“Help! My Cricut is cutting the inside of my print then cut image!”

In the Cricut Explore and More Facebook group, we often have members who are having trouble getting their print then cut image to cut around their print then cut image and leave the inside of the image intact. This is usually caused by one of two things, and both of them have to do with flattening.

Image is not flattened

Changing all the images to print without flattening will cause all the printed images to cut individually. Design Space will see each image as a separate layer and will cut each color separately. Multi-layer images are designed to be cut as several cuts of different color materials that you then assemble into a single design. Flattening compresses the layers of a multi-layer image into a single-layer printable image.

Flattening will also change the image from cut to print, and so there’s no need to change the layers to print before flattening. Also, images don’t need to be attached, grouped, or welded before flattening.

Image isn’t flattened to a solid shape

Images need to have a solid background before flattening. Otherwise the inside and outside of the image will cut rather than just the outer edge.

If your design is a simple shape like a circle or a square, you can insert a white shape from the shapes panel, make it a little smaller than the border image, put it behind the original image, select all, and flatten.

UPDATE: There have been some Design Space changes since this tutorial was written. Please see this post for the more information on the Design Space layout changes.

If the shape is irregular, you will need to duplicate the shape and create a background by following these steps:

Screen Shot 2018-10-14 at 9.02.57 PM
  1. Select the border (shape without background) and duplicate.
Screen Shot 2018-10-14 at 9.19.03 PM

2. Select the duplicate and click “Contour.”

Screen Shot 2018-10-14 at 9.46.14 PM

3. Click the inside of the shape to hide the inner cut line. Click the “X” in the upper right corner to exit this box.

Screen Shot 2018-10-14 at 9.03.46 PM

4. Change the color of the solid shape to white if it is a different color.

Screen Shot 2018-10-14 at 9.06.05 PM

5. Move the solid shape on top of the text and original shape. (Don’t worry about fitting it perfectly over the shape.)

Screen Shot 2018-10-14 at 9.07.11 PM

6. With the solid shape selected, click “Arrange,” then “Move to Back.”

Screen Shot 2018-10-14 at 9.07.21 PM

7. Click “Select All” (or drag a bounding box around the entire design), then click “Align” and “Center.”

Screen Shot 2018-10-14 at 9.07.54 PM

8. With all the layers still selected, click “Flatten” in the lower right corner.

Screen Shot 2018-10-14 at 9.08.18 PM

Now, click “Make It” and follow the prompts to print on your home printer and cut on your Cricut Explore or Maker.

Here’s a brief video demonstrating this process:

32 thoughts on ““Help! My Cricut is cutting the inside of my print then cut image!”

  1. Are you on speed dial this morning because I have been trying to get something like this done for days and I am wasting so much expensive product. My problem is that I’m trying to make earring cards, if I get it to print the decoration on there correctly, it won’t cut the holes for the earrings that I have put in. If it cuts the holes then it wants to print AND cut the inner design! I can’t give it to distinguish one from the other even if I flatten the design separately. I am going mad 🙁

  2. Hi Lydia, have you ever had the cricut cut 1/2 inch off the page? at the ‘header’ area for some unknown reason,
    thanks for the info also <3

  3. sooooo happy i came across this. trying to make Xmas gifts and i have wasted so much paper!!!! going to attempt to try this and see what happens. got my air 2 not even 2 weeks ago.

  4. I’m lost. I have a jigsaw pattern (SVG) and it cuts on the inside and outside of each line and leaves a thin pieces in the middle. I need it to just cut through the middle of the line once. Can anyone help he with this?

    1. It sounds like you uploaded a jpeg and the Cricut is cutting the outline image, which is the lines of the puzzle pieces. I would use a graphic design program like Inkscape to convert the lines to vectors so that it cuts the lines and not the image of lines.

      1. that doesn’t work either. i get a much cleaner cut but the cricut still cuts the outline as an item itself. i want it to just cut where the line is and not the line as an item itself.

      2. If you convert the image to vectors correctly, it won’t cut the lines as outlines. I think Sure Cuts A Lot 5 is more user friendly than Inkscape.

  5. I did the contour of my duplicate image… but the image is literally just an outline so I can’t change the color. The best way I can describe is that It’s a mason jar pencil drawing… I need to cut around it with words in the middle. What now 😢

    1. If the image is a single line image, there won’t be an inner cut line to hide to create a solid background, but most uploaded images aren’t single line. If the image is from Design Space, it should have a corresponding cut image that is just like it.

  6. Thank you so much. I been going crazy trying to figure out why my machine kept cutting the letters out .

  7. I’m trying to print then cut an outline font. When I cut, it is cutting inside and outside of the black outline. I have flattened the text. How do I get the cut just on the outside?

    1. You will need to weld the text to convert to an image. Then, duplicate the image and hide the inner cut line. Put the solid white image behind the outline, select both layers, and flatten.

  8. This is just what I needed! I was drawing a blank as to why my inside was adding a bleed. Thanks!

  9. I need help with my print and cut problem. First I have trouble with the Cricut reading the sensor lines; sometimes it cuts and sometimes it doesn’t. The biggest problem is the actual cutting which is NOT accurate. I’ve calibrated and recalibrated over and over but it doesn’t solve the problem.

    1. If you have already recalibrated for print then cut and are still having trouble, you need to call Cricut so they can run diagnostics on your machine. If you call when they open, your wait will probably be less.

    2. I’ve had the same problem with mine. I haven’t called Cricut yet. Did you find out what the problem was?

  10. You saved me! Without people like you, sharing their knowledge, the rest of us wouldn’t have a prayer with these machines! Thank you so much!!

  11. Hi! I followed the steps and it still didn’t cut the outside only – it’s still cutting the inner letter too!

    1. I’m sorry, since I can’t see your design screen, I can’t tell what’s going on. Make sure you can’t see gridlines inside your image and that all the layers are flattened, including the background.

  12. Thank you so much for this. You explained this perfectly. I watched a lot of videos and still didn’t get it until I found your site.

  13. Does the background have to be white? Or can I make it any color? I have a pink and silver cup I want to put a logo on and the wording keeps getting cut.

  14. HELP PLEASE….. I have been trying hard to get my Cricut Explore Air 2 to cut what is printed on the paper and all it does is scan it and spit it out. I have flattened the text to a backgound so no grid lines appear, I have left the auto bleed on, I have tried extra light, no light, re-booting, re-doing the project and nothing is working. I am beyond frustrated with this machine, do you have any ideas? Thank you in advance.

Leave a Reply