Yes, you can still make knockouts in Cricut Design Space! I know there has been a lot of controversy lately about making knockouts in Cricut Design Space since the “Save As” feature was disabled. This is due to some legality for Cricut however, knockouts can still be done. In this tutorial I’ll show you 2 different methods for creating knockouts.
Method One Using Phonto
In this method you’ll need a smart phone app called Phonto. It is a free app and you can download it on an iPhone or Android phone. Once you have the app on your phone, follow the steps below to create your center word (the word you are going to use for the knockout portion of your design):
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).
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. From here you just upload the images you saved in to design. Skip down to “How to Create Knockouts in Cricut Design Space”.
Method Two for Creating Knockouts in Cricut Design Space Using Inkscape
For this method you’ll need the free design software Inkscape. Just Google Inkscape Download and it should be the first link that comes up. You can choose to download for either Windows or Mac. Once you have Inkscape downloaded follow the steps below to create the center word of your knockout.
Step 1: Open Inkscape and click the “Text” Icon on the left side menu bar and type in the word you want. You can click the “Select” icon at the top of the menu and then make your word larger if you need to. Make sure you “Lock” your design before resizing it or the scale will be all funky. (Pics below for the “text”, “select” and “lock” icons.)
Step 2: Choose the font you’d like for your word. Inkscape will show any font you have downloaded to your computer. Just click the “text” icon again and you will see the font drop down appear in the top left corner of your screen. Once you have the word you want in the font you want follow the next steps exactly.
Step 3: Select your word (make sure you go back to the selector icon) and click “Path” then “Object to Path” at the top of your screen. (See the photo above for the path menu.)
Step 4: Your word will now all be separated out by letters (you won’t see it but it is). Select the whole word by dragging a box around it or clicking each individual letter while holding shift. Make sure every letter is selected then to go “path” and then “union”. This will basically weld your word like you weld in Design Space.
Step 5: Now that your word is all one path or “welded” you can start to create the shadow. Select the word and go back to “path” then select “Linked Offset”. You will notice your cursor change to a skinny cursor and there will be a diamond at the top of your word. Don’t mess with any of that. Just use your keyboard and hold down “Ctrl” and hit the right parenthesis “)” as many times as you want to get the desired thickness for your shadow.
Step 6: Once you have your shadow as thick as you want click back in to the “selector” icon and click the middle of your word. Drag down and you’ll see your original word and also the shadow layer you created. There will be 2 separate parts now. To remove any gaps in your shadow layer, select the shadow layer, go to “path” and then “Break Apart”. You’ll see some little boxes appear in your shadow layer. Next click “Path” and then “union” and the boxes will disappear and so will any gaps.
Step 7: Change the color of the main word (use the color boxes at the bottom of the screen) and reposition it to the middle of your shadow. Select “Object” and then “Group” and this will group your text and shadow together. Size the whole thing down to fit the page and then click “Save As”. Your design will save as Inkscape SVG and you can import that directly into Design Space.
How to Create Knockouts in Cricut Design Space
Now that you have your knockout word created in either Inkscape or Phonto you can import it into Design Space. Once you’re in Design Space choose a bold and simple text for your main word. In my example I chose “Algerian” text and the word “Merry”. Resize the word as needed. You’ll probably want to make it a bit taller so you can get a good knockout in the middle. When you’ve got it looking the way you want, “weld” the word together.
Next move your shadow layer text to the middle of your word and “Slice” it out. This creates the actual knockout. From there place your center text (in my example it was Christmas) in the middle of your knockout and you’re all done.