How to Print and Cut stickers at home with an Epson ET-2760 and Cricut Explore Air 2, Step by Step

I just received my first inquiry in e-mail about my blog on printing glossy stickers with my chosen tabletop hardware, the Epson Eco-Tank 2760 printer and a Cricut Explore Air 2 vinyl cutter and decided to start a FAQ about it. This one's for Amy!

I own a Epson Eco-tank 2760 and I am looking at getting a Cricut, not sure which yet, but would love your advice and step by step on how to make the stickers myself.
 

Note 1: I can't speak to other models of Epson printers, and I've only ever used a Cricut Explore Air 2, but from what I understand the operation of Print Then Cut doesn't differ much if at all on the Maker.

Note 2: All products linked in this blog post are Amazon Affiliate links and if you buy stuff I get money.

 

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Tip: Get a longer USB cable

Maybe even two. When I first set up my Cricut, my computer was in a separate room and I tried controlling the machine with my Android device. Unfortunately the Design Studio feature Print Then Cut isn't available on Android and I resorted to analog hacks like the paper tape guide trick I found on this 2017 video by Eric M Boyd. This wasted so much energy that I eventually just moved my furniture around and brought the printer and vinyl cutter closer to my computer tower, because I don't have a laptop and my office WiFi is spotty. Since I need a large surface area to work on, I need the cable to be longer than the USB cord that came with my Cricut Explore so I can keep my workflow on the other side of the room, out of the way.

Gray 15ft & 20ft length USB 2.0 printer cables

If you anticipate the logistics of hardware placement will be a problem you will face in your space, and your WiFi connection is questionable at best, I recommend getting one or two super long USB 2.0 Type A Male to B Male cords like this one, which is available in either 15 or 20 feet lengths and cost around $15USD.






This is the same type of cable used by the Epson Eco-Tank 2760 printer by the way, so you might want to get two of these otherwise you have to unplug it from the printer to operate the cutter and vice versa. The sketchy WiFi in here messes up my print jobs if I try using the wireless connection, so I plug my printer into the computer as well as the Cricut.

Teal USB 2.0 Printer Cable, 15ft, 25ft, 30ft, 40ft lengths

This seller has USB 2.0 Type A Male to B Male cables available in 15, 25, 30 and 40 foot lengths in the ballpark of $10-20.








 


This article assumes your Epson Eco-Tank 2760 printer is already operational.


Tip: Calibrate your Cricut

When I first set up the Cricut Explore Air 2 without being able to plug it into my computer and lacking the proper features on my Android device, I was unable to calibrate my vinyl cutter in preparation for Print Then Cut and wasted resources/time/energy. Dedicate the space and set it up right the first time, don't bother with work-arounds like I did.

Cricut Help article: Calibrating your machine for Print Then Cut

But, which Cricut machine should you get?

Cricut makes several models of vinyl cutters and more, but for sticker production you'll want to avoid the small machines and go for either an Explore or a Maker.

I have the Explore Air 2 in the color "Peacock" which is a vibrant gemstone teal with white feet. The Peacock Cricut Explore Air 2 tends to be the least expensive because it most often goes on sale, but there are at least seven other colors as of 2022. Being new to vinyl cutting when I got my machine in 2020, I opted for the cheapest option and listed that one first. The color grid below ends with the most expensive machines on the bottom row. Some of these are more expensive than the newer generation

Hover over the machines below to view the colorway and click to be taken to the affiliate link to explore the product listing on Amazon.

In the year after I published my original blog post about sticker production, Cricut launched its 3rd generation of products. If you want to compare the Cricut Explore 3 to the Cricut Maker 3, I suggest this video by JenniferMaker on YouTube.

Cricut Explore 3 & Maker 3: Everything You Want to Know About Cricut's New Cutting Machines! 05/22/21

The Explore 3 price is well on par with some of the more collectible colors available in the Explore Air 2, and so far the Explore 3 is only available in Mint. You'll also notice Cricut did away with the two-tone colorblock effect, and the feet are no longer white on the next gen.

The Explore 3 is about $100 more expensive than the Peacock Explore Air 2 linked above.

Shop the Cricut Explore 3

Critical changes in functionality between the Explore Air 2 and the Explore 3:

  • Explore 3 no longer has an external dial for choosing material type. All materials settings are controlled within Cricut Design Space. This is an appealing change to me as I almost always leave my Explore Air 2 set to Custom.

  • The flip-up lid is now able to be used to hold a device such as a tablet. I don't care about this feature, as I'm usually printing and cutting glossy material, and to reduce glare I keep the lid closed, or the machine has difficulty reading registration marks to light glare. I also don't own an Apple device that would make this worthwhile.

  • Upgraded sensors on the Explore 3 may reduce concerns regarding glossy materials, but I can't speak to that without a machine to compare troubleshooting methods.

  • The biggest change: You no longer need sticky mats! I have no idea what effect this will have on sticker production.

I don't have experience with the Maker machines as they're about $100 more expensive than the Explore line and $200 more than the one I bought, but if you do a lot of sewing and want to work with fabric, you'd do best with a Maker. A note of least import: the Maker 3 only comes in this powder blue color for now.

Shop the Cricut Maker 3

 

Prepare to print by uploading your sticker images into Design Space. There are a lot of walkthroughs demonstrating such things depending on your use case and desired end