You can create so many exciting Cricut projects using text elements in Cricut Design Space! If you haven’t worked much with text in Design Space, this little tutorial should help you get started.
As I explain how text works in Design Space, I’ll provide instructions for making the all-in-one, cut out design shown below. I chose this design because it includes so many examples of how to work with text.
Here’s an example of the finished design.
The challenge is to get all of the text lined up so it overlaps and can be welded into one shape. You can do it entirely in Design Space using just the text and shapes tools. If you’d like to learn more about using shapes, access my article “How to Design in Cricut Design Space using the Shapes Tools.”
Follow along to practice using text!
- How to create text and choose a font
- How to edit, align, and curve text
- How to use the advanced text options
- How to weld and slice
- How text appears in the Layers panel
Start a New Project and Type a Word
Launch Cricut Design Space and create a new project.
Click the Text icon in the left menu. Type the word “REACH” in the text box that appears.
Notice your text has the standard control icons around it, so you can move, resize, rotate and delete it much as you would any image on the canvas.
Also notice that when working with text, a text menu appears right below the standard top menu in the interface. The text menu gives familiar options for choosing a font, a style, a size, leading and kerning as well as some advanced options.
Choose a Font
Your choice of font is extremely important for a Cricut project. Not only does it help define the style of your design, it also helps to make cutting the project a success. For instance, if you’re going to have your Cricut machine cut the text out of vinyl, it’s a good idea to choose a fairly thick font that doesn’t have a lot of ornamentation to avoid weeding nightmares and torn vinyl.
When you first type in your text, Design Space defaults to the free font Cricut Sans. You’ll soon discover that not all fonts are free.
To change your font, click the Font menu option. You’ll get a long list of fonts offered through Cricut. The cost of the font is listed underneath its name in the left column. Once you’ve purchased a font for your project, you can use it on other projects, and it will no longer have a cost under it.
The good news is you can use System fonts, fonts that are available on your computer for free. Besides being free, the other nice thing about using system fonts is that you’re already familiar with them. Anytime you add a font to your computer, it will be available in Cricut.
To choose a system font, click System at the top of the Fonts list. Here’s what my System fonts list looks like.
We’ll be using Arial for this tutorial. You should have it as a system font since it’s a fairly common font. I have a lot of fonts on my computer, so I typed Arial into the Search Fonts field. I clicked Arial, the first font in the list.
If you don’t have Arial, choose any non-serif font from your System drop-down list. Here’s the REACH text in the Arial font.
Use the Font Menu’s Standard Font Tools
We’ve looked at how to use the Fonts drop-down to choose a font. Let’s look at the other options on the font menu.
Standard font tools: Style, Font Size, Line Space
The Font Menu: Style
Select your text and click the Style drop-down menu to change the style to Bold. Here’s what my text looks like now.
The Font Menu: Font Size
Select your text and type “150” into the Font Size field. Hit your return or enter key. Here’s what my text looks like now.
The Font Menu: Line Space
You aren’t restricted to one line of text in a text box. Design Space lets you have multiple lines. Our quote is “Reach for the Stars,” so let’s add two more lines of text. To do this, double-click REACH to bring back the text input box. Place your cursor at the end of the word “REACH,” press your return or enter key on your keyboard. Then type “FOR THE”. Hit return or enter again, and type “Stars.”
Here’s what my text looks like now.
For this design, we need to have the lines of text touching. To adjust the “leading” (the space between the lines), type “-5” in the Line Space field and press enter or return on your keyboard.
The Font Menu: Advanced
I’m going to be cutting this quote out in one piece with no loose letters. That means I need to tweak the positions of individual letters so letters like the “A” in “STARS” aren’t floating on their own. To do this, we’ll need to use the font menu’s Advanced options.
Ungroup To lines
Select the quote, then click Advanced. From the drop-down menu, select Ungroup to Lines. This will break up the quote into three separate lines of text. Each line of text is on its own layer in the Layer panel.
We want to make all the letters in the image overlap so it can be cut out as one piece. To do this, we’ll change the letter spacing on each line of text.
The Font Menu: Letter Space
Select the first line of text, “REACH.” If you look at the Letter Space field in the font menu, you’ll see that the spacing is currently at “1.2.” Type “.5” into the Letter Space field and press enter or return on your keyboard. Here’s an example of my first line of text at .5 points.
Select the second line of text, “FOR THE.” Set the Letter Space for this line to 0 points. Leave the third line of text at the default, 1.2 points. Your quote should now look something like this:
Marquee around all three rows or hold down your shift key and click on each of them to select them all. Then use the top menu to center align them horizontally.
Here’s my image now.
It’s not perfect but it’s getting there. This design relies on all of the letters overlapping so we need to reposition some of them especially the “A” in stars which is hanging out all on its own..
Font Menu: Advanced
Ungroup to Letters
Select the second line of text, “FOR THE,” then click Advanced. From the drop-down menu, select Ungroup to Letters. This will break up the text into individual letters each on its own layer in the Layers panel.
With the letters broken apart, I can now select individual letters and nudge them to where I want them to be. I used my left and right arrow keys so I wouldn’t disturb their line placement. Use the photo below to help you line up the letters. I selected the “R” and moved it to the right until it overlapped the “A” in “Stars.” I moved the “F” a bit to the right. I selected the “T,” and moved it to the left. I positioned the “H” between the “T” and the “E.”
Just like images in Design Space, text can be welded. You just have to make sure the text is exactly how you want it because welding converts the text into a shape.
Marquee around the entire quote to select it all. Then click Weld at the bottom of the Layers panel. The graphic now appears on a single layer, and the text is no longer editable.
Curving and Slicing Text
You can curve text in Design Space! I love this option. It opens up so many design possibilities. You can also slice text out of other images.
To practice curving and slicing text, we’ll add the word “ALWAYS” to the bottom of the quote, curve it, and cut it out of a half circle shape.
Create a shape to cut text out of
Start with a circle
Let’s start by creating the half circle. From the left menu Shapes option, select the circle.
Use a square to cut the circle in half
Next from the Shapes menu, select a square and position it so it overlaps the top half of the circle. You may need to resize the square larger to make sure it completely covers the top half of the circle. Select both the square and circle and click Slice at the bottom of the Layers panel.
Discard all but the lower half circle.
Resize and position the half circle
Select the half circle, unlock it by clicking the lock icon on the left bottom corner, and resize it so it spans and overlaps the bottom of the word “STARS.” Select the circle again and resize it a bit taller making sure it still overlaps the bottom of “STARS.”
Create the curved text
The Curve option allows you to bend a word or line of text upward or downward.
Entering a negative value in the Curve field creates an upward curve.
Entering a positive value in the Curve field creates a downward curve.
Let’s add the word “ALWAYS” to our graphic. In the left menu, click the Text icon. In the text box type “ALWAYS.” Set the menu options as follows:
- Font: Arial
- Style: Bold
- Font Size: 80
- Letter Space: 1
- Line Space: Leave at 1.2
- Curve: -7.2
You should now have something like this:
Next change the color of the text from black to white.
With “ALWAYS” still selected, position it over the half circle. (If the text disappears behind the circle, click Arrange –> Send to front in the top menu.)
Slice “ALWAYS” from the half circle
Subtract the text from the half circle. Select both “ALWAYS” and the half circle and click the Slice option at the bottom of the Layers panel. Discard the extra cut-out pieces (keyboard: delete or backspace). You should now have something like this:
We’re almost finished with the design! Let’s add some stars.
Embellish the design with shapes
Add stars to the design
From the Shapes option in the left menu, select the star. Resize, rotate and reposition the star until it fits into your design. Keep in mind that it should overlap the letters. Create other stars to add to your design.
I added three stars to my image.
Add a another star to cut out of the design
Add a small star above “ALWAYS,” make it white so you can see it, and slice it from the background. Your image should now look something like this:
Hold down your shift key and select your welded quote, your half circle, and each of your stars. At the bottom of the Layers panel, click Weld. Your design should be all in one piece and on one layer.
I hope this little tutorial helped you understand some of the things you can do with text in Cricut Design space. Keep making!
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