Flatten is a tool that turns multi-layered images into a single-layered image.
SVG cut files with multiple layers can be flattened down into single-layered images, printed out with your printer, and cut out with your Cricut machine, using print-and-cut.
The flatten tool is instrumental in making stickers, labels, decals, and much more.
What Does Flatten Mean On Cricut?
The Flatten Tool:
Changes multi-layered images into a single-layered image
Is used to make any image a printable image for print-and-cut
Removes all the cut lines from an image
Retains all of the colors of the multi-layered image
How To Use The Flatten Tool:
Select the layers you would like to flatten together by clicking ‘select all’ or by holding down ‘ctrl’ while clicking the layers
When the layers are all selected, click flatten in the bottom right corner
The image is now flattened – in the layers panel you’ll only see one layer and it will say ‘flatten’
Here are three examples of when and how to use flatten in Cricut Design Space.
1. Cricut Print & Cut Stickers
Here is a multi-layered SVG cut file I found in Cricut Design Space.
In the layers panel on the right you can see all the layers in this design. To use this SVG as a print-then-cut image I can only have one layer. So I must use the flatten tool to flatten all the layers down, so that I have a single-layered image.
To flatten an image like this, simply select all the layers in your image, and then click ‘flatten’ in the bottom right corner.
Clicking ‘flatten’ removes all the cut lines from the image. It is now a single-layer image which I can use for print-and-cut. In the layers panel on the right it only shows one layer now, and it says ‘flatten’.
Click ‘Make It’ and you’ll be able to view your mat preview. This shows how your image will print out onto your page. Everything looks good here! I can print this image out with my printer, and then load that printed image into my Cricut and it will cut around the outside edge of the image.
There is another way to change something to ‘print’, and I want to make it clear that this option does not make your SVG a printable image!
Changing the fill to print (next to linetype up the top), does NOT make this SVG into a printable image! It changes the layers to print-and-cut, but the layers are still there! For print-and-cut you must only have ONE layer, and you will need to use the flatten tool for this.
See the screenshot below for the results of this method!
The mat preview shows that although the layers are printable, they are still separate layers. They must be flattened down into ONE image with the flatten tool.
2. Kitchen Labels With Cricut Flatten
Here’s another example, this time showing how to use flatten with text.
I’ve got a label filled with a pattern that I have previously uploaded to Cricut Design Space (see how to use patterns with Cricut). And, I have the text ‘feijoa jam’ which I have positioned on top of the label.
There are multiple layers which I will need to flatten to make this a printable image. Then I will be able to print this image out onto printable vinyl or printable sticker paper, and cut out around the image with my Cricut.
If you have text as a layer, the method is still the same. Select everything, and click flatten. The image will now be a single-layered printable image ready for print-and-cut.
Once again, I can print this out with my home printer, place the printed page onto my cutting mat, load it in my Cricut machine, and my Cricut will cut it out.
My last example for using the flatten tool is for making mock up designs in Design Space!
Simply placing a SVG on top of a mock up background is not enough! The SVG has multiple layers and therefore has cut lines. So flattening the layers together will remove the cut lines and make your mock up look A LOT better!
Position your SVG on top of the mock up background, select everything and click ‘flatten’.
The cut lines are gone, and now it looks like the design is actually ON the shirt! Amazing!