How to Upload Simple JPEGs into Cricut Design Space and Turn Them into Cut Files

JPEG files are saved with a solid background, instead of a transparent background. Therefore, they require a little additional cleanup when importing them into Cricut Design Space and turning them into cut files. Keep reading for a step-by-step guide for uploading and cleaning up Simple JPEG Files or scroll to the bottom for a step-by-step video tutorial.

Once you have opened and logged into Cricut Design Space, either start with a new canvas or with the design you want to add the JPEG image to. In the left, vertical toolbar, select the bottom option, UPLOAD. This brings you to a screen in which you can Upload an Image, Upload a Pattern or select from a Recent Upload. We are uploading a new image, so select UPLOAD IMAGE.

To upload a file, select UPLOAD from the left menu bar and then UPLOAD IMAGE.

Once you select Upload Image, the next screen will allow you to either drag and drop your file or browse and navigate your computer to find the file. If you have the file readily accessible, you can drag and drop and move on. Most of the time, I select BROWSE and navigate my computer to get to the proper folder and file.

Select BROWSE and you will be able to navigate your computer files to find the file you want to upload.

Once you have double-clicked on the file, double-click on it to select it. You will now see a preview of the file on the left with 3 Image Type options on the right. The options are Simple, Moderately Complex, and Complex. Other posts will get into the Moderately Complex and Complex images, however, they are beyond the scope of this post. In this blog post, we are sticking with a simple image which has high contrast colors (black type) on a monochrome background (white background). Therefore, select SIMPLE and Continue.

This file is a simple image with high contrast colors and a solid background. Select SIMPLE and CONTINUE.

At this point, the file looks fine. There are not any glaring errors or noticeable problems. To avoid this assumption in the future, I’m going to show what would happen if you selected continue at this point and then I will show you a couple simple clean up steps needed to turn these words into cut files.

The JPEG file without any cleanup or removal of the solid background.

If continue was selected at this point, you would only have the option of a Print Then Cut image as the JPEG image is one solid block because the background has not been removed.

Without removing the background, your option is Print Then Cut. The Cut image would be a solid square.

OK, so we now realize that this isn’t ready quite yet. There is one simple clean up step we need to do in order to make it a cut file and a second, optional, step.

First, the optional step. For the project, we only need the words Christmas and Morning, therefore, we don’t need to worry about cleaning up Day or Eve. Use the CROP tool in the upper left and click and drag it over the words Christmas and Morning and release. What’s left is only the words Christmas and Morning, Day and Eve have been removed. Note: If you did not select an area big enough to cover Christmas and Morning and accidentally cut off part of the words, simply hit the Undo button in the top right corner and try again. It does not matter how close or wide you get to the words as we will remove the background in the next step. While it saves time at this point to remove the parts of the file we aren’t using for this project, this is optional and if you plan on using the file again, you may want to clean up all of the words and save the file in your Cricut Design Space account.

Now, the required clean up step to turn this JPEG file into a cut file. The image still has a solid white background. To remove the background, select the Select and Erase tool (looks like a magic wand) in the upper left corner. Move the cursor anywhere on the white and right-click with the mouse. All of the white, except for areas enclosed in letters, will disappear and you will have a blue and white checked background which signifies a transparent background. To remove the remaining white that is inside the letters, click on the magnifying glass with + sign in the upper right corner to zoom. Move the mouse to a white area inside a letter and click to remove it. Don’t worry if you miss and part of your design is deleted. Simply use the Undo button in the top right to restore it. Once the background has been removed and the image cleaned up, select CONTINUE.

The following screen provides two options: Save as Print Then Cut or Save a Cut Image. It defaults to Save as a Print Then Cut, so simply select the box on the right to save it as a Cut Image. The image name will automatically populate, but you can change it at this point. Also, if you wish, you can add some tags to the image to make it easier to find later. Select SAVE in the bottom right to continue.

Select the image on the right to save it as a Cut Image. You can also edit the name and add tags on this screen.

Now the file will show up as the top left image under Recent Downloads. Select the image and INSERT IMAGE.

Select the image under Recent Uploads and select INSERT IMAGE.

Now you have your image uploaded to Cricut Design Space as a cut file. Two more quick steps and you’re ready to hit the MAKE IT button.

First, make sure to resize the image to what you need for your project. For the sample project, I need the word Christmas to be about 3 1/4″ wide. With the words selected, click and drag on the circle on the bottom right corner (has two arrows pointed in opposite directions) to resize the words. This step is easiest to do at this point when both words are connected in the same layer.

Click and drag the circle in the bottom right corner to resize your image.

The file could be cut at this point, but you would waste paper. The two words are still linked together in the same layer and would be cut with the spacing shown on the screen. We are going to use the Slice tool to turn this image into two separate layers. To begin, we need a shape larger than one of the words. Go to the Shapes tool in the left menu and select the square. Resize the square so it completely covers the word Morning. Next, select the square and the words and then select Slice in the bottom right tool bar. You can then delete the grey box, the grey word “Morning” and you will be left with two layers and two words independent of each other. At this point, if you project called for it, you could resize either or both words independently of each other.

To separate the image into 2 independent words, select a square from the Shapes tool Resize it to completely cover one of the words. Select the words and the square and then Slice in the bottom right corner.

At this point, you are ready to hit MAKE IT! Congrats – you did it! Here is the sample file on a completed layout.

Completed layout using the Christmas and Morning cut files. Layout completed with the PhotoPlay Christmas Cheer collection. Layout is part of the Christmas Cheer Starry Night Kit.

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Please watch the following video for a step-by-step video tutorial. Enjoy and Happy Creating!

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