I am not the first person to jump ship and swim to beachy shores of Cricut. It’s a crafty little paradise. In 2015 I invested in a cutting machine, I got the entry-level Silhouette Portrait machine, and I LOVED it! The best part was that I didn’t have to cut anything by hand.
Still, I felt like £89 was a huge amount of money (that’s how I roll) but it was completely worth it. Especially with all the free Cricut images that are floating around the internet!
Then Cricut came along with their big shiny machines; I was skeptical at first, then I read that it had wireless functionalities and that was it. SOLD!!!
Ready to make Cricut Projects?
Before school started, I showed you some amazing projects you could make with the Cricut machine with free Cricut images and projects. Check out 10 Cricut Friendly DIY Projects For School To Start Making Now!
The Cricut machine is perfect for people who love paper crafting of any sort. Whether it’s mixed media art journaling, scrapbooking or paper cut artwork.
People who could benefit from the Cricut machine:
2. A variety of Etsy sellers – those who sell wall decal shapes for instance or sell fabric flowers etc.
3. Sign Makers/Someone who loves lettering – you could draw faux lettering onto a chalkboard using a chalk marker
4. Party Planners – you can make SO many handmade decorations with the Cricut, and it won’t take forever
5. People who love planners, printing out the stickers and cutting them out!
6. People who love using Stencils (you can make your own)
7. Someone who sells handmade cards (the embossing feature is fantastic)
8. Art journalers can use it to make stencils, cut out fabric shapes or download and cut special embellishments. Or, anyone who creates colouring pages or books (you can draw with the machine onto watercolour paper)
9. Someone who loves a good fat quarter project! Fat quarters can be cut easily with the Cricut machine, and it’s perfect cutting any fabric pieces less than 12” wide. Tote bags and accessories too!
10. Anyone is CRAZY busy and can’t find the time to craft. The Cricut can save so much time.
Because the Cricut is wireless, I’m no longer tethered to my desk in my craft room with a 3-metre extension cable connecting to my silhouette machine at the other side of the room.
What Does This Machine Do To Make Cricut Projects?
The Precision Cut Feature
As soon as I saw the ✅Cricut Explore Air Machine cutting my first project, I could see the difference between it and the Silhouette Portrait machine. The first project I chose to do with my machine was a little lamp makeover that is simply adorable.
I’ve heard people say that the Cricut Explore is superb in it’s cutting ability compared to other cutting machines. After having tried both the Silhouette Portrait and the Cricut explore, I would have to agree.
I leveled up my cutting machine from the Silhouette Portrait (which cuts up to A4 size width) to this ✅Cricut Explore Air Wireless Cutting Machinethat can cut up to 12″ across and an insane length. There are special mats you can buy for extra long banner cutting etc.
✅ Buyer Tip:
Watch the Cricut Explore Air Machine page for deals, if you can grab it for under $200 then you should get it because that’s a great price for a GREAT machine!
I don’t have to cut anything by hand. It could take hours to cut things that take the Cricut about 2 minutes to cut.
The Explore comes equipped with a dual carriage that has a space for cutting/the blade housing, and a spot for writing (pens) or scoring (haven’t tried this yet). If you are an art journaler, you can stick a thin art journal and draw over painted pages. You can even use the ✅Cricut Stencil Vinyl and create your own stencils.
If you chose to draw something like a colouring page, the pen clicks in and any image that you upload can be changed from a cutting project to a drawing or writing project with ONE click!
I know, shut the front door right?!
The Cricut Design Space Has A User-Friendly Design Interface
The whole machine, including setting up the iPad and getting them to connect with each other was so easy and intuitive that I did not have to check the manual. I was very pleased about that. I do love to figure something out, but it was seriously easy.
The Design Space software is so simple It is a web-based software, and this means that all of your projects are stored in the Cricut cloud. Which is excellent because some cut files can be HUAGE.
The Design Space works in Layers like PS, but it is not intimidating at all. Serials.
You can Print and Cut
Which is perfect if you decide to print out the free planner stickers I have on offer and then use the free Cricut image provided. I LOVE it!
It means the possibilities are endless. I like to go to the Creative Market websiteCanva to create an image that you can then turn into a cut file. Click here to find out how to make your own planner stickers without photoshop!
It Cuts SO MANY Materials!
Including WOOD! Shut the front door. Wood!
I’ve seen so many people online asking questions like:
Can Cricut Explore cut acrylic?
Can Cricut Explore air 2 emboss?
Can Cricut Explore cut felt?
Can Cricut Explore cut metal?
Can Cricut Explore cut laminated paper?
Can Cricut Explore cut fabric?
Can Cricut Explore emboss paper?
Can Cricut Explore cut stencils?
Omg! Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!
Oh cripes, I’m going to forever. It can cut over 100 different materials. Cricut Explore machines cut so many materials that the only limit is your imagination. From something as delicate as tissue paper to thick leather, this amazing machine can do it all!
Some of the popular materials that the Cricut Explore can cut are:
- Paper – Standard, Cardstock, Vellum, Poster Board
- Vinyl – Standard, Premium, Dry Erase, Chalkboard
- Iron-On – Heat-Transfer Vinyl (HTV)
- Craft Materials – Washi Tape, Craft Foam, Glitter Paper
- Upcycled Materials – Chipboard, Cereal Boxes, Aluminum Cans
- Fabric – Felt, Denim, Polyester, Burlap, Canvas
- Plastic – Stencil, Window Acetate, Silicone
- Thick Materials – Leather, Balsa Wood, Magnet Materials
It has a super smart dial, so you don’t have to continuously remove the blade to change how it will cut.
When I used the Silhouette machine, there was a little trial and error at the very beginning when it came to cut settings. I went through a lot of cardboard and paper that was set to the wrong number. That wasted so much money, especially when it happened using Glitter card.
As you can see, the Cricut Explore has an easy dial on the top of the machine that is marked with the material settings and IT WORKS. The biggest problem that I had with the Silhouette was having to adjust the speed manually, and pressure, as well as adjusting the blade length on the dial. I love the Cut Smart system that senses the pressure that the material needs, changes the settings and cuts your chosen materials perfectly.
There are seven settings for the most commonly used materials, simply set the dial where you need it to be each time it cuts and you are golden! If those don’t suit your needs, you can also use their Material Settings in the menu right before you go to cut your next project. There is a perfect setting for everything! Honest!
It has its own iPad App
It is amazing. The fact that I don’t have to fart about with cables and sit right by the machine as it works is perfect for my needs. I can get up and load paper and hit a button, but then me and my iPad can go and make tea or carry on with another project.
This is HUGE!!! All of the machines have a port for a wireless adaptor (you can buy it here), but the Cricut Explore Air doesn’t need it.
You can do all of the things via the app that you can do from the desktop version of Design Space. Cutting, drawing, writing, etc.
The iPad explore Air is completely wireless via Bluetooth technology.
The regular explore machines require an adapter, so depending ask yourself “why would I want a built-in wireless option?”
For me, it was after I spent the entirety of last December with a 3m extension cable coming out of my silhouette machine and dragged across the craft room floor as I was using it NONSTOP during my Christmas crafting workshop. The December theme in my house last year was “mind that cable!”
I love it, and I love that option.
It Has An Embossing Feature
All you have to do is turn your blade upside down! Boom! Seriously, that’s it. You can see for yourself how easy it is.
For some more inspiration check out my Pinterest board full of amazing projects! I thought this card looked amazing so it can be an inspiration for your first Cricut project.
The Cricut has had a load of 5 star reviews (71% out of 1143 reviews), overall 4.3 stars, which isn’t too shabby!
It Has Changed My Life
That might sound dramatic, but it has. I’m creating projects I could never have before (due to a neck injury and damaged nerves I can’t use scissors or knives). So it has changed everything.
It has completely cut down any time I might have spent cutting materials.
Can you imagine cutting out all of the petals if you wanted to make an entire bouquet of paper flowers? No thanks, pal! Gimmie that machine *grabby hands*
My favourite benefits:
- It saves so MUCH TIME!
- It replaces all of the punches you have ever bought, and you will save money on future punch purchases.
- You can do way more with the Cricut machine than you can with craft punches, xacto knives or scissors.
- You can cut 12” wide material and whatever length you want.
- Technically you could create your own giant banners.
I want to make some felt flowers, and I can’t wait to get started. I would not have undertaken a project like that before I got a cutting machine.
Purely because I suffer from CBAS (Can’t Be Arsed Syndrome). I’m confident it affects many of us, and I’m not the only suffererrerer-er. I’m just a girl standing in front of some scissors, telling them to piss off.
There’s storage for tools in the machine.
- You need to have wifi access to use the design space.
- The design space software can be slow if you are uploading large files and sending them to the machine.
- If you have Cricut cartridges you have to plug them into the machine and upload to the Cricut design space. You can’t cut directly from the cartridge.
- The design space Cricut Access is a subscription service
- It doesn’t come with accessories, you have to buy those.
After years of blogging and trying to find the time to craft in the middle of it all, I know how valuable time is. It is worth a lot to me as my energy levels vary due to different medical ailments.
Being able to work from home and having the ability to cut these amazing paper cut files with a few simple steps and a few button pushes I can create wall art for my entire house if I want to.
That will save me loads of time and money!
Especially when I can find photo frames in the charity shops and car boot sales for a few pence or pounds.
That means; impressive wall art, a talking point and you get to be very smug when you say “yeah I load the mat, turn a dial, hit a button and let it work”. It is an incredible machine, and I do hope you go and have a little look at it to see if it is something that can help you!
✅ The Cricut has had two impressive upgrades since the release of my machine, and there’s a trade-up scheme via the Cricut website: