When the Print Then Cut feature for the Cricut Explore becomes available sometime during the week of September 22nd, one of the first things you might want to try is printing and cutting out one of the complex layered Disney images. I shared some of the images I have printed and cut in a post yesterday (click HERE to see that post) and today I have some screenshots from the Design Space program that show you exactly how to do this.
I chose this image of Aladdin and Jasmine as an example because it has many layers and would be very difficult to cut and piece together at a small size.
The image has ten different color and many tiny individual pieces. I wanted to size the image at 5 inches wide for a card. It would be extremely time consuming and probably very frustrating to try to cut all of these pieces from colored cardstock and assemble them.
Once you have chosen and sized the image, click on it to select it and then click on the new icon that says "Flatten" at the top of the layers menu. Just one click turns this into an image that can be printed as a whole. No worries about finding just the right shade of cardstock - the colors will be the "correct" colors from the original Disney image.
You can see that the image is flattened because the heavy black lines showing the individual layers have disappeared, leaving only the lines that show the details of the image. All of the layers that were in individual spaces on the layers panel have been consolidated into one printable image.
You could print and then cut this image as is but you might want to add the shadow layer to create an outline around the image. The shadow layers are usually present but not showing - just click the eyeball by the shadow image to make it show.
Click on the shadow layer image in the layers panel and then change the color to white.
Select the image and the white shadow layer and click "Flatten" again to create an image that will cut with an even white border around the edges.
The image will now look like this and you are ready to print and then cut it out.
The mat preview will show the image with registration marks. Click "Print and Continue" in the lower right corner to send the image to your printer. You can do this through a wired or a wireless connection.
After the image has printed, you simply load it on the mat, set the dial for the type of material you used to print the image (cardstock, printable vinyl, etc) and then press GO, just as you do to cut colored cardstock layers for an image. The Explore machine will first read the registration marks using the light and the optical eye and then will cut out the printed image.
You might want to use images like this for cupcake toppers or in a 3D box card. Design Space makes it very easy to create a mirror image of the design. First you need to duplicate the original image.
With the newly duplicated image selected, open the Edit panel and click on the icon to mirror the image horizontally. One click and you now have a perfect fit for the back of the first image.
Click GO and the mat preview screen will show both images within one set of registration marks, ready to print and then cut.
The two images will line up perfectly (they are offset here so you can see that there are two) and you can adhere them with a popsicle stick or piece of acetate between them to put the image on a cake or in a card.
If you don't want a border around the image, simply leave the shadow layers hidden and do not flatten them with the character image.
If you don't add the white shadow border to the flattened image, the software will automatically add a "bleed" of color around the edges to insure a perfect cut with no white showing.
If you want to print and cut more than one copy of the image, simply increase the number of projects in the Mat Preview screen. The images will be placed within the one set of registration marks per mat and you can print and then cut multiple images.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The Cricut site and the Craft Room and Design Space will be undergoing updates and may be unavailable from 7:00 p.m. Monday, September 22nd through 7 a.m. Tuesday, September 23rd (Mountain Time). Plan your crafting accordingly - get any cuts made before the servers go down and then you can assemble projects (or sleep!) while the updates are happening. I promise you - it will be worth the wait once you see the new features!
If you don't have already have an Explore the new features coming with the update may convince you that you "need" to upgrade. If you want to shop for a new machine you can find all of the bundles on the Cricut site HERE.
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