Which Die Cut Machine is best for teachers, schools, and education
Does your school or team need a die cut machine?
Is a Cricut or Silhouette on your or your school's wishlist this year? You’re not alone! There are several reasons why I have no regrets about purchasing a die cut machine; I use it more than I even imagined when I purchased it! And our school uses our daily ~ it's a must have for all educators.
There seem to be two types of people in the world: Cricut people and Silhouette people. I love both types of people! I really don’t think you can go wrong with either. In my case, I purchased a Silhouette Cameo on Amazon (during Prime Day) for personal use. It came with a robust starter pack of supplies. But I am still friends with all of my Cricut people and for my purposes, I’ve never heard of something I need that Cricut can do, but Silhouette can’t.
Deciding if you’re a Cricut person or a Silhouette person is a really fun problem to solve! Let me walk you through why you and/or your team NEED a machine; then I’ll talk about why I chose the Cameo.
Reason #1. You want awesome bulletin boards and messages in your school.
Kids need to be surrounded by positive messages that communicate to them: “We love you.” “We care about you.” “We see you.” “We appreciate you.” There are only a few ways to get those incredible messages up in your school! 1) Pay folks like me to print letters, symbols and more for you (Teachers Pay Teachers, my Etsy shop, etc). 2) Have students or parent volunteers help cut out letters and materials. 3) Do it yourself. As a fellow educator, I know that you will probably pick #3 because you can do anything! But doing it yourself has it’s problems. Perhaps you don’t have the technology to support getting this done quickly. Then read on to #2!
Reason #2. Time is limited! My machine gets things done SO fast.
The traditional way of creating bulletin boards is so clunky and time-consuming…it makes people resort to dull, easy-to-make ideas. Or buying the die cut letters from Dollar Tree. Or no bulletin boards at all!
The Silhouette Cameo software is intuitive and easy to understand. I’m a little tech savvy so I learned a lot by playing around. I learned the rest by watching helpful tutorials online. There are thousands of videos out there to help you answer your specific question. Now I can quickly turn my visions into realities for my school. The time-consuming part is designing the letters/symbols, and from there, cutting is a flash. But I don’t spend hours tracing letters and cutting them! Woohoo!
Reason #3. Fonts are limited and I want options for my designs!
The last die cut machine in my school was a one-font-only, your choice of uppercase or lowercase BLOCK letters. Although I got a lot done with this press, my designs were one-notes.
Scripts, funky fonts, you name it! If I want it, I have a way to make it, at my fingertips. There are millions of font options both in the Silhouette software and available for download (some 100% free, even for commercial use).
Reason #4. You can cut out anything.
Shapes, 3D flowers, large symbols, designs, borders. Paper – cardstock – fabric – vinyl decals with school logos and names on them… You are only limited by your imagination! I used my machine to cut out a stencil. Then we painted a message on the sidewalk for students as they waited for the bus. You can cut out nearly anything. This is good news for those of us who are very innovative and have ingenuity.
My Cameo saved me lots of money and headache last year for Christmas! My family owns a restaurant, and restaurant workers must have covered cups when they’re on shift. I gifted each of my family members a cute, customized, one-of-a-kind clear tumbler water cup for work! I did the same for all of the awesome support staff I have the privilege of working with at school. They received a cute tumbler with their names on it, and last year’s running theme: #girlboss It was a huge hit! Creative, fun to make, and one-of-a-kind.
Mom side tangent here…I also love the Contigo travel bottles for little kids; they’re virtually life-proof for toddlers. Last year I sent my brother’s kids (there are 4 of them) their very own Contigo water bottle covered with decals of their favorite things and their name. Again – an easy, fun, customized gift idea.
Easy Staff Appreciation Gift - Custom Tumblers
Reason #5. Those Budgets Don’t Roll Over!
I work with departments every year who are contemplating the best ways to spend down their budgets, which are often “Use it or lose it.” I know that sounds silly (“There’s nothing to spend our money on!”); that’s not a common phrase in education!
But I want you to think about your time and what it’s worth. Every minute spent at school, late into the night is a minute lost from vital self-care, time with friends, and time with our families. Investing in a way to reduce time spent on projects is always a great investment for our students. When we’re happier, they reap the rewards through improved instruction and better morale all around.
Cricut or Silhouette? Which is best?
As you can tell, I'm a huge fan of the Silhouette Cameo. However, I think that whichever you choose - Cricut or Silhouette, you'll be happy either way. You see, the software is intuitive for both die cut machines. You'll also find that there is a TON of information available online, in the form of tutorials and websites, to help you along the way. I highly recommend choosing one and going with it. I dove head first into my first Silhouette Vinyl Bundle and have never looked back.
Consider working with your administrator, department or grade level team this year to invest in yourselves and students. It’s been SO worth the time for me!