Got a Cricut for Christmas - Tell me everything I need to know!

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Posted 12/27/2012 by *~*amanda*~* in General Scrappin'


PeaNut 393,905
October 2008
Posts: 7,415
Layouts: 0
Loc: Illinois

Posted: 12/27/2012 11:40:52 PM
My dh gave me a Cricut Expression 2 for Christmas and I love it!!!
Its the first Cricut Ive had.

Anyway, I got it out last night and just played with it enough to know how to work it, so Im wanting to kno wall the cool stuff that I can do with it as well as the must knows.

I do not have a scrap space at home and store my stuff in carts in a closet. I will need to store the there a specific type of storage 'thing' that I could also transport it to crops in?

What are your favorite cartridges? This one came with Cricut Alphabet and some image one that I cant remember the name of....its a pretty basic one. I am interested in images but more so in alphabets. I have 4 sons and they are quite active in Boy Scouts and music programs.

What else do I HAVE to know about this wonderful thing Ive been given?


PeaNut 292,039
January 2007
Posts: 2,603
Layouts: 41
Loc: Southeast Texas

Posted: 12/28/2012 3:39:42 AM
Congratulations on your Cricut! There are several bags made or custom made for the Expression 2.

I love Plantin Schoolbook, it is a nice clean font. I also have lyrical letters and use that quite often. I don't know if it is still offered but everyday paper doll and paper doll dress up are great carts because they have so many images for different themes...great all around carts...forget the paper doll part ...don't let that scare you away from the carts.

Make a Wish!

PeaNut 567,577
September 2012
Posts: 173
Layouts: 0

Posted: 12/28/2012 6:37:07 AM
I think you will love it ! I have two girls so I don't know much about boy carts but I agree on the paper dolls carts,they are great! Also, I do know that there are camping ones and definitely some boy specific carts. Never pay full price .. You can get them on eBay or other sites cheaper, and they do go on sale at places like Ms and Js .. Good luck !!
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michele st

PeaNut 371,154
April 2008
Posts: 131
Layouts: 0

Posted: 12/28/2012 6:57:11 AM
Boys will be Boys is great.I don'y know how old your boys are but for a little older there is Dude it has skateboarders and such. You have to buy that one on ebay.
I have seen some using a big tote bag from 31 bags.


PeaNut 422,247
May 2009
Posts: 4,784
Layouts: 316
Loc: Queens NYC

Posted: 12/28/2012 7:19:55 AM
stock up on the 12x12 cutting pads when they are on sale at acmoore or m's but def us cpns at joanns for them


PeaNut 466,431
April 2010
Posts: 165
Layouts: 0
Loc: Michigan

Posted: 12/28/2012 7:23:08 AM
For font carts, I really like Type Candy, it has shadows with all the fonts and Cuttin up is a fun font cart too. Can't help you with boy carts, I have all girls! Enjoy your cricut, I love mine!!

Professional Hobbyist

PeaNut 292,577
January 2007
Posts: 5,245
Layouts: 51
Loc: In the deep-fried south.

Posted: 12/28/2012 8:53:47 AM
Look into getting the Art Philosophy cart from CTMH. If I were starting over, it would be the first thing I would get. I have somewhere between 25 and 30 carts, and several could be done without if I had that one. I still debate on getting that one anyway. Also, one of the biggest lessons I learned was to just bite the bullet and buy the darn mats and blades. Seriously. Nine times out of ten when I couldn't get something to cut well, it was the mat. The other time, the blade. OH YEAH, and get the deep cut blades when you buy replacements. Not the housing, just the blades. They cut sooooo much better.

You Wanna Peas of Me?

PeaNut 413,587
February 2009
Posts: 5,966
Layouts: 51
Loc: Western NY

Posted: 12/28/2012 9:16:00 AM
B is for Boy is a cute cart, the Paper Doll carts are nice too. Plantin School book is my favorite font cart. very simple. Love it.

Madi & Me

PeaNut 486,619
October 2010
Posts: 614
Layouts: 0
Loc: Central Florida

Posted: 12/28/2012 9:25:45 AM
Congrats on your first Cricut! You've got a great little machine! I have the original Expression and adore it. Here are my tips:

I know it's said a lot but never, ever pay full price for a cart. Scour the FSOT board, eBay, and Craigslist for gently used carts. If you use eBay, try to wait until the end of the auction so you don't drive the price up in a bidding war. Most of all, unless it's a super duper rare cart, set a price limit in your mind and let it go if the auction surpasses your limit. Right now, carts are abundant on eBay and I've noticed prices dropping.

If you have a particular project or image in mind, check out I can't link you as I'm on my iPad but it's a wonderful site where you can search images by name. It'll show you the actual handbook page from each cart. This is very helpful when you have a certain style in mind and options are abundant.

If you have a cart in mind, Google the name of the cart with "Cricut" and you'll turn up the Cricut website for that cart. If you look in the details section, you can find the digital handbook. This is easier than trying to use Cricut's search bar, which never turns up what I'm looking for. I like to browse all the images in detail before committing to a purchase.

For cutting mats, skip the two-pack 12x12 mats and spend a few more bucks on the two-pack 12x24 mats. Carefully cut them in half and voila, now you have four 12x12 mats. I started doing this last year with no problems whatsoever. My machine doesn't know the difference but my wallet does. I'm not sure if M's has changed their coupon policy but they were letting me use a coupon on the mats the last time I needed thrm. If that has changed, just scoop them up when they go on sale at M's or J's. I frequent M's because J's never has any 12x24 mats in stock.

Most of all, have fun and let that creative mind run wild!


PeaNut 249,733
February 2006
Posts: 13
Layouts: 0

Posted: 12/28/2012 9:50:11 AM
Don't link your cartridges to ANYTHING Provo Craft (PC) offers because you run the risk of PC discontinuing the item you linked with your cartridges. Once carts are linked you cannot link them to anything else. Many people like me learned this the hard way after spending thousands of dollars on machines and cartridges.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 252,090
March 2006
Posts: 9,422
Layouts: 8
Loc: Beautiful South Orange County, CA

Posted: 12/28/2012 9:54:44 AM
Stock up on blades and mats. Sometimes they are hard to find at your local stores. Have fun with your new toy!


PeaNut 508,291
May 2011
Posts: 555
Layouts: 24

Posted: 12/28/2012 10:26:08 AM
You have a lot of great suggestions here. I had both my Cricut and Cameo fired up last night for different purposes and my CE2 was cutting like butter. Beautiful stuff! You can get a great deal on used and linked cartridges on message boards and eBay. As long as you do not need to link them they can be a steal! People are unloading them linked crazy right now as soon are transitioning to a Silhouette. As has been mentioned...NEVER pay full price for anything!

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 211,290
June 2005
Posts: 7,137
Layouts: 0
Loc: somewhere dreaming

Posted: 12/28/2012 10:34:45 AM
Go to the Provo Craft sight and download the Cricut Craft Room.

Make sure you sign up for emails. Each week they have a new free download! Love it!


PeaNut 516,416
August 2011
Posts: 941
Layouts: 0
Loc: Florida

Posted: 12/28/2012 11:26:38 AM
Enjoy your new E2! If you go to, you can look at their cartridges, and see which ones you might like. There are a lot of cartridges, so just see which ones you might like best, and start with a few. On Ebay, TayMeag2010 has lots of Cricut cartridges that are brand new at great prices. Also, Michaels and Joann's have Cricut cartridges on sale fairly often. You might look there to see which ones that you like. Enjoy your new Cricut!


PeaNut 263,742
June 2006
Posts: 1,279
Layouts: 11
Loc: Over by the shredder, of course.

Posted: 12/28/2012 12:36:37 PM
I agree about the Art Philosophy cart. If I were only allowed 1 cart that would be it. For fonts it would be Lyrical Letters.
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PeaNut 393,905
October 2008
Posts: 7,415
Layouts: 0
Loc: Illinois

Posted: 12/28/2012 10:20:34 PM
THank you so much, ladies! Exactly the info Im looking for!!

I did forget to ask about the cutting mats and blades....
About how long do those last? I know it will depend on how frequently you use them and what you are cutting. I only plan to cut paper and cardstock with mine (for now....Id love to get into the vinyl aspect but that's down the line!).
How do I know they need replaced? Is it something that will just be obvious to me?

Thank you for the tips on the carts as well.
There are no LSS close to me (closest is an hour away) but we have a Hobby Lobby and a Joanns. I haven't been in J's in years but will certainly start keeping an eye out for their sales now.

Off to check out the Cricut site now....thanks again!!


PeaNut 110,940
October 2003
Posts: 4,461
Layouts: 0

Posted: 12/29/2012 10:41:16 AM
I got the Cricut Exp 2, also, so was glad to see this post. Thank you for all the information.


PeaNut 403,946
December 2008
Posts: 526
Layouts: 0
Loc: Texas

Posted: 12/29/2012 8:29:34 PM
For your boys, you might consider the Sports Mania and Quarter Note cartridges. Quarter Note is all different music images.

If you go to the Cricut sitei here, you can look up different cartridges and view the images and handbooks for each one.


PeaNut 101,686
August 2003
Posts: 1,126
Layouts: 12
Loc: Massachusetts

Posted: 12/29/2012 10:32:50 PM
I just found a Cricut Cutting Guide that I used to use (I switched machines). It looks like she's updated it. Go here:

Cricut Cutting Guide

It's an awesome free little guide. It has a lot of good info on cutting different papers (Bazzil, Stampin' Up, etc.) with the blade type, blade depth and speed setting.


PeaNut 65,877
January 2003
Posts: 13,181
Layouts: 30
Loc: So CA

Posted: 12/29/2012 10:45:15 PM
Best advise is don't over buy carts. Like many others my favorite carts are the CTMH ones both Art Philosophy and Artiste. I was afraid because they were more money that they wouldn't be worth it but they come with 3 stamp sets and 3 chipboard sets as well. They also use every key on the keyboard so you get 700 different cuts on each cartridge compared to some of the other carts with less than 30. I also really like the fonts on them as they work for a lot of layouts. The shapes are also shapes that will work for the majority of you layouts and projects. I also really like the font on Storybook and Base Camp. Once you figure out what you really like to cut with your cricut you will learn that you really don't need every cart that comes out. A few good ones really works well.

When I first got my Cricut I bought a ton of carts on sale and honestly didn't use most of them. I wish I had been pickier. I agree with others that have said don't link your carts - again I wish I hadn't spent money on the gypsy which is no longer supported by PC. Have fun with your new toy.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 160,610
August 2004
Posts: 6,482
Layouts: 90

Posted: 12/30/2012 6:21:26 AM
Good luck to you with the new machine. I would go over to the board and get familiar with it there's a lot of help over.
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