The 9 Best Cricut Tutorials – Cricut Design Space Tutorials & Livestreams

If you’ve liked Cricut’s Facebook page, you’ll know they often go live with Cricut tutorials and project ideas. The sad thing is that unless they are uploaded to YouTube, they might not be seen again.


As far as I can see, Cricut doesn’t upload their Facebook livestreams to YouTube. So I’ve gone and stalked through their page looking for the best Cricut livestreams to share with you in this post. If you want to become a Cricut expert there’s only one way to go about it – watch tons of tutorials and then experiment with your machine!



Cricut Tutorials


Thank you to Cricut for these great video resources! You can like Cricut’s Official Facebook Page to catch future livestreams, and subscribe to their YouTube Channel for more great Cricut tutorials.


1. How To Layer Iron-On Vinyl


This video is about how to layer heat transfer vinyl.

The Cricut Iron-On vinyl that is discussed include Cricut Sportflex, Glitter, Patterned, Holographic, Lite, and Foil.



Points to remember from the video:

  • Cricut Iron-On Lite can be layered with Iron-On Lite on top
  • Glitter HTV always needs to be the top layer (so it can be pressed upon Iron-On Lite, for example)
  • Foil HTV must be layered on top, it is not a base layer
  • Holographic vinyl also needs to be the top layer
  • Cricut Patterned vinyl ALSO needs to be the top layer
  • Cricut Sportflex can only be layered on Sportflex – do not layer Sportflex with anything else
  • Cricut Sportflex is best for stretchy material. Don’t use Sportflex on cotton.
  • The video also showed how to slice text in Design Space in order to create a shadow effect with Glitter HTV. This gives the illusion that Glitter has been used as the bottom layer, but the layers are actually just next to each other


Summary – when layering Cricut Iron-On Vinyl always use Cricut Lite as the base layer, and your other type of vinyl as the top layer (unless your material is stretchy, then use Sportflex).


Here is where you can pick up Cricut Iron-On for your projects:



2. What’s The Difference Between Vinyl, Iron-On & Heat Transfer Vinyl?


This can be quite confusing! Are vinyl, Iron-On and HTV all the same thing? What is the difference? Let’s find out.



Points to remember from the video:

  • Adhesive vinyl (what Cricut calls ‘vinyl’) is used for walls, wood, ceramics, accessories, paper, furniture, metal signs, metal tumblers and glass
  • Use the Cricut Premium Fine Point Blade for cutting adhesive vinyl
  • HTV is heat transfer vinyl and is the same as Iron-On vinyl (Cricut decided to call it ‘Iron-On’ to differentiate it from adhesive vinyl)
  • HTV or Iron-On can be applied to clothing, bags, paper, wood, ceramics, accessories and other fun fabrics
  • Iron-On should not be put on anything that melts – it will melt!
  • HTV needs to be cut in reverse, while adhesive vinyl does not
  • HTV should be placed on the cutting mat shiny side down, while adhesive vinyl should be placed on the mat shiny side up (grid side down)
  • How do you tell the different vinyls apart? Cricut vinyl (adhesive vinyl) has a grid pattern on the back while Iron-On has a dull backing paper


FIND OUT MORE: Vinyl Vs Iron-On


3. Tips & Tricks For Using Your Cricut Pens!


This video gives takes a look at Cricut brand pens, and shows how to install Cricut pens into the different machines.  It also demonstrates how to turn images in Design Space into draw files, followed by a discussion on whether to attach or not to attach. There is a whole lot more in this video so get watching!



Points to remember from the video:

  • There are different pen sets available including big packs or single pens, caligraphy pens & metallic pens, fine point pens and so much more – see the full range of Cricut pens here
  • The Explore One has only the one clamp holder and needs a special pen adapter – you need to swap the pen and blade out if you are cutting and drawing
  • You can take any image in the Cricut library and turn it into a draw file – we were shown how to do this at the 7 minute mark
  • You can change text to a writing style by selecting ‘edit’, then ‘style’, and ‘writing’, which makes your text a single stroke font
  • You can also filter all fonts by selecting ‘has a writing style’ to see the single stroke fonts available
  • You can undo any action immediately after doing it, but you cannot unweld something
  • Welding makes the letters of text into one seamless image, whereas attaching the text doesn’t actually eliminate the cut lines
  • Use the attach button to draw or cut multiple elements on the same mat, and to make sure your design is cut out exactly how it shows up on the canvas
  • Use a light grip mat when writing on paper
  • Don’t use fast mode with really delicate drawing or cutting on light material


4. Four Different Cricut Cutting Mats – Pink, Green, Blue, Purple


There are four different of Cricut cutting mats – green, blue, pink and purple. Watch this video to find out what each mat is used for and why you should get them!



Points to remember from this video:

  • There are two different sizes of Cricut mats – 12 x 12 and 12 x 24
  • Use the shorter mat for smaller projects and the long mat for those large Cricut projects
  • Purple is the Strong Grip Mat for heavy duty materials
  • Green is the Standard Grip Mat
  • Blue is the Light Grip Mat
  • Pink is the Fabric Grip Mat
  • The thicker and harder the material you are cutting, the more tack you need
  • Vinyl and Iron-On are best on the standard mat
  • Prolong the life of your mat by washing with soap and warm water
  • Remember to replace the plastic cover after use
  • Scrape things off the Light, Standard and Strong Grip Mats, but tweezers are best for getting items off the Fabric Grip Mat (this will make it last longer)
  • If your material won’t stick to the mat and curls back up, then it’s time to get a new mat


Here is where you can buy the right Cricut cutting mats for your project:



5. What’s The Difference Between The Cricut Explore Air 2 And The Cricut Maker?


the best cricut design space tutorials for cricut makerTiffany and Courtney discuss the differences and similarities between the Cricut Explore Air 2 and the new Cricut Maker in this video. They go deep into the different materials the two machines can cut.

The Maker is able to cut many more materials than the Air 2 – especially thinner materials.



Points to remember from this video:

  • We were shown how to change the blade of the standard cut housing (which is compatible with the Explore machines and the Maker) and how to extend its life by cleaning it out regularly
  • We were shown a ton of different materials that both machines cut, and many that only the Maker can cut
  • And we saw how to cut mink with the Cricut Maker



  • Both are cutting machines that use the Design Space software
  • Design Space works both with Android and IOS and is cloud based software
  • Both have fast mode
  • You can upload your own designs and images with both machines
  • Both machines come with a pen and the premium fine point blade



  • The Cricut Explore Air 2 has a dial, the Cricut Maker does not
  • The Cricut Maker is controlled entirely through the software (a good move)
  • The Maker does a whole read of the mat while the Air 2 just pulls the top in
  • The Maker has a slot to hold a tablet, while the Air 2 does not
  • The Cricut Maker detects the particular blade that is in the machine
  • The Maker can do print then cut on colored paper (you print with a printer though, not with the cutting machine)
  • The Maker comes with the Rotary Blade and Fabric Grip Mat (which can only be used with the Maker) and also the Light Grip Mat
  • The Cricut Explore Air 2 comes with the Standard Grip Mat


Learn more about which is the best Cricut machine, or take a look at these Cricut bundle packs.


6. How To Contour In Cricut Design Space


A quick video demonstrating Cricut’s contour tool in Design Space. It shows how to separate out the different elements of a single layered design to make them different colors.



Points to remember from this video:

  • A step-by-step guide on how to contour text and images in a single layered design
  • In under 5 minutes we learned how to separate out design and text elements in order to cut them in different color vinyl
  • The process involves the duplicate and contour features of Cricut Design Space
  • Don’t walk around an office with glass doors holding a computer (You work at Cricut! Make some vinyl decals with Cricut window cling!)


7. How To Use Ligatures In Design Space & A Cricut Sportflex Vinyl Project


Ligatures are the little curly bits on fonts, and in this video we are shown how to add these in Cricut Design Space. Courtney then makes a cool custom t-shirt using Cricut Sportflex Vinyl and the Easy Press.



Points to remember from this video:

  • Sportflex is great for stretchy materials like yoga tops, leggings, sports jerseys, and other spandex, lycra, polyester and nylon garments
  • We were shown how to use ligatures in Design Space
  • Use Character Map in Windows or Font Lab for Macs to copy the letters
  • Sportflex Iron-On vinyl is pressed at 305°F for 30 seconds (more Easy Press settings here)
  • Courtney explained the benefits of the Easy Press
  • We saw how to line up the heat transfer with the t-shirt
  • Cricut mats have one inch grid squares on them which can be used as a ruler
  • Don’t use Sportflex on cotton, silk or wood
  • Sportflex is a cold peel vinyl – let it cool down before peeling the carrier sheet away
  • Always turn your tee inside out to wash (leave at least 24 hours before the first wash after pressing)


Check out this Cricut Sportflex project I made recently – custom active wear!


8. Weld, Attach, Group and Flatten – What They Mean & When To Use Them


An explanation and demonstration of the 4 Design Space tools: weld, attach, group and flatten – with visual aids!



  • Group means that you can move an image (made up of different layers) around your canvas as one piece, but they are still individual layers. All you have done is make it so that you can move the different layers as a group on your canvas. This means that when you take it to your mat preview, the different layers will separate out to be cut separately.
  • If something is grouped, you are able to resize all the layers at the same time.
  • Flatten means taking all the layers and turning them into one. You might use this to print an image with different colors, and then use your cutting machine to cut around the border.
  • Weld brings different design elements together. If you have a text design, as the example in the video shows, welding makes the entire word one piece. It can be lifted up in one piece once it has been cut and weeded.
  • Attach is more like a paper clip (as Courtney describes it) and cuts your design out exactly as it is shown on the canvas. Use the attach button to cut or draw more than one design element on the same mat.
  • We were shown a great example of when to use the attach feature.
  • You cannot unweld something, a bit like how you can’t unglue something. You can unattach, so attach can be a good feature to use until you are sure you have everything in position, at which time you would weld.


9. How To Customize A ‘Ready To Make’ Project In Cricut Design Space


In Cricut Design Space there are a lot of ready to make projects. As you become an expert Cricuteer, you will want to go next level and change things up a bit. In this video we’ll learn how to customize ready to make Cricut projects. Specifically, the project is how to make a custom cake dome!


Materials and products you will need for this custom ready to make project:


Points to remember from this video:

  • Here is a link to the DIY banner video which is mentioned in the video
  • Search ‘I love you more’ in the ready to make project category in Design Space (that’s if you want to do this project exactly, otherwise find your preferred design!)
  • Customize is not always available – it is most often the sewing projects which cannot be changed
  • Some designers have specified that their designs cannot be customized, but there are very few in this category
  • Not all font styles can be italicized or made bold
  • We were shown another example of welding text
  • We were shown Courtney’s trick for applying transfer tape to the cut adhesive vinyl
  • Applying the transfer tape while the vinyl is still on the mat can make it a little easier
  • It is best to hand wash items made using Cricut adhesive vinyl (don’t put them in the dishwasher)
  • Clean the glass with rubbing alcohol beforehand for maximum adhesion


Tips for applying vinyl to a curved surface:

  • The less connected the text or design the better – each piece can flex a bit more
  • Work from the middle outwards
  • Cut darts in the transfer tape or create them in the vinyl design


Using Cricut Design Space


After many hours of watching and thinking about these great Cricut & Design Space tutorials, I have learned a lot myself! I’ve really enjoyed it and I hope you have too. Let us know what you learned in the comments below, and what project you’re going to be working on next!


We have a ton of other Cricut resources and reviews here if you would like more of this goodness, but either way we hope to see you again soon.


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Comments 4

  1. Tee May 2, 2018
    • How To Heat Press May 2, 2018
  2. Donna March 24, 2018
    • How To Heat Press March 25, 2018

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