How to Use Cricut Design Space for Sublimation Crafts (2022)

This post and the photos within it may contain Amazon or other affiliate links. If you purchase something through the link, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.

Cricut Design Space is a familiar program for many crafters, and it’s a good place to begin if you’re just getting started with sublimation but are familiar with a Cricut. Here’s how to use Cricut Design Space for sublimation crafts, including how to get the best color!

How to Use Cricut Design Space for Sublimation Crafts (1)

Welcome back to my sublimation series! This is the first post in a series of deep dives into some of the different software programs you can use for your sublimation crafting. Since my blog has so many Cricut users, I thought I’d start with Cricut Design Space—in particular, using Cricut’s Print then Cut feature.

We’ll learn how to upload images to Cricut Design Space, how to modify images, and how to print them so that your color is as true as possible.

For more information about Cricut Print then Cut in general, check out my The Ultimate Guide to Cricut Print then Cut.

When I started on my sublimation journey, I really wanted the ability to use Cricut’s Print then Cut feature along with my sublimation prints. I hoped to combine the power and precision of my Cricut and the flexibility and range of color of my sublimation printer. For example, if you’re making round ornaments like in this post, it’s easy to cut out the circular sublimation transfer for putting on the ornament, vs. cutting a circle by hand.

Turns out, it’s totally possible to use Cricut Design Space for sublimation printing!

The easiest way to use Cricut Design Space for sublimation is to use the upload feature to upload sublimation PNG files. If you’re not a designer, this is probably going to be your best bet. While *technically* you could create complex sublimation designs in Cricut Design Space from scratch, using images and patterns, it’s not the most robust design software overall. So uploading designs from others (or designs you made yourself in another program) is a good place to start.

You can also use Print then Cut images from the Cricut Image Library, but I’ve found that occasionally the color can be a bit unpredictable with these images, strangely. It’s been very hit or miss for me.

Join our Sublimation Made Simple Facebook group for tips, tricks, support, and resources!

Table of Contents

(Video) 😉 How to Use Cricut Design Space for Sublimation

Print then Cut Limitations

The biggest limitation in using Cricut Design Space and Print then Cut is the size limit—6.75″ wide by 9.25″ tall. Therefore you’re limited to the size of the images you can print, and you can waste a lot of paper using this method. I would rather waste a bit of paper than cut a bunch of images by hand—you’ll have to decide if the tradeoff is worth it for you.

That being said, I’m working on a few ways to hack print then cut for larger images—stay tuned for that!

Creating a Sublimation Design in Cricut Design Space

For this post, I’m using this polar bear ornament design, which I got from DesignBundles.net (a great resource for sublimation files!). Click Upload in Cricut Design Space to upload the PNG. In the Select Image Type screen, choose Complex.

Uploading and Modifying a Sublimation Image in Design Space

How to Use Cricut Design Space for Sublimation Crafts (2)

Click continue. In the Background Remover screen, you’ll see that the image has a transparent background (represented with the checkered squares). Most PNGs should have this transparent background, but if not, you can click to remove the background. Click Apply & Continue.

How to Use Cricut Design Space for Sublimation Crafts (3)

In the Select Upload Type screen, choose Print then cut and click Upload.

How to Use Cricut Design Space for Sublimation Crafts (4)

Then select your image and bring it onto your canvas. Resize to fit your ornament. My metal ornaments are 3.5″, so I made my image 3.6″ wide. I find that it’s nearly impossible to place a circle directly on a circle without ending up with a white edge, so I cheat the size just a bit to make sure it covers the entire face of the ornament.

How to Use Cricut Design Space for Sublimation Crafts (5)

If you’d like, you can add a name using the Text tool. Choose your font, resize, change the color, and place on your ornament, making sure to place the name low enough that it doesn’t get cut off by the hole in the ornament.

How to Use Cricut Design Space for Sublimation Crafts (6)

Once you’re happy, select both the name and the image and click Flatten to turn it into a single Print then Cut image. You’ll see that it says Print in the Layers Panel.

How to Use Cricut Design Space for Sublimation Crafts (7)

You’re ready to go! Click Make It in the upper right.

How to Use Cricut Design Space for Sublimation Crafts (8)

In the Prepare screen, you’ll see your image on a piece of white paper on a mat with a black box around it. Those black registration marks are used by your Cricut sensors to read exactly where to cut your image.

Important: click Mirror to reverse your image. You must do this or your image will be backward when you go to put it on your ornament. Click Continue to go to the Make Screen.

Before we finish making our ornament, we have to talk color!

Cricut Print then Cut Color Management

Unlike other more robust softwares like Photoshop, Cricut Design Space doesn’t have a way to manage the color within the program using an ICC profile. An ICC profile is basically a small computer file that makes sure your color is as accurate as possible when you print.

(Video) 😳YOU CAN USE CRICUT DESIGN SPACE FOR SUBLIMATION!! WHAT?!😳

BUT, there is a way to use an ICC profile with Cricut Design Space—you just need to know where to look!

Important: I recently did a deep dive into using ICC profiles, which includes how to install ICC profiles on your Mac or PC. Start there—this post picks up after you’ve already installed the ICC profile onto your computer. You have to install your ICC profile first or you will not be able to manage the colors in Cricut Design Space.

Color Management vs. No Color Management in Design Space

Overall I have found an ICC profile to vastly improve the quality of my sublimation images printed through Cricut Design Space, as you can see here. This is the original image in Design Space from above.

How to Use Cricut Design Space for Sublimation Crafts (9)

Using the method below, I then printed the image using no color management, and then again using an ICC profile. What a huge difference!

How to Use Cricut Design Space for Sublimation Crafts (10)

The ornament on the left has no color management and is very green/blue compared the original. There’s a bluish-green cast over the entire image and it’s oversaturated, particularly in the trees. The cheeks of the bear are more orange vs. pink.

The image on the right is much closer. Overall it’s a bit more pink and the trees aren’t quite as yellow (see my color management caveats below), but overall it’s a much closer approximation to what’s on the screen.

How to Use Cricut Design Space for Sublimation Crafts (11)

You can see how it really does make a difference to have that ICC profile installed!

Color Management Caveats

Color management is dependent on so many things, including your specific printer, the types of sublimation ink in your printer, the sublimation paper you use, the software you’re using to create the images, and the blank you’re putting the image on, the humidity in your craft space, and whether or not Mercury is in retrograde (okay, maybe not that last one, but seriously, there are a LOT of variables).

As shown above, Cricut Design Space with an ICC profile works pretty well overall using my variables. It keeps my images from being oversaturated and overly green. Yet with an ICC profile in Design Space, I do tend to struggle a bit with items having a slight pink cast overall, and sometimes I struggle to get a true red (it often goes a bit pink). But it really does depend on any number of factors.

You may have a totally different experience with your own set of factors. This is where testing comes in handy. I have a huge sheet of polyester fabric for test prints so I don’t waste more expensive blanks—I highly recommend this practice.

Okay, let’s get back to Design Space! The following are the instructions for a Mac and a PC. Remember you have to install an ICC Profile before you can continue.

Printing Your File with a Color Profile on a Mac

In the Make Screen, Design Space will prompt you print your image. Click Send to Printer and this box will pop up. Keep Add Bleed selected, but also select Use System Dialog Box. Click Print.

How to Use Cricut Design Space for Sublimation Crafts (12)
(Video) How to Use Cricut Design Space for Sublimation / Tips and Tricks

That System Dialog box will most likely appear *behind* your Design Space window, so you’ll have to drag the Design Space program over a bit to see that window. Here, you’ll see a bunch of options. Select your sublimation printer. Toward the middle of this window, you’ll see a dropdown. Click it and choose Color Matching.

How to Use Cricut Design Space for Sublimation Crafts (13)

From here, choose ColorSync. If you remember from installing your ICC profile, ColorSync is the Mac utility for color management. If you see the name of your ICC profile there, check it. If not, click Other Profiles and choose your profile from the list.

How to Use Cricut Design Space for Sublimation Crafts (14)

Hooray! You now have color management.

Before you hit print, use that same dropdown to select Print Settings.

How to Use Cricut Design Space for Sublimation Crafts (15)

From here, you can choose your print quality (I usually choose Quality). Do NOT select Mirror Image here. You already did that in Design Space and it will mess you up if you do it here, trust me.

Make sure you have your sublimation paper in your printer and click Print!

Once you have your image printed, place it in the upper left corner of a Cricut cutting mat, insert into your machine, and your Cricut will read the registration marks and cut around your image.

Printing Your File with a Color Profile on a PC

In the Make Screen, Design Space will prompt you print your image. Click Send to Printer and this box will pop up. Keep Add Bleed selected, but also select Use System Dialog Box. Click Print.

How to Use Cricut Design Space for Sublimation Crafts (17)
(Video) How to do Sublimation Designs with Cricut Design Space

That System Dialog box will most likely appear *behind* your Design Space window, so you’ll have to drag the Design Space program over a bit to see that window. Here, you’ll see a bunch of options. Select your sublimation printer. Toward the right of this box, you’ll see Preferences. Click it.

How to Use Cricut Design Space for Sublimation Crafts (18)

From here, choose More Options.

How to Use Cricut Design Space for Sublimation Crafts (19)

If you remember from installing your ICC profile, you will want to select “Custom” under Color Correction. From there, a window will pop up. To use your ICC Color Profile, you want to select “No Color Adjustment” and click “OK”.

How to Use Cricut Design Space for Sublimation Crafts (20)

Hooray! You now have color management.

Before you hit print, use that same pop up window to select Print Preferences. From here, you can choose your print quality (I usually choose “High”).

How to Use Cricut Design Space for Sublimation Crafts (21)

Make sure you have your sublimation paper in your printer and click Print!

Once you have your image printed, place it in the upper left corner of a Cricut cutting mat, insert into your machine, and your Cricut will read the registration marks and cut around your image.

Once your image is printed, you’ll transfer it to your blank using the manufacturer’s time and temperature settings. Again, I suggest doing a test print on a piece of polyester fabric to make sure everything looks good, then printing another to use on your actual blank!

How to Use Cricut Design Space for Sublimation Crafts (22)

Did you find this tutorial on using Cricut Design Space for sublimation helpful? Check out these other tutorials in my Sublimation for Beginners series!

(Video) How to Create Your Own Sublimation Design in Cricut Desing Space | Free Program for Sublimation.

  • What’s the Difference Between Sublimation, Cricut Infusible Ink, and HTV?
  • How to Convert a Printer for Sublimation
  • Sublimation Software: What’s Best for Your Needs?
  • The Best Sublimation Blanks and Substrates for Crafters
  • Must-Have Sublimation Supplies and Tools
  • Sublimation Paper Comparison
  • Heat Press Machine Comparison for Sublimation Crafters
  • Using Sublimation Prints with the Cricut Mug Press
  • The Beginner’s Guide to Sublimation on Ceramic
  • Troubleshooting Sublimation Printing
How to Use Cricut Design Space for Sublimation Crafts (23)

Get an Epson EcoTank Printer

FAQs

Can Cricut design space be used for sublimation? ›

Turns out, it's totally possible to use Cricut Design Space for sublimation printing! The easiest way to use Cricut Design Space for sublimation is to use the upload feature to upload sublimation PNG files. If you're not a designer, this is probably going to be your best bet.

What do you need to do Cricut sublimation? ›

All the “must haves” for sublimation printing projects are: A sublimation printer, sublimation ink, sublimation paper, a sublimation-compatible crafting blank, and a heat press OR if you wanted to forgo the sublimation printer, ink, and paper, you could use Cricut Infusible Ink sheets, or you could purchase custom ...

Can you use SVG files for sublimation? ›

You can print SVG files just like sublimation prints! But if you want to jazz them up a little (because you CAN!) then here are some videos showing you some design tricks that are easy ways to give those SVG designs a face lift!

What software do I use for sublimation printing? ›

The best sublimation printing software includes options like Adobe Illustrator and CorelDraw. Popular free software products include Inkscape, GIMP, and Canva. This software provides tools for downloading, editing, mirroring, and printing designs.

Is Cricut infusible ink the same as sublimation? ›

Infusible Ink is actually a type of sublimation that was introduced by Cricut and is essentially the same process but simplified. You can purchase Infusible Ink Sheets that you cut out with your Cricut machine, or you can use the Infusible Ink Markers and create your design that way on your paper.

What is the best sublimation printer for Cricut? ›

Best Printers For Sublimation Projects:
PrinterModelPhoto Printing
#1Epson ET 2720no
#2Epson ET 2760no
#3Epson ET-2750yes
#4Epson ET-3760N/A
1 more row
2 Sept 2021

Videos

1. BOOT CAMP LIVE- HOW TO USE CRICUT DESIGN SPACE TO SUBLIMATE FLAWLESSLY! 😱
(Makers Gonna Learn )
2. Sublimation With Cricut Design Space | Full Sublimation Tutorial
(Kim Byers)
3. How to Use Cricut Design Space for Sublimation
(Rhyan Made It)
4. WHAT'S NEW... v7.20 CRICUT DESIGN SPACE
(Carole's Cricut Crafts )
5. Sublimation Printing On T-shirt at Home Using Cricut Design Space | dye sublimation
(MamaPlusCEO)
6. How to Make a Photo Mug Sublimation Print in Cricut Design Space
(The Crafty Blog Stalker)

Top Articles

Latest Posts

Article information

Author: Saturnina Altenwerth DVM

Last Updated: 12/12/2022

Views: 6482

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (44 voted)

Reviews: 91% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Saturnina Altenwerth DVM

Birthday: 1992-08-21

Address: Apt. 237 662 Haag Mills, East Verenaport, MO 57071-5493

Phone: +331850833384

Job: District Real-Estate Architect

Hobby: Skateboarding, Taxidermy, Air sports, Painting, Knife making, Letterboxing, Inline skating

Introduction: My name is Saturnina Altenwerth DVM, I am a witty, perfect, combative, beautiful, determined, fancy, determined person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.