Reported By Lauren Meader
I wanted to find the answers to these questions, so I got my daughter Alexa the Cuttlekids machine and several dies for her 8th birthday. The dies I purchased were- the Fairy and Tadpole alphabet, Flowers, and Flying Bugs 4 set of dies. As you can see by the photo, it comes with everything you need to get started-including 2 die cuts.
I did NOT see a recommended age for this machine, but figured 8 would be appropriate. And in all honesty-I HAD TO HAVE IT, for me too! LOL! All three of my children have used this machine- Alexa 8, Noah 4 1/2 and Amber just turned 3. So here is my opinion based on watching my children use it-as well as several un-crafty adults.
First the Pro’s
- This machine is really cute. It’s lightweight and the base is really sturdy. My 3 year old can pick it up NO PROBLEM! Easy to store.
- It has little suction cups on the bottom to help it STICK to the surface! TRUST ME you will need them! And they really do stick well. Don’t let them try it on the carpet like I did! I will rock side to side as they try to feed the dies through.
- It measures 6 inches across, and 4 1/2 inches high.
- It doesn’t have the fold out panels like the Cuttlebug does-which for kids is great! Nothing to break OFF! Has the feed opening and that’s it! Pretty straight forward.
- It’s affordable-in my opinion, for a die cut machine-even if it’s listed for kids. It lists for $32 retail. The Cuttlebug machine lists for $69.99. Both a great value. It cuts very well. An adult could use this for her own machine. I know I am trying to not sneak it down to my craft room, cause they will NEVER see it again! LOL! Plus you can most likely get it with a coupon! The dies are also affordable. Compared to the cost of regular machine dies-primarily the alphabet sets, the dies are reasonably priced-see comparison below (Cuttlekids price is to the LEFT / Cuttlebug price is to the RIGHT)
- 4 pack dies $10.50/ 2×2 4 pack in Cuttlebug $15.99
- Alphabets/numbers from $18 to $50 (large set ONE letter per square)/ Cuttlebug alaphabets $79.99
- 2 Step Dies-really cute assortments for only $5.50 / they are $6.50 for Cuttlebug 2 step
- The dies are the same size, as far as the finished image, as the regular dies you would purchase. So they are a great deal.
- I assumed the dies for the kids machine would be chincy and the finished die cut would be tiny. NOPE-great size! No tiny shapes here.
- Another PRO-you can use the Cuttlekids dies in the Cuttlebug! WAHOOOO!!!! (Note: you may need this little Sizzix Sidekick adapter biscut to give the right thickness for a crisp clean die cut in the Cuttlebug depending on what you use for cardstock/patterned paper.)
- Another PRO- after a few times demonstrating the SANDWICH needed to use the machine, even my 3 year old was able to do it-independently!
Then the con’s
This is the description for Cuttlekids- copy/pasted from their website
*Meet the Cuttlekids™ Shape Maker, a fun way for parents to help get kids excited about crafting! This colorful mini die cutter easily cuts adorable Cuttlekids dies in seconds, providing fun paper and craft foam shapes and letters to make toys, gifts, and decorations. School lockers, bedroom doors, and birthday invitations – just to name a few – will never be the same! Check out this exciting new line, you’ll see there’s so much you can do with Cuttlekids*
- The MAJOR thing I found to be difficult was the fact that my children had a hard time getting the handle to turn, as the die cut/cardstock passed through the center. They often got frustrated and needed me to jump in and help.
- Unlike the advertisment states, this colorful mini die cutter doesn’t cut easily. Well, it does cut NICELY, but not EASILY. Even I had a hard time cranking it through the machine at times. I had some other adults at Alexa’s party try it, and while it was a hit, that was the big complaint. And we are talking a SINGLE layer of cardstock. We found patterned paper and old scrap wrapping paper to work much easier, so that would be my fix for the con of cranking through cardstock!
- You cannot use your Cuttlebug dies/embossing folders in the CuttleKids machine! The Cuttlekids opening is sized ONLY for the Cuttlekids dies.
- Cuttlekids dies are made with a thin but sturdy cardboard top. The foam layer also appears thinner than the Cuttlebug dies. The Cuttlebug ones are made with a metal top and thicker layer of foam and simply would not fit.
- There are NO embossing folders for the kids to use! That is a bummer. Especially with all the Disney stuff coming out soon. I know I don’t want my kids thouching MY Cuttlebug.
SOOOO-Overall I would totally recommend this product. I actually LOVE the dies and think the alphabets are a phenomenal value, as they are quite similar to the larger/more expensive ones offered for the Cuttlebug. And since I can use the Cuttlekids in my Cuttlebug that ROCKS!!!
I also think if you are just getting into papercrafting and are working on building your supplies-this would be a great starting place. My children had a great sense of accomplishment after cranking though some images. A great activity.
I found it to be a great tool to help kids make their own paper crafted creations! It’s also safe, and there is nothing potentially harmful. I even crammed my own fingers in there and CRANKED the handle! No problems-no squeezing or squishing motions.
So now I would love to hear YOUR opinion or any questions you may have that I hope to be able to answer!