If you’ve bought yourself a Cricut – congratulations are in order!
You’ve just got yourself one of the easiest ways of making prints on all kinds of materials. Moreover, they are effortlessly cut out for you, so you don’t have to struggle with scissors on what could potentially be a large or delicate project that would take you forever to cut out by hand.
And learning how to print and cut on Cricut is a great place to start, and is probably why you bought the machine in the first place.
This article is going to explain how it’s all done. And I’m very pleased to report that it’s super easy to do, and you’ll have your first set of print-outs ready in virtually no time at all. I’m going to lay it all out for you in just 7 easy steps.
And we’ll also try to tackle some of your most frequently asked questions along the way, and give you some handy tips, too.
So, it turns out that the process for printing and then cutting is the same for both the Cricut Maker and the Cricut Explore Air, so we’re going to be covering both of those here.
Unfortunately, it turns out that the Cricut Joy doesn’t support printing then cutting, so obvs we won’t be able to cover that.
Before You Can Begin
For the purposes of this article, we’re going to assume that you have already installed the Cricut Design Space software onto your computer. We’re also going to assume that you have already sourced the image that you want to print and cut and have uploaded it onto the software.
In order to have a printable image, you can either select an image from the Cricut image library in the category of Printable images, or you can use other images that have been made printable by changing the Linetype.
(If you want to convert multiple layers to print together, you can use the Flatten tool from the Layers panel.)
Once you are happy with the editing of your image, and you’ve got it lined up just as you want it and the color and shading the way you want it and any borders, you must then click on “Save as a Print then Cut image”.
How To Print And Cut On Cricut
Now, you are ready to connect the computer up to the Cricut, if you haven’t already, and switch it on.
The Cricut Design Space software will put as many images as possible in its maximum printing area, which by the way is 6.75 inches by 9.25 inches.
Step 1 – Select Make It from Design Space
This will give you a preview of the image. A rectangle outline will appear, and this is the cut sensor marking. If you are happy with this, select Continue to proceed to the cut interaction.
This will open the Print Then Cut dialog box.
Step 3 – Choosing your image bleed option
If you leave the image bleed option as it is, i.e. switched on, there will be a small smudge of ink added to the edge of the image.
This way, when the Cricut cuts it, it won’t cut into your image and also won’t leave some of the white paper on the edge. This is the best option for printing then cutting.
Step 4 – Print your design on your home computer
Step 5 – Prepare the Cricut machine and the cardstock
Carefully position the Cricut cutting mat in position and feed it gently into the Cricut machine, with your chosen card stock (or other material) on top.
Step 6 – Select the material you are using
Meanwhile, on Design Space, you can select your chosen print material from the drop-down menu.
Step 7 – Print and cut your design
When the Cricut light starts flashing, this means that it’s ripe and ready to print out your design for you. And all you have to do now is to push the button. Then you get to sit back and watch the Cricut do its magic.
How long the process will take will depend on such things as the edges of your printables and how delicate and intricate they are.
What to do if it hasn’t turned out the way you planned it to
If your image hasn’t come out quite the way you were expecting or intending, this may be because the Cricut needs to be properly calibrated first. For a simple guide on how to calibrate your Cricut for printing, please check out this link.
Things To Remember
Correct placement of materials on the cutting mat
You must remember to always place your printable material in the top left corner of your cutting mat. It should lie directly along the top left edge of the adhesive on the cutting mat.
You must also ensure that the printable material is lying completely flat and straight and that there are no wrinkles. This will help the machine to properly detect the cut sensor marks around the images.
If you are using standard printer paper, then you should use the Cricut LightGrip cutting mat for best results. (Btw, you might like our post on how to clean your cricut mat)
Print Then Cut all in one session
We strongly recommend that you carry out all of your printing and cutting with your Cricut on the Cricut Design Space software. That way, you are less likely to generate software issues, and everything should run smoothly and seamlessly.
And for the best possible results, you should do all of your printing and cutting for a project in one session. This way, you can prevent getting incorrectly sized cut sensor marks.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between print then cut and cut image on Cricut?
The beauty of the Print Then Cut Option is that it enables you to cut only once per image, whereas normally it would cut out many colors of material to complete the project.