Saturday, August 13, 2022

How To Draw With Cricut Explore Air 2

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My oldest daughter starts First Grade tomorrow and last week we went to her Open House to meet her new teacher. I love to help out in the classroom and let her know that I was available to help in any way possible. Especially with crafty things using my Cricut Maker.

I wanted to share with you today how to use the draw tool in Cricut Design Space. Along with a fun new embossing technique I happen to give a try!

The Contour Tool With Draw Images

I already explained the importance of designating which pen colors/weights you are using within Cricut Design Space so that you are automatically prompted to change out pens for different aspects of your design. However, what do you do if your selected image is only one color but you want it drawn in different colors?

The best way to change colors of a single-color design is via the Contour Tool. With a single-color image selected, click on the Contour button along the bottom right-hand toolbar. A window will open that allows you to toggle various parts of the design on/off.

This process will need to be done in several iterations based on how many colors you are using. Here is the gist of it:

To make this Happy Birthday into two colors:

  • Using the Contour Tool, first toggle off everything except the Happy Birthday.
  • After exiting out of the Contour Tool, turn it red.
  • Next, duplicate the image and open the Contour Tool again.
  • This time, turn everything off except the bordering swirls.
  • After exiting out of the Contour Tool once more, turn those surrounding elements blue.
  • Finally, center the two re-colored versions of the same design onto each other and Attach them to one another.

With the images re-colored and attached to one another, the Design Space software automatically prompted me to load the right pen at the right times to end up with the re-colored design as shown above!

Making Sticker Flakes With The Cricut Explore Air 2

Making sticker flakes, also known as die cut stickers, with the Cricut Explore Air 2 is the easiest way to make stickers. This is because you dont need to deal with creating a separate background for the sticker sheets or worry about the stickers fitting on your sheet.

At this point, you should have already exported your sticker as a .png with a transparent background from Canva. The next step is to open the Cricut Design Space program in your computer.

Once youve opened Design Space, create a new project and give it a name. Go to Upload and select the file for your first sticker. Once its uploaded, youll need to choose a complexity level. Most people recommend choosing the highest level of complexity, called Complex, to ensure no little details are missed. Youll also want to make sure you select it as a Print Then Cut file

After these steps, you can add the stickers to the canvas and resize them . Repeat these steps for as many stickers as you want to cut right now. Then, when youre ready to print and cut, click the Make It button at the upper right-hand corner of your Design Space application.

This is the part where youll want to set up your printer and Cricut Explore Air 2. You can use Bluetooth to connect to the Cricut machine, but I usually use my USB cable . Verify the preview looks the way you want it and then click Continue.

And voila! Youve got die-cut stickers for your bullet journal.

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How To Address Envelopes With A Cricut Calligraphy Pen

Did you know you can address envelopes and invitations on your Cricut? You can! You can do it with any pen that fits, but I think that envelopes and invitations look the best if you use the Cricut Calligraphy Pen.

To show you what I mean, Ive prepared a pretend invitation to my 50th birthday party.

When you use your Cricut Calligraphy pen, you must put the tip in at a 45-degree angle to your machine so you get the pretty thick and thin lines associated with calligraphy. For the best results, angle your pens tip so its going off at an angle to the lower left corner of your machine.

Tip: Use the arrow on the front of your Cricut calligraphy pen as a guide and point it at the left corner of your drop-down front panel.

Its also important to note that you need to position your text so it writes in the proper place on your envelope. You can do this by clicking and dragging your text when you get to the Mat Preview screen.

When youre ready, put an envelope on a cutting mat, load the mat, and press Go.

There we go! Its gorgeous, isnt it? And I wouldnt know this wasnt hand lettered if someone gave it to me.

I used the Emiline font for this envelope design.

I hope this has given you some helpful insight into how to write on your Cricut!

Id love to see your project! If you make one, please share a photo in our or tag me on social media with #jennifermaker.

What Is The Cricut Draw Tool

How to create a “Draw and Cut” design with Cricut Explore Air 2

Cricut machines have two clamps for tools- one for a blade style tool and one for a pen style tool . At least this is true for the two machines Ive had ! You cannot put a blade in clamp A just like you cant put a pen in clamp B. Youll figure this out pretty quickly if you are creating a project that requires 2 pens and it tells you to load one at a time. Clamp A also houses their older scoring tool which is the scoring tool needed for the Cricut Explore.

The cricut draw tool uses the same mechanics of the cutting that youre used to- just with a marker. As the name would suggest, it draws instead of cuts. Theres some limitations on this but its pretty cool if youre looking to draw some things! I could see this being great for scrapbookers, replacing lots of stamps with the wide variety of designs in Cricut Design Space.

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Using Cricut Design Space

Cricut Design Space for Beginners

I love all of Lorries tutorials, and this one is no exception. In 40 minutes she guides us through the basics of Cricuts Design Space 3.0.

Slice, Weld, Attach, Flatten & Contour Cricut Design Space

After youve learned the basics of Design Space, this tutorial is the next logical step. It covers the most common tools youll use and she includes easy, downloadable cheat sheets for keeping track of each tool as youre working.

Importing Images from Google into Design Space

Anytime Im asked about how to import an image this is the first video that comes to mind.

How to Slice in Design Space

This is one of my own tutorials on how to slice in Design Space. It covers using one of the most useful tools available.

How To Separate A Cricut Design Into Different Colors

If you find a design you love in Cricut Design Space , you can definitely separate it out to cut or draw in different colours. This is the same process for a cut file that isnt already separated into layers as it is for a draw design.

The tool youre going to want to get cozy with is the contour tool, found at the bottom of the layers panel. When you have your design selected, click contour and you can choose which lines to ignore or contour. You can either select the lines individually in the sidepanel to erase or click on the lines in the preview window. I chose a design with the worlds most lines to demonstrate this with JK but actually it has SO MANY lines. If you have this many, you might find it easier to select contour all and then only turn back on the lines you want in a certain color.

When you only have the lines you want in your first color turned on, hit the x on the countour window and see the changes reflected on your canvas. Change the color of the design to that first color you would like it drawn in . Then, copy and paste your design so you have two. Line them up perfectly, then hit contour and click your contours until you have only the parts of the designs youd like in your second colour and so on. Do this until you have all of your colours done! You can see this being done in the video if you like.

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Connecting Your Machine To Your Pc/mac/ipad

Even though the Cricut Explore Air 2 can be used wirelessly were going to start by setting it up with the USB cable. Start by placing it on a surface with at least 10 available behind it as the cutting mat will move back and forth inside of the machine.

  • Plug the machine in, connecting the power adapter and the USB cable.
  • Turn on your Explore Air 2 machine as well as your computer.
  • Visit the Cricut website and register a user account and download the most recent plugin software.
  • Run the installer and visit
  • Click the menu icon in the top left corner and select New Machine Setup. You will be guided through the installation process and your very first project, a thank you card.
  • Before we start this project, I want to go over the Cricut accessories youre going to rely on the most. If youre already familiar, feel free to skip ahead to the thank you card tutorial.

    Pen Not Supported By Cricut Error

    Getting Started With the Cricut Explore Air 2 & How I Make Stickers [DIY]

    Sometimes youll get an error that the pen you have chosen isnt available. Just select that layer and change to a pen type. If your pen doesnt exist in the list, choose something similar.

    WHEW! I hope you found this tutorial on Cricuts pens helpful and inspiring! If you have any questions, as always just leave them int he comments and Ill do my best to reply!

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    Using The Cricut Pen To Make A Gift Tag

    Now lets make the gift tag! Make sure the tag is the size you want it and click Make It in the upper right.

    In the Prepare Screen you will see your image on the mat. If the drawing layer is on a white mat that is different from your tag layer, go back to your canvas and make sure everything is attached properly.

    To Create Your Illustration And Upload It To Design Space

  • Sketch out your drawing on white paper with a Pencil.
  • Trace your drawing onto another piece of white paper with black drawing pens or markers. The Cricut Bright Pad will make this much easier to see your pencil lines.. Tip: I use the monotwin marker, which has two sides for thicker strokes and the mono drawing pen for the lighter strokes. The cleaner you get this drawing, the better your image will turn out in Design Space.
  • Scan your image in or take a picture with your phone and email it to yourself. Tip: Edit your picture so the whites are really bright and the blacks are really dark. You want a lot of contrast so the program recognizes where to draw.
  • When you get to the editing screen, use the wand tool to erase the larger portions of white space on the drawing. Make sure you get all the small crevices.
  • Use the eraser tool to fine-tune your image, then press continue.
  • Save it as an SVG file, not a Print and Cut file.
  • Insert the image into your Project and resize it.
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    Making Sticker Sheets With The Cricut Explore Air 2

    Now, lets talk about how to make sticker sheets, or kiss-cut stickers. This is a little more advanced, so stick with me! Most of the steps are the same, so I will only go over the ones that are different.

    The first thing youll need to do is make sure you make a background for your sticker sheet. I usually make mine 4×6. If youre selling your sticker sheets, I recommend adding your logo and a product number to the top of the sheet. IMPORTANT: Do not download the background as a transparent file!

    Then, resize your sticker sheet so its small enough to fit on the sheet below the logo. You will want to download this sheet as a transparent .png. Upload both these files to a new project in the Cricut Design Space application. Make sure you add the background layer to the canvas first and size it the way you want before layering the sticker sheet layer over it.

    The next step is the most important to make sure your file is cut correctly! Select BOTH the background and the stickers at the same time, and in the right-hand panel, click the Attach button. You do NOT need to group the layers just click Attach! That will make sure your sticker sheet is cut the right way.

    After that crucial step, follow all the same steps for printing and cutting your Cricut project, except make sure you set the dial to Vinyl instead of Cardstock. This ensures the Cricut doesnt cut all the way through the paper, giving you kiss-cut instead of die-cut stickers.

    Drawing And Writing With Cricut Get Started Guide


    Let’s talk about drawing and writing with Cricut. If you know me, you know I love to create drawing designs with my Cricut. You can create hand drawn accents on all of your Cricut projects including pen and ink illustrations and coloring page designs. If you love the look of hand drawn art, but don’t want to draw it yourself, let your Cricut machine do the work for you!

    Are you new to Cricut? Start here: Create with Cricut an overview of all things Cricut and Cricut machines.

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    The Importance Of Attach When Working With Cricut Pens

    When you are creating designs with the Cricut Pens, you are most likely trying to put your text or picture onto something, whether its a tag, invitation or label you already have or a cut-out shape from the Cricut Design Space Library. Ive received so many emails and comments from readers asking why their text isnt drawn directly onto their cuts, so let me briefly do a review of the importance of the Attach function .

    Here is a basic label I want to create. If you look along the right-hand Layers Panel, youll see that the name Megan is supposed to be drawn, and the pink tag shape is intended to be cut. Obviously, I want Megan written directly onto the pink label.

    However, when I send this design to be cut, the Megan is being drawn onto a separate mat/color as the pink label.

    In order to get your text to be drawn directly onto your cut shape, you must Attach the two items together. To do this, select both the shape and the text, and then click Attach along the bottom right toolbar. You will know your separate items are attached when 1) they are shown as an Attached set in the right-hand Layers Panel, and 2) when Attach toggles to Detach in the bottom right-hand toolbar.

    With the designs now Attached, you will see that the text is written directly onto the cut label within the cut screen!

    How To Tell Your Cricut Machine To Write And Draw

    Pretty much everything you add to Cricut Design Space is set to cut therefore, you need to tell your machine if you want to use pens.

    First, start on your Cricut Design Space canvas area.

    Note: Make sure the on the upper right upper corner of the window, you have selected the machine you own .

    Then, select the layer you want to use pens with and change the operation to Pen.

    Important: When you are working with more than one color, its always a good idea to select the type of pen and color you will be using. Cricut uses very random orders to color, so if you dont assign them right, you may use the wrong pen.

    Not all Pens are in the System: I love Cricut, but sometimes I do run into some troubles, and I dont want you to feel the same frustrations I do.

    When choosing the pen color, try using the size and the color that matches your pen to the best of your abilities. Right now, not all of the pen colors match the Pen name, or they arent even available.

    For instance, the Silver pen doesnt appear at all when you choose the Calligraphy pen.

    That doesnt mean you cant use the Silver Calligraphy Pen. But it does mean that you will need to select a silver color from different a size.

    I did submit feedback and lets hope for the best!

    Note: Even though I get a little frustrated at times, I still love Cricut and recommend it all the time. I come from a family of engineers, and sometimes, it is hard to get everything right in the software. So, lets be patient!

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    How To Use Cricut Pens In Any Cricut Machine

    So, you want to know how to use Cricut pens? This is the post for you! We are going to share just how to use pens in your Cricut machine as well as share some Cricut pen projects to give this method of creating a try. We will cover how to use pens on every Cricut machine including the Cricut Explore Air 2, Cricut Maker, and the Cricut Joy. Get ready because you are about to be an expert on how to use pens on a Cricut.

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