There are some common Cricut mistakes that people make, along with some myths and items that are mysteries. Let’s solve and answer those! I even made some fun images with my tips on them so you can save those to help you remember my Cricut tips. Feel free to share any of these common Cricut mistake tip images with others on social media. Together we can help educate people on these topics!
Cricut Mistake – How to Pronounce It
Probably the most common of the Cricut mistakes is mispronouncing the name of the machine. It is pronounced like the word cricket, as in the bug. If you watch any video put out by the Cricut company you will hear them pronounce it like the bug. Additionally, if you look at their logo it is a bug.
Cricut Design Space and Cricut Access
Next up on my list of Cricut mistakes is when people assume that you have to pay to use Cricut Design Space. Cricut Design Space is the software that makes the Cricut run. Cricut Access is the paid membership that gives you access to thousands of Cricut images and fonts to use for your projects.
Think of Cricut Access like a Netflix account. While you are paying for it, you get to watch all of the shows and programming that is on Netflix.
I personally do not pay for Cricut Access. I use other resources to find my designs, like websites that provide free SVG files. I have a whole list of places where you can get free SVG files HERE. There are also free fonts out there that you can download and install onto your device and then use in your Cricut projects. You can read my article on free fonts HERE.
Cut or Print then Cut
I am going to call this next one a Cricut mystery, as it seems to be a challenge for many new Cricut owners. When you are uploading an image to Cricut Design Space you will have the option to save that file as a Cut file or as a Print then Cut file.
Most of the time, you will want to save as a cut file, since you are probably going to cut this image from cardstock or vinyl. The only time you want to save it as a Print then Cut file is when you plan to first send this design to your home printer and that is where all of the colors are coming from. A great example of this would be if you want to make stickers, which I go over in detail HERE.
Because this such a challenging Cricut concept to understand, I actually did a full tutorial and video on the topic. I show how to upload the exact same image and save it as a cut file, and then how to save it as a print then cut file. You can find the tutorial HERE and the video HERE. I am proud to say that my video on this topic is the most popular video on my YouTube channel. I have even had people reach out to me to tell me that this specific topic was always a challenge for them to understand, but it was my video that finally made the whole concept make sense.
Cricut Mistakes about SVG files
I know that some people will debate this one with me, but there is no way to make a SVG file in Cricut Design Space. This is one of the common Cricut mistakes or myths since the average person does not understand what a svg is. If you want to learn how to make svg files, you can read more about programs that do have this capability HERE.
If you do want to learn how to make a Cricut cutting file, I do have tutorials on how to do that. You can check out my article on how to upload and clean up an image HERE. I also show this same process for an UP! house project that I created HERE.
Once you have the outline of the image in Cricut Design Space you can then use Duplicate and Contour to create the colored layers. I show you how to do that HERE. I also go over using Duplicate and Contour HERE.
But what if your image has multiple colors already applied to it? You still might be able to turn it into a Cricut cutting file using THIS process. Basically, you will upload the same image multiple times and clean up the image once for each color in the design. This will create the layers. They will not come in already colored in Design Space, but once you have each piece on the Canvas you can easily change the color to what you need for the project.
Cricut Mistakes for Print then Cut
I have found that many people do not really understand what each function or button is for in Cricut Design Space. If you need a helpful reminder of what the main buttons do and when to use each one, I have a Cheat Sheet that you can download HERE.
Flatten will change any cut design into a Print then Cut design. This means that first the design will be printed from your home printer. Then you can place that printed design on your Cricut cutting mat to be cut. I show this process in my sticker making tutorial HERE.
If you do not understand the difference between a cut design and a print then cut design, please take some time to read THIS article.
I have also seen people confuse Attach with Flatten, so I did a whole article just on the difference between those two functions HERE. Attach holds the placement and position of things. You would use that to attach a score line to a card, or attach writing to a design.
While we are talking about Print then Cut projects, I want to take some time to talk about the bleed. If you have ever done a Print then Cut project and part of the design prints out looking blurry, or in the case of text all of your letters look fat then you need to learn about the bleed.
In the print preview screen of Design Space there is a button that says bleed, and you can turn it on or off. When the bleed is on, it will extend the outer edge of the color, so that if the cut is not exactly 100% accurate you will not see the white of the paper at the edge of your cut. You would still see color because the print would have feathered out the color and extended past the cutting area.
Not only is the bleed extending the color past the cutting area, but it is essentially showing you where the Cricut will cut. So if you are trying to print out a tag with words on it, and you want the words printed out from your home printer, but you only want the Cricut to cut the tag shape around the words you need to make sure that your words are flattened to a solid shape. I go over this step by step with pictures HERE.
Now, if you were to post a photo of a project on social media that looks like the photos below and ask people “What did I do wrong? Why are all of my words fat?” I will guess that about 90% of the answers will tell you to turn off the bleed. For this project that is not the right answer! It is a common Cricut mistake to tell people to turn off the bleed.
While that will make a project like this print nice and clear, when you go to cut this design you will be right back to asking “What did I do wrong?” because the Cricut will not only cut the tag shapes in this project, but it will also cut out all of those letters. The real answer to actually solve this problem would be to make your tag shape a solid shape and then flatten the words to that shape.
Because this is one of the most common Cricut mistakes I actually did a more detailed tutorial on it HERE, along with some other Print then Cut troubleshooting tips and tricks.
Cricut is not a Printer
Another pretty common Cricut mistake is saying that you want to “print” something with your Cricut. The Cricut does not print. There is no place to put ink or toner into the Cricut. It does have a blade, so you would be cutting with it.
Other things you can do with the Cricut are write or draw. These functions would use the Cricut pens instead of the Cricut blade. I have shown how you can draw on a gift bag HERE. I have also shown how to write with the pens HERE.
If you are ever writing with the Cricut pens, and your words come out looking like bubble letters, and you wanted them filled in, this would be another common Cricut mistake. This means that you originally had a Cutting Style font, and changed the operation from Cut to Draw. The problem is that the Cricut pen would follow the same path as the Cricut blade, and a cutting font is designed so that it will cut the thickness of that font.
Do not worry! There are ways to fix Cricut mistakes when it comes to bubbled fonts. You can either go back and choose a writing style font, which is a single pen stroke width, or you can use a hatch fill to trick the Cricut into coloring in your font. I have more information on that HERE.
Images are NOT SVG files
Next on my list of Cricut mistakes is one that I feel is mostly due to lack of knowledge on the topic, and it has also really been perpetuated by various groups on social media. People will use the terms images and SVG files interchangeably as if they were the same thing, but they are not. You will even see some groups on social media calling their group a “svg sharing” group. There is no way to share a svg file directly on social media. The best they could do is share a preview of the design, in png or jpg form, and then provide a link for you to follow to download the actual svg file.
When you are looking at different designs, you need to look at the file type that they were saved as. Images are typically a png or jpg file type. This sort of file is flat, and does not have layers. The cutting machine does not understand how to separate those colors into layers since there is no information within that file to tell it that.
SVG files on the other hand contain actual data. This data will tell your cutting machine where to cut, and where the boundary line for each color is. It will even have the colors set up for you already. In the image below I show you what a real SVG file will look like in a folder on your computer.
Because this is probably one of the biggest Cricut mistakes out there, I have created a very in-depth article to explain what a SVG file is that you can read HERE.
I have even seen the following “instructions” on how to make a SVG shared in many Facebook groups. The instructions in the following image are totally false, and I am going to explain to you why.
If you were to follow the above instructions, look at step number 4 through 6, which tell you that you can find your image and just right click on it and then save as a SVG. This is impossible. SVG files need to be downloaded, not just a save as function.
When you do what these instructions are telling you to do you are only making a Cricut cutting image, and not a SVG file.
One of the more common Cricut mistakes, or myths, was busted by my fellow blogger Tara in a video you can see HERE. Many people believe that if your Cricut blade becomes dull that you can sharpen it by stabbing it into a balled up piece of aluminum foil.
The Cricut blades are made of premium German carbide steel. To sharpen then you would need to use a process similar to sharpening steel knives or scissors. While there is some information out there that you can smooth out slightly dull steel with aluminum foil, but it will not really sharpen it.
Some will argue that you can clean the blade of small bits of debris with the aluminum foil, and while that might be true it is probably safer to use some rubbing alcohol for cleaning. The rubbing alcohol will help with any adhesive or glue that might get stuck on your blade also.
Cricut blades are meant to be replaced. They are not designed to last forever. There are some knock off brands out there that might be less expensive, but you would have to see how long those knock off blades last to know if they are really a better deal. I did a video review of one such brand HERE.
No need to seal vinyl
This one is more of a crafting mistake than a Cricut mistake, since it has to do with how to apply adhesive vinyl to items like cups and mugs after you cut it. There is a misconception that you need to seal the vinyl after you place it on the cup or mug. This is not true. It is more important to make sure that the surface you place the vinyl on is clean and ready to accept the vinyl. Remove all debris by cleaning it with rubbing alcohol.
For adhesive vinyl, you need to allow it to cure. Then the recommended care is to hand wash and do not allow it to soak in the water. If we think about this concept logically, adhesive vinyl is the same vinyl you would use to make a car decal, and you would never look to seal that.
So how did this misconception start? My theory is that someone did not allow their design to cure and started to notice that the design was lifting up and wanted a way to seal it. You might hear some people recommend to seal your vinyl with Mod Podge, but that product is really just glue, so when it dries it my leave a foggy appearance on your product.
When to calibrate your Cricut
There is a HUGE myth and misconception I see in many Cricut conversations, and that is when people are advising others about when to calibrate their machine. I wrote an entire article devoted to the topic of when to calibrate your Cricut. Click HERE to read that information.
Other Cricut Mistakes
This list is not a complete list of the most common Cricut mistakes, but my intention is to continue to add to this list. If you have a Cricut question or topic that you have been struggling with let me know and I will add that topic to this list. If you want to see a video where I show actual posts from Cricut users asking “What am I doing wrong?” and I show their mistake and how to fix it you can watch THIS VIDEO!