The Cricut Explore

How adorable are these cards? These were all pre-made projects from the Cricut image library that comes with the subscription. 

First off, let me begin by saying that I am in no way affiliated with, compensated for endorsing, or asked to promote any of the products mentioned. I'm just obsessed... don't judge!
(Edit: As of 2/25/2015 I am affiliated with Cricut and receive compensation for purchases made through links on this site. All opinions are my own)

The Cricut Explore
The Cricut Explore is an amazing machine that may up front cost a bit, but over time (if you use it regularly) saves you lots of money. Plus, you look super crafty. Who doesn't love that? 

It's design makes it very easy to use. You use the software on the computer, and it sends your designs straight to the machine through the provided USB. The machine cuts cleanly on paper, cardstock, thin woods and leathers, and even fabric! 

The mats have a bit of a learning curve to them. When you have a dog who's hair sheds everywhere, your mat starts to look like a wooly mammoth. It's also good to remember to bend the mat and keep the paper straight when removing items from the mat... otherwise you get a curled piece of paper. 

Projects do take time! There are often multiple mats involved, weeding off from the mat, scraping off the mat clean before reusing it (those tiny pieces can be a handful), and gluing. Yes, the machine isn't the fastest, but it is very intricate and precise. As long as you have patience, you can accomplish even the most difficult projects!

There are endless possibilities to create. So far, the projects I have made include:
-card making (including the cutting blade and the writing pen)
-cutting a mirrored stencil with vinyl to apply to glass as a for etching (which is super easy... definitely keep an eye out for a tutorial on that in the future)
-letters for canvases 
Projects that will come soon:
-iron-on vinyl for pillowcases
-wall vinyls
-other stencils
-using Crayola markers in the pen slot to design coloring pages (there is a list on the Cricut website that informs of the compatible pens and markers)

Above is a canvas that took me under twenty minutes, and under five dollars. I bought a large sheet of glitter paper (it was sticky on one side, although it was cheap so it still needed glue upon applications) and an on-sale canvas, chose my font and a heart design, cut it out, glued it on, and now it's ready for the wall! To add more color, the canvas could be painted first. 

Honestly, I don't have much negative to say about the Cricut Explore (just at JoAnn's for saying online that there were 4 Scoring Stylus' available, driving there, and none to be found in the front or in the back... but that's a whole different story). I do wish that the image library was free instead of having to pay for (ahem, cheapskate!) and that the server based software ran a little faster... other than that, I would highly recommend the Cricut Explore to any and every crafting enthusiast!

Happy Crafting,

What are your favorite projects to make with the Cricut Explore? Comment below and share your thoughts!


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