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Using the Cricut Create: Money-Saving Tips, Tricks, and Ideas

Jamie loves writing about DIY projects, decorating on a budget, craft ideas, and creative ways to reuse and upcycle products.

Cricut Create digital cutter—purchased half price on Craigslist!

Cricut Create digital cutter—purchased half price on Craigslist!

What is the Cricut Create Machine?

For years, I had heard of the Cricut Create 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 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!

Tips and Tricks to Save Money While Using Your Cricut Create

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 chipboard, don't go out and buy it new. Save your old cereal boxes, instant oatmeal packet boxes, etc. These are all made from chipboard. Just cut to size. It's 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 spraying a temporary adhesive (like Elmers Craft Bond) on the mat will make it re-stick. I have two mats that I've done 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 cuts 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!

Further Info on the Cricut

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 come out with a Cricut cake decorating awesome is that?

This is the way it works: Your Cricut will come with a sticky mat and a cartridge. Mine is a 6-inch by 12-inch 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.

What Can You Do With It?

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 chipboard 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 chipboard, 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 fact, I wonder how I've gone so long without it. Every crafter needs one!!

Is It a Worthwhile Investment for You?

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.

Happy Crafting!

I ♥ Comments!!

Kathy on September 15, 2020:

I bought an older cricut create and I've no idea how to use it. Second does anyone know if all the cartridges for this? There are several is like to purchase of they do. Thanks everyone for the help!

Lorraine on June 07, 2020:

Can anyone tell me how I can find a power cord from this circuit or what voltage it takes

Kelly on June 05, 2020:

trying to connect my older cricket create to the computer to use my own images. any suggestions on how to do this?

Lisa on January 17, 2020:

A friend just sold me her Cricut Create for 20 with 8 cartridges. Its the older one. Probably about 11 years old. Does anyone know if the newer stuff is compatable with it? Ive never used one before.

Sarah on January 13, 2020:

What all can the cricut creat do? Can you make vinyl projects out of it

Heather on November 17, 2019:

Can you use the Sure cuts A Lot program with the Cricut Create?

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on February 04, 2012:

sunbun- Oh my gosh! I LOVE my Cricut Create and I know what you mean about the bigger one.. I had been dying to get it and I finally got it for Christmas and LOVE IT! Thanks for stopping by :0)

sunbun143 from Los Angeles, CA on February 04, 2012:

I have this one too! I want the bigger one though to cut 3D projects and boxes.

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on October 28, 2010:

hehe! Thanks Hannah. I really do love it. It's such a cool machine.

HannahRiley from Texas on October 27, 2010:

I think you are convincing me that I need one too:) Great Hub!