If possible choose cardstock with a solid core. This type of cardstock has a colored core to match the back and front of the cardstock. When you cut out a shape with your Cricut machine, you will see the color on the edges as well as the front and back.
Rather than waste a more expensive cardstock on practice cuts - Get yourself a big pad of white cardstock paper, 12"x12". Use this paper to experiment with your various cuts. This way you don't waste the more expensive scrapbooking paper you own.
But if you do prefer colored cardstock, experiment with a cardstock in a colored paper 50 pack.
Embellish with Bows
Embellishments such as small or large bows, some that look as though they are tied around the front of the card add so much to a card. Some of the best bows I've seen are at Courtney Lane Designs and Obsessed with Scrapbooking, both blogs everyone making Cricut cards should follow.
To use Stickers or Not
One thing to point out; while scrapbooking stickers may be common scrapbooking embellishments, I don't find they add anything to a card.
My Instructional Hubs
In my effort to instruct the beginning Cricut Machine user, I want to make sure the reader knows that each cutout desired has a specific keyboard key, the large pictures on the left in the booklet are what you will see on the key. It can get confusing as the cutout will change depending on the combination of keys used. The keyboard key is often used alone as well as in combination with other key such as shadow or layer. In my step by step instructions, I will refer to it as the Picture's name Key. When I use "......Key" I mean for you to use the cutout's keyboard key only.
When combinations of keys are used, although not specifically mentioned, the Picture Key is always used.
When the Sticky Mat isn't performing and you haven't had a chance to clean it
You have that one last shape to cutout and your sticky mat isn't up to it's normal stickiness...Smooth down the cardstock then as the Cricut machine begins to cut, gently hold the cardstock in place as the machine does its work.
Sticky Mats work better Clean