Monday, May 8, 2017

Cricut Explore : My Advice on Learning To Use It

I am finally confident enough using my Cricut Explore Air, that I feel I can finally share a few tips and tricks when it comes to using the Cricut Explore. I'll admit, I have been really wanting a Cricut machine for awhile, and often went to my Mom's house to play with her original. However, when my Bookie (yes, this is my pen name for my husband) finally bought me the newest one as a surprise after I lost a lot of my crafting supplies after hurricane Matthew, I was OVERWHELMED. I took it out of the box and did the beginner tutorial card they offer through Cricut Design Space, but after that, I was so nervous I would mess something up I stared at it for a month before I touched it again.

Although I still get nervous with some of the things that I push my Cricut Explore to do, I'm having more fun with it, and I have found some of the coolest tricks so that you can get the most out of your machine. These are the things that have worked for me, but the advice I give comes from following some wonderful bloggers that I follow and trust with the amount of knowledge that they have when it comes to their crafting business and using the vast amount of products that Cricut has to offer. So, without further adieu, here is my best advice for learning how to use your Cricut Explore. 

#1. Find Groups on Social Media
This is the best piece of advice I can give anyone who is starting out with any new project they may be taking on ie: Crafting, blogging, technology...whatever it is, there is probably a Facebook group for it. What makes these groups even better is that there are people just like you on there. There are advanced to beginner individuals who all want to help out and find suggestions to their projects. It was so refreshing to be in a group with individuals that had the same questions as I did about learning how to use Cricut products, many of who were just as overwhelmed as I was just starting out. My favorite group on Facebook is Cricut Design Space with Melody Lane, and there are wonderful people that give support, a thumbs up and advice on how you can make your projects look better or get past a technical problem you may have. If you are looking for a Cricut group to follow, I promise you will not be disappointed with this one.

#2. Youtube, Youtube, YOUTUBE!
I'm pretty sure you get the point, but for those of you that aren't using Youtube as a way to learn, you are living under a rock. I love research! I think it gave my Mom so much comfort in knowing that most of the time she could always find me at a book store or library trying to find as much information on whatever it was that I was interested in that week. When I have a question about my machine, or I want to learn how to do a particular project, I ALWAYS go straight to Youtube. What makes Youtube so great is obviously instant gratification, but on the other hand, there are so many people that can guide you step by step through your journey of learning something new. You may not like everyone who has a video channel about your subject because everyone learns different ways, but when you find a channel that you like, subscribe and support that individual and let them know they are doing a good job. You can also find Facebook groups this way, which helps connect you with different individuals. This is how I found Melody Lane. If you are a newbie and want to learn your Cricut Explore, she is FANTASTIC and her videos are really easy to follow.

#3. Just DO IT!
I know the amount of knowledge when learning something new can be overwhelming, but the most honest advice I can give you is that if you aren't applying that knowlege that you are learning through a Facebook group and Youtube videos, then you are wasting your time. When starting out, find a small, simple project that you can accomplish in a short amount of time and DO IT. It may not be exactly what you want or would like to do, but you can't do the bigger, better and more fun things until you learn the basics and start small. One of my personal favorite small projects to do is making paper flowers with my Cricut Explore. They can be used for a variety of different projects and are simple to make in a matter of minutes.

Hopefully, this helps anyone reading to overcome Cricut Explore anxiety (as I like to call it), and you are ready to learn and have fun, because ultimately that's what it's about!

Let me know what you think in the comments below, and have a blessed day!

Geeks and Glitter

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