Cricut Explore One Giveaway


Cricut Giveaway time!

Thanks to the lovely folks at Cricut I have a brand new Cricut Explore One to giveaway to one of my readers. So if you fancy a chance of winning a fabulous new cutting machine then read on.

(Just so that you know I do use affiliate links and there are some in this blog post).

Win A Cricut Explore One

The Prize:
As a lovely Christmas surprise there is a Cricut Explore One electronic cutting machine (RRP £199)up for grabs. I think you might even get it in time for Christmas although I can’t promise you that, however, if you did win it you would know that it was on its way wouldn’t you? How fab would that be?

The Cricut Explore range are fabulous cutting machines I have a Cricut Explore and a Cricut Explore Air. The Cricut Explore One features the same Cut Smart technology as the other machines in the Explore range which means you can cut lots of different materials.

It uses the Design Space software which gives you access to some free cutting designs as well as some designs you can buy (from 79p per image or annual subscription from £74.99). The Cricut Explore One gives you access to 25+ free Make It Now. But the biggest thing about the software is it lets you upload your own pictures and turn them into cutting files which is super cool, you can also use other cutting files such as SVGs, also super cool!

The major difference with the Cricut Explore One that I can see is that it only has the one blade arm so to write with it will be two steps and you will need to get the Pen Adaptor (priced at £8.99).

You can find projects and more inspiration on the Cricut Explore range here on my blog.

Close up of the Cricut Explore One

[photo credit: Cricut]

How To Enter:

To enter the giveaway visit the Cricut UK Website, pick a favourite design and leave a comment on this blog post saying what it is then log the entry in Rafflecopter.

You can get further entries by tweeting about the giveaway and visiting Cricut UK on facebook and logging them in Rafflecopter.

The giveaway is open until Midnight (GMT) 6th December 2015. UK Residents only please.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  • To enter visit the Cricut website and leave a comment on this post.
  • Entrants must use the Rafflecopter widget above to log their entry.
  • Giveaway closes at Midnight (GMT) 6th December 2015.
  • Entrants can gain further entries via Rafflecopter to increase their chances but this is optional.
  • One winner will receive a Cricut Explore One.
  • The prize is non-transferable and there are no cash alternatives. 
  • The Winner will be picked at random via Rafflecopter.
  • The Winner will be contacted by e-mail, if they do not reply within 28 days another winner may be chosen.
  • By submitting an entry through Rafflecopter, all entrants are acknowledging and accepting the terms and conditions for the giveaway.
  • Only open to UK residents.

So go, spread the news about the giveaway and GOOD LUCK!

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Say Hello To The Cricut Explore Air

Time for a technology update! Recently I was sent the latest model of the Cricut Explore – the Cricut Explore Air (BIG thank you Cricut!).

the new Cricut Explore Air in its box

[There are some affiliate links in this blog post, so if you buy through them I do get a small amount of money at no extra cost to yourself. Thanks for your support!]

I was hoping to have a full review post about the machine with some new makes but technical issues and time constraints threw a spanner in the works. So here is an intro to the new machine with some links to projects you can do with your new machine and some help if you are having problems with setting up your Cricut Explore Air.

I also have some pointers if you are having difficulty with the Cricut Design Space plugin on Chrome, so read on and bookmark this page for future reference!

Cricut Explore V Cricut Explore Air

If you need a full review of the Cricut Explore machine then check out this Cricut Explore Review blog post from last year.

Close up of the Cricut Explore material dial

The Cricut Explore Air differs from the the original Cricut Explore in that it now includes bluetooth in the machine itself so you are able to cut remotely/ wirelessly from your PC or from an iPad with the Cricut App. Yeah, no Android app at the moment – us Android folks are always the last to get the apps developed by the US craft companies *sigh*!

If you have the Cricut Explore and you want to go remote/wireless than get yourself the Cricut Explore Wireless Bluetooth Adaptor for your Cricut Explore. I don’t think there is much else different between the new Air and the original Explore.

But if you have an older Cricut, you are a Cricut fan and you are looking for a new machine then it might be time to update to the Cricut Explore Air.

Cricut Design Space Software Insert image page

Having Problems With Chrome And Cricut Design Space Plugins?

The Cricut Explore Air uses the same cloud-based software as the original machine and if, like me, you had problems updating to the new software due to issues with your browser, then follow the Cricut instructions for your browser found on the Cricut Support page.

You will need this for both the Cricut Explore Air and the original Explore, but a little warning: I still had problems, even following the instructions. The Cricut plugin was not listed on Chrome (one of the later steps in the instructions), but I did a full system reboot (turned my computer off and on again!) and visited the plugin page again and it was listed after the reboot.

Using the Cricut Explore pen to draw

OK, Plugin Is Updated But It Can’t See The Cricut Explore Air Via My PC!

I also had to do a little bit of troubleshooting to get the Cricut Design Space Software to recognise the new Cricut Explore Air. It wasn’t too difficult to overcome but it isn’t mentioned in the setup instructions.

In the Cricut setup instructions, they tell you to use the USB connection that comes with the machine to connect to your PC.

If you follow the instructions but can not get the Cricut Design Space Software to see your new Cricut Explore Air, then turn on the Bluetooth in your PC and link up that way. The four-digit pin you need for the Cricut Explore Air to communicate with your PC is in the iPad setup instructions!

YAY! At Last, The Projects!

Now that I am all systems go, I look forward to sharing some Cricut Explore Air projects with you. In the meantime check out these three Cricut Explore projects that you can do with your Cricut Explore Air or Explore machine:

Journaling Cards With the Cricut ExploreDIY Stamps With the Cricut ExploreDIY Notebooks made with the Cricut Explore

and don’t forget the Cricut Explore review:

Cricut Explore review

Oh And A Twitter Party With Prizes!
If you are around from 7pm to 9pm BST tonight, 11th June 2015, then check out the CricutUK Twitter party. There will be prizes, hashtag #CricutEverywhere. See you there!


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DIY Notebooks Tutorial With The Cricut Explore

Are you ready for another DIY tutorial using the Cricut Explore? Great ‘coz I’m ready too and this week I’ve been making DIY notebooks and journals using the Cricut Explore. But before I show you how, you might want to catch up with my other How-Tos with the Cricut Explore this month so check out my Journaling cards and the Stamps tutorials for more DIY fun.

Let’s get started shall we?

DIY Notebooks made with the Cricut Explore

[There are some affiliate links in this blog post, so if you buy through them I do get a small amount of money at no extra cost to yourself. Thanks for your support!]

You Will Need:

Cricut Explore

Cricut Design Space

Cricut Explore mat
Cricut Explore basic tools

Cricut Explore Scoring tool

Paper and thin cardstock

Needle / coloured thread

Paper piercer


Cricut design space workspace

1. Open up the Cricut Design Space software and start a new project. Insert a square with rounded corners, I’ve used #M46C02 and ungrouped the layers then made the bottom layer visible and deleted it. Resize the square to make your notebook cover, I want a 5 inch x 7 inch notebook so I made the square 10 inch x 7 inch. Use the numbers in the box when you pull the corner to help you size the shape or use the ‘Size’ option in the ‘Edit’ window.

Adding a score line in Cricut design space workspace

2. There is a rather handy free score line if you search for #M48E16, I found it using the keyword ‘line’ in the search box. Insert the score line and resize it to fit the height of your notebook. Now here is the tricky bit. There are no centering or alignment tools in Cricut Design Space (or at least I’ve not found them) so you need to do a bit of jiggery pokery (official crafting term) to get the fold line in the centre of the notebook cover.

The easiest way I found was to move the notebook cover shape so that it is up against the ruler on the left-hand side then select the score line and move it left or right, as needed, with your mouse. As you move it a box will tell you where the line is on the workspace so use this to place the line exactly halfway on your notebook cover, so for my case when the X coordinate hits 5 inch. Alternatively use the ‘Position’ option in the ‘Edit’ window and change the X coordinate directly.

If there is an easier method please do let me know!

Placing the score line in the Cricut design space

3. My next step is a lazy step and you can skip this one if you like and go straight to step 4. For my lazy step I decided I wanted the machine to ‘tell’ me where to place my holes to bind my book, so I inserted another score line, turned it 90 degrees and decreased its size until it was just a long dot. I then copied and pasted it and placed both notches along my centre score line in the positions that I wanted to stab my holes. You might need to use the zoom to help you do all this.

These little notches become very hard to see so once you have them in place group them together to make them easier to move around.

Placing the images in the Cricut design space

4. Now that you have your cover, how about some inside papers for your notebook? For your basic inner pages copy and paste the cover page then resize the copy to be slightly smaller than the cover, I went for 9.81 inch x 6.81 inch. You are going to need to re-size and re-centre your score line, just do what you did for the cover, but take into account the change in size.

Tip – if you used the notches trick from Step 3 to help you with the placing of your holes when you come to bind the book then make sure the cover notches are grouped together then copy and paste them. Place them so that the top one is the same distance from the top of the page as the bottom one is from the bottom of the page, but make sure you don’t resize them. This means that the holes in the inside pages will be in the same position as they are on the cover even though the cover is bigger than the internal pages. I hope that makes sense.

You can now add some cut-out shapes to your internal pages to make them even more funky! Insert an image or two and use the ‘Contour’ button in the ‘Layers’ Window to remove any lines you don’t want to cut by clicking on them to ‘turn them off’, then click ‘Contour’ again and select the image and the page layer and ‘Weld’ them together by clicking the ‘Weld’ option in the ‘Layers’ window or use ‘Weld’ in the right mouse button drop down list.

Cutting in the Cricut design space

Troubleshooting – if you press the ‘Go’ button but the ‘Mat Preview’ window doesn’t load properly and just hangs. You might also spot an orange message appearing underneath it saying ‘Global Flex Error’ (nicely hidden, so you might have to move the window down to see it). Try going back to your project workspace and making any hidden layers that you don’t want visible, ungroup them and delete them.

5. To cut out and score your notebook pages and covers don’t forget to select your cover or page shape, the centre score line and any notches you have made and attach them together before pressing ‘Go’ then follow the instructions to cut and score. Remember also to put your score tool into clamp ‘A’ on the machine!

Stitching the DIY notebook together

6. Once you have cut your cover and pages fold them and place them inside one another, then line up the internal pages with the cover page and punch a hole where the notches indicated, or if you didn’t use the notches trick use a ruler to help place the holes.

Tip – If you are using a thicker paper or card you might need to punch the holes individually on a couple of pages at a time and then put them together and align the holes.

adding a knot to the DIY notebook

7. Use a needle and thread to thread through the holes and then tie a slip knot. Tighten the slip knot as much as you can and then tie the two ends together with a permanent knot. Trim the threads as needed, I kept mine quite long. I also tied my knots on the outside of the books as I like the look, but you can always tie them on the inside of your book to hide them.

Covers of the DIY Cricut Explore notebooks

Now all you need to do is decorate the cover and start using them!

Inside of the DIY Cricut Explore notebooks

Do you recognise these cut-outs? They are die-cut files I made from my doodles and I show you how in my DIY Stamp making tutorial.

DIY Cricut Explore notebooks

Regular readers of my blog will know that I am a bit of a notebook and journal fanatic, so these are a great addition to my ever growing collection! Now I just need to decide what to put in them! What about you? What use would you like to make a notebook for?


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Like this? You might also like: 

Cricut Explore reviewJournaling Cards With the Cricut ExploreDIY Stamps With the Cricut Explore

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DIY Stamps Tutorial With The Cricut Explore

Welcome back to my DIY with the Cricut Explore series for this month where I share some tutorials for projects you can do with your Cricut Explore. If you haven’t seen it already, check out my first instalment with the DIY Journaling Cards.


Today I thought I would share some tips for DIY stamps.


DIY Stamps with the Cricut Explore

[There are some affiliate links in this blog post, so if you buy through them I do get a small amount of money at no extra cost to yourself. Thanks for your support!]



You Will Need:

Cricut Explore

Cricut Design Space

Cricut Explore basic tools

Cricut Explore Mat
Craft foam

Cricut Deep Housing and Blade (optional)

Inks – variety of colours

Card blanks – white, kraft

Poster board / Art board

Pen / pencil

Scanner / photo-editing software



Drawing images to upload into the DIY Stamps with the Cricut Explore software


1. Start with a doodle! Doodle out some designs, use a black pen or start with a pencil then go over the lines with a pen. Then scan the picture and save it on your computer.


Cleaning images to upload into the DIY Stamps with the Cricut Explore software


2. Use your photo editing software to crop the scan if you need to. It is better to work on one sketch at a time if you want them to be individual cutting files. I’ve used Adobe Photoshop Elements but there is plenty of free photo-editing software out there to use.


Once you have your image, save it and log in to the Cricut Design Space, pick ‘Create New Project’ and go to the ‘Upload Image’ option in the left-hand menu of the workspace. A window opens with two choices: pick the ‘Basic Upload’ option on the left then on the next page click the ‘Continue to Step 1’ button to get to your image upload page.


uploading images into Cricut Design Space


3. Use the ‘Browse’ button to find your saved file on your computer; once you have selected it, you will see it as a thumbnail on the left. I used a simple black and white image so picked the ‘Simple Image’ option, but make a judgement based on the type of picture you are using as to what level you are going to need. Then click the ‘Continue to Step 2’ for the next part.


processing images into Cricut Design Space


4. Your image will open in the clean up window and you can now get rid of the areas you don’t want in the image and remove any extra lines if you need to. Choose ‘Select and Delete’ if it isn’t already selected and move your cursor over the unwanted areas, which are the white areas in my image, and click on them to remove them.


Don’t forget all those little unwanted areas in the pattern. Use the zoom in and out if you have a problem seeing the little areas. You can also crop if you need to and use the erase option to remove sections. Once you are happy, use the preview to check that you haven’t missed anything.


saving images into Cricut Design Space


5. Then click ‘Continue to Step 3’ and you can now name and use keywords to tag your new image. Once you have saved your image, you can find it listed in the ‘Upload Image’ section, but you will also be able to search for it by name, keywords or the design number it has been given in the ‘Insert Images’ option too when you are logged into your account – pretty cool!


To insert your new image just click on it as you do with the other images.


OK, so you have your fabulous new images, so what about these stamps I mentioned at the start? To make my stamps I used craft foam (aka funky foam, or fun foam). Yes, the Cricut Explore can cut craft foam but I have a couple of tips to help you cut it.


Using uploaded images into Cricut Design Space


6. I fiddled about a lot to get as smooth a cut as I could. If you have ever cut craft foam with an electronic cutting machine, then you will know that you normally have to tear the die-cut away from the excess foam as it doesn’t cut all the way through and it can leave a jagged-looking edge. I don’t have the Cricut Deep Cut Housing and Blade and I imagine that it might be easier to cut the foam with this. Do let me know if you have cut foam with the Deep Cut blade.


So my settings are for cutting craft foam using the standard blade and housing.


Tip – Try using a thinner foam, around 1mm thick, and if your foam is thicker then pass your funky foam through a manual die-cutting machine to compress it a bit. I did this and it worked a treat!


Send your image to the machine to cut by clicking the ‘Go’ button, work through the Mat Preview to the Cut Preview, load the mat with the foam attached and choose the ‘Custom’ option on the dial on the machine.


Making custom cuts in Cricut Design Space


7. Click the ‘Materials Settings’ button and then ‘Add Material’ to set the pressure to around 330 using the slide bar and the Multicut to x4 from the drop-down window. Name the new material setting and save it then click ‘Done’ and cut as normal. Once the cutting is over, take the foam off the cutting mat and carefully peel the die-cut away from the excess foam as needed.


Tip – if the markings left by the rollers in the foam annoy you, turn the foam over and use the back of the die-cut.


DIY Stamps made using the Cricut Explore


8. Stick your new stamps to a piece of poster board or art board then ink them up and stamp, stamp, stamp!


Greeting cards made with the DIY stamps




If you could make any stamp you want, what would it be? Do let me know in the comments below.


Thanks for popping by.




UPDATE 4/10/18: If you are looking for materials for making your own stamps in a cutting machine then try the Silhouette Stamp making Material:

…Buy from Amazon: UK | US | CAN


Like this? You might also like:

Cricut Explore reviewJournaling Cards With the Cricut ExploreDIY Notebooks made with the Cricut Explore


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DIY Journaling Cards Tutorial With The Cricut Explore

I have been putting the Cricut Explore through its paces this week and what a fun week it has been. The more I do the more I want to do! Yep, definitely loving this machine. So do you want to see what I have been up to? I’m going to share a few Cricut Explore DIY project tutorials with you this month starting with this…

 DIY Journaling Cards with the Cricut Explore

[There are some affiliate links in this blog post, so if you buy through them I do get a small amount of money at no extra cost to yourself. Thanks for your support!]

DIY Journaling cards, project life cards, journal cards, or whatever you like to call them, are super simple with the Cricut Explore and once you have started you ain’t gonna want to stop!

You will need:

Patterned paper


Cricut Explore

Cricut Design Space 

Pen to fit the Cricut Explore

Cricut Explore mat 
Cricut Explore basic tools

Cricut Design Space Software Insert image page

1. Open up the Cricut Design Space and login, if you aren’t logged in already. Start a new project and insert a square (I used #M46C02) and then make both layers visible and resize the shape to 3 inch by 4 inch. Ungroup the shape and resize the nested journal card shape to approx 2.45 inch by 3.45 inch. 

If you have used a square that doesn’t already have a layer then just copy and paste it, then resize the copy to fit inside the first.

Cricut Design Space Software workspace page

2. Once you are happy with your journaling card sizes, select both shapes by clicking outside the shape and holding the left-hand mouse button down to drag the select box over both shapes, or by clicking on the shapes in the ‘Layers’ window and holding the CTRL button as you select both shapes (sorry Mac users, I don’t know if this is the same for you guys).

With both shapes selected, either right button click and select ‘Weld’ from the drop-down menu or use the ‘Weld’ option in the ‘Layers’ window.

Ta-da! You have a border / frame!

Cricut Design Space Software Insert image page

3. You can now put in it all sorts of things! Go on have a go! I was looking for words for my journal / Project Life cards. You can of course write them yourself with the ‘Add Text’ option; remember, you can now use all the typefaces you already have on your computer – Score! 

But for mine I thought I would use some of the word art already in the Cricut Library, so after clicking the ‘Insert Image’ button, I searched for ‘hello’ and spotted #M3049A. 

Welding images in the Cricut Design Space Software

4. Move and resize the word to fit the journal card frame, then select all the shapes and weld them together.

OK, so that is pretty cool. But this next bit is way cooler! Copy and paste your new card and click on the little ‘Cut icon’ circle on the copied hello journal card layer in the ‘Layers’ window. A little side window pops up with a colour palette and three little icon circles at the top in the ‘Line Type’ option. Click on the middle icon that looks like a pen nib. 

It’s magic! You have just converted your die-cut journaling card into a written journaling card!

Making journaling cards in the Cricut Design Space Software

5. To make it into a complete journal card that cuts out, just make another journaling card blank, just as before, size it to 3 inch by 4 inch and resize the written design inside, then select both the blank card and the nested written design and either right button click and select ‘Attach’ or use the ‘Attach’ option in the ‘Layers’ window.

There you go – it’s a written journal card ready to cut and write.

MASSIVE TIP: Whatever you do, make sure that you save regularly whilst working on your projects in Cricut Design Space! Yeah, I found this out to my cost when they did some maintenance work on the website but had only let folks know through Facebook *sigh* #notahappybunny. Really hope they start using in-program warnings for those who aren’t looking at their Facebook page at the right time!

But all is forgiven ‘coz look at all these…

all the journaling cards in the Cricut Design Space Software

Oh yes, I might have gotten a bit carried away!

Using the Cricut Explore pen to draw

Oh and another super tip…something looking familiar about the pens below?

Pens you can use with the Cricut explore

You get a silver medium nib Cricut pen with your machine, and I’ve been really lucky and got sent some more of the metallic pens which I am super grateful for, but I really needed a black thin nib pen – I know, so ungrateful! Then I realised that something looked really familiar about the pen that came with the Cricut Explore, it is the same design as some of the American Crafts pens. So if you have some Slick writers or Galaxy markers, they will work beautifully! YAY! 

Having said that, I have so got my eye on the Cricut Antiquity Colour Pen Set, love those colours!

Journaling cards made with the Cricut Explore

I’ll be back next Friday with another Cricut Explore DIY tutorial so do drop on by and in the meantime let me know what you want to do with your machine. What will be the first thing you will make?

Catch you later.


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Like this? You might also like: 

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Monster Truck Craft Fun With The Cricut Explore

Hey gorgeous Friday craft fluff bundles I have a catch-up make for you today. Do you remember my Cricut Explore review from last week? Well here is one of the first cards I made with the Cricut Explore a few weeks ago. It is a card for a Monster Truck-crazy nephew.

[There are some affiliate links in this blog post, so if you buy through them I do get a small amount of money at no extra cost to yourself. Thanks for your support!]

I’ve actually sanded down the tyre inserts, but I’m not sure you can see that in the photos. It was a fun card to create and really quick too. The monster truck comes from the Father’s Day cartridge which you can find if you search on the Cricut website or search for #M46FB8 if you are going through Cricut Design Space.

I’m planning to put together some tutorials and how to’s for the Cricut Explore so watch this space and if you haven’t seen my review yet then pop on over to my Cricut Explore Review blog post from 7th May

Catch you later.


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Cricut Explore – Electronic Cutting Machine Review

Say ‘hello’ to the newest electronic cutting machine on the market – the Cricut Explore. Launching on the UK Market this month this newest member of the Provo Craft die-cutting range boasts a total design reboot. 

I was lucky enough to get the full scoop at the April 2014 UK blogger launch event along with some other crafty and lifestyle bloggers and I thought I would share with you some of my initial thoughts and news about the new machine. 

The cricut Explore machine

I’m super-excited to share this with you, as you know I’ve been playing with a few of the different electronic cutting machine on the market so it is great to be in a position to compare and contrast and share the results with you guys.

Well from first look I was impressed. You can tell from when you open the box that a lot of care has gone into making the Cricut Explore an easy, take from the box and start cutting experience. There is very little set up and it is very intuitive so you don’t have lots of manuals to read or videos you have to watch to be able to set up and get cutting straight away.

Summer project inspiration from the Cricut team

From the blogger event in April (where all the gorgeous inspirational projects you can see here and made by Suzie Candlin were from) you could tell that they are aiming this machine towards contemporary crafters who are interested in home decor and items for friends and family.

When you download the Cricut Design Space software this becomes obvious again as there are many canvas options from baby grows to foot wear and lots in between available to help you create. But of course their Papercrafter audience are catered to as well, with card blanks and Scrapbook layouts and the like.

Wedding project inspiration from the Cricut team

The machine itself is beautifully designed with a smooth one-touch open, a covered slot for your Cricut cartridges if you have them, places to store tools and spare blades and even a carry bag to house it in. But most impressive of all is the simple dial system or ‘Cut Smart Technology’ for setting the material type you want to cut. 

So no more setting the depth of the blade or even worrying about the speed as the software and machine do this all for you, all you have to do is turn the dial on the machine to the material you are cutting. Apparently it can cut to a thickness of 1 mm or 2 mm if it is a less dense material.

Close up of the Cricut Explore material dial

The guys from Cricut were very proud of the fact that a lot of research and development has gone into this machine including talking to crafters about what they want from an electronic cutting machine, which sounds great for us! 

So far I’ve only cut card and paper but when I have time I shall do some experimenting for you with different materials. I’ve got a ton of projects I want to do and when (if) we eventually move house, I will be running the machine to its limits I can tell you, every room will have something Cricut Explored!

All the materials the cricut can cut

Another thing that I love about this machine is that it has two clamps, one for your cutting blade and one for your pen or scoring tool! How cool? So you can do both in one pass and without having to take out the blade to put a pen in. 

Close-up of the Cricut Explore Pen and knife holder

So yes, I am loving the Cricut Explore machine, however, I’m a little disappointed that they haven’t done more to the software. I am not a big fan of the previous Cricut software Cricut Craftroom and apart from a few things the new software Cricut Design Space isn’t much of an improvement. 

But let’s look at the positives of the Cricut Design Space first. The biggest update to the software is that you can now use your own designs to make cutting files – what? WHAT? I know! Cool! I love making my own cutting files and now you can upload an image as a JPG, GIF, PNG or BMP file and convert it to a cutting file or you can upload any of the SVG or DXF  files you have. Wahoo! Very, very happy about that!

Cricut Design Space Software first page

The other nice thing about Cricut Design Space is that they have bought it up to date with an easy to navigate, cleaner look. Finally another great improvement is that you can now write or cut any of the typefaces you already have loaded on your computer, before you could only use the alphas that they offered you and you had to own them to be able to cut them.

Cricut Design Space Software workspace page

But some of the down points. First of all I find the software too simple and get annoyed that you can’t draw items in it, any shape you want to use you have to insert, which also means you either have to own it to cut it or it is one that you have uploaded yourself and converted to a cutting file. I haven’t found a way to change the sizes to cm instead of inches and there are no alignment tools to get you shapes in the right place.

The new software is all online, like the previous version, but this time it works in your browser rather than a stand-alone window. This means that when you get updates you have to close the browser down to install it and I have actually had to reboot my computer to install the update *SIGH* computers! Also if your browser crashes so does what you are working on. Annoyed? You will be!

Cricut Design Space Software canvas page

It also means – and this is a big one – you can not design offline, you can’t access your designs if you are offline, you can not use the cutting machine if you are offline.

Ok, so some of these things I can work around and probably most users won’t even notice but it is a shame that you can not do any offline designing or store your designs on your own computer. I mean everyone is always online, right?

Project inspiration from the Cricut team

But putting those things aside I am really excited about the Cricut Explore and the fact I can now use my own designs to cut, that makes up for the stuff I don’t like about the software.

I’m hoping to share some more things with you over the next few weeks as I learn more about it and I would love to hear your views on it as well.

So here is some technical stuff if you are interested:

Size: 56.4 cm W x 15.2 cm H x 12.7 cm D (22.2″ W x 6″ H x 7″ D)

Weight: 4.94 kg (10.9 lbs)

RRP: £249.99

You can buy designs individually starting at 79p (over 50,000 in the library). Or get a one month subscription at £7.99 or a one year subscription £79.99 for access to the Cricut-branded designs which account for over 25,000 designs in the library. 

What you get in the box:

Cricut Explore Cutting Machine

Cricut Marker – Metallic Silver

Cricut Blade and housing

StandardGrip 12” by 12” cutting matt

Link address to the free Cricut Design Space software with 50 free projects

Quick setup guide

Sample materials to cut including cardstock, iron-on, vinyl and two Duck Tape sheets 

Carry bag

USB cable

Power cable

I don’t know why I like that kind of information, it is probably the scientist in me. The machine is available from Amazon.

Catch you later Cutinators.


Kim Dellow Blog post signature

[Disclaimer time: I did get a machine to play with and access to cutting files but as always my views are as unbiased as I can make them. I also have some affiliated links in this post which mean that if you click through and decide to buy I get a percentage of the sale. But it all goes to helping me run my blog as this is my full time job and I don’t endorse things I don’t use myself.]

Like this? You Might also like:

Journaling Cards With the Cricut ExploreDIY Stamps With the Cricut ExploreDIY Notebooks made with the Cricut Explore


Cricut Mini – Personal Electronic Cutter Review And Giveaway


Hey All, I have another in my series on electronic cutters for you. I’ve been recently introduced to the world of electronic cutters and I am having fun trying out and comparing different personal cutting machines; you can find my review and first tutorial on the Silhouette Cameo via this link.

Today my focus is on the Cricut Mini and have I got a treat for you!

Oo yes I’m very excited but read on and you will find out what the treat is (well if you haven’t guessed from the blog post title already!).

[There are some affiliate links in this blog post, so if you buy through them I do get a small amount of money at no extra cost to yourself. Thanks for your support!]

So as the name suggests, this is one of the smallest personal cutting machines on the market and from the Provo Craft electronic cutting machine range. It is approx. 41cm long, 18.5cm wide and 9.4cm high (16.1″ x 7.3″ x 3.69″) and weighs in at 2.38kg (5.25lbs).

According to the Cricut information, it can cut lots of different materials such as cardstock, vinyl, vellum, fabric, chipboard (probably thin chipboard, I would guess). So far I’ve only used it with cardstock and patterned paper but I will report in when I’ve cut a different material! The cutting range is 0.635cm to 29.21cm (¼” to 11 ½”) and the cutting mat is 21.59cm x 30.48cm (8.5″ x 12″).

OK, so that is the technical specifications, what about getting it out of the box? Well, of the three electronic cutters I’ve had the pleasure of trying so far, this was the simplest to set up and the quickest from out of the box to first cut.

Like all Cricut machines it works from cartridges, but luckily for me, who doesn’t have any cartridges, it also works with the Cricut Craft Room which is a free online software from Cricut.

You can access this software via the internet and you need to download the free application and install it on your computer. The software gives you access to some free images as well as the ‘Cut It Free For A Week’ images. But the rest of the images you will have to buy.

The thing to remember when using the software though is that you can see all these lovely images whilst you are designing but if you haven’t bought them you won’t be able to cut them! So go buy them or just remember to look through the ‘My Cartridges’ drop down menu when you are working on your projects!

If you do have cartridges you can still plug them into the Cricut Mini, but you can buy access to cartridges online as well rather than have the physical cartridge. The Cricut Image Library also has single images for sale so you don’t have to buy full cartridges if there are only one or two images you need in that cartridge. 

The software is very simple, perhaps a little too simple for my liking. I did feel a bit restricted by what I couldn’t do with it, for instance I don’t think there is an align function. Well I searched for one and even looked online for help and couldn’t find one (feel free to tell me if I’m being an idiot and just missed it somewhere!).

At the moment, you can’t cut your own images or non-Cricut images, which is a shame, but if you are looking just to cut the images you have on Cricut cartridges or via the Cricut Craft Room, then the software works and you can do things like design on different layers then cut all the layers or just one of the layers. Which is great as you can have all the images ready to cut on different papers and just cut the one you want for the paper currently on your cutting mat.

When you log in to the software you are logging in online and any projects you save are saved into your account. I don’t think you can use the software offline, so if your internet goes down in the middle of a project you may be a little put out!

I did have a little bit of problem with my cuts as the machine was putting little nicks where they shouldn’t be, so I tried to slow the cutting speed, which helped. The customer service was very good and they kindly sent me a replacement blade and blade housing, which has improved the cuts, but I am still getting nicks where I don’t want them.

But you can barely notice as you can see from this make using the Cricut Preserves images.

You can find the Cricut Mini retailing for upwards of £114.99 depending on where you buy and what comes with it.  Also keep your eyes on Creative Expressions as they are now one of the UK distributors of Provo Craft Cricut products.

My thoughts on the Cricut mini so far are that for quick and simple cutting, this machine works well. Its mini size and weight are great for the space conscious and its mini price makes for a fabulous starter cutter for the price conscious. I’m really enjoying playing with this machine and am looking forward to making more cuts. 


Now for the treat! The lovely people over at CricutEU are offering one of my lucky readers their very own Cricut Mini to cut with to their heart’s content!

Yep! A Cricut Mini is up for grabs: just put your name in the inlinkz gadget below. 

Don’t forget to go link up with CricutEU on Facebook for all the latest news and information.

Follow if you like what you see here and spread the word about the giveaway!

The giveaway is open until 21st June 2013. The winner will be chosen by random and announced on 22nd June 2013.

Good Luck


[Disclaimer Time: I was not paid to write this review however I did get a machine to review and access to cartridges. But as with all my reviews I always try to give you my honest, unbiased opinion. (Prices correct for the date the blog post went live)]