The Cricut Expression and Cricut Expression 2 are electronic cutting systems manufactured by Provo Craft. The systems are high-end Cricuts used primarily for scrapbookers who need to do a lot of heavy cutting, but can also be used for making signs and other large items, decorating bulletin boards, and creating cards. Since the machine does not require a computer to operate and cut shapes, it is portable. Take it to your scrapbooking crops or to a friend's house and cut as you work on your layouts.
Cricut Expression Features
The Expression models are more expensive than many of the other Cricut cutters, but they pack a lot of features for serious scrapbookers.
- They are available in a 12 by 24 inch cutting mat which allows you to cut super large letters and shapes for signs and posters. This mat size also enables you to cut entire layout-size shapes to use for backgrounds.
- A deeper cutting tool provides the ability to cut materials other than paper. Even thick chipboard or vinyl adhesive used for sign lettering can be cut with the Cricut Expression.
- The Expression is backwards compatible with the previous Cricut machines, which eliminates the requirement to buy cartridges you may already have.
- This machine includes a quantity feature that will cut the same image as many times as needed without having to re-type the request each time. This is especially helpful if you are cutting shapes for holiday cards.
- Auto-fill can save you money in supplies. For multiple shapes on the same page, the machine will process the cuts in a method that gets the most cuts from each sheet of paper. This paper saving method is an economical attribute.
- Portrait features allow the shape to fit to the page. When using this feature, depending on the desired size, you may cut the shape in portrait or landscape orientation.
- The flip feature lets you convert any shape to its mirror image so it fits the layout you have planned. This can be helpful if the photograph or journaling block is already adhered to your layout and the shape in its normal form will not fit.
Where to Buy
When shopping for Cricut machines it is important to consider how often you will use the machine before purchasing. Since the Cricut Expression sells for over $200.00, search for the retailer that offers the best deal. National retailers such as Wal-Mart usually stock these machines in their craft section.
Arts and crafts specialty stores are also a good choice when searching for available products. The following stores stock the Cricut Expression along with a large variety of Cricut cartridges.
- You can buy the Cricut Expression 2 from the Cricut website for around
- Hobby Lobby carries the Cricut Expression 2, priced under $250 along with Cricut cartridges of all types.
- Wal-Mart also carries the Cricut Expression 2 for less than $200.
Operating the Machine
Once you have brought your machine home it is a snap to set up. Simply remove it from the box and attach the electrical plug to the back of the machine and into your electrical outlet. Insert the font or shape cartridge into the front of the machine and use the keypad to type in your desired words. Place the paper on the cutting mat and load it into the front of the machine. Press "Cut" and watch the machine cut out your shapes or letters. After the machine has completed the cutting, press the "Unload Paper" button and take your cut shapes off the cutting mat. They are now ready for use in your craft projects.
Let It Work for You
Regardless of the project you want to work on, using a Cricut Expression will make the cutting much easier. This machine is perfect for professional scrapbookers or enthusiasts who will find value in the initial investment.