Introduction to Cricut Explore: Putting it All Together

Recently Cricut launched a “Getting to know Cricut Explore” campaign to help introduce people to the new machines in the Cricut family.  As one of Cricut’s blogging affiliates they have asked me to write a post to help introduce my readers to these machines as well.  Please note, that while I do receive compensation for product bought through the links included in this post, I only recommend products I use and love myself.

This post is the final post in the the four part series.  If you missed the introductory post to this series, find it here; part 2 of this series, “Cricut Explore Air™ vs. Cricut Explore One™” can be found here; part 3, “Cricut Design Space 101” can be found here.

Today’s post will be a wrap up of everything we talked about in the first three posts.  I will review two of my favorite features and talk about a project I made with each of them.

Slice Fish Tail Banner
The “slice” tool in Cricut Design Space is one of my most frequently used.  This tool allows you to use two shapes to make a completely different shape.  The slice tool is easiest to picture as a virtual “cookie cutter”.  If you have one shape on top of another, it will “push” the top shape through the bottom one to cut a new shape.  Rather than trying to explain it further, let’s look at an example.

For my project I wanted a large sized fish tail banner.  To start ISet Canvas

used the “Set Canvas” feature to select a fish tail banner and set the size to 11″ x 11″.  This will serve as a template when I set my shapes.  Next I inserted two basic shapes, a square and a triangle.Slice Banner
I used the canvas outline as a guide to set my shapes.  Now remember, the blue triangle will be “pushed” through the gray square to cut a new shape.  Click slice.

After you delete all the pieces you don’t need you are left with a perfect fish tail banner!Banner Complete

Print then Cut 90s Photo Props
The most versatile feature of Cricut Design Space is the “Print then Cut”.  I use this feature frequently if I have a complex image with lots of layers that I do not want to cut out separately.  Or, if I have an image in mind that I do not own.

For this project I needed some amazing photo props for my friend’s 90’s throwback birthday party!  I didn’t really own very many images that I wanted to use as props, so I found some images I liked on Google. Once I found an image I liked, I saved it to my computer.
Finding Image
Next, I uploaded the saved image to my Design Space.upload image
Then I walked through the upload wizard to delete the background of the image using the “magic wand” tool.delete background
In the final step of the wizard you will see a small check box that says “preserve original image within shape”.  This is telling the Cricut if you would like to cut out a silhouette, or if you would like to print all the colors and then cut.  Make sure that box is checked for “Print Then Cut”.finish
Once all the images are uploaded to your Design Space, click Go!

Your screen will look like this:Go
The black registration marks around the images on each of your pages will help the Cricut calibrate and figure out where to cut.  Click “Print & Go”.

Your images will all be sent to your printer first, then you will be prompted to load the printed pages one at a time into your Cricut.IMG_2498w
The Cricut will then locate the registration marks and cut out each of your images.  IMG_2511wTo finish up my photo props, I just taped some simple wood skewers to each one and was done!

So there you have it from Google to party in just a few steps!

I hope these last 4 posts have been very helpful and educational.  I can’t wait to see what amazing projects you guys come up with using this helpful and really cool features.

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