Cricut, Designs

Print Then Cut with Your Cricut

Print then Cut Cricut means printing and cutting images using the Cricut tool. In this guide, you will learn all about how to Print then Cut Cricut images regardless of having Maker or Explore. 

To customize your artwork and to cut those beautiful designs, stickers, printables, or any other type of image, you will have to use the Print then Cut Cricut setting. 

The Print then Cut Cricut setting enables you to print your artwork or designs to then cut around them and deliver you the final piece. First, the Design Space sends the artwork or designs ready to print then cut to your home printer. After that, it will cut it. 

It is important to learn about the types of images and machine specifications to get your artwork or stickers printed then cut using the Print then Cut Cricut setting. 

In this article, we will cover the types of image format you can use to print then cut, all the machine specifications you should learn, a Design Space tutorial, the cutting process, and the most important part- what you should do if and when you face problems with the Print then Cut Cricut setting.

So, let us get started and create a project together. 

Print Then Cut Cricut Specifications You Need to Know

Before we start teaching this feature and you using it, there are many things you need to consider.

The first and foremost point is to ponder over the overall design size you will use. 9.25 x 6.75 in. is the maximum size of the design you can print, while the paper size has to be 8.5 x 11 in. that you will be printing the design on. Keep one thing in mind that you can’t alter this setting as it is permanent. 

The second and yet another important point to consider is the specifications of the machine you have. Following are some specs that shed light on what each machine is capable of performing:

  • Cricut Explore Family Machine: Not a single Explore machine is capable of performing the Print then Cut Cricut mechanism on different colors or a very reflective surface. Make sure you print your design on white paper every time with a matte finish.
  • Cricut Maker Machine: With a more robust sensor, Cricut Maker Machine permits you to cut on colored and reflective paper. But don’t opt for darker shades of colors or a very lengthy pattern because the machine sensor will not be able to detect it. 
  • Cricut Joy Machine: It does not support the Print then Cut Cricut option.


What Types of Images Can You Cut with the Print then Cut Cricut Feature?

You can easily Print then Cut any type of image you want to upload to the Design Space or the one that is available on Cricut Access. In easier words, whatever design you can place on the canvas area can be printed and then cut. 

Also, think of the possibilities beyond images; you can also print and cut any text you type in Design Space, Cricut shapes, or uploaded patterns and so much more.

There is no need for us to dive into the details as we will cover them later. But you do need to know the three types of images and their differences to enhance your Print then Cut Cricut setting experience. 


1) Images Having a Solid Background

Such images are mostly hectic, occupied, or have a solid background. They require extra effort and time because the part you want to cut requires separation due to the background.

The problem is, Cricut can’t read these types of images when you upload them. It only reads the edges of the image. So, if you want to cut it entirely and not a specific part inside it, then you will have to delete the background. 

For a better understanding remember that these images have special names and/or extensions so you can point them out easily especially when they end in .jpg, .gif, .bmp. 

Take the example of the .jpg image above. If you want to only cut the star or the word dream, then you will have to delete the solid pink background first. Or else, you will print the entire design and only cut a square. 

You can achieve this easily in the Cricut Design Space, and we will cover this in a step by step guide.


2) Images Having a Transparent Background

These types of images are simply perfect for the Print then Cut Cricut option because whatever you want to cut, whether a text, main image, or any element, it is already separate and put on a transparent background. 

But the downside is, they lose their quality and become pixelated if you try to expand or increase their size. You can easily recognize this type of image for they end in .png. 

In the picture above, you can see those grey and white squares- they represent transparency. So, you don’t have to delete any background, and setting this image for printing then cutting will make the blade move around the dream word and the star.

But remember that this is a single image, you won’t be able to isolate the star from the word.

3) Vector Image Type

Known as the best images one can use in Cricut Design Space and also called an SVG or Cut files, these images retain their quality while you can easily resize them. 

You can recognize these images as they end in .svg or .dxf extension. 

Look at the picture above, you will see that the options you find differ from the first two types of images because, with an SVG file, the blade knows exactly where to move and cut. 

You can also edit the star and the dream word separately with Vector files. You can also change colors and some other things that you are unable to do with JPG or PNG type files. 

But consider this forewarning, you will have to use the FLATTEN function when using Print then Cut Cricut option with SVG files that overlap each other or have different colors. You needn’t worry, for we will guide you about Flatten as well in a step by step tutorial. 


Print then Cut Cricut Option- A Step by Step Tutorial

Now that you know all the kinds of things you can cut and your machine’s specifications, it is time to start working on our Cricut. 

This step by step guide is extensive to accommodate all the readers. We want to take every step with you for you to understand it in a much better way. 

This functional guide is to teach, tell, and for you to learn all the possibilities you have with the Print then Cut Cricut option. 

Here is the list of things we will be using:

  • A JPG Image
  • A PNG Image
  • An SVG File
  • Some Cricut Design Space Shapes
  • Few Patterns
  • Free Images from Cricut
  • Text

Tools used are in teal boxes

Uploading the Images to Cricut Design Space

Right-click and save the images on your computer because we will be using the images already used in this guide. So, follow along with these steps.

Note: We will use the full JPG type image with a pink background, while you follow the steps alongside. We will also do it using PNG and SVG files using the information we foretold on the types of images we can use. 

Log in to your Cricut Design Space account after you save the images on your computer. In the account, click on the upload button present on the left panel area, and click on the Upload Image button to upload the images.

As soon as you do this, a new window will pop up asking you to upload the file from your computer. Search for the image you will use and double click on it for it to upload. 

Since we are working with a JPG file, the Cricut doesn’t recognize all the designs present in the image. If you add it just like it is, the Cricut will print and cut the whole square.

In this tutorial, we will only use the Dream word and the yellow star. Before we do that, we need to get rid of that pink background. 

But how do we do that?

It’s simple! This design has three contrast colors. You have to select the Simple option to customize the file and click on continue.

Select the Simple Option

You will find a few options to clean up the file, you can apply them to check which one suits best for you. The way we will do it is by clicking on the little magic wand icon on the left upper corner of the screen. 

Click on that Magic Wand and then click on the pink areas to delete it. It will take some time to eliminate the pink background. After the background removal, click on continue. 

You have a transparent background now which means that the Cricut blade will cut around the Dream word and the star. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: Using this method does delete most of the pinkish background, a few pink dots will still remain on the borders of the star and the word. We decided to go with it, but you can clean the file more with the eraser tool that’s right next to the magic wand icon. 

The next step will have two options. 

  1. Save the file as a Print then Cut Cricut Image.
  2. Save the file as a Cut image. 

You have to select the first option and then Save it. 

Select the Save as a Print Then Cut image.

The three images we provided you with for this guide, the JPG one was the hardest. But now that we have uploaded the JPG one, you can easily upload the other two.

The PNG image with the word Dream and pink star, already has a transparent background, so you need to follow the same process: 

  • Upload the image
  • Select Simple option
  • Don’t use the magic wand option or delete anything and click on continue
  • Save the file as Print then Cut 

The SVG file is the quickest to upload. All you have to do is, upload it, name it, and save it.

When you upload all three files, select all the files, and click on the Insert Images option.

Select all three files and click on Insert Images.

The Cricut Design Space Canvas Area will have all three files inside it. The images most probably will be overlapping each other, spread all over the canvas, and have different sizes. 

So, tidy up the canvas area for it to match the screenshot posted below. 

All three designs in Design Space.

Alert! You are in a section of highly sensitive information which is the most IMPORTANT part of this guide. 

Your machine will cut then print the designs with the Yellow and Pink stars only if you would make the project as it is. (Because we saved it with this option in mind.) 

But the question is, why wouldn’t Cricut Print then Cut the design with the blue star? 

The answer is obvious. The file we are using is a CUT or SVG file. Uploading such files to your Design Space makes your Cricut think that you only want to cut and nothing else. 

So, how will you tell your machine to Print then Cut? 

There are two ways you can tell this to your machine which are:

  1. Linetype and fill
  2. Flattening

For the Print then Cut Cricut option, your linetype should always be with the cut option and your fill needs to be Print. 

We do this because there is a problem with this option. If you have cut files, blue star, and the word dream, that overlap each other or also have different colors; your Cricut will cut each design on a separate mat instead of cutting around the edges as a whole. Trying to attach them won’t work either because one of the designs will cut through the other. 

Simply add all the elements, texts, and patterns when you use Print then Cut Cricut. After that, select all of them and click on the flatten tool that you will find at the bottom of the Layers panel.

This may seem complex to you, but we are here to make you understand the logic behind how these things work.


Add Some Extra Touches – Cricut Images, Text, Shapes & Patterns

It must’ve been tough right?

Take a moment to breathe in deep, relax a bit. Eat something or drink coffee and let’s carry on experiencing more things you can print then cut. No need to worry about linetype or fill yet. 

Print then Cut Cricut Images 

You can apply the Print then Cut function on all Cricut Images. They have some sweet stuff in their inventory. 

If you want to use them, click on the Images option on the left panel of the canvas. Here you can easily search for images, categories, cartridges. Or you can search them by using keywords or filtering. 

We used a free image and if you want to do the same, then simply click on the “Ownership” button and select the “Free” option. Type in “Dream Believe Achieve” in the search box if you want to use what we did. 

Select the Dream, Believe, Achieve Image.

Click on the image as soon as you find your favorite one. Then click on Insert Images. We changed the color from brown to black because we wanted to. 

Change Color of Cricut Image.

Adding Shapes and Patterns

Here, we placed our image on the top of a shiny circle. 

Click on the Shapes button present on the left panel of the canvas and add a circle shape. When you click on the circle option, you will see a grey circle appearing on the canvas area.

Add a circle and fill it with a beautiful Cricut Pattern

We will change the grey color to a beautiful colorful pattern by selecting the circle shape and changing the fill for print. Then click on the square tab and change the print type to Pattern.

You can choose your favorite pattern now. Cricut offers hundreds of patterns, all for free now, so reap the benefits. 

After you pick your desired pattern, place the Dream, Believe, Achieve image on top of the circle and center align it. 

Tip: Usually the circle will already be on the top. To bring the image forward, right-click on it and move it forward. 

Adding Print then Cutting Text

Text always brings value and authenticity to any design.

Print then Cut Cricut image wouldn’t be the same without it. Click on the text icon present on the left panel of the canvas to add text.

We added the same word two times to share a fact with you. 

You would want your text together if you are using a paper. If you want Cricut to cut each letter, then leaving the word on its own is great. But if you want the entire word to remain together, you will have to place it on top of the shape. 

Add text: Alone or on top of another shape

To demonstrate this, we added a square shape from the Shapes option. Then we unlocked its proportions to create it a rectangle and changed the color to yellow. Next, we typed Daydream in it.


Flattening and Resizing Your Design

A few steps remain before we cut this design. 

Now comes in the talk of linetype, fill, and flatten option. Moreover, we are over with the designing part, now all we need to do is tell Cricut that all the images, text, and shapes need to be Print then Cut. 

Select, Resize, and don’t forget to Flatten.

Move your sight over to the Layers panel, you will find that only a few elements have the Print then Cut Cricut image attribute and the others have only the cut option. 

Besides, you can’t simply change “fill” to “print”. You will have to compress all the elements together to make it into ONE SINGLE LAYER. 

Select all the images, text, and shapes and on the Flatten function present at the bottom of the Layers panel. 

You will notice that after flattening there will remain only one layer. 

The designing part is over, now simply click on the Make it now button. 

Note: Again! Remember that the final size can’t exceed 9.25 x 6.75 in. If your design is larger than this, before clicking on Make it, select the already flattened layer and resize it.


Make It –The Cutting Instructions

The screenshot added below shows what you will see when you click on the Make it button. This preview highlights how your print should be. 

Be sure of placing the paper on your Cricut Mat the same way you see it here as soon as you finish printing it. 

Make sure everything looks the way it’s supposed to

The black frame (containing all the designs) is a reference for your Cricut machine to know where to move and cut. 


Setting Up the Printer and Printing Process

As soon as you leave the Mat Preview, you will have our step by step guide on how to cut your project. Your first option is to print. Go ahead and click the button that says Send Printer. 

A window of Print Setup will open up. Here you will able to choose your printer, you can add extra copies to your project, turn on the bleed option, and/or use the system dialog box. 

The System Dialog comes in handy if you need to find your printer or change the type of paper you want to use. But, if the printer is already connected to your computer, you can let the option stay as off. 

We always leave Bleed ON.


Understand Bleeding Function Properly

We decided to print the designs with both the functions; “Bleed On” and “Bleed Off”. So let us focus on the results we get and then resume with our step by step guide. 

You can find the definition of the bleed function of the Cricut world in the Printer Setup. It says: 

“Bleed function extends the ink slightly beyond the border of the image to eliminate a white margin once the image is cut.”

The Cricut’s sensor is powerful enough, but even then there’s a little room for error. The bleed function prevents the machine from cutting the inside and the outside portion of the place which doesn’t need cutting. Look at picture number two with the bleed option ON, there is no white border on the cut made with it.

It becomes even more evident in the third picture where you will see that the “Bleed ON” option was uniform. None of the cuts made with it had any unwanted white border. 

Bleed ON Up – Bleed OFF Down.

With the Bleed OFF function, you will see all the designs have a white border on some edges of the clean-cut.

Which should you choose? You have to decide that for yourself. For us, we find Bleed ON way attractive and a better option. 

Now, let’s resume our stey by step guide. 


Select Materials, Arrange Mat, and Cut

After the print, now it’s time for you to opt for the material you will print on. 

Choose Materials, Install blade and Go!

You will have to choose the material from Cricut Design Space if you have a Cricut Maker, but if you have the Explore machine, you will have to move the dial on the machine. We used Medium Cardstock for this guide.

Doesn’t it look strange with Bleed ON?

Now install the fine point blade. Then place the already printed design on the mat and load in the Cricut Machine. Keep it just like it looked in the preview. 

If you have an Explore Air 2 or Maker machine and you want it to cut faster, switch to Fast Mode and then press on the Make it button on the Cricut. 

Let the magic unfold in front of your eyes now! 

The Print then Cut Cricut sensor will turn itself on and read the frame surrounding the designs that need cutting. When the sensor finishes reading, the Cricut will start cutting them all.

Unload the mat and remove the designs from it as soon as the Cricut Design Space tells you that the cut is done. 

And this is it, folks, you did it. You are now proficient at Printing then Cutting your designs!

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