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In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to make knockout designs in Cricut design space. I didn’t write about knockout designs on 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.
Knockout designs are where you combine two different designs into one. You can use an image to form parts of the text like this….
Or you can knockout part of the text and place text in the text like this.
Can you tell I’m on a patriotic kick?
I’m also going to show you how to line up the different colors of a knockout design if you are using adhesive vinyl.
So let’s get to it.
Make a Knockout Design With an Image
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!
In my America knockout designs, I used the font Moon Fighter. 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.
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.
When you have everything lined up how you want select everything and click the slice button on the bottom right toolbar. You will see the result in the layers menu.
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 are using HTV (heat transfer vinyl) you are good to go and can click the make it button.
How To Line Up Your Knockout Design Using Adhesive Vinyl
But if you are planning on using adhesive vinyl, you may want some guides to get this lined back up correctly on your project. Start with selecting everything and clicking group so your design will stay together if it’s moved. Now is the time to adjust the size if you want to make it bigger or smaller.
Next, use the shapes menu to make one square. Size it down and place it on the top left of your design. Change the color of your square to the same color as your text. In this case it’s black.
Right-click on the square and click duplicate. Move your second square over to the right side of your knockout design.
Right-click the square again and duplicate it. This time change the color of the square to the color of your image. In this case it’s red.
One more duplicate. Right-click the red square and make a duplicate. So now you should have two black squares and two red squares all the same size.
We are going to place the red squares directly over the black squares. To get this exact, click on a black square and note it’s (x) and (y) position. You may want to write it down.
Now click on the red square and type the positions you wrote down into the corresponding boxes.
The red square will move right into position over the black square. Repeat that process for the other set of squares and it should look like this when you are done.
Attaching Everything Together To Cut
Ok now remember how we grouped the knockout design so the parts wouldn’t move on us? Now we need to select the design and click the Ungroup button. Just be sure not to move the design or the squares.
Back over in your layers menu…. Click on the red slice result which should be your image knockout. While holding down the shift key on your keyboard, click one of the red squares. Keep holding down that shift key and select the second red square. If you get them all selected they should all turn a darker grey on the layers menu as shown.
Now you can let off the shift key and click the attach button on the bottom right menu. This made my black squares pop up to the top layer for some reason, but it was all sorted out after I also selected the black layers.
Repeat this process for all of the black pieces, there should also be three to select. Remember to keep holding the shift key down while selecting them and then hit attach.
Are you ready?
Now you can click the make it button. Your knockout design should go to the mat like shown above. Those two little squares need to be in position above the design for both colors just like we placed them.
How To Layer The Adhesive Vinyl After It’s Cut
So now that both of your colors are cut out, weed away the extra vinyl with your weeding tools.
Be sure to keep the squares in place! Add your transfer paper over one of the designs and rub it really hard with your Cricut scraper to get the vinyl to stick.
Peel the backing of the vinyl back just enough to reveal the squares.
Hold one end up (not allowing the squares to touch) while you line up the squares on the other end. After they are lined up press down firmly so they stick together. Then move to the other set of squares and line them up and press them together.
Grab the end of the vinyl backing and start pulling it down to remove it. At the same time with your other hand, smooth down the transfer paper over the design. There you go!
A note about this – It can be tricky. I recommend starting with a smaller design like this one to practice. You’ll get the hang of it quick and be able to move on to bigger designs.
You can go ahead and trim off the squares now and apply it to your project.
How To Do A Text In Text Knockout Design
Start with typing in your background text. Just like the image knockout, you want a big chunky font that is a single layer. This font is called Moon Fighter. Impact Font also works well.
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.
I didn’t like the way I love glitter font looked for this knockout design so I switched to the Humble font pictured above. If you need help with fonts or script text, see my editing text in design space post.
So after you have your script text ready, don’t forget to select it all and weld it together. Then change the color so it’s easier to see what you are doing.
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.
After it’s sized how you want you can move the script back down.
Making The Bleed Out Text
On the layers menu select the script text and then change it from cut to print by clicking on the print icon. Now click the make it button. But we aren’t actually going to be printing or cutting anything right now, so your Cricut doesn’t need to be set up.
On the next screen select your print mat and click send to printer. This will bring up the print set up menu.
Make sure where it says bleed is toggled on to green. Then right-click the image and select save image as….. Name your image and save it to your computer.
Close the print menu and click cancel for the cut and print. You should be back in design space now.
Click the upload button and upload the image you just saved of your bleed out design. Next, select the Simple design option.
Click to delete the background of the image. The background should change to blue checks. Then select the eraser to erase the box that is around the bleed out text.
After that is done click the continue button. On the next screen be sure to select the image on the right that says save as cut file.
The bleed out will be vertical when it goes back into design space. Spin it around so it’s back to horizontal and size it to match up with your script text.
You can right-click on the script text and select move to front and then adjust the size of the bleed out.
You may have to click the little lock on the bottom left of the bleed out. This will allow you to stretch it longer or taller. Keep adjusting until all of your script text fits inside the bleed out.
Slicing The Bleed Out Text
After it is sized correctly I like to change the color so I can see what I am doing for the next step. Place your bleed out image over your background text.
You can select both the text and the bleed out and then click align on the top toolbar. Align them both horizontally and vertically. That said you may want not want it perfectly centered if it blocks too much of the background text. Make adjustments as needed.
Once you are happy with the placement, select them both and click the slice button on the bottom right toolbar.
Separate the sliced parts and select them all and hit the delete button. Now you can move your script up into the space left in the background text.
It’s super important to remember to select your script text and change it back from print to cut.
If you want to cut this all one color be sure to select both and click the attach button before you click the make it button.
If you want the script to be a different color, don’t attach them. But add the squares like I showed you above on how to line up your adhesive vinyl.
Do you want to make it a stencil for a painted sign? You can do that too. See my How To Make A Stencil In Cricut Design Space post 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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