The holiday season is right around the corner, and nothing says “I love you” like a personalized scrapbook or homemade crafted gift. To really jazz up your scrapbooks and craft projects, you need a die cut machine! Die cut machines enable you to personalize the items you make with fun shapes, letters and designs.
Here’s what to consider when choosing the best die cut machine for you:
Portability is a big concern for most home crafters – and for good reason! If you ever attend scrapbook parties or crafting events, you’re going to want a machine that’s portable enough to go with you wherever you go. But even if you don’t, being able to move your machine to different rooms in your home can be a big advantage.
When choosing a machine based on portability, there are two things you’ll want to consider – weight and computer connections. The best weight machine for you is somewhat subjective, but a good rule of thumb is that the most portable scrapbooking machines are those under 5 lbs. And as far as computer connections go, you’re going to want to choose a manual machine (like the Cuttlebug) or an electronic one that doesn’t require a computer to operate (like the Cricut Personal Electronic Cutting Machine).
Do you need a die cut machine that will cut simple letters and shapes, or do you want one that will enable you to design your own die cuts and patterns? Will you use your machine solely for scrapbooking, or are you an avid home decorator who plans to use the machine to cut fabric, felt and even wood? Be prepared to ask yourself these questions and more when choosing the best scrapbooking machine.
If all you need to cut are simple paper shapes, the Sizzix Sidekick (a low cost, low frills die cut machine) might be right for you. But if you plan to sell your craft projects professionally (or if you simply want the flexibility the cut whatever you want), a machine like the Cricut Expression might be a better investment for you.
Although a good die cut machine will last for a long time and give you plenty of use over its lifespan, it’s still important to consider the cost up front. Only you know your personal budget and how much you can afford to spend on a machine, but one thing to keep in mind is the added expenses you can incur with different machines.
For example, that bargain scrapbooking machine might not be such a great deal when you find out that you have to buy a new cartridge for every single shape you want to cut. In fact, it might actually wind up being more expensive in the long run than a model with a higher base price that comes with all of the accessories you’ll need for your projects.