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Hello! Hello! It’s Friday! Do you have a fun weekend planned? My son is going to be trying out for All State Band this weekend. Eek! I’m so excited & nervous for him. I know he’ll do great! I’ll let you know how it goes! Annnnnd last week we celebrated my daughter’s 15th birthday! So it was the perfect time to break out my new Cricut Explore Air™ (Yes, I said Cricut!) & make this cute Birthday Banner. So let’s get started! 🙂

Birthday Banner at

banner tutorial #gingersnapcrafts

Before we get to that banner tutorial (It’s coming, I promise!) let me share some of my thoughts on this new to me machine. 😉

Cricut Explore Air

I have always been team Silhouette but I have to admit I was super curious about the Cricut Explore Air™ machine when it came out a while back. So I was super excited when Cricut let me get my crafty little hands on one! Eek! #acraftersdream

Cricut Explore Air is an electronic cutting machine made especially for DIY projects & crafts. It can cut a HUGE variety of materials from paper to iron-on vinyl to vinyl lettering (my fave!) to even thicker materials like leather & burlap! Yes, burlap! I plan to try them all! I let you know how it goes! 😉

Some other features of the Cricut Explore Air™ include:

  • Embedded Bluetooth® for wireless cutting
  • Dual carriage for cutting and writing or cutting and scoring in one step
  • Upload your own images for free (.svg, .jpg, .png, .bmp, .gif, .dxf)
  • Cut over 60 materials from vellum to leather
  • Smart Set® dial for easy material settings
  • Free Cricut Design Space online software and iPad app
  • Cut Smart® precision cutting
  • Works with all Cricut® cartridges
  • Integrated storage compartments

I’m going to highlight a few of my favorite features. First up ~ this dial! Instead of having to take your blade out & adjust your cut settings all you have to do is turn the knob! *swoon* I really love this feature!


Another feature that I love is the dual carriage for cutting & writing or cutting & scoring all in one step. The Silhouette Curio does have this option but without upgrading to the larger base you only have about 6 inches of work space. I love that you have a huge work space. Your possibilities are so much BIGGER (literally!). 😉

Cricut Cut Smart

The extra little storage compartments are super nice, too!

8Cricut machine

cricut storage spaces

When I first got out my new Cricut Explore Air™ the first thing I noticed was how heavy it was! It’s about the same size as the Cameo but a lot heavier. It seems really well made. It comes with super simple to follow instructions & within a few minutes I was up & running making my very first project!

cricut set up

Inside your box you’ll find a pen, card stock, blade & everything you need to take your machine on it’s first spin! Here we go! 🙂

dual cartridge

I made a quick video so you could hear & see this machine in action.

All done! Now I was ready to tackle my own project!


Cricut also sent me tons of supplies. Eek! Lots of Cricut projects should be coming soon! So many craft supplies, so little time is what I always say! ha! 🙂 I loved the Metallics Poster Board, and I thought it would be perfect for my daughter’s *sophisticated* fifteenth birthday! 😉

metallic poster board

Cricut Design Space is the online software you use to make your Cricut projects & buy additional images. If you have internet connection troubles this might be a big negative. I would LOVE for Cricut to make a stand alone design software. Sometimes our wifi can do funky things. Not sure what would happen if the internet went out mid-project or mid-cut. There is also a learning curve with the program, but I’m sure I’ll get better the more I use it. I was able to figure out pretty quickly how to make this banner! Yay! Just like the Silhouette software you can use just about any font on your computer. I really, really like this option. That is what prevented me from buying a Cricut 4 or 5 years ago when I was shopping around for a digital craft cutter. What can I say I love my fonts! How about you? 🙂 As you can see the Cricut blade cut right through the poster board with no problems at all.

cutting posterboard

I used a mini hole punch & twine to string my banner together. Easy peasy!

banner tute

This cute little banner works great as a photo prop (for a reluctant model!) or as party decor. You can personalize it to match any occasion! The possibilities are endless!

banner at 
banner tutorial #gingersnapcrafts

Right now you can get free shipping on orders over $50 with code LOVESHIP at You might want to check out the Top 10 DIY Gifts for Valentine’s Day with Cricut. They are sooooo cute! I hope you have a great weekend! I’ll see you back here on Monday! 🙂 Let me know what you think of the Cricut Explore Air™ in the comments below. What project should I tackle next? I’d love to hear! 🙂

Birthday Banner at

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This post was created for Ginger Snap Crafts by Ginger Bowie.

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