Do you have lots of digital scrapbooking kits that you have collected over the years? The new Print Then Cut feature for the Cricut Explore will open up a whole new way to use these kits for your projects.
These images are all from a kit that I purchased about a year ago. They are from Echo Park's Apothecary Halloween collection and you can find the set I used for this tutorial HERE. (not an affiliate link - I buy lots of kits from SnapClickSupply!).
Click on the button that says "Browse" and then locate the image in the folder on your computer where you saved it. The image will appear just below the "Browse" box. Then choose "Simple Image" because a PNG file will already be "cleaned up" with the background removed. Then click "Continue to Step 2" at the lower right.
The image will appear in the next screen (the "Clean" step). You will see the details of the image in the work area. The Design Space program will add the cutting lines around the edges of the shape.
Click on the eyeball at the top right to hide the detailed image and show the cutting lines in red. You do not need to "clean" the image since the PNG file already has the background removed. CLcik "Continue to Step 3" at the lower right.
There is a box that must be checked to upload the detailed printed image instead of just the shape of the image. If this box is not checked, only the shape will be uploaded.
Here are some of the items I printed and cut out with the Explore . The cuts are very precise with lots of detail from the original PNG files in the digital scrapping kit. These can be printed on cardstock, vinyl, vellum - whatever material you want to use for your project that will print nicely in your home printer.
Here is the clock showing the intricate details around the top.
I flipped it over so you can see the cuts more clearly. You could also just cut this shape from solid cardstock (use the upload option that does not preserve the interior design within the shape).
The only place where I ran into a tiny problem was with one of the tendrils on the pumpkin. When curves are this small it can be challenging to get them to cut.
I just snipped off the lower tendril with some scissors. I think it is amazing that the top tendril (which is about the same thickness as the one I snipped off) cut neatly and cleanly as you can see here.
I experimented with turning off the "bleed" in the printing of this label image. There was no bleed on the top image and I left the default bleed on for the bottom image. They are nearly identical. I would recommend leaving the bleed in the default "on" position unless there is a special reason to turn it off.
I was worried that there was something wrong when the Explore was cutting this tag because the machine was not just cutting a straight line around the simple tag shape. It turned out that the tag was designed with a rough deckle edge and the Explore cut it exactly as it was designed. You can see all of the tiny zigs and zags clearly when the tag is flipped over on a contrasting color.
There are so many possibilities when you expand your ideas about what you can print and cut - I'll show you how to combine more digital files with Cricut shapes in another post. Can you tell I am having a lot of fun with this?!
DON'T FORGET: 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!
Take a look at any digital kits you own - wouldn't you love to print and cut out some of the items in these kits? 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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