I am in love with my cricut. Love, love, love! I didn’t know they existed until a friend of mine bought the original with a 6″ wide mat. We played with it for hours, cutting shapes and words, figuring out how to use the tools, eventually running of paper. I was hooked.
I saved my pennies and purchased the Cricut Expression that came with a 12X12 mat and 12X24 mat. It came with two cartridges. As soon as I got it home, I unwrapped it, plugged it in and proceeded to dial in an image, put paper on the mat and started cutting. Aaaagh! the cuts weren’t complete, the paper shredded and when it was done, I couldn’t get it off the mat without tearing it. Well, it wasn’t as easy as I remember it to be. For a couple days I played with it some more, still having the same problems, even though I was adjusting the blade depth, adjust ing speed and pressure, changing papers, everything I could think of to make it work.
Finally, I gave up and didn’t use it very often at all for several (3) years since it frustrated me to no end.. One catch, I kept buying cartridges, why? They were on sale and I figured eventually it would come to me how to make it work.
One day I’m looking atit and all the cartridges I had purchased and saw a pile of money just sitting there. I decided then and there to learn how to use my Cricut. Online, I found a dvd that showed beginners how to use it, so, even though I wasn’t technically a beginner, I purchased it. Best investment I ever made (it wasn’t that expensive, really).
Now I make beautiful greeting cards ( I sell them on Etsy), have used it to make templates for painting on walls and shirts and will soon use it to cut verses of vinyl. I bought an Expression 2 and didn’t love it. It was more digital but it didn’t like connecting my Mac. So I sold it and am saving to the buy the new Cricut Explorer, which supposedly works better with my computer.
Here are some things I learned:
- I go back and forth between 5 and 6 on the blade housing
- The pressure is usually set at high as well as the speed. For small, delicate cuts and lightweight paper, slow it down so it doesn’t shred.
- I don’t use white core cardstock to make thin or delicate cuts. The white shows through and is not attractive, large shapes is fine.
- You can use your blade for a long time but when it starts shredding, no matter the weight of the paper, it’s time to replace it
- Don’t use lightweight paper on a new mat (although I’ve seen the new mats they have geared to light, standard and heavy). it will tear. The funny thing about the mats, I use mine for long time to save money; there is an optimum time when it ‘s just right and then it just isn’t. I have used painter’s tape to help it stay on. Nothing is worse than when you begin cutting and the paper starts moving around.
Here are some examples of my work