5 Little Monsters: Weed, Weld, Blank? What Do All of These Cricut Terms Mean?

Weed, Weld, Blank? What Do All of These Cricut Terms Mean?

-This post sponsored by Cricut, all ideas and opinions are my own. This post may contain affiliate links.-


Sometimes when you are starting a new hobby or joining a new community you hear terms that you aren't quite sure what they mean. I see it happen a lot in crafting Facebook groups where people will talk about something using a term or slang specific to that craft and other people have no idea what they are talking about and it can be confusing. 


I know I have experienced this when I first started joining crochet groups and people would talk about frogging, what in the world do frogs have to do with crochet? It means ripping out the work that you have done (rip it, rip it, sounds like a frog, hence the term frogging). Or when my daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and people would talk about getting a unicorn. I mean, my daughter was 7 and obsessed with unicorns but what do they have to do with Diabetes. Turns out it is referring to blood sugar being a  "perfect" number of 100, rare to see like a unicorn. 


So what are some of the terms you should know with regards to your Cricut? Let's talk about that. 

I tried to come up with a list of words that I have commonly seen confused or misunderstood in Cricut groups, as well as just some general terms that I thought would be helpful when working with your Cricut.

Definition of Common Cricut Terms:

Attach

Attach is one of the functions in Design Space. It holds your images in place relative to each other so that when you go to the cutting mat they stay in the same position. It can also be used to attach other linetypes to a cut image, for example to attache a score line to a card or a draw design to a shape. 

Blank

Blank refers to the item you are putting vinyl or iron on onto. It can be something like a shirt, a bag, a sign, a mug, etc. 

Burnish

Burnish means to rub the transfer tape with a scraper or other item to make sure it adheres properly. 

Calibration

Calibration is a process used with certain tools or functions to help ensure that your machine is cutting accurately. It is used with Print then Cut, as well as with the knife blade on the Cricut Maker. Your machine will ask you if you want to calibrate if it is the first time using these features and you can recalibrate if you notice the cuts being off. When you calibrate the machine will make a series of cuts to determine the most accurate settings. 

Cricut Access 

Cricut Access is a paid subscription, there are options to pay monthly or annually. Design Space is free to use with or without a Cricut Access subscription, but with Cricut Access you will get access to a library of over 100,000 images, hundreds of fonts, discounts on orders from Cricut.com, and a discount on licensed images. Without a Cricut Access subscription you can still use some of those images and fonts, but you will pay a one time fee for each image or font you use. Once you pay for it you have it and can use it as many times as you want. Cricut Access is more like a Netflix subscription, as long as you have an active subscription you have access to all of those things for free, but as soon as you cancel that access is gone. It is a great option if you want to use a lot of Cricut images and fonts. If you prefer to make or buy your own images outside of Design Space and then upload them then it may not be as worth it for you. I personally have a subscription and love having that library of images and fonts available at my fingertips. 

Contour

Contour is another Design Space function. You can use contour to hide sections of an image layer so that they are not cut. This is a very useful tool for customizing images. 

Design Space

Design Space is Cricut's design software. Design Space allows you to either create designs in the software, or upload designs that you created and/or bought elsewhere. Then it communicates with your machine to cut out your design. Design Space is free to use, but there is a subscription option (see Cricut Access above) that allows you to use more fonts and images for free. 

EasyPress

EasyPress is Cricut's heat press. It is available in a variety of sizes from mini to a very large 12"x10". It has a smooth plate with even heating from edge to edge for fast easy pressing. 

Flatten

Flatten is a Design Space function that is uses in Print then Cut. It takes a multi-layer design and "flattens" it into a single layer image that can be printed on a printer, then cut with your Cricut. 

Group

The group tool groups selected layer, images, and/or text together so that you can easily move them and resize them on your canvas. This does not affect the layout on the cutting mat in any way. 

Infusible Ink

Infusible Ink is a Cricut product that uses sublimation to heat transfer designs onto blanks. It is available in transfer sheets, pens, and markers. Unlike other iron on products where the design is a layer that sits on top of the surface you are pressing it onto, Infusible Ink uses a chemical reaction to actually transfer the ink into the material of the blank. 

Iron On  (HTV, Heat Transfer Vinyl)

Iron On, or HTV, or Heat Transfer Vinyl, they are all different names for the same thing. It is a special type of vinyl that has a heat activated adhesive that adheres to fabric. Iron on, or HTV, typically comes with a transfer sheet already attached, which is the reason it needs to be cut right side down with the design mirrored. 

Kiss Cut

Kiss cut describes the machines ability to cut through the material but not the backing. This is used when cutting vinyl (cuts through the vinyl but leaves the paper backing intact), iron on (cuts the iron on but leaves the plastic transfer sheet intact), and other material like sticker paper. 

Linetype

Linetype refers to how your machine is told how to interact with the material you are using. Linetypes are things like cut, draw, score, engrave, etc. When choosing the the linetype you are telling your Cricut if you want it to cut that line, or score it, or draw it, or do something else. 

Mirror

Mirroring your design means flipping it before you cut it. You do this on the cutting mat screen before you cut your design. There is a toggle on each mat that you can click to mirror your design and it will flip it on the mat before cutting. When you flip the iron on over to press it it will be right. 

Offset

Offset creates a shadow or outline layer around your design. 

Print then Cut

Print then cut is when you create a flattened design, then you print that design on your home printer. Then after it is printed you put it on the cutting mat and load it into the Cricut, which will then cut out the designs. 

Quick Swap Housing

Quick swap housing is specific to the Cricut Maker and is used with some of the tools and blades that are Maker specific. The quick swap housing allows you to change only the tip instead of the entire housing in order to use a different tool. This saves you money since the tips alone are considerably cheaper than an entire new housing. The tips that can be used with the quick swap housing are the engraving tip, debossing tip, scoring wheel, double scoring wheel, perforation blade, and wavy blade.

Registration Marks

Registration marks are the black lines around your print then cut design. The machine has a sensor that reads these marks after you place the printed design on the cutting mat and load it into the machine. They tell the Cricut exactly where your design is located on the mat so that it cuts in the right spot. 

Score

Score creates a crease or indent in your paper, rather than cutting all the way through so that you can easily fold along that line. This gives you nice, crisp fold lines in your projects. You can use a scoring stylus to create score lines with an Explore or Maker, or you can use the single or double scoring wheel with the Maker. Cricut Joy does not have the ability to score. 

Slice

Slice is a Design Space function that allows you to cut two overlapping images or text into different parts. When you place one layer over another, select both and click slice, your layers will be cut anywhere that they overlapped. 

Sublimation 

Sublimation is really popular right now and it is the process that Infusible Ink uses to transfer onto blanks, but that is just one way to do sublimation. Sublimation is a chemical process of going directly from a solid to a gas state without going through a liquid state. In Cricut crafting this means you can use sublimation to transfer inks directly onto the surface of your blank. Sublimation requires a few specific things in order to work including a very specific type of ink and specific sublimation blanks. Cricut makes some Infusible Ink compatible blanks that are made to work with Infusible Ink. Fabric need to be high polyester in order for the chemical process to work, hard surfaces need to have a special sublimation coating, so in order to be successful you need to make sure you have the proper materials. 

SVG

SVG stands for Scalable Vector Graphic. An SVG can have multiple editable layers that can be resized without losing quality. It is the preferred format to upload designs, especially with multiple colors and layers. You can also upload other files like JPG and PNG, but they will not have multiple layer and could turn pixelated if resized too large. 

Transfer Tape

Transfer tape is used to transfer vinyl from the paper backing that it comes on to another surface. It is typically sold separately and is usually clear. 

Vinyl

Vinyl is a material with an adhesive backing that can be stuck to hard surfaces. It comes on a paper backing and you use transfer tape to lift it off and stick it to a surface. It comes in a variety of different types, and with different strengths of adhesive. Removable vinyl can be more easily removed where permanent vinyl has a stronger, longer lasting adhesive that will be harder to remove from the surface it is stuck to. 

Weed

Weeding is the process of removing the negative parts of a cut image so that you are left with only the pieces that you want to create your design. 

Weld

Weld is a tool in Design Space that allows you to turn two overlapping layers into one layer. It is often used to turn script fonts from individual letters into one continuous word.