The New Must Have Tool: The Cricut Explore & Black Friday Pricing

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hey there! I'm monica 

I pride myself on making amazing style and design accessible for everyone, regardless of location, budget, or ability! My design philosophy is rooted in authenticity + attainability - If I can do it, you can too! My work has been featured in countless publications, but I take the most pride in homeowners that have been personally inspired by my DIY ideas and have tried something in their own homes!

learn more about ME + MY BIZ

Buy a Cricut Explore 2
As a DIYer, many of my go-to tools are the normal hammer, jigsaw, drill, tape measure etc…  But, over this past year, there has been an addition to my must-have tool list.  The Cricut Explore.  Originally, I thought it was just something  for super crafty people- like the scrapbooker type, but I’ve learned it’s totally a must have for any and all DIYers.
[Make sure you scroll all the way to the bottom of this post for all the details on the amazing Cricut Black Friday Deal I can offer to EC2 Readers…and guess what, the Black Friday pricing is good now through Monday! ]
I spent the last 6 weeks renovating the retails spaces for The Freedom Boutique and Worthwhile Thrift (pics coming soon!) and every single day I worked at the shops, I packed up my Cricut Explore and brought it with me, along with all of my tools.  It’s a must have now.

Here are a few amazing ideas and ways you can use a Cricut Explore for your DIY projects.

1- Show Your Walls Some Love

Vinyl is a quick and inexpensive way to dress up your walls.  Here are a few projects I love.  Any of these could be made using a Cricut Explore.  What I love the most is that YOU can design whatever you want to cut.  You’re not tied down to a generic group of options.

One of my favorite projects of 2014 is Julia’s vinyl cross hallway. It’s perfection.


Fun little fish accent wall from Sew Woodsy


Modern Geometric Nursery


2- Make a Stencil

Want to give your stairs some style?  Make your own stencil with the Explore– you can go with a simple modern shape like this or create your own more complex pattern.


You can also make completely custom wall stencils.


This is a 3 in 1 tool.  Actually, with the new print feature it’s more of a 4 in 1, but any tool that has multiple uses moves up on my must-have scale.  I use the cut and draw features the most, but the score is a life saver when I’m making paper accessories etc…

4- Leather, Leather, and more Leather

Mandi from Vintage Revivals is leather obsessed and she inspired me to use my Explore to venture into cutting this incredibly cool material. Check out her post about 12 ways to use an old leather couch to see all her ingenious creativity.  This girl is amazing- give her the right tool and there’s no telling what she can create!



5- Make Accessories Yourself

Working at the shops, my budget was tiny- well more like non-existent, so making accessories was a must.  I love this project from Just Between Friends. 


6- Accent Simple Builds on a Budget

Sometimes accessorizing can be the part that breaks the bank with a project.  Have a simple build? How about accessorizing with paper cut with the Explore?

Check out this amazing project from Tricia and Erin.  The flowers are paper and incredible!


7- Customize Fabric

Think accent pillows, curtains, shower curtains, tea towels- if you’ve got fabric the Explore has projects!

Gold Accent Pillow


8- Make It NOW

Stuck for ideas? Want to make a project but not sure what?  The Make it Now projects in the Design Space are amazing.  Look at this Pillow that Jen created?  You can just go into the design space, choose this project, and voila the machine knows what to do.  Genius I tell ya.


And while I’m mentioning the design space- you might want to know that FROZEN is now available in the Cricut Design Space™!  I just told my daughter Kira and she had a mild freak out and then she started planning all the projects she wants to make with me.  Apparently this tool is now on her must-have list too!

Frozen_Coloring Pages

9- Make Holiday Decorating a Breeze

I love how Melissa used her Cricut Explore to decorate this little fella.


And remember how I made my geometric ornaments?


10- I highly Recommend the Cricut Explore

I honestly wouldn’t describe it as a must-have if I didn’t think it was legit.  I love this tool and how it lets me turn my creative ideas into reality.  It’s the most forward thinking product that really understands how creative people think and work.  If you’ve been considering getting one, now’s the time.  Let me tell you about the Black Friday Deals I can offer you, and the great thing is that you can start shopping these deals right now and at home!

And if you’re wondering, Yes,  I used to own a Silhouette cutting machine and honestly rarely used it.  It just wasn’t a must-have tool in my opinion.  If you want some concrete reasons why I’m now team Cricut- check out this study comparing the two.  It’s kind of a no brainer.  

Incredible Black Friday Deals for You!

 Beginning at 12am EST on Thursday, November 27th the Cricut Explore will be on sale for $219.  Even cooler… starting 12am EST on Friday you can get an additional $10 off with the code EXPLOREFBLOG for Cricut Explore Bundles, $5 off a purchase of $50 or more with the code CRICUTBF5, and free shipping until the end of November with the code FREESHIPNOV.  That means the best value Deluxe Starter Set pictured above, will be $214.99 with free shipping!  That’s cheaper than you’ll find her anywhere else!
The other bundle deals will all be $30 off. Prices are good until Monday.
Let Me Break It Down For Ya…

CLICK FOR>>>>  Circuit Cutting Machine $219 and $30 off other bundles.  (Remember to use coupon codes!)

USE CODE>>>> $10 off with code EXPLOREBFBLOG

USE CODE>>>>> $5 off a purchase of $50 or more with code CRICUTBF5

YOU GET >>>>> Free shipping until the end of November with code FREESHIPNOV




I can’t wait to hear if you add my must-have tool to your must-have list too!

Happy Thanksgiving Guys! I hope it’s an amazing day with family & friends.

And here’s to a successful Black Friday- do your Cricut shopping online and then go have some fun at the stores! #madness


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, but all opinions about Cricut’s awesome products are my own!

The comments +

  1. Christy says:

    With the cricket explore can you utilize cut files found online? Thanks for your help!

    • Monica says:

      Hi Christy-
      Yes! You can upload any image! It’s amazing! I’ve also designed my own images. You’ll love it!

  2. Laura Rigby says:

    Thanks for posting about this! I want one for Christmas and am really excited to get a discount!

  3. Mary H says:

    This post is perfectly timed! I asked for a Cricut Explore for Christmas, and I’m trying to learn all of its features. I used to own a handmade stationary company, and it just got to be too much for my hands (and too much to keep up withy a young family). I do quite a bit of graphic design now, and love to be creative in general (mostly with home decor and stuff for my young kiddos).
    I’m excited to explore all the links you provided! Thanks so much!
    And, it was so nice to meet you at Night at the Barn! All the best to you!

  4. Nicole says:

    It is saying all of the codes are invalid… I have the cricut explore in my cart. Are they expired now?

    • Monica says:

      Hi Nicole. All the codes should still be working. Have you tried again? Let me know if you’re still having trouble. A lot of people were on the site at the same time I believe. If for some reason it’s down, I can go directly to Cricut for you. Let me know.

  5. Thanks so much for linking to me. I just posted in my fall tour an otomi pattern that I made with my vinyl. And I also want to try out the triangle stairs. I had so much fun hanging out with you. Did you see all the fun photos they took of the two of us? You are just as cool and sweet in person as I pictured you to be.

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