Hey everyone! Today I have a review of the Cricut Cuttlebug Machine V2. I am very new to the world of die-cutting but I want to start off right away by saying that I LOVE this machine.
Disclosure: Please note that I may receive commissions from any purchases made through links in this post, however all views and opinions are honest and my own.
Why the Cuttlebug?
When I was researching die-cutting machines, the criteria that I considered most important were A) compatibility with as many brands of dies as possible and B) price. I wasn’t sure that die-cutting was going to be something that I would want to spend a lot of my crafting time doing so I didn’t want to pay too much, but I also didn’t want to be disappointed by a limited selection of dies. Enter the Cricut Cuttlebug Machine V2.
Once I purchased the machine for a very reasonable £59.99, I hurried home and tore open the packaging like a child with a Christmas gift. The instructions were basic but easy to understand. I started off by trying out the included (and may I say – very cute) embossing folder on a piece of scrap card. It was so easy to do and glided through the machine without any effort.
Next came the disappointing bit….but don’t worry it was easily rectified. I had purchased a Lawn Fawn die to use with the machine. After some tinkering, swearing and Googling I soon came to realise that the die wouldn’t work without buying an additional piece of kit. I think this was something to do with the die being a different brand to the machine. I’ve read that Cricut brand dies should work with just the elements that come with the machine. Thankfully my local shop had the Cuttlebug Rubber Embossing Mat available so I purchased that on my second trip for around £7 and this addition had me well on my way to being a die-cutting addict.
I do think that results will be dependent on the quality of the dies and embossing folders you use. I’ve had no problems. The Cuttlebug has been great for all of the tasks I’ve needed to complete. Embossing is crisp and even. Die-cut shapes are clean-cut, even when using intricate shapes on thicker 300gsm card.
The design of the machine is really cool. The sides of it fold out and as they do they cause the bottom to suction to the table surface, providing it is flat and smooth. This makes it easier to use your other hands to guide your work and to wind the handle without having to hold the Cuttlebug in place. When the sides are folded up they fit against the body perfectly and the whole thing becomes really easy to transport using the carry handle. You can even turn the winding handle so that it fits snugly against the edge of the machine where it won’t catch on anything and reduces the space needed for storage. I even like the fresh green colour of the machine.
The only concern I have with the Cricut Cuttlebug (bearing in mind that this is the only die machine I have ever used) is that the top B plate has totally bent out of shape and tends to imprint patterns from previous cuts onto the back of cut shapes. I don’t find that the bend affects the quality of the cut so it’s not much of a problem and I think it may have been better to use both sides of the plate to keep the pressure equal between both sides. The imprinted patterns only appear on the back of my shapes so it doesn’t really matter as they will be hidden once glued onto another surface such as card or scrapbook.
The Ideal Starter Machine
As a newbie to the world of die-cutting, I am really pleased with my purchase and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is starting out in the die-cutting and embossing world. Now that I have a bit more experience and know that it is something I will get use out of, I am thinking that I may need a machine that can work with larger embossing folders and papers and is motorised such as the Sizzix Bigshot Express Machine. I’ll let you know if I go for it and I’ll tell you what I think!
With this simple tutorial you will be able to create a fully personalised paper gift bag using a photograph and scraps from your paper, card and fabric stashes. It is quick and simple but so effective.
You will need:
A plain kraft gift bag (I got 5 for £1 at PoundWorld)
Scraps of card, paper and fabric in your chosen colours
An instant camera style frame (available from my shop – Clarty Hands Crafts)
Rhinestones, letter stickers and any other embellishments you like
Glue or a tape roller
Cut your photograph to the size of the outer edge of the frame.
Stick the frame onto the photograph.
Layer rectangles of your paper and fabric scraps behind your mounted photograph in an arrangement that looks pleasing to you. I find that layering different textures is really effective. Once you have your arrangement, put the photograph to one side and staple the stack of rectangles in the centre to keep them all together.
Stick the photograph to the top of your scrap-stack and then stick the entire pile to the front surface of the gift bag.
Add extra touches to your design with your embellishments. I used letter stickers to caption the photograph with “Happy Birthday” and used self-adhesive rhinestones to add some sparkle.
Step Five (Optional)
I finished the bag by using a VersaMark watermark pen (available at Crafter’s Companion) to write my friend’s name and sprinkled coordinating gold embossing powder over, before blasting with a heat gun.
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