DIY Tote Bag using the Cricut Explore Air

Finally had some free time to unbox and play around with my new Cricut Explore Air!  It was killing me to hold onto this exciting new toy and not be able to try it out.  So after work last night, I forced myself to make some time for it.  I originally just planned on setting it up, downloading the software and such, but let’s be real. There’s no way I could not try it out!  I mean, isn’t the first cut the most thrilling part??

I absolutely love how easy the machine and software are to use.  I have always been so intimidated by Cricut’s features, but the Explore Air is seriously the most user friendly device.  The design space is so easy to navigate and takes just a moment to get the hang of.  One of the most exciting features is the Bluetooth connection (which was so handy since my computer decided to crash the night before 😫).  With the Explore Air, you get full customization just as easily from an iPhone or iPad!

I purchased one of the Cricut Iron-on rolls when I originally got the machine so I figured that would be the most fun to try out.  I bought a plain black tote from JoAnn Fabrics and decided I wanted a quote or something related to crafting or motivation towards self-employment.  I found a pre-designed image in the catalog and started to customize it.

I was super excited to get going until half way through the cut I realized I had the iron on sheet the wrong way on the mat!  I wasted more than half of the roll in doing so!
I remembered to mirror the image, but you can see here that I accidentally cut on the plastic transfer portion rather than on the back of the iron on portion!  I was able to at least save as much uncut space as possible to use for future projects.
I figured I still had enough of the iron on to make a smaller version of the logo.  I couldn’t fit the bottom banner portion without making the entire logo smaller so I decided to forego it so that it wouldn’t be too miniature.  I was so terrified that I was going to tear the image because some lines were so thin!  I was pleasantly surprised that it was easy and durable!  Since I don’t have any extra Cricut tools, I used a regular sewing pin to pick all the tiny little pieces out from the inside of the letters.  It seems to work just as well, so until otherwise, I’ll choose to save my money by not purchasing any unnecessary extras!

Overall, I’m super pleased with the result, and I can’t wait to make more stuff!! I love my new machine and I’m looking forward to the positive impact it’ll have on my business venture!

**UPDATE:  After looking at the first sheet of iron on, I realized it didn’t actually cut through the plastic and into material.  I can still go ahead and reuse for another project!! Super excited that it didn’t end up as wasted money/supplies!



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