5 Reasons I love my Cricut Explore Air 2 for Holiday Crafting

When I got my first cutting machine for Christmas in 2010, I think the words I said were "man, this is really going to up my crafting game." And it has! I've found that the more I've used a cutting machine the more I realize how much the machine can help me in my everyday life. I used to think that cutting machines were only for crafters, but in the years that I've had one, I have seen countless needs it could have met. From teachers in the elementary school to junior high projects, for fundraising activities and everything in between. I can't even begin to tell you about every project I've created because there have been so many, but I can tell you 5 reasons why I love my cutting machine, and recently, why I'm enamored with my newest cutting machine, the Cricut Explore Air 2, especially for holiday crafting.

cricut cutting machine

Stick around for the tutorial for the DIY Santa Snack Holiday Tray. 

cricut Christmas projects

5 Reasons Why I love my Cricut Explore Air 2 for Holiday Crafting

cricut cutting machine for holiday projects

1. It's easy to use

I have both the Silhouette and the Cricut and if you were to ask me which machine is better, I'd follow that up with a question. My question would be, do you have design experience? It has taken me years to get comfortable with my Silhouette cutting machines and to understand and perfect using their design software, and even now, ten years later, I'm still making mistakes and having to look up tutorials.

In case you missed my conversation, I was completely honest about my feelings on which is better, the Cricut or the Silhouette. You can find that post here.

The Cricut Explore Air 2 is the perfect machine for the novice cutting machine user. It doesn't require in-depth design program knowledge and with thousands of images, fonts, and ready-to-make projects, you can quickly get started using your machine. There are plenty of holiday-themed designs you can create so that you can make personalized gifts for everyone on your list.

cricut explore cutting machine for christmas projects

2. It's versatile

The Circut Explore Air 2 can cut more than 100 materials. You can use anything from cardstock, vinyl, and iron-on to specialty materials like glitter paper, cork and bonded fabric. You aren't limited in your design and creation when you use the Cricut Explore Air 2. The possibilities are endless.

3. It's fast

The Cricut Explore Air 2 can cut and write up to 2X faster than other Cricut Explore models. There is a fast speed button for cutting and instead of hours spent on creating and designing a project from scratch {though you can do that too!}, I can find plenty of projects that can be created in minutes. Time is a precious commodity around the holidays, so make sure you make the most of it!

4. Take it anywhere

You can design on the go with the Cricut Explore Air 2. You can create on your laptop, iPad or iPhone and have a completed design in minutes. It's easy to take your Cricut to girls night outs or to the lobby at a kids' sporting event. You can find great bags and totes that make taking your Cricut and accessories anywhere even easier. The holiday season is busy, make the most of the time that you do have and take it along!

Download the Cricut Design Space App here

5. Create with confidence

I have wasted a lot of crafting materials and hours upon hours of time when I have been designing a "quick" project that ended up taking me days to design and create. I love that the Cricut Explore Air 2 helps prevent common mistakes that I've been known to make in the past. 

For instance, iron-on vinyl needs to be mirrored and placed a certain way before it's cut in your machine. The Cricut sends a prompt to ask you if you've done that and gives you an easy toggle to click to mirror your design and reminds you how to place your vinyl in your machine. 

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If you are crafting with multiple colors, the Cricut design space layers those colors for you, so you can take the guesswork out of the design. Another expensive mistake I've made in the past. 

I've also been impressed with the quality of the products and materials when creating. I make a lot of custom t-shirts and items with iron-on materials and lately I've been noticing that the HTV is peeling away when I use my old materials and an iron. I didn't think I needed the Cricut EasyPress, but I was wrong! The quality of Circut products has me loving this machine and everything that it can do that much more!

See what else you can make with the Cricut EasyPress in this post.

Santa Snack Tray

santa snacks for his reindeer tradition

The number 1 reason I listed above about why I love using my Cricut Explore Air 2, is that it's easy to use. I am not a designer so when I do try to design my own projects, something that should take just a few minutes, ends up taking me hours or days. 

I love exploring the Cricut Design Space and find some amazing projects I can easily save and then come back to make. I love having Cricut Access so I can create anything I see in minutes. There are literally thousands of options! Like this Santa Snack Tray, I made for my niece and nephew. 

I was able to customize the project by putting their name on it as well. I used a font I found in the design space that was similar to the other font so it looked cohesive.

For this project you will need:

 Unfinished Wood Tray {like this one}
 Paint {this one has glitter in it}
 Transfer Paper
 Circut Access file
Cricut Explore Air 2
I love that Cricut has several variations of this Santa Snacks file. You can find them here.
I printed off my vinyl on my Cricut Explore Air 2 and then used my Cricut transfer tape to get it ready to be placed on my tray.
using vinyl in your cutting machine

Pro Vinyl Tip:

For large vinyl projects, use a spatula to help transfer the vinyl from the carrier sheet to your project.

cricut explore air 2 project

This project turned out far better than I could have imagined. I was so excited to gift it to my brother and his family so they can enjoy the Santa snacks tradition for years to come!

cricut personalized santa tray for kids

If you've been on the fence about getting a cutting machine, I'm telling you, this is one of the best tools out there. You need one! Get yours here.

disclaimer: this post may have affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing through them, I may receive a small commission. These small purchases help me to continue to keep writing content and creating at Rachel Teodoro. Thank you!

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