The Cricut Expression Personal Electronic Die-Cutting machine is a valuable tool for crafters who want versatility in their scrapbooking and paper craft projects. The machine uses themed cartridges filled with fonts and images that you can cut in almost any size from a wide array of materials, from paper to fabric to thin plastic. Many of the cartridges come with creative features that allow you to adjust the images on the cartridge to better suit your project. One of the most common creative features, available on more than half the cartridges Provo Craft offers, is the Shadow feature. This easy-to-use feature allows you to cut a perfectly proportioned shadow image for any letter or shape on the cartridge, adding depth and dimension to your projects.
Cut the letter or image of your choice using the machine. Remove the cutting mat and paper from the machine and put the image aside.
Add another sheet of paper to the cutting mat. Since the shadow feature is meant to cut the same image, only slightly larger, choose a paper that is a contrasting shade or pattern to enhance the shadow effect.
Insert the cutting mat into the machine until you feel it catch on the rollers. Press the "Load Paper" button on the keypad to automatically position the mat.
Adjust the pressure and speed for the paper type, if necessary. To cut heavy card stock, set the pressure to 4 or 5; delicate vellum or thin paper only needs a light pressure of 1 or 2. Do not change the size of the cut from the previous image. For example, if you cut letters at 3 inches, keep the shadow size setting at 3 inches to ensure that the shadow cut is in proportion.
Press the "Shadow" button on the left hand side of the keypad. The button will be backlit in green when the feature is engaged.
Choose the image to cut on the keypad. If you cut an image using one of the cartridge creative features, such as bold or italics, remember to engage that feature on the image to ensure that the shadow cut is identical.
Press the "Cut" button. The machine will automatically cut the shadow image. Adhere the shadow behind the first piece for a layered embellishment.
If you cut multiple images, such as an entire word, you only need to press the "Shadow" button once. As long as the button glows green, it will apply the feature to all of the images you choose.
You can use the Shadow feature on its own to get a slightly larger, fatter version of an image.
The "Shadow" button is only present on keypad overlays for cartridges that have the feature.