Wednesday, April 11, 2018

How To Cut an Image With the Cricut Explore Air

Hey y'all,

This is the last post in a series I started earlier this week on how to Create an SVG for Free with Inkscape and How to Upload an Image to Cricut Design Space. These two articles start you at the very beginning of creating your own image using Inkscape and Design Space and how to upload them for a project, so obvious the next step is how to make your design come to life by cutting it. This is where ALL the fun happens with a Cricut Explore or Cricut Maker machine

If you don't know where to begin, please look at the links above to the previous articles I posted. I am currently working on a Tea Towel for a coworker as she just got an RV and want to decorate it with cute camping decor.

So, on to the next step....cutting your materials. This is the SCARY part. You have put all this work into creating something and now you want it turn out the best. Trust me, it's not going to happen. Learning the machine and its settings require a lot of playing around with the machine, and I promise have ruined projects by know how to work my machine properly. I watched hours of videos and studied it inside and out before I even took it out of the box. The type of material you choose to cut is dependent on the project you are working on, and each material has a specific blade setting.

In this project I decided to use heat transfer vinyl, mainly because I just got a new heat press. I figured why not document a simple project from start to finish, so I chose a tea towel.

My image is uploaded into design space. This image was slightly more detailed and transfered over with multiple levels. I deleted those layers and adjust certain settings to get this basic image. I suggest for your first image you choose something simple like an outline or silhouette.
When you are satisfied with the way your design looks and you have sized it appropriately, select the green "make it now" button in the top right corner of your Cricut Design Space window.

Next you will be prompted to make sure your settings are correct and to upload your mat. My screen shows 2 mats in 2 different colors to help me remember which vinyl color needs to be on the mat I am loading it. This makes it so awesome. If you are following along with a similar project, when placing HTV on an item you have to place the shiny side of the vinyl on the sticky side of the mat, meaning it is face down. Also be sure that your image is mirrored. This is for transferring. You have to flip the image over before putting it on the material your are ironing . The mirror option is on the top left of the screen. As you can see, I have it selected. To load the mat into your machine, press the up and down arrow button on the top of the machine below the knob.

When you are done with setting your machine and loading your mat, choose the green "Continue" button in the bottom right of the screen. Your final screen will be an additional prompt to be sure that you have the correct cut setting and the blade you have in your machine is correct. Your machine will prompt you with a blue button flashing by the dial that looks like the cricut emblem. Press that button and your machine will begin to cut. 

When your Cricut machine is finished cutting, you will be prompted again to hit the blue flashing button that you clicked previously to load the mat. After removing your mat from the machine, you now have to remove your material from your mat. If you are following along, lucky for us, HTV can just be pulled off quickly. Other materials, like paper, require a lot more work to remove without tearing. 

Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed this series. If you have don't forget to follow me through bloglovin. Link is in the sidebar. Don't forget to stay tuned, I decided while putting this post together that I wanted to walk y'all through the heat press process too. Stayed tuned for the finished product later this week.


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