Once you've purchased your Cricut machine, it's time to add a few Cricut cartridges to your collection. With new cartridges being released on a regular basis, the Cricut is one of the most versatile scrapbooking tools on the market today.
Where to Buy Cricut Cartridges
In addition to your local craft stores there are many places you can find cartridges for your Cricut, whether you want one specific cartridge or you want to expand your collection.
- Michael's: Find of cartridges at Hallmark Scrapbook and Crafts. Sort by product name or by price.
- Cricut Image Library: Go right to the source at the Cricut Image Library to find single images and all available cartridges for sale.
- Amazon: Amazon has a large selection of cartridges available, both seasonal and standard.
- Overstock: Overstock has a limited number of cartridges available; check often to see what's in stock.
Finding Discount Cartridges
If you're scrapbooking on a tight budget Cricut cartridges can seem like a significant expense. To save money, consider the following tips:
- Large craft stores like Hobby Lobby won't let you use their coupons on Cricut cartridges, but you can check the weekly ads to wait for these items to go on sale.
- Online scrapbook retailers often run special promos on cartridges. Sign up for free newsletters from your favorite stores to make sure you always know about these offers.
- Look for used Cricut cartridges on eBay. Many crafters decide to unload their cartridges when they've completed a specific project or if they've realized the cartridge wasn't as versatile as they'd hoped.
- Share cartridges with a friend. Agree to swap cartridges for a week or two and you'll be able to incorporate some more variety into your scrapbook layouts.
- If you are interested in a cartridge for just one Cricut project, see if your local scrapbook store allows you to use their machine and cartridges during crops. You may need to buy your paper in the store, but this is still cheaper than purchasing a new cartridge especially if you're not planning to use it often.
- Visit Cricut.com for discount pricing. The "cartridge clearance" section features all of the cartridges that are currently one sale, and most of them are priced at a substantial discount.
Choosing the Right Cartridge
With so many different cartridges available, making your purchase can be overwhelming. The task will seem easier if you keep in mind a few simple questions.
- If the cartridge is a font cartridge, does the typeface match your scrapbooking style? If you work primarily creating heritage layouts, for example, an elegant calligraphy font is going to be more useful than whimsical block letters.
- If the item is a shape cartridge, can you think of at least 10 different layouts you would use it on? For example, if you don't live near the ocean and you hate the water, a cartridge with beach themed designs is unlikely to be very useful for many of your scrapbooking projects.
- If the cartridge features designs that require you to piece the individual shapes together, such as the Mickey and Friends cartridge, is this a task you can realistically see yourself doing? Impatient scrapbookers may find buying a package of Mickey stickers to be a more appealing choice than spending hours making their own embellishments.
- If the cartridge is seasonal, such as the Christmas Cheer cartridge, can you use it in other paper crafting projects such as making greeting cards or holiday décor? Although the Christmas season is a popular topic for scrapbook pages, you may not want the same designs on your layouts year after year.
How to Store Your Cartridges
If you purchase multiple cartridges you may find that they're taking over your craft room. Storing them properly helps keep them clean, dust free and puts them at your fingertips whenever you need them. Try these tips for storing:
- Use a scrapbook cart. Scrapbook carts made of multiple drawers are one way to store your cartridges. Put the books in one drawer along with the overlays and set the cartridges in another, both in alphabetical order.
- Use stackable bins. Stackable bins that have covers are the perfect way to store your cartridges. Keep them upright and in alphabetical order for easy access.
- Use a wallboard. Put a little sticky Velcro onto the backs of each cartridge and you can now hang your cartridges right on the wall. Just put a corresponding piece of Velcro on a wallboard and hang them up.
Cricut cartridges are just one of the many ways you can use your Cricut to get fabulous die cut images. Start your collection with a few designs that you know you'll use over and over again.