The Contour Tool in Cricut Design Space

The Contour Tool in Cricut Design Space

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Welcome and thank you so much for being here with me today.

The Contour Tool in Cricut Design Space with examples you can follow along with

Today we will be discussing the Contour tool in Cricut Design Space from what the contour tool is to what this tool does along with talking about the basics and discussing why it sometimes doesn’t work. By the end of this article, you will no longer have all those questions you did at the beginning such as why can’t I use this tool?

So we have been talking about the five tools in Cricut Design Space. We have talked about the Slice, Attach, Weld, Flatten, and today is Contour.

Brand New to Cricut Design Space? No worries! Check out my helpful Ultimate Beginners Guide to Cricut Design Space

Before we get started, let’s first talk about what the Contour Tool is.

What is the Contour Tool in Cricut Design Space?

The main purpose of the Contour tool is to hide any unwanted cut lines in a single-layered image. It allows you to hide any part of the image by removing unwanted cut lines throughout the image. This allows you to modify any project to create a whole new design or image.

The original frog and the results after the contour tool has been used. This is one of the examples we will be doing together

How to use the Contour Tool In Cricut Design Space

The Contour Tool is pretty powerful and can do some pretty amazing things such as

  • Gives you the choice to pick which lines you want to keep and which ones to get rid of
    • This lets you chose which lines you want to keep and cut or hide all together
  • Lets you hide details within the image or text
    • The Contour tool allows you to take an extremely detailed design and turn it into a simpler one. You can hide those fancy cuts or take away the dots on a image.
  • Invert image to use it the opposite way
  • Turn single color into Multiple colors

The Basics-Rules for the contour tool

The Contour Tool only works with one layer at a time! If you have an image with multi-layers the contour button will not be available until you UNGROUP the image and pick the layer you want to contour.

This Tool only works with cuttable images that have more than one cut line. A JPG or PNG will not work because there is nothing there for the contour icon to do. We cant remove anything from a flattened image. The same with a circle or basic shape. We can NOT contour it because it only has one cut line and nothing to take away from it.

The Contour tool does NOT work on edited text layers which means if you wrote out a text box and edited the text you can not Contour that until you weld it together.

Lastly, if your layers are grouped, attached, flattened, or multi-layered the contour tool will not be available to use.

Example Time🥳

Let’s say we love this image but don’t care for all the dots on the frog. We can contour that and change it to our liking which we will be doing in the example below.

First things first, let us start by opening up Cricut design space and logging in. We are going to start a blank canvas, then go into images and search for frogs because I love frogs. LOL The picture below shows you the one I picked. If for some reason you can’t find it Enter M40931 in the search bar and the frog should pop up.

So now that we have the frog on our canvas, let’s notice that it is a multi-layered image. So the first thing we need to do is ungroup the image and select which layer we will be working on. See image below

So the first thing we need to do is ungroup the image and select which layer we will be working on. Remember I always like duplicating my original image. That would be your choice if you want to duplicate it or not. I selected the frog I wanted to work with and ungrouped it in the top right hand of the layers panel. You can see the frog we ungrouped vs the frog that is still grouped together.  We can see that the frog we ungrouped has workable layers to use now.
Remember I always like duplicating my original image. That would be your choice if you want to duplicate it or not. I selected the frog I wanted to work with and ungrouped it in the top right hand of the layers panel. You can see the frog we ungrouped vs the frog that is still grouped together. We can see that the frog we ungrouped has workable layers to use now.

Next, we are going to select the layer we want to contour like so

You can see the layer I want to contour is highlighted and I pointed out where the contour icon is
You can see the layer I want to contour is highlighted and I pointed out where the contour icon is

Now, we are going to hit the contour icon and a screen pops up that looks like this

Once you hit the contour icon a pop up screen appears that looks like this.
Once you hit the contour icon a pop-up screen appears that looks like this.

Areas of the Contour Pop Up Panel

  1. Image Area:  This is where you can see the image you want to contour and all the parts that are available to contour
  2. Zoom:. You can zoom in or out depending on how detailed the image
  3. Selection Panel-Right hand side: On the right hand side you can see all the pieces of your image that can be contoured.
  4. Hide/Show all Contours: If you have a lot you want to contour sometimes it is quicker to hide all contours and just pick the one you want to show or vice versa.

Now getting back to implementing- Next, we are going to remove a few of those circles. So I went to the frog and clicked on a few of the spots I didn’t want on him and for fun, I took away the shapes that defined his legs like the picture below. If you select a piece it will be a darker grey than the rest and you can also see in the picture below.

Tip- When you are contouring an image if that image is on your canvas in the right spot you can see what the contour tool is doing to your image at the same time you are contouring it.

We removed a few of those circles on the frog and removed the shapes that defined his legs
We removed a few of those circles on the frog and removed the shapes that defined his legs
Before and after results. See the frog is just how you wanted him now:)
Before and after results. See the frog is just how you wanted him now:)

And that my friends is the Contour Tool. Here are some other results you could have had. This is why I always make a copy of the original so I can continue playing to see what I can come up with. I just keep duplicating them.

that my friends is the Contour Tool. These are some other results you could of had. This is why I always make a copy of the original so I can continue playing to see what I can come up with. I just keep duplicating them.

Depending on what you are doing with the image determines the final outcome. If this was going to be a print then cut we would have to flatten it. If it was a layered cut item, we would cut all the layers and glue them together.

I hope you are starting to see the endless possibilities here. You could get 5-10 different images from the same image in Cricut Design Space.

Example #2

In this example, we are going to be using Always Take the Scenic Route in images. If you go into the image icon and type #M1A1AB12A into the search bar, this image will pop right up.

In this example we are going to be using Always Take the Scenic Route in images. If you go into the image icon and type #M1A1AB12A this image will pop right up.

Let’s select the image and hit duplicate. Now you have two of the same images on your canvas. You can hit the eye icon in the layers panel if you don’t want to see both of the images. All we did was duplicate the image here.

We are going to select the image and UNGROUP it because the Contour tool will only work with a single layer. Now that our image is ungrouped let’s work with the sunglasses. Move all the words out of the way and select the sunglasses and hit contour. A screen like this appears

We have made a copy of the image, then UNGROUPED the image. We then Moved the words out of the way to work with the sunglasses
We have made a copy of the image, then UNGROUPED the image. We then Moved the words out of the way to work with the sunglasses
Next we hit the contour tool and this pop up screen appears. We can see the image, the zoom, and the Selection Panel on the right side along with the hide all contours button
Next, we hit the contour tool and this pop-up screen appears. We can see the image, the zoom, and the Selection Panel on the right side along with the hide all contours button

This is where I want you to play around and have fun! We can really do a TON with this image. So experiment!

If you line your image up in the right spot you can see what pieces you are taking away and what it looks like each time you add a piece or take it away.

Here are a few different versions of the glasses I came up with. Just experiment and play around to see what you like and don’t like. In a few minutes, we came up with four or more designs out of one image using the contour tool.

Here are a few different versions of the glasses I came up with. Just experiment and play around too see what you like and don't like.  In a few minutes we came up with four or more designs out of one image using the contour tool.

You can also add the words how you want them and even change the saying. Some examples are below.

Need help with the slicing? Head on over to my Slice Tool in Cricut Design Space

Need help with Text editing? here is my Editing Text in Cricut Design Space article

You can also add the words how you want them and even change the saying.
This example also shows you what the inverted image would be. The original is on the top and the one below it is the inverted image that we could work with

You did it!!! Congratulations!

If you followed along with my article,

Let me see what you did with your image. Drop pictures or comments below! I want to see what you came up with!

Now Tell me- How are you going to use the contour tool in your Cricut projects?

If you enjoyed my post and it helped you, please share the love and help others too!

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