If you haven't been following a long on the YouTube channel you may have missed that I've started a group on Facebook exclusively for Cricut Explore users wanting to learn more, share more, and do more when it comes to making stickers for Cricut Explore! Click here and request to be added - I'd love to have you! In this group I am constantly inspired to share tips and figure out things I didn't really think of before. So I thought I'd share with you 5 little known hacks for your Cricut Explore
Custom Material Settings
Did you know that not only can you choose from a variety of settings from the custom menu on the Load Mat screen, you can actually add your own custom settings? This is great if you work with a material that isn't listed on the drop down menu or you want to duplicate a setting but change the name. I've found that the Washi Sheets setting is perfect for cutting stickers so I could copy the same settings but change the name to Sticker Paper as an example. Or I could make a setting that cuts deeper than the settings available or adds the multi cut feature. I have a post on adding Custom Material Settings here.
Bluetooth Adapter + Dongle
When I switched from my MacBook to my Dell laptop I lost the ability to connect to my Cricut Explore through the Bluetooth adapter I'd purchased. If you have a Cricut Explore Air or the new Cricut Explore Air 2 then you don't need the Bluetooth adapter sold. If your computer doesn't have a Bluetooth option you can purchase something called a Bluetooth dongle (lol dongle) to plug into a USB port in your computer. I love this because I have my Cricut Explore on the side of my desk on a rolling cart. (See my current office tour here.) The cord is too awkward to plug into my computer and it's too short to leave it there always. So a Bluetooth dongle is very, very helpful!
You Don't have to Unload the Mat to Cut again
Sometimes when cutting through thicker materials I find that the blade hasn't passed all the way through. If I'm doing a one off project or don't want to add a new custom material, I'll just cut the project again. Simply leave the mat in the machine and press the flashing Cricut button to recut the project. This ensures that the mat is aligned in the same way so it won't create a funny cut around your project. This helps me when I'm making dividers but my blade may be old.
Use other Software
You know that I love to use other software with the Cricut Explore and Design Space. I do this because I like to have a copy of the project that can be opened in a different software in case I ever get a different cutting machine. If you design everything in Design Space you won't have your projects or files if you ever decide to change machines. Inkscape is one of my favorite programs because it is an easy way to create SVG files but it is an great program to create PNG files for print then cut as well. Another free software I love is Pixlr. This software is online - visit pixlr.com and click on Pixlr Editor - and very easy to use. It performs a lot like Photoshop, just a light version.
I hope these 5 hacks have helped you discover that there is more to the Cricut Explore than meets the eye. This is one of the most flexible cutting machines and I love this for paper crafting and making stickers. Do pop over to the group and hang out! Plus you can find some free stickers there too!