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Complete Cricut Design Space Tutorial For Beginners – 2022

Are you trying to learn everything about Cricut Design Space, and you don’t even know where to start?

Learning a new hobby or skill can be intimidating at first. Sometimes, we don’t even know where to start because there’s so much information, and it’s overwhelming.

The best way to learn and master Cricut Design Space is from the beginning!

When you have a clear concept of what every icon and panel is for, you can truly dig in and start exploring further and further.

Sometimes we are quick to jump from project to project – Hey, That’s ok too! BTDT – But I think that knowing your work area will help you take your creativity to a whole new level.

This article aims to teach you an overview of every icon and panel of the Cricut Design Space canvas area.

cricut design space tutorial for beginners featured images
Let’s learn together!

Before we dig in, let’s learn what the Cricut Design Space canvas area is.

The Cricut Design Space canvas area is where all the magic happens before you cut your projects.

Design Space is where you touch up and organize your creations. In this space, you can use and upload your fonts and images, but you can also use Cricut’s premium images and fonts via individual purchases, Cricut Access, and cartridges.

Now, That we got that definition out of the way, let’s get started!

Note: If you are still learning what a Cricut is and which one you should get, I highly recommend you to read this post where I walk you through 50+ questions before and after I got the Cricut. I spent multiple hours of research and a whole week putting together this ultimate guide, and I update it as Cricut releases new cool stuff.

Cricut Design Space Canvas Tutorial For Beginners – What’s everything for?

Investing in a Cricut is futile if you don’t learn how to master Design Space because you will always need this software to cut any project.

In my opinion, Cricut Design Space is an excellent tool for beginners. If you have no experience with any other Design programs like Photoshop or Illustrator, you will find that although it looks overwhelming, it’s pretty easy.

You guys, if I can do it, you can too!

Design Space mainly touches up your projects and creates minimal designs with shapes and fonts. On the other hand, if you have preview experience with any Adobe Creative Cloud apps or Inkscape. You will see that this program is just a breeze.

If you want something more sophisticated, you will need your own designs or Cricut Access. That’s a membership where you get access to their supergiant library. Learn more about it in this article and guide I put together.

When you log into your Cricut Design Space account and want to start or edit a new project, you will do everything from a window called CANVAS.

There are so many buttons, options, and things to do that you might feel lost. Don’t worry; I am here along the way, cheering you up and encouraging you to keep going.

In this tutorial, you are about to learn what EVERY SINGLE ICON and to keep everything in order and easy to understand, we are going to divide the canvas into four areas and four colors:

  • Top Panel Yellow – Editing Area
  • Left Panel Blue – Insert Area
  • Right Panel Purple – Layers Panel
  • Canvas Area Green

Tip: This is not a short post, so I encourage you to get a cup of coffee with some donuts or cookies if possible.

Cricut Design Space divided in 4 colors
Ready to conquer Cricut Design Space?

Top Panel Cricut Design Space

The top panel in the Design Space Canvas area is for editing and arranging elements on the canvas area. You can choose what type of font you’d like to use; you can change sizes, align designs, and more!

This panel is divided into two sub-panels. The first one allows you to save, name, and finally cut your projects. And the second one will enable you to control and edit things on the canvas area.

Sub-panel #1 Name Your Project and Cut it

This sub-panel allows you to navigate from the canvas to your profile, projects, and it also sends your completed projects to cut.

Sub-panel #1
Toggle Menu

When you click on this button, another whole menu will slide open. This menu is a handy one. But it’s not part of the Canvas, so I won’t be going into a lot of detail.

You can go to your profile and change your photo from here.

There are other valuable and technical things you can do from this menu, like calibrating your machine and blades; also updating the firmware (software) of your device.

You can also manage your subscriptions from Cricut Access, your account details, etc.

I recommend you click on every link to explore everything Cricut Design Space has for you.

Note: On the settings option, you can change the visibility and measurements of the Canvas; this is explained better at the end of this post when I explain all about the canvas area.

Project Name

All projects start with an *Untitled “title,” you can only name a project from the canvas area after placing at least one element (Image, shape, etc.).

My Projects

When you click on my projects, you will be redirected to your library of things you have already created; this is great because sometimes you might want to re-cut a previously created project. So, there’s no need for you to recreate the same project over and over.

Save

This option will activate after placing one element on your canvas area. Although Cricut has autosave, sometimes you can still lose some of your hard work; I recommend saving your project as you go.

Machine
cricut design space machine selection

Depending on the type of machine you have, you will need to select the device you own; this is very important because each machine has different options and operations (covering later in this tutorial) it can perform.

For instance, if you have a Maker machine, you’ll have more options than when you have any of the Explore machines.

The same goes with the 3 series. You can cut matless and larger-sized projects with these new machines.

Make it

When you are done uploading your files and ready to cut, click on Make it!

Down below, there’s a screenshot of what you would see. Your projects are divided into mats according to the colors of your project.

You can also increase the number of projects to cut; this is great if you plan to create more than one cut.

Note: If you have a Maker 3, Explore 3, and Joy, you can cut without a mat. You will be prompted to select how you want to cut your project.

"MAKE IT" Mat preview in Cricut Design Space.
When you click on Make it, this is what you see

Subpanel #2 – Editing Menu

It’s extremely useful, and it will help you to edit, arrange, and organize fonts and images on the Canvas Area

Cricut Design Space Top Panel
Top Panel – Editing Menu
a. Undo & Redo
undo redo icons in Design Space

Sometimes while we work, we make mistakes. These little buttons are a great way to correct them.

Click Undo when you create something you don’t like or make a mistake. Click Redo when you accidentally delete something you didn’t want to delete or modify.

b. Operation
operation icon in Design Space

This option will tell your machine what tools and blades you will use.

Remember that you will have different options depending on the Machine you have selected on the top of the window (Maker, Explore, or Joy).

There are ten operations (basic cut, wavy, perforate, pen, foil, score, deboss, engrave, and print then cut and guide).

Operation in Cricut in design space

These are the option you have per type of machine:

  • Joy: basic cut, draw (pen and foil), print then cut, and guide.
  • Explore: basic cut, draw (pen, foil, and score), and guide
  • Maker: basic cut, wavy, perforate, draw (pen, foil, score, deboss, engrave), print then cut, and guide.

Here is a more in-depth explanation of each tool.

Basic Cut

Unless you uploaded a JPEG or PNG image to the Canvas, “Basic Cut” is the default operation that all of your elements on your canvas will have; this means that when you press MAKE IT, your machine will cut those designs.

With the “Basic Cut” option selected, you can change the color of each layer to represent the materials you will use when you cut your projects.

If you need help with learning about the Cricut Blades and the differences, I recommend this ultimate guide and tutorial I put together. It’s the best on the web, just like this tutorial 🙂

Cut – Wave

This tool will create wavy effects on your final cuts instead of cutting on straight lines like the rotary or fine point blade.

Getting curved lines in Design Space is quite complicated, so this tool will come in handy if you like these sorts of effects.

Cut – Perf

The Perforation Blade is a tool that allows you to cut your materials in small and uniform lines to create perfect and crisp tear effects like the ones you see in raffle tickets, coupons, tear-out cards, etc.

Learn how to use the perforation blade

Draw – Pen

If you want to write on your designs, you can do it with your Cricut!

When you assign this operation, you will be prompted to choose any of the Cricut Pens you have (You need specific pens unless you have a 3rd party adapter). When you select a particular design, the layers on the canvas area will be outlined with the color of the pen you picked.

With “Pen,” when you click “Make it,” your Cricut will write or draw instead of cutting.

Note: This option DOESN’T color your designs.

Draw – Foil

“Foil” allows you to make beautiful foil finishes on your projects with the Cricut foil transfer kit.

You can choose between fine, medium, and bold finishes when using this operation.

Draw – Score

The Score tool is a more potent version of the scoring line on the left panel. When you assign this attribute to a layer, all designs will appear scored or dashed.

This time, when you click on Make it. Your Cricut won’t cut, but it will score your materials.

You will need the scoring stylus or the scoring wheel for these projects. However, keep in mind The wheel only works with the Cricut Maker.

If you have doubts about what materials you need, I suggest reading this article. It’s the ultimate guide for learning what accessories and materials you genuinely need.

Draw – Engrave

It allows you to engrave different types of materials. For instance, you can create monograms on aluminum sheets or anodized aluminum to reveal the silver beneath.

Draw – Deboss

This tip will push the material in and create beautiful and detailed designs. The debossing tip will allow you to customize your designs to a whole new level.

Imagine debossing a beautiful gift box with flowers, hearts, stars, etc.!

Print Then Cut

“Print Then Cut” is one of the best features Cricut has because it allows you to print your designs and then cut them; this is fabulous, and honestly, it’s what motivated me to get a Cricut in the first place.

selecting standard print then cut in cricut design space

I design tons of printables for kiddos and adults, and for taking photos – for my posts – I had to cut every single little thing!

Ahhhgggg, I seriously wanted to cry every time. I am a lefty, and scissors make my hands hurt. So the Cricut is a live saver for me.

Anyway, we are getting back to the Printing option. When this operation is active, after you click “Make it,” you’ll send your files to your home printer and then have your Cricut do all the heavy lifting. (Cutting)

Another excellent option for the “Print Type” is “Patterns”!!!

You guys, this is so cool. Use Cricut’s choices, or upload your own; you can add a pattern to pretty much any kind of layer.

patterns in cricut design space

The sky is the limit!

Let’s say it’s Valentine’s Day. You can make a beautiful card with an already created pattern from Cricut Access (Membership, not free) or your own. Then print and cut at the same time.

edit pattern in cricut design space
Edit your patterns to fit your needs!

Thank you, Cricut!

Print then Cut ONLY works with the Cricut Maker and any of the Explore Family Machines (it’s not compatible with Cricut Joy).

Guide

It’s a feature that allows you to add elements to the canvas as a reference on your project, but that won’t be part of your project when you send it to cut.

c. Select All
"select all" icon in cricut design space.

When you need to move all of your elements inside the canvas area, you may struggle to select them one by one.

Click Select all to select all of the elements from the canvas.

d. Edit
"edit" icon in cricut design space.

This icon will allow you to cut (remove from the canvas), copy (copy the same item, leave the original intact), and paste (insert copied or cut elements on the canvas area) items from the canvas.

The Edit Icon has a drop-down menu.

“Cut,” and “Copy” will be activated when you select one or more elements from the canvas area. “Paste” will be enabled once you copy or cut something.

e. Offset

In Cricut Design Space, “Offset” is a tool that allows you to create a proportional outline inside and outside of text, images, and shapes.

The offset tool is quite handy when you need to make projects like stickers, cake toppers, or any other design you may want to add a “stand-out” effect.

– Distance: It will determine how big the offset will be.

The max distance you can apply is 1 inch in both directions. If you move it to the left, you’ll make an inline, and if you move it to the right, you’ll outline.

– Corner: You can choose between round and square corners when designing. I usually use the round option because it generates a better result.

Weld Offsets: If you want your design to have a single outline, check the option “Weld Offsets,” If you want the outline of every detail of your multi-layer design, uncheck the option.

offset tool infographic

The offset tool is still in beta; it can sometimes be glitchy.

Check out my tutorial on how to master the offset tool in Cricut Design Space.

f. Align

If you have previous experience with other graphic design programs, most likely, you’ll know how to use this menu.

align tool in cricut design space

If you aren’t familiar with the align tools, let me tell you something; the align menu is something you want to master to perfection.

I will be creating a complete tutorial for this, but while it comes out; here’s what every align function means:

Align: This function allows you to align all of your designs, and it’s activated when selecting two or more elements.

– Align Left: All elements will be aligned to the left when using this setting. The furthest element to the left will dictate where all of the other elements will move towards.

 – Center Horizontal: This option will align your elements horizontally; this will entirely center text and images.

 Align Right: When using this setting, all of your elements will be aligned to the right. The furthest element to the right will dictate where all other parts will move.

– Align Top: This option will align all your selected designs to the top. The furthest element to the top will dictate where all other elements move.

 – Center Vertically: This option will align your elements vertically. It’s handy when working with columns and you want them organized and aligned.

 – Align Bottom: This option will align all your selected designs to the bottom. The furthest element to the bottom will dictate where all other elements move.

 – Center: This option is a very cool one. When you click on “center,” you are centering, vertically and horizontally, one design against another; this is particularly useful when you want to center text with a shape like a square or a star.

Distribute: If you want the same spacing between elements, it’s very time-consuming to do it independently, and it’s not 100% right. The distribute button will help you out with that. To be activated, you must have at least three elements selected.

– Distribute Horizontally: This button will distribute the elements horizontally. The furthest left and right designs will determine the distribution length, and the items in the center will be distributed between the most distant left and right designs.

– Distribute Vertically: This button will distribute the elements vertically. The furthest top and bottom designs will determine the distribution length; the items in the center will be distributed between the most distant top and bottom designs.

Align in cricut design space
How to align in Cricut Design Space
g. Arrange
arrange in cricut design space

When you work with multiple images, text, and designs, the new creations you add to the canvas will always be in front of everything. However, some of your design elements need to be back or front.

With the arrange option, you can organize the elements very easily.

Something great about this function is that the program will know what item is on the front or back, and when you select it, Design Space will activate the available options for that particular element.

Cool right?

These are the options you get:

– Bring to front: This option will move the selected element to the front.

– Bring Forward: This option will move the element just one step forward. Typically, you would use this option when you have four or more items you need to organize.

– Send Backward: This option will move the selected item just one step back. If you have a three-element design, It will be like the cheese in a cheese sandwich.

– Send to back: This will move the selected element to the back.

h. Flip
"Flip" icon in cricut design space.

If you need to reflect any of your designs in Cricut Design Space, this is a great way to do it.

There are two options:

– Flip Horizontal: This will reflect your image or design horizontally. It’s sort of like a mirror; It’s handy when trying to create left and right designs. Example: You are building some wings and already have the left side; with Flip, you can copy and paste the left wing, and voila! Now you have both (left and right) wings!

– Flip Vertical: This will flip your designs vertically. Kind of like you would see your reflection on the water. This option would be great if you want to create a shadow effect.

i. Size
size icon in design space

Everything you create or type in Cricut Design Space has a size. You can modify the size from the element in self (when you click on it). However, if you need an item to have an exact measurement, this option will allow you to do so.

The little lock is essential; you tell the program that you don’t want to keep the same proportions by clicking on it. When you increase or reduce the size of an image, the proportions are always locked.

j. Rotate
"Rotate: icon in Cricut Design Space

Like “Size,” rotating an element is something you can do very quickly from the canvas area. However, some designs need to be turned on a specific angle. If that’s the case for you, I recommend using this function. Otherwise, you will spend so much time fighting to get an element angled the way you want it to be.

k. Position
"Position" icon in Cricut Design Space

This box shows you where your items are on the canvas area when you click on a specific layer.

You can move your elements around by specifying where you want them to be on the canvas. It’s handy, but it’s a more advanced tool.

I don’t use it that much because I can get around better with the alignment tools mentioned above.

l. Font

When you click on this icon, you can select any font you want to use for your projects. You can filter them and search for them at the top of the window.

fonts in cricut design space

If you have Cricut Access, you can use any fonts with a little green A at the beginning of the font title.

However, if you don’t have Cricut access, make sure you use your system’s fonts; otherwise, you will be charged when you send your project to cut.

m. Style
font style in cricut design space

Once you pick your font, you can change its style.

Some of the options you have:
– Regular: this is the default setting, and it won’t change the appearance of your font.
– Bold: it will make the font thicker.
– Italic: it will tilt the font to the right.
– Bold italic: it will make the font thicker and tilt to the right.
– Writing: font style design to use pens, foil tips, etc. It will make your project look like you wrote it.

Note: not all fonts have the same options.

n. Font Size, Letter & Line Space
Top Panel Font Spacing and size Cricut Design Space

I can’t express enough how AMAZING these options are. Especially the letter spacing.

Font Size: You can change it manually from here. I usually just adjust the size of my fonts from the canvas area.

Letter Space: Some fonts have a considerable gap between each letter. This option will allow you to reduce the space between letters very quickly. It’s seriously a game-changer.

Line Space: this option will tackle the space between lines in a paragraph; this is very useful because sometimes I am forced to create a single line of text because I am not happy with the spacing between lines.

o. Alignment
"Alignment" icon in Cricut Design Space

This Alignment differs from the other “alignment” I explained above. This option is for paragraphs.

These are the options you have:

– Left: Align a paragraph to the left
– Center: Align a paragraph to the center
– Right: Align a paragraph to the right.

p. Curve
"Curve" icon in Cricut Design Space

This option will allow you to get extra creative with your text!

With this function, you can curve your text — the best way to learn it’s by playing with the little slider.

When you move the slider to the left, it will curve the text upwards; and when you move it to the right, it will bend the text inwards.

Note: if you move the slider entirely to the left, or right, you will form a circle with your fonts.

p. Advance

Advance is the last option on the editing panel.

Don’t be intimidated by the name of this drop-down menu. Once you learn what all options are for, you will see they are not that hard to use.

 – Ungroup to Letters: This option will allow you to separate each letter into a single layer (I will explain more about layers below); use this if you have plans to modify every character.

– Ungroup to Lines: This option is exceptional, and it will allow you to separate a paragraph on individual lines. Type your paragraph, then click on ungroup to lines, and there you have it; a separate line that you can now modify.

– Ungroup to Layers: This one is the trickiest of these options. This tool is only available for multi-layer fonts; these kinds of fonts are only available for individual purchases and, or Cricut Access.

A multi-layer font has more than one layer; these fonts are great if you want to have some shadow or color around them.

What if you like a multi-layer font and don’t want the added layer? Select your text and then click on ungroup to layers to separate every layer.

Learn how to Edit Text in Cricut Design Space

A quick pause to invite you over to my Instagram! Tag me and let me see all of your beautiful creations. I am so happy when I see people are using my tutorials!

Left Panel – Insert Shapes, Images & More

left panel cricut design space

With the top panel (that I just explained in detail), you will edit your designs.

But where do they all come from? They all come from the Cricut Design Space Left Panel.

This panel is all about inserting shapes, images, ready-to-cut projects, etc. From here, you will add all of the things you will cut.

This panel has seven options:

– New: to create and replace a new project in the canvas area.
– Templates: this allows you to have a guide on the types of things you will cut. Let’s say you want to iron on vinyl on a onesie. When you select the template, you can design and see what the design would look like.
– Projects: Add ready to cut projects from Cricut Access.
– Shapes: Insert all kinds of shapes on the canvas.
– Images: Pick single images from Cricut Access and cartridges to create a project.
– Text: Click here to add text to your canvas area.
– Phrases: find cute quotes for your projects (similar to images.)
– Uploads: Upload your images and cut files to the program.

You need to consider something fundamental on this panel; unless you have Cricut Access, images, ready-to-cut projects, and Cricut fonts cost money. If you use them, you will have to pay before cutting your project.

If you still have doubts about Cricut Access. Do yourself a favor and read this ultimate guide I put together for you to find out whether you need it or not. It’s seriously a lifesaver.

Now that we saw a little preview of what everything was for on this panel. Let’s see what happens when you click on each of those buttons.

a. New

When you click on NEW, and if you are already working on a project, you will receive a warning on top of the window asking you whether you want to replace your project or not.

If you want to replace your project, make sure to save all the changes from the current project; otherwise, you will lose all that hard work. After you save, a fresh new and empty canvas will open up for you to get started.

Cricut Design Space Canvas Left Panel new project

b. Templates

Templates help you visualize and see how your project will fit on a particular surface. I think this feature is just out of this world.

If you want to personalize fashion items, this tool is marvelous because you can select sizes and different types of clothing. Plus, they also have a lot of various categories that you can choose from.

If you want to learn more about templates and how to use them, I recommend reading this post.

Note: templates are just for you to visualize. Nothing will be cut when you finish designing and send your project to be cut.

templates window in Cricut Design Space

c. Projects

If you wish to cut right away, then “Projects” is where you want to go! Once you select your project, you can customize it; or click on “Make it” and follow the cutting instructions.

Tip: Most of the projects are available for Cricut Access members, or you can purchase them as you go. However, a handful of projects are FREE for you to cut, depending on your machine. Just scroll to the bottom of the categories’ drop-down menu and select the device you own.

No excuses!

projects window in Cricut Design Space

d. Shapes

Being able to use shapes it’s essential! With them, you can create simple, less complicated, and (also) beautiful projects.

Shapes options in Cricut Design Space

There’re multiple shapes you can choose from. The first option is not a shape but a fantastic tool called “Score Line.” With this option, you can create folds and score your materials to make cards, boxes, etc.

If you want to create boxes or love everything about card making, the Score Line will be your best friend!

Learn how to edit shapes like a Pro!

Note: The first shapes section is free, and the second one is included with Cricut Access.

e. Images

Images are perfect when you are putting together your own projects; with them, you can add an extra touch and personality to your crafts.

You can search by keyword, highlighted categories, subject, graphics, themes, and brands.

images window in Cricut Design Space

Under “Highlighted Categories,” Cricut has FREE images to cut every week.

Anytime you click under any category, a more powerful filter will appear. With this filter, you can narrow your search even further.

I suggest you play with these filters, so you find images more efficiently.

f. Text

Anytime you want to type on the Canvas area, you will need to click on Text. Initially, the word “Text” will appear on the canvas; simply click on it and write the text you want.

You can exit the “Text” by clicking on an empty space on the canvas, and reenter it by double-clicking on it.

text tool in Cricut Design Space

Learn how to edit text like a pro on this excellent guide I put together!

g. Phrases

If you just want images with text or find quotes or sentiments to go on your project click on “Phrases.”

This filter is very similar to “Images” and in my opinion a little bit redundant.

Phrases window in Cricut Design Space

h. Upload

Last but not least!

With this option, you can upload your files and images. The internet is filled with them; there are tons of bloggers that create projects for free.

upload window in Cricut Design Space.

Oh!

And just so you know, I also have a library full of free SVG files and Printables for all of my subscribers, a.k.a Daydreamers. You can see a preview right here or get access by filling out this form.

Note: The uploads you see on the image right down below are inside my fantastic library!

Right Panel – Learn All about Layers

layers panel in cricut design space

To set you up for success and before I explain to you what every icon is all about on the Layers Panel, let me introduce what a layer is.

Layers represent every single element or design that is on the canvas area.

Think of it like clothing; when you get dressed, you have multiple layers that make up your outfit; and depending on the day, or time of year, your outfit can be simple or complex.

So, for a freezing day, your layers would be underwear, pants, shirt, jacket, socks, boots, gloves, etc. You would only have one layer for a day at the pool, a Swim Suit!

The same happens with a design; depending on the project’s complexity, you’ll have different types of layers that’ll make up your entire project.

For example, let’s pretend that you are designing a Christmas Card.

What would this card have?

Maybe a text that says Merry Christmas, a tree, the card itself, perhaps an envelope as well?

My point is that all of the tiny designs and elements that are part of that project are layers.

Some layers can be modified; However, other layers, like JPEG and PNG images, can’t; this is because of the nature of the file or the layer itself.

For instance, a text layer can be converted into other types of layers, but you’ll lose the ability to edit that text when you do that.

As you go, you will learn more about what can or can’t do with layers.

I hope that gave you a good idea of what a layer is! Now let’s learn what every icon is for on this right panel.

a. Group, Ungroup, Duplicate, and Delete

group, ungroup, duplicate, and delete icons in cricut design space

These settings will make your life easy when moving things around the canvas area, so make sure to play around with them.

Group: Click here to group layers. This setting is handy when you have different layers that make up a complex design.

Let’s say you are working on an elephant. Most likely (and if this is an SVG or cut file), the elephant will be composed of different layers (the body, eyes, legs, trunk, etc.); If you want to incorporate, extra shapes, and text; most likely is that you will be moving your elephant across the canvas area a lot.

Therefore, by grouping all of the elephant layers, you can ensure that everything stays organized and nothing will get out of place when you move them around the canvas.

Ungroup: This option will ungroup any grouped layers you select on the canvas area or layers panel. Use this option if you need to edit (size, type of font, etc.) a particular element or layer from the group.

Duplicate: This option will duplicate any layers or designs you have selected on the layers panel or canvas.

Delete: This option will delete any elements you have selected on the canvas or layers panel.

b. Operation

operation in cricut design space

Every item on the Layers Panel will show what operation you are using (basic cut, wavy, perforate, pen, foil, score, deboss, engrave, and standard print then cut)

Tip: By clicking on a layer and dragging it, you can move a particular design on top or under; you could say that this works like the Arrange option (sent to the front, back, etc.).

c. Layer Visibility

layer visibility in cricut design space

The little eye that appears on every layer on the layers panel represents the visibility of a design. When you are not sure whether an element looks good, instead of deleting it, click on the little eye to hide that design.

Note: When you hide an item, the eye will have a cross mark.

d. Blank Canvas

blank canvas icon in design space

This tool allows you to change the color of your canvas. This setting is also used with the “Templates” tool.

e. Slice, Weld, Attach, Flatten, and Contour

slice, weld, attach, flatten, and contour icons in cricut design space

These tools you see here are incredibly important! So make sure you master them to perfection.

I won’t go into a lot of detail on them because they deserve tutorials on their own.

However, I will give you a brief explanation of what they are all about by using the graphic down below.

Slice, Weld, Attach, Flatten, and Contour Info-Graphic

Slice, Weld, Attach, Flatten, and Contour Info-Graphic

As you can see in the graphic, the original design is a pink circle and a teal square. Now let’s see what happens when I use all of these options.

Slice

The “Slice” tool is perfect for cutting out shapes, text, and other elements, from different designs.

When I selected both shapes and clicked on “Slice,” you can see that the original file got all cut up; to show you the outcome, I copied and pasted the “Slice Result” and then separated all of the pieces.

Learn more about the slice tool

Weld

The welding tool allows you to combine two or more shapes in one.

When I selected both shapes and clicked on “Weld,” notice how a new shape was created, the color is determined by the layer on the back; that’s why the new shape is blue.

Attach

Attach works like grouping layers, but it’s more powerful.

When I selected both shapes and clicked on attach, you can see that the layers just changed color (determined by the layer on the back). However, the shapes are connected, and this attachment will remain in place, even after I send my project to be cut.

Learn more about Weld and Attach

Flatten

This tool is extra support for the “Print Then Cut” tool.

When you have “Print Then Cut” activated, that change applies to just one layer at a time. But what if you wish to do it to multiple shapes at the time?

When you are done with your design, select the layers you want to print together as a whole, and then click on flatten.

In this case, the design went from “Basic Cut” to “Print then Cut,” and that’s why it isn’t showing a black edge anymore.

Learn more about “Flatten” and “Print then Cut

Contour

The Contour tool allows you to hide unwanted pieces of a design, and it will only be activated when a shape or design has elements that can be left out.

Contour window in Cricut Design Space

For this example, I combined the original design in one shape with the weld tool; then I typed in the word contour and sliced it against the new shape, and used the Contour tool to hide the inner circles of the two letters O and the inner part of the letter R.

Learn more about the contour tool

f. Color Sync

color sync panel

Color Sync is the last option for the layers panel.

Every color on your canvas area represents a different material color. If your design has multiple shades of yellows or blues, are you sure you need them?

If you only need one shade of yellow, like this example. Just click and drag the tone you want to get rid of and drop it on the one you want to keep.

Learn how colors work in Cricut Design Space

Canvas Area

The canvas area is where you see all of your designs and elements. It’s very intuitive and easy to use!

canvas in cricut design space

a. Canvas Grid and Measurements

The canvas area is divided by a grid; this is great because every little square you see on the Grid helps you to visualize the cutting mat. In the end, this will help you to maximize your space.

You can change the measurements from inches to cm and turn the grid on and off when you click on the top panel toggle and then select Settings. (You can see this toggle menu, right at the beginning of this tutorial).

A window will pop up with all of the options.

cricut design space settings.
Turn the Grid off and on

b. Selection

Anytime you select one or more layers, the selection is grey, and you can modify it from all of the four corners.

The “red x” is for deleting the layers. The right upper corner will allow you to rotate the image (although if you need a specific angle, I recommend you to use the rotate tool on the editing menu).

The lower right button of the selection, “the small lock,” keeps the size proportional when you increase or decrease the size of your layer. By clicking on it, you are now able to have different proportions.

c. Zoom In and Out

Last but not least. If you want to see your project on a bigger or smaller scale (without modifying the real size of your designs), you can do it by pressing the “+ and -” signs on the lower-left corner of the canvas.

That’s it – You are not a beginner anymore!

I hope this tutorial was useful for you! If you read it and studied it consciously, let me tell you something, you are not a beginner.

You have graduated!

Do you know that it takes me over 25 hours of work to complete a single Cricut article? I know, it’s crazy! But I like to make sure that you understand EVERYTHING!

I would appreciate your support on Instagram / Pinterest / YouTube / as I am trying to grow my audience to keep producing great content!

If I am missing something, please let me know in the comments below so I can add the information to this tutorial, and have it be the most complete on the Internet.

Mildred Brewer

Sunday 26th of June 2022

Loved it it is very helpful and on point

Ro H

Sunday 5th of June 2022

This is so good! I dove into making my first project, head first. I got it done. But this was so helpful explaining all the icons!

Sharon

Saturday 7th of May 2022

Hello and Thank You for this tutorial, but I do have a question!!! I am using DS on my iPhone and when I select an image I’m working on in the canvas, I am not getting the box around it with the icons to delete,lock, rotate, change the size, etc. but instead I’m getting 4 boxes at each corner with no icons to edit the image as noted above!! I recently watched another YouTube tutorial for use of DS with an iPhone or iPad and the selected image had this edit icons!! I’m not sure why I’m not getting those edit icons and only getting 4 blank boxes at each corner!! Can you provide any assistance?!! Thank you in advance!!

Catalina

Friday 20th of May 2022

Cricut had an update and this article is on my list to work on. In the meantime, you can use each corner to increase the size of the layer, but to delete it you need to go to the layers panel, and to unlock the proportions you need to find the little lock on the "edit menu."

Joe

Monday 2nd of May 2022

Thank you for your Tutorial. I believe that I have gained enough knowledge to enable me to make my first attempt at producing something on Cricut. I've come a long way from standing on a scaffold with a trowel in my hand. If only.............

Angela

Wednesday 30th of March 2022

I have designed a baby shower invitation. I’m not sure how to print and cut it out.

Catalina

Thursday 19th of May 2022

Check out my print then cut tutorial.