3 April, 2020
Craft With The Cricut Cutting Machine – Some Pros & Cons
First of all, what is a Cricut? A machine that cuts paper, right? Those things are for people that do scrapbooking. I don’t scrapbook, so why would I want one? After some research, it turns out that a Cricut is much more than just something to cut out paper for your scrapbook, and I plan to debunk the paper cutting of scrapbooking myth.
Why Craft With The Cricut Cutting Machine?
Cricut is a brand name for a cutting machine. There are lots of other brands out there, but this is the one that seems to be at the top of the list, and when you hear Cricut, it is synonymous with cutting machines. The Cricut can cut a large variety of materials such as vinyl, leather, fabric, craft foam, balsa wood, aluminum, and sticker paper. Several models do a broad spectrum of tasks. Some allow you to draw, emboss, and create folding lines to do 3D projects.
To better explain it, think about what your printer does when you create an image. Now instead of printing it out, the Cricut will cut the image out using a wide variety of materials. But wait! That’s not all this machine can do. Going back to the printer, you can load a marker into an accessory slot, so the Cricut is now able to draw your desired design onto your cut material.
With a Cricut Design Space subscription, you can have access to an endless library of designs. Or you can make your designs. One project I came across while researching was how you could etch glass with a Cricut. Intrigued, I had to go there. In reality, the machine doesn’t etch the glass directly. You cut out a stencil and place it on the glass. Then you apply a glass etching compound for a few minutes, wash, and remove the stencil. Voila! You have stenciled glass.
A Special Blade For Each Project
With a Cricut cutting machine, you have a lot more detail with the stencil that it cuts out than if you were to purchase a ready-made stencil or cutting one by hand. The Cricut allows you to change out the blades. This makes the machine versatile in cutting different types of material.
Blade pricing ranges from $8 to $80, depending on the type needed. Using the right blade is essential. If you are cutting with the wrong one, you are subject to damaging the material as well as the blade. Here are the seven types of Cricut Blades available from the Cricut website and the model it can be used with:
Can Beginners Use a Cricut?
Since I would be considered a beginner, I think I would be a little apprehensive even to open the box. But after some research, I found that there is more than enough help available to get a Newby started in the right direction. Speaking of instructions, they are reviewed as being straight forward and easy to understand.
That said, I think I would be able to figure it out, which means you would too. Most machines come with starter kits right out of the box, such as paper products, to help get acquainted with it before tackling fancier projects. There are also several books available at Amazon.com to show you step by step with photos for the beginner.
Cricut says their smart cutting machines and apps give you the freedom to make DIY magic happen anywhere, any day.
Quilting with a Cricut
This machine claims to cut fabric like butter. And with its accuracy, it would be a quilter’s dream come true. All of the material would be cut in no time, and every piece would be cut the same size as the first.
All machines come with access to free and easy to learn software called Design Space. It’s free for two months and then $10 per month after that for access. It’s a cloud-based program, so users have access wherever they go. It allows the user access to a wide variety of images and fonts as well as ready-to-make projects. The site is continuously being updated, so there’s always something new to design.
- You can personalize projects with your designs and by changing up the fonts.
- There is a vast amount of materials that can be cut with this cutter.
- The professional cutting technology allows for fine detailed cutting.
- Several accessories can be purchased separately for an even broader cutting experience.
- Step by step set up instruction are easy to read
- Access to how-to-videos is included.
- Extended chat and phone support
- Cuts fabric on the special fabric mat (included) without needing to back it with a stabilizer.
Cons of Cricut
- Have to have an internet connection
- Subscription required to use Design Space
- 3rd party software is incompatible.
- It has two tool inserts, but only one can be used at a time.
- Relatively expensive: $150 to $400, depending on the model purchased.
- Online Design Space is slow and lagging at peak use times
Should you purchase a Cricut cutting machine or not? Well, the first thing to ask yourself is, “Am I going to use it?” Is it just for one project, such as making place cards at your wedding and then put in the closet for another day? Or does your new husband want to coach little league, and they need new team uniforms? You can design and make the vinyl transfers making them the best-dressed team on the field!
The next questions, are you prepared to pay that much for a cutter. And once that’s paid for, do you want to pay for a Design Space subscription? If you don’t want to pay for the subscription because you only use it once in a while, you can still go to the Design Space site and download specific designs for a fee. You can also design your images if you don’t want to pay for them. But you will also need an internet wifi connection or Bluetooth to transfer images to the cutter.
If you’re an avid quilter with a herd of grandkids all wanting a family heirloom, you will get some great use out of a Cricut. This machine will allow you to cut all of your fabric in record time so that you can get to what you want to work on and that sewing.
There seem to be endless possibilities for creating beautiful projects with a Cricut. You just have to have the “I can make that” attitude.
Let me know what you think of this review or if you have any questions in the space below.