Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Cricut Tips and Tricks


I have had so many questions, comments, and e-mails lately about the cricut....I thought a nice little post was in order! So many people are afraid of their machine and don't know where to start. Others are considering buying one, but worry about the added cost of supplies. Guess what? I felt exactly the same way when I first got mine. It totally intimidated me. So today I'm gonna hold your hand and walk you through the scary parts. And I'll share with you some helpful tips I've learned along the way. So.....let's get started!




First of all, don't be afraid of it...embrace it. The possibilities are endless and they're just waiting for you to figure them out. Literally, every single time I sit down to use my cricut I find out something I didn't know before. There is a wealth of knowledge to be gained through trial and error. Another thing that bothers people about the cricut is all the added costs. This is where they really get you...watch out! The cricut can easily nickle and dime you to death.....don't let it. I'm here to tell you that there are creative ways to get around buying all those expensive cartridges and constantly replacing those sticky mats.



Frugal tip #1...the best advice I can give you is to buy the Sure Cuts A Lot (SCAL) software. For an initial investment of about $75, you will be afforded the luxury of never having to buy another cartridge again. Each cricut cartridge will run you anywhere from $40 - $90. SCAL will allow you to hook your cricut up to your computer and use any true type font, dingbat, or wingding you already have. There are tons of websites out there that offer free downloadable fonts (google it). Another thing I love about it is that you can design your own stuff right there on the computer monitor. It shows the mat with the dimensions and everything. What you see on your computer screen is exactly what gets cut. You can move your image anywhere on the mat, resize it, weld it to another image, just about anything.....pure awesomeness. Ladies, let me tell you.....this software is invaluable and will save you hundreds of dollars! I seriously cannot say enough about it. I LOVE it. It is easy and very straight forward. And if I can do it....anybody can.


Ok, let's talk vinyl. I know y'all loooooove the vinyl. It is actually my absolute favorite thing to do with my cricut. I was so intimidated at first, like many of you. I started out watching some YouTube videos on cutting vinyl, and I was good to go. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. Again, don't be afraid of it....embrace it. You'll never learn if you never try, right? Frugal tip #2 is to buy your vinyl somewhere other than the craft store. They only have a few colors, you barely get any, and it's $10 a roll. I buy all of my vinyl at our local sign shop. They sell it by the yard (24" x 36") for about $6. I think that's a great deal, especially since I can pretty much get any color I want. They have tons and tons of colors to choose from and to top it off, it's excellent quality. I had one reader tell me that her local shop actually gives her their scraps of vinyl. Most of us are likely not that lucky, but it never hurts to ask, right? I have established a friendly relationship with the staff at my local place. They joke when they see me coming that it's "the cricut lady" again, and that I'm going to put them out of business. Actually most of their customers who buy vinyl by the yard are cricut owners....word is spreading fast!



This is just a sample of some of the things I've cut out in vinyl with my cricut and the SCAL software. The birdcage font I paid 99 cents for....LOVE. I'm working on a cute canvas door hanger for my sister that I'll show you in a day or two.


Cutting Vinyl 101

I usually cut a piece of vinyl off the roll, close to the size I want my image to be. I hate waste. I set my pressure to medium, my blade depth to 5, and my speed on max. You want the blade to cut through the vinyl, but not the paper backing. After your image is cut, you'll need to peel away the excess vinyl. This includes the outside edges, the middle, even those tiny bits and pieces in between each cut....see above. When you're all done picking it apart...you'll have a beautiful vinyl image ready to play with.


Next you will need to use a transfer paper or tape to lift the image off the paper backing. Frugal tip #3.....use contact paper. I cut off a piece the size I need and I reuse it over and over and over again. I bought a $3 roll of the stuff about 6 months ago and I am just now running out. The roll they sell at the craft store is even smaller than the roll of vinyl they sell, and it's also about $10.



Once you have your transfer paper cut, peel it off the paper backing and lay it on top of the image...sticky side down. Now run your fingernail, a scoring tool, a credit card,or a pampered chef scraper (perfect for this) over the image with some pressure. As you peel the transfer paper away, the image should peel right up with it. If some of the vinyl is not pulling up, simply lay the transfer paper back down and rub harder. That should do it.



Now you're ready for the fun part. You can stick vinyl to pretty much anything....glass, walls, painted wood, unpainted wood, notebooks, canvas, frames, plates...just about anything. Paneling and textured surfaces are tricky, but can be done.



For demonstration purposes I chose to put this image directly onto the glass of a frame. Lay your transfer paper, sticky side down. Be sure and score it like I said before with your fingernail or other tool. You want it to be stuck down pretty good before you start peeling the transfer paper away. As you peel, rock it back and forth, and peel it back onto itself.



My cute little impromptu frame for spring. Now that I'm looking at it, I guess I should have laid the bird down first. He should be behind the bars of the birdcage, not in front. Oh well, live and learn, right?



Frugal tip #4.....repurpose your unsticky cutting mat and make it sticky again. I shared this tip with y'all back in February and got a huge response from that one simple trick. You can read about how to do that here. It is so simple and it works like an absolute dream. It will seriously make your old worn out mats as good as new!




I hope this post proves to be helpful to y'all. I love to share the things I learn along the way with my lovely readers and friends. I don't mind being the guinea pig...I'm ok with that! And if you think of something I didn't cover or have more questions, I will answer them in the comments.



198 comments:

Kenzie said...

I just got a bunch of vinyl from my Mom for my birthday and I can't wait to use it!

Melissa said...

My mother in law doesnt blog hop like I do, but she does have a cricut and so I just email her your posts and she LOVES it! So thank you from me and from her!

Valarie said...

where did you get the birdcage font I love it!

Vicki said...

You simply amaze me!! Just today I thought about emailing you to request a vinyl tutorial!! I have a Cricut. I have vinyl, also obtained from our local sign shop (free scraps thankyouverymuch!!). I too am also know at the sign shop as "The Cricut Lady"!! I want to "blog-lift" some of your vinyl ideas, but didn't understand the transfer part of it. SCAL...too sceerrrrd!! My vinyl shop is my new best friend...they have magnet material also!! Thanks again for a great blog!!

Jaime @ Our Journey said...

Nice tutorial! I think I'll invest in a Cricut one day but I just can't cheat on my Sizzix just yet! :o) I am quite envious of the software option though!!

Jennifer said...

You are the best...thanks so much for the tutorial.

Ashley @ Bride on a Budget said...

Thanks for the great post.

I haven't had too much of a chance to play with my Cricut because I only have one mat. I really want to get SCaL, but I'm still nervous about it voiding my warranty. Maybe I'll buy it at the end of the year when my warranty is up.

Heather@PixieDust said...

great post! i'm interested in SCAL but I'm not ready to buy it yet. Is there a way to get the images that are on a cartridge into SCAL? or can you only use stuff on your computer? I have a Mac so the cricut software isn't even an option.

do you only use SCAL or do you sometimes go back to the cartridge?

Richella said...

You are AWESOME! I'm still thinking about getting one of these. . . I've put a bug in my husband's ear for Mother's Day. . . and you'd better know I'll use every single tip you give!

You're awesome, and I'm thinking that today you're also happy! Today's the day, isn't it? Hope you have a WONDERFUL couple of weeks! No stomach viruses, thank you very much.

Love you!

Jess said...

Thank you so much for sharing all of these tips. I have been shying away from buying a cricut because I was afraid I wouldn't use it!! silly I know. Now I really want to purchase one!!

Chelsea said...

Thank you SO MUCH for the post about the cricut and all the tips, I can't wait to get my own SCAL software and go hunt down some vinyl, yay!!!

Yany said...

Thanks for the tips. I am saving up right now to get my machine. Your posts have encouraged me to save harder. :)

PS. I love the spring frame, what the color and brand you used?

Thanks!
Yanira

Yany said...

Thanks for the tips. I am saving up right now to get my machine. Your posts have encouraged me to save harder. :)

PS. I love the spring frame, what the color and brand you used?

Thanks!
Yanira

Fallan said...

I've been wanting a Cricut for a long time now. I've been pricing them online...but the cartridges are sooooo expensive! So...THANK YOU for all your tips! I think I can now justify buying one...soon!! =)

Amanda@Imperfectly Beautiful said...

Heather.....

SCAL is not compatible for use with any of your Cricut cartridges. I do go back and forth between using the cricut alone with my old cartridges and using SCAL. But I find myself using SCAL more and more lately.

They keep saying there will be a version for Mac users soon, but I don't know when! Keep an eye out for it.

~Amanda

Amanda@Imperfectly Beautiful said...

Fallan...

If you could hold out till around THanksgiving, they usually have them on sale...like deeply discounted (around $199). I have seen this deal the day after Thanksgiving on Black Friday for the last several years! Fabulous price if you can hold out for it.

~Amanda

Natalie said...

This post is pure awesomeness!! Thank you so much! I just bought a cricut expression off Ebay and am (very impatiently) waiting for it to arrive! I haven't bought any cartridges yet, though, and now I think I might go straight to SCAL. I'm nervous, scared and completely computer illiterate, but I might just take the plunge after this post. Thank you!

Melanie said...

ThankyouThankyouThankyou for this wonderful tutorial & all the great tips! I have a Cricut (the small one, but hope to upgrade one day! Oh & I did get it for a song on Thanksgiving day!) and just ordered some vinyl from WalMart. I was wondering about the transfer paper, but I will pick up a roll of contact paper & I'm good to go! I can't WAIT to get started! Thank you again! Excellent post!!!

Melanie said...

Oh, I've also looked into SCAL & Make the Cut, is one better? Thanks again!!

Lee Laurie said...

Thanks for this post! I can't wait to get mine! I'm still saving!

Hugs,
Lee Laurie

followingsplendor said...

I am still confused?? Sorry...I have some cartridges. I want more, but I should get the SCAL? I will not need to buy anymore cartridges? Does the SCAL have all the fonts and images I will want? Sounds too good to be true...
Thank you so much...I was just going to order the software from Ebay. Now I need to do more research. Vonda

Kristin said...

Where did you get the bird cage??
thanks

Jenn @ WestSacHoney said...

LOVE this post! I just got a Cricut of Craigslist. I bought like 6 cartridges and now my wallet is paying for it. I'm really interested in the SCAL product! So no cartridges just download fonts use the program and viola? That's AMAZING! Do you use any fonts from Font for Peas?

Julie said...

Thank you, thank you! This was such a big help!

Sarah Cook said...

Thank you, thank you, tahnk you! I have had my Cricut for about 8 months now and haven't used it more than a handful of times, despite it's infinite possibilities! I can't wait to get busy again!

Kincaids said...

Thanks for the great post. I just bought the SCAL software from Cricut Buddy, and if you use the code "Easter" they will take $20 off! Also, I could be wrong, but it did look like the SCAL 2 version does come in MAC.

Angie said...

I bought a Cricut last Nov. and have hardly used it. Thank you so much for your great tips! Keep 'em coming!

Frugal Chic Living said...

I LOVE You!

This is EXACTLY what I needed. I tried using contact paper as my vinyl - it did not turn out that great and was super hard to work with. I'm so glad to have all of your frugal tips in one spot. Thanks so much!

Are you a SCAL affiliate? I want to buy it, but I want you to get the commission (only fair as you totally sold me on this).

Amy Jacobs said...

Where oh where did you get that fabulous bird cage font???? I love it!!!

Thank you for an awesome post! Cutting vinyl is something I had not perfected so thank you for sharing your settings.

Rebekah Greiman said...

I loved this post. I have never had a cricut before, but maybe, just maybe, I'll get one for my birthday!

Amanda@Imperfectly Beautiful said...

Ladies...thanks for all of your wonderful feedback and great questions! This is fun interacting in the comments...I hope it's working ok for ya'll.

Sadly, I am not a SCAL affiliate, but apparently I should be...right? I just really love their product and believe in it. When I find a product so awesome that saves a ton of cash, I want to shout it from the rooftops!

The birdcage font,called "Ladybird", came from lettering delights.com But when I just checked, it was quite different. Such a shame that they had to mess with a good thing. They do however stil have "Ladybird Notes" and it is really cute too! Another great site for super cute fonts is Two Peas in a Bucket and Dafont.com

Kincaids...fabulous tip about the $20 SCAL discount on My Cricut Buddy. For that price you'd hardly have to justify your purchase!

Melanie...I do not know anything about "Make the Cut". I only know how much I love SCAL!

Vonda...do some research before you buy. It is always good to be informed about what exactly you are purchasing. And just to clarify, you cannot cut the images from your cricut cartridges with SCAL. BUT, you do have to have a cartridge in your machine for SCAL to work. Any cartridge...it doesn't matter...it just makes the whole process work! I don't know how, it just does!

xoxoxoxo
~Amanda

Amanda@Imperfectly Beautiful said...

Scrapnfonts.com has the birdcage font...it is called DB Ladybird. It is currently $3 to download it.

Audrey said...

My sister has a Cricut and is wanting to cut fabric. Does she have to buy a new blade or is there a certain blade for fabric? As you can see I don't have one and told her to figure it out first. I'm glad it's working out for you.

The Griffin Family said...

Hey Amanda! Thanks for the super informative post! I just ran out and grabbed some contact paper & can't wait to use it this weekend on a project. Upone futher investigation, it looks like I purchased adhesive clear laminate contact paper. It still has a super sticky side with paper backing. Do you think this will work the same as regular contact paper? I can return it...but trying to save the trip, lol.

Thank you again for your wonderful tips! :)
Katriana

Kevin, Erin and Jude said...

THANK YOU SO FREAKING MUCH! I just got a Cricut for my birthday and was so overwhelmed with it! I just bought the SCAL software today so hopefully I can get that figured out too! Thanks again for posting!

Amanda@Imperfectly Beautiful said...

Griffin Family...
I am no expert, but I would think it would work the same as regular contact paper. I really don't know the difference. Good luck!

~Amanda

Sarah said...

Thank you so much! I've had my little Cricut for about 6 months, and have used it a bit to cut paper projects with the cartridges I have. However, I want to venture out a bit more- - and that software is exactly what I need. Thanks for sharing such wonderful tips.

Blessings!
-Sarah

Tsuruoka Karate Coalhurst said...

This may be a stupid question, but what do you mean "contact paper"? Like the contact paper you would line your cupboards with? And where would you buy that? Just a Walmart type of item?
Thanks for the tips.

Amanda@Imperfectly Beautiful said...

Yep...the contact paper you would line shleves with. Weird, huh? But it works and it's cheap. You can buy it at Walmart, Target, Hobby Lobby, Dollar General, etc. Should be pretty easy to fins. Just be sure and use the clear kind.

~Amanda

Pauline said...

Thanks so much Amanda,
The Cricut does seem incredibly intimidating (never-minding the cost part), but you have taken the 'scary-ness' out of it; and now I'm kind of excited about getting one!! I want to make sure I use it (hubby wants to make sure I use it to...$$ right!!) But I can already think of a gazillion projects I have in my idea books to use with the Cricut.

Thanks so much for sharing!! : )

~ Pauline ~

曾嘉慧 said...

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Laura said...

Thank you for posting this. I really want to get cricut but am overwhelmed and trying to save the money! You come up with the best ideas Thanks for sharing!

Xazmin said...

I love it! Thanks for all the great tips!

I have been wanting to venture into vinyl, but the cost scared me away!

Also...the software, does it only work for the big machine? I bought the smaller one back when it was still fairly new, and now I wish I had the big one!

Mandi @ Finding Home said...

FYI - You're my hero. When I get home I'm calling some sign shops to find out about vinyl prices. I've been dying to get into it but haven't wanted to pay for the Cricut brand stuff. And the contact paper as transfer tape - genuis! I've used just white contact paper to make letters and such in place of vinyl and that's worked well for me - but I think the look of vinyl is much nicer. Thanks for such a great post!!

Deborah said...

I'm with Audrey (haven't seen an answer to her comment). Do you know anything about cutting fabric with your Cricut? What a wonderful way to be creative with the little onesies and plain t-shirts. Do you have any advice about cutting fabric with it?

Cajsa said...

Just came across your blog and I just bought a cricut and the SCAL but haven't used it yet. Thanks for ALL of your tips. I'm excited to get started.

Londen @ Sixty-Fifth Avenue said...

Oh...So I need a cricut machine or I need you to make the cute settee and chair plates to sell to me.

Katie said...

I cant get the contact paper to work to transfer the image. Its like stuck on there and no matter how hard I rub, it doesnt want to stick. (I just made it and tried to put it on my car window within an hour or so of making it.)

Stacie said...

Amanda...you are AWESOME! Thanks so much for sharing these great tips! I know they will come in handy! I blogged about it here:

http://thecreativecrate.blogspot.com/2010/04/cricut-tips-tricks-awesome.html

Thanks so much!!

The Kooky Queen--Rachel said...

WOW, love your blog!!!!!!!!! I'm following you now so SOMEDAY when I can get a cricut, I'll have to come dig up all your golden tips!!!!

MaryJanes and Galoshes said...

I love my cricut and scal software too, although I don't use it nearly enough! Didn't think of using the contact paper for the vinyl, I even have it on hand!!! So thanks for that. Now I need to find a sign shop....

Lacie @ Creative Attempts said...

i want more I am new to the world of cricut and i am so excited!!

Chris said...

I get my vinyl from vinyloutlet.net and it is only 2.50 for a yard the shipping is about10 bucks but i just order a lot @ a time or go in with my friend but it is a great site you should checkk it out

Sarah Jane said...

Thank you for your tips! I linked here from Creative Crate. I got a Cricut for Christmas and have only used it a few times. I have been wanting to do vinyl, but am very intimidated. Thanks to your tips I feel like I will be able to do it now! Thanks again!

Rafahi Family said...

Oh my gosh! I am so happy that I found your blog! (through creative crate) I bought a cricut (off ebay) at an incredible price last October for my 11 yr old daughter and I to inspire us to be more creative and crafty. I have been SO lost on that thing. Luckily my daughter has been getting the hang of it. Your tips are amazing and I cannot wait until she comes home from school so I can show her!! I was shocked at how much the cricut supplies are at craft stores.
I was just put on home leave/moderate bed rest for the last 3 months of my pregnancy, so maybe this will be my chance to experiment more and grow my blog!
Thank you so much for the free advice. I will be checking back A LOT to absorb more! :-)

Croppycatter said...

Katie...I had trouble with my contact paper too but then did a google search on it. On the Cricut board, they said to stick the contact paper to something like the back of the couch or your shirt or whatever to de-stick it a little bit. After I did that, it worked a LOT better. hope this helps!

Alli Garlich said...

Do you know if the SCAL program can do things backwards so that we can use it with the heat transfer paper and the Cricut?? I saw a post the other day on "How Does She" about using heat transfer paper on her silhouette machine and a bunch of us were wondering how we could get our Cricut machines to work with this since you have to cut the designs/letters backwards to work with it. Any info you know about this would be so appreciated!!

Kelley said...

I love you ...I love you...I love you... I love you... great tips.
I agree 100% you just got to use it. I have learned so much by just doing it...but your tips are magic!

Richie said...

On the software, Makes the Cut is (last time I checked) the only one of the three (SCAL, Cricut Design Studio are the other two) that is available currently for Mac users. We are switching to Mac this summer, on the recommendation of a son-in-law that works for Apple!
SCAL says they are working on a Mac version, but no release dates last time I looked.
I have never used any of them, I have a Cricut Create purchased about 5 mos ago that I am still learning to use, and since we are replacing computers soon, didn't want to get new software loaded just in time to change it to another machine!
(from Richie's mom, not him)

Richie said...

Just checked, and SCAL is advertising that version 2 now out is Mac compatible!
Richie's Mom

One Life Many Journeys said...

I haven't had my Cricut very lovng and was feeling limited by store colors. I didn't want to order large discount rolls on the www because I would rather have more colors than bulk. Your idea to buy from local sign shops is fantastic. I will be calling today to find one! Thanks for the tip.

Tammy@ Not Just Paper and Glue said...

thank you so much for the tips on cutting vinyl. I have been a little scared of it and only cut a couple of things. It is went okay, but not fabulous. I am going to try again. Thanks so much!

Stacie said...

Well, rats. I got online tonight to investigate cutting vinyl with my Cricut (Personal Machine) and found this blog and all of your helpful demos and comments. I just ordered the cricut software and jukebox. Have you used the cricut software? I suppose you find the SCAL software to have "more bang for your buck".

themodernseamstress said...

These are such great tips! I can't wait to try the vinyl (with contact paper as transfer paper! - Genius!!) and look up local sign shops! I never thought of that. I picked up some vinyl on eBay.

Momma said...

I used your ideas and then blogged about it! Thanks so much!!!

http://thecraftycopycat.blogspot.com/2010/09/so-very-vinyl.html

my_nelix said...

Wow, thank you so much for the vinyl tip. I went to a major sign shop and was blessed beyond my expectations. They sold me everything (about 15-20 huge rolls)that they were planning to throw out for $30! and told me to come back in about 3 months. There was enough to last me for months and oh so many colors. The rolls are so big, at least 26-30 inches across. I couldn't believe that they were considered as scraps! Thank you again

Sara said...

Amanda,
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for posting this great information. I got a Cricut and I hardly use it because I am scared to ruin things...like the mat and waste paper or vinyl!
Your suggestions were AwEsOmE! I will be more confortable using mine now and I can now go and make some cans like yours (I know where you got those)! I will have to post on my blog what I have used it for...maybe you can check it out sometime!
PS: I love your blog!

Smriti said...

Thank you so much! I'm new to Cricut and that's such a helpful post!! I read your post on making the sticky again, too. Love the frugal ideas - keep them going!

Kelly said...

So very interested in using my Cricut to make things other than cards! ;) When you go to your local 'sign shop' to ask for vinyl, what kind of sign shop is it? What type of vinyl did you ask for? Does it really matter if you get matte or glossy or does it just depend on the project? I've been searching and searching all day to try and find the cheapest but if going to a sign shop is easiest, I want to do that!

Danielle said...

Hello,

I just ran across this post and I was so excited because I have a Cricut and I have been trying to figure out how people are using files to cut with their Cricut. I see references to people uploading files and I'm like... how? I looked up SCAL and their website says that it does not work with Cricut. Are you using an older version that does or something? Please let me know as I am very interested in finding a program like this that works with Mac and Cricut.

Mrs. Richardson said...

Oh my goodness! Please help! I just found this wonderful blog post and was trying to decide between getting the new Cameo or not. THEN i found this wonderful news! EXCEPT, it's not wonderful news anymore because I went to the SCAL website and it says it's not longer compatible with the Cricut. How can I use a computer program on my Cricut?? Do you have any suggestions??

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LaVeta Key, Executive Broker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LaVeta Key, Executive Broker said...

I, too, went to the SCAL website and was dismayed to find it is not compatible with Cricut. Does anyone have any suggestions for us late bloomers?

Charis said...

Sad that SCAL now does not work with the Cricut!! :( I just received my cricut and now I feel I missed the boat!! :(

I love Junk said...

I just bought my Cricut Expression, but I went to look up the Sure Cuts A Lot software and it says that will not work with Cricut machines. Is there an older version I should be looking for? I love your idea of the local sign shop. Thanks

Misty Moore said...

I just found out about the Sure Cuts Alot. Looks like I'm too late because V3 is everywhere and will not work with the cricut machines. Is there anyplace that I can get V2??

chelle6791 said...

It looks like there was a lawsuit and they settled so Sure Cuts Alot isn't allowed to sell software to circumvent the Cricut software.

http://www.scrapbookupdate.com/2011/03/11/make-the-cut-settles-cricut-software-lawsuit-with-provo-craft/

chelle6791 said...

There are a few copies of Version 2 on EBAY, but the people know they are no longer available. That means they are at twice the price. :(

Deb said...

You said you used Contact Paper. I bought some after reading your blog and is there a difference in the name of it. AS when I went to use to place the design on 12x12 tile, the vinyl didn't/wouldn't come off, so I just went ahead and left on the design on the tile. I too need to be frugal, but afraid to try again in fear that the vinyl will stay stuck to the clear contact paper.

mgood said...

We buy our vinyl and transfer paper from http://www.expressionsvinyl.com/. They even offer a new iron on vinyl for clothing gifts.

A tip to save more vinyl is to leave the design on the mat and press your transfer paper onto the design. Pull the transfer paper back slowly and hold down the cut-outs as you pull. Because you did not cut out a large chunk you have more area to fit in other designs and you can use the small areas for small designs and dots.

Heather said...

I just bought my first cricut expression machine on black friday. i arrived today and i can't wait to use it. i have used other machines before, but this one i won't have to give back! :)

i've read varying reviews on the SCAL software. it sounds wonderful, but some places i've read have said that using this software voids your warranty and it might make your machine not work?? just wondering what your experience has been or how long you've used it? what version do you have? i think i read that the version 3 doesn't work with cricut machines?? is that right? any suggestions would be welcome! you can email me at auntierah@hotmail.com

thanks so much!!!

Jenny said...

According to the Craft Edge Software website, there is no longer a SCAL program that supports Cricut. They clearly state on their page that it no longer works with Cricut and they that will not be offering one. Do you know of any other?

EZY4UHosting said...

I have a Silhouette and will use these tips. I only taken the unit out of the box so I cannot wait to start cutting!

clissolc said...

Love, Love, Love your tips.....thanks sooooo much!

Felicia @ All Things Fee said...

Wish I found this post sooner! SCAL is no longer available for cricuts, and I downloaded the Cricut Craftroom and haven't had much luck since I only have the initial cartridge!

allthingsfee@gmail.com

Kristin said...

I just found your great post and information via pinterest.com. Any suggestions as to what to use for software since the SCAL is no longer available for cricuts? Would love any suggestions you might have!
kristinjack@sbcglobal.net

THANKS!!!

zadrianne said...

I also just found your blog via pinterest. I have had a cricut for about a year, as silly me didn't get SCAL when my sister told me about it...me being frugal. Is there another program I can use other then the one cricut offers?

zutterba@aol.com

Amy Lee said...

Hi! Thank you for sharing your Cricut tips :) I would like to use the vinyl to make 'colorform' dolls for my nieces and granddaughter. Do you know if this vinyl will work well for this kind of project?
Thank you,
Amy

Stefany & Jeremy said...

Hi! I just saw this and was so happy to read about your SCAL software suggestion. When I went to look it up... they said they do not make that version anymore for the cricut's because they made a new version that was not made for cricuts and that the version that you could download for cricut is no longer available... do you know where I could find something similar or have any suggestions? I was really hoping to get to buy that software and use it.... I hate the fact that the cartridges are so expensive. I havent even gotten to use my cricut yet because of them being so expensive.

natalieandersen07 said...

For those of you that are now trying to purchase SCAL or MTC you no longer can purchase the software for the cricut machine. Provo craft had lawsuit over it and won so they had to stop selling the software for the cricut. Sorry if you missed the chance to purchase this amazing software.

Mickey Jo said...

Well I see I missed out already. Just found your site through Pinterest and subscribed to you. I'm one of those ones that bought a cricut expressions, now another one I guess for the future, gypsy i've never used and umm the other program that came out before the gypsy which I have never used either. I do use my cricut a little bit, but no where near like I should or would like to. I need someone near by to walk me through different things. Thanks and hey make a tab at the top for Cricut and teach us losers ok maybe not that bad, but us scared ones more about cricut. grin. Hugs thanks. Mickey Jo

Heather said...

How does SCAL compare to the Cricut craft room? They seem similar!

Laura said...

SCAL is just the greastest thing since sliced bread, BUT it can't be used with the Cricut anymore.

It CAN be used with other cutting machines tho, like the BLACK CAT for exampt etc. Which are similar to the cricut.

scrappydarling said...

Amanda,
Thanks so much for the tips! I have a question, tho. I am having trouble getting my vinyl to stay on glass. Is there an additional step I am missing? Maybe I need to clean the glass with alcohol or something... Thanks!

jaynithibodeaux said...

My local sign shop was very generous, I called 1st bc I didn't want to seem crazy...but they said I was MORE than welcome to come anytime and take what they dont want, I got 3 feet by 6 feet of black, and Gold!! and planty more...DONT BE AFRAKID to ask, they will most likely be happy to recycle it :) Go Green!!

jaynithibodeaux said...

plenty***

Melanie said...

I went to a local sign shop to see if I could get some vinyl scraps. In talking to him I told him I was a teacher and he GAVE me tons of vinyl rolls. I love making signs!

MamiChula25 said...

hello there, just found your blog... and totally love it... but so sad that SCAL is no longer avaliable... would you be so kind to have a link for us loosers that didn't know from it to download it.. willing to pay.. thanks so much...
addicted to your blogs...
mami-chula2526@hotmail.com

Chasity said...

Have you used the Cricut Design Studio software? I have that software but I have not even opened it and I have had it for 2 years. I am scared to use it and would love to get some tips on how to use it.

tmoney said...

I was wondering why when cutting vinyl, you don't want to cut through the paper backing
Does that just make it easier to transfer?
Also I just downloaded scal 2, will that work with my cricut.

tmoney said...

I wasn't sure if my last comment posted,
Will scal software work with my cricut?
And why only cut vinyl and not paper backing, is it easier to transfer. So, blade depth of 5 and medium pressure is best?

tmoney said...

Sorry I meant scal 2, will that work with cricut?
Any tips for getting started with software?

amanda87_05 said...

I just found this post about SCAL and then finding out that it doesn't work with Cricut no more. But I went to Google to see if there were any programs similar and Cricut now has their own program to buy although it's currently out of stock through the site :\

Blossom9283 said...

SCAL stopped working about a year ago :( just as I had found out about it. Too bad I didn't see this post then. Cricut has the Cricut Craft Room now, only you still can only cut from cartridges you have. I always wished that Cricut would bring something out that would let us cut our own images. If this is what you saw, rather then Cricut Craft Room, I'd love for you to share the link please.

Sunshine said...

Question, I recently read that Cricut is no longer allowing us to use the SCAL. I haven't purchased it because I read that. I read on a blog (can't remember which one) that they knew they were losing money, so they are making Cricut machines no longer compatible with using the SCAL. Do you know anything about this?

Renee
gohogwild dot renee at gmail dot com

Sherron said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sherron said...

http://surecutsalot.com/software/software_scal.html
Syas here that you can no longer use SCAL with Cricut and that ther is no version you can buy that will. I was part of a panel that went and spoke with Cricut about the things we love and the things we hate. They are making some adjustments, but they are slow in coming. Some images can be purchased separately, but not a lot yet. In time it will come. They know it has frustrated a lot of people. I have only one cartridge for my Cricut and the one they give you free with the Craft Room. The cartridges are outside my budget right now. Very limited but I still love using it!

Shayna Martinek said...

Just wondering what model your circut is, I have an older one and want to check that this program would work with mine! Thanks for the tips!

Shayna Martinek said...

Just wondering what model your circut is, I have an older one and want to check that this program would work with mine! Thanks for the tips!

James and DeAnn Stroud said...

Circut won't let sure cuts a lot to sell the version for the circut anymore.

Dawn said...

Is there any way to get the original software, that will work with cricut? I've read that it won't work with the machine any longer. Is there a workaround for that? I want one for Christmas but WILL NOT buy the cartridges. That's ridiculous! PLEASE HELP!

Elia said...

if i get the scal software will it work with the cricut mini?? and also how do i sync it?

casskav said...

I just bought my cricut a few months ago. Of course now Sure cuts a lot isn't compatible. How sad! I was wondering if anyone has used Make-the-Cut! software. It looks similar, but would love some feedback. What are people using now instead??? casskav @ gmail dot com

Julie said...

Looks like Scal is no longer compatible with Cricut. Any thoughts on other software that is?

Photofun said...

I live out in the country so I don't have a local printer to buy vinyl. I have to buy everything online. but when I went online to search, there are so many different types of vinyl that I didn't know what to get and some were very $$$$ do I need unsupported vinyl? and can you give me a suggested place to buy online for a good price, thanks for any help!

Countryquiltgirl said...

Where do you can you purchase the SCAL software?

tmoney said...

You can't get the SCAL anymore, but you can purchase the cricut design studio. It's more expensive.

Unknown said...

For people considering buying a Cricuit, be advised the company does not stand behind it's product and is horrible to deal with. I finally used my Cricuit in the only real way it was useful. I stacked it on top of a couple of hay bales on my farm and used it for target practice. That was the only joy the machine gave me.

Christy said...

Do you reply to your viewers questions? I still don't know if you can use your Cricut Epression to cut fabric? Could you please answer that for me. I truly do love your blog. I found you thru Pinterest and still will follow you, because you were just what I needed to start using my Cricut Expression . Thanks

grahamgirls said...

Christy- I pretty sure it will cut fabric!
Can anyone tell me if SCA will work with the circuit expression 2????

Mel Lyman said...

For those of you that are looking at the Cricut design studio program. I would not suggest buying it because they are no longer updating it with new cartridges as they are made. They made this change as a way to get more people using the Craftroom program.

michelle rickard said...

eBay has a lot of vinyl

monica lack said...

Got my cricut for Christmas....haven't touched it....it was reallllly pricey. My question was it the best machine out there? Seems they are trying to secure the market on its design and possibilities. Is there a better machine out there a little more user/price friendly? Thought I'd ask before I put it all together!! Thanks!

Isabel Advis said...

Love the tutorial...vinyl is still scary for me!

For everybody that's interested in SCAL: Cricut no longer allows their machine's to use this program. When researching I found out about the Sizzix Eclips...i LOVE it! Bought it together with SCAL and allows me to cut out anything I want. You can even find things online and it'll trace it then cut it!

Life in the Fast Lane said...

When you order Sure Cuts alot, does it come with a cord to attach to your computer or is it just the software? How do you connect to the computer?

Dana Smith said...

I use contact paper instead of vinyl for all my projects and it works just as well and it WAY cheap. It works the exact same as the actual vinyl for every project I have done so far (wood, glass, walls, doors...) I pay about $5-6 for a roll that is like 40ft.

Linda Lawson said...

I use the Make the cut software much like SCAL. It depends on the cutting machine you use. I have heard rumors that Provo Craft is working on being able to use SVGs(that are used on Make the cut and Sure Cuts a Lot) compatible with the Cricut. I have 7 cartridges two machines and a gypsy but I broke down and got me a KNK Zing for Christmas. Still use my Cricut but love the ability to cut True fonts and SVGs I find on line Good luch from Texas!!!

Unknown said...

Hi I have circuit design studio but haven't used it yet can I get all the same benefits as the software u suggested?

Elizabeth Brooks said...

Does anyone know if Make the Cut software will work with The Cricut Imagine?? I have the Silhouette Cameo which I feel is the best machine out there for the price. I have several Cricut cartridges that I wish could use with my Silhouette since ita easier to cut with. I mainly use both to cut fabric for applique. Any suggestions would help.

Thank You,
Elizabeth B.
eabrooksie@yahoo.com

Elizabeth Brooks said...

Does anyone know if Make the Cut software will work with The Cricut Imagine?? I have the Silhouette Cameo which I feel is the best machine out there for the price. I have several Cricut cartridges that I wish could use with my Silhouette since ita easier to cut with. I mainly use both to cut fabric for applique. Any suggestions would help.

Thank You,
Elizabeth B.
eabrooksie@yahoo.com

Unknown said...

I have used my Cricut Expression for years with no problem I wish I had bought the SCAL but have about 14 cartridges and wonder why anyone need to buy more. Some people have gazillions of them. I have not begun to use all of the shapes and fonts I have. If you cannot use SCAL use what you have, share with friends. Do not keep buying new cartridges which have many of the same shapes.

Butterflylover08 said...

SCAL V3 doesn't work with the Cricut and I have a MAC so V2 won't work either...can you offer up another idea?
Thanks

Pia Ingvorsen said...

OH MY GOD.....I just discovered you and I am so happy I did. I have my mother-inlaws Cricut while she is travelling for 18months. The mats are no linger sticky becuase have used them so much and my local craft shop dosent stick them any more. I will be spending my day with Cricut tomorrow. I cant wait to tell her how you helped me fix it. I am forever greatful

Pia Ingvorsen said...

OH MY GOD.....I just discovered you and I am so happy I did. I have my mother-inlaws Cricut while she is travelling for 18months. The mats are no linger sticky becuase have used them so much and my local craft shop dosent stick them any more. I will be spending my day with Cricut tomorrow. I cant wait to tell her how you helped me fix it. I am forever greatful

Miss Ginger Grant said...

Check out USCutter.com- you can buy HUGE rolls of vinyl and never run out! They also have a big roll of transfer paper that will last the rest of your life!

Jen said...

So...you're telling me if I buy SCAL that I can use any font on my computer!? If I'm understanding correctly, you just changed my life!

jennymegs said...

Hey there! I have learned when something seems to good to be true that I better double check before getting too excited about it--so you're telling me I can even download fonts online and use them with my Cricut through this program!? Oh. my. word. I am in Heaven. I looked into buying Version 3 (they're most updated version for sale right now) and it's saying it's not compatible with the Cricut. Does this mean it's just not compatible with Cricut cartridges or I can't use it with my Cricut at all? Do you know?

Thanks in advance :)

Crazedmom said...

Jennymegs, I emailed that question to customer service with Sure Cuts A Lot and was informed that once the manufacture of the Cricut caught wind of this program they were threatened with lawsuits. Needless to say that the Sure Cuts a Lot doesn't cut anything for Cricut machines. I was really bummed out. The older program does, but not the new ones.

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IslandGirl4fun said...

I enjoyed your video and now I am going to attempt the rose. I just bought the cartridge. I am wondering where you purchased that wonderful tool that you used to curl the flowers. I also have not seen the scotch quick dry glue in my local craft store..where did you purchase that? I am new to the cricut and can't wait for it to become second nature.

DawnEden said...

I did read that when you buy the older version of the SCAL your not supossed to update your cricut in the Craftroom or your machine won't work anymore. So if you get the SCAL version 2 (I think it's 2) then just don't update your cricut when asked to. Just decline and then you can keep working with the SCAL software still. Hope this helps, I saw all the questions on this and didn't see any answers so I thought I'd let you know what I had read. Love your tips also, thanks so much for your advice!

Sign Mart said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sign Mart said...

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Marian said...

I am totally new to this and came across your blog and tutorial - sounds amazing. However I keep coming across other posts in various places to say that this software no longer works with a cricut?? I haven't bought any machine or software because I'm so unsure with all the contradictions. Would someone mind helping me here i.e. what should I be looking for... The other thing, is that I would like to be able to cut fabric if possible. Really hope it's ok to post these questions here. Marian (Ireland)

Paula Draper said...

@Marian You are correct. You can no longer use SCAL software with the cricut.
I was one of the fortunate that bought my Cricut and SCAL software before the changes.
I love my Cricut with the possibilites it has using SCAL.
If you really want to use your computer and SCAL then investigate other brands of cutting machines. They are all good, and lots of fun.

Rebekah Majors said...

Thanks for your post! With the SCAL software does it have to be a certain version?

LunarNight07 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LunarNight07 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DoodlebugRN9 said...

I know this blog is from 2010 but just thought you should know SCAL doesn't work with a cricut anymore according to their website. :(

Krista Gross said...

Hi, I have the SCAL software that I bought online from EBAY and I have been using it a little but can not for the life of me remember how to transfer an image over. I NEVER got any instructions on how to do this and was wondering if you by chance had some that you could send me in email or copy and mail. Please let me know!

Doodlebuh, I see your comment above but what are they saying is not working now?

Krista Gross said...

Hi, I have the SCAL software that I bought online from EBAY and I have been using it a little but can not for the life of me remember how to transfer an image over. I NEVER got any instructions on how to do this and was wondering if you by chance had some that you could send me in email or copy and mail. Please let me know!

Doodlebuh, I see your comment above but what are they saying is not working now?

Sally P said...

I wish I had come across this post sooner since the software you mention does not work with the Cricut™ machines, and you can no longer purchase a version of that works with the Cricut. :( Very sad that will not work for me. Looking into other cutting options but I love my Cricut.

Jennifer Rivera said...

Hi Just wondering if you have any idea what software I can use now that you can't connect SCAL with the Cricut anymore?? I hate having to purchase cartridges. Please help...Thanks

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michelle said...

i just went to the SCAL site, you can no longer use it with cricut, bummer :(

DMiller584 said...

You really need to update this post. You cannot use svg files with a Cricut anymore.

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Unknown said...

I am just now (after having my Expression for almost 2 years!!!) beginning to dive in and get comfortable! I just love the ideas that you share! I am a big fan of vinyl and also heat press transfer vinyl, as I am a t shirt fiend! A question I have for you is with the software you recommended getting, can you import images as well as fonts? Some of the examples of important (to me) images that i have needed to make shirts are a chevron heart, individual state shapes, etc. Thanks for your advice and great ideas!
-Jennifer

Danielle_Hudd said...

Do you have recommendations between expression, expression 2, and the Explore? I want one but I don't know which?! I need it for big home décor

Nazca said...

Hi,

I see that there a some versions of SCAL, which one would you recommend it.

Thanks,

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Diane Freeman said...

Hi, I bought the Cricut Expressions 2 for myself and my son's girlfriend. I've bought some cartridges... not all that exciting. I was told you can't use a computer with my Cricut. Is that true?
Love all your info. Thank you for taking the time to put it all out there. :D
Cheers,
Diane

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kristenlynn said...

Really need some help! Just got a Cricut explore and I need to cut some letters but I need the letters to have another color behind them. They are going on a trifold presentation and will be pretty large for a title.
I am rushed for time and I figured out how to cut letters but cannot figure out how to get another color just a little bit larger so it looks like the letter has a border around it!!
someone help!!!! please!

Jade Graham said...

Really need some help! Just got a Cricut explore and I need to cut some letters but I need the letters to have another color behind them. They are going on a trifold presentation and will be pretty large for a title.vinyl cut lettering online

Durham Region Fibromyalgia Group said...

Has anyone ever used an embroidery machine w/their Cricut. Seen something on Pintrist. Thought I pinned it. And now can't find it. Help!!!

Melissa Reese said...

It looks like it has been a little bit since anyone last posted on this thread. I am a 1st time owner of a Cricut machine. I just purchased a Cricut Explore. It looks like after reading below that you can no longer use the Cricut with that software you are referring to. If this isn't the case and there is a way around it could you please help a momma out and walk me through all this jibberish with me? hehe...Thanks in advance!




Important: Sure Cuts A Lot v4 does not cut with the Cricut™ machines, and you can no longer purchase a version of that cuts with the Cricut.

If you previously purchased Sure Cuts A Lot 2, you can use Sure Cuts A Lot 4 to make your designs and then send it to Sure Cuts A Lot 2 for cutting with your Cricut.

* Sure Cuts a Lot cannot directly cut with the Cricut Explore or Brother ScanNCut. You can only use Sure Cuts A Lot to create your design and then export as a compatible file format to use in Cricut Design Space or a USB drive for the Brother ScanNCut.

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JoAnn Webb said...

Great tips for first time users!! Thank you so much! I am wondering where do I find a store that sells the vinyl? I'm in a small town and have no idea who would actually sell vinyl? Would I be able to purchase heat transfer vinyl also?

Valinda Jonas said...

First time Cricut user and was curious as to how I can get the vinyl to stick to a canvas/polyester fabric. Having a hard time getting it to stick.

Shelly McC said...

With regard to transferring vinyl, I learned from a signwriter to use masking tape.

Deb Steinke said...

I haven't read ALL the posts about this so maybe some of these issues were already addressed. I've been using Cricut for quite awhile now and purchased SCAL. I just found the cartridges so "rigid" to use. SCAL is awesome but it should be said that with the Cricut Expressions at least, you must have a Cricut cartridge inserted for SCAL to work. Any cartridge will do. AND if ALL you're going to use the machine for is to cut vinyl, I would go with a regular hobby type vinyl cutter. You can cut longer lengths than just 24". I do a lot of signs with my cricut and that sometimes is a detriment. I have to piece together signs that are a larger format than the largest cutting mat of 12" x 24". I also purchase my vinyl from a regular sign supplier and I get commercial grade ORACAL 651 rated for 7 years outdoors, since a lot of the signage I do is for outdoor use. And you can also download GOBS of clip art for free off the internet. Just type "free black and white clip art" in the search bar of your computer. YOU WILL BE AMAZED at the quantity of images that are available for downloading.

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Margaret S said...

Thanks so much for the post, very helpful

Carin Carlton said...

Will SCAL work with the Cricut Mini?

Melinda Gibson said...

I use contact paper all the time! It's great and so many colors and prints!

luv2craft said...

Was wondering does SCAL work with cricut air? This Came out around 2010,Cricut has had awhile to block it from working.

Classy Sassy said...

Hi - I love your posts. So informative!!
Just read this post about Cricut tips and tricks,and was super excited about the SCAL because I just invested in a Cricut Explore Air. I read completely through their site, where there is virtually no mention of Cricut. When I finally locate a reference it is in the Pro v4 description. It mentions it supports "Cricut Explore" specifically, but below it has a disclaimer: "Important: This version does not cut with the Cricut™ machines, and you can no longer purchase a version that cuts with the Cricut." If you learn of any more specifics, would love for you to update this post. I'm going to search the site more as well. Looks like a great app/software.

Jennifer Barnes said...

Is the software still available? I have inherited my sisters circut expression that she never uses. I would love to do cool things like this. My sister never purchased the software way back when.

Jennifer

Darlene Skinner said...

Does that program work with the cricut cake version? ?

Darlene Skinner said...

Does that program work with the cricut cake version? ?

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Naggin Witch said...

I just acquired a Cricut Expression (1) and did some searching for SCAL2. There was some question if it would work on my firmware (2.43) and it does. I found SCAL2 used on Amazon. The price was not bad but certainly worth it since I don't have to use that blasted cartridges anymore.

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Trudy Faye said...

I love the frugal tip #3 using contact paper instead Cricut adhesive paper. I found contact paper at The Dollar Tree, so that saves a lot of money. I also contacted my daughter and asked if her husband would save vinyl scrapes for me since they own a sign business.

Floretta Sutter said...

thank you so much.. I am new to the cricut, am yes, I am too scared of it, i look at it as if it will jump up and say, lets make something today, lol, not going to happen. So here it is, my question, i kind of understand how to create something, but the main question is, i dont know what material (which vinyl) to use, how do I know what material to use for a project that I am doing?. Cricut has came up with so many ways to use so many different materials and it has confused me to pieces. How do I know when to use the iron on? I know i use it for ironing on to T-shirts or blankets. I dont wear shirts that have iron on prints on them nor do I want to sit down and create shirts for my family because they will look at me like I am crazy for making them clothes. So, I would like to learn how to use my cricut and C-matrials preferably vinyl, to create DYI, lol, (design your Inspiration) lol, on canvas. I would love to know what material to place on my canvas. I have created some perfect pieces for certain rooms in my home, but I cannot seam to figure out what kind of vinyl to use to cut my DIY thoughts on to. Do I use Iron on vinyl, do I use linen vinyl? do i use plastic vinyl? I would like to know what kind of vinyl to use, on what project, and If i start to purchase regular vinyl, can I use it on everything across the board, on paper for my scrapbooking projects? can I use it on glass? windows? canvas, mirrors, plates, cups???? I am sure you understand what it is that I am asking. Please help, my circut has sent me, tons of material with it, and I dont know what material to use on what project. I only want to work on getting my images; creative thoughts out of my head and onto my canvas..... HELP!!!!!! I am lost!!!!

Linda McNeely said...

love all of your hints. do you happen to have any hints on where to get the best buys on tee shirt vinyl.

Pazzlespromoter said...

Or you can get a Pazzles In Vue at pazzles.com and cut anything you can draw with their powerful software as well as any font and any .svg/.avg/.wpc file. Limitless! And a fun craft room membership is available with great files and project ideas you can actually make.

Linda McNeely said...

is there something else they might be listed under besides sign shops.? we live in a small area and I have not been able to find any.

Bethy said...

Do they even offer that software anymore? ?

bridget22868 said...

Your instructions really help take the scary out of using the Cricut machine. Thanks for sharing your info.

bridget22868 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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