Nov 26, 2017

Resources for new Cricut Explore or Cricut Maker owners

These links were gathered and tested Oct through Nov 26 2017

This is not an all inclusive listing of resources with everything a new owner or those considering purchasing a Cricut Explore or the new Maker machine needs, but rather my own go-to links for when I need answers or want to learn something about using my own Explore. I bought mine in October 2014 and had never owned any type of cutting machine before. 

I had a specific purpose in mind when buying it. I wanted to use the Print then Cut feature of the machine, to do projects with my large collection of Clipart that I have on my own computers.

I have not personally done much with Vinyl or some of the other materials that the Explore or new Maker can cut.  But in these resources there are links to youtube channels, and learning links on the Cricut website, that should provide starting points for finding videos and information for working with Vinyl and other materials. 

If you have never owned any type of Cricut machine previously or signed up for a free online account with Cricut - do so before you buy an Explore or the new Maker machine. And use the same email and password you sign up with for all of your dealings with Cricut and with Design Space the online program needed to use with your Explore or Maker machine.

Sign up at

And remember you can always contact Cricut Customer Support for assistance

Call us

Mon. — Fri. 9 a.m. - 8 p.m. EST

UK: 0808 101 7032
Outside of UK
0044 0808 101 7032
2pm - 1am UTC+1

Which Cricut Machine is Best for You ? by Debbie ONeal

Published on Nov 22, 2017

Need help deciding which Cricut Machine to get ? Review features of each type of Cricut Explore and Cricut Maker machines.

Cricut machines comparison chart 

System Requirements for Cricut Design Space 

(it is best to exceed these in any area you can afford to) .  I believe that Cricut Design Space is a  resource hog. So having more than the recommended requirements will be better, as Design Space is always evolving and adding more features etc. Having at least 8gigs of RAM is much better than the recommended 4 gigs. Note: the System Requirements can change at any time when you least expect them to. 

 Cricut Design Space is the online Cloud Program that all Explore and Cricut Maker owners must use with their machines, that means you need your computer (MAC or Windows) to be connected to the Internet to use your machine.  If you have an older Cricut machine (made before the release of the Explore line in Feb 2014), you can NOT use Cricut Design Space.

If you own an iPad or iPhone, you can install the Cricut Design Space "app" on those devices & pair it with your Explore or Maker machine, and use that app with your machine. 

iPad and iPhone Design Space app
Download to your iPad and/or iPhone

iPad and iPhone Design Space app user manual (may be outdated in some areas)

Snapmat Feature FAQ

There is also an app for those who own Android devices.

See the differences in each version of Design Space

Every Explore comes with a USB cord that you can connect to your computer, OR you also can PAIR your machines via Bluetooth (any Explore with the word AIR in the title has Bluetooth builtin to the machine itself at the Factory, as does the new Cricut Maker) The Explore "ONE" with the word "One" in the title of the machine needs a separately purchased Cricut Bluetooth adapter, that you place in the machine itself to enable its bluetooth capability) And your own computers need to have Bluetooth as well. If yours doesn't - you can purchase an inexpensive USB Bluetooth Dongle and insert it to a open usb port on your own computer and that will enable the Bluetooth capability for your computer.  The pairing code for the Explore, Maker and your computers is 0000 (4 zeros)

System Requirements for running Design Space (these are always subject to change when you least expect them too. It is best to try and Exceed the requirements in any area you can afford to ) The current suggestion of 4gigs of RAM I feel is low, I personally would have a system with at least 8gigs of RAM, a fast processor, and a fast and reliable internet service with a good upload/download broadband speed.

How do I install Cricut Design Space?

Cricut's video playlist for learning Cricut  Design Space
What are the differences in the various versions of Design Space

How do I pair my Cricut Explore or Cricut Maker machine via Bluetooth?

What materials can the Cricut Explore or Cricut Maker cut? (with blade and mat use suggestions)

Note : Design Space was updated to version 3 on  April 26 2017 (it was still in beta mode for a couple months, and Design Space 2 was still functioning at that time) Design Space 2 was taken offline in June, and now you can only use Design Space 3 on your computers (MAC or WINDOWS)  Some youtube videos online that are excellent on showing how to do things in Design Space were published - showing past versions of Design Space. Please be mindful of the dates published on the videos and or blog posts, webpages etc.- that you are seeking information from.  As the older versions of Design Space, some items or features are in different locations than they are now, and some features weren't available in past versions of Design Space that are now currently available.  Design Space being a Cloud Based program is always subject to updates and changes, and additions to its features.  To keep track of the latest changes to Design Space see >>  the Release notes page :

Links for Cricut Explore and Cricut Maker newbies
Begin with the Learn pages of Cricut >, and the Help pages

The Help pages have FAQs and the User Manuals, that you can download the PDF files of individual chapters and have on your computer to use as Reference >>

Cricut's video playlist for learning Cricut  Design Space

Cricut Design Space FAQ

Debbie O'Neal the admin of the Lets Learn Cricut Explore Facebook Group :  has an excellent Youtube channel that you can Subscribe too. She has a playlist of videos for learning the Features and layout of Using Cricut Design Space :

Learning Design Space Playlist :  published April 27, 2017

Cricut Design Space for Beginners published April 27 2017 by Lorrie Nunemaker

Features that were updated on July 20th >
To keep track of any current updates to Design Space see :  

Debbie O'Neal has a online video class for Learning Design Space - cost $25
find details at:

Information about the Cricut Access Subscription Plan 

What is Cricut Access >

Subscriptions and Memberships > 

Note: Licensed content such as Disney, Pixar, Sesame Street, Marvel, Hello Kitty, etc etc. and Designer Content such as that by Anna Griffin, Lia Griffith, Close to My Heart (CTMH), and others is NEVER included in the Cricut Access Subscription, that Cricut content and cartridges will always have to be purchased in order to use on your projects. 

How to Link physical Cricut Cartridges to the Explore and Design Space 

 Note: Cricut plans on discontinuing the manufacture of Physical Cricut Cartridges. so you may find deals as retailers try to get rid of current stock.  If you purchase a physical cartridge from another source that may have been linked to a previous owners own Cricut account, You will NOT be able to link it to your own Cricut account and use with your Explore machine.  So make sure you are buying unopened / packaged physical Cricut Cartridges.   Going forward Cricut will produce Cartridge "cards" with a scratch off code on the back. You will enter that code online in your own account and that will link the content to your account and will be accessible to you in Design Space.

Many Cricut Cartridges - old and new, have Digital versions available for purchase in the online Cricut store.  Once a Digital Cartridge has been purchased it is linked to your account and available to use.

Note: sometimes when you buy something - you may need to log out of Design Space and log back in to refresh your own account to recent changes such as a digital image or cartridge content purchase - for it to show up as purchased.


I personally use the Print then Cut feature more than any other with my own Explore. I have a large collection of wonderful clipart images that I been collecting over the past 17+ years.  I have a Flickr Album with photos of some of the printed then cut images and projects I have done with my Explore :  Cricut Explore Cut Projects and Images

Learn how to use the Print then Cut feature : video by Lorrie Nunemaker (published July 2017)

Note: I personally use a HP Envy 7640 for my Print then Cut projects and subscribe to the HP Instant Ink program.  **I have found that this printer does NOT handle the Cricut brand of sticker sheets very well. But I have had good results using Avery full label sticker sheets, and also a brand I purchase on Amazon : LD Premium Inkjet Photo / Glossy finish sticker sheets.  I also print and cut my magnets using Avery Magnet 8.5 x 11 sheets.  I have not worked with printable vinyl or printable heat transfer vinyl (HTV).

Debbie O'Neal the admin of the Lets Learn Cricut Explore Facebook group, recently did some research among her members asking about the printers they use for Print then Cut. You can see the results of her research at :

Top Printer Choices for Cricut Print Then Cut |


Inkscape tutorials by Troy Young on his TroyTube channel
(download Inkscape from )



While there are lots and lots of good Youtube Channels - here are a few of my own favorites that you might want to consider subscribing to:

Dreaming Tree (how to's for assembling their SVG projects) :

SVG Cuts (how to's for assembling their SVG projects)  :

Working with SVGs  (SVG = Scalable Vector Graphic, it can be scaled up or down without losing resolution)

How to unzip an SVG file and import into Cricut Design Space  Published Nov 6, 2017

How to bring & save svg files to Cricut design space 3  published May 2017

Cricut Design Space - Uploading SVG files  published Nov 2016

How to upload SVG Files to Cricut Design Space

Using Miss Kate Cuttables FREEBIES in Design Space  published Jan 2016

Working With SVG Files vs. PNG Files in Cricut Design Space published Aug 2017

Viewing SVG thumbnails on Windows Computers

SVG Viewer for Mac and Windows - Overview

How to download multiple SVG's from a Facebook Group and view them

related :  Finding Files in Lets Learn Cricut Explore FB Group

Favorite SVG websites

3D SVG / Dreaming Tree

Miss Kate Cuttables

Simply Crafty SVGs    Simply Crafty SVGs - SVG Files for Cricut, Silhouette and more

Craft Bundles   
Freebies >>  excerpt quoted : Free DXF and SVG Cut files all available for instant download. From cute quotes to graphics, all freebies and cutting files come complete with a full commercial license.

Cut Supplies

Awesome SVGs

Using your own computer installed Fonts that are on your Computer in Design Space
How to download and install fonts to your own computer and then use in Cricut Design Space with the Add Text feature

How To Install a Font into Cricut Design Space For Free published Feb 2017

Learn how to use the program of Fontlab Pad to create text and save as an image to upload to Design Space

Easy Beautiful Text for Cricut Design Space by Kay Hall  (published Sept 2016)


Downloading fonts and using Fontlab Pad by Laura Harnish
Published on Jan 23, 2017
This video will show you how to download fonts from and and use them in Design Space as well as how to use FontLab Pad

Fonts with Special Characters in Cricut Design Space Using Fontlab Pad by Melody Lane

Curve text on TroyGram :

NOTE:  sometimes after installing a new font to your own computer system, to use it in Design Space you may need to log out of Design Space and log back in, OR restart your own computer, to refresh your system and for the font to show up in the listing of System Fonts in Design Space.

Remember too: Design Space does NOT render Cursive fonts the way that designers designed them, it renders that as separate letters, not flowing naturally.  So you can either use tools within Design Space to arrange the letters so that they do look natural OR create text in offline applications such as Fontlab pad mentioned above.  

And if you choose to use the Writing feature with a Pen or Marker in your Explore or Maker, Design Space is unable to "Fill In" most fonts, it will draw an outline of the font.  In Design Space Cricut has its own listing of Cricut fonts that are in a Writing Style - if you choose one of those Cricut fonts with a writing style - it will be a single stroke /monoline font and it will appear filled in.

When you are using your own computer installed fonts, Design Space is NOT able to search or know which of your own fonts may be a single stroke or Monoline font that would appear filled in when using a Pen on it.  So you will have to do your own trial and error for finding fonts that you have on your computer that would look best written with a pen or marker.

Here is an old 2014 post on the Glittering Eyes website, where the author mentions some fonts that may appear filled in.

You may find searching online newer posts with suggestions for good writing or monoline/single stroke fonts that you can download to your own computer for working with your Explore or Maker.

Personally I rarely use the writing feature of Design Space because I find it annoying. Since I use the Print then Cut feature most, I create my text offline and save as an image and upload to Design Space, and place it on a shape and flatten it to the shape. Then I print and cut it with the printed text on it, and the Explore cuts the shape.

For iPad or iPhone users

How to Add Fonts to Your IPad to Use in Design Space

and / or

 How to Install Fonts on iPhone or iPad

  Favorite websites for Fonts : Free and Payfor

Mighty Deals  (**this is the website that sells the popular Samantha font) 

Craft Bundles  (Fonts, SVGs, Graphics)

Facebook Groups

Cricut Crafting with April

Lets Learn Cricut Explore

Cricut Design Space with Melody Lane

Cricut Explore and More

Carole's Cricut Crafts

Cricut Maker with Debbie O'Neal

Maymay Made It and So Did I

Cutter Software
The purpose of this friendly group is to provide free support for software that is used with electronic cutters, including but not limited to Make The Cut, Sure Cuts A Lot, Cricut Design Space, Pazzles InVue, Pazzles Pro, Funtime, Silhouette Studio, Funtime, Inkscape, Illustrator, Wishblade, Robomaster, etc.

Paper Crafting With Electronic Cutting Machines


Kay Hall Cleversomeday

Jennifer Maker

Anna Griffin

MayMay Made It

Scrap Me Quick Designs / Debbie O'Neal

Creative Cutting Classroom

Teri Brown's  Tidbits and Tinkerings  - often features free Cricut Design Space files  
Cara Miller > see her Design Space and SCAL version 4 (SCAL = Sure Cuts A Lot)  class learning options

iPad and iPhone Design Space app
Download to your iPad and/or iPhone

iPad and iPhone Design Space app user manual (may be outdated in some areas)

Snapmat Feature FAQ

Uploading Images via ipad and iphone NOT svgs
Differences of Features of the various versions of Design Space
How Do I pair my Explore or Maker machine with Bluetooth