The Print Then Cut feature on Cricut cutting machines has made paper crafting projects extremely versatile. However, even with all the benefits of the Print Then Cut feature, it still feels like you are wasting paper to create your paper crafting projects. In this tutorial, I show you one of my favorite Cricut hacks – how to save paper using Cricut Print Then Cut.
Included are photos from Design space and a step-by-step tutorial. You’ll be glad that you learned this hack to conserve paper for all your future Print Then Cut projects. Plus, I’ve got a Cricut Design Space Quick reference sheet for you at the bottom of this post. Read on to learn more and happy paper saving!
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This tutorial is done from the Desktop version of Cricut Design Space. The app version for tablets may be different. I used a Cricut Explore Air 2, but any Cricut that uses Design Space will work.
Step 1: Add your custom Print Then Cut images to the project
If you haven’t already, add your custom images to your project in Design Space. If you aren’t sure how to do this, you can follow another tutorial I made to learn how to Print and Cut your own custom images. For this project, I wanted 4 Christmas Trees to be printed and then cut to make some holiday cards. However, Design Space included these on 2 mats and I thought I could use my paper better to fit it all on one mat.
Step 2: Create a background shape the size of the Print Then Cut dimensions
One of the easiest ways to organize your images to save paper when using the Print Then Cut feature is to create a background shape. It should be the size of the Print Then Cut restricted dimensions, which is 6.75 x 9.25 inches.
To do this click on the SHAPES button on the left sidebar, then click SQUARE. It will add the square shape to the project.
Resize the square to a rectangle with the Print Then Cut restricted dimensions of 6.75 x 9.25 inches. Be sure to click on the LOCK above the width and height so you can create the exact size background shape. After creating the block, click on the ARRANGE button and select MOVE TO BACK. This will allow you to see the images on the “fake” background paper and organize them to save space on the cutting mat.
Step 3: Organize your items on top of the Print Then Cut background
Now you can sort and organize the Print Then Cut images on the “fake” background paper. It helps to also turn your images to fit better on the background. Use the ROTATE feature in the toolbar or use the blue circle arrow when clicked on an object. The blue circle arrow is always in the upper right hand corner when you select any object in your project.
Notice how the images are laid out close to each other, but not touching or overlapping. This is important that there is a little room between each image for the Print Then Cut feature to work properly.
Step 4: Hide the background guide
Now you will hide the “fake” background guide paper that you created. Since the background “paper” is just a guide, it should be hidden from the Design Space view. That way it won’t be cut as another object when you make your project. Select only the background rectangle, then HIDE the shape from the toolbar on the right side of the screen. Click on the EYEBALL next to the highlighted object so that it is no longer visible. The object will seem to have “disappeared” and the eyeball will have a slash through it. But don’t worry, it’s still there if you need to add it back just by clicking on the EYEBALL again.
Step 5: Attach group of images together
Now there is one final step to complete before making your project. This is the key step to forcing the Cricut to follow your paper saving “structure”. First, click and drag the mouse to highlight all of the objects that were on the “fake” background. After they are all highlighted together, a larger outline is created around the images. Then click on ATTACH at the bottom of the right panel in Design Space. This will force the Design Space to keep these objects grouped together and Print Then Cut them on the same sheet.
After you attach the images together, they are collected under one tab in the right hand menu called “Attach”. To do a quick check that all of the images stayed in place, unhide the “fake” background to be sure the new Attached group of images still fit within the Print Then Cut dimensions. If not, then you need to unattach the images, move them around and repeat steps 3-5 above. Don’t forget to hide the “fake” background before moving on to the next step.
Step 6: Make your Print Then Cut design
Now when I click MAKE IT, there is only one mat for me to prepare. It includes my “attached” group of images and it will still Print Then Cut out these custom images without any issues.
Save Paper Using Cricut Print Then Cut
I hope this workaround helps you save more paper using the Print Then Cut feature in Cricut Design Space. Although the Cricut does try to do it’s best, the program is not as efficient as us paper crafters who try to squeeze every last inch out of our materials! Now, you can use this hack to help save paper on your next Print Then Cut project.
If you are new to Cricut Design Space or can’t remember all of the functions in the program, I have created a handy Quick Reference Sheet. You can get it plus more printables, digital files, and other paper crafting freebies by signing up for my newsletter below. As a bonus, you’ll get instant access to my FREE resource library where you can find the Quick Reference Sheet and more!
Check out my other tutorials on the Cricut – you can find them here. If you have any other Cricut hacks or want to see another tutorial let me know in the comments below!
Happy Paper Saving!