Disclaimer: We were sent a Cricut Mini for the purposes of this review.
Note: The product mentioned in the post on 4th February 2014 has now been replaced by a newer version called a Cricut Maker® 3
Before Christmas I was sent a Cricut Mini to review. These are electronic cutting machines which you attach to your computer and will cut out any image. I was really interested to see how well it worked and if it could make some of our craft projects look a little more professional.
The Cricut Mini is a really attractive crafting tool. This is a smaller machine than some of the others I have used in the past and it fits neatly on a shelf.
Cricut Craft Cutter Connectivity
The Mini model has to be connected to a computer. Consequently, it needs to be kept near enough to be plugged in easily.
Note the newer versions like the Joy, Maker® 3 and Explore 3 has bluetooth connectivity.
You need to install the Cricut craft room program which means you can access thousands of different images and words to use. There are 500 free images and you have to buy cartridges after that. There are also preprogrammed projects to help get started. The first is a really pretty thank you card. I can see lots of different uses for the cricut but I think it is particularly good for card making. I decided to make a Valentine’s card first to test what the machine can do.
Once installed the craft room is easy to use. you can pick images and position them on the craft mat. You can change the size and direction of the images. I like the fact you can type your own text in. I used the phrase “You’re a cracker” and put it in a rectangular boarder with a little heart.
Computer Aided Cutting With A Cricut
The first one I tried was much too big but once I got used to thinking how big an area I was using it became a bit more straight forward. You then press cut and it starts to cut your image.
It is really fascinating watching the Cricut work. It doesn’t make much noise and cuts really cleanly. I found you have to make sure the card is stuck firmly down onto the sticky cutting mat otherwise it gets stuck in the machine. You also need to be gentle peeling of the card stock from the mat as thinner card can tear.
The Final Result & Verdict
I was really pleased with the finished effect. usually I would hand write mottos onto a card or use a stamp but this looked a lot better and the boarder edge was so much cleaner than I would cut it.
I finished the card off with a mini cracker. Come back tomorrow to see how we made them. Check out our other card crafts.
The range of Cricut models range in price from £160 for the Joy to £400 for the Explore 3.
There are a few additional costs to take into consideratin like the vinyls and the image cartridges if you want to have anything more than the free images. If you do a lot of paper crafting and often need to cut out letters or shapes then I think you would get a lot of use out of it.
It would be a great present for an avid crafter. I could also see teachers getting a lot of use out of it. The fact it will quickly cut letters would be fantastic for making displays. Much better than free hand. the vinyls also add a special touch which means you could use them around the home.