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11.29.2010

Cri-Kits: Gel Pens for your Cricut or Pazzles Machine!








{Reported by Karen Desmet}



The Cri-Kits gel pens are precision made for use in the Cricut(tm) and Pazzles(tm) die cutting machines. When inserted in place of the blade cartridge, these pens can transfer any image to your paper. With 40 color choices, there is a color to match your latest project.


Ease of use:
The pens appear to be miniature sized gel pens (pictured above). Each pen contains a small magnet on the end and when the pen is inserted into the custom "pen holder" it clicks into place as the magnet attaches to a metal piece on the inside of the holder.


The pen holder & pen replaces the blade cartridge in the machine. Once the holder and pen are firmly in place, it is time to draw! These pens will work with the Cricut(tm) cartridges or utilize the Sure Cuts Alot 2 program and draw out any SVG image file! (If you are unfamiliar with SVG files, these files are a vector graphics file format that is the Cricut(tm) machine uses. A simple Google search will provide hundreds of free downloadable SVG files!)


Construction/Durability:
These pens are made with the utmost care so there is no movement of the tip or movement of the ink tube inside the pen overtime. The size and shape of the holder is perfect for the machine. There was no need to add any shims or make any adjustments so the pen tip would touch the paper perfectly when drawing out an image. Also, the pens (when not in the holder) are comfortable to hold and use by hand The pens, while not the length of actual pens, have a barrel the same size as most regular gel pens.

Usefulness:
When I first started playing with the pens and my Cricut(tm) machine, I lost a bit of patience because for more complex and difficult designs, it takes quite a bit of time for the machine to draw them out. While this is not the fault of the pens (it is the machine), my first thought was that I can just do this with a computer. Well, when the first image of mine was finally drawn and unloaded from my machine, I ate my thoughts. A regular printer cannot produce the beautiful look of a perfectly drawn gel pen glitter image. The wait was well worth it. The final result was beautiful.


Cost effectiveness:
Upon your first purchase of the Cri-Kits pens, you must purchase the pen holder. Once you have the holder, the pens come in kits of 10 for $9.99. That is less than $1 a pen, which is wonderful - especially since these pens can be used with the machine and as a pen itself.


What I liked:
There are many color choices, the size and shape of the pens are perfect and they are very easy to use.


What I disliked:
I dropped one of the pens and the magnet in the end fell out - never to be found. When the magnet fell out, the pen wouldn't 'click' into the holder. I solved the problem using a small tiny bit of double sided tape to 'stick' the pen into the holder.


What I made:
Dressforms are my favorite.....



Materials: Cri-Kits Glitter Gel Pen Kit, Dress Form Image: Etsy:Little Things, Font: American Typewriter Light, Paper: KaiserCraft


Birdcages are my second favorite......

Materials: Background Swirl: Free SVG Files, Birdcage: Little Things, Font: Adobe Caslon Pro Italic
Chipboard Bird: Tattered Angels, Cardstock: Worldwin


Bottlecap necklace (my daughter's favorite)....

Materials: Snowflake: Free SVG Files, vintage soda cap, black cord necklace, epoxy dome


Damask and Chandeliers, another favorite of mine....

Materials: Damask Image & Chandelier: Free SVG Files, Cardstock: Worldwin, Frame: Target


Where and how much:
Product name: Cri-Kits Gel Pens
Manufacturer: Cri-Kits
MSRP: $2.29 (2pack of pens), $9.99 (set of 10), $29.99 (set of 10 WITH holder)
Available at: Cri-Kits



Bottom line:
I love this product. These pens have renewed my interest in my Cricut(tm) machine and has opened up a whole new dimension in uses for the machine.


What do you think? Let us know!

5 comments:

Theresa said...

Hmmm ... haven't heard of these before, so thanks for the review. It's an intriguing idea, and I love what you made, especially that dress forms card! Gorgeous!

Rebecca Geile said...

The dressform project is probably the best I've seen with these pens.

CuddlyBunny said...

I've been considering these for some time, but couldn't find any reviews like yours (usually it's a very excited crafter who I'm not sure is realistic so much as they are excited about a new toy).

Now I'll definitely be looking into my own set! Thank you!

Scrapamum said...

I think I need to give these a try!

tomiannie said...

Oh, your projects are adorable! I'm just tickled pink with what you did with my cut files -- that dress form card is especially adorable. Thanks for linking. Now I think I'm going to need some of those pens, too. :)