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Thanks to everyone who responded.  You guys are so fast!  I really 
appreciate all the feedback!

I have one because I use it for scrapbooking--that's what they are
primarily used for.  I LOVE mine--and have used it a bit for bulletin
boards--but not much, as I have the older version that does not hook up
to your computer. 

Cricut's are fantastic!
I own the small one personally and love it.  I also purchased the software 
which allows you to use it with your computer and do extra functions which 
is also great.
We bought the small one for our district level office, but everybody loves 
them so much the schools are all buying them!
The one thing people often don't understand is that you have to buy 
individual cartridges to get different fonts & designs.  The Cricut site 
shows them for about $90 - in my experience you can get them for half that 
at Michaels, Walmart and other retailers.  The cartridge is what drives 
the fonts & designs. Each cartridge includes either a font, or a theme or 
diecut designs (Christmas, birthday, travel, pets, etc).   Cricut in now 
designing for the school market as well as the craft market so there are 
some great cartridges available.  The best place to take a look at all the 
cartridges is this website:  Click on the 
"sample" column to get a pdf document.
The smaller one is very portable and fairly easy to use.  There are 
"consumables" involved which you need to consider.  To anchor the paper 
you have to purchase "mats" which are sticky.  They wear out, fairly 
quickly, and cost about $5 each, although you can get them cheaper - watch 
for sales!  The cutting blade also needs to be replaced, but not that 
often.  Those are about $2 each.  You really can use any paper in them, 
you just have to cut it to fit the mat size.
I haven't used the larger Expression, but have seen it in use, seems very 
similar.  The mats are more money.
please post a hit!

My sister uses it for scrapbooking.  I'm not a scrapper, so I'm not sure 
it would apply to school stuff, but I do know that it is marketed for

I just got one off of e-bay about 2 weeks ago for $200.  I 
haven't had much time to play with it yet, but I can see 
using it for my one bulletin board.  I plan on using it 
more for scrapbooking at home.  I got the smaller one. 
 The cartridges that you have to use are about $90 a 
piece, so you may want to ask around and borrow from 
someone who already has them.
Good luck.

I have the Cricut machine (the smaller one) and it's fabulous.  It's a
bit expensive to add the various cartridges, but I'm primarily
purchasing it for personal use,  so the cost is out of my pocket.  I am,
however, going to ask our PTO to purchase the Expression machine for our
teacher workroom, along with a few cartridges.  I've used it at a
friend's home and it's wonderful.  You will need to purchase replacement
cutting pads and blades.  If you watch local craft store ads, you can
use coupons for those items.
I wouldn't purchase it from commercial - Walmart carries both models at
a substantially reduced price!
Good luck!

Hi Amy!
I saw the infomercial too and it's also sold at our Michael's craft
store here in San Antonio.  Before I invest that much money I want to be
sure it does at least what Ellison or AccuCut does.  Thanks for posting
a hit.

My sister has one and she LOVES it. I've played with it at her house and
it sure seems easy and fun to use.  She uses it for scrapbooking. 

I have a Cricut for personal scrapbooking.  The biggest caveat is the
price of cartridges.  The blades and cutting mats are not very low priced
either.  Each mat only lasts about 40 cuttings.  I love it for my home use
and will use it for my bulletin boards at school but would not recommend
it for general use of a whole school.

In addition to being a librarian, I also work part-time in a scrapbook 
store owned by two of my best friends.  We sell the Cricut and the cricut 
products in our store.  The cricut is extremely popular, fairly easy to 
use once you learn how, and very popular with our customers.  Many of our 
customers have purchased their own and love it.  It is expensive, but I've 
heard you can get good deals on them at Hobby Lobby, Michaels, and I think 
some Walmarts have even carried them. 

hi Amy,
I have been using the Cricut for a while now for my scrapbooking hobby, 
and while I do make things for school on it, I can't recommend it for 
exclusive school use.
Shapes and fonts are found on different cartridges that retail for about 
$90.  They're also available on eBay for $40-50.  Then, you'll need mats 
to run through the machine.  These cost about $8 and need to be replaced 
often.  Then there are the blades...
The Cricut is certainly more versatile than the traditional die-cut 
machine, but would be quite costly when many people are using (and 
over-using) it.
The regular Cricut cuts shapes and letters up to 5 1/2 inches, but the new 
Cricut Expressions cuts up to 12 inches (!). 
You can buy the Cricut machines at Walmart and craft stores like AC Moore 
and Michaels for WAY cheaper than the infomercial--probably about 1/2 the 
cost.  The machines are also available on eBay.
Hope this is helpful,

Amy L. Taylor
Library Media Specialist
Lee's Summit West High School
Lee's Summit R-7 School District

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