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Design Space Cricut Tutorial For Beginners

I have had a few messages asking me for a more basic Design Space Cricut Tutorial. Admittedly I am guilty of assuming the obvious and forgeting how overwhelming I found the Cricut Design space when I started out.

So today I am here to remedy that. And share how to get started, with a Design Space Cricut tutorial.

What is Cricut Design Space?

How Much Does Cricut Design Space UK Cost?

If you pay monthly Cricut Design Space Access is £7.99 a month (which you can cancel anytime), however a yearly subscription will save you £24 pounds over a year. This works out at £5.99 as month (a one off payment of (£71.88). Thus giving you unlimited access to over 30,000 images, over 1,000 Make It Now projects, and 370+ fonts.

Can I Use Cricut Design Space For Free?

Yet, Cricut design space is free if you just want to upload and edit your own images and not use the design space images. Although there are some free images and fonts available in design space.

Ultimately you don’t need a subscription for that. However there are endless fonts and images available with the paid version, which saves endless hours searching for free images on the internet.

Design Space Cricut Hints And Tips, Where Do I Start To Design My Own Project.

Getting Around The Dashboard

In your home screen you have several options. Down the left hand side you have all the setting options. If you can’t see this simply click on the three little lines next to home, then the side bar will appear.

Here you can connect a Cricut machine, calibrate your machine, and get access to your account.

Cricut Design space home screen

Starting A Project

To start a project click on new projects on the left hand side. If the side bar is open it may be sitting underneath.

How to open a project in Cricut Design Space

Your Canvas

This is your dashboard for your designs. Therefore where you will be able to design and add images and text to create Cricut Projects. The canvas is marked out in inch squares which is directly related to the cutting mat.

When working on a project refer to your cutting mat for a size guide as the canvas can be deceiving. But ensure you remember one marked out square on the canvas is the equivalent to one square on the cutting mat.

The Side Bar

Down the left hand side of your canvas you will find several options. These are the main features of Design Space, thus allowing you to produce and edit projects.

Design-Space-Cricut the side bar options

Design Space Cricut Templates For Projects

The template option allows you to visualise a project. For example should you want to create a mug you can select a mug template to allow you to visualise your project. However the template is a guide only and will not cut.

Ready Made Projects

Alternatively using the ready made projects is a great way to start. These are step by step guides and have ability levels highlighted. Thus allowing you to start gradually and work onto more difficult projects.

Design Space Images

The image library is packed with fun images. We are currently mid home project, as such I am creating cushions. So far I have embellished a car cushion, see below, however the bicycle and hot air balloon are next on my list.

This is a great example of how design space images can be used. There are images available for all occasions and needs, such as homewares, clothing, and cards.

Creating a car cushion in design space
Making a car cushion with the Cricut Maker


This is where you add text to your projects, and there is a huge choice of fonts. However if you want a saying, there are also lots of these in the image library.

Shape Library

The shape library is useful for starting templates, adding shapes to projects, but also slicing and welding. There is more about slicing and welding in THIS MORE ADVANCED CRICUT DESIGN SPACE POST.

The Option To Upload Your Own Images And Files

Should you want to download and add files, you can do this here.

Design Space Cricut Hints And Tips, The Top Bar

The top bar on Cricut Design Space

Undo Button

Undo previous move, this is particularly helpful if you want to undo a weld.

Colour and Line Choice

To change colours of a project, this is great for designing paper cuts if you keep all of your images the same colour. Or for a multi layered project use the colours you intend to use to cut out for a visual idea of the project.

Pattern Fill

For print and cut projects. Any image can be filled with a pattern and there is lots to choose from. I used the pattern fill on shapes to create summer planner stickers.

Select And Deselect

Select an image to work on it, deselect to move onto another. Which can be done also by clicking directly on and off and image.

Align Text And Images

You can align images and text in whichever format you want to fit in with your project.

Arrange Layers Of A Project

To move layers forwards and backwards. Particularly useful when slicing images to align the image.

Flip Images Or Text

Images and text can be flipped horizontally and vertically, for instance when waning a paper cut or project to be symmetrical.

Resize Images And Text

You can do this here, or by right click and dragging the text with your mouse.

Rotate Images And Text

For rotating images, either 1 degree at a time or inputing a chosen degree. Alternatively you can click on the image and rotate via the icon on the right hand sop corner.

Position Images Or Text On Canvas

Working on an x and y axis you can move projects around the mat. Alternatively images can be moved by dragging the image.

Car Cushion

Design Space Cricut Hints And Tips, The Side Bar

My Projects And Save

This is where you will see all of your saved images. Finally click save to save projects you are working on, especially if you pause half way through. Also be sure to save any projects with a name, and not just save. I have deleted over projects this way.

Cricut Maker Uk

Make It

When you are ready to send your project to your Cricut Maker click make it.

Canvas Images

All the images you pull onto your design space canvas will appear here. Where you can drag and re arrange them, or click on the closed eye to remove layers or images.

Grouping Images

When working on a project with many levels grouping is a great way to keep the project together visually. However when the project is on the mat, images will separate.

Ungrouping Images

If you want to make changes to a collection of grouped images simply ungroup and make changes, before regrouping. This is excellent if you only want part of an image from the library, you simply ungroup and delete anything you don’t need.

Duplicate Images

Also done by right clicking and selecting from the menu. I use duplication a lot when working on paper cuts. For example if I want to use a lot of flowers to connect images.

Deleting Images

Can also be done by right clicking on an image, or highlighting and pressing delete on the keyboard.

Contour Settings

If you come across a great project, but it has elements that you don’t love. For example, polka dots! You can go into contours and remove certain elements of the image to make it a little more personalised.

Flattening Images

Print and cut is one of my favourite features of the Cricut Maker, more on print and cut here. All images in design space can be printed, however they must be flattened first.

Attaching Images

Attaching images will allow you to cut them as an attached image and keep the contours of the original image.

Welding Images

Welding images together may slightly change contours where the images overlap. However will cut as a attached image. This is the best tool for paper cutting.

Slicing Images

And lastly slicing allows you to cut into images, cut images in half or cut shapes out. This is a great feature that gives you so much versatility. There is more about slicing in the more advance tutorial linked above.

And I think that covers it, the absolute basics of the Design Space, Cricut is such a wonderful invention. I am not sure quite how I would manage without it now. However it’s all about trial and error and getting to know The Design Space and your machine.

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Cricut Design Space The Basics, How to use the Design Space Dashboard for Beginners

Author of Extraordinary Chaos a family lifestyle and travel blog from a 40+ mum of teenage boys, sharing our family travels, recipes, reviews and country living. Also the co editor of Cruising With Kids Family Cruise Blog

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1 Comment

  1. 14th September 2019 / 11:00 pm

    I’ve said before, I so want a Cricut machine. It does look complicated so thanks for the details. I know it just takes time and getting used to it. I swayed towards a new Sizzix machine (we have an old one) but I prefer the flexibility of personalising designs with the Cricut. I’m loving your creations.

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