Cricut Design Space provides built-in basic shapes such as the circle, square, and heart that you can use in designing your projects. Most of the time, I create my own project files outside of Cricut Design Space and import them into it. However, it’s fun and challenging to design right in Design Space using its built-in shape options.
Once you’ve learned to design with shapes, check out our tutorial to learn how to design with text in Cricut Design Space.
- How to use the Design Space basic shapes
- How to combine shapes into complex images using the WELD and SLICE options
About The Tutorial
In this tutorial, I’ll introduce you to the basic shapes and show you how to work with them to create a simple image. The resulting image can be resized without loss of detail and used for many projects. For example, I could add my cat’s name to this image and cut it out of vinyl to personalize her water dish. In a related article, I’ll show how to combine basic shapes with other images such as photos to create a project. Let’s get started!
Access the Shapes Tools and Select a Shape
1. Log in to Cricut Design Space. On the top right of the Home page, click New Project.
Practice Manipulating your Shape Using the Control Icons
1. Click and pull the resize icon. Notice how the hexagon grows and shrinks but retains its proportions.
2. Click the lock icon to unlock the proportion constraints then click and pull the resize icon again. Notice how you can now distort the shape.
3. Click and pull the rotate icon to spin your shape.
Practice Manipulating your Shape Using the Menu
1. Select your hexagon. Notice how the top menu gives you options to work with your shape.
2. Play with the options to see how they affect your hexagon. Use the menu when you need precise size, position and rotation options.
3. When you’re done playing with your hexagon, select Edit -> Cut to delete it or click the red delete icon on the upper left of the shape.
Practice Using Multiple Shapes to Create New Images
In Design Space, you can create a new image by using multiple shapes and either joining them using the Weld option or removing overlapping areas using the Slice option. Multiple shapes, resize, rotate, weld, and slice are the keys to creating a new image.
Combine Two Shapes using Weld
1. Click the Shapes icon and select the Triangle.
2. With the Shapes options still open, click the Triangle icon again. You should now have two triangles on your canvas. Select one of them and change its color to differentiate them.
Note: To change the color of an object, select it so it’s highlighted in the Layers panel, then click the colored circle next to it. Choose a color from the colors panel.
Modify your Shape Using Slice
2. Move the square over a portion of your merged triangles.
3. Select the triangles and the square.
Create a Cat Face using Shapes
With a little ingenuity as well as trial and error, you can design interesting new images by welding and slicing shapes.
Let’s use this process to create the image of a cat. This cat consists of:
- an octagon for the head
- cutout triangles for the ears
- ovals for the eyes
- a heart for the nose
- thin rectangles for the whiskers
- a custom shape for the mouth
Create the Head and Ears
1. On the left menu, click the + New icon to start a new project. When asked if you want to save your practice project, click Replace.
2. For the head, click the Shapes icon and select Octagon.
3. For the ears, create two triangles. Make the second triangle pink. Make the pink triangle smaller and fit it over the first triangle so it defines the inside of the ear.
4. Select both triangles and center them using the Align -> Center Horizontally menu option.
5. With both triangles still selected, click the Slice icon (bottom right of screen) to cut out the ear. Delete the extra cutout scraps.
6. Select the ear. Resize, rotate, and position it over the top right slant of the octagon making sure you overlap the ear and the head shape.
7. When you’re happy with how the ear looks, copy and paste a duplicate of it. Mac (command-C then command-V) PC (ctl-C then ctl-V).
8. Select the duplicate and click Flip -> Flip Horizontal to make a mirror image of it.
9. Position the second ear over the left top slant of the head shape. To make sure your ears match, select them both then click Align -> Align Top. Reposition them if necessary to overlap the head shape.
10. With both ears and the octagon selected, click the Weld icon at the bottom of the Layers panel.
You should now have a shape like the one shown here.
Create the Eyes
1. In the Shapes menu, select Circle. Give your circle a color so it’s easy to see against the black head.
2. Click the lock icon in the lower left of the circle to unlock it.
3. Resize and reshape the circle to make a narrow oval eye for the cat.
4. Rotate the eye slightly and drag it into position on the cat head.
5. Copy and paste a duplicate of the eye.
6. Use the Flip -> Flip Horizontal menu option to fix the slant for the left eye, then position it over the head.
7. Select both eyes and use the Align -> Align Top option to align them.
8. Select the head and one of the eyes then click the Slice icon to subtract it from the head. Delete the cutout scraps.
9. After you do the first eye, you’ll notice that the head comes to the front and covers the remaining eye. Select the head and click Arrange -> Send to Back.
10. Select the head and the second eye. Click the Slice icon to cut it from the head shape. Delete the cutout scraps.
11. For the pupil of the eye, select a Circle from the Shapes menu. Unlock it and create a small narrow oval.
12. Position the pupil over one of the eyes until it looks right. Make sure it overlaps both the top and bottom of the eye opening.
13. Copy and paste the pupil and position it over the other eye.
14. With the pupils in position, select them both, add the head to your selection, and use the Weld icon to incorporate them into the cat head.
Create the Nose
1. From the Shapes menu, select the Heart. Give it a color so it’s easy to see over the black head.
2. Resize the heart to act as a nose for the cat. I unlocked mine and made it smaller and flatter.
3. Position the “nose” on the cat head. Select the nose and the head and select Align -> Center Horizontally.
4. Use the Slice icon to subtract the nose from the head. Discard the extra scrap shapes.
Create the Mouth
This one’s a little trickier, but you’re a pro by now! I used two ovals as the start of the mouth.
1. Select a Circle from the Shapes menu.
2. Resize the circle to about half its size, unlock it, and reshape it into an oval.
3. Copy and paste your oval to create a duplicate. Give the duplicate a color, then resize it so it’s slightly narrower than the original oval. Position it over the original oval to create a crescent shape. To align the two ovals horizontally, select them both and select Align -> Center Horizontally.
4. Click the Slice icon to subtract the top oval from the bottom to create a crescent shape. Discard the scrap shapes.
This is one half of the cat’s smile but it’s too extreme. Next, we’ll cut it down.
5. Select a Square from the Shapes menu. Arrange it over the crescent, select them both, and click Slice to subtract the square. Delete the scraps.
6. Copy and paste the crescent to duplicate it. Choose Flip -> Flip Horizontal from the top menu to make it a mirror of the original.
7. Bring the two crescents together to form the cat’s mouth. Overlap them slightly. To align them, select them both and choose Align -> Align Top from the top menu.
8. With the two crescents still selected, click Weld to merge them. Give the cat smile a color.
9. Unlock the smile. Resize and reshape it as needed. I made mine slightly narrower.
10. Position the cat’s smile over the head. With them both selected, click Align -> Center Horizontally.
11. Click Slice to incorporate the smile into the image. Delete the scraps.
He’s definitely cute. But something’s missing. Next we’ll create some whiskers. They’ll be much easier than the mouth!
Create Some Whiskers
1. From the Shapes menu, select a Square.
2. Unlock it and reshape it into a narrow rectangle small enough to act as a cat whisker. It also has to be thick enough to cut out so it can’t just be a line.
3. Copy and paste two duplicate rectangles. Rotate and position them over the cat’s head until you like how they look.
4. Select all three whiskers and click Weld. Even if they don’t overlap, you can group them using Weld.
5. Copy and paste the group of whiskers. From the top menu, select Flip -> Flip Horizontal.
6. Position the second set of whiskers on the cat’s head. If you want to be precise, you can select both sets of whiskers and use the Align -> Aligh Top menu to align them.
7. Select the cat’s head and both sets of whiskers and click Weld to merge them into your final graphic.
I hope that working through this tutorial has given you some practice working with shapes.
Uses for your Cat’s Head Graphic
You can use your cat’s head as part of another project or cut it out on its own.
- Cut it out as a paper sticker or scrapbook embellishment.
- Cut it out in vinyl to decorate a cell phone, mug, jar or journal cover.
- Enlarge and cut it out in adhesive fabric to use on a canvas bag, pillow, or t-shirt.
It’s a fun and flexible little graphic.
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