Back to the Basics with Cricut Design Space™

No matter your comfort level with Cricut Design Space™, it’s good for everyone to revisit the basics. Today, and in a few more blog posts in the upcoming months, we’re going to explain some of the basic tools in Design Space and then illustrate how to use these tools with images from each Close To My Heart Cricut® collection. Making sure you have the basics down will only increase your confidence as a Design Space user, unlocking so many creative options for your crafting!

Cricut Basics #ctmh #closetomyheart #cricutbasics #cricut #scrapbooking #scrapbook #cardmaking #papercrafting #papercrafts #dreambig #memorykeeping

On the page above, we’ve used a banner from the Artistry Cricut® collection to create the title piece. Artistry has a wide variety of words and shapes including titles, sentiments, backgrounds, borders, and banners that you can use for any project theme. Whether you are celebrating a birthday or holiday, or scrapbooking everyday moments, you have lots of choices with this collection, and even more when using the tools in Design Space.

As you read along, remember that the steps below show you how to work in Design Space from a desktop or laptop computer. If you use the app on a mobile device, the buttons and tools will be located in slightly different places on your screen, but the same features are available on any device. Let’s get started by taking a look at the project canvas.

Your Canvas

 Whether you are new to Design Space or a seasoned pro, it’s useful to identify the different parts of the canvas and where to find particular functions and tools.

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  • Design Panel: This panel, on the left side of the canvas, is where you add new elements to your project like basic shapes, images, text, and more.
  • Header: The Header is just the fancy title for the dark gray strip across the top of the canvas. This is where you can click to view the menu and see your project name. The Header is also where you’ll find a few more VERY useful things, like Save and Make It in the top right corner. 🙂
  • Edit Bar: Below the Header, you’ll see the Edit bar. This section of the canvas houses many of the tools you’ll need to manipulate specific shapes and text. Here you can find tools like Linetype, Size, and Rotate. There are also options to Align and Arrange shapes, and most importantly, the top left corner is where you’ll find Undo and Redo, just in case you make a mistake. When you are working with text, more tools for adjusting the text will appear in the Edit bar.
  • Layers Panel: The Layers panel holds tools that you might need when working with multiple images together. Tools like Group, UnGroup, and Duplicate are at the top of this panel. These tools let you copy, combine, or separate images. The Slice, Weld, Attach, and Contour features are at the bottom of the Layers panel.
  • Color Sync Panel: The Color Sync panel and the Layers panel share the same space on the canvas. To see this panel, click Color Sync, instead of Layers. This allows you to match colors used in your project’s shapes. Grouping them together by color makes it easy for you to cut shapes from the same paper.

Searching for Specific Shapes

#M4171A5

Have you ever wondered what this number means? You might see a number like this one in instructions or recipes we provide for artwork that use Cricut® shapes. This number is the image number in Design Space. When inserting an image on your canvas, you can search for a specific image by entering the entire number in the search box. Make sure to include the “#” symbol when you search.

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To search for a specific image, click Images on the left side of your canvas. Then enter the image number in the search box in the top right corner, just like we did to find a the banner used in this project.

Changing the Size of Shapes

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A simple tool you’ll use over and over again is Size. In the Edit bar, you’ll see Size and then the width and height of a selected image. You’ll also notice a lock symbol. When the lock is closed, if you adjust the width of the shape, for example, Design Space will automatically change the height to match the proportions. If you want to change both, simply click on the lock. It will unlock, allowing you to manipulate either one as desired.

Grouping and Ungrouping Shapes

Some images in Design Space have multiple layers. When you insert the image on the canvas, the layers will be grouped together. To manipulate each one individually, you have to use UnGroup. Simply select the image and click on UnGroup.

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You can see that this banner image has two layers, one solid base layer and one overlay with the words “DREAM Big.” To make changes to each one individually, we ungrouped the image.

 Duplicating Shapes

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Another frequently used tool in Design Space is Duplicate. This lets you make a copy of any shape or shapes you have selected. Just click on the shape and click Duplicate at the top of the Layers panel.

Welding Shapes

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The word weld basically means to unite. While it often refers to metals, in Design Space, when you use this tool, you can combine, or “unite,” multiple shapes into one image, removing extra cut lines. Simply arrange the images as desired. Select all of them at the same time and click Weld. Now, instead of many separate images, they will be combined together as one single shape. This is how we created the solid base piece for our title.

Putting It Together (Search, Size, Duplicate, and Weld)

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The title at the top of this page is made using the tools we’ve reviewed today to manipulate one image in Design Space.  Follow the steps below to put it all together and make your own!

  1. First, search for the image, #M4171A5, and insert it on your canvas.
  2. Ungroup the image.
  3. Resize the solid banner to a height of 3″, leaving the width locked. Then, duplicate and resize to have six additional banners, two 2″ and four 1.5″.
  4. Arrange the banners like you see on the page with the solid 3″ banner in the center and one 2″ and 1.5″ banner on either side. Click and drag your cursor over all the images to select them all. Then, click Weld. This gives you the solid piece to go behind the remaining banners.
  5. We, then, went ahead and colored the additional 2″ banners light yellow, and the additional 1.5″ banners pink. This just helps you cut the right color of paper or cardstock.
  6. Select Make It in the top right corner and cut your project pieces. Then, assemble your title like you see on the page.

Keep in mind, to use the same image we did, you must own the Artistry Cricut® collection. You will also need a Cricut® machine that is Design Space compatible (any of the Explore or the new Maker machines).

Stay tuned for another back to the basics post next month featuring more Design Space tools with the Flower Market collection to make… cards!


Recipe:

12″ × 12″ Dream Big Page
X7242B I Heart Us Paper Packet, X6007 Lagoon Cardstock, X5986 Mint Cardstock, X6027 White Daisy Cardstock, X7242C I Heart Us Complements, Z4304 Loose Sequins—Silver, X7242E Picture My Life™ Cards—I Heart Us, Z1151 3-D Foam Tape, Z2089 Glue Dots® Micro Dots, Z3500 Cricut® Artistry Digital Collection, Sewing Machine

Cricut® Shapes:
Artistry
1.5″, 2″, 3″ #M4171A5

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Matching Made Easy

As many of you know, we have four color palettes called Whimsy, Adventure, Enchantment, and Basics—and for each of these color palettes, we have a bunch of coordinating products, including themed embellishment packs we call “Complements.”

Just like the name implies, these Complements perfectly complement the other products in a given color palette—which makes creating cohesive artwork a breeze!

Well, with our latest idea book, we’ve come out with four more themed Complements packs for these color palettes. They include stickers, die-cuts with foil, and all sorts of other cute accents, all of which match the color palette.

See how you can combine these new Complements with their coordinating patterned papers below!

Enchantment

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Adventure

z3253screen-shot-2017-02-07-at-2-37-34-pmz3308screen-shot-2017-02-07-at-2-37-18-pmMatching made easy! #ctmh #closetomyheart #complements #fundamentals

Whimsy

z3255screen-shot-2017-02-07-at-2-37-34-pmz3307screen-shot-2017-02-07-at-2-37-18-pm

Matching made easy! #ctmh #closetomyheart #complements #fundamentals

Basics

z3263z3262screen-shot-2017-02-07-at-2-37-34-pmz3309screen-shot-2017-02-07-at-2-37-18-pmMatching made easy! #ctmh #closetomyheart #complements #fundamentals

You’ve seen how the Complements and papers work in a given color palette, but if you’re adventurous, take it to the next level! Add stamping by using ink colors that coordinate with the palette, and then add even more by using cardstock or ribbons from that palette as well! Check out the “Fundamentals” section of your Annual Inspirations idea book for more inspiration.

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New Fundamentals Papers Are Anything but Basic

We’ve got a very special treat lined up for you today to help introduce our brand new Fundamentals papers. We asked Executive Director Karen Pedersen to create some artwork that shows the results you can get from combining our Whimsy, Adventure, Enchantment, and Basics Fundamentals.

And right now, when you buy the Whimsy, Adventure, and Enchantment Fundamentals, you’ll qualify to get the Uptown Fundamentals or the Rustic Home Fundamentals from our Basics collection for FREE! That means you can save money on brand new products that you can use to create amazing artwork pieces like these:

Beautiful scrapbook pages created by Karen Pedersen with our Fundamentals papers #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhfundamentals #scrapbookingideas #scrapbooking

Our Basics Fundamentals, which include the Uptown Fundamentals and the Rustic Home Fundamentals you can get for free this month, are called basics because they feature neutral colors. This means they work in perfect harmony with any of our colors.

Beautiful scrapbook pages created by Karen Pedersen with our Fundamentals papers #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhfundamentals #scrapbookingideas #scrapbooking

Our Rustic Home Fundamentals feature soft browns and greys, with textures that remind us of home, like these wooden slats:

Beautiful scrapbook pages created by Karen Pedersen with our Fundamentals papers #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhfundamentals #scrapbookingideas #scrapbooking

Our Uptown Fundamentals feature black, grey, and gold patterns for a chic, modern look. Pair them with bright colors, like Karen did here, or with more muted colors for an entirely different look.

Beautiful scrapbook pages created by Karen Pedersen with our Fundamentals papers #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhfundamentals #scrapbookingideas #scrapbooking

Isn’t this artwork incredible? Thank you so much, Karen, for letting us share this with our readers! We’re incredibly grateful to have you as part of our Close To My Heart family.

Beautiful scrapbook pages created by Karen Pedersen with our Fundamentals papers #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhfundamentals #scrapbookingideas #scrapbooking

We know you’ll love mixing and matching these brand new paper collections. With a wide range of patterns and colors, you’ll have all the tools you need to tell every story.

Recipes

 12″ x 12″ Baby Page
Z3263 Uptown Fundamentals, Z3262 Rustic Home Fundamentals, Z3253 Adventure Fundamentals, Z3294 Memo Fundamentals, X5762 Lagoon Cardstock, X5930 Slate Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z3273 Baby Boy Complements, Z1852 Stitch Guide, Z1114 Piercing Tool Kit, Thread

12″ x 12″ Love in Bloom Page
B1539 My Acrylix® Pen Pal Alphabet, Z3262 Rustic Home Fundamentals, Z3294 Memo Fundamentals, Z3253 Adventure Fundamentals, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5930 Slate Cardstock, Z3278 Picture My Life™ Tabbed Journaling Cards, Z891 VersaMark™ Ink Pad, Z3216 White Twine, Z3269 You & Me Complements, Z2068 Ranger™ White Super Fine Embossing Powder, Z555 Craft Heater, Z3260 Thin Cuts—Hearts, Z3257 Thin Cuts—Love, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3188 Paintbrush Set

12″ x 12″ Best Ever Page
Z3262 Rustic Home Fundamentals, Z3253 Adventure Fundamentals, Z3263 Uptown Fundamentals, Z3294 Memo Fundamentals, Z3254 Enchantment Fundamentals, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, 1386 Black Cardstock, Z3278 Picture My Life™ Tabbed Journaling Cards, Z3265 School K–6 Complements, Z3266 School 7–12 Complements, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen

12″ x 12″ Easy Street Layout
Z3253 Adventure Fundamentals, Z3263 Uptown Fundamentals, Z3246 All About the Gold Fundamentals, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, 1386 Black Cardstock, X5639 Sweet Leaf Cardstock, X5785 Lemon Cardstock, Z3236 Black Glitter Paper, Z3269 You & Me Complements

12″ x 12″ #LIVSTRONG Story Page
C1667 My Acyrlix® This & That, E1035 My Acrylix® Bistro Script, B1539 My Acrylix® Pen Pal Alphabet, Z3254 Enchantment Fundamentals, Z3263 Uptown Fundamentals, Z3262 Rustic Home Fundamentals, Z3253 Adventure Fundamentals, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, 1386 Black Cardstock, X5930 Slate Cardstock, Z3269 You & Me Complements, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen

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New Papers, New Possibilities!

Our new line of Fundamentals papers just became available, and we couldn’t wait another day to show them off! Just like their name suggests, these papers are fundamental for any scrapbooker. With versatile, monochromatic patterns in our exclusive colors, they’re perfect to pair with cardstocks and other patterned papers. Once you try them out for yourself, you won’t be able to live without them!

Today we’re showcasing our Uptown Fundamentals, which feature neutral colors and special materials, like foil and vellum, to give them a little something extra.

With a qualifying purchase, you can earn this scrapbooking paper for free! #closetomyheart #ctmh #basicallythebest #scrapbooking

Look at the elegant feel that the Uptown Fundamentals bring to this layout with that beautiful script font, the gold foil polka-dots, and the striped vellum. Because they feature neutral colors, we could create our own color scheme using just a couple pieces of cardstock.

With a qualifying purchase, you can earn this scrapbooking paper for free! #closetomyheart #ctmh #basicallythebest #scrapbooking

Here we have totally different cardstock colors also paired with the Uptown Fundamentals for a completely different look!

Those adorable glitter titles and other accents on these layouts are part of our You & Me Complements, designed to coordinate with the Uptown Fundamentals. We even have an Uptown ribbon pack to give you even more mixing and matching options.

The Uptown Fundamentals are just one of the newest paper collections we’ve released today—but there is plenty more where it came from! Head on over to closetomyheart.com to check out all our new products. There, you can also learn how to get the Uptown Fundamentals for free!

Now go ahead—treat yourself to a few minutes of browsing through our new products online. Or a few hours. We won’t judge. 🙂

Recipes

12″ x 12″ You & Me Layout
Z3263 Uptown Fundamentals, X5751 Sorbet Cardstock, X5775 Sapphire Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z3269 You & Me Complements, Z3274 Clear Sparkles, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3188 Paintbrush Set, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen, Thread

12″ x 12″ Our Story Layout
C1667 My Acrylix® This & That, Z3263 Uptown Fundamentals, Z3294 Memo Fundamentals, X5789 Sea Glass Cardstock, X5783 Emerald Cardstock, X5788 Raspberry Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2105 Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2806 Emerald Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3269 You & Me ComplementsZ3274 Clear Sparkles, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen, Z3167 Cricut® Artistry Collection, Thread

Cricut® Shape:
1 3/4″ <Icon-1> (RDS, p. 30)

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Back to the Basics

What makes a work of art a work of art? What turns a good scrapbook page into a great scrapbook page? There are many answers to these questions, but one thing that contributes to great scrapbooking and all types of crafting is having a strong design.

There are certain principles that contribute to the strength of a design, which can really elevate the final product. Many well-seasoned crafters probably use these design principles without ever having “learned” them or even realizing they are doing it. However, for those who are new to crafting, these principles can be absolute lifesavers, and they can even give you a great place to start—a springboard for reaching greater heights. And even the most gifted crafters will inevitably find themselves tangled in the details of a complicated project as they struggle to see the big picture. At such times, it’s always good to get back to the basics.

In the artwork below, one of our artists has done just that. Taking four basic design principles as a guide, our artist created this beautiful scrapbook page:

My Sunshine

So, what are the design principles that work together to make this page so wonderful? We’re so glad you asked!

1. Pattern. Now, we’re not talking about incorporating our B&T Duos™ patterned paper here, though that does go a long way to make any project beautiful. 🙂 We’re talking about using repetition. In the page above, you can see a strong pattern of horizontal lines—the horizontal strips of paper above the photograph, the Cricut® banner underneath the title, the kraft paper behind the photo, and even the lines of corrugated metal in the photo itself! The possibilities for creating patterns through repetition are endless: Try repeating colors, shapes, and many other elements to create pattern.

2. Unity. Having all the different elements on a page work together is what makes the page look well thought out. Think of it like an orchestra: There are many different instruments, but they have to work in harmony to play something beautiful. One way to create this harmony is through color. Our artist used many warm tones on the page: Gold shimmer trim, Honey, Canary, and kraft cardstock, a strip of paper from the Brushed paper packet, a Canary stamped image–all these pieces tie in nicely with the color of the boy’s shirt in the photograph to create a sense of unity. Unity can be created a myriad of ways, so get creative! You’ll find it’s much easier than you think!

3. Variety. Though it’s important to create harmony, it’s also important to make each element unique—this is what makes the page have depth. An orchestra wouldn’t be an orchestra with just violinists! Start by determining what you’d like to unify your elements. Like we mentioned above, our artist used warm tones to create unity. Then, for variety, she used several different textures, shapes, sizes, etc. There is also variety in the cool colors used in the bottom half of the page versus the warm colors used in the top half. All of that further plays off the contrasting colors in the photo. Using a variety of products, from embellishments and twine to embossing folders and Cricut® cuts, also makes adding variety even easier!

4. Balance. This design principle is demonstrated in spades in the page above! Our artist decided to use symmetry as her primary means of creating balance, though there are other certainly other ways to create balance. Placing the photograph in the very center of the page, she then embellished all around it in a beautifully balanced way. Notice how the width of the “My Sunshine” title mirrors the width of the Canary, Cricut®-cut strip above the photograph. The symmetry of the page is not strict—those aqua dots are not lined up, people!—but the sense of balance persists in the way the elements offset each other on the page. You have to love how the gold shimmer trim and the Canary stamp in the top left part of the page balance the “July 2015” sentiment and the Glacier Extra Thick Twine bow in the bottom right.

Now that you’ve taken a few steps back to find your center, it’s time to return to your crafting space and tackle that tricky project. You can use these four basic design principles to help you through any crafting project, and before long, they will become second nature to you! Happy crafting!

Recipe

12″ x 12″ My Sunshine Page
Reflections: Front and Center—Basic
D1599 My Acrylix® Geek is Chic, X7190B Brushed Paper Packet, X5668 Honey Cardstock, Z1375 Kraft Cardstock, X5764 Pear Cardstock, X5770 Glacier Cardstock, 1275 Outdoor Denim Cardstock, X5772 Canary Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2031 Paper Fundamentals Enchantment Assortment, Z2155 Topiary Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2643 Canary Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z1853 Aqua Dots, Z1918 Teal Shimmer Trim, Z1985 Gold Shimmer Trim, Z3039 Glacier Extra Thick Twine, Z1995 Honeycomb Embossing Folder, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen, Z1851 Scallop Border Punch, Thread

Cricut® Shapes:
Artbooking
¾” Border <3> (p. 40)
1 ¼” Shift+Border <Vacation> (p. 67)

 

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