How to Write with Cricut Explore Air, Address envelopes, as well as some creative Cricut pen projects!
It’s been a goal of mine to dive into the different features offered by the Cricut Explore Air – there are just so many! I’ve shared a few of them in this post about what DIY projects you can do with your Cricut.
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I’ve been really excited to experiment more with the writing features on the Cricut Explore Air, because it really opens up so many possibilities for what you can do.
So I’m excited to be partnering with Cricut again for this post!
Today, I wanted to share a few tips on how to use pens with the Cricut Explore Air – specifically focusing on how to address an envelope.
Honestly, I have terrible handwriting, so I think that being able to have the Cricut address my envelopes for Christmas cards, letters to family, etc. is heaven-sent!
I wish I’d had this when I got married six years ago…I still remember how it took us FOREVER to address over 400 envelopes.
So hopefully these tips will help you!
What Pens Can You Use with Cricut Explore Air?
Cricut, fortunately, offers a wide variety of pens – calligraphy, thin, thick, etc. They are also available in MANY colors.
With that said, you don’t have to use the Cricut pens with the machine (though I do recommend it, since they are specifically designed to work with the machine). I found this great list of markers and pens that work with Cricut machines.
What Fonts Can You Write With?
For best results, you need to use a single stroke font when you are using a pen to write with.
Fortunately, Cricut Design Space has TONS of options. When you are adding fonts to your design, click on edit. In the first box, you will see something that, by default, says “All Fonts”. Click the arrow on this box, and then select “Has a Writing Style” instead.
Now you will see all the single stroke fonts that are currently in Design Space. If you will be doing a lot of writing, I do recommend investing in Cricut Access Fonts subscription, which is $4.99 a month (read this if you are not sure if a Cricut Access Plan is worth getting).
What Can You Write On?
You can use any material that your pens can write on normally – paper, vinyl, cardboard…the sky is the limit! Just make sure to do a test run before sending it through to make sure the pen you are using doesn’t rub off.
How to Write with Cricut Explore Air
And now, time for the tutorial. For this, I will be addressing an envelope, as it’s a simple project that shows the basics of how to write with the Cricut. Hopefully you’ll be able to get the gist of how to setup your writing project through this – even if it isn’t envelopes!
However, there are SO many things you can write with the Cricut, so make sure you do some research on what you can do. Cricut Design Space has some great pen project ideas under the “Make it Now” section that you should definitely check out!
How to Address Envelopes with Cricut Explore Air
First, you need to create a rectangle the size of your envelope. For instance, my envelopes were 5×7, so I made mine that length and width.
I didn’t see a rectangle in the default shapes that you can add, so I went into the “Insert Images” section and searched for rectangle. I chose the blue rectangle below (which is included with my Cricut Access), though you could easily find a rectangle elsewhere and upload it.
It is very important that you have it the same size and shape of your envelope!
Now, it’s time to write your text! You can use any number of fonts that you want here. Just make sure that when you are selecting your font, you have the “Has a Writing Style” selected so the font is most compatible.
Once you have your text how you want it, you need to make sure you group everything together.
You can press the “Select All” button at the top of the screen to make sure you have everything selected. After you have done this, right click in your design and select “Attach”.
After you have done this, you need to change the layer attributes for anything that will be written.
You do this by clicking your design and going over to the “Layers” section. When you are there, next to each individual element, you will see a pair of scissors (by default).
Click on the scissors and a new box will show up. You will select the “write” option. You can also select the type of pen you are using. Selecting the type of pen is mainly important if you are using multiple pens, as the Cricut will let you know when to switch to another one.
You need to make sure the rectangle is still set to cut.
Now you are ready to write! Press “Go”. You will be taken to a page where you can double check to make sure everything was attached to the same page.
If it is, press “Go” again. You will then be instructed to load the mat and press the flashing green button. Make sure you have your envelope lined up exactly how it shows on the preview.
At this time, you also will need to put your first pen in. Make sure to push it in until you hear it click.
Watch the magic happen! Make sure you are careful watching the pens write and to press pause as soon as it is done so it doesn’t move on to the cutting process. You don’t want it to cut your envelopes.
Obviously, if you aren’t doing envelopes, you will need to adjust things. However, the basics are the same.
You don’t have to use a rectangle shape for the envelope, but I do think it was helpful to better visualize things to make sure I got the right fonts sizes.
If you are doing a project where it does need to cut after it draws, just don’t press pause. It will cut beautifully!
Oh and make sure you push in the clasp on the pen holder. The writing will be wobbly otherwise (I didn’t do this in the video. Eek!).
Cricut Pen Projects
There are many pen projects you can do once you figure out how to best use your Cricut machine to write with. While you can certainly come up with your own designs, I thought I’d share a few “Make it Now” projects that Cricut has (though you can view them all here). Some of them are included with a Cricut Access subscription, while others have an additional cost.
You may be asking, Will it be easy for me to use the Cricut software to create Make it Now projects? And the answer is, YES! These projects are a wonderful way to learn how to use your machine to make beautiful projects without going through the stress of creating your own.
I do recommend searching through the ideas here for the most inspiration – there are a lot of variations on the projects I share below!
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