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How to Write and Cut with your Cricut Maker or Explore Air 2

Hi Daydreamers!

Today you will be learning something very simple, but extremely useful; we will be covering how to Write and Cut with both the Cricut Maker and Cricut Explore. So, no matter what machine you have I got you cover.

If you are a beginner and are still figuring out Cricut’s software, I recommend that you read my fantastic and Ultimate Cricut Design Space tutorial. 

Cricut Black Pen and Fine Point Blade ready to Write and Cut
Lets Do it!

Write and Cut – First things First

Whether you have a Maker or Explore, your design will always have to go through the same steps. First we are going to focus on what we need to do on Cricut Design Space and then I will cover on how to proceed on each machine.

Free Love SVG heart
Right Click and Save SVG to follow along

A couple of weeks ago I posted a really cool article on how to Make Cards with your Cricut. It really goes in depth and I also cover how to Write and Cut when making greeting cards. Check it out if you want something with more meaty.

Today I just want to focus on answering this question, I don’t know about you but sometimes I just need and answer, not a whole project.

What are we waiting for? Let’s get started

Materials – Accessories

For this tutorial you will need:

Note: If you are using thicker materials like Poster-board, Chipboard, balsa or basswood, you will need the Maker and a different type of blade.

How to Set your Machine to Write and Cut in Cricut Design Space

Linetype Drop Down Menu

There are many projects you can create with your Cricut. However, the key to master your machine is by learning why and how everything works.

There are basically 3 main features your Cricut has: CUT, DRAW, and SCORE

All of these 3 features are different LINETYPES and they will tell your Cricut whether it needs to Cut, Draw, or Score. The linetype drop down menu is located on the top of the canvas area, and you can change it any time you are selecting a layer or element on the canvas area.

Look at the Screenshot down bellow and let’s chat a little bit about each element.

Screenshot showing how to Cut, Draw and Cut & Draw in one step in Cricut Design Space
Cut + Draw + Cut & Draw in one Step

First we have a pink heartdownload here – this element has CUT as linetype and you can tell because is a solid color with a dark grey border.

The border represents where the blade will cut trough and the solid color represents the color or type of the material you are going to use in your project.

The Second heart is just outlined. This is because I changed the linetype to DRAW. You won’t see any background color here. Because here you are just telling your design to just draw on whatever material that you decide to use.

Screenshot showing how to change the color of your Cricut Pens
Change Color of the pen you are going to use

The Third Heart is a combination of a heart – you can add by clicking on shapes located on the left panel of the canvas area – and the drawing heart I explained above. Here I am telling my Cricut that I want Cut a Yellow Heart Shape and inside of it I want to draw heart with the word love inside it.

IMPORTANT: If you want to cut and draw in one step you need to make sure, that the shape or design you are going to cut is attached to what you are going to write. Otherwise your Cricut will place each element on different mats.

In other words…

Any SVG file that you upload to Design Space can be Drawn, or Cut by changing the linetype. So don’t be shy and try these linetype with different shapes, more complex designs.


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 this form.

Now let’s see how It works with text, because is a little bit different!

Write vs Draw Text in Cricut Design Space

When using text in Design Space you have two option:

  • Change Linetype for Drawing
  • Use a Font that has a Writing font style

When you change the Linetype your text will look outline and this is perfect if you want to color them after you are done with your project, or if this is the effect you are looking for.

However, if you want a WRITING effect you MUST use Cricut Fonts. These fonts are specifically designed for this purpose. Here’s the problem, normally they Cost money; you can either buy them individually, or they come with Cricut Access.

However, there’s a bright light at the end of the tunnel

Difference between Drawing and Writing Text in Cricut Design Space
Writing Effect VS Drawing Effect

Something that I noticed is that they do give you a couple of fonts for free with your machine. To find them, select on your text, then click on font and filter them by selecting My Fonts + Writing.

Screenshot of Fonts and how to filter them
Filter to find Writing fonts

If you are interested in learning more about text and become at pro at editing, make sure to read this wonderful tutorial I put together.

Make it

Let’s see what are the instructions you need to follow with each machine. Let’s try the Cut and Write in one Step.

Screenshot of Writing and cutting in one step Cricut Design Space
Don’t forget to attach!

Make sure that both elements are attached. Otherwise they will be place in different mats. To do this select both designs and then click on the attach option located at the bottom of the layers panel.

Click on MAKE IT located on top right corner. And follow the cutting instructions.

Ready to cut and Write Project
Click continue, connect your machine and follow the instructions

Cutting and Writing Maker vs Explore

The main difference you are going to have with each machine is the way to select your materials.

If you have a Maker you will need to select the material from Cricut Design Space. But if you have any of the Explore Family machines you will need to set your material by moving the dial.

Of course there are rules to that. If you are using a custom material for your Explore Machine, then you would need to set your dial to custom material and then select it from Cricut Design Space.

Keep in mind that the Maker has the ability to cut thicker materials like Chipboard and Wood. So you can’t ask your Explore Air to cut these sort of materials.

Learn the difference between the Make and Explore Air 2 Machines

Type of Projects you Can use Cut and Draw

These two features – Cutting and Drawing – is that you can use them in a wide variety of projects. Seriously, the sky and your creativity is the limit.

  • Greeting Cards
  • Coloring Pages
  • Gift Tags
  • Planner Stickers

Something I really like of the Drawing and writing feature of Cricut is the handmade vibe you get when you finish a project. You could also print then cut, but it doesn’t compare to the handwritten effect you get from the Cricut Pens.

Was this information useful?

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Learn how to Write and Cut with both the Cricut Maker and/Or Cricut Explore.
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Thursday 15th of April 2021

hello, thanks for all the infos, I will definitely try it, I am new on the explorer air 2 and I had no clue how to make a tag that represent my logo, couldn't do it and had no clue, I will try to follow your steps and will update you. You are very helpful and your explanations are the best. thank you so much ghada


Wednesday 5th of May 2021

I'm glad I can help!


Monday 26th of October 2020

Thank you for a thorough and instructive article. You have such a clear writing style! I learn a lot from your site.


Monday 26th of October 2020

Thank you! I am glad you're learning with me :)

Mia Dixon

Tuesday 19th of May 2020

I am so glad I found your website and became a daydreamer. Watching your tutorial on cut and draw was very informative and easy to follow.

Thank you so much.


Thursday 28th of May 2020

Welcome to the family! You're very welcome :)


Saturday 16th of May 2020

Can we use fonts off of DaFont ?


Thursday 28th of May 2020

You can make sure to read each font's license. I have a good article that may help.


Thursday 5th of March 2020

How do you attach


Monday 9th of March 2020

Check out my attach, group, and weld tutorial.