The big news for “little” Cricut owners is this: Cricut Design Studio has come out. This is an older announcement, copied from the Cricut Chirp December 2007 NEWSLETTER (Volume 80, December 3, 2007):

“Christmas Cheer

Every week I have something to be thrilled about. This is one of the reasons why I’m grinning today. Remember that little USB port on the back of your Cricut? Remember how we kept telling you there were plans to make the Cricut machine compatible with a computer and take advantage of its strengths. Remember, how we informed you, the details of how, when, and what this would be weren’t known quite yet but we would inform you when that time comes. You waited patiently for further information…well patients has a reward! The time has come! The Cricut Design Studio is here!

“Cricut DesignStudio software, is an exciting new way to connect your original Cricut or Cricut Expression machine to your computer! Using an on-screen cutting mat, this program allows you to explore, design, and cut the complete Cricut Cartridge Library. What You See Is What You Cut! With a user-friendly interface and the ability to save your innovative creations, you’ll discover that the Cricut DesignStudio is a must-have addition to your Cricut cutting system!”

Check out the links to our new releases in the announcements below. You’ll be grinning too.
Happy Cricuting,

Lonna Joy Smoot- Editor, Cricut CHIRP!”

Okay, I thought it was just for the little Cricut like I have…

lil cricut

But according to the above article, it’s also for the Cricut Expression…

cricut exp

Here is an article from the Cricut Chirp NEWSLETTER I received today that tells more about it:


This week I finally get to write about the new Cricut Design Studio software that came out last week. I love this software and am so happy to finally be able to share this great new program with all of you. You will definitely want to add this to your Christmas list because this program will be something that you will use with your Cricut cartridges for the rest of your life.

Have you ever wished that you could create your own word and hook all the letters together? Well this new program lets you weld words, letters, and images together. Just think of the fun things you can write and be able to connect them to make your own titles or sidebars for a scrapbook page. Other fun possibilities that you can do with your letters, words, and images are: shearing (make the image go diagonal), Compressing (expand or shrink the image), Kerning (move the letters or words closer together, you use this when you are welding letters together), Stretching, Flipping, and Rotating. Now you have a lot of different ways to create your own project or scrapbook page. There are two ways to weld letters into words. One way is by using the feature called “kerning”; when you use this feature all the letters must be in the same box. When using the kerning feature, start with the farthest right letter and move the letter closer to the letter on its left. You must make sure that you click on each line of each letter; you will see the letter turn into little dots then you know that you can click on the kerning arrows to move the letters. You would follow this process with all the letters making sure that all the letters are overlapping a little and the welding box is checked. The second way to weld letters into a word is by placing each letter in its own box. This way you will need to make sure that each box has the welding box checked and then you will use the top little circle on each box to move the letters to overlap each other. With this way of welding you can turn the letters on different angles to give your word a more creative look.

I decided to experiment with a saying to place on my wall. I can use the vinyl to place directly on the wall or use a frame, either way the experiment turned out really cute (see pic). In my experiment I used the cartridge Alphalicious and typed in the phrase “Family makes a House a Home”. With this software you can use letters from different font cartridges or images; you can mix them all up on the screen mat. I used the kerning for the words to move them together and the word “Home” I welded the letters after placing them in their own box. If receive your own cut file, just click here!

cricut ds wall words

This program will work with both Cricuts and all the cartridges in the Cricut family just make sure that you own the cartridges that you are using in your project or you will have to run out and buy the cartridge you need. You must own the cartridges to get your project to cut what you have created on the screen mat, even though this great software will let you play around and design with all the wonderful cartridges. This is a great way to preview all the cartridges and help you decide which ones to purchase next. Have fun welding words and creating phrases and check out next week as I continue to give tips on the new software and explore one of the new cartridges.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays,
Crafty Kimber”

HERE is where they’re talking about it over on the Cricut Message Board. HERE is where the CKMB gals have discussed it recently. From what I hear, the free trial is not compatible with Macs, so I will wait here patiently to be able to check it out. Will you buy the Cricut Design Studio Software?

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  1. avatar

    So basically, if you buy this software, you never have to buy another cartridge. Is that correct??? Cause if so, then I need this software.

  2. avatar

    Ok, I am speed reading again sorry. So you can only do extra things with the cartridges that you already have. Hmm, I am not sure about that then. I would have hoped for a library of good things.

  3. avatar

    Hi Nicole ~ Yep, in a way it’s a cool new thing and in a way it’s another way for them to get our money, LOL.

  4. avatar
    Sheri G. says:

    What a let down…I thought it was going to be a way to save a little money, but this has definitely changed my mind about buying the software.

  5. avatar
    denise h says:

    It is worth the investment! I just bought it. I can now design a whole page with different cartidges at a time. Being able to slant and fuse letter and words is great. This one more investment makes the expression for me worth while. I love it. I personally have fellow scrappers that we take turns buying other cartidges to get our best investment. Additionally, the software lets you look for what cartridge has certain shapes.

    thanks! denise h.

  6. avatar
    Susan M. says:

    I’m not too sure about it myself but the fact that you can weld letters and shapes and all is of great interest to me. I’m thinking along the lines of making borders and stuff.

  7. avatar
    AmyC65 says:

    I have a question – I have ordered a Cricut (6×12) which is now on backorder, and I downloaded the trial version of Design Studio (bought it, too, waiting for it to be delivered). Yeah, I’m jumping right in. But, my question is – if you design a layout using more than one cartridge, which cartridge do you put in the Cricut? And how can it tell if you own them both? Do you put in one and then the other for a re-cut?

    I have never even scrapbooked, can you believe this? But I am so excited to get this machine and get started…

  8. avatar
    Terry B. says:

    I have a Cricut Expressions and LOVE Design Studio. You can only cut with the cartridges you own, but can see and fiddle with every cartridge. As for using more than 1 cartridge on a page, its easy! The machine prompts you to put in the first cartridge, (memorizes what it needs from that one) then prompts you as many times as needed to put in the cartridge(and memorizes what it needs from each one). Then and only then will it cut. And surprise, it cuts exactly what you have asked it to!

    Happy cutting…I am now creating things that were so far beyond what I thought I was capable of!

  9. avatar

    For those interested in cutting your true type fonts, you may want to check out this

  10. avatar
    Scrapper says:

    I am not so easily impressed. When you come out with a software that provides all your libraries then I will jump on the bandwagon. Otherwise this is just for people that can afford to keep you in business.

  11. avatar

    I am waiting for the ability to download any font/design I want to the Cricut. That’s when I will jump on the bandwagon.

  12. avatar
    Billie says:

    Thats what I want! I want to design my own designs and fonts. Just imagine what we could all share with one another if we could do our own designs. When they make that possible, I will be getting the software.

  13. avatar
    Sandi says:

    What is the price of the software? I am a lil confused about it! But it doesn’t take much to confuse me. LOL

  14. avatar
    lesley says:

    Finally I have found some Useful info on using the design studio which I’ve just bought. I was after info on welding, as I want to make my own personalised sentiments for cards & art work. Putting everything in its own box & then moving it around & welding it into to a composite image was what I was after. I can then copy & paste & have multiples of the same image! Thank you

  15. avatar
    karen says:

    I have been reading some of the comments list and some of you’s talk about downloading fonts that you can get free, can you please tell me where it is.

  16. avatar
    Louise says:

    I wish they had all their cartridges available for use in the menu of the software. I have some cartridges that they don’t have available for use with the software!

  17. avatar
    Robin from Oz says:

    Hi guys, have seen this software demonstrated over here in Oz 2 weeks ago. My new expressions machine with some new cartridges and the software is on its way to me now. This is a scrap bookers dream come true. I have people lining up to come and join us doing classes. My friend also purchased the machine etc. Her son was in USA and bought it back for her birthday present.

    It does amazing things and i recommend it.
    Happy scrappin gals

  18. avatar
    Ruth says:

    There is downloadable software called “Sure Cuts a Lot” that works with the Cricut machines. You can download it here :

    w ww. craftedge . com /products/

    it costs about the same as one Cricut cartridge. This software allows you to use any true type font on your computer. There are thousands of free true type fonts available online.

    I happen to be a graphic designer and I work with a program by Adobe called “Illustrator”. After I had gotten this software, to my surprise, I found out that I can create a design in Illustrator and then save it as a file called SVG (Scalable vector graphic) The “Sure Cuts a Lot” software is able to open the SVG file and I can cut any design that I create! You will need to have the updated firmware from the cricut design studio for the software to work, but fortunately, you can download a free trial version on the Cricut website and that’s all you will need to make the “Sure Cuts a Lot” program work.

    No more buying cartridges!

  19. avatar
    Philip says:

    In response to Ruth’s posting I want to add that after researching the Cricut Design Software and noticing that you still had to purchase those expensive cartridges I was looking for a better solution. I downloaded “Sure Cuts A Lot” and have been very impressed. (By the way I’m a guy and it takes a lot for this scrapbooking stuff to impress me)
    After finally figuring out how to update the firmware it worked like a charm and my wife received the Mother’s day gift she was hoping for. (I have to admit I like the idea of not buying those $75 cartridges too)

    Here’s a little more detail for those who want to give it a try. (I initially used only free demo downloads to test it out. I purchased the program shortly thereafter)

    1. Get a USB A-B cable.(used for printers)
    2. Connect your computer to your Cricut. (Good instructions here:

    3. Download the trial version of Cricut Design Studio from, install it.
    4. Download Sure Cuts A Lot from, install it.
    5. Upgrade firmware by holding down the Stop button on your Cricut and while holding it down press and hold the power button till you hear a beep. Then on your computer use the Cricut Design Studio Preferences menu to Update Firmware.
    6. Once the firmware is upgraded you will be able to close Cricut Design studio, open Sure Cuts A Lot and cut whatever fonts you want.

    No more buying cartridges! Thanks Ruth

  20. avatar
    Angele says:

    Trying to work with Cricut Design Studio….have lots of cartridges but can’t get it working….It says that drivers cannot be found when I try to update firmware. Can anybody help. Tried to get help from Cricut but so far, not working. Thx.

  21. avatar

    I’m loving the Cricut Jukebox where you can store and use a bunch of Cricut cartridges at once! Between that and the Design Studio it make sthe Cricut a lot easier to use.

  22. avatar


    I just started looking into this Cricut Design Studio – and love the people who have suggested the Sure Cuts A Log, what I’m wondering is; does anyone know if this is all possible to do on a Mac?


  23. avatar

    I just started looking into this Cricut Design Studio – and love the people who have suggested the Sure Cuts A Lot, what I’m wondering is; does anyone know if this is all possible to do on a Mac?

    should have checked spelling on the previous one :)

  24. avatar

    well guess i should have researched more before posting – good news, it does work on a mac, i’m thrilled – gonna have to get it.

  25. avatar
    Carolyn says:

    I have the Cricut Design Studio and haven’t used it much. But I downloaded a free trail version of Sure Cuts A Lot software – I would purchase this, but it’s costly. And I’m not made of money!! I will see what my tax refund will be for 2008 when I do my taxes in 2009. Wish it was $50.00 cheaper!!

  26. avatar

    Does the Cricut work well with fabric? I’m a quilter, not a scrapbooker, and was intrigued by the possibilities…. but would like to hear how effective it is. Thanks!

  27. avatar
    jessica says:

    ok so i’m a little confused, what i’m getting out of all this is that Sure Cuts A Lot is better then the Cricut Design Software, right? What I really want to be able to do is weld words together so I can use my vinyl without doing each letter. Can I also do that with the Sure Cuts A Lot? And how much does this cost me? Also if I get the Sure Cuts A Lot i wont have to buy anymore cartidges right?

  28. avatar
    Vivian says:

    I bought the Design Studio but cannot install it in my computer (not enough RAM). What I would like to know is: Can I install in my kid’s computer and then in a new computer (should I decide to buy a new one)? I’m a newbie and need lots of help.

  29. avatar

    I am new to this and am trying to figure out which would be more beneficial to me, SCAL or the Design Studio? I want the one that will be less hassle…..
    1)I dont have an internet connection, but will be able to get one inorder to download any required programs….but, do you need an internet connection all the time inorder to work the programs once installed?????
    2)How complicated is it to download files with SCAL and set it up on your computer?
    3)If I go with SCAL, I read in other sites that it voids your warranty if you have any issues with your cricut machine, is this true? Are there usually lots of problems that arise with this?
    4) and last….. the dumbest one of all….. how do you print it? Same way as a computer sends it to a printer except your sending it to the cricut?
    Thanks for you time, really need answers ASAP :)

  30. avatar

    I bought the design studio a while ago. But to tell you the truth I’ve only used it once. I’ve gotta take a day and do nothing but playing with it to try and figure it out. I guess.

  31. avatar
    Hummergirl says:

    I’ve had Design Studio for a year and have used it without success 3 or 4 times. I also have the Jukebox which I loved.
    You still need cartridges to cut, UNTIL………..the GYPSY!

    Gypsy has replaced DS and Jukebox in my studio. It works a lot easier than DS and I don’t need to use the cartridge or overlay to cut. Gypsy is more efficient.

    As with everything, I never pay retail for anything, especially Cricut products. I shop like mad with my fingers and comparison shop for the best prices. I buy everything new. Michaels sold DS for $99.99! I paid $39. Two Cricut Expressions for $189 and $215. Jukebox for $29, instead of $79 on sale at Michaels. I never pay more than $45 for a cart and it had better be a new release. Many I’ve bought in the teens to low $30s. All new. Just bought Just Because Cards, Robotz,
    Sweet Treats and Songbirds all under $40.

    I’ve had Gypsy for 3 weeks and paid half of retail. It has replaced my rolling duffle bags because I don’t need to carry any carts. I also don’t need the Jukebox. IT’s a worthy investment.

  32. […] Cricut Design Studio Software December 200732 comments […]

  33. avatar
    Martha Bowser says:

    I am having trouble trying tof gure out how to make a second cut after I have removed the paper and reloaded it on my Cricut Experssion. The blade keeps going to the same spot as the last cut. Does any know what I can do? Thanks

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