New Cricut Explore User Manual

Cricut Explore User Manual Cover

Yipee !  Cricut released a new Cricut Explore User Manual to help customers have a handy reference guide.

I made this quick video walking you through where to find the Cricut Explore User Manual on,what is covered and some tips for maximizing your Cricut Explore experience with it.

The great news is they have made it available as a downloadable PDF as well so you can download to your computer.  I even downloaded to my Ipad so now I have it whenever I need it ! You can find on their website @ Cricut Explore User Manual (click on link).

Tons of step by step information to help you get the most out of your Cricut Explore machine.  Download today to have at your finger tips.  Even if you are still just considering a purchase of the Cricut Explore you should check this out to see all it can do.

SPECIAL TIP:  The Cricut Explore User Manual PDF if about 142 pages.  Some people have taken the PDF on a flash drive to their local office supply stores and had a double sided bound black and white copy made for under $20.  Now isnt’ that a fabulous idea !

News From Cricut: Print Then Cut

I received a missive today from Cricut with an update on the new Print Then Cut Feature coming out for Cricut Explore.  I am so excited I can hardly stand it for this new feature to be added to an already awesome die cut machine !

“The Cricut Team has been hard at work developing our Print then Cut feature for Cricut Design Space.  This feature will let you easily print then cut the 50,000+ images in the Cricut library in just a few clicks using your Cricut Explore. The new feature will also work with images you import for free such as jpeg’s and svg’s.  Our latest plan is to release this feature in late September, consistent with our back half of 2014 target communicated previously.”

With this upcoming new feature of the Print Then Cut as they describe it in their missive, it will make the Cricut Explore most feature rich die cut machine on the market.  The impressive feature set will include:

  • Print Then Cut
  • Precision Cutting of huge variety of materials
  • Combined Writing and Image Cutting Feature
  • Combined Scoring and Cutting Feature
  • Ability to cut JPG and SVG files
  • Plus access of 50,000 die cut images through the Cricut Design Space Library
  • Plus outstanding customer service to help you get the most out of your Cricut Explore machine

If you have been thinking of purchasing a Cricut Explore, now is the time !

Cricut Explore Amazon

Click on photo or this HERE to see a great deal from Amazon on the Cricut Explore PLUS FREE SHIPPING !

Join us over at my Facebook group “Lets Learn Cricut Explore” to learn more about this amazing die cut machine and be inspired by the creativity of our members.

“It’s A Boy” Pop Up Box Card

You may have noticed a lot of adorable pop up box cards being shown in the crafting world lately.  They are so fun to give and receive.  I knew I just had to try my hand at making one for a special occasion, my dear friend became a grandmother for the first time recently so I made her this pop up box card.

its a boy pop up box card

These cards fold down completely flat so you can mail them too.  When you receive one, just open up the card and they POP UP !  How fun is that ???

its a boy pop up box card 2

You can make whatever die cut images you want and insert them on the cross pieces that fit inside the box that then pop up and give the box dimension.  I used some plastic packaging and Scor Tape to attach the die cut shape and then to the box. Other people use  strips of paper and that works fine as well but I found that the plastic really helps give it that extra” pop up” factor and with it being clear you hardly notice it.

The actual box shapes are easy to make as the base. You can make them using a paper trimmer and score board (click HERE for great instructions from SPLITCOAST STAMPERS) OR of course, my preferred method by using my die cut machines with an SVG file (click HERE for SVG Cuts set of 5 pop up box cards with different shaped panels).

The only problem I have with the pop up cards is that there is really no place to put a sentiment and sign the card.  So, with my handy dandy Cricut Explore I solved that problem.

Writing with Explore Precision v5 pena

Using the writing feature of the Cricut Explore, I was able to write a sentiment to add to my card.  Here you see a Pilot Precision v5 Pen being used to write.  I bought a set of these in various colors at the local office supply store. It is a super fine point and wrote beautifully.

Writing with Explore Precision v5 pen

After the writing was finished, the Cricut Explore then cut out the shape for me to use on my card.

sentiment on pop up box card

I used a little ink on the edges, adhered the sentiment to a cardstock mat to match the design and adhered to the back of the box card.

I was so happy when my friend let me know how excited she was to receive this card along with the gift I sent for her first grandson.

So, I have now made a girl pop up, a birthday pop up and a graduation pop up.  I have gone “Pop Up” crazy in my craftroom.  So are you tempted to make one yourself ?  Come on, give it a try ! 

How to Make Shadow Font Cut Out Card

Font Shadow Cut Birthday Card When you first get your Cricut Explore and fire it up, they have a Thank You Card that pops up for you to make.  It is really cool using two great features of the Cricut Explore… using a pen to write and then cutting out the shadow of the letters all at the same time.

Card showing cut and drawing from Cricut Explore

We were so excited about the possibilities of this.  However, Cricut did not release a way for you to customize and make your own words using this kind of design feature.  But never fear, some of us have “cracked the code” and come up with an alternative way to do this for anything your heart desires.

You need a few things to do this:

  • You need to have access to Cricut Chalkboard Font Cartridge.  (As of this writing, I have not tested this yet with other Chalkboard fonts you can find elsewhere on the internet).  
  • You need to have access to Cricut Design Space and your Cricut Explore
  • Cardstock – two different colors (so you see the contrast )
  • Pen - that fits in the Cricut Explore  (use the one it came with like I did) 
  • Cricut Cutting Mat
  • Cricut Tool Kit (great for lifting project off mat and poking out the cut outs)

Now, watch this video I made showing you step by step how to do this.  You will be amazed at how easy it was and start making all kinds of cards this way.

CLICK ON THIS LINK to access the Happy Birthday card file I created to share.  It will pop up in your Cricut Design Space and you can save the file for later use. Note: You will need to have access to both the Cricut Chalkboard Cartridge and the Billionaire Cartridge to make this exact card file work. (That’s what is so great about the subscription to Cricut Design Space because you get access to lots and lots of cartridges.) 

CLICK ON THIS LINK  to access the file I created of the Blank 5X7 card base with score line that anyone with Cricut Explore can cut.

P.S.  If you share either of these files, please give me credit for the design, thank you.

Happy Die Cutting,  Debbie


Cricut Design Space Updates

CDS Update 4.15.14

The very first update to Cricut Design Space, the online software used with Cricut Explore, was released on April 15th.  And there were some awesome changes made that customers had asked Cricut to make via surveys they had sent out a couple of weeks ago.  I am truly impressed with how Cricut has been so responsive to the needs of customers via this update and the incredible Customer Support they have been providing not only during the week but also many weekends.

Here is a list of a few of the highlights that were updated changes:

  • Grid for mat was darkened to make it more visable
  • Delete uploaded images is possible now
  • No more need to ungroup to attach fonts to projects
  • Color Picker added so you have more choices
  • Image labels were changed to blue for easier viewing
  • All cartridges can now be linked even if you have the subscription
  • Material saver mode is automatically arranged on the cutting mat
  • Wide images will automatically rotate so they fit on 12X24 mat size
  • A single layer in a multi-layer font can now be attached and cut individually
  • Changing canvas size for certain projects was fixed
  • Text size will now remain unchanged after ungrouping a multi-layer font

Watch the video I made of the changes in Cricut Design Space:

There were a couple of other things I didn’t point out in the video that were added:

Image Status Change

They also added more images to the cartridge icons so they were more identifiable at first glance.  Hope they fix the few others that are still all black…we like color !

Another tip I wanted to point out was when you hover over an image, you will see the name of the image set/cartridge that image is in. That is actually a link you can click on and it will open up all the images within that cartridge.

individual images finding sets

So, lots of good things changed in the software and more are to come.  Ashish Arora, CEO of Cricut said they will do updates every 10 to 12 weeks to continue to add features to Cricut Design Space based on customer needs.  What a welcome change to the old way Cricut did requested updates. 

We also can look forward soon to the release of the Blue Tooth device (purchase separately) to enable our Cricut Explore to communicate with the iPAD to use with the Make It Now Projects.  And later in the year, we are awaiting the Print N Cut Feature being added to Cricut Design Space so more fun things to learn in the future too.

So,what was your favorite feature added to Cricut Design Space? What else do you want to see added?

New Cricut Explore Details Released

Provo Craft released a NEW Cricut machine on Monday evening prior to the altitudesummit blogging conference in Salt Lake City, Utah.  The new machine is called the Cricut Explore and is the next evolution of crafting machine for Provo Craft..

close up photo of Cricut Explore

The New Cricut Explore Facts:

  • It will cut SVG, JPGS, TFF files (true type font files), etc.
  • It will use and cut actual Cricut Cartridge plugged in to the machine or from library
  • It will cut up to 12X24
  • It will cut and draw at the same time OR cut and emboss at the same time
  • It will have a new software format called Cricut Design Space. It is different from CCR
  • It will have hundreds of pre-loaded project images for you to choose from and has project details that when you select it will automatically place images on your cutting screen…and populate however many mats you would need to complete each image of the project
  • It will have a subscription library of images for purchase. 50,000 image library for 99 cents an image OR purchase a monthly subscription of 25,000 images for $9.99 that you can cancel at any time
  • It will be wifi enabled so no more cords…wireless bluetooth device will be available a few weeks after launch for separate purchase (no price mentioned as of this posting)
  • It will allow you to create and cut using an iPad Table (no other tablet was mentioned as of this posting)
  • It will have new cutting blade technology with more precision than older blade model and have a longer life per cuts
  • It will have a state of the art turn dial system for selecting your cut settings which will automatically adjust the pressure, speed and depth of the machine and blade.
  • It will have a way for you to add custom cut settings in addition to the pre-programmed cut settings
  • It will be quieter cutting than any other machine Provo Craft has ever released
  • It will have an on-board tool holder at back of the machine and space underneath to slide mats under
  • It will be released on HSN on or around February 12 and other retailers in March.
  • MSRP is $299…no idea yet what HSN special launch price will be or include as of this posting (will update when news is available)

Other news of note:  The talented designer, Anna Griffin be doing the Cricut Explore launch on HSN in February, along with Beth of Aint She Crafty Blog

View the Keynote presentation by Provo Craft CEO Ashish Arora of the Cricut Explore and how the new software, Cricut Design Space works …well worth the 20 minutes to watch it.  It was filmed at the event and posted by Joy Tracy of Obsessed with Scrapbooking.  Joy did a fabulous job recording this and giving us all the scoop on the new machine.  You can visit her blog at Obsessed with Scrapbooking as she reveals more details during the event on Tuesday as the bloggers attending get to try out the new machine.

Here are some detail photos others bloggers who attended the event posted at #explorecricut

settings image                The Cut Settings Turn Dial  for the Cricut Explore lets you select                     pre-set cut types and allows you to customize other settings


Card showing cut and drawing from Cricut Explore

                                      Attendees were given a card showing the use of                                            Cut and Draw Feature that can be done at the same time since the Cricut Explore has two carriage housing – one for cutting blade plus one for either drawing tool or embossing tool

Place Setting made with Cricut Explore

Place setting at AltSummit Event using Cricut Explore …look at all that detail!

Cricut Explore


  • Smart Set™ dial for material selection
  • Dual carriage heads
  • Integrated storage compartments
  • Cricut Design Space™ software
  • 50+ free project ideas
  • 100+ free images
  • Compatible with PC/Mac
  • Included in the box:
    • Cricut Explore™ machine
    • German carbide blade
    • Metallic silver pen
    • USB cord and power cord
    • 12″ x 12″ StandardGrip Cricut® cutting mat
    • Getting started guide
    • Black and jade Cricut® cardstock
    • Silver Cricut® vinyl
    • White Cricut® iron-on
    • 2 Duck Tape® sheets

So this seems pretty exciting in the Cricut world…what are you thinking now that we know more details ?  Are you tempted to purchase ?  If not, why not ?