Creating with Cricut is Easy!

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We recently took a trip to Colorado to visit my son's family.  My son made arrangements for us to stay with a friend. Our hostess, Carol, really was a great hostess. Her family was raised so they had guest rooms available.  In the morning when we came up stairs to leave for the day's festivities, she offered to make us breakfast. Sitting in the kitchen I saw her handywork. On her wall she had her weekly menus for each day. Each menu was hand printed on a business card sized card and stored in a plastic "Really Useful Box," (0.3 liter size) I asked if I could use the idea and she said yes. 

Each card was stored in the box. To display the daily menus, she slipped the menu cards into a plastic nametag holder (with a pinned back) that was pinned to a strip of quilted fabric. Each nametag had a day of the week in vinyl lettering. Carol said she had bought the lettering for her her box and days of the week pre-made. So, when I got home, I started hunting for the lettering, namtag holders and everything box in the right size.  The nametag holders and everything box were found at a local office supply. The lettering was just nowhere to be found.  I went to office supplies, scrapbooking, and three big box craft stores. At Hobby Lobby a clerk came up to me and offereed help. We looked to no avail. Then she asked if I had a Cricut. YES!  Then she got out her cellphone from her locker and came out and showed me how to use Design Space to create my own. I wish I had thought about that before I spent hours driving from store to store looking for what I needed. This DIY was my first self designed project. It was Easy Peasy!

Log in to Design Space.  Design Space works on you tablet, phone, or computer. The Cricut Explore Air 2 has built in Bluetooth, but it also has a a cord that can connect to your computer through an USB.

Set up your machine and plug it into an electrical outlet.

Set the Smart Set Dial to vinyl and the Cricut Explore Air II will automatically adjust the pressure of the blade for a good cut.

Cricut Explore Air II  
Smart Set Dial

Loading Vinyl onto the Cutting Mat

Remove the protective cover to the cutting mat.

Load the Cricut Vinyl to the cutting mat.  Align the vinyl with the top edge of the mat, just below the green stip.  

Tip: To keep the vinyl from prematurely attaching to the mat and too keep it smooth, have your machine open and extend the vinyl over the machine (lightly) and slowly attach the vinyl to the mat as shown on the left.

Tip: Attaching Vinyl Smoothly

Loading the Mat 

I love this loading feature---Feed Guides.  

When you load your mat, you slip them under the two feed guides (one on each side- I am pointing to one of the feed guides). These two feed guides keep your mat and project safe by helping feed the mat through the machine evenly!

Cutting is as easy as 1, 2, 3...

Step One

Click the Power Button and Click "Make it" on the Design space screen to load the your design from your Design Space to your machine.

I have added pink arrows to the picture.

1. Power Button (at the top).
2. Load Button (to load your mat).
3. Pause Button if you need to stop the machine.

Step Two

Click the Load Button.

Step Three

Click the Start Button.​

The mat will automatically feed as the machine does the cutting!  Sooo nice!

Weeding the design and attaching the transfer paper is a cinch!

Using the weeding tool, weed out the vinyl that is not part of your design.

Here is the weeded out design.

Cut Transfer Paper to size and attach to Vinyl.

Attaching the design is a breeze.

Smooth the transfer paper onto the design with the scraper tool.

Remove the paper backing.

Carefully place the design on the project and smooth the design with the scraper until the vinyl is firmly attached.

-Voila!  This is the finished project. The menu box is to store business card sized cards with the menu for one meal. Then they are stored in this box behind index tabs: Quick Dinner, Chicken, Beef,  Pork, Crockpot, etc. ...

More projects to come. I will make the daily menu card holders. I can also design the menu cards and the Cricut Explore Air 2 can draw the designs and cut out the cards. I have already designed the cards for another project!  My hands are happy knowing I will not have to cut each one out individually! What creative projects can you imagine making with a Cricut Explore 2?

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