Cricut: Scary Craft Tools: How to Use a Cricut Cuttlebug

March 28, 2017

Be honest.

How many times have you walked the aisles of {fill-in-the-blank-craft-store} and been confused/intimidated/generally befuddled by a given craft tool? It looks cool but what the heck are you supposed to do with it, right?!

Friends, I’m so excited to introduce a new series of posts focused on demystifying all those weird tools that you are too afraid to buy…let alone use. First up in the scary tool parade is the CRICUT CUTTLEBUG. So without any further babbling…let’s get started on how to use a Cricut Cuttlebug

Scary Craft Tools 101: The Cricut Cuttlebug

…that’s probably what you’re thinking, right? 

Scary Craft Tools 101: The Cricut Cuttlebug

The Cricut Cuttlebug is a manual (read: no plugs, no internet, no electricity…just good ‘ol fashioned elbow grease) die cutting machine that allows you to cut precise shapes from a variety of materials like paper, cardstock, felt, chipboard, fabric and leather…yeah, you heard me…leather.

When you buy a Cuttlebug, it will come with the machine along with a series of plates that you roll through the machine. You will choose your plates based on the type of die and material you are using. Make sense?

Scary Craft Tools 101: The Cricut Cuttlebug

Scary Craft Tools 101: The Cricut Cuttlebug

A die is a metal shape with a raised edge that cuts through paper/fabric/felt etc. when pressure is placed onto it. The Cuttlebug is basically a machine that makes it really easy to put lots of pressure on dies so that they cut through whatever material you want.

Dies come in a ton of shapes and thicknesses. Flat, thin, steel dies like THIS or THIS are great for paper and cardstock. If you want to cut thicker materials, your best bet are the Sizzix Bigz Dies which are much thicker and go through chipboard, leather and felt like butter!

Scary Craft Tools 101: The Cricut Cuttlebug

The Cuttlebug will take you far.  Just imagine being able to cut out precise shapes without fussing with scissors. Even something as simple as creating a bunch of a paper hearts gets a lot easier when you don’t have to do it with scissors. These days, my biggest reason for using the Cuttlebug is when I want to cut a lot of small shapes from special materials like leather. Here’s an example of what I’m talking about…

Scary Craft Tools 101: The Cricut Cuttlebug

Scary Craft Tools 101: The Cricut Cuttlebug

Scary Craft Tools 101: The Cricut Cuttlebug

Scary Craft Tools 101: The Cricut Cuttlebug

Scary Craft Tools 101: The Cricut Cuttlebug

Scary Craft Tools 101: The Cricut Cuttlebug

I was able to craft up a bunch of leather flowers using the Cuttlebug and each one is perfect! No scissors required and you won’t believe what I made with these (stay tuned!)

Scary Craft Tools 101: The Cricut Cuttlebug

The Cuttlebug was the very first craft tool I purchased…and…well…clearly, it got me hooked! If you are a crafty person you will find lots of ways to use this machine. It rings in at $75 which is no small price tag, so you’ve got to think about how you might use it. Another caveat – you’ll need dies. On average, dies cost $3 to $25 – and they come in every shape imaginable. Keep that in mind since you’ll want to have a selection of dies on hand to use with your machine. I’d recommend starting with some basic shapes like hearts and stars.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s blog post where I’ll show you what we created with this pretty leather flowers!

And before you go – WHAT TOOL WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE FEATURED IN THIS SERIES OF “SCARY” CRAFTING SUPPLIES?

12 thoughts on “Scary Craft Tools: How to Use a Cricut Cuttlebug”

  1. Well, Missy, I didn’t know I could use my Bigz dies in my Cuttlebug. I only used my BigKick and BigShot for these big boys. I own every tool imaginable to the crafting world..except the one that hasn’t been created yet! It’s not a scary tool, but, how about STENCILS? How about using STENCILS with the MINC?/ Thanks Ms. Amber, you Craftin’ Professor of Creatology…

  2. The cuttlebug was one of my first purchases too! I love my cuttlebug! I still use it all the time and have a bazillion dies to go with it because I stink at scissor cutting! LOL. I have never tried anything but paper in mine, I will have to attempt the leather! How does it do with felt? I want to make a felt story board for my granddaughter but as I previously stated, I suck with scissors. Cutting out shapes would be just sad.
    My biggest intimidation is computer graphic designing for the cricut. I would love for you to do a series of how to’s on Design Space or SCAL!
    PS-YOU ROCK!

  3. Same here – the Cuttlebug was one of the first crafting tools I purchased… It is always my go to tool for die cutting & embossing. I also did not know that you could use the larger dies with the Cuttlebug!
    Thank you for the information!
    As for suggestions – I agree with others that Cricut Design Space tutorials would be good. I use it for basic cutting but often see things people have made and wonder – how did they do that?

  4. Ah yes, new tools are always so much fun, but always require a slight learning curve!! I had the old cuttlebug die cutting machine and loved it so much! These days, my biggest challenge is working out the software for the electronic vinyl cutters. I’m sure I still have loads to learn about all the nifty features!

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