This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine. Affiliate links ahead.
Back when I received my Cricut Explore Air 2 to create the decor for a bachelor party (!) I instantly fell in love. I’d mistakenly spent years forcing friends and family to (gasp!) cut things out by hand. If you do ANY sort of crafting you’re going to be just as taken by this machine as I am.
So Why do I love the Cricut Explore Air 2?
Well, there are lots of reasons! I’m just going to give you five today, but know that are tons more reasons to love this machine you’ll discover once you have one.
1. The Cricut Explore Air 2 is Pretty
If you’re the kind of person who might buy a bottle of wine because it has a pretty label (like I do), I know you are with me here! The design of the Cricut Explore Air 2 is sleek and modern looking with a brushed metal top. Plus, you can get it in SO MANY COLORS! There is bound to be one to match your craft space. I love mine in the original mint…which happens to match my office.
Another few features of its the design that I love: cup holders for holding blades and all my weeding tools. These come in so handy–I don’t have to go looking everywhere for these things, they are always right there at hand.
The inside has a little tray to store more pens and my scrapers. Again, so useful to be able to keep all the instruments for the machine together.
A few weeks ago, I taught a Cricut 101 class and had to mention perhaps my favorite part of the Cricut Explore Air 2, and the whole class laughed at me (or with?), but I don’t care because I get warm fuzzies every time I do this. When you press the “open” button on the Explore Air 2, both the top and front open simultaneously on their own. I always imagine a glorious “aaaah!” refrain being sung when this happens. Silly, I know, but I love it. See it in action here.
2. It Cuts Paper Anything!!
If you can imagine building something out of paper, the Cricut Explore Air 2 will be able to help make it. I cry for my poor arthritic hands when I think of all the time I spent with my scissors in the past. It’s another reason to love this machine. No more paper cutting by hand. So what does it do? Here are a few examples…
Make all the paper flowers. Tons of them! Even those super big ones you see all over. There are a million patterns for these out there. In fact, you can catch the pattern for this flower in this post.
Or check out the design for this vase of roses in Design Space. There are lots more to choose from!
Cards and invitations for any occasion
Cards, envelopes and invitations of all sorts can be accessed via Cricut Design Space already designed. This is especially great if you happen to forget someone’s birthday and need to whip one up quickly! The Cricut Explore Air 2 makes short work of getting one together. These Monster Valentines I made were universally loved.
There is also a whole category in Design Space called “Cards” you can browse for more ideas.
I really could write and entire post just on the types of party decorations you can make from paper with the Explore Air 2. Having the option to have the Cricut cut all the decorations out (many from pre-exsisting designs!) is a total game changer. I pulled all the projects in this photo from Design Space – favor boxes, ice cream cones, party hats, banners and favor bags.
Not to mention that if you look around the site, you’ll find a
ton of parties I made with my Cricut Explore Air 2!
- Squeaky Clean Bachelor Party
- How to Train Your Dragon Party
- Disney Princess Party
- New Years with Kids
- Springtime Coffee Bar
- New Years Eve Party Ideas
- Sleepover Waffle Bar
- Halloween Boo Bash
- American Girl Tea Party
3. DIY Home Decor Projects
This is where the really amazing stuff happens. Vinyl and paper are materials made to help decorate a household. Being able to decorate your home yourself? One more reason to love the Explore Air 2. You can go big with an upholstery project like this club chair I updated, or make a sign or a pillow to express your creativity.
There are literally a million different signs you can make with the Explore Air 2, big and small.
Browse the internet, or browse my site. Any quote or image can be made into vinyl!
You can even iron vinyl onto wood!
Spruce up pillows around your house with a little iron-on vinyl! You can even cut felt for appliques to make some EXTRA fancy pillows. See the patterns for this Thanksgiving pillow set here.
DIY Decorative Furniture
Furniture that needs updating is a great candidate for a little love from your Explore Air 2. It’s perfect for cutting stencils to paint on furniture (or anything else that needs a stencil!) This Iron Gate Chest is a great example!
Decorate your table with a retro looking pitcher and glass set! It takes about. 15 minutes, but takes an ordinary looking object and brings it alive! Here’s how I made these.
- Cricut Holographic Vinyl
- Retro graphics in Cricut Design Space
- Cricut Explore Air 2
- Green Sticky Mat
- Fine Point Blade
First thing, you'll want to prep your pitchers and glasses. Make sure they are super clean so that the vinyl sticks easily and for a long time. A little alcohol swab after a good washing would not be a bad thing here.
Open the graphics file in Cricut Design Space. There are four different sprouts for the pitcher and one for the glass. You'll need to make copies for as many as you need for your particular vessel. I used 8 for the pitcher, and had four glasses.
Measure the circumference of the tops of your glasses and change the size of the large stem. Measure the height of your pitcher and adjust the short stems accordingly.
Once you decide the number of vinyl decals you are going to need, cut them out! I'd recommend choosing more pressure on the Cricut Explore Air 2 dial - just a click past vinyl.
Cut the pieces into individual strips. This makes it way easier to weed!
Then weed each image.
Here's a trick if you choose to use it. I didn't use any transfer tape for the pitcher and glasses because the pieces were very small and the holographic vinyl tends to be a little stiff. In fact, after weeding all the little pieces out of the middle of the graphics I decided it was too time consuming. So I peeled it right off the carrier sheet.
If you chose more pressure when you cut these out, it should have made a really clean cut (like the first set I did) and you should not have to weed anything; all the little extra pieces will stay on the carrier sheet. If they don't, just knock them out with a weeding tool as you're peeling the images off.
Wrap the long graphic around the top of each glass.
Alternating the heights with the four different images, apply the graphics around the pitcher.
Then get pouring!
4. You Can Vinyl All the Things!
I promise, the first thing you’re going to do when you get an Explore Air 2 is put vinyl on everything you own. I myself put a giant vinyl MOM on my Yeti to claim it. (Coincidentally, I can ALWAYS find my Yeti now!)
Cups, Coffee Mugs, Wine Glasses
Make and customize them all! Any image you can find on Design Space (or the internet) can be cut out of vinyl and slapped to the side of a beverage container the Explore Air 2. I am still a fan of this “Cup full of Cheer” mug I made last year. I’m still using it!
Notebooks and Phone Cases
My kid likes to change her phone case roughly every 3 seconds. It’s been fun for her to have an Explore Air 2 she’s allowed to play with to meet this undying need of hers. I did really like this flamingo phone case!
Cut vinyl is also a great way to personalize notebooks you may be sending your kid to school with. My son got all his labeled this year with Math, Language Arts, Social Studies, etc.
5. Kid Craft Projects Made Easy
Tic Tac Toe Boards and other games can be whipped up in a jiff with the Explore Air 2. Making my kids (and other kids I know) happy with a few fun projects is just another reason to love this Cricut!
There are all kinds of toys you can create for your kids with the Explore Air 2. I personally love these little fairy dolls and this forest box that could be a stage for them all to play on (and be stored in!)
You can also make stuffies on the Explore Air 2. It will cut certain kinds of felt! This donut is pretty cute, and who doesn’t love a cookie? I did spot a pattern for fruit as well, just in case you’re worried about balance.
Crafty Things for Kids to Assemble
If you need a craft project for school or a party, Cricut has you covered here, too! Valentine robots? No problem! It cuts craft foam with ease and also has fun products like window clings that you can cut to make an aquarium on your window or decorate for holidays.
What do you love about your Cricut Explore Air 2?
So that’s actually a pretty short list of reasons I love this machine. I could tell you so many more ways it’s completely awesome, but it might be overkill. The people I’ve talked to about their Air 2’s have been as in love with them as I am–let me know your favorite thing about YOURS!