How To Use Cricut Explore Air 2 The Right Way

how to use cricut explore air 2
Cricut Explore Air 2

How to use Cricut Explore Air 2 for beginners: Alright, we all love sitting in our homes for the weekend to create some fabulous DIY stuff to add to our sweet home. Cutting has always been a primary task in building almost anything.

In the home improvement industry, Cricut has been leading the way for cutting machines. It is a brand name for the wide range of products that deliver cutting machines for the sole purpose of decorating houses, improvement, designing, and scrapbooking.

If you just bought a brand new Cricut Explore Air 2 for yourself, you might be wondering how to use this “minimalist-printer-like-machine“. Well, you have come to the right place because, in this article, we will be providing a detailed guide on How to use Cricut Explore Air 2 for beginners.

how to use cricut explore air 2
Cricut Explore Air 2

To sum everything up real quick, using Cricut Explore Air 2 is a piece of cake. For a simple cut and print, all you need to do is :

  1. Choose an image or a design that you need to cut out.
  2. Load the colored card stock that you want to use.
  3. Load the mat into the cutting machine.
  4. Insert the silver pen to cut the design.
  5. Adjust the position of the design on your computer screen.
  6. Set the dial on the machine to Card Stock. When the “C” button starts to flash, just press it.
  7. The machine will automatically cut the design for you.

But I don’t know how to set up the machine, and why do I have to use my Computer?

Are these thoughts flashing in your mind? Don’t worry, we will provide every little detail that can help you in cutting out your first Cricut design.

Before learning How To Use Cricut Explore Air 2, you surely want to know what accessories it comes with. We will cover up everything from Unboxing to Building your first print. Just sit tight and clear your mind.

Unboxing The Cricut Explore Air 2

how to use Cricut Explore Air 2
Cricut Explore Air 2 Delivery Box

Well, this is the first and foremost action that you would do after the heavy box is delivered to your home. Use a sharp cutter to cut the box containing the cutting machine.

Make a checklist and ensure that all the accessories mentioned below are present. If by chance some of them are not, inform your seller about the issue. If you get something extra, then shush, consider it as a gift.


Generally, the Cricut Explore Air 2 comes up with the following sidekicks to it. We have listed them one by one.

how to use Cricut Explore Air 2
Cricut Explore Air 2 Accessories
  1. Cricut Explore Air 2 User Manual – A hard copy of the instruction manual that teaches you the basic usage.
  2. The Cricut Cutting Mat – The mat that you’ll use to hold the card stock and samples.
  3. Cutting Blade – No need to describe this.
  4. USB and Power Cords – To power up your machine.
  5. Silver cutting pen and Adapter – Used to cut the card stock.
  6. Card Stock and some Vinyl Samples –  These things will be cut

And the last and most important, your Cricut Explore Air 2 machine. Looks like a printer, right?

Cricut Explore Air 2 Manual

How to use Cricut Explore Air 2
Cricut Explore Air 2 Manual

The Cricut Explore Air 2 comes up with a hard copy of a user manual. The manual covers everything related to the accessories and the machine itself. For customers, who didn’t get the manual or users who want to check the manual out before buying, here’s a link to the official Cricut Explore Air 2 Manual. Sadly, the user manual is not available in a PDF format.

Overview Of Cricut Explore Air 2

The Cricut Explore has a unique design that some users may find difficult to understand. In this section, we will try to cover basic design details about Cricut Explore Air 2. Almost all of the Cricut Explore’s have the same parent layout, so we will use the design of the original Cricut Explore to help you out.

how to use Cricut Explore Air 2 for beginners
Overview for Cricut Explore Air 2

The layout consists of the following :

  1. Tool Cup – The Tool Cup can be used for holding all your necessary cutting tools such as scissors, pencils, pens, etc. Since the depth of the cup is noticeable, it is assured that it can hold anything.
  2. Accessory Clamp A – The accessory adapter comes pre-installed here. Users can choose whether to cut or draw a design using the Accessory Clamp A. If instead of cutting, you want to use the draw feature, just insert a drawing pencil or pen in the stand.
  3. Blade Clamp –  Just like the Accessory Clamp A, Blade Clamp also comes pre-installed in the Cricut Explore Air 2. Usually, the blade is pretty strong so you don’t have to care about replacing it anytime soon. The only thing that you should care about the blade is the material that gets stuck on it after cutting.
  4. Accessory Compartments – The Cricut Explore Air 2 has two storage compartments – one smaller and the other one being larger. These are provided in addition to the tool cup mentioned above. The smaller one is perfect for storing blades, blade housings, and other heavy stuff. Gladly, the small container has a magnetic strip that prevents the blades and housing from rolling around. The larger one is suitable for storing longer tools such as pens.
  5. Cutting Mat – This is the surface on which our materials are going to be cut. The cutting mats have a firm grip on one side that holds our material for cutting. The Cricut Explore comes with three cutting mats of different sizes.
  6. Smart Dial – The smart dial is how we inform the machine about which material we’re using. The dial has a sleek surface that has a smooth glide-like motion while rotating.

How To Use The Pen For Drawing

If you want to use the pens for drawing instead of cutting, all you need to do is: Open the Accessory Clamp A, Choose the pen you want to use, drop it down in, and then close the clamp.

Easy, isn’t it?

How To Change The Blade On Cricut Explore Air 2

In certain situations, users have no choice other than removing the blades to check for problems. Well, this section tells you exactly how to do that. Below given is a step by step guide on How to Change the blade on Cricut Explore Air 2.

  1. Pull the lever so it opens.
  2. Remove the blade housing that covers the blade.
  3. The blade is fixed on the inside magnetically. However, there is a plunger that can be pressed to free the blade.
  4. Take the blade out to remove it.
  5. To change the blade, just drop another blade on it.
  6. Cover the blade with the blade housing.

Cricut Explore Air 2 Setup

The most important factor to consider before using your brand new Cricut Explore is its Setup. Setup is as crucial as the machine usage. Setting up your Cricut is not as easy as it sounds. One has to connect the machine to their computer, iPad, and other devices. Bluetooth and other mediums need to be set up right, else the control will break.

Having said that, in this section, we are going to tell you exactly how to set up your Cricut Explore Air 2 properly without any hassles.

First of all, to access the machine remotely, one needs to connect it to the computer. Below we have provided a short guide on How to connect my Cricut To Computer.

How To Connect My Cricut To Computer

Connecting Cricut Explore Air 2 is quite easy once it is done. Setting the machine up is a one time job that can be learned by anyone be it a child or a full-grown adult.

The steps are a bit different for both Computers and Smartphone users. However, we have provided a complete guide on how to setup Cricut for both. All you have to do is scroll a bit down and find the one that you need.

For Windows And Mac Users

Follow the below-given steps to successfully connect your Cricut to the computer.

  1. Power on both of your machines (Cricut as well as your computer.
  2. Then, you need to connect your Cricut to your computer via a USB cable or Bluetooth.
  3. Visit Cricut Setup on your computer’s browser.
  4. Enter all the necessary details that are asked.
  5. You will be signed in to your Cricut account.
  6. Now, you need to download and install a plugin. The Design and Space plugin is official and is safe to use. Follow this Cricut forum link if you get stuck.
  7. The machine will be connected automatically and you’ll be asked to create your first design.

You can also follow this video if you get stuck anywhere.

For Android And iOS Users

Follow the below-given steps to successfully connect your Cricut to your smartphone.

  1. Power your Cricut machine.
  2. Pair your Cricut Explore and smartphone via Bluetooth.
  3. Download the Design Space App on your mobile phone. Check how to install it.
  4. Tap on the app icon to launch it, then sign in or Create a new Cricut account.
  5. Tap on the menu and select “Machine Setup And App Overview”.
  6. Select “New Machine Setup” from the list of options.
  7. Follow the instructions provided on the screen to complete your setup.
  8. The machine will be connected automatically and you will be asked to create your first design.

You can also follow this video if you get stuck anywhere.

Setting up was easy, right? Now, that you are done with the machine setup, it is time to do the real job. Let’s get some prints done.

How To Use Cricut Explore Air 2

This is probably the main tutorial section of the post. To be honest, once you get the hang of it, printing and cutting using the Cricut Explore Air 2 is a piece of cake. All you have to do is select the image, the material, the mat, and then press a few buttons. But, you still need to know which buttons to press and what mat to select.

This section is dedicated to the same. Here, we will share with you a detailed guide on how to use Cricut Explore Air 2. You will learn how to select images, how to load and unload the mats, and finally how to cut the design on a material. Sit tight and let’s cut.

Importing the design is easy, but right now its time to learn some new things about types of designs on the canvas.

Types Of Images

In the Design Space canvas, you’ll deal with 3 types of image types. All of them are mentioned below.

  1. The Cut Type – This is the most basic image type that can be cut using canvas. These images generally consist of several layers and are made using solid colors. All the layers are cut individually using this image type.
  2. The Print Type – For this tutorial, we are going to use the Print type. These images consist of a single layer and they are made using solid colors as well as patterns. In this type, the image is cut as a whole and not in parts.
  3. Flattened Type – What if the user wants to convert Cut type to Print type? That’s where the Flatten tool comes t rescue. When the user converts an image of Cut Type to Print Type, the resultant image is known as a Flattened one.

Selecting The Image To Cut

The first task that you need to do is selecting a design that you want to be cut on a material. This is an easy job but you know, nothing is easy in this world. You still need to learn a few things about the type of images and how to import them.

How to use Cricut Explore Air 2
Selecting Images To Import

How To Import Images Into Cricut Design Space

There are two ways to import an image. The first is importing from the image collection provided in the Design Space application. And the second one being, choosing your own designs.

Choosing one from the Design Space store is easy. Just head over to the “Images” option on the left-hand side and select one from the heap. However, most of the users want their own designs and images to be printed and cut. If you are one of them, just follow the below-given steps to choose your own design for Cricut Explore Air 2.

  1. Open a web browser of your choice.
  2. Search for images that you want. Save them to your device “Right Click -> Save the image as”.
  3. In the Design Space app, head over to the left-hand side and select “Upload”.
  4. Under the Upload heading, select the option named “Upload Image”
  5. You can either drag and drop your image or just Browse it manually.
  6. Choose the image you want and then click OK.
  7. Select “Complex” as the image type and click Continue.
  8. Here, you will get a prompt asking you how do you want to save your image. “Cut Image” and “Print then Cut image”.
  9. Choose “Cut Image” and then click Save.
  10. Now select the image from the saved images, and click on Insert Image.
  11. The image will be imported automatically onto the canvas.
  12. After importing the image to the canvas, you need to adjust the image according to the measurements on the sides. Change the size of the image so that it suits your needs. And then, click on “Make It”.

Printing The Image For Cutting

Now that you have selected the design, you need to print it on the material. Choose a material that you like: paper, vinyl, etc. We’ll be using our home printer to print the design on the material. So, after the twelve steps mentioned above, continue from here.

  1. Click on Continue and then under the Print subheading, choose “Send to Printer”.
  2. Select the name of your printer.
  3. Toggle “Bleed” ON and choose the number of copies you want to print.
  4. Click Print.
  5. Your image will be printed on the material of your choice.

How To Cut A Print Image On Cricut

Finally, its time to cut your print image. Below given are the steps that you need to follow for a successful print.

How to use Cricut Explore Air 2
Loaded Printing Mat
  • Select a printing mat that is suitable for the material.
  • Remove the thin plastic cover from the mat. Then, adjust your printed design on the mat in a way that the top left part coincides with the rectangular design on the mat.
  • Press the design gently so that it sticks to the mat.
  • Put the mat on your Cricut Explore Air 2 and hit the blinking “Go” button.
How to use Cricut Explore air 2
  • Now, the Load button will start blinking, press it to load the mat.
  • A white light will check for your prints borders for a sharp cut.
  • The machine will automatically cut the print from the material after the border check.
  • Unload your mat and take the extra material off.
  • Remove your cut out design stuck on your mat. Make sure to remove it gently.

Congratulations, you just learned how to use Cricut Explore Air 2.

Summing Up

So, that was our take on How to use Cricut Explore Air 2 the right way. The process is quite easy and can be learned by anyone with a sound mind. All you need to take care of is the type of material, mats, the dial, etc. If you want a more detailed guide about How to use Cricut Explore Air 2, you can visit the Cricut Explore Air 2 Manual website provided above. Or you can read the hard copy of the user manual that came with your machine.

Feel free to comment on any queries regarding How to use Cricut Explore Air 2. We would love to help you out in case of any problems. Till then, Happy Cutting!