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Cricut Design Space for Dummies: How to Get Started with CDS

This the first video in a series on how to use Cricut Design Space for dummies (And no one is dumb, but we all feel that way when we start!)

When I got my first Cricut cutting machine I did a happy dance.  A full on jump in the air singing kind of jig.  Schoolgirl giddiness just oozed out of me.

cricut design space for dummies

Opening the box was like Christmas morning as a child for me. Seeing the beautiful machine for the first time and thoughts of all the t-shirts, signs, cards, and possibilities started whirling around in my head.

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Then the sudden realization that I didn’t actually know how to use it swept over me and took me down a few notches.  How the heck do I use this machine and what can it actually do?

Are you asking yourself the same questions?  Well, don’t panic, I’m here to help.  I am starting a video series on how to actually use the Cricut Design Space software. (Spoiler!) If you don’t know how to use that well, you really can’t do much with the machine itself.


But first off, CONGRATS!!  An electronic cutting machine is so worth it once you realize the magnitude of what this brilliant machine can do.  I was determined not to let my machine collect dust and watched a ton on YouTube videos.  Back then there wasn’t a whole lot because you could only use cartridges.

Gone are those days and thank goodness!!  No longer are there limitations on what you can design and having to keep purchasing more and more cartridges.  I can’t tell you how much money I spent on cartridges… sigh

Did you finally get a Cricut and now wonder how the heck to use it?? This is the first video in a series on how to use Cricut Design Space for dummies (And none of us are dumb, but we all feel that way when we start!)

Today we are just going to talk about creating an account in Cricut Design Space.

Cricut Design Space for Dummies:  Starting with the Program

  1. Go to  On the top right corner of the screen click on DESIGN.cricut design space for dummies
  2. Once you are in the design screen, you will be prompted to sign in.  If you don’t already have an account, click CREATE A CRICUT ID.cricut design space for dummies
  3. On the next screen, fill in your information.  The email you enter will be your ID.cricut design space for dummies
  4. Once you hit the green button, you will be taken into Cricut Design Space.  This is where the magic happens!  Make sure to bookmark this page to your toolbar so you can always find it easily.cricut design space for dummies

Your home screen will not look exactly like mine.  “My Projects” comes up first so every project I have has a picture to it.  Yours will too once you start making projects.

I’ve Signed In, Now What??

I made an overview video to just get your feet wet and see what you can do in the Cricut Design Space software.  There is so much to cover that each subsequent video will go more in-depth into each function.

Part 2:  All Things Font in Cricut Design Space – watch this video to find out where to get free fonts, how to upload, how to attach cursive letters, and much more in this tutorial. (click on the purple title!)

Part 3:  Accessing Extra Characters and Fonts to use in Cricut Design Space – learn how to easily access those secret glyphs to make your font stand out in CDS.

Part 4: How to Make a Split Letter Monogram in Cricut Design Space – learn how to make a unique way to monogram anything


Make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel so you don’t miss any videos in the Cricut Design Space for dummies series!

The video will play at the top or the side of this post.  Make sure to turn on the volume to listen to it.

Again, this is just a small part of what you can do in Cricut Design Space.  I didn’t want to overload you all at once.  In the next tutorial, we will learn about all things Text and Fonts, including where I like to get my fonts from.

I also have a new post all about must have Cricut Maker accessories you should check out.

If you’d like to save this tutorial for later, hover over the top left of the image below and PIN IT now.

cricut design space for dummies pin

Thank you so much for stopping by.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

Have a creative day!

leap of faith crafting

Vicki Benoit

Wednesday 10th of March 2021

Im a newbie as well. some days I am scared to death to touch it. I got a cricut explore 2, and I bought a printer. My ? is, when it says "print to cut", the little light comes on searching for cut lines on my white paper. it always says it doesnt detect cut lines. what am i doing wrong?

Leap of Faith Crafting

Wednesday 10th of March 2021

That's weird especially if it is a white piece of paper. Is your printer actually printing the lines? Are you putting the paper in the upper left hand corner of the mat?


Wednesday 20th of May 2020

Do you have anything more basic? I am a total and complete idiot. I cried with joy when I got my Cricut maker, and now I’m crying because I can’t do anything! I did the practice cut fine. Now I can’t cut anything and I need a printer?!?!? For real, all I want is to maybe cut a title for a scrap book page or an embellishment. SOMETHING! ANYTHING except the practice cut. I got all the spacing and stuff that’s all good, I just want to make it cut. Any advice other than returning it and spending the money on booze? Thanks!

Leap of Faith Crafting

Sunday 24th of May 2020

Oh no, don't cry! It can be overwhelming at first but it gets so much easier. I do have a Cricut shirt tutorial that is from the start to finish and is pretty much the same as cardstock except you don't turn on mirror and the setting is obviously different. Just place the cardstock on a green mat and load it when Design Space prompts you. Find the tutorial at

Jill Johncox

Wednesday 13th of May 2020

I have a cricut joy and I would like to make atleast a 12" long welcome..but my question design space do I set it up to go left to right or do I have to set it up by going the long way (top left corner and down(?? how do I get a choice of having more fonts available?

Leap of Faith Crafting

Sunday 24th of May 2020

Hi Jill, CDS will automatically place it so cuts correctly on the mat. For a Joy, it will turn it so it cuts horizontal. If you are just cutting adhesive vinyl to put it on a sign just cut it normal. To use more fonts, download free fonts from or other free font sites on your computer. I have a tutorial on fonts at


Wednesday 25th of December 2019

I am a newby. When I loaded my vinyl on mat and loaded, pressed the cricut button , I get a message "tool detection" then the power light starts blinking and nothing happens. I cleaned the tool and detector. Did I get a bad machine?

Leap of Faith Crafting

Friday 27th of December 2019

Usually that means it's trying to detect which tool is in. If you have the correct tool in that shouldn't happen. Have you tried a different project to see if it keeps happening? It shouldn't happen if the tool is in. Definitely contact Cricut if it is still happening. They are great at working with you! is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to