Skip to Content

Cricut Explore Air: Beginner’s Guide

Sharing is caring!

This Cricut Explore Air: Beginner’s Guide will help you feel confident and ready to use your new electronic cutting machine! Whether you’re interested in paper crafts, DIY projects or home decor… this guide will help you become a pro!

Cricut Explore Air: Beginner's Guide

I’m not sure if I’ve ever told you guys, but this blog was pretty much started based off the purchase of my first Cricut! It was my first big crafting purchase, and it made me feel like I could create anything! I was so empowered that I wanted to share all of the neat things I was making.

And you guys loved them! From my daughter’s dress-up station where I used my Cricut to cut the bin labels:

girls dress up center

to so many birthday parties we’ve had over the years including my daughter’s Michael Jackson party and my son’s carnival party! I used my Cricut for everything from cake toppers to favor labels and even for the games!

Frog Jump Game

And so many more projects and decorations that I cut with the Cricut! It made quick projects so much faster and more enjoyable! And just look at that carnival game in the above picture… without my Cricut, I wouldn’t have had the dragonfly, the lilypad bases or the letters! It’s the game that Cricut built!

But, I started moving away from the Cricut after about 2 years of use, because there was one big challenge.

The cartridges.

If you’ve talked to someone who had an original Cricut, they will probably tell you all about the cartridges. The absolute best part about the Cricut Explore Air is that the cartridges are NO MORE!!

Cricut Explore Air machine with vinyl

You no longer have to use the same font or images over and over because those are the only cartridges you own. You no longer have to purchase an expensive cartridge even though there may only be one image you want on the whole thing. NO MORE!!

Cricut Explore Air: Beginner’s Guide

The Cricut Explore Air uses Design Space, which is an online software that includes over 60,000 fonts, images and patterns, so you can create to your heart’s content! Plus, you can also use any of the fonts that are already on your computer. Score!

When the Cricut Explore Air first arrived at my door, I’m going to go ahead and admit that I put off opening it for a couple weeks. It was a super busy time, and I had it in my head that I was going to have to devote an entire afternoon to unboxing, installing software and learning how to use it.

Guys, I was SO wrong and am still kicking myself for those weeks I wasted. It was incredibly easy to set up! I set a timer as soon as I started opening the box just to test myself. From unpacking it to hooking everything up, downloading Design Space, creating a project and cutting it out… was 12 minutes!!

12 minutes!!

Cricut Explore Air machine with tools

That’s insane! And certainly not the entire afternoon that I thought I would have to devote to it!

What Does the Cricut Explore Air Come With?

  • the actual Explore Air Machine
  • the power cord that runs from the Cricut to an electrical outlet
  • the USB cord that runs from the Cricut to your computer
  • a cutting mat
  • a small piece of paper that will give you the website URL you need to start using your machine. I see a lot of people confused because their new Cricut didn’t come with a manual or user’s guide. If you go to the website on the piece of paper, that will be your user guide!


How to Start Using the Cricut Explore Air

Just plug the power strip into the machine and the wall. Then plug the USB cord into the  machine and your computer. Enter the website address and follow the instructions. It gives you all the details for how to use the dial for easy materials settings, how to cut materials and ideas for quick projects.

In minutes, you’ll be on the Design Space website where you can start playing around with their fonts and images. I used some of their images for my first design and LOVED how it turned out!

How to Use Free Templates in Cricut Design Space

Another feature I love with Cricut Design Space is that they provide templates for common projects. Once you’re in Design Space, if you look on the upper left sidebar, you’ll see the templates icon to click on. There you can add a template for t-shirts (it even gives you options for v-neck, polo, etc.), baseball caps, bags and so much more!

This is a great way to see how your design is going to look laid out on the template before you actually cut your material. It helps save you from so much wasted material! More importantly, though, it helps you size things correctly!

I used to stand there with a shirt and a tape measure and have to figure out in my head what the design would look like and how much space I wanted it to take up. Now I just use the template to size my image right in Design Space! So much easier!

First Project in Cricut Design Space

Be sure to come back next week and I’ll show you the first project I made with my Cricut. I’ll give you a little sneak peek… it involves gold hedgehogs!! Eek!

And that detail?! There is not a chance I would have been cutting all these out by hand!

gold hedgehog

Easy and Quick Projects I’ve Made with my Cricut:

Resources on how others use their Cricut:

Cricut Explore Air and how to start using it immediately





This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.