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Old 11-27-2010, 10:58 AM   #1
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Default To keep or not to keep... that is the question.

Hi everyone!

Well, I just bought my first Cricut (the smaller one that does letters up to 5 1/2 in. tall) after saying I would never get one. The price was right! I had been holding out cuz I love the hands-on of my Cuttlebug and stamps, etc. for cards and scrapbooking (mostly card-making).

So, do I open it up and keep it? Will I use it? What about all the cartridges I have to invest in? That can get pricey. And do I have to buy blades and mats eventually? Will I be happy with the smaller Cricut, or if I'm going to take this step, would I be better off holding out for the more expensive and bigger one? Wouldn't the smaller one do for cards and a bit of scrapbooking?

To all you Cricut users, do you LOVE your Cricuts? Do you still use your Cuttlebugs? Would you recommend this size Cricut to start out with?
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Old 11-27-2010, 11:01 AM   #2
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I LOVE my cricut, and I do still use my big shot. You can pick and choose cartridges and can find good prices online. The blades are cheap. Yes you do need new mats, the stickiness wears off. The small one should be enough. Do you need anything 24"?
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Old 11-27-2010, 11:40 AM   #3
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I have been where you are currently.

Last Thanksgiving I bought the small Cricut. At that time I also purchased two cartridges (one came with the machine). Right now I have a total of 7 cartridges (just got two more on Thanksgiving). For the longest time I really, really wanted to upgrade to the Expression. I just thought it would be so great to have the bigger machine and the capability to do more stuff and larger. At that time I had my Cricut hooked up to my computer to use MTC software.

It became such a hassle to drag paper and cardstock into my living room to cut and then drag it back into my craft room that I have decided I don't want the hassle anymore. So I unplugged my Cricut and took it back to my craft room and hence the need for two more cartridges.

And, to make a long story shorter, I decided against the bigger machine. First of all, what will I do with the one I already have? Second of all, when I make cards or scrapbook, why would I need something 23" tall? I don't make banners.

At first I thought it would be easier to make boxes, but I prefer doing that by hand. Plus I want a Grand Caliber anyway. Or Tim Holtz's Vagabond. And I have a Cuttlebug that I love.

So for me, I'm just fine with the Cricut I have. Now I think the Cricut Create does some things my Cricut doesn't but I'm not sure. Might have to check that out. But I just decided I don't need the bigger machine.
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Old 11-27-2010, 01:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antsanna50 View Post
Hi everyone!

Well, I just bought my first Cricut (the smaller one that does letters up to 5 1/2 in. tall) after saying I would never get one. The price was right! I had been holding out cuz I love the hands-on of my Cuttlebug and stamps, etc. for cards and scrapbooking (mostly card-making).

So, do I open it up and keep it? Will I use it? What about all the cartridges I have to invest in? That can get pricey. And do I have to buy blades and mats eventually? Will I be happy with the smaller Cricut, or if I'm going to take this step, would I be better off holding out for the more expensive and bigger one? Wouldn't the smaller one do for cards and a bit of scrapbooking?

To all you Cricut users, do you LOVE your Cricuts? Do you still use your Cuttlebugs? Would you recommend this size Cricut to start out with?
You sound just like me!! I saved money to buy one, which I did at Black Fridays sale. I bought the Create, because I am also just a card maker, and its smaller for one, spacewise, and 2 I really dont think I will use it that much. Dont have young kids in school, or large groups I would make large things/amounts for. I like stamping, so really in my mind I just wanted it for fonts. I also saw some SVG files for free flowers that I thought would be great so.....
I got it at Custom Crops for 74.99 without a cartridge. I also bought "Sure Cuts a Lot", so I dont have to spend money on cartridges!
Almost everyone suggested I get the Expression because it can do bigger things that are on some of the cartridges that you cant do with the Create, because its small, like bigger boxes, enevelopes. I almost broke down and did, but I honestly dont think I will use it that often. I guess I will find out soon enough LOL. If I use it and love it THAT much, I guess I will wait till next years Black Friday and get the E.
I did go to Walmart and get Jolly Hoidays, because after ordering one with no cartridge, I found out you need at least one cartridge in your machine for "Sure Cuts a Lot" to work.
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Old 11-27-2010, 02:02 PM   #5
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I post on the Cricut boards and it seems as though most people end up buying an Expression (the larger machine) within months of buying one of the smaller machines (the Personal/Original or the Create). ETA: Of course, the people who post on the Cricut MB tend to be big Cricut users and fans.

If you end up getting into the whole Cricut thing, you end up needing the larger machine. Of course, you need the smaller one, too, for back-up or when you're crafting with friends. LOL It's good for titles, and if you're really cranking out a project, it's handy to have 2 machines going.

However, IME, boxes, bags, envelopes, and 3D items, especially, are so small they're practically useless (and nearly impossible to assemble) when cut on the Personal and Create machines.
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Old 11-27-2010, 04:06 PM   #6
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I love my Cricut and my Big Shot for different reasons. I started out with the smaller Cricut but eventually moved up to the Expression. I didn't like having to cut my 12" paper to 6". I also wanted to be able to make larger boxes and things. The Expression also has more features. I still have my smaller Cricut because it is easy to take to crafting meetups. I have 32 cartridges and I don't think I paid full price for any of them. I use both Sure Cuts Alot and the Cricut Design Studio as well.

I'm making 45 large nutcups for our Holiday party at work. I'm really glad to have my Expression at times like this. At other times I like having the Big Shot when I want to just cut one or two things.
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Old 11-27-2010, 04:53 PM   #7
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Default I did the same thing.....

....I have the Cricut Create. I do very little scrapping and way more cards.

I think you will like it once you are used to it. It is taking me awhile to incorporate these die cuts into my regimen of cardmaking.

I still get more satisfaction out of my stamps because they have more depth, but I am also having fun running a machine I thought might be too hard for me to use!

IMHO, I would start out with one cartridge of letters (Plantin Schoolbook is very popular) and then start with a cartridge that has images that interest you (flowers, animals, whimsy....whatever it may be).

I know you will enjoy it once you are used to it.

Hope this helps!

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Old 11-27-2010, 07:53 PM   #8
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Well, I finally broke down and bought the Cricut personal after years of swearing I'd never buy into the whole cartridge thing..... Now mind you I have both the Wishblade and the KNK Maxx. The thing that swayed me into the cricut was believe it or not the the cartridges! Sure, I can scan, trace and recreate just about anything on the web into a cut design using the Maxx, but I have to say there are some darn cute images on those carts that I dont have the time and or patience to make myself. Actually the carts can be found super cheap online compared to original retail price. And the real secret is that there are SO MANY MORE images on these carts using the function buttons. Those of you that are veteran Cricut users already know this and snicker at us newbies LOL. Heck the flourish patterns that seem available on so many carts are just fab! If you have just one machine maybe I'd go for the bigger and bestest but the software works with ALL the machines and if you dont scrap 12X12 and make muliples of things often I'd say you will be quite happy with your Personal. I got mine for 59.99 this weekend.
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Old 11-27-2010, 08:15 PM   #9
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Another thing about the Cricut is that you can make acrylic stamps and embossing folders and embossing dies. And while you can make the embossing items you can't actually emboss with the Cricut so that's another place a Big Shot or a Cuttlebug comes in handy. The Expression can use colored pens so you can draw images. I'm not sure if all the other Cricuts can use the pens or not.
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Old 11-27-2010, 08:19 PM   #10
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Default Hmmm - well, you all have me thinking that...

... I should give it a go and try it out. I wasn't sure if I wanted to get into the whole cartridge thing, but there are some good deals online. I've already bought some other stuff from Oh! My Crafts and noticed their clearance prices seem pretty good. I do have to do the customs thing since I am in Canada though. Any Canadian readers know of an online Canadian retailer with great prices?

Anyway, I don't think I'll have a need to do anything big since it's cards mostly. For that reason, I think I'll try out the smaller one I already bought. I don't make boxes and envelopes, so I should be OK.

I'll have to wrap my mind around the function buttons since planet 43 mentioned there are way more images that way. I guess Splitcoast forum will help with that, I hope.

Kalakitty, I'm not sure what Sure Cuts Alot and the Cricut Design Studio are exactly.

Anyway, thank you all for the advice and the info. Now the question is, do I open it and use it before Christmas or put it under the tree? Nevermind... I think I know what all of you would say.
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Old 11-28-2010, 02:52 AM   #11
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Long time Cricut user here. I agree with the girls keep that Cricut. I am a BigShot owner too. I never would part with it and just upgraded to the Pink & Black BigShot.

You know I think the small Cricut suits most needs. I use the Create a lot. I just had a change in my artwork recently, like this week recent, that I will be using my Expressions more. Honestly, the Create or Baby Bug is good for most work. With the prices so low you can play with the smaller machine and then decide if you want to upgrade or not in the long run.

I am a BossKut Gazelle & Quickutz Silhouette user. I also have MTC & SCAL. I have 71 Cricut cartridges. I use them. I also have a Gypsy that I love.

I agree with planet43 about the cartridges. I can recreate the images too. I can design my own images. Some of the designs on the cartridges are just beautiful. I rather use those designs and take time to concentrate on making my own work. If I work three hours on a unicorn. I really don't want to spend another three hours designing hydrangea's.

I never snicker at newbies.
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Old 11-28-2010, 06:47 AM   #12
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Default Embossing folders, dies, and acrylic stamps with a Cricut?!

Wow! A cricut can do that? Not just cut out shapes? What does one have to buy extra to be able to do this? Can the smaller Cricut do that? Not just the big one? I thought the Cricut could only cut cardstock.

This is very interesting!!! Who has tried this and how does it work? Would it be in the instructions (I still haven't opened the box)? Thanks for any responses and thanks for that little tidbit of info, Kalakitty.
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Old 11-28-2010, 10:38 AM   #13
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Oh tell us more about making embossing folders and stamps!!!!
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Old 11-28-2010, 06:24 PM   #14
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Cricut sells Embossing kit folders here is some information. I know JoAnn sells these and probably any other craft store that sells Cricut accessories.




    • Add an embossing folder kit from Cricut to your craft supply collection
    • Die cutting supply lets you cut your own design using the included embossing sheet
    • Die cut machine lets you create your own embossing designs for greeting cards, scrapbook projects and much more
    • Cut your own design with your Cricut machine using the included embossing sheet; stick your cut sheet into the included folder along with your paper/cardstock and send it through your Cuttlebug machine.
    • It's that easy to create your own embossing designs for greeting cards; scrapbook projects; and much more!
    Kit Contains:
    • One folder: 5.75 inches x 4.25 inches
    • One embossing sheet: 5.75 inches x 4.25 inches x .02 inches
    • Complete instructions
    • Cricut machine and Cuttlebug machine not included.
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Old 11-28-2010, 06:42 PM   #15
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Here is some information about the Cricut Stamp Kit. The stamp kit contains acrylic blocks and the material for cutting out the stamps. If you already have acrylic blocks you can just buy the refill kit, you don't need to spend the money for the whole kit.



    • Add a cuttable stamp kit from Cricut to your craft supply collection
    • Use the stamp sheet with your Cricut machine and the deep cut blade (not included)
    • Scrapbook tool lets you create your own clear stamps from any cartridge image you choose
    Package Contains:
    • One 6x6-inch stamp sheet
    • Four acrylic stamping blocks measuring 1x1-inch, 2x2-inch, 3x3-inch and 2x6.5-inch
    • One 6.75x7.375-inch storage folder for blocks, sheets and cut stamps (the refill stamp sheet folder also fits in this folder: not included)
    • Directions for creation, use, and cleaning and storing of your freshly cut stamps and blocks
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Old 11-28-2010, 07:06 PM   #16
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The Cricut can actually cut many different materials. A lot you need the "Deep Cut Blade" for.

Stampin' Up's chalk paper
Vinyl
Magnet Sheets
Stencil Material
Chipboard

You can find these materials at Provo Craft.

To make embossing die cuts, cut 3-4 images out of cardstock and glue them together and then run them the Big Shot or Cuttlebug.
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Old 11-29-2010, 04:55 AM   #17
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Wow, I had no idea about the embossing folders and stamp kits! Definitely have to check those out.

I got a Cricut Create a few months back and upgraded to the Expression, just to have the option of doing bigger cuts, and I haven't regretted it.

I also purchased Make the Cut! which is software that you can use to design your own cutting files to cut on the Cricut, without needing to purchase cartridges. You can also import SVG files and there are tons available for free online. You just need to have one cartridge in the machine in order for it to cut. I use my Cricut constantly, and I only own two cartridges which I very rarely use. I have info about Make the Cut! on my blog if you're interested, link is in my signature.
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Old 11-29-2010, 05:09 AM   #18
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I would never give up my original Cricut or Expression!!! I have over 100 cartridges and can create some super projects and greeting cards with them. I use the Design Studio to enhance the abilities of the machines and cartridges. There is really no limit to what you can do.

My only thing I tell those I teach.....if you don't have a set-up where you can keep your machine(s) out and accessable, then you will not use them to their fullest abilities. If you have to pull them out each time just to use them, you won't use them as often.

Remember you can use your rubber stamping, machine embossing and heat embossing tools to further embellish your die cuts.

I also have the stamping and embossing kits put out by Provo. I'm not impressed with those as they certainly don't give the impressions comparable to other methods.

These are just my opinions based on personal experience of several years....take them or leave them.

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Old 11-29-2010, 12:23 PM   #19
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Default I'm a little overwhelmed...

... by all the possibilities this machine can do, but I will proceed taking baby steps. Thank you all for your info and advice. I'm opening it up tonight since a friend is bringing her cartridges over and I can play with them a bit.

One more thing. Two places seem to have great prices when you order online. Oh My Crafts is one and another which seems to be even less expensive is called Die Cut Central. Seems the cartridges range in price from $14.99 up to $39.99. I know our Michael's (in Canada) is having a sale this week priced at $39.99. I'm finding the ones I'd like fro at least half that online. Do you mostly order online or buy from a store? Even with shipping factored in, it seems better to order online. Yes?
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Old 11-29-2010, 12:29 PM   #20
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Quote:
I also have the stamping and embossing kits put out by Provo. I'm not impressed with those as they certainly don't give the impressions comparable to other methods.
...And here I thought it was just me! But I do like the embossing cut out dies that I make myself out of cardstock. I'll try to post an example when I get home from work tonight.

I bought from "Oh My Crafts" once and didn't have any problem with them. Sometimes I'll buy online and sometimes I'll buy from a store. It depends on where I get the best price and how soon I want the cartridge. Sometimes I hate waiting even if I do save a couple of dollars.
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Old 11-29-2010, 04:11 PM   #21
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Default Online carts vs. buying at a store

I live in a small city in northern Ontario and we got a Michaels about 3 years ago - and wow, have I ever spent a fortune there - even using my coupons.

Besides that and Walmart (they've downsized the craft section and I'm not sure if they have Cricut stuff there still), I'm locked into buying at Michaels if I want something. Usually the 40% and 50% off coupons don't include Cricut products. So the cartridges just went on for $39.99 which is supposedly a good price???? When I see the 2 online stores with the same cartridges priced anywhere from 14.99 to 24.99, I figure it can't get better than that.

What do some of you pay for your cartridges? That was one of the big reasons why I held off with a Cricut - the cost of the cartridges.
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Old 11-29-2010, 05:53 PM   #22
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Oh My Crafts is having a really good sale right now that you might want to check out.
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Old 11-30-2010, 09:34 AM   #23
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Default OMC sale

Kalakitty, I just ordered one cartridge from OMC, and with shipping, it will be about $18.50 less than at Michaels. I also compared their prices to Diecut Central who has even better prices - the one I ordered was $10 less than OMC. But, they nail me through shipping which is outrageous. In the end, I went with OMC.

And I tried out the Cricut last night. SO MUCH FUN!!!!! I have to learn the little tricks now.
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