This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.
I’ve had my Cricut Explore Air 2 for a few months now and I am officially in love with it. Today I’m sharing 5 Things I Love About My Explore Air 2 + DIY Christmas Graphic Tee tutorial just in time for the holidays. Have you been thinking about buying and Explore Air 2, but have been hesitant? Hopeful after reading this post and seeing how easy it is to make fun projects at home, you’ll be sold. If you still have questions just ask in the comments and I’ll be happy to answer them.
5 Things I Love About My Explore Air 2
1 – The Quality Every project whether working with fabric, leather, chipboard, card stock or otherwise comes out looking like something I could have purchased in a store. This personalized mug I made look exactly like ones I’d buy as gifts, but I was able to make it with the Explore Air 2. 2 – Unlimited Possibilities There are thousands of fonts, shapes and images in Design Space that allow me to create virtually anything my creative imagination can think up. One project in particular was this gamer kit I made for my husband in Design Space. Using the images I created a custom vinyl for the gamer box, tee and water bottle for this project. If you’re not crafty, there are also thousands of ready-made-projects available in Design Space that other creatives have thought up and shared. 3 – It’s Beginner Friendly A lot of people feel intimidated by the Cricut Explore Air 2. I was those people. The projects I’ve seen people make with this machine before I got one led me to think using it would be complicated, but that’s so far from the truth. My husband who has never made a craft in the 20 years we’ve been together made this shirt for himself. So when I tell you the Explore Air 2 is user friendly I mean it. Getting started and using the Cricut Explore Air 2 is easy. The box includes step by step instructions to set up the machine within minutes. Once you’re set up there are tons of step by step tutorials on Circuit’s YouTube page that walk you through projects. It’s not like you buy the machine and you’re on your own. There are a ton of resource on the Cricut platform to guide the process. 4 – It’s Cute! The Cricut Explore Air 2 comes in so many cute colors. They all have the same features but you can choose the color that fits best in your space. My office color pallet includes gold, light blue, aqua and white so my mint Cricut fits right in. Being able to choose the Cricut color that represents my space makes me love it even more. 5 – It’s Fast! Creating projects don’t have to be an all day event with the Explore Air 2. Many projects can be cranked out within minutes of me finalizing my design. A typical tee shirt takes me about 60 minutes to create start to finish and I know that time will decrease the more I use the machine. At this point I’ve only done a few projects so at this point I’m still triple checking the instructions before I start. Once I’ve done more projects and know the step like the back of my hand creating them will be even faster. Something else that’s fast are the cut modes. On some projects I have the option of speeding up the cutting process. I always go with this option when it’s available.
I feel under qualified even sharing a tutorial because I am still so new to using my Explore Air 2, but do you guys see how amazing this turned out. I still don’t believe I made it. When I tell you the Explore Air 2 creates quality results if you follow the instructions I meant it.
- Explore Air 2
- Cricut EasyPress Mat, 12″ x 12″
- Cricut EasyPress™ 2
- Infusible Ink™ Transfer Sheets (red)
- Infusible Ink™ Transfer Sheets (green)
- Infusible Ink™ Transfer Sheet Patterns, Buffalo Check
- Butcher paper (comes inside Infusible Ink pack)
- Cricut T-Shirt Blank
- Cardstock (80 lb.), White (colored cardstock not recommended)
- Lint roller
- Design Space® software on mobile device or computer
I created the design for this DIY Graphic Tee in Design Space using Christmas tree images under the “image” icon. I duplicated the tree three times and switched the colors to help visualize what the end result would look like. You can access and use my design for free with this link. For the middle tree I used Buffalo Check Infusible Ink, but that color isn’t available in Design Space so I used red in my design to differentiate during the cutting process. I went back to the images section and found the word “Christmas” written in a font I liked and added it to the design. Next I measured the chest area of my medium size tee to determine the length and width of each image. Once I was satisfied I hid everything on the design except for the two green trees. To hide aspects on the design, find the design element on the right side of the page and click on the eye and the image will disappear from view. I made my first two tree cuts on the green Cricut Infusible Ink. I made sure to “mirror” all of these designs since they’d be used for an iron on project. Then I went in and hid the two green trees and cut the red tree onto the Buffalo check infusible ink paper. Next I went back to the design, hid everything and made only the word “Christmas” visible. I placed the red Cricut Infusible Ink on my cutting mat and ran it through the Explore Air 2. Weeding As you ca see from my supply photo I intended to use weeding tools, but Cricut Infusible Ink Paper doesn’t require weeding tools. The negative part of the design peel right off when weeded by hand leaving a crisp image to iron on. Instructions
- Heat Cricut EasyPress™ 2 to 385°.
- Place heating mat under the t-shirt.
- Place card stock inside of the shirt. This is to prevent bleeding onto the mat or the back of the shirt.
- Roll the t-shirt with the lint roller.
- Place butcher paper on top of the tee and warm the shirt for 15 second. Remove butcher paper and let the shirt cool.
- Place the first design face down and cover with butcher paper larger than the EasyPress 2 heat plate.
- Press for 40 seconds. Don’t not slide the heat plate.
- Slowly remove the press. Try not to lift the butcher paper or design. Let everything cool completely. Once completely cool, remove the butcher paper and design.