So, you just brought your new Cricut Explore Air 2 home. You’ve opened up the box, taken your shiny, gorgeous new machine out – I’m dying to know what color you chose – you’ve plugged it in, and then… Well, that’s where you start asking yourself, “What am I going to DO with this thing?” Amiright? I was right there with you a few weeks ago when I opened up my new machine! But don’t fret! I’m here today to share some tips and a simple beginner project to get you started.
This project was born out of a need for green and a gentle reminder that Winter isn’t going to last forever. The skies seem always to be gray, the ground hard, and covered in winter debris – twigs, dead leaves, it’s like nature’s litter out there! The days, while lengthening, are still short and dark. My lips are chapped. My skin is dry, and I’m itchy. I’m sick of sweaters. I might even be tired of boots – oh, the blasphemy! I’m irritated with coats that make me look like a linebacker. Since it’ll be a while before we see any real green on the ground, I decided to take matters into my hands.
I had these adorable faux herb planters that I’d picked up at Joann’s last spring. Yes, I know, faux is passe` bu let’s face it, even if it were spring, I’m a plant-killer which makes faux the only plants for me. They were cute on their own, but I thought it would be fun to add a bit of an embellishment with a wee bit of color.
Let’s get started. First things first, if you’ve not done so already, and if you’ve not signed up for a login with Cricut in the past, you’ll need to create an account at Cricut.com. If you already have an account, you’ll login using this account by clicking the login link in the top left corner.
Next, you’ll want to download the plugin and go through the New Machine Setup. Connect your machine using the provided cables, or you can also connect using blue tooth. To do that, set your Ipad or Iphone’s blue tooth settings to your Cricut Explore Air 2 and enter the provided pin. Just like that, you’re connected!
No matter how you choose to connect, you’ll want to go through the “Getting Started” rubric which will automatically walk you through your very first project, which is an excellent way to get a feel for what the Cricut Explore Air 2 can do.
Now that you’re logged in take a look at the Cricut Design Space. The Design Space is where all of the magic happens.
When you log in, you’ll see a list of projects. These projects are what are called “Make it Now” projects. In these projects, Cricut has done all of the work for you. Clicking on a project will show you a list of materials you’ll use, the cost to purchase the project, as well as the directions to create a project. I would encourage you to look around as there is a project for every need and check back often as they are always adding to the library.
Our project today uses the Southwest Pottery Wraps “Make it Now” project. To get started, you’ll click on the picture of the project. First, you’ll see the details of the project, the supplies required and you’ll also see the “Customize” button. Clicking this would allow you to change the design to your preferences – we aren’t going to do that with this project, but it’s good to know that it’s possible to do if you’d like!
I decided to change up the design slightly, using vinyl instead of the leather. The vinyl is self-adhesive, so I also didn’t need the spray adhesive. So, for my version we’ll need the following materials:
- Cricut Explore Air 2 ® Machine
- Design Space® software
- Cricut® 12×12” StrongGrip mat
- Cricut Weeder Tool
Pebbled Faux Leather in CaféEvergreen vinyl and Gold vinyl Spray adhesive
- Small pots (3)
- Smoother tool
Let’s get started! Clicking on the ” Make it Now” button takes us directly to the mat window.
To use your mat, remove the plastic sheet – put it aside to protect your mat when you’re done. Load your vinyl sheet by lining it up to the top left corner and smoothing it with your hand.
Load your machine, aligning and feeding the mat through the guides, then pressing the feed button.
Be sure to set your blade to the correct material setting, in this case, vinyl.
In the Design Space, push the go button, then press the flashing Cricut button on your Cricut Explore Air 2 to begin cutting.
I decided to layer two colors of vinyl and therefore cut the design twice. What I love is that you can just reload your material, reload the mat and it will automatically reset, allowing you to cut by just pressing the Cricut button rather than having to resend from Design Space.
When you’ve finished cutting, press the Finish button in Design Space.
The vinyl is self-adhesive and comes with a backing. Remove the backing from around the cut design, leaving the design on the backing. Use the weeding tool to remove the center of the design that did not come away when you removed the backing.
For this project, I found it easiest to peel the design and place it by hand rather than to use transfer paper.
Once completed, the pots made their way to their new home – my kitchen window sill!
I love the little bit of green and the contrast between gold and stainless steel, giving them a bit of a modern/industrial look and is a great reminder that Winter is only temporary. The fact that my Cricut Explore Air 2 makes this such a simple and quick project makes me love it even more!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.