I have many friends who either use the Cricut, or wish to buy a Cricut and want to know more about it.
My first advice – if you are interested…search Youtube from some videos. There are lots of them out there that will just give you an idea of what the Cricut does.
Now, for the products:
1) The Cricut uses cartridges. There are TONS of cartridges out there. Some are expensive. Some are retired. Some have lots of really cute die cuts. And some are pretty useless to me. LOL
2) Cricut Design Studio. This is software to help you design a page of cuts with the cartridges you own. You can however, sneak peek what are on all the cartridges. BUT you can not cut out a design without the cartridge.
3) Gypsy. Handheld device to design a page of cuts. You can also store your cartridges on this device so you don’t have to bring all your cartridges with you to crops/friend’s home.
4) Markers. Pretty cool. Instead of cutting, you can “draw”. Or you can draw and then switch to the blade and cut. Then you have an outlined version of your cut.
5) Deep Cut blade. I haven’t used this yet (nor have I purchased it). Apparently, you can cut thicker products – cereal boxes, fabric mounted on stabilizer, etc.
6) Vinyl. Pretty cool. You can cut vinyl to make a sign for a window, stenciling for your wall, glass etching, etc.
But now you venture into the “illegal” world. There are third-party products out there that allow you to cut using SVG and TTF files on your computer. SVG files are graphic files and TTF are fonts. You can download many free fonts to your computer and with these “illegal” software products, you can use your Cricut to cut these. I personally use Sure Cuts A Lot. But there are more out there – Fairy Cut or Make the Cut. There may be more out there… One thing to say about these products – if Provocraft, the maker of Cricut determines you have used one or more of these, your warranty will be void.
I also like to shop at Custom Crops . They have a nice graphic of what each cartridge can cut. And plus they have some really good deals!!
All this information can be overwhelming. It takes a little while to digest. But I love using my Cricut. I don’t over do it, but I probably use my Cricut on at least 1/2 of my pages. Maybe even 2/3.
You can make cards, banners, boxes, letters. You can cut vinyl and put up stencils on your wall. Or make a etched glass plate/block. It’s a very versatile tool.