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Learn The Basics Of Cricut Design Space – Tips & Tricks!

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Learn the Basics of Cricut Design Space with this tutorial! Learn by step how to use each tool and category in Design Space. Including, how to add text, images, weld, attach, and so much more.

learn the basics of Cricut design space.

Want to learn the basics of Cricut Design Space? If you have recently purchased your own Cricut, you’ve probably checked out Cricut Design Space (CDS) by now. It can be a little overwhelming at first to learn all the amazing features CDS has to offer, but once you get the hang of it you won’t be able to stop crafting!

CDS comes with tools that help you build your project from scratch, or to find projects that you can modify and make your own. Be sure you have CDS downloaded and your Cricut is set up first so you can dive right in!

This is what the Canvas will look like when you first open Design Space (DS). You can choose to leave the grid on, or turn it off. The grid is helpful when you are trying to keep things perfectly aligned. I like a white background when I’m trying to see my project better, but it’s completely up to what you prefer.

cricut design space canvas picture.
cricut design space canvas grid picture.

Left Side Design Panel

The left panel comes with all the main options and features that you will need to design projects in DS. Start a new project, import images for your project, add texts and shapes, and many more things!

cricut design space left side panel picture.

New

This is where you will go to start a new project.

Templates

Templates allows you to visualize your project better when you are creating a design. For example, if you type in shirt in the search feature, the search will bring up templates of different shirts. This helps you visualize what a specific image will look like on the shirt. Click on the shirt you like and Add to Canvas.

cricut design space templates picture.

Next, you can then click on the Images button and search for something specific. For example, a quote for the shirt. You can then select a quote, then click on Add to Canvas.

cricut design space images picture.

Now, you can click on and drag the quote to get a better idea of how the design will look on a specific template. To delete the quote, select the X and delete it.

cricut design space image picture.

To delete the template and start over, click on “t-shirts” on the bottom right, then click delete at the top.

Projects

Browse, select, and cut projects from the Projects tab. Here there are so many designs for Cricut Access Members (CAM) to choose from. The green A means it is for CAM.

design space projects picture.

It costs $9.99/month for this subscription. I highly recommend CAM if you use your Cricut a lot because it makes Cricut crafts so much easier!

Search for different projects types. For example: Valentine’s Day cards. The search will pop up so many ideas. If there is no Green A on a project then those are for anyone to use, including those without CAM.

cricut design space project ideas picture.

Click on a project, then click on Customize, to insert the project into DS. All the layers will show up on the right-hand side.

cricut design space project custom picture.

Another cool feature, when you click on a Project (before inserting it to DS) scroll down, it will show you all the information and instructions you need for the project. Including, the materials you need, how long it will take, how advanced the project is, etc. These project ideas are perfect if you aren’t a fan of making your own designs from scratch.

Images

Browse, select, and insert images from the Cricut Image Library. Search images to find what you are looking for. For example, a heart.

cricut design space images hearts picture.

Once you are on the Images tab, on the left-hand side you can filter to what kind of heart you want. Narrowing down what you are looking for is a huge time saver in DS.

You can filter by project type, operation type (cut only, print then cut, draw only), and more! To insert an image, click on the image you like and Add to Canvas.

cricut design space project type picture.

Text

Add words and phrases to the Canvas. A text box will appear and this is where you’ll type.

cricut design space text picture.

To change the font, go to Font at the top, and choose a different font. Clicking on All at the top will show you all the fonts that Cricut has and also the fonts you have downloaded on your computer. System, will show you fonts already on your computer. Cricut, will just show the Cricut fonts.

cricut design space font picture.

Letter Space

Select your text. The down arrow will move the letters closer together, the up arrow will separate them further apart.

cricut design space letter space picture.

If you want only certain letters touching, click Ungroup on the top right and you can move individual letters around. This is a great time to have the grid on so you can see if the letters are all lined up evenly.

cricut design space ungroup picture.

On the right side panel, you can click on a specific part of a word or phrase. This will select just that part of the word or phrase, and you can move it around that way too.

Selecting the phrase and clicking on Group will regroup the phrase back together.

Weld

When you move letters close together so they are touching, you will need to highlight the whole phrase and click Weld if you want them to cut all in one piece.

If you don’t weld your letters that are touching, the Cricut will cut each individual letter, even if that means cutting into the letter you attached to.

If you click Weld, then change your mind, you will not be able to unweld. The only way to undo the weld is to click the back arrow at the top left.

cricut design space weld picture.

Font Size

You can resize by using the Font Size at the top. Or when highlighting your phrase, unlock on the bottom left, and you can drag your design around. Then lock it again. You can also go to the top where it says Size and change the width and the height to change it that way too.

cricut design space font size picture.

If you want to stack your words or phrase, click on Text to open a text box. Click enter after each word you want to move to a different line.

cricut design space stack text picture.

After that, you can choose the Alignment you want at the top. Remember, if you want your words closer together or further apart, click on Line Space to change that. You can also change the Style, etc.

It takes a lot of playing around with the different features to change up your project to be the way you want it!

cricut design space alignment picture.

Shapes

Add basic shapes like circles, squares, triangles, and score lines to your Canvas. You can choose any shape you need.

cricut design space shapes picture.

For example, if I’m making a 10×10-inch sign with a 1-inch frame around it, I size a square to be 8 inches to leave room for the frame.

Since the frame is black, you can go to Operation at the top, click on the black box and change the square to be a different color. I usually change mine to white, so I can see the black text I am using on the square.

cricut design space operation picture.

You can then click on the text box and add any text. If you would like each word or line to be their own layer, then you would type each word or line in a new text box. This also enables you to choose a different font for each word or line and to drag and place each one where you would like it on the square.

cricut design space text box picture.

Reminder: The cursive letter fonts don’t attach each letter together automatically. If the letters don’t connect, you will have to go to Line Space and press the arrow down to move the letters closer together until they touch, or you will have to ungroup them and manually move each individual together. Don’t forget to Weld!

cricut design space line space picture.

To see your wording bigger on the grid, click the Zoom plus button on the bottom left. The DS zoom will increase or decrease as you push the + or – buttons by 25%. Zoom in to get a closer look at your project. Zoom out to get a better overview of your project.

Use the Align button at the top and choose how you would like your phrase to be aligned. Once you have your words or phrase exactly where you want them, highlight the whole thing then click Attach at the bottom right. This will keep those words all attached together.

cricut design space align attach picture.

Upload

You can upload .jpg, .gif, .png, .bmp, .svg, or .dxf image files. Choose a design you want to upload into DS, then click the Upload Imagine in the center of your screen.

cricut design space align attach picture.

From there you can drag and drop in your design, or you can browse and find your design on your computer. Here it will show you all the types of files you can use in DS. If you purchased a design online you can upload it here.

cricut design space drag and drop picture.

Next, you can name the image. You can also add tags, which I recommend because then the design will pop up when you search for images.

cricut design space image name tags picture.

Then you can save it and Add to Canvas. Uploading an SVG files will show you all the multiple layers the file comes in.

cricut design space save picture.

PNG

When the design is a PNG, it will upload all in one layer. When uploading a PNG you’ll select image type. If the image is fairly simple, choose Simple, then continue.

cricut design space image type picture.

The next page will take you to a Background Remover. If you need to remove anything from the background, this is where you will want to do that. Once you are done, click Apply & Continue. Before you continue, click on Preview Cut Image to be sure the image is how you want it.

cricut design space background remover picture.

You’ll then want to make sure you save it as a Cut image. Here again, you can name it and add your tags and save. Then, you can insert onto the Canvas.

cricut design space cut image picture.

SVG

To make your designs for SVG, you’ll need to make sure you highlight the entire image and click Attach before you can Make It. It will then sort it onto your mat space and you are ready to cut.

cricut design space attach make it picture.

Once you click the Make It button, DS will walk you through the steps of what you need to do to. Including, putting your vinyl on the mat, inserting the mat, and pressing the load and go buttons. It will also make sure you have the right settings for the material you are using.

cricut design space make it picture.
cricut design space set base material picture.
cricut design space loading mat picture.

Continue reading to Learn More Basics of Cricut Design Space!

Header in Cricut Design Space

Menu

The menu helps you navigate through CDS. From here you can get to Home and Canvas, as well as many DS features like Calibration, Cricut Access, Settings and Help.

cricut design space menu picture.

Page Title

This helps remind you which page in DS you are on, either Home or Canvas.

cricut design space page title picture.

Project Name

The name of your project will appear in the header. If you haven’t saved your project, it will say Untitled. 

cricut design space project name picture.

My Projects

This is where you will open a project you have previously saved.

cricut design space make projects picture.

Save

You can save a project to your account. Or Save As to rename your project.

cricut design space save as picture.

Make It

This is where you prepare your mats and send your project to your Cricut machine.

cricut design space make picture.

Lower Right Corner of Cricut Design Space

We’ve touched briefly on some of these features above.

cricut design space lower right corner picture.

Slice

Splits two overlapping shapes into separate pieces. Think of it like a cookie cutter where it cuts one shape from another shape to create new shapes.

cricut design space slice picture.
cricut design space slice result picture.

Attach/Detach

Attach basically holds items together so that objects on the cutting mat will appear exactly as they are arranged on your Canvas. Detach separates attached layers so they are no longer connected and will cut, draw, or score independently from all other layers.

Weld

Weld is great for cursive text so it is one continuous word and each individual letter isn’t cut. It joins two shapes together into one shape and removes any overlapping cut lines.

Contour

Delete inside or outside of images or unwanted lines. I use it often to hide or ignore pieces of a design that I don’t want cut out. If the image has multiple layers, you have to Ungroup in order to use Contour

cricut design space contour picture.

Click on the areas that you don’t want cut out. I clicked on the lines inside the M’s and the O. Once you do that, click the X on the top right to close the box.

cricut design space hide contour picture.

This will be the result.

cricut design space contour result picture.

Flatten/Unflatten

Flatten will take all the images and shapes that you have selected and put them into a single image. Unflatten separates layers from a single printable image into individual printable layers.

Visible/Hidden Layer

The open eyeball icon will show that a layer is visible on the Canvas and will cut, draw, score, or print. Click the eyeball to hide the selected layer. Hidden layers will not cut, draw, score, or print. If you use a shape as a template you will want to make sure to hide this layer or it will cut with your design.

cricut design space visible hidden layer picture.
cricut design space layers picture.

Continue reading to Learn More Basics of Cricut Design Space!

Upper Right Corner Of Cricut Design Space

Layers Panel

See all the different layers of your images.  Click the eye to hide or unhide certain layers.

cricut design space layers panel picture.

Color Sync

See how many colors you have on your Canvas. Change items to the same color by dragging and dropping in this panel.

cricut design space color sync picture.

I hope this tutorial helped you learn the basics of Cricut Design Space! Happy Crafting!

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