Quick Crafts

How to Use Print then Cut Feature – Cricut

Step by step tutorial that will unleash a whole new level of crafting!

This post was updated on March 11, 2019, at 4:54 pm. 

The Cricut can do many fun things including a print and cut feature!  In this post, I will walk you through how to use print then cut feature using Cricut Design Space! You print something on your home computer and then you can cut the design out on your Cricut machine!  Awesome right?!

how to use print then cut feature using Cricut Design Space
This post may contain affiliate links. Using these links, I earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

This post is sponsored by Cricut. All content and opinions are my own.

If you are new to Cricut Design Space or to your Cricut Machine you might want to check out my post on Getting Started with Your Cricut Explore or Cricut Maker-Your Questions Answered.

How to use print then cut feature using Cricut Design Space:

The first thing that needs to be done before anything is to Calibrate your Machine for Print then Cut.  It’s quick don’t worry!

There are several ways to utilize the Print Then Cut feature so I will be breaking them out into sections!  You can click on any of these links below to jump to that specific section or you can read through them all and become the Print then Cut master! :)

Also because this post is so full of informaton (read: LONG) I have added a “Back to Top” link at the end of each section so you can give your scrolling finger a rest!

The basis of this feature is that you print something on your home computer and then you cut it out using your Cricut machine.  Sounds amazing, right?  It’s easier than you think!

How to Use Print then Cut with Uploaded Images – .jpg

 

Have a JPEG image you want to upload to Design Space and have your Cricut cut?  No problem!

I will demonstrate how to use the print then cut feature using an uploaded image with these Unicorn Printable Valentine Cards.  They are so cute but if you are a parent and have to make 30 of them for a class party you are thinking how awful it will be to cut all of those out by hand!  Have no fear, you can use your Cricut machine to do the hard work for you!

First, you will open Design Space.  If you do not have a Design Space account you can get one here. It is free :)

1. Click on New Project.  You may do so by selecting the Green Box in the Upper Right corner or the + in My Projects.

Start new Project in Design Space

2.  Upload your .jpg by clicking the Upload button on the left side panel.  This will then open the next screen where you can select Upload Image.

Uploading New File into cricut Design Space

3. Select Browse and locate your .jpg file on your computer.  Click Open.

How to use Cricut Print and Cut Feature

4.  You will then select your Image Type based on your design.  (I 95% of the time choose Complex) Then click Continue in the bottom right.

Upload JPG Image - Select Complex - Click Continue

Next screen is the Select and Erase and will look like this with your .jpg front and center.

Step 2. Select excess areas - Erase

5. This is where we tell your Cricut where to cut. Using your mouse select the areas around the image that you want to “erase”.  Mine then looked like this.  You can see the transparent background where we removed the image.   Click Continue.

Step 2a. Select the areas to erase on your .jpg

6. This will show you what the cut file will look like.  If you need to make any adjustments, choose Back.  If it is correct, then select Save as Print then Cut image.  Add appropriate tags (this helps when searching for this again!) and then hit Save in the lower right corner.

3. Review - Save as Cut then Print

7. Finally, you can select your print then cut image and insert it into your project canvas using the Insert Images button in the bottom right.

4. Upload Image

8. I then resized my image. (No larger than 9.25″ x 6.75″) Note that the Linetype will be Cut and the Fill will be PRINT.  This is exactly what we want. Click Make It in the upper right corner of your screen.

5. Resize - Make It

9.  Now you are ready to print then cut!  The Mat Screen will show you how to put your printed design onto your mat.  Do not be alarmed by the black border.   Your Cricut will read those lines and know where to cut!  Click Continue in the lower right.

6. Mat Screen - Click Continue

10. Connect your machine at the very top.  (Any machine, Explore or above works!) Select Send to Printer and choose your printer and print.

7. Connect Machine - Send to Printer

11.  A printer dialog box will open and allow you to find your home printer and select the number of copies.  I normally keep that bleed turned on.  That ensures you don’t get a white border around your design. Click Print

8. Print

Your image will print to your home printer.  I like to print on Cardstock.

Printer printing print then cut image

Now we will select our material.  I am using Cardstock for this project.

9. Select Material

Next, we are ready to load our mat into our machine!  Apply your printed image to your Cricut Mat. (I like to use the Blue LightGrip Mat for Cardstock) and load into your machine as you would when you cut anything else.

10. Insert Mat and Cut

Load the Mat into Cricut

Press Go (the flashing Cricut “C”)!

Your machine will read the black lines on all 4 sides.  If using the Maker, the carriage will move far right to “detect tool” (making sure you have the fine point blade in) and then it will start cutting your designs!  Remove from the machine when finished.

Carefully peel away the excess cardstock and voila!

Remove excess away from design

Project Complete!

Finished Print Then Cut
BACK TO TOP OF POST – CLICK HERE

Click Here for Cricut Tutorials, Free Cut Files, Cricut Projects and more

How to use Print then Cut Feature in Cricut Design Space – .png:

PNG files are a bit quicker to use than JPG files because normally PNG files are on transparent backgrounds.  If your PNG file does not have a transparent background, follow the instructions for the JPG files.

For this technique, I am going to use my School Days Clip Art.

First, you will open Design Space.  If you do not have a Design Space account you can get one here. It is free :)

1. Click on New Project.  You may do so by selecting the Green Box in the Upper Right corner or the + in My Projects.

Start new Project in Design Space

2.  Upload your .png by clicking the Upload button on the left side panel.  This will then open the next screen where you can select Upload Image.

Uploading New File into cricut Design Space

3. Select Browse and locate your .png file on your computer.  Click Open.

How to use Cricut Print and Cut Feature

4.  You can see below we have a transparent background because you can see the checkerboard pattern.  Select the Image Type based on your design.  (I 95% of the time choose Complex) Then click Continue in the bottom right.

Upload your .png file

5.  Next screen is the Select and Erase and will look like this with your .png front and center.  Since our background is already transparent we have nothing to do here, click Continue.

No Background to remove

 

 

6.  This will show you what the cut file will look like.  If you need to make any adjustments, choose Back.  If it is correct, then select Save as Print then Cut image.  Add appropriate tags (this helps when searching for this again!) and then hit Save in the lower right corner.

Add Tags select Continue

7. Finally, you can select your print then cut image and insert it into your project canvas using the Insert Images button in the bottom right.

Select file and click insert images

8. I then resized my image. (No larger than 9.25″ x 6.75″) Notice that the Linetype is Cut and the Fill is PRINT.  This is exactly what we want.  Click Make It in the upper right corner of your screen.

Resize Image

9.  Now you are ready to print then cut!  The Mat Screen will show you how to put your printed design onto your mat.  Do not be alarmed by the black border.   Your Cricut will read those lines and know where to cut!  Click Continue in the lower right.

10. Connect your machine at the very top.  (Any machine, Explore or above works!) Select Send to Printer and choose your printer and print.

11.  A printer dialog box will open and allow you to find your home printer and select the number of copies.  I normally keep that bleed turned on.  That ensures you don’t get a white border around your design. Click Print

Your image will print to your home printer.  I like to print on Cardstock.

Now we will select our material.  I am using Cardstock for this project.

Next, we are ready to load our mat into our machine!  Apply your printed image to your Cricut Mat. (I like to use the Blue LightGrip Mat for Cardstock) and load into your machine as you would when you cut anything else.

Press Go (the flashing Cricut “C”)!

Your machine will read the black lines on all 4 sides.  If using the Maker, the carriage will move far right to “detect tool” (making sure you have the fine point blade in) and then it will start cutting your designs!  Remove from the machine when finished.

Carefully peel away the excess cardstock and voila!  Project Complete!
BACK TO TOP OF POST – CLICK HERE

How to use Print then Cut Feature with Cricut Design Space Images:

Cricut Design Space has a huge library of images that can be used to cut on your machine.  Did you know you can also use these images as Print then Cut images?  You sure can and I am showing you how!

Before we get into the details of this awesome feature, let’s talk a minute about Cricut Access!  Cricut Access is a subscription service that allows you access to 60,000+ image and over 370 fonts!  The green “a” denotes an image or font that is included in Cricut Access.

You can also purchase images and fonts on an as needed basis!

Screenshot of green Cricut Access A

I am going to use one of these fun and happy rainbows in Cricut Access for my tutorial today!

First, you will open Design Space.  If you do not have a Design Space account you can get one here. It is free :)

1. Click on New Project.  You may do so by selecting the Green Box in the Upper Right corner or the + in My Projects.

Start new Project in Design Space

2.  To get started click on the Images Icon in the left toolbar.

3. Browse through Cricut Design Space for your perfect image!  You can search by Images, Categories or  Cartridges.  As well as using the search bar and there is a Printables filter as well.  (printables are ready to go as a printable image you don’t need to convert these.

Select your image and click Insert Images.

4. Here you will see the desing inserted onto our canvas as a cut file, denoted by all the cut layers in the layers panel on the right.

5. To switch this to print then cut, simply select all the layers.  Do this by individually selecting them in the layers panel, or draw a big box around your entire image to select all.  Then we will click the Flatten tool at the bottom of the layers panel.

6. Now you can see that we have converted it into a Print Then Cut Image because all the cut layers in the layers panel have turned into one Cut | Print layer.   Resize as needed.  The maximum size for print then cut is 6.75″ x 9.25″.  Click Make It in the upper right corner.

7. Next is the Mat Screen.  This shows us how to place the print on our mat.  Do not be alarmed by the black border.  The Cricut will read those black lines to determine where to cut.  Click Continue.

8. Next, you will connect your machine at the top of the screen.   Any machine that is an Explore or above will work with Print then Cut.   Next click Send to Printer.

9. A Printer Pop Out screen will appear and allow you to connect your home printer and select the number of copies you need.  I keep the Blurr on so that I don’t get white borders on my designs.  Click Print and the design will print on your home printer.

10. Next, you will choose your material.

11.  Now it’s time to load your mat.  Place the printed design on your mat and load into your machine.

12.  Now you can cut by pressing the flashing Cricut “C” on your machine.

The sensor on our machine will read the black lines on all 4 sides.  If using the Maker, the carriage will move far right to “detect tool” (making sure you have the fine point blade in) and then it will start cutting your designs!  Remove from the machine when finished.

Carefully peel away the excess material and voila!  Project Complete!
BACK TO TOP OF POST – CLICK HERE

Click Here for current Cricut and other Crafty Deals!

 

How to use Print then Cut Feature with Text:

Let’s say you need to print off some big letters or numbers for your child’s school project.  You could also cut them from colored cardstock but let’s say they told you about this at 9 pm the night before it’s due.  Print then cut to the rescue!  I will show you how!

First, you will open Design Space.  If you do not have a Design Space account you can get one here. It is free :)

1. Click on New Project.  You may do so by selecting the Green Box in the Upper Right corner or the + in My Projects.

Start new Project in Design Space

2.  To get started click on the Text Icon in the left toolbar.

3.  Write your text in the text box.  Then use the Text toolbar on top to adjust the font, size, letter spacing, print color, etc.

4.  There are now 2 ways to turn text into a cut then print image.  If you are working with a single layer, you will need to change the FILL from “no fill” to “print”.

If you are working with more than one layer, you can do the same thing we did above for each layer or you can select all the layers and use the Flatten tool at the bottom of the layers panel.

That will turn them from cut layers into print then cut layers.   Click Make It in the upper right corner.

5. Next is the Mat Screen.  This shows us how to place the print on our mat.  Do not be alarmed by the black border.  The Cricut will read those black lines to determine where to cut.  Click Continue.

6. Next, you will connect your machine at the top of the screen.   Any machine that is an Explore or above will work with Print then Cut.   Next click Send to Printer.

9. A Printer Pop Out screen will appear and allow you to connect your home printer and select the number of copies you need.  I keep the Blurr on so that I don’t get white borders on my designs.  Click Print and the design will print on your home printer.

10. Next, you will choose your material.

11.  Now it’s time to load your mat.  Place the printed design on your mat and load into your machine.

12.  Now you can cut by pressing the flashing Cricut “C” on your machine.

The sensor on our machine will read the black lines on all 4 sides.  If using the Maker, the carriage will move far right to “detect tool” (making sure you have the fine point blade in) and then it will start cutting your designs!  Remove from the machine when finished.

Carefully peel away the excess material and voila!  Project Complete!

BACK TO TOP OF POST – CLICK HERE


Hey Let's Cut Stuff Academy

Notes about Print then Cut Feature using Cricut Design Space:

  • When on the print set up screen you have the option to turn Bleed on or off.  Bleed extends the ink slightly beyond the border of the image to eliminate a white margin once the image is cut.
  • Default material size for Print Then Cut is 8 ½ x 11″
  • Maximum print size for Print Then Cut is 9.25″ x 6.75″ for all browsers.
  • If you have multiple mats, it will have you print 1 mat and cut 1, then print mat 2 and cut mat 2.  It will not print all your copies and then cut all of your copies.
  • If you think your calibration is off on your machine, check out Cori’s post on how to troubleshoot the calibration.


Cricut Gives Your Ultimate Cutting Precision

Tips on Using Print then Cut Feature using Cricut Design Space:

If you want to fill your page with print then cut images for example if you were making planner stickers, create a 6.75 x 9.25″ rectangle, click arrange and send the rectangle to back.  Now you can use that rectangle as a guide to fill the area.

I like to use a color other than white for my rectangle because as you can see from the rainbow, some of the images have white borders and if I had a white background I run the risk of overlapping cut lines.

You can click Make It and let Cricut decide how to arrange your sheet or if you want it printed and cut as you have designed it, be sure to select all your images (excluding the rectangle) and click Attach before you click Make It.

BACK TO TOP OF POST – CLICK HERE
Cricut is Easy as 123

FAQ’s about Print then Cut Feature using Cricut Design Space:

Will the Cricut Print for a Print then Cut Project?

No.  You will need a home printer to print.  You Cricut will cut.    The Cricut Machine does have the capability to draw.  You can find out more about that here on my How to Use the Cricut Pens post.

What Materials Can you use with Print Then Cut?

Basically, any material you can feed through your printer.  A few examples are Cardstock, Paper, Sticker Paper, Printable Adhesive Vinyl, Printable Iron on Vinyl, and vellum.

Can I use Colored Materials?

Colored materials such as colored cardstock are only recommended with the Cricut Maker as it has an enhanced sensor.

What Machines have the Print then Cut Feature?

Print then Cut tool is available on all machines from the Explore family (Explore, Explore Air, Explore Air 2) and the Cricut Maker machine.

Can I use the Print then Cut feature with Designs Printed somewhere other than my home computer?

No.  You need to print from within Design Space.

BACK TO TOP OF POST – CLICK HERE

More Cricut Tutorials You May Like:

If you want to be the first to know about more great Cricut Tutorials and Projects, sign up below for my emails!  Delivered straight to your inbox!

 

PIN HOW TO USE THE CRICUT PRINT THEN CUT FEATURE

 

10 Comments

  1. My husband bought me a Cricut make for Christmas, as I have never had a Cricut of any kind, I am totally lost on what to do or how to use the Cricut. Any and all help would be appreciated.

  2. I followed your excellent instructions and everything looked great, but when I printed it didn’t come out correctly.
    Instead of getting the dimensions that were showing on the screen, I got a shrunken version.
    Any idea what I could be doing wrong?

    1. Hi Lynnette, How shrunken was it? The maximum size for Print then cut is no larger than 9.25″ x 6.75″. If it was smaller than this then I recommend checking your page settings on your print screen. They may have been set to a smaller size. Maybe sure Full Size or Fit to Page is selected there.

  3. Every time I try a project like this, it wants to cut every detail of my image. For example i’m trying to make a square sticker that has text in the middle. I just want it to cut the square and everything it cuts the text! I feel like I’ve tried everything..

    1. Kari that is SOOOO frustrating! OK here are my tips (I should make this a blog post, lol!) 1. Make sure your cut lines are at the bottom of the layers panel and your print is at the top. 2. Make sure not only does your designs have the print icon next to them (versus the scissors for cut) but that you select all the print layers and FLATTEN them together. Flatten is at the bottom right corner of the layers panel. Those things normally solve the print/cut problems!

  4. need infornmation on cutting vinly print and cut do i print thr image and put the image in my cricut with the vinly ,iam quiet sure what come first and i am not understanding some of tje video thank you for trying to hepl me

Leave a Response

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.