Cricut Design Space Basics: Simple Card Design

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Creating a card from scratch in Design Space is really easy once you are familiar with the basic functions of the program. In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to make a very simple birthday card using free images available in Design Space. You can embellish and personalize this card to suit your own style!

Supply List

Creating the Card Base

After starting a new project, insert a square from the Shapes panel. This will be the card base.

To change the size of the image, unlock the padlock. This will allow the height and width to be set independently. In the edit bar, enter the dimensions.

This finished size of this card will be 5″ x 7″ with a horizontal fold, and so the width will be seven inches, and the height will be ten inches.

The color of the image can be changed by clicking on the box next to “Linetype.”

Adding a Score Line

The Explore Series and the Maker both have the ability to create score lines with either the Scoring Stylus (Explore or Maker) or the Scoring Wheel Tip and QuickSwap Housing (Maker only).

Go to the Shapes panel and insert a score line.

A quick way to rotate the score line is to select it and enter “90” in the Rotate box in the Edit bar. Once the bar is horizontal, drag the arrow button to lengthen it to fit the card.

Center the score line vertically and horizontally by selecting both the score line and the image, going to Align in the Edit bar, and selecting “Center.”

With both the score line and the card base still selected, click “Attach” to fasten the score line to the card base.

Save the Project

Now that the card base is done, it’s a good time to SAVE your project. Remember, Design Space doesn’t have an auto save function. You need to save your work every few minutes.

Click “Save” at the top of the screen, enter a name for the project, and click the green “Save” button.

Add Images

This card will be made with all free images available in Design Space. Free images are easy to find using the Ownership filter.

Filter Ownership to “Free.”

The Cricut Craft Room Basics image set has lots of great images for building cards. You can scroll down to that image set or search for it in the search box at the top of the screen. Select the scalloped note rectangle image (image #M3E77A).

This image has a shadow layer, but it’s hidden when the image is inserted on to the canvas. Click the eyeball to unhide it.

To make this image fit the card, unlock the padlock. Click and drag the arrow button. Close the padlock after sizing.

Adjust the layer colors if desired by selecting the layer in the layers panel and choosing a color from the drop down in the Edit bar.

Now, go back to the Images tab and search for a “Happy Birthday” image. Narrow down those results by filtering Ownership to “Free.”

Unhide the shadow layer, and size the image to fit the card.

Prepare to Cut

Design Space will send each color on the canvas to a different mat. Using as few mats as possible will keep this card quick and simple. On the Color Sync panel, it will show the colors and images in the project. There are two different shades of purple. To combine those and get them on one mat, drag the “Happy Birthday” layer up. Now, the project will cut in three mats.

Prepare Materials

For this project, I’m using Cricut Deluxe Paper, Cricut Cardstock, and Cricut Glitter Cardstock. You can use a brayer to help the material adhere to the mat. A piece of painter’s tape can help make sure the edges stay down, especially with glitter cardstock.

Cutting the Card

After clicking “Make It,” you’ll be on the Prepare (mat preview) screen. The card base is on the third mat, and Design Space will ask for the Scoring Stylus (Explore or Maker) or the Scoring Wheel (Maker) when it is ready to cut that mat.

Moving the images on the mat will help the mats wear more evenly as well as helping you use up material scraps. When I made the video for this one, I moved the images on the purple mat down to the bottom so that I’m not always starting my cut in the same spot on the mat.

After clicking “Continue,” choose the setting. (These settings are found under “Custom Settings” on the Cricut Explore Air 2.) Cardstock (for intricate cuts) is a good choice for cutting the sentiment.

Follow the prompts in Design Space for cutting each mat. Make sure to press the mat up against the rollers while pressing the load button.


There are lots of great adhesives and glues available, and everyone has his or her favorites. I used a combination of Art Glitter Glue, a tape runner, and glue dots on this card.

Here’s a link to this project:

Here’s a video demonstrating these techniques:

The above post contains affiliate links. For more information, please see my disclosures here.

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