The Explore Air 2 is in the middle of the line of Cricut cutters. According to Cricut “Big value, WOW-worthy results. With the flexibility to cut a wide range of craft materials and the precision to delivery exactly what you need, the best-selling Cricut Explore line of smart cutting machines make DIY easy, fun, and – dare we say – amazing.”
When my Explore Air 2 arrived, my daughter and I immediately unboxed it. You can check that out in this video.
Unfortunately, thanks to COVID, my supplies bundle didn’t arrive at the same time as the machine, so the only thing I could do immediately was cut out a sunflower and a crown. Even that was satisfying.
My materials bundle arrived about a week later. Keep reading to see the first projects I made.
Because I’m new to all of this I wasn’t prepared so I didn’t know what I wanted to make. A quick search of Cricut Access gave me several project options.
I must say that purchasing Cricut Access is one of the best purchases I added on to my original purchase. For only $9.99 per month, I get access to thousands of projects to make. It will probably be years before I run out of projects, and they keep adding so I’m sure I’ll never actually run out.
Since it was March when I got my Cricut, the obvious choices for first projects were Mother’s Day and my daughter’s birthday. I immediately found a pop-up card for my daughter but decided that was a little complicated for a first project, so I decided to concentrate on Mother’s Day.
I found two Mother’s Day cards that didn’t look too complicated, so I decided to start there. I only had the materials from my initial bundle, so I had to do some substituting of materials. Here’s the finished cards.
Now, on to a birthday card for my daughter! I decided to do an Anne Griffen pop-up card. I was so involved in the project, I forgot to take any photos of the process. More on that in a minute but first, here’s the finished product.
I decided you deserved to see the whole project on this great pop-up card so I’m remaking it for someone else, different colors but the same project.
This was a print then cut project. That’s how there is so much detail in the flowers. Here’s the step-by-step.
- Gather your paper supplies. For this card I needed:
- 2 sheets of white cardstock to go through the printer, so 8-1/2” x 11”.
- A solid color for the box. I chose a green parchment.
- A print for the box flap embellishments. The tan floral in the lower right of the photo.
- A coordinating solid color for the envelope. I chose a darker green-gray parchment that’s not pictured.
- And, a foil or glitter for the swirls embellishment. I pulled both a foil and a glitter to try. I used the gold foil on Katie’s card but decided to go with the glitter on the second version.
- Print the floral pieces from Design Space® using an inkjet printer.
- Cut all parts including your printed floral pieces. The machine will read the registration marks and cut them out appropriately. Be sure your scoring tool is in the B tool spot.
The accuracy of the cuts on the printed flowers is amazing.
- Assemble the box using glue and add the floral pieces to the inner bars using foam tape pieces.
- Add pieces to flaps of box
- Assemble the envelope by folding along the score lines and gluing the bottom flap to the sides. I found that large paper clips worked great for holding the flaps in place while the glue dries.
The box folds nicely to fit inside the envelope and then pops up to it’s full glory when taken out.
I hope this gives you an idea of the ease and power of the Cricut Explore Air 2. I think it’s amazing the number of things that can be done with this machine. I’m sure that I’ll be doing lots more cards and expanding into other projects.
Do you have a cutting machine that you use? Tell me about it and how you use it in the comments. If not, I highly recommend looking into a Cricut to take your crafting to another level.
Are you looking to buy one in the future? Tell me what you’re hoping to do with it. What type of projects are you interested in creating? Let me know in the comments below.