Scrappin' My World!

My Cricut Expression and I…A Match Made In Heaven!

It was love at first site!  I am sure you know what I am talking about if you have a Cricut yourself.  The possibilities are endless and I do not like boundaries.  Especially when I am being creative.

I have watched videos, talk to fellow scrappers, and read endless amounts of information on the internet regarding the Cricut.  I will include, what I found to be helpful and/or useful information here.  I have also included links (on another page) to the sites I believe have the least complex, most thorough, most non-boring way of explaining how to’s on the Cricut. 

For those of you out there doing videos on various items on the Cricut, scrapbooking, etc.  Please, I beg of you, SPICE IT UP!  You want me to watch a video for 8 minutes and you are using the same tone?  I just can’t.  You are suppose to be excited about what you are doing.  I know I am.  For those of you who are…Thank you very much!!

Please remember, if you have something to contribute, go right ahead.  This is all about helping each other.

Blades – Comments from Make The Cut Yahoo Group

Cricut blades wear out quickly, particularly if you are cutting a lot of Bazzill paper. Bazzill has polyester fibers in it that cause blades to dull rapidly. Good blades cost more, but they last a very long time. I prefer the blades for the Pazzles Inspiration. They fit the Cricut just fine, and last a lot longer. The Gazelle blades are also excellent, particularly the ones for medium to heavy cutting projects, and they fit the Cricut as well. I reserve my Cricut blades for cutting vinyl, vellum, and thin scrapbook paper.

You may need to adjust the blade depth a bit if you use the blades for the other machines. Do some test cuts to determine the best setting for you. Even if I have a good quality blade, I would still use a new blade for these intricate designs. They take a long time to cut out, especially if i am cutting them 11.5″x11.5″ and I don’t want to waste time and paper should the blade wear out halfway through cutting one of these designs. I always keep extra blades on hand, because I never know when my blade will go bad, and it is never convenient to get a new blade in the middle of a cutting project. They can go bad very suddenly – good for one cut, and bad for the next. If a tiny tip of the blade gets broken off, you may not be able to see a difference, but you will get more tearing than cutting when this happens.

Environmental factors are important. If you live in a humid climate, paper can get mushy and become very difficult to cut cleanly. Air conditioning can also affect the way your paper cuts. Store your paper in sealed bags for best results. Some papers just don’t cut as well as others even with excellent climate control. I like World Win papers, especially Treasures. It looks like Bazzill’s original paper, but cuts so much more cleanly. World Win’s Colormates do not have texture. They always cut very nicely. Prism Papers cut very nicely as well, but they are going out of business. Bazzill is picking up some of their papers. Coredinations cuts well. It is not so much the thickness or weight of the paper that matters. It is the content of the paper that makes a difference. I purchased a bunch of clearance papers that I use for test cuts. Some of these will never cut intricate designs without tearing. So I never cut Monica’s files with it. I get excellent results with Treasures.

If you are trying to cut textured paper, try cutting textured side down, and cut the mirror image.

I had a problem this week with every cut on my Cricut tearing. I didn’t think it was the blade, mat, or paper. So I check my blade holder. When I took out the blade, I found that a lot of paper debris had collected inside of the blade housing, and the blade was not able to rotate properly. I cleaned it out thoroughly, so it should cut better now.

Paper Saving Tips

A lot of us want to know the dimensions of a shape before cutting it out. For instance, if you set the size dial at 3 inches, you can be sure that the shape will be 3 inches. However, does that mean that the shape will be 3 inches wide or does it mean the shape will be 3 inches long? To get around this issue, some have cut out each shape in each size and saved it in a book for future reference. This can be fun, but it is not necessary.

If you want to avoid wasting expensive paper, it is wise to know the orientation of the shape you desire to cut out and what its dimensions will be. To avoid an unexpected outcome, try cutting an “air shape” before you cut the actual shape on the paper of your choice. Here’s how to do this:

  1. Set the blade depth to 1.
  2. Set the pressure dial to 1.

NOTE: The Cricut blade will not cut anything if the blade depth is turned to 1 and the pressure dial is set to 1.

  1. Load the cutting mat into the Cricut machine with the plastic cover, some regular computer paper, or the paper you are planning on using.
  2. Select the shape you want to “air cut” and set the size dial to the size you desire.
  3. Press the CUT button and watch the outline of the blade as it moves in the air above the mat. Make a mental note of the dimensions of the cut and how much area the blade moved over on the mat.
  4. If the shape was not big enough or small enough, simply adjust the size dial only and cut another “air shape”. Watch the Cricut blade and make mental notes again.
  5. Once you have found the desired size, set the blade depth higher to the appropriate depth for the paper you are using and set the pressure dial to a higher setting appropriate for the paper you are using.
  6. Load your mat with the paper you desire to use and position the blade where you wish to commence cutting.
  7. Select the shapes you wish to cut and press the CUT button.

How to Cut Foamcore on the Cricut

The Cricut Expression is a great tool for creating beautiful projects simply and quickly. You can use your Cricut to cut paper, chipboard, cardboard and even foam core with ease. To use your Cricut Expression to cut anything other than vinyl and paper, you need a couple of extra tools to perform the same operations, but you won’t need additional skill.

Things You’ll Need:

  • Deep cut blade
  • Deep cut housing
  • Cricut cartridge of choice
  • Adhesive mat
  1. Make sure your Cricut machine is turned off. Install a deep cut blade in the machine: Twist and pull the old blade housing off, and then attach the deep cut blade housing.
  2. Turn on your machine to make sure blade is properly installed and moves freely.
  3. Set the Cricut’s speed to the slowest setting and the depth of the blade to 6. Insert a Cricut cartridge of your choice into the right-hand side of your machine.
  4. Stick the foam core firmly to the upper-right corner of the sticky mat and press the “Load Paper” button on your Cricut machine. Make sure your foam core is not thicker than 1/8 inch.
  5. Select an image you would like to cut using keypad. Be sure to choose a cut that is not too intricate, or you may have to make multiple attempts in cutting before you get a successful cut.

How to Use the Vinyl in the Cricut Expression

The Cricut Expression cutting machine is one of the hottest scrapbooking tools. Although this machine is commonly used for scrapbooking, it can also be used for vinyl cutting. A sheet of vinyl can be placed in the machine to cut out designs, words, numbers or shapes. Vinyl can be purchased at any craft store that carries the Provo Cricut brand. Packages contain two sheets of vinyl cut to the correct machine dimensions.

Things You’ll Need:

  • Cricut Expression machine
  • Vinyl sheet
  • Cutting mat
  1. Align the vinyl sheet to the Cricut cutting mat. The vinyl sheet should be the exact dimensions of the mat. Align the upper left or right hand corner of the vinyl with the mat. Smooth the vinyl to adhere the vinyl to the mat.
  2. Insert the cutting mat into your Cricut Expression. Press the “Load Paper” button to load the cutting mat. The machine will latch on to the cutting mat and position the mat to begin cutting.
  3. Each Cricut machine uses cartridges with pre-designed fonts, characters, symbols, and numbers. Insert your cartridge into the machine. Place the rubber cartridge overlay over the keypad.
  4. Using the keypad, enter the word or characters you would like to cut. These items will be cut directly into your vinyl sheet, so it is important to make sure they are the correct items.
  5. Adjust the size of your letters or characters by using the size wheel. If you use a value of “2,” each of your items will be sized to 2 inches in height.
  6. Press the “Cut” button to begin cutting your design.
  7. Press the “Unload Paper” button once cutting has completed. Your design is finished and ready to be removed from the cutting mat.
  8. Remove your vinyl design from the cutting mat with the Cricut spatula tool. Your vinyl creation is now ready to be used.

How to Cut Vinyl Wall Words With a Cricut

The Cricut is a versatile machine. In addition to using it for traditional scrapbooking, you also can use the Cricut to cut out vinyl shapes or letters to decorate the walls of your home or office. Provo sells packaged vinyl pages that can be purchased where Cricut products are sold. These packaged sheets are easy to use. They are also easy to apply to your walls for a unique look.

Things You’ll Need:

  • Cricut cutting machine
  • Sheet of vinyl cut to size
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  1. Press the vinyl sheet onto your Cricut cutting mat. Make sure the vinyl is flat against the mat so it is ready for cutting.
  2. Load your Cricut cartridge into the machine. Place the keypad overlay to the keyboard.
  3. Enter the characters you have selected into the keypad of the Cricut machine.
  4. Adjust the measurement wheel to the size of each letter.
  5. Press the “Cut” button to begin cutting the vinyl letters.
  6. Once the machine has finished the cutting process, press the “Unload Paper” button.
  7. Using the spatula tool, remove the vinyl sheet from the cutting mat.
  8. Each vinyl letter has a backing material. Use a ruler to draw pencil marks so the vinyl letters line up.
  9. Remove the backing material and then apply the letter to the wall.
  10. Place a plain piece of paper over the top of the letter. Press your hand across the letter to make sure it is completely applied to the wall.
  11. Continue this process until all letters are applied to the wall.

How to Restick Cricut Cutting Mats

The Cricut machine is a great tool for the paper crafter. It allows you to cut many different things out of paper or vinyl in minutes. The sticky mat for the Cricut machine allows the material to stay in one place while cutting, and after some uses, it can lose its stickiness. There are certain ways you can re-stick your Cricut mat to get many more uses out of it.

Things You’ll Need:

  • Zig two-way pen
  • 24 hours drying time

Pull any paper fibers off the mat with your fingers. You want to prepare the mat for washing and this will allow you to do so.

  1. Wash your Cricut mat in hot water. Make sure your faucet is running hot water and use a mild liquid hand soap to help remove the remaining fibers. You can use your hand, and for the stubborn pieces, you can lightly scrape with the Cricut scraper provided with your machine.
  2. Let your mat air-dry on a towel, face up. You cannot use anything on the mat to dry it quicker, and it is best to let it dry overnight. This will allow your mat to go back to its original sticky form, but you will need additional help to keep the paper sticking to it.
  3. Take the Zig pen and go in staight lines across the mat.  It takes about 5 minutes to complete the whole mat.
  4. Set the mat aside and let the Cricut mat air-dry for about 24 hours before using it.  Works like a charm!

How to Cut Foam Stamps With the Cricut Machine

Things You’ll Need:

  • Cricut machine
  • Deep cut blade
  • New Cricut cutting mat
  • Fun foam sheet
  • Thick cardboard
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Cricut cartridge with desired design

Purchasing stamps from a craft store can be rather costly and you will be limited to what designs you are able to purchase and what size those designs will be. You can use a Cricut die-cutting machine to make your own stamps with inexpensive foam sheets from your local craft store and pieces of thick cardboard. By making your own stamps this way you can choose from several different designs and choose what size you would like your stamps to be.

  1. Load the cartridge with your desired design into the Cricut machine and place the keypad overlay in place. Switch out the regular Cricut blade with a deep cut blade. Set the blade to 5, the speed of the machine to 1 and the pressure to 5.
  2.  Peel the plastic off of your new cutting mat and place the fun foam sheet down onto the sticky surface of the mat. Rub over the fun foam a couple of times to secure it to the mat. Do not attempt to cut fun foam with an older mat; the heaviness of the fun foam sheet requires the stickiness of a new mat.
  3. Load the cutting mat into the machine with the fun foam attached.
  4. Select the design that you want to cut from the foam using the keypad. Make sure you select any special features that you would like, such as shadowing, before making the cut. Press “Cut” on your machine and wait for the machine to complete the cut.
  5. Unload the mat and foam from the machine and carefully peel the fun foam from your cutting mat.
  6. Remove the cut-out design from the rest of the fun foam sheet. Take your time when doing this so you don’t rip your design if the machine didn’t cut certain parts all the way through. Use scissors to snip any parts of the design that might still be attached to the foam sheet.
  7. Trim any rough edges with your scissors to smooth them out. Set the cut-out design aside to allow time for the impressions from the machine’s rollers to come out of the foam.
  8. Glue your foam design to an appropriately sized piece of thick cardboard with glue. Let the glue dry completely before using your new foam stamp.

Mat help – Various Opinions

Not sticky enough:

The best thing I have found to make the mats re-stick is Krylon fast tack spray. It is $5 a can at Michaels. Tape the edges of the mat and spray a light coat on. Let it dry for 5-10 mins. I like it better than the original stick that comes on the mat and it stays stickier longer.
Spray the mat with stamp cleaner (Stampin’ Up! mist or Close to My Heart is what I’ve used) wipe with a clean towel and fan to dry, it works amazing well!
I use a stencil spray. I also use Zig repositionable glue on my mat. I’ve had my Cricut for a year and a half and have only bought 4 mats. I prefer the stick I get over the original mats, too.

I have been using a lint roller to remove small particles from my cutting mats,(the ones for pet hair work best) and found that if you roll them over a old mat it brings back the stickiness to the mat.

Have to say, the best stickiness results I see are from the Krylong Tacky spray. Easy to use also.

I really did a number on my first mat and hopefully I will be able to keep it going a lot longer. To clean and restore tacky surface I first use liquid dish soap undiluted. I just use my fingers, no cloth, to rub the soap over the whole surface. Then I start rinsing with warm to hot water and keep gently rubbing surface. You’ll see all the lint and paper bits just rinse off. If I am in a hurry to use again I will dry the mat with a blow dryer. Works for me!

Too Sticky:

Never put lighter weight paper on a new mat. I use it for heavier cardstock only for the first several cuts. Then, when it’s not so sticky, I start to use if for the lighter paper.

Place the mat on your shirt, pants, some piece of clothing, then peel off, the lint/fuzz from the material will take some of the tackiness away. Don’t do it on anything that says knitted, you’ll get too much fuzz. You can do the same thing with the Heidi Swapp masks; sometimes they’re too sticky also.

Cutting Fabric

I cut quite a few letters, from 2 1/2″ down to 1″ today. I used tightly woven cotton that had Heat N Bond fused to the back of it. Before I place the fused cotton, Heat N Bond side to the mat, I removed the backing paper. I’ve found that the fusing process loosens the paper, in some places, from the Heat N Bond and the fabric shifts in those areas during cutting. Once the fabric is down on the mat very smoothly, I use a bone folder or the flat side of a table knife would probably work too, and sort of burnish the fabric into the sticky on the mat, especially all around the edges. Every once in awhile the blade will sort of skip a little and not cut a very little bit. When I take the fabric off the mat I just carefully snip that uncut area or use my Exacto knife. The hardest letter to cut is the dot on the 1″ letter i. I think I’ll use a very small paper punch to cut the dot. I used a broad font like Learning Curve. I don’t know how some of the thinner letters would cut. Heat N Bond recommends washing and drying the fabric first to remove the coating normally found on new fabrics. It’s also important that the mat has “good sticky” and the blade is sharp. My settings were: blade 6, Pressure about 5 and speed 4 or 5. A little tweaking of the settings may be necessary. Hope this helps.

Blades & Markers

  1. The blade housing should have the arrow marker facing forward so that you can change the depth of the blade without removing the blade housing.
  2. Setting the blade depth to 1 will allow moving the blade around the paper without cutting it.
  3. To recut images that did not cut all the way through, do not Unload Paper. Instead Load Paper, then Repeat Last, then Cut.
  4. To use the Markers and cut images, replace the blade with the marker, set speed and pressure, and draw the image (Cut). Do NOT Unload Paper. Replace the Marker with the blade, reset speed and pressure, then press Load Paper, then Repeat Last, and then Cut.
  5. In a pinch, sharpen the blade on a stone sharpening slab or knife sharpener.

Cartridges

  1. Turn off your Cricut when changing cartridges.
  2. Register all cartridges and machines at Cricut.com.
  3. Use the shadow feature to make any font fatter.
  4. The cylinder shape on the George cartridge makes a great dog tag.
  5. The Silhouette feature on George makes great picture frames.
  6. The shadow feature on any cartridge makes a great base for the paper piecing.
  7. Cut letters first, then shadows. Letters can be mounted on shadows before the shadows are removed from the mat.
  8. To make items or letters smaller than 1”, use the Creative Features on some cartridges that enclose letters or shapes inside larger shapes – i.e. the Sign feature on George.
  9. If you know characters of a certain height should fit the paper size, but have a “tail” like the letter “y” on font cartridges, turn on the Paper Saver option.
  10. To make proportionately smaller items larger, turn on the Real Dial Size option.
  11. Create a Unifont from lower case alphas by turning on the Real Dial Size option.

Mats

  1. Cricut mats can be loaded from either leading end.
  2. Load mat aligning left side with flat edge of casing to allow the mat to load straighter.
  3. Roll a brayer over your paper and mat several times to help it stick better. You will not have to clean it as often.
  4. Date the back of your mats when you start using them so you know which one to get rid of first.
  5. Use a lint roller over the mat to remove dust and particles from a mat.
  6. When cutting a 3×3 piece of paper or smaller, use a newer or tackier mat.
  7. When a mat starts to lose its tackiness, move the blade in 1/2 inch (1 move) and over 1/2 inch (1 move) before making your first cut.
  8. If you press “Load Paper” without unloading the mat, the blade will move to the start of the mat.
  9. When cutting thick or heavy paper, use a newer mat. When cutting thin paper, use an older, less tacky mat.
  10. Add a sticker to or mark the transparent cover of a mat so you know which way it lays on your mat.
  11. Cover your mat with the transparent cover when not in use.
  12. The mat cover can be used like a transparency after the mat is thrown away. The cover can be cut by your Cricut.
  13. When using a new mat your paper will not curl when you remove it from the mat if you roll the mat and remove the mat from the paper while holding the paper taut.
  14. Every now and then, move the Cricut blade to the CENTER of the mat so that portion of the mat gets used. Saves paper and the mat.
  15. Use an old mat to hold letters you have cut to keep track of them. It also comes in handy when gluing letters to their shadows.
  16. You can use Repositionable Spray Adhesive like Quilter’s Spray, 3M Spray Mount Adhesive, Excel Stencil Spray, Krylon Repositionable Glue Spray, etc. to make your mat tacky again. (Will nullify warranty.)
  17. Many tools work to “scrape” the built up lint and paper fuzz off the mat including a spatula, putty knife, art palette knife, dummy credit card, Pampered Chef scraper, etc.
  18. Use warm water and “scraper” to squeegee the water, lint, and paper off when cleaning mat. Let dry thoroughly.
  19. Use a “scraper” to dry scrape the mat when it starts to lose its tackiness to remove much of the built up lint and give you a better surface to use.

Paper

  1. To cut multiple colors, put 6×6, 3×6, or 3×3 pieces on a single mat, and then move your blade to the top corner of the next color without unloading the mat.
  2. Add a shim (piece of paper) under the mat to help cut thicker paper like Bazzill.
  3. Use negative space for a stencil for chalking or other special effect.
  4. Keep a list of settings for your Cricut that work with different types of paper.
  5. If backing paper with Xyron before cutting, tape Xyron backed paper to mat to keep it from slipping.
  6. Use junk paper from packaging for making sample cuts to see how they will work.
  7. You can cut on a 12 x 12 paper by folding it in half and sandwiching the mat in the fold. The same thing can be done to cut on a card of any size.

Cricut Blade Placement – Be sure your Cricut blade if facing you as you are facing the opening of the machine and the number and arrow are aligned.  If you have the blade loaded just to the left of the insertion point, by just a smidge, that should be perfect.

Getting The Most From Your Mat – Bring your Cricut mat over to the center of your mat if you are cutting something smaller to get additional use of your mat.  Just use your arrow keys and cut away!

Comments on: "My Cricut Expression and I…A Match Made In Heaven!" (58)

  1. Stacy Wheeler said:

    Thank you very much. I read every word! What a huge help.

  2. Sharilyn Jones said:

    Wonderful information!!!

    I have not used my Cricut in awhile. I am now having trouble getting the dial for ‘size’ to work. The dial moves, but when I cut, I only can get it to cut 5 1/2 “. Do you have any suggestions?

    Thank you!
    Sharilyn

  3. Thank you so much for taking the time to post this info!! I got my my cricut for Christmas & feel slightly overwhelmed by the many features. This has been an unbelievable help. I’m done “cricuting” for tonight but will be using these tips first thing tomorrow! Thanks again!

    • Tie Dye said:

      Lee,

      So, you have had your Cricut for awhile now. How are things going? I am sure you have been in awe at all the possibilities. I appreciate you taking the time to wander around my blog, and welcome any questions you may have or information you would like assistance with. Us Cricut Queens need to support each other!!!

      Dawn

      By the way, I carry several of the hard to find Cricut Cartridges in my EBay Store if you are ever looking for tsome. Here is the link in case you are currently on a hunt for one. http://stores.ebay.com/dduntley

  4. Thanks for all your tips and tricks! I appreciate you taking the time to present this information…very helpful!

    • Tie Dye said:

      Darlene,

      I appreciate your comments. I once was a beginner and spent a great deal of time looking for answers to my questions. Please let me know if there is anything I can assist you with and I will be happy to try.

      Dawn

  5. Tie Dye said:

    With the Cricut Imagine, The Cricut Cake and the New Cricut Expression 2 just out, the list of cartridges is growing by the day. Here is a link to Provo Craft’s site. They keep an updated list of all the cartidges for all the machines. They may not be the price point you want to pay, but it will give you a sample view of the images and the handbook contents. I hope this helps. If you are ever looking for cartridges, I carry a few select ones on my EBay store http://stores.ebay.com/dduntley. Thanks for stopping by the blog. Send any questions or suggestions and I will do my best to assist.

  6. Helayna said:

    I need help! I need a new cricut housing and all I can find for sale are the deep cut housings. Can I buy the housing for the Bazzil and use it in my Cricut? Also, would I then have to buy Bazzil blades or will cricut blades work in the Bazzil housing?
    Thanks!

  7. This was a great post. After months of frustration with a mini cricut (Cricut personal), I decided to check online to see whether you could use Pazzles blades in a cricut. Pleased to see that you can. May I enquire whether you just use the regular pazzles blades in the cricut even if you want to cut through heavier cardstock and vinyl, or do you still have to get the special cricut blades? Also I want to make silhouette/shadow type stamps by cutting through funfoam – is this possible and can I use the pazzles blades in the cricut for that? Cricut replacement items are really hard to come by where I live in South Africa but there is a Pazzles dealer here. Any help would be appreciated greatly! Thanks

  8. Great information here! Thank you for taking the time to share all this with us.

    I just got my E a couple weeks ago and so far it has NOT been fun, it has NOT been easy, and it has NOT been an enjoyable experience. I am hoping as time goes on it will get easier and I will enjoy it more. I think I have wasted more vinyl than I have used. My main problem is that while it’s cutting, the vinyl kind of sticks up (?) after it cuts it and then it folds onto itself or I get a design that feel like sandpaper when it’s finished. I have no idea what I might be doing wrong….but it’s downright frustrating! I am trying to do small snowflakes, etc (about 2″) to go on Christmas balls, and so far, none of them has been useable in vinyl. I did one on paper, and it seemed to be alright, but when I try it with the vinyl, it “pooches” all over the place! Tips? Pointers? Suggestions? Thanks.

  9. I am so sorry you are having such issues. Once you get the hang of this machine, you will wonder how you ever managed without it. I have a couple of questions. Where did you get the vinyl? Is your Cricut Mat new? How many cuts have you made with the blade you are trying to cut the vinyl with?

  10. Thank you for the reply. I am sure it’s just a matter of getting the hang of it, but until then…..{sigh}. I have a neighbor whose daughter does A LOT of projects on her E. She is the one that gave me address of where she gets her vinyl. It is listed as “craft vinyl” and I will refrain from mentioning their name because I don’t want it to appear I am doing some sort of advertising for them! LOL The mat was new when I got the machine, yes. Of course, it’s not really too sticky now…so I guess I will have to clean it. I have also had to take the blade out a couple times and unstick the “debris” from previous cuts. I have not made that many cuts because I feel like I am just wasting vinyl at this point…I’ll guess about 30 cuts or so. They have all been small items, most of them about 2″. I thought perhaps I had put the blade in wrong, but it was in there when I got it, and didn’t see a “right way” or a “wrong way” to put the blade back in the holder after I cleaned it off. As far as putting the holder in the machine itself, I thought it said to put the little triangle directly in the front…facing you if you were sitting in front of it, yet some of the videos I have watched in various places, I see people putting the triangle to the left of the screw thingy. Does it make a difference? I haven’t tried it there yet because I was just going on what the book said that came with it. I don’t know how to tell if the blade is dull, but I would have thought it would last longer than 30 cuts!? Sometimes it almost seems like it is just poking holes instead of cutting, which would cause the “bumpy” texture, but I don’t know why. I am thinking that maybe I’m trying to cut too intricate a design on too small an area? If I go with a simple straight edged design, it seems to cut ok. It’s just when there are jagged edges to be cut or sharp lines that are close together. I am trying my best to figure this out. Thank you for your help and I won’t give up on this! Everyone that has one says how wonderful it is…I just have to get to that point! LOL

  11. Based on what you have told me, I would resticky my mat (can be found on my blog). I would use a fresh new blade. If you watch the Cricut video that came with your machine, they actually say 25 to 30 cuts per blade. That’s not projects or items, but actual cuts. Meaning everytime the blade picks itself up and places itself down again it is a new cut. Took me quite awhile to figure that our. Don’t throw out the older blades through, the are good for a final hurrah on chipboard. If your design is too intricate and you have mat issues and blade issues, you’re right it won’t work. Try these things, and try again. I place my blades a hair to the left of the place the holder comes together. Notice how technical my verbage is? :) Every machine is slightly different. You have to figure out yours. Keep me posted.

  12. karen looker said:

    hi i am having problems with cutting, i havent really used the machine but it is ripping all the paper. I have tried all different settings and papers but it is still ripping , especially on fancy things like xmas baubles. Can you please help me

  13. Are you using paper or cardstock? Is your mat new? How many cuts have you made with your current blade?

  14. The blade housing won’t go up & down on my C. Expression. Think it needs a new solonoid. Called Cricut & they don’t sell replacement parts & my machine is no longer under warranty so they won’t fix it. Can’t buy another Cricut. I also have a C. Create. Can I use the whole blade & holder housing (the lt. green box that moves across the carriage) from the Create on my Expression? Are they interchangable? They look like they are the same size.

  15. I don’t have a C. Cake so I could not say for certain. I did a little research on the internet and did not come up with anything definate. I do know from time to time, people will sell Cricut Expressions on Ebay or Craiglist for just parts. I think I would start there.

  16. Great information on this page. Thank you!

  17. Scrappin' Queen said:

    Well, I knew it was just a matter of time…but I bought the Cricut Expression 2!!! Yes, I said it. I had to have it. I have a scrapbook store on eBay (http://stores.ebay.com/dduntley) and I have to be abreast of the new, latest & greatest. And boy howdy, let me tell you this is the greatest! After you get past the first initial “how does thing work?” Were do I find the Shadow button? How do I? Where did they put it? Damn, I need my glasses to see this tiny screen. You will decide it is a wonderful tool with less hassle. It saves on paper for sure. I am very gald I made the “upgrade” and so will you. Keep your eye on HSN.com. They often hold sales with 5 easy payments. No interest. What a deal! I have my Cricut 2 figured out so if you have any questions, let me know. If I don’t know the answer right away, I will get it for you. No reason the trapse all over the internet.

    If you have gotten an Expression 2, please share your tips & tricks with the rest of us. More to come.

    Scrappin’ Queen

  18. I am trying to figure out if I can cut images without a cartridge, For example, a team mascot. I have read about Sure Cuts A Lot, but know that you can only buy it on Ebay and it is super expensive. I am also unsure if it will even work with the Cricut 2. Is this even possible now?

    • Scrappin' Queen said:

      Jennifer,

      I know that the Cricut Expressions will not work without a cartridge in them. I have yet to use the Sure Cuts A Lot software with the Cricut Expression 2. Version 3 of the software will not work with the Cricut machine. I am out of town at the moment, not with my Cricut. I will test the SCAL version 2 with the Expression 2 and let you know the results. I am amazed what the SCAL V2 software is going for on eBay. Let me test the waters before you spend your money.

      Thank you for asking the question. I had no idea SCAL 3 was not compatible with the Cricut.

      Give me a few days!

  19. I…..A
    anitha alex

  20. Sliced cucumbers in a paper plate…..circuit..Ohm’s Law…turns..pink ?

    Anitha Alex

  21. I am looking for this file PCCPlugin.dll. Apparently it will allow you to use the Make the Cut software program with Cricut cutters. I have searched everywhere but cannot find it, Anyone have any ideas?

  22. Ronda McGinness said:

    I cant find help anywhere on putting my cricut blade holder back together, can anyone help fast I have a job due?

    • Scrappin' Queen said:

      Back together? Can you give additional details please, so I can see if I can help?

    • did you get a reply? I took the blade housing apart and can’t figure out how to put it back together? Help please.

  23. Brandy Trulove said:

    My woderful hubby just bought me the Expression 2 and I can’t get the mat to load. The only troubleshooting tip is to press the unload button and try again, but it just isn’t working. Is there a trick to this, or might it be defective?

  24. Brandy,

    I too have the new CE2 and have absolutely no issues with it. I explored your issue on my machine and believe that yours is defective. There is a 1-year warranty on Provo Craft machines. If your wonderful husband got it for you at a retail store, your wait “hopefully” will be shorter than if you had to return it to Provo Craft. Congrats on the new machine!

  25. Pretty Plumeria said:

    I just got the cricut expression and only cut on it twice and it’s already acting up on me! :( When it’s doing a multicut job it will start cutting out a letter but then it would act up and start cutting a small line over and over again in the middle of the letter. Would you have any idea what is causing this? I need to get a sign done this week so if anyone has any idea as to what’s the problem and how I can fix it I would REALLY APPRECIATE it! Thanks! :)

  26. Hi
    I need to make small words how do I change the size of my letters on the expression?
    Ty
    Jamie

  27. Thanks so much for these excellent tips! I have a question for you – you mention that you can save the cricut mat covers and use them as transparencies, even cutting them with the Cricut. What settings do you use for cutting these and other transparencies?

    Thanks again!
    Michelle

  28. I have a cricut expression and I am wanting to make stars for wall decorations in my daughters room. The paper I chose is quite costly and wanted to get as many stars as possible out of each sheet. I am wondering if there is an easy way to “nest” the stars inside each other. For example, a 4 inch inside a 6 inch inside a 8 inch inside a 10 inch inside a 12 inch. I appreciate your expertise!

  29. I am glad you figured it out. Sorry I was unable to reply sooner.

  30. Anita kolstad said:

    What setting would you use for chipboard or cardboard? I am trying to make a mini book

  31. Christie said:

    Hello! What great info! I’m new to cricut, I just got it for my bday. I was wondering if you could help. I’d like to make an invitation for my daughters bday party. On the front side will be a purple paper with a castle 3d on top. Turn it over and it will have a pink paper then on top of that a vanilla paper with the info for the party. How do I make the “sewn on” lines onto the paper. You know what I mean? That stitch that goes around the paper frame? I really appreciate your help!!! Thanks

  32. Cricut Expression user here. Matt and paper (cardstock) load straight, but then the matt and paper move around? Any ideas?

  33. Lucy, The mat and paper move together or separately? If the mat is moving after it has been loaded into the machine, I would think there is an issue with the machine. Is it a Cricut mat?

  34. I would get a Cricut Mat and see if that doesn’t fix it, I would think it was the machine.

  35. Thank you for this article, I just read it quickly because I am at work but I wil read every word later tonight when I get home. I did not find the help I needed and I thought I would ask the question. I just got my Expressions 2 so I am a newby with it but I am finding it slices my cards in the wrong places. I am using the Cricut cardstock that came with the cricut but I can’t find anywhere that tells me what the pressure, depth and speed should be set to. I am sure that this is why I am having a problem, because my settings are wrong. Is there a list of papers somewhere and what the settings should be for each type of paper?

    Thank you for this blog, its amazing and I really want to love my machine too, right now I am frustrated.

    Grace

  36. Scrappin' Queen said:

    Grace, I have a guide posted on my blog that helps address the very issue you are having. Here is the like to the page it is on. Go all the way to the bottom of the page. I printed it out and taped it to the inside cover of my Expression. I hope this helps. :) http://scrappinqueen.wordpress.com/im-free-im-free-im-free/

  37. Hi.. I have a Cricut Expression and I am making the word blocks. I can get the right height I need but the font is too wide for the block. Is is possible to adjust the width of a font or do I need a different cartridge or a new cricut. I’m trying to get my fonts about 2″ wide.

  38. Hi there!
    I have been using my cricut to cut with a vinyl type heavy plastic. The problem I’m having is once the cut is done is lifting the plastic off the cutting mat. I have tried transfer paper, but it is way to sticky. If anyone of you having any fantastic idea I would appreciate that!

  39. Heather Henry said:

    I am thinking about buying a cricut expression 2 and want to use it for engraving some light metal is that possible. I don’t want to buy it and then not be able to do one thing I want to do on it.

  40. I read this piece of writing fully concerning the
    difference of most recent and earlier technologies, it’s amazing
    article.

  41. I have a Cricut and have used to for paper and wall vinyl. I was wanting to use it to make designs to apply to fabric. Do they make specific fabric vinyl?? Also if I wanted to use a PDF file with the image that I wanted to cut is that possible? Im fairly new to this. Thank you for your help!

  42. valari said:

    i have a cricut expression. I am wanting to outline or layer letters but I don’t have a layer button the cartridges I have. I would I do this

  43. This is a great tutorial I found on re-sticking cricut mats, it works pretty well for my mats! http://michellesdigitalcreations.blogspot.com/2011/12/resticking-cricut-mats.html

  44. Question in the revised booklet under the block is image in where are those images on e2

  45. Hi, My daughter just got a cricut expession 2 and is trying use it. I have the original and have had no problems. Her problem seems to be that when she tells it to cut her letters the cutter will move from the right to the left slicing the paper as it goes before even starting to cut the letters. She has tried almost everything with no luck. Please help. We just bought it for her and I am tempted to take it back to the Store and return it.

  46. I have an expression 2 and just unboxed it. Is there a cartridge for words or do I use a letter/font cartridge and the Cricut Craft Room? TIA

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