Username Post: CRICUT 101
gg  loves Matthew
Posts: 28217
Joined: 03-08-04
gg  loves Matthew

ok, this is not an original idea....I saw it elsewhere, BUT I think it is great idea! (thanks Jennie)

A thread for all tips and ideas and questions regarding your CRICUT (this way everything will be in one thread)

Here are some tips I pulled from where I got the idea for starters....
please add your tips and ideas

Here is a pattern for a dust cover for your machine that I found on the is not my design.





1. If you want letters smaller that 1 inch, I print it via a special feature and pop out the letter. Depending on the special feature you use (like the "sign" feature on George), you can get letters close to 1/4 inch.

2. Regarding the USB port on back - I went to a Cricut class which was run by a Provo Craft rep. The USB port is there for Provo Craft to run techinical issues. For example, they test it before shipment and if you had any problems and had to send your cricut in, then they could run troubleshooting with the port. Sorry to disappoint.

3. NO LONGER STICKY MATTS - DON"T throw it away when it is no longer sticky. Just use a small piece of masking tape, and tape down the corners of whatever size paper you're using. (If its a 12 inch piece, I also put a small piece along the long edges to keep it tight. ) I've used the same mat since Thanksgiving, and although I've got a new one, don't see the need to break it open.

4. LITTLE LETTERS - To make little letters:
On the George cassette there is a 'sign' option. I set the size to 1-1/2 " and put the letters for 'little' in each sign. Viola - small letters. They are really small if you set the sign size to 1".

5. A trick to making your mats last longer is, when it loses it's stickiness, just wash with soap and water and dry. It'll bring back some of it's tackiness.

6. One of my FAVORITE things to do with it is to make my own Ghost Letters and Ghost Flowers by cutting cheapo overhead transparencies

7. When you have the "real dial size" feature on, all your letters will be the same height. So basically, it makes all the letters unicase.

8.Since the Cricut cannot cut chipboard you can cut several (number depends on the thickness you want) of the same letter, shape etc, run them through a Xyron and stack them on top of each other then distress the edges by sanding or painting JayAndXansMom
I have cut the really thin chipboard(I use old cereal boxes) with my Cricut. Just set the both dials on the left to 5 and cut. You may still have to "punch" them out a bit...but it works pretty well. scrapbook girl
Another way to "revive" your mat when it becomes unsticky, is to run a lint roller over it a few times and it picks up all of the fuzzies, and hair and all other objects that should not be there. I use this a lot, I even have my lint roller on my desk. And I have been using the same one for 4 months!!! denbeau
Another way to clean your mat is to use stamp cleaner. You simply put on a bit at a time and rub with a clean cloth and it does a great job in getting the stickiness back in the mat. tina c
Using the arrow buttons to move your blade around the paper I cut out shapes...then using the scraper tool I gently peel off the paper. I have an overlay for my LO. I cut out random snowman and snowflakes out of winter scene paper, then placed on top of light blue sparkly paper.
instead of using the cricut scraper, i have the pampered chef scrapers that you use to scrap their stoneware and/or burnt on food on your pans. they are little, square and i swiped one from my kitchen sink to keep in my cricut box, works just like the cricut scraper itself!
This is a handy little tip that I learned at my LSS about how to make it easier to glue the letters on your layout. I hope I explain this so that it makes sense. First off you need the Scotch Removable Tape. The packaging is blue. You lay you word out exactly how you want it on your layout. Tear off a piece of tape a little longer than the length of the word. Lay the tape down over the word. Pick it up and turn it over, add your glue, then turn it over and place it down on the layout, pressing fairly firmly, then peel off the tape..Viola!!! Your hands never come in contact with the glue!!! Doing titles is not near the pain as it used to be. I have just started working on a baby album for a co-workers son and daughter in law and it has made this so much easier.Usually I just print out the title but this looks a whole lot better. c
If you cut sticky paper check your blade. Just like scissors it can get gummed up. c
today I cut out vellum then used the negative space as a stencil.
Here is the trick I used to line up my photos so the circle is cut where I want it to go:
I first used a scrap piece of paper that was the same size as the photo. I put it on the mat in the left rear corner and then moved the cutting edge to the top right corner and then hit the "set paper size" button. I then cut a circle on the scrap paper that matched my photo size. I then held up not the cirlce but the rest of the paper that had the circle cut out of it to my photo. I used this template to then determine where the cricut would cut the circle from the photo.
If I liked where the photo would be cut from the picture, then when I cut the picture I started the blade on the same spot on the right top corner of the photo when I pushed the "set paper size button.
If I wanted the circle to be cut down farther, then I started the blade farther down on the photo when I pushed the "set paper size" button.
If I wanted the circle to be cut higher on the photo, then I started the blade farther up then the edge of the paper before I pushed the "set paper size" button.
Once I got the hang of this method, it worked pretty well on detemining where the circle would be cut.
This method also could be used on pattern paper if you wanted to center a design on the paper in a cut out. loves Matthew
Since Cricut does not cut chipboard I have read elsewhere that people are using cereal boxes and Cricut cuts that just fine. Here are the settings if you cut cereal boxes Blade: 6 Speed: 3 Pressure: 5 loves Matthew
go through your user manual and make a copy of all the setting charts and glue them all on to one piece of paper or cardboard and keep it next to your bug for easy reference.
The Cricut dust covers that you can purchase on evilbay are made by several women on the Cricut message boards. They prefer that you buy directly from them and charge less because they don't have to pay the fees. You can also pick which colors and styles you want, even have a cuttlebug cover made to match. Bug fashion, gotta love it!! c
Easy Blade Height Adjustment
One of our favorite tips is to make sure that the black arrow on the green blade assembly is visibly facing out when installed. If the assembly is already installed, just loosen the arm thumbscrew and gently turn the entire assembly to face the front, then tighten the screw back up. Once this faces forward you can easily reach in and twist the top of the assembly to change the blade height WITHOUT needing to remove the assembly itself. It's VERY simply and quick. Try it! So even though the book says to remove you do not have to. Krazy
I go through mats like crazy and can't go out and buy a new set every week, so I used the taping method someone mentioned towards the beginning of the thread. I use very thin masking tape and tape down all four sides. I have about four older mats and when I start a new project I take a piece of each of the papers I will be working with and tape it to a mat. This way before I even start my project I have four mats with my selected papers ready for cutting. It is kind of a pain to tape the paper so I do it before I even get going, this way I don't have to stop in the middle of a project to tape and untape. Also, my most recent font purchase was bags, tags, boxes and more, alot of fun to work with, you can make the cutest little things. I don't have the tool kit either so I just use a wooden tooth pick to pop off hard to get cuts, like the dots on i's. and flower centers. One of these days I am going to get some Post it glue, I think it comes in a glue stick form and see how that works with keeping a mat in place, also would be useful for pre LO placement, my cats won't be able to knock everthing off when I'm not looking.
Try cleaning your mat with a baby wipe. It doesn't void the warranty and it refreshes the sticky-ness of the mat.
Put your bug on the highest pressure setting (meaning 1) and cut letters of a word or a shape on vellum. It doesn't actually cut through the vellum, but it leaves a cool impression on it. You can then put the vellum on some colored CS and the impression shows up quite well! c /LindaF
While watching the video of the Expression machine, they said that it would cut chipboard by cutting the same piece several times to get through the thick layers. I wondered if it would be possible to do the same with my Cricut, and it worked beautifully!!!!!
I placed my chipboard on my mat, and taped both edges using masking tape for added stability. Using a new blade, I used Base Camp cartridge, and pressed Load Paper. I chose the capital letter H at 5 and 1/2", pressure on 6 and pressed cut. Don't remove your mat from the machine! When it had completed I pressed Load Paper again and it went back to the start. I pressed repeat last and then Cut again. It cut the card in exactly the same spot as before, cutting a little deeper. I did this a total of three times altogether, and then removed the mat. I am impressed! Then someone shared that that is what they are doing with Shrink plastic.
I also use my Xyron for my smaller letters but recently ran out and haven't gotten more adhesive for it. I did on the other hand find a "glue pen" that is awesome for the small, thin letter. It's a Sakura Quickie Glue pen. It's a ball point pen with glue in it. It's awesome. I'm going to have to stock up next time I go to Michael's.
I have placed my Cricut on top of a small shelf and placed it sideways so I can stand in front of the machine and type. I have enough space for the pad to move back and forth so there is no need to move my Cricut, it stays put. I have a dresser next to the shelf where I house all my Cricut supplies and can get to them easily and they are out of sight when not in use so my room always has a clean and organzied look to it. My sister's idea. I have posted a photo. I remove the fake flower thing u'll see in the photo before I use my Cricut. It is working out better than I expected and won't move it from where it's at. And it's not an eye sore sitting on the shelf. Who wants to turn sideways to type, what a pain in the neck.

28. by: theboydbunch
On the cricut website there is a thread that has a sample page from each cartridge (shows what cuts you can make, etc) I printed one out for each cartridge and keep it in a binder, with layout sketches I have collected and it makes it so easy to decide which cartridgte I want/need to use!

29. by: MissMoo214
Date the back of the mat with a Sharpie when you start using it to help with mat rotation. Then you can use your older mats for things like vellum or pattern paper and the newer mats for cardstock and Bazzil.

30. by: sheshie37
Using the alphalicious cartridge Just set it on 5 1/2" for the largest circle with the little bug setting ...its the oval scalloped tag but if you push the short stack shadow feature along with shift lock then they would get the round scallop circle. I had to play with it a bit. On alphalicious its 2nd row from the bottom 3rd from the right
let me know how it works for you all!
ITs the ALPHALICIOUS cartridge

Edited by McKane on 01-14-09 03:50 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

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