For enthusiastic scrapbookers, a Cricut can be a great addition to your craft room. Whether you choose the original Cricut or one of the newer models, you'll find die cutting has never been easier.
What Are Cricut Machines
Pronounced like the bug "cricket", Cricuts are die cutting machines made by the scrapbooking supply manufacturer Provo Craft. Most models do not require a computer to operate and come in a variety of sizes to accommodate many different crafting needs.
The most common use for Cricut machines used for scrapbooking is cutting letters to make titles for your scrapbook layouts. However, a Cricut can also be used to cut a variety of geometric shapes as well as paper piecing patterns for many of your favorite licensed cartoon characters. This makes a Cricut a natural choice for creating handmade greeting cards, home decor, and altered art projects. Parents with young children have also found that a Cricut is great for making unique book reports and science fair displays.
Types of Cricuts Used for Scrapbooking
While all Cricuts can give you quality die cuts in just minutes, the size, scale and use of each machine can help you determine which one is right for you.
The Cricut Mini is a smaller sized Cricut that is meant to work with your computer, rather than on its own. It runs with Cricut Craft Room, so you can design and test your designs before you cut. The Cricut Mini is designed for everyday use, including school projects, organization, scrapbook embellishments and invitations.
The Cricut Expression and Cricut Expression 2 are designed for larger projects. They can make vinyl wall lettering, signs, decorative centerpieces and gift boxes. The Cricut Expression 2 also has a touch screen and stylus for easier use.
The Original Cricut is a stand-alone machine that can cut paper, as well as vinyl stencils for glass etching or stenciling. It comes with a keypad overlay that makes it easy to use for the whole family.
The Cricut Create gives you some of the newer features in the Cricut Expression, but in a size similar to the original Cricut. It has an improved display screen and several functions such as Fit-to-Page mode that the original Cricut does not have.
Choosing the Right Cricut for Your Needs
With so many different Cricuts to choose from you're sure to find one that meets your needs. To help you determine which one will give you what you are looking for, consider these questions as you shop.
- What do you want to cut? Some Cricuts only cut paper, while others will cut vinyl, cloth and heavier materials.
- What size items will you cut? The Cricut Expression will help you make signs and banners, while the Cricut Mini is more for everyday use. Taking the size of your projects into consideration can help you determine which will be more useful.
- Do you like to design? If you like seeing your designs before you cut, or want a hand in the design process, then the Mini is the Cricut for you. It does require your computer, but can give you more control.
- Do you need it to be portable? The Mini requires a computer to work with it, and the Expression is large and cumbersome. If you need your Cricut to travel, the original or the Create may be the one for you.
No matter which Cricut you decide on, these fun and easy-to-use machines are sure to be a great addition to your craft room. Select the best Cricut for your needs and budget and then have fun discovering all you can do with it.