Boxes/3D Items, Cricut Projects, Product Reviews

Cricut Explore Air and First Project!

I was so thrilled to finally get the Cricut Explore Air!  I decided to go with this machine rather than the latest models because it really does everything I need for a much lower price.  I got an amazing deal at Cricut.com with over a $100 off AND FREE shipping!  I can’t guarantee that price will still be current but definitely check it out!  *be aware this deal I got does NOT include the scoring tool, so be sure to add that!  It does come with the blade already installed and a silver pen.

cricutexploreair

Everything you need to get started is in the kit (aside from the scoring tool).  You get the power plug, the USB cord, one cutting mat, a silver pen, instructions and some cardstock and other samples.  I will tell you though, the cardstock was not big enough for the sample project you are given and it tore.  So I don’t personally recommend this cardstock which I believe is Cricut’s own brand.  Just my opinion!  

cricutexploreair2

It’s a beautiful machine, very sleek!  I especially love that you no longer have to deal with choosing the pressure and speed like in the older models.  It’s all figured out for you!  You simply choose your material, cardstock, vinyl, etc, and the machine sorts it all out for you.  There are 3 storage areas, the bit on the left is a well for your pens, tools, etc to go while you are working.  Then you can store everything in the bottom of the lid in 2 areas when not using the machine!  So cool!

cricutexploreair3

One of the reasons I chose this model was that there are separate bits for the blade and the pen/scoring tools.  So you don’t have to change things out for a project (except for pen and scoring tool).  You can see the bottom storage areas in the forefront of the picture.  This model does move slower than the Explore Air 2, BUT it is much quieter and I am really not bothered about the slower speed.  

Cricut Design Space is the free software that comes with the machine.  It’s pretty easy to set this up and they lead you through the process.  Cricut has lots of tutorial videos on this, so just do a search on youtube and you can see how easy it is to use.  

CricutHoneycombboxThis is the first real project I created with my Cricut Explore Air!  Isn’t it beautiful?  With your purchase you get 2 weeks free of “Access” which is a monthly subscription service for certain images through Cricut.  I am not planning on subscribing to Access but I am enjoying sampling the projects that are offered.  In addition to Access there are tons of free images and projects.

I will tell you that the directions for this box are easy – up to a point!  They give you the cutting directions but after that you are on your own.  It did take me a while to figure this out. I might try to do a video explaining the process because I can see that people who have not made boxes before would be really confused!

I used CTMH 12 x 12 cardstock for this box, it did work, but I think it would be better with a heavier cardstock if you can find it in the right size.  It’s a bit flimsy to be honest!

So my final opinion is that I love this machine!  It will take some more learning of course but I don’t feel totally overwhelmed by it which is good!  And you can’t beat the price. If you are not bothered about the slower cuts (only about 50 seconds slower than the Air 2) then go with this machine.  It is nearly $100 cheaper and is the same!  

Have a great day everyone!!!

Oh and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!!!

Hugs, Beth

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