I had my Cricut a year ago, and it seriously changed my life. and funny though, it's like an iphone! a crafter's bling; like seriously within the year that I had it, 2 new models were already released, haha! however, I'm still happy with my Cricut explore Air as I am still exploring my luck with paper flowers and what I have still serves what I need. So I'll just rely with promos and contests for my own Cricut maker. LOL.
Anyway, I do want to share a priceless tip I picked up from Cricut forums. Well, that's already one tip, when you're new to Cricut, join the forums in facebook. 'Cricut explore for newbies and pros" is the best (though honestly I was banned there last May because I tried to promote my FB page. bummer :/) but good thing I did picked up the next tip I will share before I was banned:
How to expand the life of your Cutting mat.
So, the default cutting mat is the green one. At first it will be super sticky, to the point that you will be cursing its stickiness. but as you use it, it will lose that super stickiness that you will be missing that "stickiness" you're cursing before. And as you lose that, you will encounter problems with cutting your cardstock or whatever material as (your material) will be slipping out of the mat, making what you cut a waste (though at times you can still salvage it but sometimes, the paper rips and again, your material's wasted). and also, some would suggest to just wash the mats or wash it with "Awesome Cleaner" but it's not enough specially when you've worn your mat so much.
So what I've learned is
Apply repositionable glue/adhesive to your mat.
You have a few choices to use though (like the one above, Aleen's) and like some below
Being the stingy or in my native language, "kuripot" person that I am, I personally use Elmer's repostionable glue stick. While the others are priced at around $9-12, Elmer's glue stick is just around $3 per stick.
I started to do this method last May and up until now, I still use what I bought (2 sticks). And yes, I haven't bought another mat since.
So here's the steps,
but a notable note at first:
a. I have only tried it in Cricut's green mat, haven't tried it in the blue or violet Cricut's mat, and most specially not yet in Silhouette's mat.