If you are trying the print then cut feature for the first time, you may be confused if your image prints out blurry. This tutorial will take you through the steps to prepare your design for print then cut and make your image print the way you want it to look.
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. Wherever there are gridlines on the canvas, that is where the Cricut will cut.
In order for the Cricut to cut around the outside of the image, and not the inside, the image needs to be flattened to a solid white background. Most home printers don’t print white, and so this area won’t print.
In this example, I put a white rectangle behind the image, selected both, and flattened. The offset feature can also be used to create a solid background (more about that later).
When you go to print your project, LEAVE THE BLEED ON. The bleed is there to ensure a clean cut.
The top image has been flattened to a white rectangle background. Only the rectangle will be cut.
The bottom image was not flattened to a white background, and each letter and image will cut individually. The bleed makes it look blurry and is there to ensure that there won’t be any white space when the images are cut. However, if you want to cut each letter and image separately, it would be better to not use the print then cut function and cut the image out of colored cardstock or vinyl. If your image prints out looking blurry, and you don’t want to cut each image or letter separately, you need to go back and flatten to a white background.
Here is the cut result.
Creating an offset background is an alternative to using a standard shape for a background. I like to add a 0.15″ offset. Enter the number and click Apply.
Change the offset color to white. (I changed the canvas color to gray to make it easier to see.)
To remove the inner cuts of the offset, select the offset layer, and click Contour. This step is optional of course, but I think it looks better when using print then cut.
Click Hide All Contours. Click the X to exit this window.
Select all the layers and Flatten.
Here is the cut result.
Here’s a brief video demonstrating these techniques: