- I buy the 12X24 mats, when they are on sale, and cut them in half. 24" is way longer than I need, but the price is much cheaper to make your own 12X12's from the 12X24 size.
- When using the cut in half mat, sometimes you need to flip the mat around, to use the less used, more sticky side. Remember to drop your paper down one inch when rotating your cut mat. The machine needs that first inch just to hold the mat. Don't worry about the paper not sticking to that final inch of the mat. I haven't ever found this to be an issue.
- The CTMH Cricut cartridges have some great full page backgrounds for your 12X12 layouts. Many times, it won't cut a shape larger than 10 3/4" or 11", and you might want to cover a bit more of your 12" layout. Try telling the Cricut that you have a 12X24" mat. It will still only allow you to get 12" wide, but usually I can get the cut a bit bigger with this minor fudge. It will cut off the page just a bit, but that might be okay, depending on your purpose.
These are cuts I did from the Art Philosophy cartridge as the page kit for the Fundamentals retreat (in 9 days!). Telling the machine I was using a 12X12 would only allow a 10 3/4" shape. Telling the machine it was 12X24 and I got 11 1/4 " shape. It helped fill my page top to bottom. Left to right, I already wanted the off the page effect, and actually cut a little more off the side than the machine did.