Using the Cricut Create: Money-Saving Tips, Tricks, and Ideas
For years, I had heard of the Cricut cutting machine — especially among the scrapbooking community — but didn't really pay much attention to what it could actually do.
As far as I was concerned, it was some expensive craft machine that I couldn't afford. I can't remember what truly sparked my interest in it . . . probably some project I saw online.
But anyway I started to really want one of these digital cutting machines everyone was talking about. One day while browsing on craigslist, I saw a Cricut Create posted for sale. So long story short I got it! It was practically brand new at almost half the price, I fell in love and the rest is history!!
I really do love this machine. The main reason I love it so much is you can do so many different things with it and it is really easy to use. The Cricut came with a cartridge with the font and shapes you can cut.
To my surprise there were several options just on that one cartridge and there are tons of different themed cartridges out there for purchase. Another great thing is that if I ever want to upgrade (which I intend to) to another machine these cartridges can be used in ANY Cricut machine. I've heard that now they have even came out with a Cricut cake decorating machine.. how awesome is that?
This is the way it works: Your Cricut will come with a sticky mat and a cartridge. Mine is a 6 in by 12 in mat. Cut your paper to the size of your mat and stick on, push a button to load your mat, punch in whatever shape or font you want and then press cut. That's it! They even have tablets of decorative paper pre-cut to the mat size for the Cricut Create where Cricut products are sold.
There are different settings on the machine according to what you are cutting. What is awesome about this machine as well is that you aren't limited to cutting just paper.
You can cut many different things such as chip board vellum, cardstock, vinyl and from what I hear even fabric, as long as it is stiff enough and will stick to the mat. There is a pressure dial on the machine where you adjust the pressure. For heavier stuff such as chip board it is recommended to increase the pressure of the cutting blade.
For just paper you don't need to have as much pressure. There is also a speed dial that controls the speed of the cutting process. This helps when you are cutting detailed things.. I personally like to keep mine on the slower side.
There is also a dial to increase or decrease the size of whatever you are cutting. I can cut shapes and fonts up to almost 6 inches on mine but with the Cricut Expression you can cut WAY larger than that since the mat size is 12 in by 12 in. Mine has a mat half that size which is still very nice for a lot of things.
There are lots of great options for cutting that you can do on the Cricut Create which I haven't gone into. Do some research on it and find out what it has to offer... it is a great investment if you are into crafting, especially scrapbooking!
I've never regretted purchasing mine for even a second...in fact, I wonder how I've gone so long without it. Every crafter needs one!!
Tips and Tricks to Save Money While Using Your Cricut
Here are some ways to save money if you are thinking about purchasing a Cricut. I've also added some ways that I save money on my Cricut supplies. I am very happy to share them with you. Here they are:
- Purchase used. I got mine at almost half the price out of the classified ads and it was practically brand new!
- Purchase used cricut cartridges and look for sales. If you keep an eye out you can find some really good deals.
- When cutting a project from chip board, don't go out and buy it new. Save your old cereal boxes,instant oatmeal packet boxes etc. These are all made from chip board. Just cut to size.. its the same thing.
- Re-sticky your mats. I am sure the makers of Cricut do not recommend this but I have done it for quite some time and have never had any problem. Over a period of time your mats will lose their stick but I have discovered that by spraying a temporary adhesive (like Elmers Caft Bond) on the mat will make it re-stick. I have two mats that I've done this over and over on and have never had a problem. As long as you can get the paper to stick on the mat while cutting you are good to go.
- Sure Cuts A Lot is a computer program that you can purchase for use with your Cricut. The Cricut can plug right into your computer with the same cord you plug your printer in with. Having this program gives you access and cut any font on your pc. They have tons of really nice free fonts for download online AND you can make your own files (called SVG files) to cut by using a program free for download called Inkscape. Not to mention there are already several free SVG's for download on the internet already. So if you have this program you can cut virtually ANYTHING you want reducing the need for many cartridges. This program runs about 75.00 but it is TRULY worth the investment!
Thank you to all who stopped by. I hope that you have found this article informative. If you are a crafter and do not have one of these machines, I recommend you get one! They really do come in handy and have lots of uses. It would be a good investment for you, especially if you are into scrapbooking and doing handmade greeting cards and lots of paper crafts.