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Topic: specific cricut questions for newbie  (Read 1595 times)
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alivia
« on: May 24, 2010 05:03:52 AM »

I'm highly considering buying a Cricut to make freezer paper stencils for t-shirts. I'm posting over here in the paper crafts community because I'm sure you all have the most experience with the machine.  Wink

I want to make sure the machine will do what I need it to do before I buy it. Here's what I'm looking for:

1. It has to cut freezer paper or a similar iron-on medium.

2. It has to take my own designs from Photoshop & cut them into the freezer paper. I've read that I can buy a software called SureCutsALot that will allow me to import & cut any SVG file with the Cricut? I know I would first have to convert my photoshop file to an SVG file, but other than that, it sounds like I'd be OK with this plan? I have a Mac running 10.5, and I confirmed that the SCAL software will work with that.

I don't have a ton of money to invest at first, so I was thinking of starting with the Personal machine, and I'm considering buying used from craigslist. Any advice to offer on buying used? The running price in our area seems to be about $85 for a used Personal machine, which seems kind of high to me. If I buy used, is it likely I'll end up spending just as much as I'd spend new to get the software updated and a cartridge purchased, maybe a new blade? Here's where you can tell I really have no idea what to expect!  Cheesy Would a new Cricut machine come with a cartridge?

Thanks for any advice you can lend. I really appreciate it!

Julie (a craftster newbie)
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lylacfey
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2010 05:22:03 AM »

Yes, the Cricut cuts freezer paper and stencil material.

A lot of Cricut girls use Photoshop to make their SVG's. So your good to go. SureCutsAlot runs great on MAC.

I think $85 is too high for a Personal. Does it come with cartridges? I have seen $50 for a Cricut Personal. A lot of times you can get an Expression for $150 on Ebay.  You can buy a brand new Cricut Personal at Big Lots for $129.

If you check your WalMart I heard that some people are getting the Black Expressions for $75.

New Cricut machines come with cartridges. The Personal comes with George. Expression comes with Plantin and Accent Essentials. Create comes with Don Juan.

Blades are cheap so that won't cost you much. I haven't bought blades in a couple of years since I have so many. I know you can use JoAnn's coupons on Cricut accessories.

Does that help any? I have a lot of Cricut knowledge so don't be afraid to ask more questions.
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alivia
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2010 05:56:38 AM »

oooh! thank you! that was very helpful.

In my research, I read that any cartridge will work with the SureCutsALot program? So if I bought a new machine, whatever cartridge it came with should work, right?

And say I did buy a used machine, on the SureCutsALot site, it said that the Cricut software had to be fully updated before I could install the latest version of SCAL. So should I expect that each Cricut software update is also going to cost $$? Altogether, it seems if the used machines around $80 come with no cartridge & outdated software, new is going to be a much better deal. I'll check around comparing coupons & deals today.

One last thing: I know it's possible to do an SVG file in Photoshop, but my file conversion skills must be rusty because I spent about an hour trying to remember yesterday and couldn't do it. Would this forum be the best place to get advice on that, or is there a more specific Cricut forum out there somewhere?

Thank you so much! You are a wealth of advice on this!  Grin
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lylacfey
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2010 06:33:36 AM »

Yes, any cartridge will work with SCAL. It does not matter which one. So, if you can find a cheap one on Ebay you can use that said cartridge.

No, it does not cost money to update. I should have remembered this when you wrote that you had a MAC. You need to use Cricut's Design Studio to update your firmware.  Design Studio is free but only works on Windows. You will need a friend who has Design Studio or you will need to run a Parallel program. There is no MAC support for Design Studio.

Here's SureCutsAlot forum: http://forums.surecutsalot.com/

Here's the main Yahoo Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SureCutsAlotUsers/

All the girls and guys over at these two forums are super smart and can answer any questions. There is even a tutorial on how to use the Cricut without a cartridge. You will need a paperclip and chipboard. Wink

Your welcome for the advice. Don't be afraid to ask. I am a long time Cricut user.

 
« Last Edit: May 25, 2010 06:34:23 AM by lylacfey » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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