Saturday, February 7, 2015

Cricut Explore Tutorial - How To Cut Images Larger Than Your Mat

Hello. I am back with a new tutorial. This one had been requested a couple of times.

Everyone wants to know how to cut an image larger than the mats. You can use this with both sizes of mats, 12 x 12 and 12 x 24. So you can cut large images and only use a 12 x 12 mat.

I am using image #M3AA00 for the tree and #M41F28 for the rectangle. I sized the rectangle 11 x 11 so it will fit on the 12 x 12 mat. Remember, even tho the mat is 12 x 12, you can cut up to 11.5 x 11.5. Copy as many rectangle you are going to need to cover the whole image. And you have to do each layer at a time. This had two layer, so you will have to do this for each layer. I hope they will update slice to allow it to do more than 1 layer at a time.

Zoom out so you can see the whole image on the screen.

Most important step is to not move anything during this, especially when cutting in each layer.
Place you squares over the image. You want them to line up, they can even overlap slightly. And no gaps. You need to make sure the whole image fits in a square, which is going to be each mat.

This tree has two layers, so you need to work with each layer. The eye is your friend in this. Hide every layer you are not working with. To slice, you can only use 2 images at a time. I will show you how to do this when two images take up the same square, like the bottom of the tree and the words.
Select the tree and the first square and slice.

Once you slice, it makes 3 layers. Delete the big square.

Hide the cut layer.

Now you want the tree and the second square. Select the two images and slice.

Keep doing this until you are done.

Here is what you do when there are two layers and you can't slice them.
Choose the square and the first layer. Slice.

Now don't delete the created square. Use that and slice the second layer.

Now delete the square. Both of the layers will be cut.

Here is the layer all cut up. Make sure there are no gaps. Work on the next layer the same way. There is no second layer for the font, so it will only be the tree. Which makes things easier.

If you sized the correctly, they will fit in the mat. You don't have to hide all the layers and do one mat at a time, but if it is too detailed, you may get the wheel of death. I recommend doing it that way to avoid frustration.

Here is it after being cut. This was just a test cut for this tutorial, so I used contact paper. But for some reason, it was not wanting to stick. So I only cut two of the panels. And it looks like crap, but you get the idea.

Here is the panel after being weeded.  Transfer paper will be your friend here. It will make things easier to line up.

I adhered it to the 'wall'.  Make sure to burnish well so it is smooth.

Take you time and line up the new panel with the old. You want the seam to be invisible. Really take your time and make it perfect. If you do this right, no one will know that it isn't one giant piece.

Burnish well and remove the transfer paper. Keep doing this til the whole project is done.

  Here are the two panels. Its about 22 in wide. Other than the fact it did not want to stick, you can't even tell where the seam is.

So there you go. You are no longer limited to the size of the mat when making projects. Go ahead, vinyl your whole wall above the stairs or behind the couch. Just remember to use indoor vinyl for these projects.

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  1. Thank you for sharing! Much appreciated!!

  2. I did it, you are so smart, the directions were so easy to do, thanks so much. Have been wanting to put a saying on my wall about my grandchildren and you made it so easy.

  3. Thank you for sharing! Great tutorial

  4. Hello I have a question, does the Cricut Explore Air only cut images on the cutting mat or can it cut straight from the vinyl roll? I want to cut a longer image...

  5. Hi!
    I love your tutorial. Only, when I tried to apply it to my project my slice option is greyed out... Do you know how I can fix this?

    1. Make sure you only have two layers selected. If you have 3 or more, slice will not work. You can get around this by welding your bottom layer so it reads as 1 and then just slice with the square. I learned the welding trick after this was made.

  6. Hi!
    I love your tutorial. Only, when I tried to apply it to my project the slice option was greyed out....Do you know how to fix this?

  7. Do you do this the same way with large text? I want to do a wall quote above french doors with letters that are 5 inches tall. The quote is "Love each other as I have loved you" so it's longer than the mat. Can't find anything that shows me how to do this when you only have a 12x12 mat. I love your post!

  8. I have an Expression not an Explore. The Cricut Design Space does not work with the Expression. Is there a similar way to do this in the Cricut Craft Room?