Today I’d like to share a simple way to cut large or oversized stencils using Cricut Design Space – even if you only have the standard 12″ x 12″ mat. Being able to cut large stencils comes in really handy if you want to do any large-scale projects with your Cricut, such as making cute wooden signs or huge decals. In addition, knowing how to make oversize stencils using the standard cutting mat is a great way to save a bit of money, as it means you don’t have to buy the larger 12 x 24″ Cricut mat.
Below you’ll find a step-by-step tutorial for making your own large stencils using Cricut Design Space. I know these instructions might seem like “Holy moly, information overload” at first, especially if you’re new to Cricut. I promise you, though, it’s not as complicated as it looks. It’s actually quite easy and you can totally get the hang of it! I believe in you as much as this this motivational Japanese fisherman.
If you run into any problems or need further clarification, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment. When it comes to craft and DIY, there’s no such thing as a stupid question 🙂
So, let’s get designing!
How to cut large or oversized stencils with Cricut Design Space
I am using the web-based version of Cricut Design Space. If you’re new to Cricut and not sure how Design Space works, you can access the design space here. Poke around a little to familiarise yourself with where all the buttons are before continuing.
Step 1: Prepare your image
To begin, upload your SVG cut file to Cricut Design Space by clicking the ‘Upload’ button at the bottom left of the screen (the little cloud and arrow). Once your image has uploaded, press the ‘Insert’ button at the bottom right of the screen. This will insert your image into a new project.
Resize your image to the desired size. You can do this one of two ways:
- Click and drag the little arrow symbol on the bottom right corner of the image.
- Using the ‘height’ and ‘width’ fields located on the top bar. Type in your desired height and width.
Step 2: Calculate how many mats your design will take up
There’s a tiny bit of maths here, but I promise that it’s simple. Not “I’m a math genius” simple. It’s “I’m a DIY blogger who only uses maths to figure out how much a 20% discount saves me on craft supplies” simple.
Before you continue, you’ll want to calculate how many mats your design will take up.
The maximum space your design can take up on the standard 12″ x 12″ Cricut cutting mat is 11.5″ x 11.5″.
This means you need to measure your design’s widest point in inches, then divide that number by 11.5. This will give you the number of mats you need.
My design is 28″ at its widest point.
28 divided by 11.5 = 2.4ish.
As there isn’t a “0.4ish” mat, my design would need to be cut across three separate mats.
Remember the number of mats your design needs. You will need this number in the following steps.
Step 3: Duplicate your images
Recall the number of mats your design will need to be cut across.
My design needed three mats. So I need to have three copies of my design (the original copy + two duplicates). If your design needs two mats, you’ll need two copies of your design (the original + one duplicate). If your design needs four mats, you’ll need four copies of your design (the original + three duplicates). You get the idea.
To duplicate your design, right click the image and click ‘Duplicate’.
Repeat until you have however many copies you need.
Once you have the necessary copies, move your images so that none of them touch or overlap.
Step 4: Create your ‘mats’
On the left hand toolbar, click the “shapes” button and insert a square. Type ‘11.5’ into the “W” field on the top toolbar. This will enlarge your square to 11.5″ x 11.5″ – the maximum cutting area for the standard 12″ x 12″ Cricut cutting mat.
As with your design, you’ll need to duplicate the square so you have as many squares as your design needs cutting mats.
So, if your design needs to be cut across three mats, you’ll need three squares. If your design needs to be cut across four mats, you’ll need four squares.
Once you have all your squares, hold down shift and click on each square. This will select all of your squares. Right click and select ‘Send to back’.
Hold down shift as you click on each square. Right click and select “Send to back”. This will make sure your squares appear behind, rather than in front of the text.
Step 5: Positioning the mats with overlap
Move each square so that it covers a different part of your design, but allow a bit of overlap. The easiest way for me to describe this is through pictures:
Here you can see different squares covering different parts of the design:
And here you can see where the squares ‘overlap’: The first square includes the “T” in “Christmas”, the red square also includes a bit of the “T” in Christmas. This overlap makes lining up your large stencils so much easier.
Step 6: Slicing the design
We’re nearly done now!
On the right toolbar, click on one of the copies of your design. Hold down shift and click on the square that’s behind the copy of the design you selected. Then, click “Slice” (bottom right).
At this point, a bunch of random layers will pop up in the right toolbar. Keep the one with the text, delete the rest.
Repeat with the rest of your squares until you have something like this:
Then, click the ‘Make it’ button at the top right. You’ll be brought to a screen that shows your design nicely laid out across separate mats, like a well-behaved little SVG.
And you’re done! You’re now ready to cut your very own large stencil with your swanky Cricut machine.
Next thing you know, you’ll be dominating the world with your mad craft skills.
I hope this tutorial helped! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment – I’m more than happy to help 🙂
(P.S. If you made something using this tutorial, I’d love to see a picture!)
Save me for future craft projects!