As an all knowing and experienced (yeah right!) Cricut user I get asked questions about the bug all the time.
One oft-asked question is: “What are your favorite cartridges?”
I mainly use Carts with my small cricut (6″x12″) and use SCAL and my computer with my expression, That said I had the Cricut Personal cutter for 2 years before I got my Expression and I found the following cartridges well worth the money (on sale of course LOL)
George: It came with the machine, although I’m not crazy about the font it has a lot of great shapes and you can use it with the free trial of design studio to make a ton of stuff or download lots of free cut files for boxes and such made with this cart. I have many George freebies on this blog and check out my blogroll for other designers with George freebies. I only had George the first year I had my cricut, I wanted to make sure I would use it a lot before I invested more $$ in it.
Base Camp: A nice classic Serif font, very similar to Plantain Schoolbook that comes with the Expression, I’d skip it if you have PS
Opposites Attract: It had a full san serif block upper and lower case font and a full cursive font that can be cut upright or stretched out. Very versatile. I newer would have giving it a second look but my friend let me use hers I I loved it!
Zoobaloo: A full upper and lower case font that looks like handwriting, and the cutest little animals you ever did see, lot’s of bang for your buck!
Those are my most used carts but her are a few more I like:
Paper Dolls Dress Up: If you are a school teacher or you have small children you will get a lot of use from this, it’s cutesy, but it has a lot of shapes. I think it would be fun to cut the dolls and clothes out of magnet sheets to make magnetic paper dolls! I used this for the above example.
Storybook: My friend Kristin brought this cart to craft night a couple of weeks ago and it is just lovely. The accents and flourishes are so pretty and versatile and the font is gorgeous! I may put this on my “wish List” especially since Kristin (and her cartridge collection) is moving away next month, wahhhh!
All Mixed Up: It’s just a font, nothing fancy, but it is fun and I like it (but I don’t have it) there is a very similar font you can cut with your cricut if you have scal called Dreamed About You and it is free!
If you have the Expression I recommend adding Tags, Bags, Boxes & More to the list. I would also invest in a 12″x24″ mat to cut some of the bigger boxes. Ive had this cart for a while but didn’t get much use from it until I got the Expression.
Tips: Speaking of mats a blog Reader Linda Mac told me that she maker her own embossing folders (like the Cuttlebug ones) with her cricut. She buys the think flexible cutting boards from the dollare store and uses them just like the embossing material that cricut sells, she also uses these cut to fit her machine instead of buying the Cricut mats. Great tip Linda!
Whether or not to upgrade? If you bought the cricut when it first came out you have the 6″x12″ cutting capability. I must say that I can do most of the stuff I want with the smaller model, the exception being larger vinyl lettering and boxes, so ask yourself if you really need that capability before you upgrade or shell out the extra cash for the big “E”. There are some extra features on the “E” that are great like auto fill and centerpoint but since I use it with my computer mainly it doesn’t matter.
And what about Making Memories Slice? My Niece just bought this die cutter. Pros: It’s cheaper: Reg price is $150, the font/shape disks are half the price of cricut and since hey are stored on an SD card there is probably capability of designing your own files. Its small cordless and lightweight, perfect for a on the go crafter.
Cons: You can only cut 4″x4″
My niece loves it and says it works great. The perfect die cutter and carts is different for everyone so do your research and you will find the right one for you! I’ll have a cricut/scal freebie for you tomorrow, until then happy crafting!