Cricut/silhouette graphics & projects resources

I am debating getting a cricut or silhouette (TBD , still doing my research; feel free to give me your opinion here). For those of you who already have either one, do you have any recommendations of graphics resources that are topics and projects that are off the beaten path? I am assuming - and correct me if I am wrong please - that the designs that come with the membership for either company are fairly standard ‘live laugh love’ and nursery decoration type things which I am NOT a fan of. Is it possible to go through their catalog before buying?

I am handy with photoshop/gimp and know I can make my own graphics which is the big draw for getting one. But, I am looking for resources and inspiration that might push me one way or the other at this juncture where I am still deciding. Basically, looking if any of you have online graphics resources with free images or specific cutting machine projects, that I can peruse to see if this expense is worth it for me.

Thank you for your input!

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I may be wrong, but I believe you can peruse the Silhouette store without a membership, since I have to sign in at the time of purchase, rather than when opening the store.
I love my Silhouette design software. I did upgrade to the lower designer level during a sale. I feel like it gives me the options I need to create my own designs rather than settle for others’ creations. I have no experience with Cricut so I can’t say that it’s better, just that I love it. I use the trace feature a lot, either for free clip-art designs or hand-drawn doodles.

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We got a Graphtec instead because it is more flexible, does heavier materials and has a much larger work area. Originally we had a Roland Stika which was awesome but after having to cut a MILLION long skinny strips for wall art in our current space, we went for one that could take up to 16 inch rolls of materials.

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I have a cricut. I like design space. You can use it for free, but a lot of images and projects come with a $10 monthly fee. You can also get images from literally anywhere (mine are usually from google image search) and upload them to your profile. There are free conversion websites to convert jpeg images into svg images. Cricut is getting some (justified) bad press for being greedy and bricking used machines. I am thinking about changing to sillhouette but that’s a long while off. You can get materials that are not cricut branded in any craft store, walmart, and dollar tree.

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I have a Cricut and love it, but I get the impression that the Silhouette software is more intuitive. There is a very big variety of projects in the Cricut Store, some free, some for sale, and some only available with the membership. I would say that they seem to have been focusing on projects specifically of the Maker model which means less for the Explore, which is what I have.

I have made my own or used some downloaded from online for flat things and have used some online sources for 3D paper projects which are generally pretty low priced and work with multiple cutting machines:, Dreaming Tree,, Lori Whitlock, etc.

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I have a Silhouette that I got years ago that I love. I got it because it was during the time period that Cricut required purchased files or a cartridge for designs and I wanted to create my own. I have never used a Cricut and their software, but I do know that the Silhouette software is great! I’m a graphic designer by trade and I’ve found it quite intuitive to use. The tracing function works extremely well. As to the catalog, I have never purchased a file, just made my own, so I’m not sure. If you do get a Silhouette and have questions, feel free to reach out! Whichever one you choose, I think you’ll be happy.

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Thanks everyone for your feedback. I am closer to deciding which one I would want to get, and I was able to get into the Silhouette design studio to see what was available - thanks @Dooney for the link and thanks @TheMistressT for the links you provided too!

I am leaning towards Silhouette, so you might hear from me @Kwality570

And actually to all of you, what do you find yourself using your machine the most for? I am thinking I will use it mostly to create my own stencils and cut out shapes to add to my journals.

I have a cricut maker and really like it but don’t use it as much as I thought I would. I mainly use it for cutting vinyl decals and stickers. I’ve also used it to cut a few stencils and to cut fabric for making masks in 2020. I used the writing function a few times but there aren’t many handwriting fonts without paying for design space. I also used it once to enlarge the space on a mat inside a store bought frame.

I get all of my fonts for free from DaFont. For images, I usually find free images online then upload to design space and clean up for cut files.

I usually use the cricut when I want something cut very precisely or if I need to cut a lot of the same thing that isn’t easily done with my paper cutter. It’s one of those tools that I don’t use often but I’m always very happy I have it when I find a use for it.

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I use mine mostly for paper projects, specifically 3D projects, but last year I committed to a few vinyl projects that I really enjoyed - both iron-on and self-adhesive. I’ve also used it to cut freezer paper stencils as well as vinyl stencils. Because of the charge for fonts in Design Space, I end up making my file in Photoshop as a .jpg, then when it uploads it is converted to .svg by Design Space.

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I’ve used mine for a few vinyl projects, but mostly have used it for stencils for mixed media and gelli printing. I’ve only saved 10 or so of the files I made for stencils, but I’d be more than happy to share the silhouette files with you if you’d like. :slight_smile: