Saturday, January 16, 2010

Starting Out with Cricut Design Studio

Hi, it's Diane from the Design Team.

I have been a Design Studio user for two years and, for me, the Design Studio is an essential crafting tool when working with my Cricut(s)!  I will be doing a series of posts to help all of you who have not yet taken the plunge learn how to make the most of this incredible tool.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Prizes:
We will be drawing for 2 Design Studios Software during the series.

Donated by our Sponsor Provo Craft the maker of Cricut and Cuttlebug!

How to win easy..
1. Follow the bog
2. Add our blinkie to your blog, leave a comment where the blinkie is at to be entered in the Drawing!

Part # 2 Beginners

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


So let's start at the very beginning - for someone who has not even opened the box.  Many people are hesitant to get started but once you get going you may forget how to push the buttons on your machine.  It's time to get the software on your computer and start creating!

Inside the box you will find a CD in an envelope - the version of the software on that CD is almost certainly out of date but there is a very important sticker on the envelope with a series of six groups of numbers that you will need to activate your software and make it possible to cut designs with any cartridges that you have in your possession.


The sticker can be seen at the bottom of the envelope (the numbers have been blurred but there are six groups separated by dashes).  There were some copies of the software that were distributed with stickers that only have five groups of numbers.  If you have only five groups you will need to contact Customer Service to obtain a proper serial number.

Also in the box you will find a Quickstart Guide, a User Manual, a cute Cricut Mouse pad and a USB cable to connect your computer to your Cricut.  If you obtained your copy of Design Studio through a rebate program you may only have a serial number.  In this case you can use any USB cable with two ends that look like those in the photo - this is a common printer cable and you probably have one at home already.  The Quickstart Guide and the User Manual are available to download online - click on the name of each to go directly to these resources.

On more important link is to the Design Studio FAQ page on Cricut.com.  If you run into difficulties, some of your questions may be answered there but I believe that the page needs some updating.  For example, the latest version of the program works fine on Vista 64 bit computers (I am using it on my Vista 64 bit computer on a daily basis).

Once you have located your serial number, the next thing to do is to go to the Cricut.com to the Design Studio Page.  Click on the link marked with the arrow to download Design Studio updates.  If you are already registered and signed in on the Cricut.com site you will go directly to the page.

If you have not registered on the site before you will need to complete the simple registration process and sign in.  I highly recommend checking the site frequently - many important announcements can be found on the message board and there is a great community of helpful people who are experienced with the software and may be able to help when you have those "middle of the night" questions.


First you will need to download the up-to-date version of the program by clicking the link - this is the November '09 update.  Once the program downloads, run the installer and follow the onscreen prompts to complete installation. Then open the program and enter your serial number to activate it.


Next you will need to download the Font Packs,  This is where the most recent cartridge content can be found if there is not a program update.  When a new program update is added, the program will contain all current cartridges and there would not be a font pack update.  At the rate new cartrdiges are coming out, I imagine that there will usually be a font pack to keep us up to date!

OK - you are finally ready to start creating.  Read through the manual quickly and then watch the VIDEO on the Cricut.com site.  The video was made before some features were added to the software but it is an excellent explanation of "the basics."  In my next Design Studio post,  I will tell you about those additional features and how to use them.

The best way to begin is to experiment with all of the menus and buttons and start creating some simple designs, words and phrases.  Don't worry - you can always delete and start over if you don't like what you have made.  Have fun exploring what this new tool can do for you!

Diane

P.S.  Don't forget to sign up as a follower, we are on a journey of 3000 :)

145 COMMENTS:

Anonymous said...

Oh how did you know I needed you? I have the software...it was a gift and it's been sitting on my desk for about 2 months (gasp)! I'm usually not so technically shy, but for some reason I needed a shove to get going with this. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR DOING A SERIES OF HELP WITH THIS!!! colleenkramer@sbcglobal.net

La Vikinga said...

Hello;

I'm not the best student at the English languago there is, so I didn't quite get where I would have to leave my comment to be part of the drawing??

I'm a follower and I have put your blinkie at my side-bar on the following blog:
http://lavikingascrapp.blogspot.com/

schnuti said...

Hi Diana,

thank you for the tutorial to learn with the cricut...I became the cricut at last christmas...and I love it...

I am a follower and the blinki is on my sidebar...;)

ILONA

mekei said...

thanks for taking the time to explain this. some of us get lost and it's nice to have someone to 'hold our hand' even if it isn't in person.

chignon said...

I have been thinking about purchasing DS but was afraid to make the monetary commitment and have a program too difficut for me to use. This blog certainly will be helpful and may be just the "push" I need to get on board! Thanks! I have your blinkie, I am a follower, so maybe I'll win a DS and it will be even that much more fun!

Jeanette T. said...

This is great. Thanks

craft_princess said...

Thanks!

- said...

I've been following your blog for a while &I love it! I added the blinkie to my blog http://scrapcloset.blogspot.com/ I've been debating getting the design studio so I am really looking forward to your posts about it! Maybe I'll finally take the plunge & get it.

Creative Char said...

What a great contest! I have your blinkie at vanillabeancreations.blogspot.com Thanks for a chance to win!

Lea said...

I have postet your blinkie on my Sidebar :-)
and i follow now your blog!

lg Lea from Germany ^^

The Mrs. said...

Oh! I got this for Christmas and am SOO excited that you are going to be doing this! :-D Can't wait to see what's next! :-D
Monique

lovinyahweh@yahoo.com

Phoenix said...

So I've been following your blog in Google Reader for months, does that mean I can enter?
I've got your blinkie on my blog at www.menziefam.blogspot.com.

Teri Compeau said...

I have read your blog for a while and I seen some really gorgeous things on here. I am now following you on my Google reader and added your blinky to my site. I would love to win the DS... Thank you

Dawn said...

Oh I have ben wanting to learn about this program for so long, Bless you for taking this step by step.
I have been a follower
I also already have your blinkie on my sidebar.
I would be thrilled to win one!

KanataNewf said...

Looking forward to the posts - I have had the software since it was released but rarely use it except to do the most simplest of designs. I'm anxious to learn some of the more advanced techniques!

Carrie said...

I'm following you and have added your blinkie to my blog @ http://imwearingpurple.blogspot.com/ I've used design studio just a little bit, so I'm looking forward to you posts.

osirisandloki said...

I am greatful for this information. i myself do not have the design software yet but my mum does and she looked at it a few times and neede me to help her with it and not i can! mum is 65 so computers are not really her friend:( bit with help i han set it all up for her!
i have added your blinkie...maybe i might win a copy for myself!
here is my link- www.osirisandloki.blogspot.com

Denise ~ Paper Ponderings said...

Perfect!!! I will definitely be popping back for all of the information. This is going to help me so much!! I've added your blinkie on my right side bar!!

barbsmith2536 said...

I'd love to win one of the prizes offered this month. How generous. I just purchased my Cricut Expression in Sept. 2009 and I am totally hooked on all papercrafts.

Barb Smith
barbsmith2536@yahoo.com
http://barbsmithdesigns.blogspot.com/

Gloria Westerman said...

I would love to win this.....I have you post on my blog and of course I'm a follower....

http://gloriawesterman.blogspot.com/

IRW Dana said...

I'm a follower and I have the blinkie on my blog Paper Memories 4U
at irwdanataft.blogspot.com

Coral said...

Sounds great! Would love to win one.

jordanbev5 said...

Have the Gypsy but not this. Would love to win it.

Carol said...

Great tutorial Diane! Very easy to follow and the pics were a great visual aid as well! Thank you.
Hugz,
♥Carol♥

Carol said...

This truly is a fabulous program, I have it and am using it almost daily (if I'm not using DS, I am using my Gypsy) ... I love them both!

Sherry said...

I am a proud owner of a cricut and I have to say even my husband is impressed!!

I can't wait to have the Design Studio. I'd be tickled pink/blue and green to own one!!

Nataliya said...

I would like to win Design Studio

Dallas Freyer said...

Thanks for doing this series - I have been thinking about making the investment - I just upgraded to the E and am thinking that I might really need DS. Or, I could win it, LOL. I have added your blinkie to my blog and am a follower. Thanks again,

http://dallasscrapbook.blogspot.com/

Donna said...

This is a great idea. I don't personally own one of these but you just might talk me into it.

beadz said...

I've been a follower for quite a long time and your blinkie is on my sidebar.
hugs,
Gini

Laura Stewart said...

following and posted here:

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/Laura07110711?ref=name

Christine Ruff said...

fab tutorial thank you

amys said...

I have so much to learn...but I am up to the challenge..thanks for the help.

cal8007 said...

I've been following you since I purchased my Cuttlebug two years ago; and I have added your link in my link page on Facebook.

Carmen Lucero

http://www.facebook.com/#/carmen.lucero?v=app_2309869772

Caroline said...

Hi - Ive really enjoyed reading everything on your blog... I'm a follower and just have added your blinkie on sidebar. Thanks for the chance to win

Beth said...

I haven't been brave enough to get DS yet, but would so love to have it! Blinkie has been on my blog & I've been a follower for a while.

CraftyGirl said...

I am now a follower and added the blinkie to my site: http://barbcraft.blogspot.com.

Thanks - Barb

Amy said...

I have been debating on whether or not to get the Design Studio and I think you just sold me! I will be venturing out this weekend to purchase it! Thank you for sharing!

PS: I am a follower and added the blinkie to my site: http://scottandamywaller.blogspot.com/

roehm09 said...

I'm with you too. Thanks. I really need the inspiration.

G-ma said...

Hi -- I am a follower of your blog, and added the blinkie to my blog site. I had Design Studio on my laptop, but decided to remove as I use Sure Cuts A Lot software - cost savings for me - don't have to purchase the cartridges. And when I upgraded Design Studio, it seemed to mess up my Sure Cuts A Lot which was ME not the Design Studio installation. Anyhow, when I get home I will reinstall Design Studio again. Thank you.

Bobbi said...

I am already a follower and your blinkie is on my blog. Thanks for the chance to win, I want the Design Studio so bad.

VickieW said...

Looking forward to the great things to come. I have become a follower and too have added your blinky link to my blogspot: http://vickiewhollyscrap.blogspot.com/

Grandma Bugs Place said...

Such great works here! I totally enjoy looking and learning.
I added the blink to my little blog. My cards are very simple in comparison-but with this site I am inspired for sure

Sonya said...

I've had my design studio box unopened for . . . 6 months? You have given me the inspiration to finally sit down and figure it out :) Thx!

Keep Smiling! ~ Sonya
http://thepinkpaperpenguin.blogspot.com/

Kim. said...

Now this is something I don't have but have just been convinced that I really do need it lol. Thanks for the overview.
Kim xXx

Susanne said...

Hi !
I am a follower of your blog and I added the blinkie to my blog sidebar.

Susanne

Regina said...

thanks so much! this is a much needed tutorial for me! I am a follower and it is posted on my sided bar!
http://rjones-scrapcreations.blogspot.com/

sheryl said...

Wow what a great giveaway!! I have put your blinkie on my blog http://papercreations-sheryl.blogspot.com Thanks!!

Kay said...

I love my design studio.

bebe said...

I have been wanting the DS for a while but two things have been keeping me away. The time it takes to learn a new system, you solved that problem. And the cost of buying a new component. I found one for under $40 at scrapbooktoolkit.com. Now I am all out of excuses and I need to take the plunge. Thanks for a great tutorial!

RAP said...

I'm following and your blinkie is on my blog at http://rapscraps.blogspot.com/

I have the software but would love to win it for my niece who just got a cricut and can't afford the software right now.

Craftyanny said...

I have the DS already but thanks for some useful tips too
Anne x

CindyT said...

I've been using DS almost since it came out but I know there's always more to learn...I've refered my husband's Aunt to your site- she just got an Expression for Christmas is and is going Cricut Crazy!

Charo said...

Interesting projects.

Tricia said...

terrific giveaway!

Melissa said...

I've been wanting to get this for a friend! Thanks for the opportunity!

MelissaAllore on the Cricut Board

StefanieH said...

I have DS but my main PC is not working right now, waiting for hubby to fix it. I miss it.

StefanieH
chrisandstef@sympatico.ca

JPALM3746 said...

Just found this part of your blog and I'm lookign forward to all your information on Design Studio.
You appear to write a thorough and understandable article.
Pamela

mississchic said...

Great blog.

Lori said...

Holy cow. Great blog to help users like me...I need the visuals along with the instructions! Lori B

Stampi said...

oh dear this looks like a whole new fun creative way to use my cricut..thanks for the chance to win..

laceylady said...

I just got my cricut 2wks ago, I cant wait to do more w/ it.

Anonymous said...

My DD has been wanting to get this program, but with funds being tight all a round, well it hasn't happened. I would love the chance to win this for her please.

Tara Martinez
chomper@surewest.net

Gloria Westerman said...

I'm a follower and would love to win this program....I have also posted it on my blog...
http://gloriawesterman.blogspot.com/
thank you....

CazzaG said...

I am a follower and your is the only blinkie I have on my blog. Would just love to win this Design Studio as I love my Cricut. Am also looking forward to the Gypsy - can't wait!

Farida Rone said...

This is a great opportunity. Thanks to give the chance to win.

Lori said...

Thanks for the chance to win - I can hardly wait to put what I learn from your blog into practice. Lori B

Stampi said...

I forgot to leave my blog address..here it is...
http://scrappintillthecowscomehome.blogspot.com/

Lesley517 said...

Love your blog...thanks for a chance to win!

Raven said...

I've seen some amazing things done with that design studio. So much inspiration. Good luck to all.
Hugs,
Raven

planosuep said...

I just opened my blog account & have no clue how to put your blinkie there, however, I mentioned your blog in my first ever post. I have the Create & would love the Design Studio, I am sure.

Thanks - sue
Schnauzerlover
Texasschnauzer.blogspot

Megan said...

Oh my goodness, I really want design studio I have been meaning to buy it but haven't had the money. Thank you soo much for this wonderful giveaway.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for a chance to win. I have wanted one of the design studios for a long time. Thank you for showing us how it works.
I am a follower.
Dena from Washougal
deesgifts at hotmail dot com

SherriC. said...

Your design studio work is amazing Diane, I would love to win this

Cricut MB SherriC.

Claire said...

Wow DS would take my cricut-ing to another level. Thanks for the chance to win. I'm still new at this and am loving all the inspiration I get from your blog and designers!

Wanita said...

I have only had my Cricut Create for a week and I am loving it! Thanks for the tutorial on the DS and it looks like a must-have item!

Wanita said...

Oops...forgot to post my blog link ;)

http://www.wanitasblogspot.blogspot.com/

rache said...

Sounds great! Would love to win.
tfs

Amy said...

I am a follower and have the blinkie in the upper right corner of my blog (www.scraparazzi.blogspot.com)!

Kathy K said...

I am a new cricut owner and love it. I am a follower and I have posted your blinkie on my blog at http://iheartscrappystuff.blogspot.com/

Teri A said...

I love my cricut and would love to have the design studio, I have not yet been able to get this, would love to win it

Thanks,

teri.barefoot@gmail.com

KTbirdiegirl said...

I've never worked with DS but would love to have this software. Thanks for this great giveaway.
Kathryn

Brens Designs said...

WooHoo!!! I have added your blinkie to my blog at http://brensdesigns.blogspot.com

Love crafts forever said...

I dont have yet DS it will be challenge for me to know software. Thanks for this chance to win.

Katt said...

Love the work and inspiration you guys provide here. I just got my Expression a few days ago and the addition of DS would be a wonderful treat! I have been a follower for awhile, and I have your blinkie on the right hand side of my blog, www.scrapnkitty.blogspot.com

Aline {lolly} said...

I'm a follower and I have put your blinkie at my side-bar on the following blog not 1 time but 3 times .at

http//lollyah5.blogspot.com

Crafty Sue said...

Wow, what an opportunity! I'm a follower, and the blinkie is on my blog here:
www.Craftysuescreations.blogspot.com

MaureenHanson said...

Wonderful information on how to get started. Would truly love to win DS. I am now a Follower! Thanks for all the info, and a chance to win.
MaureenH (Canada)
angels2craft@yahoo.ca

scrapgranny said...

Thanks for the chance to win!! I am attempting to add your blinkie to my blog...scrapgranny.blogspot.com

Pauline said...

I love my Cricut & Cuttlebug and would love to win the DS. I've added your blinkie to my blog: http://paulinelussierdesign.blogspot.com/

Micki said...

I am a follower and have you blinkie on my blog. I would love to win this!
Micki

Karen Wilson said...

Wow, I would SO love to win this!! I have been a follower for awhile and have your blinkie on my blog! Thanks for the chance to win!

da_blue_69 said...

So I have my blinkie and I'm armed and dangerous...lol aren't all scrappers :P

-Megs

megsscrapbooknest.blogspot.com

I heart scrapbooking :)

Lynn said...

I have already set mine up but feel sure these psots will help me get better use from the package.
http://www.amomentintime-craftycooper.blogspot.com/

Lorianna said...

I'm following you and have added your blinkie to my blog @ http://loriannascorner.blogspot.com/ would be so excited to win this

bernshwag said...

Thanks for your great info. and the chance to win!

Candi
bernshwag@yahoo.com

Judy said...

I have been debating getting this software. Thanks for the opporitunity to win it.

craftykitten said...

Hi there,
Not sure if this comment is in the right place but here goes. I have only recently bought my Cuttlebug so am still learning - every little hint I can find is a bonus. I have become a follower and will place your blinkie in my sidebar
Hugs
Dawn xx

amy said...

Wow what a great giveaway!! You can do so much with the design studio! I,m excited. Thank you for sharing that with us.

Laura said...

Wow, how generous! I've been going back and forth about the Design Studio. A friend of mine got one MONTHS ago and has yet to use it. I've been waiting on her...the "gotta have it" queen and nothing. My Cricut could use a friend and with a Cuttlebug as well...I see wonderful cards in my future! Thank you.

Rockin Robin Caldwell said...

I have been following your blog for a couple of weeks in the RSS feed. I can't post your blinkie to my blog, cuz I don't have a blog. I don't think that's fair to be exclusionary like that. I can see wanting to expand your "readership", but I can spread the word about your blog through my online groups. I'd love to win the DS as I love my Cricut, and would love to be able to get more out of my carts. Please don't exclude me because I don't have the time to have a blog. Just my 2 cents worth. Rockin Robin C

Nikkie said...

I posted the link to my blog! I would love to have DS. Ive been looking/wanting it for a while now but am having to put my $ toward other things right now! Thanks for the chance to win!

Nikkie (Cricut MB)

Anonymous said...

Wow! DS would be a great cartridge. All I can say is wow! to use it with the ones I have. Thanks and WoW!
Cledithbo@yahoo.com

Kala K (kbkachur@yahoo.com) said...

Thank you! You can always use another DS. I am a follower and you blog is posted in my siggi evertime I post on the cricut MZB.

Claire said...

Oops, I'm sorry, I see I forgot to post my blog address. Thank you again for the chance to win Design studio.
scrapnthrutime dot blogspot dot com

Renee said...

I just love these tutorials. I added you blinkie to my new blog I just set up at
thepinklovingscrapper.blogspot.com

Shelly Watson said...

I am a MAC user - so Design Studio will not work for me -- I would LOVE to have a gypsy!!

dora said...

I would love to have design studio. Hope I win.

tampatha said...

I've always wanted to try this out! Thanks for the chance to win. Your blinkie has been on my blog's sidebar since I started it :) I am also a follower

katscrapper said...

Diane, Thanks for the tutorial. Very informative. It would be great to win DS.

Rhonda V. said...

I love that you are doing DS tutorials! I'm a follower and my blinkie is on the right hand section of my blog about 2/3 of the way down.

Thanks!!

Krystal M. said...

What a great giveaway! i do not have a blog but i did post your blinkie on my myspace page :) http://www.myspace.com/sweetstuff18_88

Gabrielle said...

Hi! Great ideas - thanks for more inspiration! I posted your blinkie on my blog! http://gabrielle-price.blogspot.com/

Best Hobby Eva said...

My friend has this and absolutely loves it. It really is a great tool to have!!!

Cheryl said...

Hello,

Thanks for the chance to win :)
Am very new to the cricut machine , and dont have the Design Studio:( Have watched some video tuts on it though and it looks like a great tool to use with the machine.

Thanks for the chance to win.

Cheryl

paperpapier said...

what a great machine..in my wishlist.
tx for the chance to win.

Vicki said...

Thanks for a chance to win and all the hnts and tips. Your blinkie has been on my sidebar for quite a while now.

My blog is http://cheerfulstamppad.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

I love this blog. so much to learn. Keep the idea's coming...


Jackie Natal

Winnie and Patty said...

Great give away. I'm a follower & the blinkie is on my side bar. Scroll down to see it

Valerie said...

Awesome give-a-way. Thanks for the opportunity to win

Audra said...

love this blog... lots of great info... thx!! I just became a follower and your blinkie is on my blog... http://scrappinginpink.blogspot.com/

bubbles32 said...

I would love to win this. Love your blog, thank you for showing us all your wonderful ideas. I'm a follower and you can find your blinkie at

www.debbisdesigns.blogspot.com

Thank you
Debbi

cardchick said...

is this still open to win a DS?? oh my... I hope so..how exciting is this, this blog is filled with so much info and new projects and amazing work!!! i hope its me...
josiej@myway.com

Lili W. said...

Happy to get a chance to win DS!

Diane said...

This would help me go to the next level with my Cricut. Great idea.

Melissa Lake said...

I have a Gypsy, but only the trial version of Design Studio (because I can't afford it after buying the Gypsy-lol!). So thanks for showing us how to use it and for the giveawya!

Anonymous said...

I have used CDS and it is awesome, would love to have my own copy. Punchlady

Joy said...

I would really like to be able to weld words and things to put on the cards I make..together.. so CDS would be awesome..

Susan said...

Fabulous explanation! You make it all sound so easy! Thanks!
SusanJ

lee said...

I love finding sites that are so helpful with using the cricut, design studio etc. I have added you to the blogs I follow as well as posting your blinkie on my humble blog: http://scraphappyeveryday.blogspot.com/ thanks! lee

Rappin' About Scrappin' said...

hello! I don't have this software yet but have been dying to get it. Pick me Pick me!!! I'm following your blog and your blinkie is at

www.rappinaboutscrappin.blogspot.com

on my right sidebar.

Liz

Clarinda said...

I NEEEED one of these! lol

Maren said...

I love DS. I downloaded the program from the Cricut website, but have not yet purchased it, funds are very tight. I am constantly using the program to figure cuts out, then going and cuting them manually. I would love to win one.
I have put your blinkie on my sidebar.
Maren

te_sha said...

I would love to win ds boy Ireally would. My husband been laid off for a while so not much money to spend on my hobby that I love dearly..
letisia.chubbuck@yahoo.com

Les said...

I've followed your blog and posted the blinkie on my blog.

http://fallnpetal.blogspot.com/

Cokie Pop Paper Boutique said...

Great tips. I have a blinkie on the right column of my blog. And I'm a follower!
http://cokiepopaper.blogspot.com/

Cristi said...

I love your blog, so very helpful! I am a follower and I hava your blinky on the right side of my blog. http://scrappin5littlecupcakes.blogspot.com/
Cristi

Sandy Bayles said...

I would love to win this software. I have it on the top of my wish list. It is just going to have to wait. I overdid the Budget allowed for my supplies. I just got my sixth cartridge. Good Luck to all.
Sandy Bayles

D-Ree said...

LOVE IT! Don't have a blog but I am going to FB about it. Wish I could win!

ddrlsain said...

I would love to win this. I love the blog.

GeekGirl said...

Computers are my thing so combining software with scrapping would be the ultimate fun time activity for me. :D

Cokie Pop Paper Boutique said...

What a great giveaway. There's so much that you can do with D.S. I have a blinkie on the right column of my blog.
http://cokiepopaper.blogspot.com/

Jeanette said...

oh my sister in law has one and I would love to have one and if I could win it that would be wondreful. thanks for the chance.

milena60 said...

Я люблю ваш блог и являюсь последователем ссылочка на панельке с правой стороны.Ничего подобного я раньше не слыхала технический прогресс!Вот бы попробовать люблю учиться.Спасибо.

cricut essentials said...

Wow great idea! I love it! And thanks for explaining everything in great detail, makes it really easy to follow!