Of the many features on your Cricut, Print Then Cut is one of the most convenient for crafters and small business owners. If you’re like me, and your manual scissor skills are somewhat lacking, the Print Then Cut feature on Cricut’s Design Space is something you need to check out.
What is Cricut’s Print Then Cut Feature
Print Then Cut is a feature on Cricut Design Space that you can use on your Cricut Maker or Cricut Explore. It allows you to print images on your inkjet printer at home and then cut them out through your Cricut all in one crafting session. Because the Cricut doesn’t actually print images, this feature is one that you’ll need if you want to create any custom sticker-related projects.
How to Use Cricut’s Print Then Cut Feature
Making Printable Images
According to Cricut’s blog, “you can convert any image into a printable image by changing the Linetype. If you want to convert multiple layers to print together, you can use the flatten tool from the layers.” You can find the Flatten tool on the bottom right of your Design Space window.
Alternatively, you can look through Cricut’s image library for Printable Images. You can do this by clicking on the Filters icon and checking off the Printables box. If you are a Cricut Access member, the options for printable images are endless.
Printable images are made ready to print and cut. They will have a small icon of a printer on them to signify this.
Printing From Design Space
After selecting the images you want to use, either from Cricut’s image library or by changing the Linetype of your image, add them to your Canvas on Design Space. From there, select Make It.
You will be shown a preview of your image, with the option to Continue. Clicking Continue will lead to a prompt that connects Design Space to your printer and your Cricut.
TIP: Amy from Leap of Faith Crafting says that it’s important you’re using an inkjet printer, as thicker printer materials will get stuck in a laser printer.
Cutting Your Printed Image
After the image is printed, you can put the paper onto your Cricut cutting mat. An Image Bleed, which adds a small white border around your image, will be applied automatically. If you want to remove or alter the image bleed, you can do that on the Project Preview screen in your Design Space. Cricut recommends using the default image bleed, as it yields the most precisely cut projects.
When you have fed your image to the Cricut, the machine will scan it and make the cuts based on the image’s censor markings.
Pros and Cons With Cricut’s Print Then Cut Feature
Availability and Accessibility
Pro: The Print Then Cut Feature can be used on Design Space from your Windows or Mac, as well as the Design Space mobile app.
Con: It’s not available on Android as of January 2022
Materials and Versatility
Pro: You can print your images onto a wide selection of materials, including printable sticker paper, waterslide paper, printable iron-on vinyl, printable vinyl, and cardstock.
Con: Any reflective or colored/patterned materials can get in the way of your Cricut’s ability to read the cut sensor marks. According to users, Explore Air only works with plain white material, but the Maker can use colored paper as well.
Using the Features
Pro: The process of printing and cutting your project can be done in one simple crafting session without having to open multiple windows or switch from one device to another.
Con: According to Cricut’s blog, “While you can save your Print Then Cut project within Design Space and come back to it, switching browsers or computers in the middle of printing and cutting will result in incorrectly sized cut sensor marks. Saving the image as a PDF and printing it outside the Design Space flow can also do this. For best results, Print Then Cut your project in a single Design Space session.”
Important Tips When Using the Print Then Cut Feature
- Cricut recommends using an inkjet printer for all of your projects when using the Print Then Cut function, but if you are printing on regular paper or cardstock, using a laser printer should be fine. Laser printers use heat when printing, so vinyl paper and paper with adhesive for stickers have the potential to melt or get stuck in your laser printer.
- When placing your printed image on your cutting mat, make sure to place it along the top left edge of the adhesive on the cutting mat. Double-check that the paper is straight and wrinkle-free. Cricut recommends using the LightGrip mat if you’re using standard printer paper or copy paper.
- The maximum image size for the Print Then Cut function is 9.25″ x 6.25″ on 8.5″ x 11″ paper. The image size limit is relatively new, as it was previously dependent on the browser you were using.
- Amy from Leap of Faith Crafting compared Cricut’s printable vinyl with Cricut’s printable sticker paper to see which was more durable when used for water bottle stickers. She concluded that using vinyl paper with sealant was the best option for waterproof stickers using Cricut brand paper.
- If you’re using the Print Then Cut function to cut out a hand-drawn image (e.g. printing a picture of a drawing), you’ll want to either outline the image with an opaque marker or put a border around it on Design Space. This will help the Cricut read the borders of your image, allowing for a more precise cutting job.
- If you want to have a border around your image, make sure the “Shadow Layer” is visible and in your desired color. Crafter Amy has a post that goes into detail on creating shadow layers on Cricut Design Space.
Overall, Cricut’s Print Then Cut feature can make your home projects neat and easy. Get ready to create!