We are continuing our review of some of the basic features of Cricut Design Space™ today by taking a closer look at the Lock/Unlock tool. This feature is one of the simplest and most helpful tools in Design Space, and once you learn how to make the most of it, you’ll be able to use it on virtually any project to take your creativity to new heights!
On the card above, we used an assortment of images from the Artbooking, Artistry, and Hello USA Cricut® collections. These collections each lend a different flair to this project, and we love the way they all came together. By branching out and using images from a few different collections, you can create something that’s truly unique and all your own!
As you read along, remember that the steps below show you how to use Design Space on a laptop or desktop computer. If you are using the app on a mobile device, the buttons and tools will be in slightly different places on your screen. Most of these basic features are available on any device.
The Lock/Unlock feature in Design Space allows you to change the height or width of shapes or text. Since most shapes or text blocks won’t automatically fit into your project, Lock/Unlock will be one of your go-to tools as you create your Cricut masterpieces. For this project, we used the Lock/Unlock tool to resize the height or width of each Cricut shape and image to fit seamlessly into this card.
When you want to lock or unlock a shape, image, or block of text, there are two ways to do so—with the button on the toolbar at the top of your screen,
or with the button at the bottom left corner of your shape or image.
Lock/Unlock with Basic Shapes
Basic shapes can be selected from the basic shapes tab in the Design Panel. Although basic shapes are often used as versatile building blocks of great Cricut designs, you’ll probably need to resize or adjust them in order to fit on a project. When you insert a basic shape, it will automatically be locked, meaning, if you try to resize it, the height and width will adjust together. You can make the entire shape bigger or smaller, but you can’t adjust the height or the width individually unless you unlock it. Once you unlock the shape, you can alter just the height or just the width to make sure you have the needed dimensions for your shape. If you want to resize your shape to a specific size, you can enter your measurements into the dimension indicators on the toolbar at the top of your canvas.
For this card, we used the unlock feature to create a 4.25″ x 5.5″ base for our card and a red rectangle layer to go behind the “Celebrate” sentiment. This allowed us to tailor these pieces to fit the card.
Locking/Unlocking More Intricate Shapes
Just like basic shapes, when you insert any shape from any Cricut collection, it will populate on your canvas as a locked image. Resizing one of these shapes with the Lock/Unlock feature is very similar to resizing a basic shape. You’ll just need to pay a little closer attention to any intricate parts of your shape to ensure that it doesn’t get too cramped or warped.
You can see above how the circle medal behind the banner warps into an oval when it is stretched too far horizontally. You’ll want to look out for things like this as you use the Lock/Unlock feature.
In our example card, we resized the pennant banner, the circle medal, and the star accents to fit neatly on the card. By using Lock/Unlock, we were able to work these images into the card design with ease.
Lock/Unlock with Text
Using the Lock/Unlock feature with text is a great way to really expand your creative capacity. 🙂
For our card, we used a Cricut shape to cut the “Celebrate” sentiment. If you choose to include typed-in text rather than an existing shape of text in your project, you can easily resize individual letters using Lock/Unlock. Select the entire text block, ungroup it, and then alter each letter as you choose.
If you’d like to alter the text block as a whole, you can select the entire text block (regroup it if you’ve ungrouped it) and then unlock and resize it as you please.
Put It Together
Follow the steps below to put all of the ideas we discussed today together and make the Celebrate card!
- Search for the “Celebrate” sentiment from the Artbooking collection, #M3D5CF, and insert it on your canvas.
- Search for the star image from the Artbooking collection, #M3E9BD, and insert it on your canvas. Copy and paste this image to get two stars.
- Search for the circle medal image from the Artistry collection, #M4183C8, and insert it on your canvas.
- Search for image #M2CCFB18 from the Hello USA collection and insert it on your canvas. (You will only be using the star overlay from this 4th of July image.)
- For the card base, insert a square shape from the Shapes tab in the Design Panel. Unlock and resize it to measure 4.25″ x 5.5″.
Tip: Be sure to change the colors of each shape or image as you resize them. This will help you to keep track of which paper you’ll need to use for each cut.
- Select a circle shape from the Shapes tab in the Design Panel. Keep the shape locked and resize it to cover one of the small holes in the top of the pennant image. Copy the small circle and cover the other hole. Select the entire image and weld. This should leave you with one solid pennant image piece. Change the color of the pennant to a light blue and resize it to 2.933″ x 5.306″, then center it over your 4.25″ x 5.5″ card base.
Tip: All measurements in this post are W x H.
- Select the circle medal shape and resize it to 4″ x 3.52″. Change the color of the banner to blue and the scalloped circle to white. You will need to ungroup this image to do this. Be sure to regroup it when you’re done.
- Select the “Celebrate” sentiment and unlock it. Resize it to .75” in height. Then, place it on top of the circle medal piece and center it in the banner. Rotate the “Celebrate” sentiment until it fits within the banner.
- Select both, the circle medal and the “Celebrate” sentiment, and group them together. Select the Slice option from the toolbar at the bottom of the Layers Panel.
- Select a square shape from the Shapes tab in the Design Panel. Resize it to 2.806″ x 1.215″ and change its color to a dark red. This piece will form the background for the “Celebrate” sentiment.
- Select the circle medal and place it over the red layer square you just created. Make sure the red piece is completely covered by the medal. Group this entire image together and center it over the blue pennant.
- Ungroup the “Happy 4th” image and delete everything except the star base and overlay. Change the color of these pieces to yellow.
- Select Make It in the top right corner and cut your project pieces.
- Assemble your card and embellish with watercolor paint and sequins!
We hope you enjoyed this brief overview of the Lock/Unlock tool. Be sure to check out our next Design Space post, where we’ll explore more applications of the Attach feature! In the comments below make sure to let us know if you have any Design Space questions or if there are any topics you’d like us to cover in the future.
4¼” x 5½” Celebrate Card
X7247B Into the Wilde Paper Packet, X5992 Candy Apple Cardstock, X6005 Goldrush Cardstock, X6020 Saffron Cardstock, X6021 Sapphire Cardstock, X6027 White Daisy Cardstock, Z4235 Loose Sequins—Gold, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3224 Waterbrush—Small Round, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen, Z3298 Cricut® Artistry Digital Collection, Z3503 Cricut® Artbooking Digital Collection, Z3390 Cricut® Hello USA Digital Collection
.344 x .408, .4 x .45 #M3E9BD
2.933 x 5.306 #M4235A
4″ x 3.52 #M4183C8
1.507 x 1.602 #M2CCFB18