We are going to be discussing the Flatten Tool in Cricut Design Space which turns a cut file with multiple layers into a printable image with only one layer. We will learn how to use this tool and some tips and tricks that I have learned along the way.
Brand New to Cricut Design Space? Check out my Ultimate Beginners Guide to Cricut Design Space here.
What is the Flatten Tool in Cricut Design Space?
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The Flatten Tool in Cricut Design Space allows you to take images and flatten them into a single layer that is a printable image. That is called a Print then cut.
The flatten tool removes all the cut lines from inside the image and makes it a single layer to cut. Its main purpose is to flatten multiple images and layers into a Printable image with a single layer.
The Printable then gets sent to the home printer to print, then onto the Cricut cutting mat to get put into the Cricut machine.
Yes this tool has one main purpose , but does have other uses such as
- Turns multiple layered images into one layer for a print then cut
- You can make your own labels and stickers
- You can also unflatten an image and turn it into a cut image (not everything you unflatten goes back to it’s normal form)
How to use the Flatten Tool in Cricut Design Space
There are three ways that you could use this tool
- Upload an image, PNG or JPG and make it a print then cut right away
- You can go into the layers panel and click on the image you want to change to a print then cut
- Lastly you can use the flatten tool in the bottom right hand corner
So first things first, Let’s Start by opening up Cricut design space and logging in. Then we are going to start a blank canvas.
We are going to be using the Flatten button in the bottom right-hand corner in this example because I personally feel it’s the easiest and the most straightforward.
Alright, let’s go into shapes and grab a square and a heart. We are going to unlock the square and shape it like a gift tag. The size is really your choice. See the image below.
Next, we are going to duplicate the resized square so you now have a heart and two squares that have been resized which we are now going to call them tags. Take one of the tags and shrink it down smaller than the other like so
I did change the colors of my tags so you could see them better.
Next, we are going to select both tags, go up to the align button, and hit center so it centers those two tags with one another. While they are still both selected let’s go to the bottom right corner and hit the SLICE tool. The picture below shows how to do this.
Next, we are going to take that heart and size it smaller so it will fit in that cut-out we made. Once you are happy with the size let’s change the color and duplicate it one or two times. Picture Below
I always put my outline in the back so I can move the hearts without the outline in my way.
Once we are completely happy with the positioning, select the outline and move it to the front so send forward. So the outline should now be on top of the hearts.
We are now going to take the second tag we have, select it, and send it to the back. Next, make it a tad bigger and once that is done let’s move it behind the heart tag like so
You can see that my outline is now in front of the hearts.
TIP- I always Duplicate items before I do anything with them just in case something goes horribly wrong I still have the original. This has saved me so much time!!!
We are now ready to flatten the image. Let’s make sure we select the whole project, go to the flatten button in the bottom right-hand corner and hit flatten. If you need guidance the picture below should help!
The original is still multiple layers and once we flattened the image it became a print then cut. You can see that in the right-hand side layers panel below.
These are the results we should have! WOOHOOO!!! You did it!!!
You can always personalize it the way you would like and even add a hole at the top for the string, but you can also use a hole puncher as well. Just trying to be as helpful as possible here.
Once you are ready let’s hit the make it button on the top right-hand side and see what it looks like.
And there you have it! You are ready to print it out on your printer followed by the cutting with your Cricut Machine.
What we Learned
So in this example, we learned how to turn multi-layered images into a single Print then Cut image. We talked about duplicating items, slicing, items, arranging items, and Flattening them to make a print then cut.
We even learned how to make a gift tag out of basic shapes. I hope I shined some light on how much you can actually do with the basic shapes and the flatten tool.
When I first started using my Cricut I always cut everything. MAN OH MAN I was missing out on some time-saving knowledge. I literally took all those pieces and spent hours gluing them together.
One day I was talking to a crafting friend and she said, “Amanda, Why don’t you try to make some things a print and cut”. Why didn’t I know about this sooner?
This is an example of just cutting and putting together vs making all those items one layer and having most of the work done for you like we just did above.
Interested in learning about Cricut access? Here is a link that will tell you all about Cricut access. It was one of the best investments I made!
For this example, we are going to be making a bookmark! I am going into Cricut access and using an image in this example.
If you don’t have Cricut access, you can work with two basic shapes and use your creativity or you can still use the image, but you have to pay before you cut it.
To start go into the shapes icon and grab a square. Next let’s unlock that square and make it the size we want our bookmark to be, then lock it back up. The size is going to be up to you! You know how you like your bookmarks. I also changed the color of it. See picture Below
Next, we are going to go into the images icon and selecting hobbies. I scrolled until I found the image I wanted to use which was this hiking one, however you can choose whichever image you like! Select the image you want and insert the image onto the canvas.
We should now have two items on our canvas. The bookmark and hiking image like so
We are now going to take the image and size it how we want it on our bookmark. Once you are satisfied with the look go ahead and select both items, make a copy of it (Duplicate it), then go ahead a hit the flatten tool. Your Results are below:)
You did it!!!! Congratulations!!!! I am super proud of you!
Next, you would hit the Make It button and your bookmark should look like this. You would then continue on with the prompts and send it to your home printer, and then cut by your Cricut machine.
In this example, we learned how to take a basic shape and an image, rearrange them to make a bookmark with multiple layers, then how to flatten it into a single layer print then cut the image!
There have been some questions about where I purchase my items from. Here are a few places I purchase from
And if you are looking for free fonts you can read my Where to find fonts article here.
If this article helped you, Please share the love to help others too!
I would love for you to share some of the issues you are having with your Cricut machine!