Have you ever seen those decals with a decorative shadow behind the text and you’re wondering how did they add shadow to letters like that? Well there’s a ton of different ways to get the shadow effect using all kinds of different programs like Photoshop or Inkscape but not everyone has Photoshop and Inkscape has a bit of a learning curve so I’m going to show you the fastest and easiest way to add shadow to letters in Cricut Design Space.
You’re going to need a smartphone app called Phonto. It’s a free app and there’s SO much you can do with it but we’ll just start with the shadow. Head to your app store and download Phonto so you can continue the tutorial. Also make sure to watch the video on how to add shadow to letters for some extra tips on getting fonts in Phonto and how to thicken skinny fonts to make them easier to cut with your Cricut.
Step 1: Open Phonto and click the camera at the bottom of the screen then select “plain image”.
Step 2: Choose the white square in the top right hand corner (it’s next to the black square and may be hard to see). Once the white square is selected click the “upload icon” in the top right hand corner of your screen and select “use”. You will now see a white square in the middle of your screen.
Step 3: Tap the white square, tap “add text”, add in your text and click “done” (you can change the font later, I’ll show you how).
Step 4: Once you have your text added select “style”. You will see 3 options, text, stroke and background. Text will be highlighted in grey and this is where we want to start. Change your text color to white by clicking the white color box under the word text. You will see your text turn white (you may not be able to see it at all but that’s okay, don’t worry about that).
Adding the Shadow
Step 5: Now that your text is white you’ll select the “stroke” box so that it is highlighted in grey. Turn the stroke black by clicking the black square under the word stroke. You will now see a black outline around your word. Go down to the bottom of the screen and find the “width” slider. Slide that up until you get your desired shadow. (Note, some words may not achieve a full shadow but you can fix that in design space.) Once you have the shadow you want click “done”, click the “upload icon” in the bottom right corner and save the image to your phone.
Step 6: Awesome, you have your shadow saved but now you need to save the text inside the shadow. Click your word and select “style” again. This time go to “stroke” and pull the “width slider” back down to remove the shadow. (Tip, you may want to leave some of the shadow if your font is super skinny. The Cricut has a harder time cutting skinny font and this is a good way to thicken the font a little.)
Step 7: Once the shadow is removed select “text” again and turn your text back to black. Select “done” and then the “upload icon” and save that image to your phone.
You’ll need to transfer the 2 images you saved from your phone to your computer if you’re doing this on a desktop. You can do it in the Cricut app too if you prefer.
Step 1: Once you’re in Cricut Design Space you’ll need to upload the images you saved into a new project. Make sure you’re only deleting the white background around the shadow and not the inner white part. For the word you’ll delete the white background and all the inner parts of the letters just like normal.
Step 2: Resize and arrange your design. Choose your colors and cut.
You’re done! It’s that easy to add shadow to letters in Cricut Design Space. Don’t forget to watch the video “how to add shadow to letters in Cricut Design Space” for some tips on thickening font and adding fonts into Phonto.