy dance?

Well, if you aren’t yet, you will by the end of this post. Not only am I going to give you the full tutorial on how to use non-Cricut brand pens
(video at the end of this post) but also a large list of both non-Cricut and the best Cricut brand pens to use with your machine!

This tutorial will work with Cricut Explore Air, Cricut Explore Air 2 and the Cricut Maker machines.

Brand new to the world of Cricut? Be sure to check out my Cricut resource section on the blog!

This post contains affiliate links.

How to use non-cricut pens with your machine!

How to use any pen with your Cricut machine

So are you ready for the secret sauce? Here it is…

THIS pen adapter set will transform your world of pens for Cricut use. For those of you who may not know, inside of clamp A on your Cricut machine you have a pen adapter. And this adapter is actually removable!

That means you can change out the Cricut adapter for new ones that will hold a variety of different brand pens.

The best part? Even if one of the adapters is labeled “BIC markers” to use with BIC pens, that doesn’t mean there may not be other brand pens that work with that adapter!

I discovered that my Tombow duel brush pens work with the Uni-ball Signo adapter. Can you say, hello flawless brush calligraphy?!

Easy Cricut pen tutorial

Best Cricut Pens to Use

Non-Cricut Pens (you will need this pen adapter set here)

How to use Sharpie markers with your Cricut
  1. Sharpie Fine Point (Regular, Metallic & Neon)
  2. Sharpie Ultra Fine Point
  3. Sharpie Pen Art Pen
  4. Pilot Precise (V5 & V7)
  5. Bic Marking (Fine & Ultra Fine)
  6. Bic Cristal 
  7. Sakura Gelly Roll
  8. Amaza Gel Pens
  9. Sharpie Oil-Based Paint (fine and extra fine)
  10. Uni-ball Signo UM-153
  11. Tombow Brush Pens (use with Uni-ball adapter)

—- Crayola —-

  1. Fine Line Marker
  2. Super Tip 
  3. Detailing Gel Pen

Cricut Brand Pens

  1. Cricut Ultimate Fine-point pen set
  2. Cricut Black pen set
  3. Cricut Glitter Gel pen set
  4. Cricut Peacock pen set
  5. Cricut Calligraphy Black pen set
  6. Cricut Candy Shop pen set

How excited are you to try new pens out with your Cricut machine?! Tell me below in the comments and be sure to watch the video below on how to change the pen adapter on your machine!

Changing Your Cricut Pen Adapter

New to Cricut?

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