Cricut Maker vs Explore Air

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.


I was bitten by the arts & craft bug at an early age. While all the other kids were getting dolls and games as gifts I was getting craft kits and art supplies. I give most of the credit to my aunt, who introduced me to all things crafty before I started grade school. It’s a passion I’ve carried with me and nourished ever since. but why is the pie gone cricut craft


Click here to get the design for the pie plate.


After I bought my first Cricut machine, an entirely new world of crafting possibilities opened up. I could make just about anything I wanted with the biggest limitation being my imagination. I made stencils for nearly everything, and really got into scrapbooking. I didn’t think it could get any better… until it did!

Cricut machines have come a long way over the years. From the bulky original all the way to the sleek and modern Maker. The differences go deeper than aesthetics, although the Maker is an elegant machine! I had the Cricut Explore Air™ machine before Maker, so let’s do a quick comparison between the two to get a feel for the upgrades. cricut explore air vs cricut makerOff the bat you can see they’re the same size, but how else do they compare?

Cricut Explore Air vs Maker

[su_table fixed=”yes”]


Explore Air


Connectivity Bluetooth®, USB Bluetooth®, USB
Blades Fine Point blade Deep Point blade Bonded Fabric blade Fine Point blade Deep Point blade Bonded Fabric blade Rotary blade Knife blade Quick Swap Perforation blade Quick Swap Wavy blade Quick Swap Debossing tip Quick Swap Engraving tip Quick Swap Scoring Wheel tips
Material Capabilities Cuts, writes, and scores 100 materials Cuts, writes, and scores 300+ popular craft materials (including wood)
Material Selection Smart Dial No external controls. Material and pressure are set in Design Space
Onboard Storage 1 tool cup and inside drawer 2 tool cups and larger inside drawer
Extras Free trial membership to Cricut Access™ (for new subscribers) 50 free ready-to-make projects, Free trial membership to Cricut Access™ (for new subscribers) 50 free ready-to-make projects, including 25 sewing patterns Charging port for phones or other devices Docking slot for tablet or phone


Cricut Maker Features I’m Loving

cricut maker inside storage

One of my favorite things about the Maker (there are so, so many things I love!) is the Adaptive Tool System. Basically what this means is that when Cricut releases new blades, they’ll automagically work with Maker machines. It also means you won’t have to buy a new machine or suffer because you can’t use these sure to be awesome blades.

One thing that I’m probably most excited about is the chance to do some fun sewing projects. My sewing skills aren’t very strong at all, but I’ve been daydreaming of getting better for a while. I love the idea of making pet clothes and home decor and so many other sewing projects. But then I look at patterns and just know I’d never be able to trace and cut them accurately.

using the cricut maker

Now it seems like my dream has a much better chance of becoming a reality. Not only does Maker handle the cutting of sewing patterns, but it also marks them with the washable marker! There’s even a new mat just for fabrics out, so whether you’re an avid sewer or just want to dip your toes in, the Maker has it covered!

There are a few differences that jumped out right off the bat.

cricut maker

The first difference was the lack of an open button and fabric selection + pressure dial. I actually kind of prefer the new sleek look over the button that I always hit by accident.

Another difference was the lack of ability to plug in Cricut cartridges. If you’re an old school Cricut user then you may remember the cartridges with keyboard overlays. I lost so many cartridges I lost count of them, but thankfully they get saved in Cricut Design Space™ app to your Cricut ID. This is another for the better change because losing cartridges was upsetting!

A Quick Project with the Cricut Maker

hocus pocus mug project

With Halloween just around the corner, I wanted to do a quick project with my favorite Halloween movie, Hocus Pocus! It’s a super simple project that anyone can recreate so give it a try! It’ll work with any color vinyl you have on hand (which is why I used red instead of orange and blue instead of purple).

I wholly suggest using transfer tape when working with letters or intricate designs. It makes lining everything up stress-free and leaves your finished project looking that much better.

hocus pocus mug project

Halloween Hocus Pocus Mug

Yield: 1


  • Permanent Vinyl (yellow, purple, black, and red or orange)
  • Blank Mug


  • Cricut Machine
  • Cricut cutting mat


  1. Open the project in Design Space (click here to go to the project)
  2. Adjust the size of the images to fit your glass or mug
  3. Prepare the cutting mat by pressing on vinyl. Repeat for each color
  4. Follow the prompts on the screen until complete
  5. Trim the sheets of vinyl down to just the cut areas and weed away any background vinyl, leaving the letters and design on the backing paper
  6. Trim a piece of transfer tape to the same size as your design. Remove the backing paper from the transfer tape and stick the transfer tape onto your design. Line up the elements to how you want them to transfer and use a scraper tool to press the transfer tape onto the vinyl so that it sticks.
  7. Carefully peel away the transfer tape, making sure it stuck to the vinyl well enough to lift the designs off of the backing paper. If pieces aren't raising off, try rubbing harder. Position the vinyl on your mug, using the scraper tool again to stick the vinyl to the mug.
  8. Gently peel away the transfer tape, leaving the vinyl on the mug. Now you can marvel at a job well done.

Did you make this project?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Closing Thoughts

If it wasn’t already obvious, I’m Team Maker all the way. I’m beyond excited to push my creativity and share new and exciting Cricut project with you all. Be on the lookout for those and while you wait be sure to grab your Maker so we can craft together! Until then, happy cutting!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *