Those of you crafty enough to decorate your own baby books, make thank-you cards from scratch, and accessorize your accessories have a talent worth envying. But thanks to the new Cricut Explore, novices and experts alike can create DIY projects that no one will ever guess they did themselves.
Cricut's expert machines have long been synonymous with hardcore DIY crafters and those with enough patience to hand-cut each letter of their child's name. But with advances in Cricut's technology and user-friendly design, even people with no artistic ability can create masterpieces with the click of a mouse and a turn of the dial.
The coolest new feature is that Cricut Explore writes and cuts at the same time. Not only does this cut (excuse the pun) your DIY time in half, it makes the project much easier. DIYers can also take advantage of Cricut Design Space, which is a new image library and software platform that lets you browse thousands of images and fonts and select ready-to-go projects. Perfect for the less creatively inclined.
If you've never used this kind of machine before, there is definitely a learning curve, especially while trying to maneuver around the image library, figuring out what materials are needed and loading the machine. It can also be overwhelming to browse for a project because there are so many possibilities. If you are a Cricut veteran, however, you'll jump right in and will be pleased to know the Explore fits all Cricut cartridges. It can also cut any image or font that you have stored on your computer.
It is pricey, but you may be able to regard it as an investment if you consider the money you'll save on invitations, greeting cards, thank-you cards and so many other things that you can now make yourself. The creative possibilities are endless when you combine the image library with a machine that can cut everything from paper to fabric to vinyl to leather.
Cricut Explore will be available at retail stores March 15, 2014 for $299. Individual images in Cricut's Design Space start at 99 cents, but monthly ($9.99) and annual ($99.99) subscriptions provide access to more than 20,000 images and 200 fonts. For more information, visit Cricut's website.