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How to Use the Drawing Feature in Design Space

How to Use the Drawing Feature in Design Space

I recently shared a project in our Cricut Community Facebook group that used a pen and the drawing feature in Design Space to make a project. You can check out the project here if you're interested! From that project, someone simply asked us, "How do you use the drawing feature?" And it got to me to thinking -- maybe not a lot of people know how to use the drawing feature. I know when I first got started with my Cricut, it was something I overlooked because I was so excited to cut different materials. Now that I have been using my Cricut for a few years, I absolutely love using the drawing feature. I use it for cards, stickers and little embellishments in projects. Today I’m going to walk you through how if you have never used it before and I'll show you a project I made with it too! Overall, I’d say it’s pretty simple but there are a few things that are helpful to know, so let’s get started.

What pens/markers can I use with my Cricut?

First things first, if you want to draw with your Cricut then you need some pens or markers to draw with. Luckily for you, Cricut has tons of them - of all different colors, kinds, and thicknesses. The pens are all labeled by their thickness, which is helpful to know when you're making a project. Sometimes you'll want a fine tip and other times you may want a thicker marker, it just depends on your needs. I often use 0.4 Fine Point pens, which seem to be a popular one. When you first get your Cricut, there will be a black pen included and it's a 0.4 pen. I have also used 1.0 pens, which are thicker than the 0.4 ones. Basically, the higher the number, the thicker the pen.

Another thing I love about using Cricut pens is that I know for sure they will work with my machine. You can experiment and try other pens/markers if you want but using a Cricut pen is the safer bet. There's nothing worse than purchasing something and then it doesn't work! I actually use Cricut pens at work too when I am writing down notes. All that to say, I'm a big fan. We sell a lot of Cricut pens and markers, you can check out our collection by clicking here.

What Cricut machines have the ability to draw?

The only machines that have the drawing feature are the Cricut Explore machines and the Cricut Maker. The Cricut Explore machines cover: Cricut Explore, Explore One, Cricut Explore Air, and Cricut Explore Air 2. However, if you have the Cricut Explore One, you'll need to purchase an adapter in order to draw. I'll include a photo below. All of the other machines have a double tool holder, which allows you to draw and cut (or cut and score) in one-step. I'll include a picture of the double tool holder below. The Explore One has a single tool holder, so it cuts and writes in two steps. Not a huge deal if you have the Explore One, you'll just need an adapter to draw! We don't sell it on our website, but you can buy it directly from Cricut here. Here's what it looks like:

Double Tool Holder

 How can I draw with my Cricut?

Now that you've got the basics down, I'll show you how to use the drawing feature. For starters, you can have your Cricut draw pretty much everything. In order to draw, you simply have to change the linetype in Design Space from "Cut" to "Draw". You can draw either images you found from Cricut or those you have uploaded yourself. Let's take a look at this Dog Mama design - I found it in Cricut Access. When you insert an image or text onto the canvas in Design Space, it will automatically choose to cut it. Like I mentioned above, all we have to do is change the linetype and it will allow us to draw instead of cut:

In the photo below, you can see that I have clicked on the design (notice the blue box around it) and then I clicked on "Linetype". You can find that in the top left-hand corner. Currently, the linetype is set to cut. In order to draw, all we have to do is select draw. This is also where you would chance your linetype if you wanted to score, engrave (Maker only), deboss (Maker only) etc. Take note of how the design looks now...notice how it's all filled in.

Now I selected "draw" from the linetype drop down. As you can see, the image has changed so that only the outline of the design is present. This is exactly what your Cricut will draw. Unfortunately, at this time, your Cricut will not color in the design for you. It will just draw the outline and then you'll have to manually fill it in, if that's the look you're going for.

This also applies to text too - it will only draw the outline. I personally don't find it to be a huge deal to fill the letters in myself, but I would love if Cricut would release this one day as a feature. As you can see in the picture below, I changed the linetype again from "cut" to "draw" and this is the outcome:

Drawing-specific images

Cricut has specific images that they've design that were created specifically for drawing! If you search through Cricut Access, you'll find those there. I found a cartridge full of hand drawn flowers that I love. And since they were designed for the drawing feature, you won't need to fill in any lines/letters! It will draw as is. Check out this project I made below using one of the flowers in the cartridge -- the ID is #M9C1867E and the cartridge is called "Drawn Plants". 

Drawing-specific fonts

There are also fonts from Cricut that are specific to drawing, which means that they will drawing in one line and you won't have to fill them in. To find those fonts, click on "Fonts" and then filter your search, like below:

Here's an example of what one of the writing fonts looks like - note that there are no outlines that you would need to fill in. Don't forget to still choose "Draw" for your linetype, otherwise it will cut it.

And that's pretty much it, you guys! That is the basics of drawing with your Cricut. I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below or any questions you may have. Happy making!


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Courteney is the Social Media Manager for Craft-e-Corner. She is a mom to the sweetest baby, wife to a pilot and dog mom to a yellow lab named Lucy. She loves crafting, a good cup of coffee, and spending time with her family and friends.

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Jane - August 2, 2021

Thank you! This was a huge help to me and you made it easy to understand.

Pam - January 11, 2021

On my Cricut all the pretty writing fonts you have to purchase. Not to be cheap but are there free ones?

Peggy DYer-Bland - May 13, 2020

I have the air 2 and I have changed one of my Mothers hand written recipe to an svg.file. I’m wanting to use my cricut to write the recipe in card stock. Do I follow the same procedure you have on here or is there some other way to write it? I’ve been searching a while to find a way. Any help I would really appreciate. Thank you

KIm - April 8, 2020

I have a cricut maker and im new at this but im using an iPad and want to draw instead of cut but cant get to the linetype to go to draw how can i do this on an iPad

Klbowen - January 7, 2020

Thank you for all your wonderful help! I have had express air and now maker I learned something new from you! I was so nervous when I used my maker for the first time today you would have thought it was my first one ever don’t know why I was so nervous!
Thank you again!
Ms Kenny

Klbowen - January 7, 2020

Thank you for all your wonderful help! I have had express air and now maker I learned something new from you! I was so nervous when I used my maker for the first time today you would have thought it was my first one ever don’t know why I was so nervous!
Thank you again!
Ms Kenny

Salena Ramirez - January 7, 2020

Great article. Thank you for the clear instructions 😊👍

Stephanie L - December 9, 2019

Thank you very much for writing this. I finally have a maker after months of research and waiting for the right time to invest the money. I originally wanted this so i could have the machine write for me. I love the idea of handwritten stuff but i am a horrible speller and i make even more mistakes when i’m trying to make something nice. I figured that if i could have something hand write after i have made mistakes then i could produce a lot faster. Your article has been the only one that i have found that directly addresses the draw feature and how it only does outline. I was really bummed out last night when i tried and that’s how i cam across this page. I hope Cricut is paying attention to sites like yours to see what features the customer is looking for and how differently we all use them. Thank you again and i look forward to learning more from your articles!

Kayla - October 11, 2019

Hello I recently got an explore air 2 and am wanting to write the names on wooden circles and hearts for a family birthday and anniversary sign. I know I need to paint them first but was wondering if you had ever done this or had any suggestions on how to go about lining it up so it writes perfectly on the circle. Thanks

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