Learn to Create Custom Cricut Pen Illustrations with this easy Design Space Tutorial. You can recreate your artwork over and over again with this technique!
It’s no surprise that I love the Cricut pens…I am a hand letterer, after all. But did you know you can also create Custom Cricut Pen Illustrations? This tutorial is similar to the method I used when I created a sugar skull banner with multiple Cricut pen colors, but this is going to take it to the next level. I’ll tell you how to prepare your image to upload, upload it and edit it in design space, and how to assign different colors and use the contour tool. A LOT of good info in this latest addition to my Cricut Tutorial Series!
This is a great tutorial for those that are more comfortable with the Cricut Pen and Design Space. If you need something for beginners, check out this post for Multiple Pen Colors, and how to create Hand Lettered Art with Cricut Pens.
What you’ll need to Create Custom Cricut Pen Illustrations
- Cricut Pens
- Cricut Maker or Cricut Explore Air (not sure what to get? See my Cricut Maker Review)
- Cricut Design Space – if you haven’t already tried the new program, go HERE and HERE to get all the details. If you are on the old program, try this tutorial.
- White Cardstock
- Light Grip Mat
- Drawing Pens (I like monotwins and mono drawing pens from Tombow)
- White Paper
- Cricut Bright Pad (optional, but it’s a plus)
To create your illustration and upload it to Design Space
- Sketch out your drawing on white paper with a Pencil.
- Trace your drawing onto another piece of white paper with black drawing pens or markers. The Cricut Bright Pad will make this much easier to see your pencil lines.. Tip: I use the monotwin marker, which has two sides for thicker strokes and the mono drawing pen (usually number 5) for the lighter strokes. The cleaner you get this drawing, the better your image will turn out in Design Space.
- Scan your image in or take a picture with your phone and email it to yourself. Tip: Edit your picture so the whites are really bright and the blacks are really dark. You want a lot of contrast so the program recognizes where to draw.
- Upload the file to Cricut Design Space.
- When you get to the editing screen, use the wand tool to erase the larger portions of white space on the drawing. Make sure you get all the small crevices.
- Use the eraser tool to fine-tune your image, then press continue.
- Save it as an SVG file, not a Print and Cut file.
- Insert the image into your Project and resize it.
To Use the Contour Tool in Design Space=
- Select your image and click on the CONTOUR option in the lower right-hand corner.
- Click HIDE ALL CONTOURS when the contour panel appears.
- Click on the items you would like to be all one color, then click on the X button on the right top corner.
- Click on the black circle by the scissors image in the layers panel, the select WRITE and pick a pen color. Tip: See this post for more information on using different pen colors.
- Copy and paste the image, then repeat steps 1-3. Make sure the contours you select are different from the first image, hide the contours from the first image, and change the pen color.
- Keep repeating these steps until you have all the contours finished, select all the images and click ATTACH. Tip: If you’d like, you can also add a border around the image to cut it out, as well. Make sure you also attach the cut lines to the image you created.
- Click the green MAKE IT button. Cricut will let you know when to change pen colors and will cut it out automatically, as well.
You can apply this tutorial to so many different types of projects. I think this design would look amazing with vinyl, too!
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