One of the best things about the Cricut die-cutting machine is its versatility. With the right knowhow and access to basic designs, there’s virtually no limit to the kinds of projects you can do. It’s fast, it’s easy and it’s inexpensive…
Welcome to our Cricut Design Space Basic Series where we are breaking down all the features of Cricut Design Space, one feature at a time. Today we will talk about the Image box. How to add an image, edit, format, and move and image. Jump to Your QuestionImages - Cricut Design Space Basics - The Video TutorialInserting Images in Cricut Design SpaceHow to Search For. Free Fonts for Cricut. Cricut Design Space comes with a few fonts, but you can use ALL the fonts here to make magnificent cuts and crafts. We have the best cricut fonts for vinyl, monograms, and cursive. Easy-to-learn Design Space ® software. Fully loaded with advanced features including Offline Mode, Print Then Cut, and SnapMat ™. For iOS, Android ™, Windows ®, and Mac ®. Flexibility to upload your own designs. Use your own images and fonts for free in a variety of standard file formats. 50 ready-to-make projects.
Or is it? To get the most out of your new machine, you’ll need to access the Cricut Design Space. This website hosts a plethora of design ideas and templates that is both easy to explore and use. Since every new device comes with a free trial, many users don’t know if there is an actual Cricut Design Space cost. Here is a breakdown of how the service works.
Details of Design
Before looking at how the service works, it’s important to note that Cricut Design Space is free to use. You can browse at your heart’s content, looking for anything that piques your interest. Once you find a “Make It Now” project or image, you pay a small fee for its use. Some limited options are also available for free.
If you’re looking for more options or simply use your Cricut for a lot more than monthly projects, you have another option. Purchasing a Cricut Access Membership opens the doors to a wealth of projects that are available immediately, at no additional cost. This means you can search, download and use images and “Make It Now” projects at your convenience with no worries about how much you’ll spend.
Can You Use Cricut Design Space Without a Subscription?
Whether you’ve gotten the access membership or not, there is no initial cost to explore the Design Space at all! While many new designers head to the site with a free Access subscription in hand, they are under the impression that it’s a necessary cost once the trial runs out.
The Cricut Design Space cost remains 100% free. While there are benefits to having a membership, opting to go without still lets you search through projects and images at your leisure. Most pictures will cost $1 and the projects are available fro $3 to $7 depending on complexity. You also still have the option to upload your own projects as well!
The Difference Membership Makes
If you are OK with the limitation of paying for projects as you need them, there’s no real reason why you’ll want to hand over a subscription fee. While you might think it’s unnecessary, there are a few reasons why choosing a membership makes more sense than going á la carte.
- You work on more than one or two projects a month
- Multiple people in your household use Cricut
- You are interested in making gifts for special events
- Children use the Cricut for school projects
- You feel limited by the number of crafts you can do currently
- There are many “Make It Now” projects you’d like to try
Even at such a low price, buying images one at a time can add up. Crafting multiple projects one month can quickly escalate expenditure into the double digits. The simplest choice to keep costs down while your Cricut runs non-stop is to obtain or renew membership.
The Key to Access
Once you’ve decided if the program is for you, it’s time to take a look at how much it can save you. The Cricut Design Space cost for membership through Access varies depending on how you’d like to pay. There are three levels:
- $9.99/month, paid monthly: Choosing the lowest tier and paying on a month-by-month basis gives you full access to over 400 fonts and 75,000 images with an additional 10% off all store items (including sales). You’ll also get 10% off of premium designs and fonts like Disney. A great option for people who want to try out the service for a month or two.
- $7.99/month, paid annually: Not only does this level get you off of the hook for monthly payments, but paying in one yearly sum gives you a 20% discount on your membership while keeping all of the benefits of basic membership. Excellent for crafters that like the basic package but don’t enjoy wasting money.
- $9.99/month, paid annually: Who wouldn’t want basic-level cost with premium benefits like 50% off some licensed fonts and free shipping on orders over $50? This is the perfect choice for hard-core crafters that love to experiment with a lot of different licensed options and get the most out of their Cricut devices.
An Access membership will cost between $95.88 to $119.88 each year. Basically even the lowest tier will save your wallet from overuse. Four of the most inexpensive $3.00 projects from the Cricut Design space cost more than the basic subscription, so signing up even for a single month will keep money in your pocket where it belongs!
Finding a Reason
After the initial infatuation with a new machine has passed, many crafters end up letting their Cricut collect dust in the corner. Maybe it was a gift that you didn’t really want, or perhaps you haven’t had a reason to bring it out again. That’s where a Circuit Access Membership can really shine.
With so many options at your fingertips, it’s easy to find new uses for your Cricut device. For example, printing out custom vinyl designs as window clings and making incredible pumpkin designs during Halloween ensures your home is decorated perfectly. Searching for holiday gift ideas is a snap, and with a membership most projects can be printed right away, saving you valuable time at the store!
If you enjoy using Cricut devices but can never find a good project to work on, look into Access Membership. It could give you just the right project, or fuel ideas for entirely new ones. Even if you decide monthly or annual payments aren’t for you, the Cricut Design Space cost remains at zero, so you can still use your machine to create incredible crafts at a moment’s notice!
Yesterday I showed you how to upload an image that you found online, clean it up in Design Space and then save it as a cutting file. If you missed that post, you can go back and check it out HERE. Today we are going to talk about creating layers for that same image. The layers we create will be for the different colors we want to cut.
So let’s pick up where we left off! Your image is now saved as a cut file in your uploaded images. I have it pointed out in the image below with the blue arrow. Click on the image and you will see a green outline to the image box. That tells you that you have that image selected. Now you can click the green Insert button in the lower right corner of the screen.
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- Cricut Window Cling – I did this project in white, but they also make it is frosted (see link below)
Now your screen should look like the following image. Right now, if you click Make It, the Cricut would cut exactly where all of those black lines are. All of the sections where you can see the Design Space canvas grid lines, would be open spaces in your cut. But we want colored layers, so let’s make those now.
Creating Layers in Cricut Design Space
I am going to show you the Duplicate and Contour method for making layers. Start by right clicking on the image and and selecting duplicate from the drop down.
Duplicate is like using the Copy and Paste function from other software programs but it does it all in one step. You can also use the Duplicate button found in the upper right corner of your Design Space Canvas.
So now I have two houses on my screen. I am going to go to the top of the screen, where you see the blue circle in the image below, and I am going to click on that box to open up my color selector. From here I can pick any color I want for the house. I am going to start with brown. Now you can see I have exact same house, once in black and once in brown.
From this point, we are just going to focus on the brown house, and this will be our brown layer for the cut image.
Using Contour to create Layers
With the brown house selected, click on the Contour button in the lower right corner of your Cricut Design Space canvas.
This will open up a new window that looks like the image below. You can see all of the different areas or sections of the image you have selected. Contour allows you to control these sections, and turn on or off the sections as needed. This will create your colored layers, since we don’t want to cut the whole house from brown, just the sections of it that we want to be brown in the finished project.
Click on the very first house preview that the blue arrow is pointing to in the image below. Now look at your brown house on the left hand side of the screen. The image is now a fully filled in brown house! The Cricut will now cut each section of the house out of brown, and you can layer that on top of the black!
But now the whole house is brown
Now, if your saying “Wait a minute Shawn! I don’t want the whole house brown! I just want sections of the house to be brown, like the chimney.” Don’t worry, I am getting to that. It is the next step in the process.
Next you will want to click on every section you want to turn off. You can do this two ways. One, you can click on the sections of the house in the Contour window. To highlight this, I circled the same area of the house in the Contour window and in the Cricut Design Space working canvas in the image below. You can see when you look at the image on the left how it turned off different sections.
The second way to turn off sections is in the smaller right preview panel, which I have indicated with the blue star. The shapes or parts of the house that are turned off have a darker gray background color to their preview, like the section that has the blue star in it. The house section right below it has a lighter gray background to it’s preview. This means that this section is still turned on. If you can figure out which sections you need to turn on and off just from that little side preview, you can click on them there. I like to kind of watch the house image on the left to make sure I turn on and off the correct sections. If you turn one off that you wanted on, just click it back on. No big deal.
Zoom and Move around in Contour
The Contour window does have a zoom in the lower left corner if you need zoom in or out to select sections. There is also a slider bar to help you move around on the view. The right side preview panel also has a slider bar so you can move through all of the sections.
Back to our layer
Below is how my image looked once I had just the sections for the chimney and the steps turned on.
Now I can move those over into the outline of the house and it looks like those sections are colored in. Don’t worry too much about lining the sections up PERFECTLY in this screen. Remember, the Cricut is going to cut each color out as it’s own layer on a different mat. You are going to have to put the puzzle of this image back together after it is cut. That is when you can focus on lining things up perfect.
Duplicate again for each color
Now we are going to repeat this whole process again for each color we want in this design of the house. Instead of Duplicating the black house layer, I am going to duplicate the brown layer this time. The reason I start with the brown layer is that the full outline of the house is already turned off. This means there will be fewer thing to turn on and off inside the Contour window. To Duplicate that layer, I click on the brown layer over on the right layers panel, and then I can either right click to select Duplicate or just click that Duplicate button that I have circled in the image below.
Tip about the Layers Panel
If you have not used the layer panel very much, I really suggest getting to know it and understand it. I love using this layers panel! I used to try to click on the section or layer I wanted on the image. So many times I would end up selecting the whole image not just the one layer I wanted. Using the layer panel allows me to focus in on the one layer I want to work with. You can see in the image above that I only have one layer selected since the background for preview of that layer is a darker gray color. Look where the blue arrow is. Can you see the difference in the color of the background of that layer preview from the one right below it? That shows you exactly what you have selected.
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Back to duplicating. This creates another copy of this layer. When I select that I am going to change the color to a light cream. In the image below you see the cream colored layer I just created.
After I did this, I realized that I wanted the steps going up to the house to be the cream color and the bricks on the chimney to be brown. No problem! I just clicked on the cream layer and then used Contour to open up the window to turn off the chimney pieces. Then I clicked on the brown layer and used Contour to turn off the steps. When I was done my image looked like the picture below.
Repeat for each color
Cricut Design Space Outline
Cricut Design Space Error
That is it! Now you just continue this same process for each color you want in the design. Duplicate one of the layers you already have. Change the color to the color you want the new layer to be. Use contour to turn on or off the correct sections for that color. When my house was complete, I had the following colored layers
That is a total of 10 layers in all! That is a lot! I think we are going to stop here for this tutorial. In the next post I will show you how to make this whole house 22″ wide, which is larger than a standard Cricut cutting mat. Click HERE if you want to go to that tutorial right now.
To see all of the steps for my UP Classroom Project Tutorials follow the links below
Uploading and Cleaning up an Image
Using Contour to Create Layers
Slice Extra Large Images
Assemble Larger Than Mat Projects