Well hello friend and welcome to the beautiful and wonderful world of the Cricut machine. A little birdie told me that you have just purchased a Cricut machine or you’re thinking about making that purchase soon. You’re about to embark on the most wonderful and creative adventures on all the projects you’ve ever dreamed of with your Cricut machine.
But first, I think it’s wise for us to delve into the software, don’t you? Above anything and everything else, this is your starting point. Once you have the basics of the software down, the rest will come naturally and your machine will have your back the whole way.
Oh and guess what? The software is free. Yes, FREE. So if you don’t have a machine yet and you’re just testing the waters, that’s totally okay too.
So, are you ready to jump into software basics?
How to download Cricut Design Space
First things first, where do I find the software? Good question, my friend.
Open your web browser and head to www.cricut.com. From here, we can download the software. Did I mention it’s free?
Once you hit design, you’ll be taken to the page where you can download the software. Like so:
Then you hit the big download button and voila, the software is downloaded onto your computer ready to rock and roll. Now, this software used to be cloud access only. So you would always need the internet in order to access. That’s not the case anymore but you can download via the Design Space for Web option, which will require internet access to access at all times. If you so wish. But I’ll leave that bit up to you.
Once you’ve downloaded the software, you’ll need to make an account but it’s super quick and easy and won’t take up too much of your precious time. Then you can access your homepage which will look a lil something like this:
Your homescreen is where you will come every time you open the software and it has a lot of handy tools and features to keep in much, such as a dedicated page for your projects, machine select menu and your Design Space main menu, which we’ll take a look at here:
This main menu is super easy to navigate and learn. The whole software – including the machine – is very plug in and play, which is brilliant for those of us who just want to get started with all the exciting projects! And speaking of projects, if you scroll down a bit in your homescreen, you’ll see this section where all your own projects will go:
And the more you scroll down the homescreen, you’ll see a ton of inspiration and ideas of what you can do with your Cricut cutting machine. One last thing about the homescreen, then we’ll get into the juicy stuff, I promise.
You’ll find a section on Cricut Access projects, which is a paid monthly membership. It isn’t super expensive but you are restricted to what you can use these for. As a beginner, you might not need to think about this too much now but it’s worth noting for the future.
How To Start A New Project In Cricut Design Space
This is your basic Design Space canvas for when you start a new project on this amazing software. This… this where the magic happens!
You’re going to be spending most of your time using the left side and top toolbars, so we’re going to take some time here to go through the features one by one so you can see what you’te getting and the awesome features you can use. Excited?
Design Space Templates
Design Space has a range of templates which are available to you.These don’t directly affect your projects but are simply for a visual reference.
Cricut Design Space Projects
In the projects tab, you’ll see more of the Cricut Access designs we mentioned earlier. These are inspiration for finished projects that you can find, share and save as well.
Using Fonts in Cricut Design Space
You can download and use your own fonts in your Design Space projects but you can also get fonts directly from Cricut. A great place to get your fonts from is fontbundles.net because you’ll get the full commercial usage license so you know you’re covered with all the boring (but important!!!) legal mumbo jumbo.
The font tool is a great page to experiment with but just one quick top tip from me when it comes to script fonts, is to ensure that you use the “letter space” option to make the letters join up. If that doesn’t work, right click and hit “ungroup” and that will ungroup all your letters from each other so you can join them up yourself.
Once your letters are joined up, you’re going to want to make sure they don’t cut into each other. To demonstrate this, I’ve turned the font grey, so you can see the lines which separate each letter. To rectify this, right click and hit “weld”. The weld tool is amazing and will weld all your letters together.Obviously.
Hey presto! Now they’re beautifully joined up with unbroken links and really for your machine to be cut. I said this would be a quick tip but we do appear to have gone on a bit of a tangent. Let’s move on!
Using Shapes In Cricut Design Space
The next tool in the menu is shapes, which is, well, what it says on the tin really. I think that’s a pretty obvious thing to say. Shapes are handy for designing as well as sizing up your design.
How To Upload Files in Cricut Design Space
And the final tool in your menu is the upload option. This is where you’re going to come when you’ve downloaded or purchased free files. We’re going to go ahead and demonstrate with an awesome design grabbed from svgbundle.net and take you through a little step by step:
First you’ll want to choose the SVG document then you’ll see it imported perfectly into Design Space. This second part is where you can rename your file and give it some tags, if you so wish. Your image will then appear in your “Recently Uploaded Images” and it’s ready to be used. Super duper easy, if I do say so myself!
You can then select your image (you can select more than one if you need to!) and choose “insert image” and just like magic, your image will appear on your design!
As you can see, the image inserted a little too large for the design in question. So this is where the handy top menu bar will come in. There are plenty of options in this menu, including an undo button which is the best tool in the entire world. You also have the option to change the fill colour (although changing this won’t change the colour the vinyl is going to cut, if you’re using vinyl but changing the colour is useful if you’re planning to print), copy and paste and align options among other things that I’ll leave up to you to discover on your own!
There are a few other options on the right handside, including slice, weald, attach and flatten. The attach feature is important because this tells Cricut Design Space that you need your design to cut exactly the way they are.
If you want to cut these into different colours, as demonstrated below, you’ll want to change the colour of what you want, in this example, it’s the “so apparently” in grey, you’ll then want to attach these together SEPARATELY. This again, tells Cricut Design Space to cut exactly how you want and in this case, it’s in two different colours. Because you’re the boss.
You’ll have noticed a little green button in the top right hand corner of the previous screen shots titled “make it”. This is what you want to go to when you’ve finished your design and your ready to cut.
This page allows you to select the material size and mirror your design if necessary (if cutting heat transfer vinyl) and when you’re happy with your preview, click continue and this is where your amazing machine will connect to Design Space and where you’ll select the material that you want to use.
There are so many materials that you could possibly choose and Design Space has an entire library of materials to choose from – even a cereal box! Once you’ve chosen your material, it will tell you what tool you need to have loaded and will instruct you to load your mat with your material on it and proceed to cut.
Once you’ve cut, you can save your project so you can come back to this same project over and over again, if you need to.
Here we are then, the basics on Cricut Design Space complete! What do you think? Super easy, right? Cricut makes things as EASY AS POSSIBLE so you can get on with what you do best…
Creating amazing designs and projects!
Once you get the hang of this amazing software, it’ll be second nature. Like riding a bike or breathing! And don’t forget… I’m sure I mentioned this but just in case you didn’t catch it, the software is FREE!
So you can download and play around with no commitments until you’re ready.
Are you ready to create some amazing designs?