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I have owned my cuttlebug for about 4 years. The cuttlebug is manufactured by Provocraft and is a die-cutting and embossing machine. It can be used to diecut and emboss paper, card and vellum and produces a beautiful crisp finish.
The machine itself is green and folds up so is quite compact on your work surface. It has a handle so can easily be carried but weight roughly 3kg. It is supplied with 1X A 2X B and 1X C plates. These plates in combinations allow you to both die cut and emboss. Plates can be replaced as necessary but do last a long time. The machine has suction pads on the bottom to firmly secure it to your work surface.
The machine does does come with a couple of small embossing folders and a small die, and there are a wide variety of dies and embossing folders on the market both made by Provocraft and other companies, and the Cuttlebug is very versatile in that it can be used with the vast majority. The cost of dies and embossing folders vary greatly but generally start from around £3-£4 upwards.
However with this machine size is a limiting factor as only dies that fit onto the plates can be used so it is not always suitable for larger projects. There are machines on the market such as the Grand Calibur (which I also own) which can cut/emboss A4.
The machine is very durable and copes very well with constant use. It is great for a variety of card making and scrapbooking projects.
A fab die cutting and embossing machine, especially for beginers. It is very easy to use with full clear instructions. However more expereience crafters may prefer a larger die cutting machine.
This review also appears on CIAO under the same username.
Being a keen craft for over 5 years and owning a cuttlebug for 3 years i think i can give a good honest review of what a fab little machine the cuttlebug is. The cuttlebug is a die-cutting machine which not only lets you cut out shapes but you can also emboss with it creating fab cards and much more in minutes.
Cuttlebug is made by provocraft, who also make the cricut. Provocraft have a vast range of dies avalible to use with the cuttlebug and are often releasing new die-cutters so theres always something for every type of occasion. The cuttlebug also accepts dies that are made by other companies including sizzix and ellison and spellbinders, you just need to make sure you get the right combination of cutting plates.
When you purchase the cuttlebug you get 1 A plate, 2 B plates and a C plate, the only ones ive had to replace are the B plates which were under £10 but they do last a very long time, i used to sell die cuts on ebay so was cutting a vast amout of die-cuts, if you are just planning on using the machine for personal use you may never have to replace them.
I paid about £60 for my machine but that was a few years ago so the price has gone up slightly now but if you shop around you can get the machine for £60-£80. When i bought the machine it was only avalible in green although i believe it is now also avalible in pink.
The machine weighs just over 3kg's although it is a very strong machine and has a suction hook on the bottom so one put on a hard service it will not move when you are trying to cut or emboss.
The machine folds up when not in use so does not take up much space at all, ideal if you have as much craft stash as myself!
I own several different die-cutting machines including a cricut expression and sizzix orignal machine and even though this machine was the cheapest it is easily my favourite and couldn't be without it and it has definatley had its use and i would rate the machine 10/10, within minutes of getting it out the box you can start cutting and embossing and as i used to sell die-cuts to make a few extra pennies to expand my die-cutter collection i think i have made my money back several times over.
I'd like to start this review by saying that I do not own my own but use it every week for a least a couple of hours when I go to my weekly craft club - having now used it for approximately 100 hours I now feel confident about writing a review on this fab little machine.
What on earth is a Cuttlebug?
Well, I would describe it at a well-designed crafter's mangle. It works by sandwiching your desired card/ paper/ vellum etc between plates which enable you to either cut your own shapes emboss them or cut as well as emboss.
The finished embossed card or die looks professional and makes what may be viewed as a home-made product into one which looks handmade.
The machine is a great asset to those who love cardmaking or scrapbooking.
The machine itself
It can vary in price from around £60 to £100 so it is well worth shopping around. I have seen them on eBay but, if you are interested in buying one, I would suggest checking what is included. To get started you need the following -
- the machine itself
- 1 x A plate
- 2 x B plates
- 1 x C plate (these act as a kind of sandwich to enclose the dies or embossing folders.
Createandcraft TV have an offer on their website for the Cuttlebug plus 9 embossing folders and the plates for £109.99 + p&p
It weighs approximately3kgs which is a good weight for this type of machine as it needs to be fairly substantial for dealing with the roller mechanism inside which is quite heavy.
It has a handle which pops away and wings either side which mean it takes up slightly less room than other similar machines.
Once the wings are opened then the Cuttlebug stays firmly in place on a flat uncovered surface.
I would say the approximate measurements are as follows - 12" x 4' x 7"
My experience of using this machine
Once I'd read the very clear instructions and used it a couple of times I felt thoroughly at home with it. Really it's a matter of just not forgetting which plates to use and to make sure the card/ vellum/ paper you are using is loaded the right way up.
The 'crack' it makes when you start rolling the 'sandwich' through is disconcerting - apparently this is normal and you are not breaking the machine or any components! After a while you just see this as satisfying and you know it's doing the job properly.
Personally I prefer to emboss backgrounds for my cards so I use several of the many embossing folders which are on the market. These do not have to be Provocraft so I buy the Sizzix or Craft2 which I can easily pick up on eBay. I rarely pay more than £3.99 for a folder although I've seen some for £15. I bought a set of Christmas folders and everyone agreed the effect on my Christmas cards was much more professional - I even sold some sample cards at a posh craft fair!
I have seen the dies my fellow crafters have made and they all have a lovely crisp finish and have detail that would either be impossible to create by hand or would be far too time consuming.
The dies can cost from between £3.99 upwards unless you can find them secondhand.
What I really like
Some systems mean you can only use their products but with the Cuttlebug you can use other makes of dies and embossing folders which means it is a very versatile machine.
It seems that little can go wrong with it because the design is so good, yet simple.
It virtually needs no maintenance - just an occasional wipe-over and running through with blank card/paper.
It is portable and you can use it if either left or right handed.
It can be used by people with dexterity problems because you do not need a great deal of strength (as you do with some machines!)
It is a neat and practical piece of equipment which I know a lot of crafty people rave about - I have to say, me included.
So, if you see a demonstration in Hobbycraft or any other craft shop or on TV (with a 30 day moneyback guarantee) spare a minute or two to have a look as the results may surprise you?
I am a keen crafter and make my own birthday and Christmas cards. There are many machines and gadgets on the market to help me get a professional look. While I like my cards to look homemade, I certainly don't want them to look like a five year old has made them.
The one machine that I cannot be without is my Provocraft Cuttlebug. This machine die cuts shapes and embosses too.
Please shop around if you are thinking of buying one, as prices vary immensely, anywhere between £55 and £80, but it's worth every penny. An avid crafter will get so much use from this handy little machine.
I say little, I haven't a measure to hand, but it's approx 12 x 7 x 4 inches. This machine needs to be quite weighty to be rigid when using it, so it is quite heavy at 3 kilograms but it feels solid and not flimsy at all.
The machine comes with some plates, embossing folders and dies to get you started. These plates are there in order to cut or emboss by the action of squeezing your cardstock and your die when placed between the rollers. The rollers are set into motion with the action of turning the handle on the side of the machine.
The main colour you can buy this machine in is green, but I have a white one with pink accents, and they have not long brought out a white with blue accents, which is limited edition. We girls like to have things co-ordinated! :)
The machine is very compact, as the base onto which you put the plates are folded up into the machine when not in use. To use the machine, you put it on a flat and sturdy surface, and open the flaps. The action of opening the flaps clamps the machine firmly to the surface, and it is quite rigid for approximately 5 to 10 passes of the die through the machine, when you will need to close the machine and perform the action again.
The only problem with this machine is there are so many dies and embossing folders to choose from, my list of 'I wants' goes on and on and on. On the other hand, this machine is so versatile that it will not just emboss the Provocraft Cuttlebug branded item, it will also emboss and die cut other brands, such as Spellbinders Nestabilities , and embossibilities. With the addition of a silicone rubber tan mat, you are able to emboss flat metal dies, which are used for stencilling.
I realise much of this is double dutch for most people, so I hope to be of use, for the crafter who is starting out and deciding which machine is best for them, as there are so many out there. I love my 'bug' and wouldn't be without it.
I have been making my own cards for about 8 months now and am loving every minute of it.
As a regular internet user I soon found my way onto craft message boards and forums and heard about tools called 'die cutting machines', one of which is the Provo Craft Cuttlebug. There is also a smaller version of this product for children called the CuttleKids.
After craving one of these for a long time I finally couldn't take it any more and ordered myself one. The reason I went for this one was that it seemed very compact and would take a lot of other brand dies and embossing folders. The only problem then is the expenditure doesn't stop with the outlay of the machine as there are infinite dies and embossing folders to collect.
For cutting out shapes from card and paper you need things called Dies, these are flat metal and one side has a blade in which cuts the shape out. Embossing folders make an impression.
The machine comes with several plates, A, 2x B and a C, and to cut or emboss paper/card you must make up a 'sandwich' and roll it through the machine by turning the handle, how I would imagine you use a mangle to squeeze the water out of clothes except you are squeezing paper instead!!
The first time I used this with a die, I was horrified as my shiny, perfect B plate had an impression of the die shape embedded into it! after some research online I discovered that this was what was supposed to happen, after all if you think about it, the blade has to go somewhere after it's perforated the card! Think of it like a chopping board or cutting mat. Eventually your B plate will become scratched and cut up enough to need replacing, (these are bought seperately) mine hasn't got that far yet however I guess it depends on how much you use it. For this reason I always use the same B plate to cut onto, so I will only need to replace one at a time.
It's best to use this on a smooth surface, not on a tablecloth as the machine suckers down onto it when you open the sides, this is a great feature as it stops it from sliding around as you turn the handle.
I am so glad I bought this as I use it in some way or another on almost every card I make, it has been well worth the money even though it's making me poor buying more dies and embossing folders all the time!
I love my bug :)
I am an absolutely crazy crafter and you may have read some of my other reviews on my favorite crafting products. This though is my absolute favorite and I would insist you go and buy it. I shall tell you why
What is it?
The cuttlebug is a simple to use die cutting machine that cuts through practically any paper and card, thin metal and many many other materials. It uses simple dies which are sold seperately to choose which shape and size you want cut. Made by the popular brand provocraft this machine is made of a mixture of plastic and metal and houses a set of rollers for all your cutting and embossing needs.
How to use it?
Absolutely simple. There are so many crafting machines and gizmos that I can never operate easily without trying over and over again and giving up. When I got the cuttlebug though it was so different and everything was so self explanitery. It is used with cutting dies and cutting mats. Depending on the thickness of the dies used you will also need a cutting pad. You put your die face down on the material you want cut and put it in between the cutting plates and mat and then put it in the slot. Turn the handle and roll the mats and paper through the rollers. The end product is a perfectly cut shape cut from the die you was using. Thankfully the cuttlebug has a suction device on the bottom of it so if using your machine on a flat surface you can rest assured it will not go flying whilst you are cutting, this is obviously an advantage as you wouldn't want your projects ruined!!
What can you cut?
I hear you asking 'what can I cut' and I know it is just so exciting. No more using scissors to cut out them intrecate details which never come out perfect. The answer is pratcially anthing. As long as there is a die avaliable for it you can cut it. There are so many dies avaliable to buy you can get any shape and size, there are alphabets and words, patterns and shapes. It is just fantastic. Unfortunatel you ca only fit a piece of paper about A5 size through the machine which limits you somewhat to what you ca do with it but if you are making greetings cards etc this isn't a problem as they are small anyway.
Unfortunately this great machine does come at a price. The machine itself is around £80 brand new and the dies which have to be brought individually can range anything from £5 - £100 the alphabet sets are really quite expensive and are about £80 for the whole set. Thankfully though you ca pick these up cheaper on places like ebay. You do not have to buy just cuttlebug dies as the cuttlebug comes with a special adapter meaning you can use practically any die for any die cutting machine including the wizard and sizzix machine. This means that there is much more variety of dies and the price varies much more. The cutting plates also have to be replaced once in a while as ther become worn and cut and these cost around £10 to replace. I have had my machine 2 years now and use it lots and have never replaced them yet, unfortunately they are on their last legs though and I will be replacing these in the near future.
What else can it do?
The cuttlebug doesn't just cut things, it also embosses things which is fantastic. You can buy special embossing folders made by cuttlebug which make certain bits of the paper stand out. This is a fantastic technique and will make any crafting project look really unique. The embossing folders also cost around £5 each but this goes up according to size and design.
Where can I get one?
I know I know, everybody is now deperate for one of these machines and you dont have to wait as they are avliable in most good art and craft shops and widely avaliable online.
My personal opinion....
I wouldn't be without mine. It took some getting used to and many of my crafting projects were ruined at frist due to my lack of knowledge using the cuttlebug. I have now found many ways to make new projects and if you know how to use it there are many things you can do with a cuttlebug that crafters only dream of. I have heard it is not the best die cutting machine on the market but it is also not the most expensive and they do say you get what you pay for. It is quite heavy in weight and would not be suitable for transportation on a regular basis but it is fine for home use and to take from here to there now and then. it sports a carry handle which makes it easier and there is a carry bag avaliable if you do want to transport it. It suits me perfect though and does exactly what I need it for, cardmaking and scrapbooking and I will not be replacing it for some time even if something better does come up.
Cut a shape, emboss a shape, or cut then emboss shapes with the inspired designs available exclusively with Cuttlebug cutting and embossing dies