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You may have seen digital papers for sale on many of the popular SVG sites and not known how to use them in Cricut projects. Digital papers can be uploaded to Design Space and used as a pattern fill for print then cut images. I like using them instead of buying a large package of patterned paper from which I might only use a few sheets. I’ll show you two different methods of using these digital papers in Design Space.
The floral background on this card is digital paper from Design Bundles.
Downloading Digital Paper
There are lots of free or inexpensive digital papers on sites like Design Bundles. I found this cute Valentine’s set for free on there. Click “Download Free Now” to download the .zip file to your computer.
Once the file is downloaded, unzip it. On a Mac, simply double click. On a Windows computer, right click and “Extract All.”
I recommend moving the folder of patterns to a folder on your computer’s hard drive or an external hard drive. I have a folder just for patterns.
To upload, click Upload, then Upload Pattern, and then Browse.
Navigate to the location of the patterns and select the pattern. Click Open.
At this point, the pattern can be renamed and colors selected (optional). Selecting colors will help when limiting the selection of patterns to ones that contain certain colors. Now, click Upload.
To use digital paper as a pattern fill, select an image to fill. Simple shapes are better for patterns. For this project, I am choosing a heart from the Shapes panel. The free Basic Shapes image set in Design Space has other good options.
Go to the Operation drop down box in the Edit panel to change the image to a standard Print then Cut image.
Next, click the color box and select Pattern in the Print Type drop down.
Select a pattern.
The pattern choices can be narrowed by clicking on Filter and choosing one or more colors.
The image is now ready to print then cut.
Using the Slice Method
Another way to use digital paper/patterns is to upload them as images and slice the image out of the pattern.
After uploading the pattern as an image, select the image and click Insert Image to put it on the design canvas.
Digital papers are typically high-resolution files, and so they will come into Design Space at a very large size. Put a smaller number in the width or height. There will be a yellow triangle in the layers panel indicating that this image is too large for print then cut, but that’s okay since the whole image won’t be printed.
After inserting a shape (a heart in this example), put the image over the part of the pattern to be sliced. Select the image and the pattern and click Slice.
Delete the original image and the unused portion of the pattern.
The heart is ready to print then cut. (I turned the canvas background gray so it’s easier to see.)
Here’s a brief video where I demonstrate these techniques: