The Cricut Contour Tool is really an amazing tool if you know how to use it. Just think of it as a “magic eraser”. You use the Cricut Contour Tool to get rid of cuts you don’t want your Cricut to make. In this tutorial I’ll go over a few different ways to use the contour tool and also some ways you can’t use it.
Example 1: Reverse or Inverted Cut Lines
In this example I use the Contour tool to invert the cut lines of a specific design. Take a look at the image below. The original image was going to cut a large football and then cut out the laces and some additional detail from the middle of the football. I wanted my design to just be the laces and additional detail. I didn’t actually want the whole football. So I simply highlighted the football design and clicked “contour”. From there I clicked away the football outline and I got my reverse or inverted image.
Example 2: Removing words and shapes from a design
Another really handy feature of the Cricut Contour Tool is removing unwanted parts of a design. In this example I have a 4th of July design and I want to make it just a normal design by removing the star and the word “merica”. I use the contour tool for both. Simply ungroup the image then select the portion you want to start with. While that section is highlighted, click the contour tool and then click out any unwanted shapes, words or letters. Continue on until you’ve removed all the unwanted parts. See pics below.
Example 3: Filling in open spaces of letters
You can also use the contour tool to fill in the open spaces of letters like making the “O” or “D” solid or filling in other open spaces. In this example the font used has some cut out in the first letter of each word. When working with adhesive vinyl those cuts may be too intricate to make so you’d want to fill them in. You can use the contour tool to do that too by just clicking away the cut out parts. See the photos below. Also, for some additional ways to work with text, check out my tutorial on how to connect and curve cursive fonts.
Some things to remember
There are a few things you can’t do with the contour tool. You cannot contour text that you’ve typed in using the text tool in Design Space. You can only contour text you’ve imported in the form of a SVG. So if you have a design you uploaded to design space and then put that design in your project, you can contour the text. If you’re creating your own design and typing your own text, you cannot contour it.
Also, in order for the contour tool to be available in your menu, you have to ungroup any grouped designs. That’s really all there is to it. I hope you enjoy using your new “magic eraser” otherwise known as the Cricut Contour Tool. Make sure to check out the video below for a few extra examples.