we were recently asked whether we would like to give the cricut mini a bit of a work out and post our views of the little machine. well with our love of making stuff especially out of paper and card of course we said yes please thank you very much. a few days later the little beauty arrived.
it looks like a cross between a printer and a guillotine, i guess that because actually that’s kind of what it is. it is said to be able to cut a wide range of material including card, vinyl, vellum, fabric, chipboard, and even thin foils. we however have only tried card at the moment.
we decided that for our first project we would keep it simple and make a birthday card for Mr HPMcQ.
first things first, you need to install the software to your computer for the “craft room” which is where you create what you want to cut out. it’s pretty straight forward really. you design everything on-line and then you connect your computer directly to the cricut mini et voila.
on the screen you see an image of the cutting mat that comes with the machine, this is the cutting scope of the machine and the area you must work within. the craft room comes loaded with a basic cartridge which includes a couple of fonts, some basic shapes, a couple of different cards, gift tags and bags, a good starting point to get you going and build your confidence.
we played around with one of the preloaded fonts and went for a simple happy birthday cut out. adding the letters to your design is very ease you simply click on it and then resize, and move into position as you want. you can add layers, so for example if you wanted to you could cut out shapes or letters within shapes.
you place your card onto the slightly tacky cutting mat, ensuring that the card is in the right position to how you have designed in the craft room. before you cut out your design be sure to adjust the settings to the thickness of the card or what ever material you are using. if it’s not set right it may not cut out your design effectively. once you are set to go the cricut cut all the letters out within minutes and it then we just had to carefully lift the card from the cutting mat and remove the letters.
we then lined with some lovely red paper to add contrast
left with a small pile of letters we decided to make some birthday bunting which i had spotted earlier there was a preloaded template for. threaded through some lovely twine and then hung across the bedroom as a surprise in the morning.
however we do like creating our own things and even though the process and the ease of using the cricut mini was enormously pleasing, i really wanted to go renegade and desperately wished you could design and cut out your own custom designs rather than just working within the limitations of a cartridge system. additional cartridges are extra which you have to pay for and when we looked on-line most were around the £19.99 mark per cartridge, which can soon add up! but that is just a personal preference.
disclosure : as i said in the introduction we were sent a cricut mini for the purpose of a review. our opinions are our own and we have been completely honest, i’m sure you will agree.