Introducing the new Cricut Explore machine

Last week I had the honor of attending the launch party for the new Cricut Explore digital cutting machine. It was an amazing event, and I’m still in awe of all the creative details that went into this unforgettable party. Before I share all my favorites from the event, I’m so excited to tell you all about the new machine!

introducing the new Cricut Explore - read all about it on

Not only does it cut lots of different materials with just a turn of the dial, it can also score and write with a pen at the same time.

Take a look at these neat videos:

Cricut Explore from Design Partners on Vimeo.

The entire Cricut team has been working like crazy for the past 18 months on this new cutting machine: the Cricut Explore. With the new one touch setting and easy to use software, Cricut Explore will be leading the industry when it comes to digital cutting machines.

The new software is so user friendly you can easily choose your project background and get a full preview of how the end product will turn out before you buy any of their designs. It also has Bluetooth capability and an iPad app (so cool!) The bluetooth adapter will be sold separately.

The image library contains over 50,000+ images. There is a preview mode that allows you to see it before you buy an image. It also supports SVG files which is so neat. Now you can cut out the images that YOU design!

This new machine will retail for $299, and it comes with a free tote bag for easy portability and storage, access to Cricut Design Space (the new software), 50 FREE projects, and a sketch pen. You get access to their image library of over 50,000+ designs. Each image will be $0.99. OR you can purchase a monthly subscription for $9.99 and have unlimited access to 25,000 images and 200 fonts. The $9.99 monthly subscription is DEFINITELY the way to go if you’ll be downloading more than 10 images per month.

It will go on sale on HSN on February 12th and available in stores by the end of March.

One of the coolest things I learned about the new machine was for people who own the older Cricut machines along with a bunch of cartridges. The good news to Cricut users who have a bunch of cartridges is that you can stick your cartridges into the machine one time and it will digitally store and remember all the designs that you own with each cartridge. This way you can easily have access to all of your designs.

Probably the biggest selling factor for me when it comes to the new Cricut Explore, is the amazing team behind it. For 24 quick hours, all of us who attended this amazing launch party were wowed and amazed by their kindness and creativity. I’m excited to work with them this year and share projects using this new machine.

Here’s a bunch of my favorite details from the big event:

Ashish Arora the CEO and President of Cricut is such a positive down to earth guy. You can just tell everyone at Cricut love working with him.

CEO of Cricut at the Cricut Explore launch party
*with Ashish Arora, Jamielyn of I Heart Naptime and Linda of Craftaholics Anonymous

When we arrived for the opening dinner, they had this amazing photo wall with a favorite project shared on each of our sites. We took a polaroid picture and then pinned it to our photo.
project photo wall at the Cricut Explore launch party

Here’s my photo they chose from a Halloween printable I shared last October.
the big photo wall at the Cricut Explore launch party

They also had a place card wall to let you know what table you’d be sitting at. I loved all the big statement walls. It was so neat!
place cards and table assignments at the Cricut Explore launch party

These chargers that sat underneath our plates had been made using the new Cricut Explore. In fact, almost everything was made using this new machine.
place setting chargers at the Cricut Explore launch party

I had to take a picture of the dessert…love Creme Brûlée.
creme brulee at the Cricut Explore launch party

We played a few games of BINGO for some fun prizes.
bingo at the Cricut Explore launch party

Along with the Cricut creative team, they hired Amorology event planners to help design all the party decor. Everything was so beautiful! I snapped this towards the end of the night, so most of the pies were already gone, but this pie station was too cute. I love the backdrop.
desserts table at the Cricut Explore launch party

When we arrived to register, they had warm pretzels: sweet and savory. The labels were made with the Cricut Explore (of course!).
appetizers at the Cricut Explore launch party

Okay…on Day 2 they had 3 amazing rooms with different crafts and the new machines set up to test out in each room. I loved the decor in each room all highlighting the different projects that can be made with the new machine. Here’s the California room: all about the beach…
the California room at the Cricut Explore launch party

In every image, there is a DIY project made with the new machine.
beach chair at the Cricut Explore launch party

CA drink station at the Cricut Explore launch party

drink umbrellas at the Cricut Explore launch party

in the CA room at the Cricut Explore launch party

in the California room at the Cricut Explore launch party

beach tents at the Cricut Explore launch party

Next up…the Utah Room. I loved how each room had a different feel to it. The Utah room was like a rustic cabin.
the Utah room at the Cricut Explore launch party

Utah room place setting at the Cricut Explore launch party

smores brownies at the Cricut Explore launch party

Utah Room at the Cricut Explore launch party

UT room - the Cricut Explore launch party

Home Sweet Home wall decor at the Cricut Explore launch party

a teepee at the Cricut Explore launch party

Last up the New York room: The New York room was all about fashion. They had three handmade dresses using paper, fabric and leather…all made with the new Explore.
the New York room at the Cricut Explore launch party

How beautiful is this dress made of paper butterflies?!
beautiful paper butterfly dress made with the new Cricut Explore machine

desserts in the NY room at the Cricut Explore launch party

DIY dress at the Cricut Explore launch party

leather dress made with the new Cricut Explore

New York room at the Cricut Explore launch party

On display all the different mediums that the new machine will cut. The creativity is really endless.
the new Cricut Explore cuts so many different things

I can’t say enough thank you’s to Cricut and their team. What an honor to be there for their big reveal. Thank you Mallie, and everyone who put so much into such a fun party. I was blown away and I can’t wait to start creating with the new Explore.

with Mallie at the Cricut Explore launch party

Phew…this is a big post…so much to share. If you’re still reading, I hope you’re as excited about this new machine as I am. If you have any questions about the new Cricut Explore, ask away in the comment section!

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  1. Jennifer says

    Have you used the Silhouette Cameo before? How does this machine compare? Did you get to see the machine being used? How tiny does it cut and is the cut very accurate? No more torn papers?

    • says

      Hi Jennifer! I have used the Cameo. The Cricut Explore will be so much more user friendly with just a turn of a dial, you can change how the blade cuts with ease.

      It cuts tiny confetti. I don’t know yet about torn papers, but the new blade is suppose to be amazing, lasting a lifetime.

  2. Karen says

    I own one of the first Cricket Expressions. I didn’t get in on the SCAL or Makes the Cut software before the lawsuits prevailed and now I own a very VERY expensive cutting machine that does little but cut vinyl letters for my son’s school posters. :( I own a couple expensive Cricket cutting libraries but even they are limited. Unless this machine will hook up to a computer and cut whatever I want, I will stay away from Provo Craft’s newest “baby.” I want a Silhouette. It seems to do everything I want for a fraction of what the Cricket machine I own cost.

    • says

      Hi Karen! Shoot, I’m sorry and I don’t quite know how to reply, all I know is that they have tested this new machine like crazy and the simplicity and versatility seem to be unmatched. Because I don’t have the machine yet, I’m unable to give you my full opinion.

      • Jennifer says

        Thanks! I had a friend who got to test the software in November – did they also show you how it worked?

        She mentioned that there was a lock function that would make it so that how you lay the things out in the design space would transfer to the cutting mat, but it wasn’t working and when you would go to cut it would spread your images out and you had to rearrange everything. Do you know if this was fixed?

    • says

      Hi Jennifer! I wish I could answer these questions. I think the new cutting mats are way superior to the old ones, so I’m not sure if you’d want to . Plus it come with them.

      • says

        Hey Jennifer,

        Just thought I would help answer some of your questions…

        The issue that your friend experienced back when she tested the software in Nov has been fixed. The software is a big portion of the whole “Cricut Explore” package and is designed to be very user friendly.

        Same thing with the machine itself. As Kami mentioned, it is as simple as turning a dial to set up the materials you want to cut.

        The old mats, tools and accessories do work with this machine as well. It is even cartridge compatible for those who have cartridges that they want to use. For those of who don’t have or want to use cartridges, there are still many options.

        You can purchase single digital images at $.99 each, you can purchase digital image packs starting at $4.99, you can subscribe to use over 25,000 images from our image library at $9.99 a month, you can use all of your fonts you have on your computer and you can cut any .jpg, .png, .gif or .svg files for free.

        The machine will be for sale on HSN, Feb 12 (limited quantity) and then available at your favorite crafting store March 15th for $299

        I hope this helps answer your questions.

        Kami, thanks for coming to the event!

  3. Jennifer says

    Thanks again guys! I tend to over research things and I am really excited about the new Cricut, but I wanted to be sure I wanted to put my consumer dollars into it. I think I’ve been convinced that I will be purchasing the machine as soon as possible! :)

  4. Jody says

    I have never posted a comment before in my life but hey, we’re talking about Cricut!

    Thank you for putting this info together. There are tons of comments out there some good some bad many complaining about unanswered questions. Lots of the answers are here. I’ve always loved, loved, loved my cricuts (I have one of the originals and an expression) and am excited about the new Explore.

    Does anyone know if Provo Craft will be at the Scrapbook Expo in SLC with demos on the new Explore.

    Where could I go to see and test the Explore. I will likely buy this new product but I’m a bit leary of first releases (I bought a computer with Vista, yuck!). I would really like a chance for hands on or up close and personal before I buy

  5. Shirley says

    ANSWER: Difference between Scan-n-Cut & Explore

    (I tried to answer in detail but it wouldn’t post so here is the difference in a nutshell:

    I’m not a Cricut employee, but I did speak to someone at Cricut about the difference. Bottom line: Both machines will be capable of doing a SCAN and CUT. The new Explore that goes on sale at HSN on the 14th will not (yet) have the scan capability BUT the feature is in the process of being added and WILL be updated to all Explore machines purchased on HSN (or elsewhere) as soon as it is. So even if you buy the Explore machine as soon as it comes out on HSN once the scan feature is perfected and made available (next month or two), your purchased Explore machine will be updated to include that feature at no additional charge. How awesome is that?! Also, she said that if the Explore is purchased on HSN it will come with exclusive (and awesome) new cartridges that will not be available on machines purchased elsewhere.

    There are a couple of features the Explore will have that I don’t recall the Scan-n-Cut having (although I could be wrong) (1) The Explore will be able to store the tools we use and (2) the cool writing pen feature.

    I have so many cartridges for my Cricut that I can’t see investing in a Brother machine when the Explore will also scan and cut AND use cartridges I have invested so much money in. Personally, I don’t mind logging onto the internet to use the Cricut. For some that seems to be a problem. It isn’t for me. I have a computer in my craft room anyway. I use Cricut Craft Room now anyway. What’s the difference?

    For me, the choice is obvious. I’m going with the Explore!

    • says


      I’m so excited that for you the choice is obvious!

      Just a point of clarification… the machine itself won’t be able to scan, but if you have a scanner, you will be able to import the image and cut. But there are additional features coming that the machine will be able to do, regardless of when you buy it. So if you do buy one on HSN (which is airing Feb 12th at midnight EST) you will be all set when new features for the machine are released!

      • Lisa says

        So this machine will not be able to ‘scan n cut’ like the brother machine… You will need another piece of equipment…ie a scanner?

  6. says

    Thank you so much for the additional information regarding the launch of the Explore. I have been reviewing all the various electronic die cutting machines on the market. I had narrowed it down until I saw the reveal which made me intrigue by the Explore. I look forward to launch on HSN.

  7. Doug L says

    Does the Explore require the unit to be online to be used? Specifically, does the user HAVE TO use the Cricut Craft Room for designing and output to the Explore unit? Or, can the user use their computer and output directly to the Explore? Thanks

    • says

      The Explore does need to be connected to a computer with internet access.

      The Cricut Design Space is an online software tool that will allow you to import your own images, connect cartridges and image packs you already own, or access 25K images through subscription or purchase over 50k image either individually or in groups and save all of your content in “the cloud” online.

      • nana cyl says

        It seems that the new Cricut leaves those of us with limited and undependable internet connections both OFFLINE and out of the loop, to say nothing of OFF the creative crafting line. Shame on Cricut the company for not taking into account that there are MANY places in the USA that still are stuck with DIAL UP internet access. It leaves me out, along with many of our friends who do NOT have reliable internet access! I can’t tell you how depressed we are that “bigger, more expensive and all that is NOT BETTER” . We are now forced out of the use of the new Cricut Explore, because it needs to be online to work. Thanks for dumping us!! :(

  8. Karen says

    Just now gathering information about the Explore. No one has commented on the eclipe2. How does the eclipe2 and the explore compair?

  9. Diane says

    If you are going to use cartridges that you already own, do you need to be connected to the internet or computer?

  10. Jeff says

    So with the updated unit allowing the user to be able to use their own images, will this new software update allow people who own the expression 2 to be able to use there own images?
    Its mainly software that is restricting us to be able to do this .

  11. Lori H says

    Can you use Cricut Explore the same as a Cricut cake? Will it cut fondant, etc. ? If yes, do I need to purchase anything to do so? Thanks so much.

    • says

      Hi Lori! I’m pretty sure you cannot cut fondant with the new Cricut explore. I’m sorry I don’t know for sure on this one. Try the Cricut FB Page with your question.

      • Lori H says

        Thank you for the great advice! I didn’t think to check facebook. I did however google it, and I found several people who gave instructions on how they use theirs for cutting fondant, gum paste, etc. They advise having a separate blade, ( so I bought a second deep cutting blade and the housing for it on amazon prime), to push the rollers to each side, keep the fondant as thin as possible, and freeze it about 5 minutes before using. They also said to use crisco on the mat, or parchment paper for easier transfer. Then VIOLA! They said it works beautifully! I even called the cricut help line and the lady said that they don’t recommend it because of the contamination concern, which is why I ordered the separate blade, cake cutting mat, etc.
        I am brand new to cricut, so I have a lot to learn. And I am very excited to try this once I get the hang of using it the way it is intended first. Thank you again for the quick reply and advice!

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