ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Downloadable Scrapbook Software Review

Updated on March 17, 2012

Are you looking for Cutting Machine software?

A couple of years ago I bought a Personal cutter machine. I had been a long time considering the option. The next step was wondering what the best option was in downloadable scrapbook software! Perhaps I should have looked into this first but in truth I hadn't given it much thought.

I was left with this new gadget and thinking "will it be easy to access the web for fonts and shapes?" Until I was told about it by my friend I didn't even realise that I could.

How much was it REALLY going to cost once I started looking at all the add ons and tempting extras!?! Did I really need them???

These were all questions that had been on my mind when I purchased a Cricut Expression (TM). It was a BIG deal as I'm a traditional scrap booker but also work on a budget. I have never mixed scrap booking and computers and had concern that the day I did it would alter the 'purity' of my hobby and simple enjoyment it gave me... forever.

Well there's good news and bad news and I hope my experience can help others who are 'new to all this' too!!

HELLO ALL: This is important to know in light of the following information on this lens!

Important Update:

News since I bought my Cricut Expression.

UPDATE: The following software reviewed no longer supports the Cricut machine. It does work with:

Craftwell eCraft

Black Cat Cougar/Lynx

BossKut Gazelle

Pazzles Inspiration

Silhouette SD

USCutter

Craft ROBO/Graphtec machines including Wishblade (Windows Only)

If you previously purchased Sure Cuts A Lot 2 and wish to use the software with a different cutting machine, you can upgrade to Sure Cuts A Lot 3 for free.

Compare the Cutting Systems on Amazon - that are compatible with this software!

PLEASE NOTE: the Sizzix Big Shot Pro Machine is not compatible with Sure Cuts A Lot software that I'm aware of. I have included it for interest and information purposes only. The brands mentioned in this lens that are not featured here were not immediately obvious to me on Amazon and may not be available via that website. Enjoy your browsing!

What I've made with my downloadable scrapbook software
What I've made with my downloadable scrapbook software

Important Update on this Downloadable Scrapbook Software!

Due to some type of legality (I believe) this brilliant software is no longer available for the Cricut!! Version 1 and 2, while not available, currently have customer support until the end of 2011 (I believe this to be correct but please check directly with Sure Cuts A Lot).

Following is my original lens which I am leaving up believing it to still be accurate information about Sure Cuts A Lot if you are running one of the above craft machines. The link below is still current and will take you to the website.

I am as sorry as anyone to see this turn of events although I hope the following information continues to prove useful.

How I've used my downloadable scrapbook software for fonts
How I've used my downloadable scrapbook software for fonts

What's the Best Downloadable Scrapbook Software?

It Needs to be Compatible with your cutting machine!

The absolute best thing that happened to me (and now you too!!) was that I had a motivated and enthusiastic friend. What she shared with me will help you too! She really did her research and recommended a software to me, called Sure Cuts A Lot, that's compatible with the Cricut electronic cutter. While I was drawn to the option I also was considering I should 'stick with' the Cricut brand design studio.

Here's what I found as a list of pro's and con's to using the Sure Cuts A Lot software that I hope will be both educational and interesting to anyone considering their options;

1. Sure Cuts a Lot is available in both Windows and Macintosh versions. I don't know about you, but I LOVE being able to get software that is specific to my Macintosh :). My friend runs Windows and is also happy. The downside is that the Macintosh versions seem to be a little slower on the up-grades... so I'm hanging out for the next improvements a little longer :( UPDATE: Macintosh version has been up-graded since I wrote this. See improvements available below! (VERY exciting!!).

For windows you'll need XP/Vista and for Macintosh OSX (10.4/10.5)

This is a huge plus for Macintosh users as at the time of writing this the Provo craft Design studio doesn't have an Apple version!

2. There are no special cartridges required. This is HUGE. In fact I should have mentioned this first. In my looking and searching on line I came across so many women who said they had spent large amounts on buying different font cartridges for their Cricut cutters only to find them obsolete after purchasing Sure Cuts A Lot. The only cartridge I'll ever need is the one that came in the machine as I can now use the software to cut all my installed True Type fonts on the Cricut machine. No special cartridges required!!! :)

3. The software is compatible with Cricut Personal, Expression and Create machines. You will need a standard USB cable (one flat end and one square end). It's easy to attach to your computer (seriously guys it would have to be for me to be doing it!!!!!!) although you will need some room to move in an already crowded computer room. Being a large machine the Expressions machine I have needs space front and back to feed the paper in and out.

4. Purchase of Sure Scraps a Lot was super easy. It was immediately downloadable and the activation was surprisingly easy in my experience.

5. The software is very simply laid out and features a cutting mat on the screen of the computer that I simply lay out my font /design on electronically. This is noteworthy as it is clearly visible EXACTLY where the design will cut. Time and paper wastage are minimized. The cutting mat lasts longer as I can easily vary where the cutting will take place.

6. Using the software for your cricut machine means that you have the options to weld (or connect) letters together before cutting, manipulate their size, change their proportions, italic, flip or shadow them.

7. Now in case you think this is all happy gushing.... there was some confusion for me as I needed a different firmware than was currently loaded on my Cricut Expression machine. Because I was running Apple, I had to use a PC to upload Provo Craft's Cricut Design Studio free trial version. This easily solved the issue but could potentially be an inconvenience if you don't run PC and run into this problem too.... although most people know someone who does!

8. This could be a pro or a con depending on what motivates you... there is a learning curve to all new things. I'm time poor and am still working my way around different websites to download new fonts and files. I know this is an extra but the tempations..... and they're all available now that I have the Sure Cuts a Lot software.

9. There are HEAPS of helpful YouTube videos available to help you learn everything you need to know and do with your Cricut and Sure Cuts A Lot software.

10. You may experience some frustration if you've spent lots of money on cartridges in the past. The good news is that this software costs about the same price as a new cartridge and you'll never need another one again!

For more information on a really helpful (and somewhat addictive) software to hugely enhance the performance of your Cricut machine then check out Sure Cuts a Lot for yourself at http://downloadablescrapbooksoftware.com

Where to Check out Sure Cuts A Lot Software!

Here is an easy link that will take you to the software discussed in this lens. Enjoy!

UPDATE ON THE UPGRADES:

Version 2 and Version 3

I have recently updated my Mac version to version 2.0. It has certainly been money well spent!

Major improvement is the ability to see the fonts as they will print before selecting them for use (as in a word document when you're browsing fonts). It is also possible to type up your desired letters and then change the font as many times as desired until you have the look you like. Unbelievably this wasn't available in the previous version so the upgrades are extremely appreciated!!

There was an adjustment period as with most new things. I had to re-learn how to weld my letters together which caused some consternation for a while. The upside of this is that I contacted customer support and was delighted at how quickly a response to my problem arrived!

What's New in Version 3?

Sure Cuts A Lot 3 has the same great features of Version 2 but includes support for a variety of electronic cutting machines. While version 3 does not support the Cricut, it does support the following:

Works with Craftwell eCraft

Works with Black Cat Cougar/Lynx

Works with BossKut Gazelle

Works with Pazzles Inspiration

Works with Silhouette SD

Works with USCutter

Works with Craft ROBO/Graphtec machines including Wishblade (Windows Only)

If you previously purchased Sure Cuts A Lot 2 and wish to use the software with a different cutting machine, you can upgrade to Sure Cuts A Lot 3 for free.

The brand war is on! - Cricut Expression or Silhouette Cameo??

I think there would be a fair amount of interest at the moment for people tossing up between a Cricut and a Silhouette. Silhouette have just bought out a 12 x 12 machine called a Cameo. Previously they only made an A4 machine. I know two ladies who have opted for the Sihouette over the Cricut and the prediction at craft is that it's going to run circles around the Cricut. True or not? Stay tuned and I'll wait to hear what others are saying. Feel free to add your comments below if you have experience with one or the other.

In the meantime, check out both here. These links will also take you to cutting mats and other supplies.

Cricut Expression Electronic Cutting Machine
Cricut Expression Electronic Cutting Machine

A great machine (I own one) which had the selling feature of being able to handle 12 x 12 cutting rather than just A4. Seems it's not the only one now though!

 
Silhouette Cameo Electronic Cutting Tool
Silhouette Cameo Electronic Cutting Tool

A new product out that can do 12 x 12 cutting. The ladies at my craft group think this product will rival the Cricut expression.

 

Please Have Your Say. - Helpful input welcomed (and needed!)

Being a cricut owner I really can't give an honest opinion on the Silhouette. I'll be checking with my friends for sure!

Perhaps you have comments on one or the other that can help other's make an informed decision.

Which is the better cutting machine?

See results

Other Online Scrapbooking Supplies.

More temptations here.....

I'm big on shopping from home. We often discuss the best scrapbooking stores when my craft group gets together. Unfortunately there are not many stores in my area and while one may be good for something specific it will be another (often in the opposite direction) that has what I need in another area. I believe I get the Best Deals at ScrapbookingAlley.com I can find everything I need all in the one place online.

Quick update on this: I have my supplies shipped to a friend in California (free postage -yay!) and my husband picks them up when he's over there for work. I only just realised the other day when an order was delayed that they don't ship to Australia! Luckily for me the order shipped just in time or I would have had to cancel it (or wait for my husbands next trip over). I apologise if this has caused any fellow Australians an inconvenience!

Great Cricut Stuff on Amazon - Cricut Personal Cutter vs Cricut expressions... decisions! decisions!

Check out the range of wonderful Cricut 'stuff' on Amazon. I have included the Cricut Designstudio Software. While I haven't personally used it, I now would recommend it for those people using the cricut machine. For other machines I would still think it's worth checking out http://downloadablescrapbooksoftware.com

Happy shopping!

Scrapbooking on ebay! - You never know what you'll find!!

I don't live near a good scrapbooking store and often shop online. I find some fun scrapbooking supplies on ebay! Sometimes I go on the lookout for Creative Memories products here as I used to be a consultant and still love their products.

I'd love to hear what system you use and how you like it! Perhaps you have information that could help others? All comments welcome!

Do you have a cutting system? - Great to hear from you!!

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Is there a computer program that's still compatible with the cricut? If so where

      I really Leo t want to keep buying cartridges plus they

      Always have what I want.

      Please email me at tonjaslilshop@yahoo.com

    • canoz profile image
      Author

      Heather Bradford 5 years ago from Canada

      @anonymous: Hi Stephannie, I know that Cricut have their own software but I don't have experience with using it at all. I got my SCAL for the cricut when it was still compatible. You're right, it's not anymore. I think this is mainly a legality and they're not allowed to sell it for cricut machines anymore. It's a real shame as it's a great software. Sorry I can't help more. This lens is merely my experience. I don't know much beyond that. I assume you've tried google? Good luck with it all and I hope you continue to enjoy your cricut!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Ok there is a lot of information and I'm not sure what is up to date or not. But I have the cricut expression 2 and I heard about the SCAL but now I hear it isn't compatible. Can you tell me what is, if any that are compatible with my machine. Thanks in advance

      Stephannie

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      interesting tools. may b my mom will like it

    • cynthiannleighton profile image

      cynthiannleighton 5 years ago

      Nope -- but I am creating myself.

      Like that wording:-)

      thanks -

      blessings,

      Cynthia

    • Khali64 profile image

      Khali64 5 years ago

      Not yet, but I am buying one in the near future, so I am doing my research :-)

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      Not yet. However, I might get one now.

    • kathysart profile image

      kathysart 5 years ago

      No I don't have one but they are darn interesting. Maybe someday. Blessed lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      useful tools...i have a plan to have one next month

    • scrapperkare profile image

      scrapperkare 5 years ago

      Great lens!! Thanks for the hard work you put into this . . . I've added it to my Featured Lenses on my site, Scrapbooking Retreats for Scrapbook Addicts: http://www.squidoo.com/scrappinretreats Oh, BTW, my vote is for the CRICUT. Love, love, love!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I have always thought it would be nice to have one, there are so many other crafty items on my list right now. Great lens :)

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 5 years ago from Seattle, WA

      I don't have a cutting system but about 4 years ago I switched from traditional scrapbooking to digital and have never looked back. So many resources available online where I can get lots of digiscraps and elements made by Cricut crafters for my projects.

    • canoz profile image
      Author

      Heather Bradford 5 years ago from Canada

      @SheGetsCreative: I must admit that having made a digital photo book after one of our holidays it was very tempting to give the other away. Very quick and simple and the results are pleasing! Still, it's partly about the craft of it I guess. I enjoy playing with paper! ;-)

    • yayas profile image

      yayas 5 years ago

      Yes, I have an e-Craft cutting machine. I'm still learning how to use it, but I do love what I've been able to do with it, so far.

    • Blackspaniel1 profile image

      Blackspaniel1 5 years ago

      nice lens