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Do you have a new Cricut Machine and you’re ready to craft? Whether you have one of the Cricut Maker Machines or the Cricut Explore Air, you’re in the right place.
All Cricut machines use Cricut Design Space (except for Cricut Expression). And today, you’ll learn how to mirror images in Cricut Design Space.
There are several instances when you’ll need to mirror your design in Cricut Design Space. You’ll learn when you need to mirror on Cricut and why.
And I’ll let you know when mirroring a design isn’t necessary. Plus, you’ll see step-by-step instructions on how to mirror your image using the desktop version and the mobile Cricut app version.
And I even have an excellent mirroring tip for you that will make your life so much easier. And several for Heat Transfer Vinyl that you don’t want to miss.
Let’s jump in.
When to Mirror on Cricut
The general rule is you’ll need to mirror your design on Cricut anytime you use heat-transfer vinyl (aka iron-on vinyl or HTV) HTV is the type of vinyl used to make custom vinyl t-shirts, tote bags and most anything you can think of that’s fabric. You can even use heat transfer vinyl on wood!
The reason you need to mirror is that most HTV comes with a shiny plastic carrier sheet. This means you do not need extra transfer tape to get your design onto your product. The carrier sheet side will face down on your cutting mat with the vinyl side up so the vinyl can be cut.
TIP: Having a hard time trying to figure out which side of the HTV is the right side to place down on your cutting mat? Use your weeding tool and poke one of the corners of the HTV. If you can poke through and pull the vinyl off the carrier or transfer sheet, that is the side that goes up. Your weeding tool won’t be able to poke through the carrier sheet. So if you can’t poke through, that’s the carrier sheet side.
After the design cuts, you will weed out the parts not needed for the design and then flip it over to heat press your shirt or other projects. So if the design is not a mirror image before it’s cut, it will be backward on your shirt.
Forgetting to mirror is the bane of every crafter’s existence in the Cricut world. From newbies to expert crafters, we’ve all forgotten to mirror our design more than once!
You’ll also need to mirror your design for all Cricut Infusible ink projects for the same reason.
So what are the instances you don’t have to mirror your image on Cricut? And the answer is pretty much any other project you make will not need to be mirrored. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule.
The only exception I can think of is if you want to put an adhesive vinyl decal on the back side of glass or acrylic. For your design to read correctly from the front side, it would need to be mirrored first.
Ok now that we have why we need to mirror figured out, let’s see how we mirror on Cricut
How to Mirror on Cricut Desktop Version
To mirror your image on the desktop version, you’ll do so on what’s known as the mat screen. This is the screen you’ll see after you click the make it button.
On the mat screen you’ll see a version of how each one of the colors that you load onto the mat will cut. Many heat transfer vinyl designs will have more than one color in the design.
If your design has 5 different colors of vinyl, you should see five different colored mats. The colors indicate the color of vinyl you’ll load onto the mat. For most cases, you’ll cut all HTV using the green standardgrip mat Under each mat, you’ll see the mirror button as shown in the following screenshot.
Toggle that button to on, and it will turn green, and you’ll see that your image is now mirrored.
IMPORTANT! This only mirrors the selected mat. You will have to select each individual mat and toggle on the mirror button for that part of your design to mirror.
SUPER IMPORTANT:: After mirroring each mat, it’s easy to leave that last mat selected. You need to go back and select mat one before you click the continue button.
So let’s just say the last mat is purple. And when you click continue, you didn’t go back up and select mat one. Cricut will cut purple first because that was the last selected mat. And you’ll most likely have black vinyl loaded to cut, because that’s mat number one.
I’ve made that mistake more times than I can count lol
Cricut Mirroring Hack
So here’s a cool hack that will allow you to bypass mirroring each mat separately. And that’s back on the Design Space Canvas. So before you even click the make it button….. Select your whole design and the go to the top menu and select Flip. Then Select Filp Horizontally.
This mirrors your entire design at once and you don’t have to worry about remembering to select each mat. I really think this is the best practice for saving yourself future headaches.
It’s also easier for me to remember to mirror doing it this way. And I don’t have to worry about remembering to go back up and select mat one. Of course, you may have no problem with all of those steps, by my ADD brain gets distracted easily lol
How to Mirror on the Cricut App IOS and Android
On the Cricut App when you are ready to cut, click the make it button on the upper right corner. And on the next screen, you see your first mat. On the upper-left corner of the app there is a little mat icon.
It will have the number of mats (colors of vinyl) you’ll need to load for your design. Tap on that icon, and it will open a new screen. Below each mat, you will see the word mirror with a toggle button. Tap the button so it toggles to green and that mat will be mirrored.
Just like with the desktop version, you’ll need to scroll down and toggle on the mirror for each individual mat.
Once you have all the mats toggled to mirror, scroll back up and select mat one and then select close.
To do the hack of flipping your image from the Design Space Canvas, first select your whole design. Then on the bottom menu scroll over until you see edit. Tap edit and scroll over and tap horizontal.
This will mirror your whole image at once. Now when you click the make it button, you don’t have to worry about mirroring each mat. Flipping the image is a really good idea to make sure you don’t miss mirroring a mat!
Want more easy-to-follow Design Space tutorials? Click a blog post below
How to use the Combine Menu in Cricut Design Space
How to Upload SVG Files and Images to Cricut
Where to Find Free Fonts for Cricut and Add them to Design Space
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.
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