Recently I decided to upgrade my Cricut. (For those not in the know, a Cricut is a die cut machine) I’ve had a Cricut Expression for awhile now and, well, I haven’t been using it. When my mom recently got herself a Cricut Explore I had the opportunity to check it out. HOLY WOW is that thing cool! I went back and forth about getting one and finally decided to just go for it. The price came down about $100 because the newer model of it came out, so that kinda sealed the deal. Plus I was able to sell my old Cricut to a friend, so in the end I only ended up spending about $75 for the new one.
The the main selling point for me is the Cricut can cut over 60 different materials, including paper, cardstock, vinyl, fabric, balsa wood, leather, and iron-iron vinyl. How cool is that? I was most excited about the vinyl and the iron-on material. Soon as I ordered my Cricut Explore I headed to Pinterest to start looking for supplies and fun projects to try. My Cricut Fun board already has over 100 pins and 287 followers!
I decided that I wanted to make a new running shirt. I always see loads of cute shirts, but never want to spend the money. So when I found a shirt that said “I run because I REALLY like beer” I immediate knew what I wanted to do!
The Cricut Explore uses the Cricut Design Space as the platform for creating what your machine is going to cut. There are pre-loaded images you can use, images you can buy, you can upload your own images, AND you can design your own stuff. All I had to do was find a font that I liked (which I could have uploaded from my personal stash) and get to work.
I like beer but it really isn’t the reason I run. Cupcakes are the REAL reason that I run!
The machine came with a sample of white iron-on material, so that is what I decided to use for my design. I had a long sleeved tech shirt that I bought on sale ages ago just hanging out in the closet, so there was my shirt. I figured at least this way if I f’d it up, I wasn’t out too much money and I hadn’t ruined my favorite shirt.
There is a special “iron-on” setting for the Cricut Explore that cuts out your image but doesn’t cut through the backing material. Before you cut it you have to make sure to check the “Mirror Image” option so that it cuts your design correctly to be ironed on. It even says “for iron-on” in parenthesis in case you aren’t paying attention.
Once you cut it out, you remove all the extra stuff around your image and you are good to go. The instructions tell you to “pre-heat” the area you are going to iron your design on for 10-15 seconds with your iron. Then you place your image down, cover it with a clean cloth, and iron (with medium pressure) for 25-30 seconds. Then you turn it over (or inside out) and do that again from the opposite site.
Easy peasey right? Pretty much! I did have to do a little extra ironing on the front side once I turned it right side out to make sure that it all stuck, but after that second pass I was good to go.
I was so excited with how the front turned out that I decided to cut a small cupcake design for the back of the shirt. Most of the time when I wear this my hair will cover it, but I really just wanted to repeat the process all over again 🙂
The whole thing took me about 45 minutes from start to finish and that included finding the font, designing it, cutting out the design, ironing it on, and then repeating the whole process again for the back side. Not bad at all!
I love love LOVE my shirt and can’t wait to do more projects with the Cricut Explore. Up next? T-shirts with my bestie’s cupcake business on them, running vinyl decals for my car (and my friends), and some fun stuff for my Project Life album. So definitely keep an eye out for more Cricut Creations!