How to add and image that's just "print" not "print then cut"

Newbie here with what a problem I can’t figure out. I have a file that contains an outline that I’d like to cut, and a different file that has an image that will be inside the outline (but not completely fill it, just serve as a background for part of it). I’d like to place both of those images in Design Space and then do something like “attach” so they are geometrically locked. But the only choice I have when uploading an image is “cut image” or “print then cut”. There is no choice for “print”. I don’t want Design Space to take my background image and try to determine paths in it for cutting, I only want to cut around the outline image.

For the life of me I haven’t figured out how to do that. Can someone clue me in? Thanks!

[Cricut Maker 3, macOS Catalina]

Good question. I don’t have the answer, but I’m sure someone does. Following …

Hello Charlie!
Do you have access to another program such as Photoshop? If so you could bring in the outline and the pattern and use the pattern as a clipping mask. :slight_smile:

Hi Brittany,
Thanks for your response! Yes, I have a full subscription to Creative Cloud which includes Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, etc. But I don’t think I understand your suggestion. How would a clipping mask help in this situation? I don’t want to clip the art to a path.

I have a cutting path (the shape I want the object to be) which I could export from any of those programs as a JPEG or PNG. In that same program (let’s say it’s Photoshop) I could have a layer containing my art, which is wholly enclosed by, but which does not usually touch, the cutting path. I can export that layer from Photoshop as well, then bring it into Design Space and then “attach” the two layers , but then what? The only way to bring it in to Design Space that I can find is as a “print then cut” image; but I don’t want any cuts made to that interior image.

Hence my question about just having an image on the page that doesn’t participate in Cricut’s automatic outline detection.

What I’ve been doing (which seems like a really poor workaround) is this:

  1. Create the cutting path and the interior artwork as separate layers in InDesign or Photoshop.
  2. Export (from ID or PS) two separate JPG files: one with the cutting path, and one with the artwork.
  3. In Cricut software, import the cutting path JPG, and go through the steps of Cricut recognizing the boundaries to create its internal cutting path vector list.
  4. Go through the steps of Cricut “making” that image. When it gets to the “send to printer” step, use the system dialog to export to a PDF file instead of printing.
  5. Open that PDF in Photoshop, keep the “print-then-cut” rectangle but erase the shapes that represent the cutting path, replacing them with the interior art (which must be carefully aligned to the cutting path)
  6. Re-save from Photoshop into a new PDF.
  7. Print that modified PDF to my inkjet. So now the printed page contains the “print-then-cut” rectangle as well as the art.
  8. (Finally!) continue with the Cricut job, which makes cuts based on its internal saved cut list.

Since (apparently) once Cricut software decides what the cutting path should be it doesn’t care about what’s actually on the paper except for the “print-then-cut” alignment rectangle (e.g. the cutting paths are stored elsewhere in the project somewhere), this method works. But it’s a real pain in the neck.

What I would love is to have two layers and say to Cricut “use this layer for the cutting path and just ignore this other layer” but I haven’t figured out a way to do that. Hopefully I’m just overlooking something obvious.

Anyway, sorry for the long rant. Thank you in advance for any advice!

I’ve played around with Design Space a bit, and I found a “turn off layer” option. Have you tried that?

I also found that you can choose what action(s) you want to perform for each image.

If you click on each image individually, and then click “edit,” you should be able to choose your preference(s) and “make it” from there …

Thanks for your suggestions!

Turning off layers seems to work sometime, but my method of replacing the image in the Cricut-generated PDF seems the most reliable.

In particular, sometimes Cricut software decides that one or more of the colors in my image really want to be cutouts. I’m also not a fan of the bleed that Cricut performs on most images; in my workflow that involves replacing the image in the Cricut PDF, I make my own bleed.

All I’m really asking for is an image type that is neither “cut” nor “print then cut” – I just want something to appear on the page that Cricut will not try to interpret as an image for cutting. I don’t understand why they don’t have such an image type.

Bonus points would be for Cricut to allow me to upload a cut-only image (say, an SVG file from Illustrator) to use just for cutting, and then a different non-cutting image that is just used as decoration on the page. As it is now, a cut-only image doesn’t generate that black border that Cricut uses to align its cutting list with the paper.

That may be something you could suggest to Cricut?