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How Do You Do a Knockout on Cricut?
Hi crafty friends! In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to make knockout designs in Cricut design space with the 2022 update. I didn’t write about knockout designs in my recent post about how to edit text in design space because they take a little more explanation. But I’ve had a lot of questions about it since then, so it’s time to get them answered.
You’ll learn how to knockout text in design space to make your own designs. For this tutorial, I am making a knockout sign with pattern vinyl which makes great gifts for Mother’s Day, Birthdays and Christmas. You can also use this technique to make shirts.
What are Knockout Designs?
Knockout designs are where you combine two different designs into one. You can knockout an image to form parts of the text like this….
Or you can knockout text and place text inside of different text like this.
So let’s get to it.
Make Knockout Text in Design Space
The video below shows you step-by-step how to make knockout text in Design Space and how to use your design to make a sign. In the tutorial, I use pattern vinyl and the wax paper method to line up the design before transferring it to the sign. Scroll past the video for the complete supply list and the written instructions for knockout designs. Plus a detailed video and instructions for knocking out images into text.
Knockout Sign Supply List
Sign Blank – I used an innkeeper sign found here
Pattern Vinyl Blossom – https://shrsl.com/3hquc
Pattern Vinyl Floral Leopard – https://shrsl.com/3hqu8
Paint and brushes for your sign
Solid Color Vinyl to match Your Pattern
Embellishments like Ribbon, Bows, or Flowers
Fonts – I Love Glitter on Dafont
Wax or Parchment Paper
Fonts – Europia (used for to our home)
Need help downloading fonts and getting them into Design Space? Check out this tutorial here. You’ll also learn the top seven places to find free fonts.
How To Knockout Text with Cricut
Step One Prepare Your Text To Knockout
To knockout text from text, we’re going to start with typing in your background text. You’ll want a big chunky font that is a single layer. This font is called Malibu (found here) Impact Font also works well and is already installed on most devices.
Size it fairly big so we can see what we are doing. Use the letter space on the top menu bar to move your letters closer together. Or you could ungroup your letters and move them individually and then regroup them. After you have the spacing set select everything and click the weld button on the bottom right toolbar.
Now we need to pick a single-layer script font. The most common one everyone is using with the hearts in the middle is called I love Glitter and you can find it free here.
The great thing about I love Glitter font is the extra hearts it comes with. To get the filled-in heart between the words hold down the shift and \ key. To get the hearts at the end hold down the shift and 8
As you can see there are some spacing issues you might need to fix. To do that select the text and then ungroup it. This will allow you to move the letters closer together. If you need more help with fonts or script text, see my editing text in design space post.
So after you have your script text moved together, don’t forget to select it all and weld it together so it stays together and cuts as one continuous shape and we can use it to knock out the text in the word mom.
I like to change the color of the script knockout text so that it’s easier to see for the next step.
Then you can drag your script over the print text and size it up how you want it. I had to hit the unlock button on the bottom left of the text box so I could stretch mine longer.
Once you’re happy with the placement of your script text over your base word you’re going to add an offset to the script text.
Step Two: Offset the Script Text to Make a Knockout Design
To make an offset select your script text and then click the offset option on the top menu.
I like to set my offset to .1. You’ll see a faint blue line around the script font indicating where the offset will go. If you want yours bigger or smaller just play around with the offset distance until you’re happy with it. Make sure rounded corners are selected and then hit apply.
Once the offset is applied you’ll see the black outline around your script text. That is a whole other layer, so now you can pull the purple script text down to move it out of your way for the next step.
Step Three: Slice the Offset to Create a Knockout
Select both the black offset layer and your background word and then click SLICE on the bottom of the layers menu. Slice will only work if two layers are selected, so it’s important to move your original text (in purple) out of the way.
Slice will cut out or ‘knockout’ our offset from the base text. Once the slice has finished (it could take a few seconds)pull your base word (Mom) out of the way.
Once you move it you’ll be able to see the words have been cut out of it. Select and delete the rest of the words and pieces that were created from Slicing. Remember to keep your original script text that we made purple.
Now that you have everything deleted you can place the script text inside of your base word and make sure everything looks ok. Now you’re ready to cut your design out and in the next steps, I’ll show you how to use wax or parchment paper to line up your knockout design perfectly on a sign.
Step Four: Cut Your Knockout Design
Now we’re ready to cut the knockout design with our Cricut. I’m cutting the word mom out of pattern vinyl and the words I love you out of maroon-colored vinyl. Once you’re happy with your design click the make it button. On the next screen you’ll see the layout of the cut mats.
There is no need to mirror your design if you’re making a sign, but if you’re making a shirt don’t forget to mirror.
Since I’m making a larger sign the I love you text will need to be cut on a 24″ cut mat. Keep that in mind when you are purchasing a sign blank and sizing the design to fit.
If you have an Explore you can turn your dial to vinyl and with a Maker select vinyl from the list of materials.
Place the vinyl onto your cut mat starting in the upper left-hand corner and smooth it down. Place the cut mat under the two tabs and press it against the roller bar and then press the flashing arrow button on your Cricut to load the mat. Next press the start button and Cricut will begin cutting your design.
After the first mat is finished repeat the process for your second cut mat.
To remove the vinyl from your cut mat flip your mat over and gently peel the mat off of the vinyl. This helps keep it from curling and getting warped.
Layer Your Knockout Design
Now that we have our design cut we need to layer our vinyl so the script words line up perfectly with the base word. One of the easiest ways I’ve found to do that is to use wax or parchment paper.
Weed both of your designs first with your weeding tool
Step One: Apply Transfer Tape
Next, we’re going to cut a piece of transfer tape that is slightly larger than the base word. And it should cover all of the script text too. I didn’t make mine quite long enough but it still worked out.
Once you have the transfer tape cut, apply it to the script text. (See How to Easily Apply Transfer Tape Without Wrinkles or Bubbles Here) and then remove the backing from the vinyl.
At some point, you’ll also want to tape down your base word. We don’t want it to move for this next step.
Step Two: Use Wax or Parchment Paper
Next place a piece of wax or parchment paper over your base word keeping the top of the paper fairly even with the vinyl. And technically this step doesn’t matter much, it’s just the way I always do it.
Place your script text on the parchment paper and smooth it down. BE SURE to leave an overhang of the stick transfer tape over the parchment paper so we can stick it to the table when we’re ready.
Now the parent or wax paper is see-through and our script text is stuck to it with a slight overhang. Move the parchment paper around until you can see that your script text is lined up and fits perfectly into the knockout we made in the base word.
Once you’re happy with the placement – use that little bit of overhang we left on the transfer tape and smooth it down to stick it to the table. Now your base word is taped to the table, your script text is stuck to the table and they should be lined up.
Depending on your table surface you may have to hold down where the transfer tape is stuck so it doesn’t move. Flip-up the parchment paper and begin removing it from the transfer tape. Parchment paper will be a little more stuck than wax paper, but it should still come off easily.
Keep the script text and transfer tape up while you’re removing the paper. Once all of the paper is off grab the opposite end of the transfer tape from what is stuck to the table and hold it at about a 45-degree angle from the table. Use your scraper tool starting in the center and working your way out to stick the transfer tape and script text to your base word.
Step Three: Transfer Your Design to Your Sign
Now your knock-out design is ready to transfer to your sign. Measure your sign blank and make a mark in the middle of your sign. You can fold your knockout design in half to crease the center so it will be easier to center on your sign.
Next, remove the paper backing from your design and line your crease mark up with the mark you made on the center of your board. Hold it taught at the ends so it doesn’t stick to the sign before you want it to. Once you have it centered you can lay it on top of the sign. You should still be able to pick it up and reposition it if needed.
Once you’re happy with the placement start at the center of the design with your scraper tool and work your way to the edges. Scrape down each section really well and then remove your transfer tape.
Next remove your transfer tape from the sign. I added Mod Podge to the sign to seal and protect it. You do not need to seal the vinyl, and most manufacturers don’t recommend you do. But I’ve never had a problem with it and I did want to seal the paint to give it a nice matte finish.
You can also add a bow, ribbon, or other embellishments to your sign if you wish.
Make a Knockout Design With an Image
Knockout Images Video
The first thing you need to do is choose your font and choose your image. The most common font and the one I used in the ‘I Love You’ knockout design is called Impact. It is loaded in Cricut design space and it’s FREE! Any chunky bold font will work as long as it’s a single layer font.
So now that we have our font, type your text into Design Space.
Keep your image in mind while you are putting together your text. A square shaped image will require multiple lines of text.
I prefer to put each line of text in a separate text box. That way I can stretch out a word if I need to and I can put the lines close together.
Your letters will also need to be spaced closer together. You can either do that by clicking the ungroup button and moving each letter individually, or by lowering the letter space on the top toolbar.
After you have your text the way you want, select everything and click the weld button on the right toolbar.
Can you unweld in Cricut?NO – There is not an unweld button at this time. However, if you see a mistake as soon as you weld YOU CAN click the undo button on the top left menu. This will un-do the weld.
Adding The Image for Knockout
For the image part of my knockout design, I just used the heart shape from the shapes menu in Design Space. You can also upload your own image.
An important note on images: Knockout designs only work with single-layer fonts and single-layer images. Think one color like silhouettes.
After your image is uploaded, size it to fit your text. You may have to right-click and then click move to front to get the image on the top layer.
How to Slice the Words
So when you have everything lined up how you want you’re going to select everything and click the slice button on the bottom right toolbar. You will see the results of the slice in the layers menu.
By using slice we are cutting the image of the heart out of the words ‘I love you’
Depending on what you plan on doing with your design, you may not want to move it just yet. Click on the two center slice results in the layers menu and then hit the backspace or delete button to get rid of them.
Your design should look like this after deleting those two middle layers. If you’re using HTV (heat transfer vinyl) you are good to go and can click the make it button.
If you are using adhesive sticky vinyl you may want to see my tips for layering vinyl here.
That covers just about everything you need to know about making Knockout Designs! If you have any further questions please leave me a comment down below.
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Knockout Text Design with Cricut
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Chris Butler has helped thousands of crafters learn how to use their Cricut machine without feeling overwhelmed. She is a best selling author and an up and coming designer. For fun Chris enjoys designing SVG Files, hanging out with her family (preferably at the lake), traveling, and volunteering at her church. She is a wife and mom of two crazy fun kids.