Quick Card Making Tips & Tricks

February 10, 2017 • Contributor: Product Marketing Manager Cortney Haymond

So you need a quick card, but you have some quick questions …

I have received several questions lately on card making. What are the two biggest obstacles you ask?

  1. How do I work with the scoring tool?
  2. How do I use fonts with writing styles?

If either of these questions have crossed your mind, even for a moment, keep on reading (even if they haven’t crossed your mind you should keep going, this is good stuff, if I do say so myself. Also there are pictures, just saying).

First order of business is picking the card you want to make. Whether it is from our awesome “Ready to Make” project collection, or one you are starting from scratch, there are a few things you will want to know.

Most cards have fold lines, if the card you’re making has one you will need a scoring stylus. It looks like this…


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Today I have chosen a “Ready to Make” card project to work with. However, I am going to customize it to fit my personality a bit more.

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This card has four score lines (folds) in it, which I love because it sets it apart from the bi-fold cards outs there. Another thing I love about this card it that it combines cutting and writing/drawing. Once I have hit the customize button I can start to get creative.

The first thing I want to do is change the phrase. While I like this phrase, I want something a little curlier to match the fun embellishments on the sides of the card.


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I will need to detach the writing layer from the heart in order to change the font.


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Once I have done that I am going to delete the text and create a new text box. Now I can write whatever saying I want. After I have written out my phase, I am going to click on the edit tab and choose a font. Now because I want this to be written instead of cut, I am going to want pick a font that has an associated writing style. I can do that by clicking the first drop down menu and clicking “Has a Writing Style.”


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All you have to do now is pick the font you like the best. If you read my last post about fonts you will know that I have a lot of favorites, today I think I will use one called P.S. Post Script.


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You will notice that the letters aren’t connected at this point. If you would like to connect them, there are two different ways. First, in the edit tab there is a place for “Line Spacing” and “Letter Spacing.” I think that I will use both.  By decreasing both the line space and the letter space, I am able to get the letters and words exactly where I want them.


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Want to know your second option? Of course you do!!! *In my announcer voice* “Okay, lets show our viewers at home what is behind door #2 ...”


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“It’s the ‘Isolate letters’ button!” By isolating the letters, you can move them independently of each other to achieve the look you desire.


Once you isolate the letters you cannot, I repeat, cannot change the font. I often make a duplicate of my phrase or word before doing this, just in case I change mind my mind (it happens a lot okay!).

After you have them in your desired configuration, draw a square around them with your mouse (or finger if you are on the app) and attach or weld them to one another (we will go over the difference of these two in another post, stay tuned).

Make sure you reattach your phrase to your card, or else it won’t write where you want it to. Now just hit the go button and head to the cut screen. The biggest piece of advice I can give you (and this goes for more than just cards) is to follow the prompts on your screen. They will tell you when you need a scoring stylus and when you will need a pen. They both go in the same spot (clamp A, the one that doesn’t have a blade) so you will only use one at a time.

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I have another tip for you. Remember that first picture I showed you of the scoring stylus (it’s okay, you can scroll back up and look at it)? Did you see the arrow (you can go look at it again)? Well, when you put the scoring stylus or the pen for that matter into the clamp, if you don’t see that arrow disappear, then you don’t have it in all the way. For those of you with scoring stylus and pen frustrations you may want to try this ...


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Hold up the clamp with your finger as you push the Stylus or Pen into place. This will help you to feel when it has clicked in correctly. From there just cut, assemble, and give to someone you love!

Did this post answer some of your questions? It did? Let me know in the comments below. You still have more? Well don’t hesitate to ask, just do so in the comments section. Hugs and high fives all around!


21 thoughts on “Quick Card Making Tips & Tricks

  1. I made this card and changed the font, like you did, except I had to restart the program several times to get it to show up properly on the mat.

    Also, I got some sort of shadow in the design on the edges.

    Can you address those issues?

  2. I really like that the Cricut Explore has the write/draw feature but the last time I tried it I found it a little frustrating to figure out how to get the writing where I wanted it. Thank you for the step by step instructions! I am inspired to try again…

  3. Hi. I just recently purchased a scoring stylus and have it inserted into my machine correctly, but it never seems to get a good score, I always have to go back over with it with a ruler and the stylus separately. Any suggestions? Thank you!

    • I find that going over the scoring part while it’s still in the machine helps. After it has finished the first cutting I press the GO button again and stop the machine after it has done the scoring a second time. HTH

  4. Even though I click the pen in until I don’t see the arrow many of my phrases skip quite a few of the letters. I even bought new pens and this still happens. What am I doing wrong?

    • Maizies Mom,

      Sometimes I forget to close the clamp again after inserting my pen or scoring stylus. This can lead to skipped letters or phrases. If that doesn’t help, let me know and I will see what other ways I can solve this problem for you.

  5. Great tutorial. I just got the Explore One for Christmas. I will have to switch out the blade for the stylus and pen. Have not actually done this yet (only cut vinyl), but will attempt this now that I’ve seen how to make this card. It’s also reassuring that I will get prompts from the software for when to do the change out. Thanks for the help!

  6. Thank you for sharing this. I have done a few items with words or names. I did not know of the “isolate letters” button. That makes it SOOOO much easier than doing it my way manually breaking them up and welding them back together. LOL!

  7. I really like this card – and thank you for the tips. I wondered if its possible to change the heart cut out to something else? Also, most of the time the score lines are nearly impossible to see, I have been duplicating the score lines in design space to get it to score it a second time, but I wondered if there is an adjustment to get the scoring stylus to press down harder?

  8. I know alot already but i just have to say that this message was simply and easy to understand. Ty for making this soo simple to understand.

  9. I have checked the clamp and it is closed all the way. Is it possible that the machine needs balancing? I wouldn’t know how to do that.

  10. I know it has been awhile since this was posted. I got my Air 2 recently, and just getting around to reading everything I can. Should have done that first! but, I just wanted to cut! now that I see that the Cricut does more than cut, I’m going back to learn.

    I to have the same problem with my scoring working right. I did what was suggested here, to no avail. Also, trying out writing with the machine. I still have yet to get the text where I wanted it to be. Thanks for your easy explanations,

    • I am sorry that you are having problems. Contact us at cricut.com/chat and we can help you troubleshoot the scoring problem.

  11. With the new design space I am making a heart and then writing a saying inside, I have grouped this and say make it, it shows to mats cuts the heart, then tells me to unload mat without writing the
    saying, Help!!!

  12. Pingback: What Kinds Of Crafts & DIY Projects Can I Make With My Cricut Machine?

  13. Thank you for sharing this article it cuts out lots of the frustration I had. I Am very new with the Explore air 2.

  14. Scoring problem solution:
    1. Save your project! (Super important!)
    2. Make your project.
    3. Click “finish”.
    4. Leave the card on the mat!
    5. In Design Space, delete everything except the scoring lines.
    6. Increase the material setting on the machine by 2 clicks.
    7. Make the project again.
    (It should score without cutting this time.)
    8. Click “finish”.
    9. In Design Space, click “undo” until you get back everything you
    deleted, or exit WITHOUT SAVING. If you saved in step 1,
    your project will revert to the way it was before you deleted
    10. Don’t forget to reset the dial on your machine!
    If you forget, you will probably cut into your mat next time.

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