Saturday, February 21, 2009

Are you new to Cricut and wondering what all it can do?

You've certainly come to the right place. But since this blog contains more info than Moby Dick, here's a summary for the newbies of what all Cricut can do (and a refresher for the rest of us):

  1. Cut shapes and fonts from about a quarter of an inch to almost two feet -- depending on which machine you have. You can also alter those shapes/fonts via "creative features"--the six keys (two if it is a solutions cart, and one if it is a custom cart for an event or specific customer) in grey on the upper left hand side of the keypad.
  2. Cut shapes and fonts from over eighty different cartridges. Click HERE for a list of all of those cartridges. Note that all carts are not available to everyone; for instance, Daisy Chain was a CHA giveaway about a year ago. Some are exclusive to specific stores either permanently (as Home Decor may be in the Wal-Mart Cricut Expressions pack) or for a limited time; AC Moore had a four pack with Wild Card that was available months before Wild Card was available on its own. Wild Card is now available to all, by the way. Don't want to keep switching carts out? Get a Cricut Jukebox and you can put in 6 at a time--and you can stack the Jukeboxes THREE deep, for a total of up to 18 carts that can be "plugged in" at once.
  3. Cut paper up to .5mm with the regular blade housing and blade, and cut paper up to 1.5 mm thick with the deep blade & housing. You can use the multi-cut feature if you have the Cricut Expression, Cricut Create, or Cricut Design Studio, and it will go over the same image up to four times (at one time, no reason you can't press the button to do it again other than your blade dulling). Here are some recommendations at Cricut.com for the deep cut blade: A) Magnet (0.035"/0.80mm thick) with the recommended settings of Speed 3 (medium)Pressure 5 (max) Depth 6 Multi Cut 4 B) Chipboard (0.059"/1.50mm thick) with the recommended stettings of Speed 3 (medium) Pressure 4 (high) Depth 6 Multi Cut 5 C) Stamp (0.0415"/1.05mm thick) with the recommended settings of Speed 3 (medium) Pressure 4 (high) Depth 4.6 Multi Cut 1.
  4. Cut stamps (see settings in #3)--Provo Craft has their own stamp making kit as well as refills.
  5. Cut embossing folders for your Cuttlebug or other embossing machine. Provo Craft has their own embossing kit as well as refills.
  6. Draw anything on any of your cartridges if you have the markers that Provo Craft produces.
  7. Design your own shapes/fonts from the existing shapes/fonts in the Provo Craft library of carts with Cricut Design Studio. If you own the carts you design with, you can cut out (or draw with the markers) those shapes. Want to see pics of this & numerous other Provo Craft products? Click HERE for a mega post on some of the latest PC products; contains many of the carts out as well. Click HERE for the latest list of Provo Craft cartridges to be announced. There is a version two of Cricut Design Studio that will be coming out, but I am not sure exactly when. I'm sure it's in conjunction with their mobile device that will enable you to design on the go. This portable device plugs in to any computer or Cricut, and supposedly holds all of your Cricut carts & overlays (electronically, of course) although I'm not sure how, as if it truly held all of the info you'd just have to hand over your device to someone else to borrow & then both they & you could use your cart (since you'd still have the physical cart). So I'm sure there's more to it, I'll let you know when I find out more details.
  8. Cut Cricut flock. Cricut Flock is a line of iron-on microfiber that has a very low pile and velvety soft texture. The material cuts easily with Cricut and is applied with a household iron. Cricut Flock has a high heat resistant liner which protects the microfiber during application and which also serves as a built-in transfer sheet. It comes in many colors. Cutters Creek has a nice selection of this & many many other Cricut products. Want to see pics of this numerous other Provo Craft products? Click HERE for that mega post on some of the latest PC products.
  9. Cut Cricut Magnetic Material--it comes in 12 x 12 sheets and is less than $10.
  10. Cut Cricut Vinyl to make wall clings or anything you can think of. Provo Craft also produces transfer tape to help the process.
  11. Glass Etching -click for video (yes, glass etching) using Cricut vinyl. Click HERE for the glass etching cream. You can use any color of Cricut vinyl, as it will only be used as a stencil.

Per the information above, you have figured out that you can cut much, design much, and draw much with Cricut & its various accessories. There's also SCAL, which is produced by a company that Provo Craft is not affiliated with, and which I'm sure PC would rather see go away as PC sees them as cutting in to their font cartridge profits. With SCAL, you can cut ANY True Type Font. PC has written code in to their Design Studio updates that will prevent SCAL from working. The people at SCAL were able to produce a patch to download to fix this. But now, PC is doing it again. There are various workarounds, but if you have both Design Studio AND SCAL, you will run in to problems each time PC writes in the SCAL-blocking code to their DS updates.

Need some video help doing one of the items above with your Cricut? Either go to You Tube and enter the search terms appropriate for what you are looking for, or click HERE to go a wonderful, gargantuan list of Cricut video tutorials.

And if you're wondering, It's Cricut, NOT CriCut. And Provo Craft is TWO words.

I'm curious as to what you use your Cricut for, especially if it's not listed above. Please leave a comment to let me know what you love making with your Cricut & I'll post it in a feature post in about a week along with a link to your blog.



A proud member of The Lime Light, a charity-based design team. Click on over to see what we are doing.

6 comments:

  1. Thanks for this post. Even though I've had my Cricut for about 1 1/2 years now, it helps to get this kind of summary. I use my cricut for cardmaking. I started as a scrapbooker, but somehow I've leaned more towards cardmaking. It's a fantastic tool and I love my Cricut. Thanks for your blog and for keeping us "up to the minute" on everything Cricut!
    http://www.dianasausomecreationsetc.blogspot.com/

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  2. I've already posted a comment about your Cricut summary, but I have a question. On your .cut files, how would I know which cart to use? Do you have it listed somewhere with the files? Also, how do I know if it's DS or SCAL? I'd love to use the files, but not real sure how I know which carts. Thanks so much for sharing your files and those from others!

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  3. AUsome mom-

    Thank you SO MUCH for your comments. The only files I've shared are Design Studio files. The difference is that DS files end with .cut and SCAL files end with .scut.

    As far as which carts to use, once you are in Design Studio go to the block with the purple header that says "Cricut Cartridge Library". Then click on the arrow. Scroll until you get to the words "This Project". You will then have a list of the carts used for every single page of that particular project (not just the page/tab you may be on).

    Take care, feel free to ask any more questions you may have.

    --Gracie

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  4. Thanks Gracie! I'm so excited to check out all the .cut files! You're the best!

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  5. I love using my Cricut for all of the above. I don't know how new this is, but I recently wanted a Mickey Head to microbead. I covered a piece of cardstock with wide red tape and cut out the shape. It worked perfectly. However it is important to use a fairly new mat so it doesn't shift.

    My Blog is inspire-a-tion.blogspot.com

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  6. Thanks Terry! I'll put that in the post I am doing next week. I appreciate your leaving the comment!

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Looking for the FREE ZONE (free blog background sites, free font sites...)

That information has been moved to the Imagine That Plus site so that this site will load faster (that one doesn't have as much, and everything is pretty much in posts & not at the bottom of every page so it loads at a pretty good rate).
  • Click HERE to go to the free fonts list
  • Click HERE to go to the list of Creative Memories consultants
  • Click HERE for the list of places that have free blog backgrounds
  • HERE is a list of very helpful Cricut links, including the ones above