Are you thinking of investing in a Cricut machine? While the machine itself is not complicated, sometimes figuring out Cricut Design Space can be overwhelming. Many new Cricut crafters often ask What is Design Space and how does it work? I’m here today to give you all the details on Cricut Design Space and demonstrate a quick project incorporating two of the most common elements of the software- inserting images and using text. This post is sponsored by Cricut. All opinions are my own.
What is Cricut Design Space?
Cricut Design Space is Cricut’s software program. This program works in conjunction with the Cricut machine. The Cricut machine cannot be used without the Cricut Design Space program.
Design Space is how crafters create the designs that they are cutting with the machine. With a variety of image and text options, I can create unlimited design options for whatever project I am working on.
Design Space can be downloaded on a desktop, laptop, or mobile device. My favorite device to use Design Space (and the device that you will see me do most tutorials on) is my Windows laptop computer. To download Design Space, click on this link and follow all the instructions. If you need help downloading Design Space on your device, see this helpful article here.
How Much Does Cricut Design Space Cost?
Cricut Design Space is free to download. Design Space comes with a variety of free images (including basic shapes), but other images and text options do require a purchase.
How does Design Space Work?
After downloading Design Space, it is ready to use to create a first project. Open up Design Space. The Home Screen is divided into a few sections. My Projects are at the top, allowing me quick access to recently created or edited projects. Underneath this section, crafters can find different categories for popular projects for the season or specific machines.
**Please note that this is a beginner’s crash course in Design Space and uses basic functions. Cricut Design Space has a wide range of elements for creating custom projects, many of which require a dedicated tutorial. However, I hope this this tutorial will allow you to get started on Design Space and give you confidence to experiment with Design Space elements for your projects.**
To quickly start a new project, click New Project. This opens up a Canvas in Design Space. The Canvas is the place where I can add and edit images and/or custom text. Let’s dive into the Canvas and make a Custom Birthday Shirt.
The Design Panel is a critical part of the Canvas. The Design Panel is on the left hand sign of the screen.
On the Design Panel, you’ll find:
- New– Start a new project with this button.
- Templates– If you need guidance on positioning a project on a certain base (t-shirt, bag, etc), this button offers help.
- Projects– This is a quick way to locate your own projects or browse through Cricut-designed projects.
- Images– Find the perfect image for your project.
- Text– Add any text to the project.
- Shapes– Locate basic shapes with this button.
- Upload– Add your own images to your Design Space account with this button.
To start on a Custom Birthday Shirt, let’s first find the perfect image. Click Images. Use the search bar to type in what kind of image you are searching for. I typed in Birthday Shirt to find the perfect birthday cake image. Once you’ve discovered your preferred image, click on the image to select it. Click Insert Images in the lower right hand corner. The image will appear in the Canvas.
Now, let’s add some text. Click the Text button. Insert the text for the project. Use the Edit Bar at the top to change the font and text size. Arrange the text where you would like it on the design. I’m also using the Curve button from the Edit Bar to slightly curve the text around the cake image for this project. This is the step where you would also add in any desired customization. For instance, if you are adding in a child’s name or an age, this is the place to customize.
Lastly, we need to get the design the correct size for the shirt. Measure the area on the shirt where the design should go with a tape measure. Come back to the Canvas. On the Layers Panel on the right hand side, select all of the layers. It should look like the image below.
Now, click Group. This will group the text and the image together. This is an important step so that the design stays together when we resize it.
Using the measurement from the shirt, use the Edit Bar to change the Width and Height of the design to correlate with the measurement. Double check that both the Width and Height are within the parameters of the measurement from the shirt.
Now, we are ready to cut the design. Click Make It in the upper right hand corner to start this fun process.
The Prepare screen will now appear. The Prepare screen will look different according to what machine you are using. If using a Cricut Maker 3, choose how you are inserting materials into the Cricut Maker 3. Otherwise, you should see a screen similar to below. The screen will list each cutting element according to color.
If it looks correct to you, click Continue in the lower right corner.
Design Space will then prompt you to complete each cut and mat change.
Completing the Custom Birthday Shirt
To complete the custom birthday shirt, make sure you have these supplies:
- Cricut machine- This project can be completed with the Cricut Maker or the Cricut Explore Air.
- Iron-on vinyl (if using the traditional Cricut Maker or Cricut Explore Air)
- Cricut EasyPress
- Cricut EasyPress Mat
- Weeding tool
After all elements of the design are cut, remove the unnecessary vinyl from each design (known as weeding).
Adhere the iron-on vinyl to the shirt. Make sure that you are using the correct heat settings by following the Cricut Heat Guide. I also have a handy guide on How to Get An Iron-on Vinyl Project Right the First Time that I recommend reading.
See how easy?!?