If you’ve been around Designs By Miss Mandee for any amount of time, you know that I love designing and creating cut file projects! I have been a designer for about 7 years now, but I only discovered the magic of cut file design in 2015. Today I thought I’d share my story and talk about why I love my Cricut.
Before I made the leap into the die cut world, before I even knew that die cut design was a thing really, I had already been sharing hand drawn illustrations and printables here on Designs By Miss Mandee, and really enjoying myself.
At the time, I knew that die cut machines existed, and saw them at craft stores, but I also knew that users were limited to pre-made cartridges that had to be purchased in order to cut anything out. Because of this, I hadn’t paid a lot of mind to the industry. The day I realized that it was a possibility that I—me, Mandee—could actually create any design I wanted (from scratch) and use one of these machines to cut it out for me, my world flipped upside-down. I saw a myriad of ideas and possibilities flash through my mind, and I knew I needed to give this whole thing a try.
After doing some research, I quickly found out that the two main options for cutting machines were Silhouette and Cricut. After reading review after review and blog after blog, I finally decided to pull the trigger, and get a Cricut Explore Air (top of the line at the time).
Although I recently switched to a Cricut Maker (which is so awesome, by the way), I’ve never regretted the decision to get a Cricut! From the moment I took my machine out of the box, I knew we were going to be spending a lot of quality time together. Within 10 minutes, I was cutting my first project: the first, it turns out of MANY more to come.
So, now that you know a little bit of my background story, here are some of the reasons why I chose to get a Cricut and why I’ve never looked back.
Why I Initially Decided to Get a Cricut
- The Software: Most reviews agreed that the Cricut software was the most user-friendly.
- Clean Cuts: Cricut users raved about the level of detail they were able to achieve as well as the general cleanliness of the cuts.
- Sturdiness: In general, Cricut machines seemed to be viewed as sturdier than Silhouette machines and lasted longer.
Bonus Perks I Discovered Later
- Using SVG Files for FREE: After the test project that came with my Cricut was complete, literally the second thing I made was a custom design I had created in Adobe Illustrator. I saved it as an SVG file, uploaded it to Cricut Design Space, and cut it out—easy peasy. It wasn’t until I started offering SVG cut files on my blog that I realized that Silhouette requires users to upgrade to their “Designer” edition in order to utilize SVG files ($50). This, for me, is probably the number one reason why I love my Cricut!*
- Score Lines: While Silhouette’s software does give users the capability to add score lines into their projects within their software, it doesn’t allow users to upload projects with pre-set score lines. With my Cricut, I can create cut lines, score lines, and areas designated just for printing all within Adobe Illustrator before uploading the project to Design Space. This saves me a lot of hassle!
- Customer Service: Although I haven’t needed to utilize Cricut’s customer service team very often, I’ve had nothing but great experiences when I did. Once, I was working on a project late at night (which is often the case), and ran into an issue. Luckily, a chat representative was readily available, and was there to help me out: they even shipped me a replacement part for free when the one I had wasn’t working.
For all the reasons listed above, and for reasons that probably only matter to me, I am so glad I made the decision to get a Cricut! I love the creative freedom I have because of my Cricut, and the continual advancements Cricut makes to better its products and software.
*I did later find that there is a workaround for Silhouette users to be able to convert SVG files and use them with the free edition of the software. It is a little more work, but possible. Feel free to check out the FAQ page on my blog to learn more.
Is it Worth the Investment?
If you’re interested in the die cut world, but hesitant to pull the trigger, I’ve been there! I’m a frugal person, and money was particularly tight around the time I was thinking of getting a die cut machine. I actually put off my purchase for the better part of a year before finally deciding to make the investment (a common occurrence with me and large purchases actually).
But I can tell you that the capabilities of my Cricut have opened up a world of craftiness and creativity for me that I never even dreamed of. From paper art and vinyl crafts, to stencils and even rubber stamp making, I would have never guessed at the things I would be able to create from scratch.
Anytime a reader reaches out to me to tell me that they just got a Cricut machine, I am so incredibly happy for them! As a designer who shares my work with the world, there is literally nothing better than knowing that there are people out there who are excited to utilize my creations in a way that inspires them! And when someone gets a Cricut, I know they are well on their way to fulfilling their creative dreams.
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