We are giving away a brand new machine to one lucky CraftGossip reader. Read on here for the review and make sure to enter the giveaway here. *Please note this contest is now CLOSED*

To celebrate it’s 5th anniversary Cricut has a brand new die cutting machine. I recently got the chance to try out the Cricut Expression 2 Anniversary Edition to see what cool new features it has.

What is it?: The Cricut Expression 2 Anniversary Edition is a personal electronic die cutting machine, using the machine along with cartridges you can die cut shapes from cardstock, pattern paper and vinyl for all your paper crafting and home décor needs.

Features: This Cricut has lots of wonderful new features.

The machine takes ALL Cricut cartridges, yup, that’s right, all of them! Even Imagine cartridges, though it can’t print, it can cut the images.  This version even comes with four preloaded cartridges: American Alphabet, Essentials, Decals (exclusive) and Just a Note (exclusive).

I personally love the full color LCD touch screen. No more need for a key pad overlay, all the buttons are on the easy to read screen, use the included stylus. On the screen you’ll find the die cut shapes as well as all the useful tools like the image editor where you can change the size of your image (this can be done in ¼” increments) as well as flipping or rotating an image. This machine is really set up to help you save paper, you can replicate your image to fill the entire page (perfect for making multiples like invitations), it also places different images closely together on the page to help reduce paper waste. The paper saver tool arranges images to fit best on the mat. There is also a very handy start position tool where you can tell the machine exactly where to start cutting. So say you want a frame cut out in the middle of your 12″ x12″ paper it will cut it right there, cool huh? When you’re ready to cut the images will show on the screen along with their placement on the mat. I found this extremely useful when I wanted to use smaller scrap pieces of paper and multiple images.  By seeing the mat on the screen and where the images would cut it came out right every time.

There’s also a cutting light so you can see just what your machine is doing while it cuts. It’s got pre-set paper settings so you can quickly and easily cut different thickness of paper or you can even save your own settings for perfect cuts every time. The blade adjustment is really easy too, just turn the dial on the blade, no need to change out blades or caps. I was really impressed that this machine cut easily and cleanly through thick cardstock like Bazzil and also through vinyl with only one pass. I really love the mat that comes with this machine, it holds a 12”x12” pieces of paper and is super sticky. I was able to cut small scraps of paper and they never moved during the cutting. I do highly recommend getting a Cricut spatula tool, it really makes a big difference in removing your die cuts from the mat, especially small or intricate shapes. You can also buy additional mats that are 12” x 24” long, perfect for long vinyl projects, bulletin boards, etc.

My Experience: I found the machine very easy to set up,  put in the blade, plug it in, calibrate the screen and in just a few minutes I was able to start cutting and making projects. As with all machines there is a slight learning curve, for me it was mostly remembering what each button did but I picked it up quickly and there is a nice manual with pictures and explanations for all the tools and functions. I tried lots of different weights of cardstock, pattern papers and even vinyl, all cut easily with one pass ( for thicker items there is a second pass function).

Projects: My first project was a card, I used the sweet bunny from the Just a Note cartridge, cut from cardstock and pattern paper and I turned the banner from the same cartridge into a sun.

Next I wanted to try vinyl. I cut the fleur de lis images from the Essentials cartridge with black and white vinyl, using transfer paper (a must of you’re doing vinyl) I layered them onto a small inexpensive white tile from the hardware store. If you have air bubbles use a bone folder or old credit card to smooth them out. Then I added felt to the back and now I have a cool custom coaster.

Since this machine can cut 12” x 12” paper for my last project I wanted to make a scrapbook page. I used a circle and scalloped design from the Essentials cartridge to cut my large background shapes from cardstock and patterned paper. The tag and scalloped label are from the same cartridge, I was easily able to size them to fit the stickers I wanted to use. Lastly I cut the cute dog from the American Alphabet cartridge and added him to my page along with the pictures of my husband and his mom’s dog.

So if you’re thinking of buying a Cricut I definitely recommend the Expression2 Anniversary Edition!

**Please note, this contest is now CLOSED**

-Heather

By Heather Holbrook




Comments

28 Comments so far

  1. Susan B. on July 19, 2011 5:02 am

    sounds awesome!! maybe I will get lucky and win one!

  2. Lorina G on July 19, 2011 2:45 pm

    Wow, sounds easy to use and another great product from Cricut : )

  3. latoya g. on July 19, 2011 2:45 pm

    looks cool!

  4. Vickie M on July 19, 2011 3:01 pm

    Would love to win this wonderful piece of art by Provocraft!! Awesome thanks for such a great review!!

  5. pam f. on July 19, 2011 3:03 pm

    oh WOW! it would be so great to win!

  6. Rebecca Miracle on July 19, 2011 3:14 pm

    Oh it sounds like so much fun!!!!!! Hope I am the lucky one this time! Many thanks for a GREAT give away!

  7. Tracy on July 19, 2011 3:25 pm

    Wow, I really like the new features…being able to use ALL the Cricut cartridges…I’d LOVE to win the New Expressions 2 Anniversary Machine!!

  8. Lisa O on July 19, 2011 3:28 pm

    I’d live one of these. Sounds so great! Love your projects!!!!!

  9. lori washburn on July 19, 2011 3:38 pm

    love this iam starting to make cards for cancer patients..this would be awsome to have…

  10. Enjoli Collums on July 19, 2011 3:45 pm

    Oh Wow what a great chance to win!! thanks for all you do

  11. Barbara Messina on July 19, 2011 4:00 pm

    I own the expression….saw the anniversary edition on QVC a while back and have been drooling ever since. This machine is simply awesome!!!

  12. Valerie Cachola on July 19, 2011 4:01 pm

    So excited, hope I win!!

  13. Doris Taylor on July 19, 2011 4:06 pm

    I enjoy using my Cricut Expession and would love to have the new Cricut Expression 2 Anniversary Edition. I hope I get lucky and win!

  14. sherry Heinrich on July 19, 2011 4:19 pm

    wow how wonderful it would be to win this new cricut expression 2. Very exciting good luck to everyone :)

  15. Janet Dorkin on July 19, 2011 4:28 pm

    Wow I hope I win one!

  16. Cyndi Stephenson on July 19, 2011 4:35 pm

    I would so love to win this for my sister. I have one and love it, so would she.

  17. kathie kent on July 19, 2011 4:46 pm

    alot of great features.

  18. smileyblueyes on July 19, 2011 6:12 pm

    And 4 carts as well? great! If I win I will use it in my classroom!

  19. Diane H on July 19, 2011 6:27 pm

    Sounds totally fantastic. thanks for your review.

  20. Michelle on July 19, 2011 6:49 pm

    Love the bunny card! Thanks for the review. I’m happy that it cuts Imagine images and that it cuts through different items so easily.

  21. Kathy W on July 19, 2011 7:19 pm

    I would love to win this!

  22. Marisol on July 19, 2011 8:53 pm

    I am totally exicted about this new machine. I hope I win!

  23. Jennifer Ferrell on July 20, 2011 4:39 am

    I hope they let you have it Heather! I did not realize how long I’ve wanted a Cricut now! I recently watched the video on wedding ideas and this new machine looked so awesome. And yesterday I saw the new Close To My Heart exclusive cartridge kit. So fabulous.
    Kindest regards,
    Jennifer Ferrell

  24. Shannon G on July 20, 2011 2:38 pm

    OH WOW! This machine sounds so awesome. Love the idea of the touch screen.

  25. pam f. on July 22, 2011 12:40 pm

    Oh i love the Cricut!!!! i hope!!

  26. Fran DeWitte on July 23, 2011 6:00 pm

    Oh, I would love to win the Cricut, it would
    be the ultimate in scrapbooking for me.

  27. Kathleen on September 9, 2011 9:19 pm

    Wow, this looks wonderful, just getting into crafting, need something fun to do, to get my mind off work and medical issues.

  28. Connie on November 14, 2011 12:52 pm

    I would love to own this for scrapbooking projects.

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