This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.
My Cricut Explore Air 2 Review & Tips
Growing up, my Mom had an original Cricut. She was a scrapbooker and I remember her buying cartridges for her Cricut to make special die-cut letters and images for her pages. But, that’s all I thought the Cricut did.
Fast forward more than 10 years, and while scouring Pinterest late one night, I clicked on a welcome mat project and saw that it was made using a Cricut–only a much newer version called an Explore Air 2. Ever since, I have been obsessed with Cricut. In my mind, owning a Cricut Explore Air 2 will give me the superpower to become a Pinterest level crafter.
Thanks to Cricut, I’m getting to test that theory. Here is my Cricut Explore Air 2 review, a project you can make with your Circuit machine, and a few tips I’ve learned along the way.
What Is The Cricut Explore Air 2?
The Cricut Explore Air 2 is a smart cutting machine that can cut more than 100 different materials. Together, with Cricut’s free design software (Cricut Design Space), you can create stunning projects in record time. The Cricut Explore Air 2 is a crafting must-have since you can make pretty much anything with it: cards, banners, gift tags, place cards, paper flowers, custom t-shirts, canvases with words, door mats, stencils, cupcake wrappers, tea towels, car decals, coloring sheets, monogrammed everything–the list goes on and on.
The Air 2 features a fast mode for two times faster cutting, bluetooth wireless technology, storage compartments for easy tool access, a double tool holder to shift instantly between cutting and writing, and smart set dial for easy material settings.
Note: Cricut is pronounced “cricket”.
My Review Of The Cricut Explore Air 2
It’s everything I imagined–and more! The Cricut Explore Air 2 is really easy to use. When you use your Cricut for the first time, it walks you though a simple craft so you get the gist of how everything works. But, it doesn’t take much time playing with Cricut Design Space to become an expert.
If you don’t know what to make, Cricut Access is full of ideas… and fonts… and images! It’s a great added bonus.
I have made banners, more t-shirts than I can count, Halloween pumpkins, paper flowers, canvases with quotes on them, name tags, birthday decorations, and more with my Cricut Explore Air 2. It makes being creative super easy. I definitely feel like a Pinterest Queen–and I owe it all to my Cricut Explore Air 2!
Let’s Make Something Together!
Banners are one of my favorite things to make with my Cricut Explore Air 2. They’re quick, easy, and cheap to make plus great for any occasion.
For this project, I’m going to make a “Welcome” banner, but you could make one that says Congratulations, Good Luck, or Happy Birthday.
You will need:
- Cricut Explore Air 2 Machine
- Computer or smartphone
- LightGrip Machine Mat
- Ribbon or strings
1. Open Cricut Design Space on your computer. Click new project.
2. You’re going to upload the image below into Design Space. Start by saving it to your computer. On Design Space, click upload image, browse, select the file, click simple, and continue. Using the select and erase tool, click the area inside of the circles and the outer area. They should now be checkered. Then, click continue. On the next page, select the cut image (on the right) and click save. This will be your large banner pendant.
3. Do the same for the image below. This will be your small banner pendant.
4. Insert both files into Design Space. You might want to change the color of the images so you can tell them apart. Size the image with the holes with how long you want your banner pendants to be. I chose 6 x 4.27.
5. Size the image with no holes. I chose 4.68 x 3.33.
6. Type the first letter of the word you want on your banner. I am using “welcome”, so I typed a W. Select your font and text size.
Directions: Cutting Pendants
7. It’s time to start printing your large banner piece (the one with holes). Hide the other elements by closing the eye beside them (on the right). To save paper, print as many pendants on one piece of cardstock as you can. I could fit four large pendants by putting two side by side and two more side by side upside down and attaching them together (so they stay in place for cutting).
When you’re ready to start cutting, click make it. From there, select continue. Make sure you Cricut Explore Air 2 is connected and turned on. Put your cardstock on the LightGrip Mat, set your machine to cardstock, load the mat (the double arrow will blink when it’s ready), and press the C button when it lights up.
When your machine is finished cutting, press the double arrow to unload the mat. Gently pull your banner pieces off of the mat. If you need more large banner pieces, put another piece of cardstock on the mat, load it, and press the blinking C. I needed seven large pendants for “welcome”…
8. Do the same thing with the smaller pieces.
9. It’s time to print your letters! Copy and paste your original letter so the sizing is the same for all. Then, go in and change the letters to spell out what you need. Click make it, continue, load your mat, and press the blinking C. When finished, unload the mat and take your letters off (gently!).
Directions: Putting Your Banner Together
10. Now, it’s time to assemble your banner. I make all of my pendants first. Use your adhesive to stick the small banner pendant to the large one. Then, stick your letter down in the middle of that. Do the same thing for the remainder of your pendants and letters.
11. When all of your banner pieces are assembled, add them to a piece of ribbon or string. That’s it!
A Few Cricut Tips
- Always double check your settings!
- It doesn’t hurt to do a test cut
- Don’t forget to mirror your image when using HTV–and put the shiny side down
- Save your scraps–you never know when you might need to remake a letter
Are You Ready To Try The Cricut Explore Air 2?
Thanks to my Cricut Explore Air 2, I am a Pinterest level crafter. I love using my Cricut and hope you will too. Happy crafting!
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Taylor Pittman Hardy wrote this article.
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