This post contains affiliate links. For more information, please see my disclosures here.
Write then cut is a great feature for customizing cards and other projects with the look of handwritten text. It’s very easy to use and opens up lots of possibilities for a wide variety of projects. This tutorial will take you through the basics of writing text using the Cricut Explore, Maker, or Joy.
If the Operation is set to Pen and the Style is set to Regular, the pen will follow the cut lines and the result will be “bubble” or “outlined” letters. The pen is tracing the outside of each letter:
Choose a font with a writing style
The only true, single-stroke writing fonts are Cricut fonts with a writing style.
To find these fonts, click on the Text icon and then click the down arrow on the font bar, which will bring up the font menu.
Click “Cricut” to show Cricut fonts. In order to have all the fonts visible, uncheck Only Kerned Fonts. On the right side, click on Filter, then select Writing to show only the fonts that have a writing style.
Select a font. I have selected the Baby Steps font in this example.
Note that this font has a cutting style and a writing style. As of the most recent Design Space update, when you filter to “Writing,” the writing style will automatically be selected.
These are the writing fonts that are free in Design Space as of this writing.
Moving letters together
Cursive fonts like Baby Steps will look better if the letters are moved together. Placing the text on a gridline will help to visualize horizontal alignment. To move the letters together, begin by ungrouping the text. Note that after ungrouping, the text can’t be edited.
Starting in the center, move the letters together by selecting each letter and either using the arrow keys or clicking and dragging with the mouse while holding down the shift key.
Grouping the text after moving the letters together is optional, but it will make it easier to manipulate the text on the canvas. Aligning or distributing without grouping will cause the letters to move and lose the placement.
If using a kerned font, like in the example above, Design Space will automatically adjust the letter spacing.
Attaching written text
Written text needs to be attached to the cut shape it will be written on. For example, insert a square, unlock the padlock, and size the square to fit the text. Right click and click “Send to Back.”
Move the image behind the text. Select the image and the text. This can be done in one of three ways:
- Drag a bounding box around the image and text
- Hold down the shift key and select the layers in the layers panel
- Click “Select All” (All the images on the canvas will be selected.)
Once the image and text are selected, click Attach.
Now that the image and text are attached, click Make It.
Since they have been attached, the image and text are on the same mat. If the image and text are on different mats, they haven’t been attached. Click Cancel to go back to the design screen and attach.
After clicking Continue, the cut screen will have the instructions for the tools that are needed. Once the tools are loaded in the machine, the project is ready to write and cut.
Using other fonts to write
There are some free downloadable fonts that are thin enough that they will appear to be single strokes when drawn by the Cricut. The machine will still draw the outline, but the lines will be close enough together to look like a single line, especially when using medium point pens. On the above card, I used the Sant’Elia Rough Line font from Font Squirrel.
Here, I used the same fine point pen with Baby Steps (Cricut font) and Sant’Elia (system font). The system font is slightly darker because it’s actually an outline.
Some of the handwritten fonts on DaFont will work as well.
Single-line fonts can also be purchased from sites like Single Line Fonts and Font Bundles.
For more on attaching written text, check out my tutorial and video.
You can find more information on working with fonts on Cricut’s help site.
Here is my brief video about using written text:
The above post contains affiliate links. For more information, please see my disclosures here.