The nice people at Cricut sent a Cricut Mini for us to take on a test run and we were amazed with the results.
When invisioning cutting machines, you'd be forgiven for limiting the imagination to just papercraft projects but in reality, this little machine is capable of so much more. Offering a number of blade depths and pressures, you can cut through a wide variety of materials - from card and fabric to magnet and chipboard.
The machine itself is sleek and compact, making it look great on any craft desk. The second thing that impressed us about the Cricut Mini was how easy it was to set up. You simply plug it in, connect it to your computer and download the free software (which you can even use online). From there, you're all set to start playing with shapes and designing your first project in the Cricut Craft-Room.
The shapes you can cut are limited to the cartridges you own (of which there are hundreds available to buy) - but you can scale, stretch, scew and weld shapes together to create endless combintations. The software also allows you to create layers, making it easy to build a project out of different colours and combinations of materials.
We created five projects to give you an idea of the range of crafts that are possible, including cut-out felt placemats, shrink plastic name necklaces, magnets of the 50 American states, etched jars using stencils; and paper cut eyelashes.
The only negatives are that the catridges are slightly expensive although you get lots of shapes on each one and sometimes the software crashes but they seem to be putting out updates frequently. That being said, we'd definetly recommend adding one of these wonderful machines to your crafting arsenal.