Use this easy Cricut Print Then Cut Tutorial to make your own DIY stickers – perfect for potty charts, planners, and all types of crafts!
Hi friends! I’m so happy to have you here for this tutorial because, in today’s post, I’m making Cricut STICKERS!
I’ve been going vinyl crazy these last few weeks with my Cricut Explore Air 2, so I decided it was time to branch out into something new but still 100% beginner-friendly.
With the new year coming up (who else just can’t wrap their minds around it being 2020 in a couple of weeks?!), I am patiently waiting for my planner to arrive in the mail.
I know the FedEx guy is getting really tired of delivering all these holiday packages to our porch – we definitely keep him busy this time of the year…
All this waiting has me thinking about what I could create to go along with it – and that’s when I thought of planner stickers.
I have the technology, the materials, and the equipment to make it happen – and if you’re reading this, you probably do, too!
[SIDE BAR: Can I share something with you?]
The Print Then Cut feature of the Explore Air 2 was the least popular reason I wanted my machine. I dreamed of all things vinyl because I love to stay organized, label, and craft. And, between you and me, it seemed pretty darn confusing.
Is my Cricut supposed to print and then cut?
What can I even use Print Then Cut for?!
Why would I even need that option?
But I’m here to tell you that I tried it out for myself, and I couldn’t believe how EASY it is to use. I’ll show you guys exactly how to make your own planner stickers (or you can use my design in Design Space) and take you through step-by-step with screenshots, helpful tips, and ways you can personalize your stickers to truly make them yours…
*This post contains affiliate links, however, all opinions are my own, as always.
So, What Is Print Then Cut?
I get it, I was a little confused about the whole ‘Print Then Cut’ ordeal at first.
Here’s the jist of Print Then Cut:
- You create a design
- You print your design with your printer
- You then cut the design using your Cricut machine
In this post, I’ll be showing you how I use the Print Then Cut option using my Explore Air 2 to make DIY Planner Stickers, and breaking down the Print Then Cut process more…
What materials can I use For Print Then Cut?
Any type of paper your printer can print on, you can use!
This includes printer paper, copy paper, cardstock, and sticker paper. The paper needs to be 8.5″x11″, however.
DIY Planner Stickers Using Cricut Print Then Cut
Alright, friends, let’s get to making and personalizing some gorgeous stickers!
Here’s how to make stickers with Cricut…
Materials Needed For DIY Planner Stickers
To make your own stickers using the Print Then Cut feature on your Cricut machine, you’ll need:
- a design (this link will take you directly to the Design Space page that has my design ready for you to use)
- fine-point blade and housing
- LightGrip mat (the blue one)
- white full-sheet sticker paper (here’s the exact one I used – they cost about 11 cents per sheet!)
- regular printer paper (optional: for practice)
- Explore Air 2 or Maker
- InkJet color printer
Both the fine-point blade and LightGrip mat come standard with your Cricut, and you don’t need a fancy printer for this tutorial.
Designing your Print Then Cut Stickers
You can access the exact design for these stickers by clicking the link HERE, which will take you to Design Space.
If you want to design your own, here’s where your personal creativity and needs come into play…
In Design Space, click on Images on the left-hand toolbar and search for shapes and pictures you’d like to turn into stickers.
When it comes to coordinating stickers like the ones in this post, I like to search in Cartridges. Cartridges carry a set of images that have the same theme, color scheme, or feel and are already coordinated.
About half of the images I used for these stickers can be found in the Close To My Heart – Flower Market cartridge.
Personalizing Images With Patterns In Design Space
Here’s where things get FUN.
In this tutorial, I am going to show you how to change a plain-colored image to one with a pattern so you can personalize your stickers even more!
For example, I’ll show you how I personalized these blue mason jar images to be plaid…
Select the image you want to personalize and Insert it into your canvas in Design Space.
Then, under Fill on the toolbar, change the selection from No Fill to Print (see screenshot below).
The hard outline of the image will disappear.
Now click on the question mark next to where it now reads Print.
This will allow you to select either a color or pattern to fill your design with…
Under Print type, select Pattern.
I used the red and white plaid pattern available in Design Space (see below).
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Now, this mason jar sticker is no longer a baby blue color inside, it’s plaid! How cute is that?
There are tons of patterns to choose from in Design Space to help personalize your stickers.
Adjusting the scale of a fill pattern in design space
To adjust the scale of the pattern you are using, click on the little square next to ‘Print’ on the upper toolbar that shows the current pattern an object has.
Click on Edit Pattern (see screenshot below).
Use the slider (with the red circle drawn around it) to adjust the scale of the pattern to your liking. The slider goes all the way up to 400.
You can also flip and rotate the pattern.
Flattening Your Images Before Printing
Once you have all of your stickers arranged and within the dimensions that Cricut requires (you will get an alert to make necessary changes before being allowed to proceed if your design is outside of the size Cricut allows), you will need to flatten your images.
This can be done by clicking on Select All on the top toolbar and then selecting Flatten towards the bottom right of the screen.
I’ve drawn red circles around both of these buttons to highlight them for you…
“The Flatten tool allows you to turn any image into a printable image for the Print then Cut feature of Cricut Design Space™. The Flatten tool not only turns your images into printable images but also flattens them into a single layer.” – Source: Cricut
If you try to print this design without using the Flatten tool first, it will try to print all of the layers that make up your design separately.
In the screenshot above, that would mean that each ‘Rose flower’ would have a separately printed green leaf, red background, and pink petal detail.
If we were layering vinyl, that would be alright, and we would need those layers to be cut separately.
But because we are trying to print these designs onto sticker paper and then cut out along their outline for gorgeous stickers, printing and cutting all the separate layers is not what we want.
By choosing to flatten our images, we are creating just ONE layer to print and then cut.
Print Then Cut Your Design
At the time of this writing, Cricut Print Then Cut designs need to be within the dimensions of 6.75″ and 9.25″, and printed onto a standard-size piece of paper (or in this case sticker paper) that measures 8.5″ x 11″.
This allows your printer to print the necessary score lines (the black border around my design in the screenshot below) so that your Cricut can accurately cut around each shape as necessary.
Selecting Your Sticker Paper
Cricut has a very sturdy, thick sticker paper available that is perfect for this project – but because of the thickness of the paper, it is not suitable for all printers.
I myself had a difficult time using it in my printer, even with hours of fiddling with settings between my Cricut, printer, and Design Space.
There are plenty of options for sticker paper online, though, in much thinner varieties that will work with your printer should the Cricut sticker paper not – just be sure to go for full-page sticker paper.
Using full-page sticker paper will not only allow you to work with the entire sheet of paper for your stickers, but it will also be much easier to peel up from the mat after you’re done cutting.
To Add Bleed Or Not?
I suggest selecting the Add Bleed option when printing your design, especially if you are printing stickers.
This selection tells your printer to bleed a little ink around the borders of your design so there is no white space on your stickers.
This is completely up to you.
I’ll show you the actual printed difference between no bleed vs. using the add bleed option below.
At this point, you can also select to print more than one copy, depending on how many sheets of stickers you want.
Printing Your DIY Stickers
Now your printer will engage in printing your stickers, so be sure that your sticker paper has been loaded into your paper tray before selecting Print.
When you’re ready, go ahead and print!
The photo below shows what this design looks like without using the add bleed option (to the left), and what it looks like with the add bleed option selected (to the right).
I’m going to using the add bleed version of these stickers for this tutorial.
Cutting Your DIY Stickers
Woohoo, time to cut these pretty babies!
To cut thin sticker paper, you’ll need the blue LightGrip mat. If you are able to use the Cricut brand sticker paper, you will need the green StandardGrip mat.
Align your paper in the top left corner of your mat, smoothing the paper so it lies flat and sticks.
Load the mat into the machine.
Cut settings for print then cut stickers
Now that the design has been printed and the mat has been loaded into the machine, your Design Space screen will look more like what you’re probably used to.
Hello, familiar cutting screen!
To save time, I always have the dial on my Explore Air 2 set to Custom. This is just a personal preference.
For this thinner sticker paper I’m using, I selected the material Copy Paper – 20 lb. with the More pressure option selected (see screenshot below).
These settings were perfect for my project.
The sticker paper I chose was actually meant to be used for creating address labels. So if you’ve ever put an address label sticker onto an envelope, you know the level of thickness I’m dealing with.
The Cutting Process of Print Then Cut
Once you’ve selected your settings, based on your design and your paper type, you can execute the cut and watch the magic!
First, your Cricut machine will use a light to scan your design on the mat to calibrate itself along the score lines to make the proper cuts in the right spots. This only takes a minute.
Related: Cricut Craft: Nursery Closet Dividers for Baby
Once calibrated, your machine will begin cutting around the outline of each sticker.
Here are the finished cut stickers below, you can see the outline of each sticker has been carefully cut to perfection with the fine-point blade…
When it’s done, you can unload the mat and gently peel away the sticker paper from the mat.
I try to turn the mat right side down so that the sticker paper is in between my working counter and the mat and peel the mat away from the sticker paper.
This helps a bit with the curling action the paper wants to do once it’s peeled off the mat.
If your sticker paper does curl, however, just lay a heavy book on top for a bit to flatten it back out. 😉
Now you can peel your stickers from the paper, and put them anywhere you like!
Finished DIY Planner Stickers Using Cricut Print Then Cut
I can’t get over how cute these stickers ended up being!
I chose to make stickers that fit my lifestyle, so I have different stickers for work, crafting, reminders, school, and fun events to remember.
I hope you all enjoyed this post, and that it helped you better understand the Cricut Print Then Cut function.
If you use my sticker design or tutorial to make your own stickers, be sure to tag me on Instagram (@slayathomemother) so I can see your creations!
*Post originally published December 2019, last updated February 2023.