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I am in love with my Cricut Explore Air 2. There are so many amazing options available on this machine and I have really enjoyed checking them all out and seeing what I can create with it. It’s a great machine no matter what you are looking to craft or create. It really does it all. So I wanted to share some of my favorite features with you today and how I am using them.
Cut & Write:
With the Cricut Explore Air 2, they have added a great new feature that allows you to use pens and markers in the machine to create beautiful writing. I absolutely love this feature!! It’s my favorite. You can cut out your shape and write all at the same time!
I made some adorable gift tags this year using this great feature. Simply find the tag you would like to cut out and then find the writing you would like to create. The machine will do both all at once so you don’t have to worry about lining things up after the tag is cut out to add the writing. It comes out perfectly every single time.
Glue Stick or Tape
You will want to create your design in the Cricut Design Studio. I simply choose a tag that I really liked the style of. Then I found a candy cane image I liked. I flipped it and overlayed them to make the double candy can design. Make sure to weld them together so they cut out the candy cane design in the tag. Once you have your tag and candy canes you can add writing. I just put Merry Christmas but you could add a name, make it for a different occasion, the possibilities are endless. Make sure when you add your writing to filter your fonts to show only the fonts that are for writing so you don’t accidentally choose a cut font.
Load your white cardstock and make sure you have loaded the pen into tool A slot and your blade is in the B slot. Set your materials to cardstock. Let the design cut and print, it does it all at once.
I also set my machine to cut out a blank tag without the candy cane design. Load your foil embossed paper, I choose a red/white page that looked like a candy cane. Once you have both tags cut out you can use your glue or tape to adhere to the edges of the tags to layer them. This will allow the red/white paper to show through the candy cane design.
Now you have the perfect tag to add to your gifts!! Plus you got to use one of my favorite features of the Explore Air 2, that you can now write with your machine and it does cuts and writing all at once!!
Use a Variety of Materials:
One of my favorite features of the Cricut Explore Air 2 is that I can use a huge variety of products in this machine. You can use vinyl, cardstock, foil, leather, and even the new infusible ink. No matter what project I’m working on I can make it with my Cricut. I recently made these super fun coasters as a holiday gift for a friend. I made them with vinyl but also could have used infusible ink.
First, you will need to design your coaster. I created a Let is Snow design by typing out the words in my favorite fonts. Then adding some snowflakes I liked from the design studio. It was super simple and easy.
Once you have your design ready you will add the Everyday Iron-On Vinyl to your mat and load it into the machine. Make sure to set your machine to iron-on vinyl and to put it shiny side down. Let the machine cut out your design.
Pull off the backing and use a weeding tool to weed any letters on your design. Then apply it to your coaster. Make sure to center it and that it is exactly where you want it. Then use the Cricut EasyPress to adhere it to the coaster. You can also use a Burnish tool if needed to make sure that the design adheres.
These are super fun, you can create them with iron-on vinyl, infusible ink, or everyday vinyl, and use transfer paper to adhere them to the coaster. This is one of my favorite features about the Cricut, the versatility allows you to use just about any material you want.
Another great feature about the Cricut Explore Air 2 is that you can create designs that use multiple colors and layer them. Make your designs more interesting and add depth by using different materials and colors. I used some regular iron-on vinyl and glitter iron-on to make these kitchen towels come to life.
I created my design in the design studio. I just used the text box tool to create the words and then found images I liked for the whisk and lines. When you are preparing to make the design you will need to move the words and pieces to new mats for each color you choose to use. I used three mats one for the black, one for the red, and one for the green. I used glitter iron-on for the green to give it a little pop.
Once you have your design cut out you will use the EasyPress to put the design on your towel. You will need to put down each piece and tack it in place with the iron. Just use the iron for about 10-15 seconds and do a warm peel. I always do the glitter last so I can make sure it is set. On your last addition, you will run the EasyPress for the full amount of time like you normally would to fully set all the pieces.
These are super easy and you can make millions of different designs. I love how easy it is to use different materials and layer them easily with the Cricut machines. This feature allows you to make intricate and beautiful designs.
Lots of Storage:
I can be a bit scatterbrain sometimes, especially if I am working on a project. I tend to lose my tools a lot. One of my favorite features about the Explore Air 2 is that they have built-in lots of storage so I can keep my tools organized and within reach.
They have a built-in cup on the side of the machine so when I am working I can drop my tools in there for easy access. I can quickly grab what I need and I never lose them.
When I am not using the tools they have a storage compartment inside the machine. Right inside the flap that comes down when you open your Cricut. You can put all of your tools inside the machine, fold it up, and everything is stored together. I love this!! I never have to search for my tools they are always right inside my machine.
Easy to Use:
Probably the best feature though…..the Cricut Explore Air 2 is so easy to use that anyone can make beautiful creations no matter what your skill level is. The machine easily hooks up to either a computer or you can even use it with your phone now through their app. Use the Cricut Design Studio to create your designs and then the computer will communicate with your machine to tell it what cuts or writing to do. It’s the simplest machine on the market.
The design studio is really easy to use and makes the designing process simple and quick. I love looking through their ready to make projects and creating my own. The machine cuts perfectly every single time no matter what materials I am using and I have a wonderful project in minutes. It’s so much fun!!
If you are considering a Cricut Explore Air 2 you should really go ahead. You are going to love all the wonderful features!!
Disclosure: Parenting In Progress receives products in order to conduct reviews. All opinions are 100% my own. Some posts may contain affiliate links that I receive commission or payment from in exchange for referrals. In the event of a giveaway, the sponsor is responsible for delivery of the prize, unless otherwise noted in the posting. I only recommend products or services I personally use and believe will be a good fit for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 225: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”