If you’ve been reading The Happy Scraps for a while, then you know I adore my Cricut machine. I don’t just adore my current machine, but I’ve adored all of the machines that I’ve had. The original Cricut, Cricut Expression, Cricut Mini, Cricut Explore, and the Cricut Explore Air 2. Nine years ago, my in-laws bought me a Cricut for Christmas. It was the one that would cut 6″x 12″. I had been looking at that machine in stores for months. My mother-in-law found a good deal on them on Black Friday that year, so she bought one for me for Christmas. To say I was excited was an understatement. I got to work right away making all kinds of paper crafting projects. Some of the first things I did, with only the cartridge that came with it, were paper crafts. I used it to make a birthday banner (which I still have, but I don’t use) as well as scrapbook pages. I used it for all kinds of scrapbooking pages. I was in LOVE! A few months later, I remember cutting out some vinyl for the first time. That vinyl project took forever because I didn’t kiss cut, I cut right through the backing and everything and it took forever to finish that project! 🙂 By the time I got my Cricut Expression, I was using it all the time for all kinds of projects made from paper and vinyl. When I heard about the Cricut Explore Machine, I was so intrigued. What is the Cricut Explore Machine? What can I do with it that I can’t do with my Cricut Expression? Well, today I’m going to share that with you.
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What is the Cricut Explore Air? The Cricut Explore Air is an electronic cutting machine for DIY projects and crafts. The Cricut Explore is a personal die cutting machine. It is the perfect at home die cutting machine for anyone who loves to do DIY projects. I used mine to create two years worth of bulletin boards for the PTA birthday board at my kids school. It was so nice to be able to cut out the the bulletin board shapes at home and not have to worry about using the old school die cuts at the school. I could do it after my kids were in bed and it wouldn’t matter.
The Cricut Explore Air can cut more than 100 different materials. It doesn’t just cut paper! It can cut everything from paper to vinyl to leather, even faux leather, to fabric to chipboard to metal to cork board. It really is amazing what it can cut. The blade is a German Carbide Blade. It is super strong, can cut through the above mentioned + many more things, and it doesn’t have to be changed often at all! One of my favorite projects that I’ve used my Cricut Explore to create is this Spring Paper Flower Centerpiece. I still have it as decor in my Craft room!
Not only does the Cricut Explore Air give you the flexibility of cutting your own things right at home, but you can also design your own designs and upload them to Cricut Design Space and cut them out! They also have thousands of images that you can cut in Cricut Design Space. Often times if I’ve searched Cricut Design Space and can’t find what I’d like to cut, then I will design my own and upload the image. It’s so nice to have that flexibility! A few years back, I used the Cricut Explore to create this beautiful DIY Bridal Bouquet. One of my favorite things about creating like this is that I can envision something in my mind, and have it come to life with paper!
I love having the flexibility of making something my own! Whether you’ve look at several different stores for a decor piece or even a shirt, and haven’t been able to find it, you can use your Cricut Explore Machine to create your own. I’ve created so many different pillows using Cricut Iron-on. I love being able to design it just the way I want it and then ironing it onto the pillow! This I LOVE US pillow is one I created for our master bedroom.
Not only can you create paper decor for your home, but the Cricut Explore Air is a great tool to have for putting together birthday parties. It has saved me with more than one party! I’ve put together a Lego Birthday party, and I couldn’t have done it with out my Cricut Explore Machine. This Shark Birthday Party also wouldn’t have been possible with out the Cricut Explore. The Cricut Explore Air helps you make cupcake toppers, goodie bags, banners, decor, games, etc.
I’ve used the Cricut Explore to cut vinyl for decorating my kitchen. I needed somewhere to put some utensils on the counter, but I didn’t want a plain crock for them. I found one that I just simply added some vinyl to. Now I have this cute Kitchen Utensil Holder on my counter in my kitchen. The best part, is that the Cricut Explore works so fast, that this project only took a few minutes to make! When I made this, I used the original Cricut Explore, but the Cricut Explore Air 2 can cut up to two times faster!
One of the really fun things you can cut with the Cricut Explore is Freezer Paper. You can cut any design out of freezer paper and iron it onto your fabric, then paint it. It makes for a great stencil! I’ve made jackets with custom designs, pillows, and this fun DIY Library Tote.
A few years ago, I used my Cricut Explore to cut these spider webs, cut from Quilting Template Plastic. It’s a thick plastic, similar to what a hard stencil would be made out of. The Cricut Explore cut through it like butter and it was so fun to see it cut that! This machine really is amazing!
The Cricut Explore Machine can cut so precisely, that it can cut confetti! When I put together the PTA Teacher Birthday Party, I cut out balloons, the school name, Happy Birthday, and cake confetti. I was like a giddy little girl in a candy store watching that machine cut so small and have them turn out! It was so fun! Another thing I love about the Cricut Explore Machine is being able to use it for school projects. It’s a great help for science fair projects, reports, valentine boxes, or even when your son tells you the night before that he needs a gym shirt with his name on it for school the next day!
I have to say that one of my very favorite things to make with my Cricut Explore Machine is Home Decor. I love making wood signs that are unique to our family and hanging them in our home. I just finished up making this fun DIY Song Quote Sign to hang in our master bedroom. (I’m sharing the tutorial for it on the blog today!) I’ve made a sign using words from this same song before too, using my old Cricut Expression.
Overall, I’ll say this. The Cricut Explore Air 2 is SO much more than just a personal die cutting machine that cuts paper. It’s like your best friend, your best helper + it’s not like your kids that will talk back… 😉
Now if you are thinking that you NEED one of these amazing machines, you can get your own Cricut Explore Air 2 machines here, or you can enter to win a Cricut Air 2 bundle as well as over $2500 in prizes including a credit to Hayneedle. ENTER HERE.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.
Linking up to some of these parties.