A Comprehensive Review Of The Cricut Cuttlebug

When you’re passionate about crafting and DIY projects, you want to have the right equipment so you can make amazing creations that delight you and the people you share them with. The proper equipment will yield the perfect product.

The result, the perfect product, is only part of the crafting experience. Equally desirable is the process. Crafting is so much more than a hobby. It's a lifestyle and an intentional way of spending your time. Pursuing your passion should be enjoyable rather than frustrating. The equipment you use contributes significantly to your pleasure and satisfaction.

If your artistic creations involve embossing, die cutting, or both, the Cricut Cuttlebug is a small machine with big potential. The Cuttlebug will allow you to emboss and make die cuts easily with precision and beauty.

What is Cricut Cuttlebug?

cricut at work
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The Cricut Cuttlebug is a handy little machine used for embossing and die cutting. The tool lets you do one or both, giving you a range of options and looks for your craft projects.

Cuttlebug by Cricut is a compact crafting tool you can use to make cards, create unique scrapbook pages and enhancements, make die cuts, and add dimension to other projects you’re making, even with other Cricut craft machines. This apparatus allows you to work with multiple materials: paper, tissue paper, acetate, cardstock, foils, thin metals, and light leather.

The Cuttlebug is user-friendly and straightforward. What you see is what you get: it's a mint-green and white device that stands on its own. When it’s not in use, the embossing hand crank rests unobtrusively against the side of the machine. Grab it by its carrying handle to store it away or take your crafting projects with you on the go.

This machine isn’t electrical, nor is it computerized. You control it and operate it, and you are the designer of all its products. You're entirely in control of your craft projects from conceptualizing them to making them. It’s easy to do with the Cuttlebug.

Decorate your life and your memories. Add depth and expression to gifts you give to friends and loved ones. Cuttlebug makes it possible, effortless, and fun.

How Does the Cricut Cuttlebug Work?

cuttlebug project

The Cuttlebug is a small, lightweight, portable craft tool. Its sleek design and carrying handle make it easy for you to take your projects with you almost anywhere you go. This means, of course, that it’s unobtrusive at home, too, and doesn’t require much space to use.

Enjoy easy set-up and operation. Place the Cuttlebug on a table and pull down the platforms on each side of the machine. Doing so activates a strong suction mechanism which keeps the unit still and steady as you use it.

The steps for cutting or embossing are few:

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    Place paper in the folder.
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    Insert the folder between the two cutting plates and the spacer.
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    Gently place the bundle of folder, plates, and spacer into the Cuttlebug.
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    Turn the handle a few times.
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    Remove everything and enjoy your embossed paper or your die cut.

Challenge yourself and expand your skills by learning new techniques to add to your embossed work. Sanding and inking, for example, elevates your crafting even more. The Cricut Cuttlebug takes you to new heights.

If you’d like to see the technical information and exact instructions for using the Cuttlebug before you buy, Cricut kindly has made the user’s manual available online. Check it out and see for yourself what you can create (and how to do it) with the Cuttlebug.

Cricut Cuttlebug Die Cutting & Embossing Machine
  • Bonus includes one A2 embossing folder and two metal dies
  • One 6x8 a plate and two 6x8 b plates included
  • One 6x8 rubber embossing mat included. Features a collapsible handle and compact fold n store profile

What You Get When You Buy a Cuttlebug and What Extras are Available

When you open the box after purchasing the machine, you’ll find several goodies inside. You get:

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    The Cuttlebug embossing and die cutting machine.
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    One embossing folder, size A2.
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    One A plate and two B plates—all 6x8.
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    Metal dies—two.
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    One 6x8 rubber mat for embossing.

Cricut included these items with the device so you can get to work immediately. If you have a project in mind and your paper or other materials ready, you can open the box and begin your creation. You don’t have to experience the frustration of needing equipment beyond what’s included in the box.

While you start with what you need to create unique embossed or die cut objects, you’re not limited to what comes with your Cuttlebug machine. You can purchase different extras to expand your machine’s capabilities.

My Vinyl Direct

Because it’s highly likely that you’ll be making numerous crafts of different materials and sizes, Cricut has created multiple sizes of embossing folders, dies, and borders. You can purchase these in all standard sizes: A2, 5x7, 3x3, and 2x2. Thus, your Cuttlebug gives you a range of crafting possibilities.

You can purchase extra plates. The Cuttlebug die cutter and embosser uses A (spacer mat), B (cutting), and C (adapter) plates. You’ll find these in various sizes to fit your unique project needs. Purchase new rubber embossing mats when you need them, too.

In addition to the equipment, you can purchase fun craft items as well. For example, amass a collection of material for embossing. Buy packs of a variety of shapes in silver, gold, or other colors. You can even buy specialty dies for other projects like quilling.

You have tremendous flexibility when buying supplies for your embosser and die cutter. Cricut itself makes an array of products for the Cuttlebug. Additionally, you can purchase products made by different brands. This way, you're limited only by your imagination rather than by a lack of workable materials.

The possibilities for your Cuttlebug are seemingly endless. Open the box and immediately experience its potential for both great product and enjoyable process.

What Makes Cricut Cuttlebug Unique?

working with cricut

The Cuttlebug possesses a unique balance of simplicity and sophistication. Further, Cuttlebug can be a part of anything you’re crafting, or it can stand alone.

Upon first sight, it appears to be simplistic. While it is indeed simple—the Cuttlebug is low-tech—it is by no means unsophisticated.  This machine is the only Cricut machine that can emboss, and it does so sharply and with precision.

On its own, the Cuttlebug is basic, needing neither technology or even electricity to operate. However, Cuttlebug can work with other Cricut machines to add richness and dimension in the form of dies and embossments.

Other Cricut machines, such as the Cricut personal electronic cutting machines, can pair with an app called Design Space. Design Space is Cricut’s free software you can use across devices to learn design and create projects. While Cuttlebug needs no technology, you can choose to use Design Space to plan what you’ll create with it.

Public Perception: What Cricut Cuttlebug Users are Saying

Crafters of all ages seem to enjoy the Cuttlebug thoroughly. Responses to Cricut’s embossing and die cutting machine are positive. When reading reviews and other commentary, three themes emerge:

Cuttlebug and Kids

Parents and grandparents alike report that the Cuttlebug generates closeness and mutual enjoyment. Creating cards, ornaments, scrapbook pages, and decorative items is something that adults and children can enjoy doing together.

Crafting with the Cuttlebug is a wonderful way to spend time together, making memories, passing along skills, and producing tangible evidence of shared fun. Letting kids design projects on the Design Space app encourages their budding creativity.

Cricut’s Cuttlebug is safe for children to use provided they are working with an adult. This is real craft equipment for adults; therefore, kids should always be supervised around the machine.

User-friendly and Fun

user friendly

The majority of people sharing their experiences with the Cuttlebug attest that the device is elementary to use. Once someone masters the straightforward steps outlined in the instruction manual, he or she can work like an expert.

Embossing and die cutting are effortless with the Cricut device, as are the set-up and tear-down. Thanks to its simplicity, you can grab it, place it on a table, and begin cutting or embossing. It’s that quick. To put it away, you close the sides, pick it up, and store it.

Because the Cuttlebug is so quick and easy, you’ll have few frustrations. You’ll spend your time and attention enjoying making crafts rather than on troubleshooting problems. Using this tool will be stress-relieving rather than stress-inducing.

Compact and Convenient

People love the Cuttlebug’s small size. You can use it almost anywhere, and you don’t need a huge work surface. The size makes the tool transportable. Take it to scrapbooking parties, card parties, a friend’s house—almost anywhere you want to go, your Cuttlebug can go, too.

This little machine is convenient. It’s easy to store because it doesn’t require much space. If you’re in the middle of a big project and want to leave it out, go ahead. It’s unobtrusive and won’t clutter your living space. (However, the rest of your project might be a different story.)

How It Compares

The Cuttlebug isn’t the only tool designed for embossing and creating die cuts; indeed, many embossing and die cutting tools exist in the craft marketplace.

All die cutters and embossers operate similarly, with plates that you push through the machine using a hand crank. Each tool has individual features that separate it from other, similar, devices.

The Cuttlebug’s outstanding characteristics include its compact size, portability, ease of use, and quality. This tool is excellent for those who have a small work or storage space. It's also an excellent choice for those who like to take their embosser on the go.

Like everything, the Cuttlebug has some drawbacks compared to other machines. Because it is smaller than most similar craft tools, it can’t handle creating large die cuts or embossing big surfaces. If you want to make something big, you’ll be out of luck with the Cuttlebug.

Another possible disadvantage of Cuttlebug is the need to have different sizes of plates for the various projects you do. Some embossers and die cutter tools, such as the Big Shot by Sizzix, have a multi-purpose platform that works with anything you’re making.

The different types of embossing tools can produce slightly different results. The Cuttlebug, for example, doesn’t emboss the edges of an object it is die cutting. If you want your product to have embossed edges, you must do it in a separate step. Other tools, like the Big Shot, automatically emboss the edges of anything they're die cutting. Some people like this, but others do not.

This raises an important point. Many of these differences are matters of personal preference more so than product quality. The differences are about your own style, the crafts you’re fashioning, and how you like to do what you do.

What We Think

Overall, we adore the Cricut Cuttlebug. It’s proof that serious crafting tools can be both practical and fun. This sturdy machine embosses many different types of materials, and it die cuts, too. Not only does it do one or the other, but it can also do both at once. This is a valuable feature that not every similar tool can claim.

We also appreciate the fun we can have with the Cuttlebug. It’s so easy to use that we can focus exclusively on enjoying crafting. It is a pure pleasure to use the Cuttlebug. And if we want to multiply the merriment by working with others, we can grab the Cricut Cuttlebug and go.

Overall, this is what you get with the Cuttlebug:

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    Project results that are precise, clearly defined, and striking.
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    A chance to connect with kids, grandkids, friends, and groups such as scrapping clubs.
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    A tool that is quick to learn and easy to use.
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    Something that tucks neatly away, one less cluttered object in your living space.
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    A machine that brings joy and removes stress.
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    Fantastic décor, cards, scrapbook pages, and so much more.

Although the tool itself is tiny, the possibilities for your Cuttlebug are enormous and seemingly endless. Open the box and immediately experience its potential for both great product and enjoyable process. What will you make with your Cuttlebug?

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