Anyone who knows me well, will know that crafting isn’t my first priority, nor is it my favourite pastime. However, I’ve seen lots of bloggers reviewing the Cricut Mini and as my girls are totally into crafting I knew that giving this gadget a go would earn me lots of brownie points.
Miss E, who’s almost 10 is a great crafter and loves to spend all of her spare time creating something in her room. She’s an independent crafter too, and has a plethora of reference books, including the wonderful Red Ted Art from which she has created her own animal zoo out of toilet roll! Anyway, that’s for another post. When she heard we were getting the Cricut Mini, and when I explained what it could do, she was incredibly excited.
So what exactly is the Cricut Mini? Well it looks like a giant laminator, but it’s so much more. Basically it is an electronic cutting machine, with free downloadable software that allows you create pretty much anything you like, or can imagine for crafting or for your home. Our Cricut Mini came with a great set of instructions on how to set up the machine and the software along with a small set of cards to get us started on our first project. There are over 500 images available and 40 projects to look at for inspiration. If you want more than this, you can purchase extra digital packs. It’s worth looking out on the website for the daily deals, plus you can often hire a package for 30 days for a fraction of the original price. It’s a great way to gain access to a whole host of images for that one short-term project.
The Cricut Mini machine will cut a whole host of materials including card, vinyl, fabric, chipboard and even thin tin foil and in a whole host of sizes too. Some images cut best at a larger size, particularly if they are more intricate, but some can be cut as small as a 1/4 inch.
Now the instructions say it takes minutes to set up and get started. It’s simple enough and the instructions are very clear. Simply set up the machine, download the software, connect the machine via a USB cable, and create your first images to cut. I must say I did have a few problems, which I think were attributed to my temperamental Windows 8 laptop. The software just wouldn’t recognise the machine so I did a uninstall, and started again. We also got it up and running on the children’s laptop too, much to their delight. In fact, it was Miss E that kicked off the first project.
We decided, as my younger daughter had just celebrated her birthday and received a lovely bundle of gifts, to follow the simple instructions and create some thank you cards. Miss E was fully in control and, with me simply watching, set up the first batch of images to be cut. It’s a simple drag and drop. Select the images, drag them to the cutting area in the software, line them up according to the size of card you’re using, and press cut! It really is that simple. Then sit back and watch the Cricut spring into action.
Once the individual pieces were all cut out, it was simply a matter of glueing them altogether to create our finished card.
Don’t they look professional? The card is really good quality too so they really do look and feel top-notch. I was so pleased with them, and they were so easy.
One of the things I love the most about the Circut Project Software, is the access you have to other projects already created. Firstly it gives you some wonderful ideas from which to create your own projects, and secondly it’s a fabulous way to see what the Cricut is truly capable of. To be honest, the only limitations are those of your imagination.
For example, here are a couple of great project for home decor that have caught my eye.
The hexagonal coffee table :
And the rustic typography sign, very on trend currently:
You really can lose hours looking through the projects, and creating ways to use the Cricut Mini in your own home.
I love what Mummylish has used hers for. She updated a lovely little curtain for her daughter’s cabin bed, creating something very cute, and it looked so easy!
We love the Cricut and can see it being used time and time again. I’m planning a little upcycling in the garden soon and want to use it there, plus I need some more distinctive house numbers and think I can create something in vinyl for the glass above the door. Ooh the possibilities are endless!
So are you ready to find out more? The Circut Mini costs £99.99 and is available from the Cricut website here.
We were sent the Cricut Mini for the purposes of this review. All opinions are genuine, honest and my own.