Hinge technique for cutting printouts

September 22, 2009 at 4:34 pm 61 comments

Shown here with the Cricut machine by itself, here’s a technique that is also helpful with Cricut Design Studio, the Gypsy or with Sure Cuts A Lot. Use this when you need to see in advance exactly where the Cricut is going to cut in relation to the mat. This is especially helpful when cutting around printouts, cropping photographs and any other applications where you want the printing to be perfectly centered or otherwise positioned within the cut.

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Some Tough Gypsy Questions Answered Pen fonts for your cutter

61 Comments Add your own

  • 1. PapaSue  |  September 22, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    Great job, I was wondering about the “flap” thing. I didn’t get it from what I read so this was perfect!

    Thanks as usual.


  • 2. Sherry  |  September 22, 2009 at 7:46 pm

    Brilliant! I have been wanting to do this and can’t wait to try it. Thanks a million!

  • 3. HappyHappyJoyJoy  |  September 22, 2009 at 9:56 pm

    Great video! What a wonderful idea! I can totally see how useful this would be with odd shaped items where centerpoint just isn’t so clear! You did a wonderful job, CLEVER ALWAYS (my nickname for you!)!!

    Hugs, Joy

  • 4. Mayan  |  September 23, 2009 at 5:03 am

    What a great, great tip!!!!!!! Thanks so much for sharing!

  • 5. Suzanne Glazier  |  September 23, 2009 at 7:31 am

    Awesome technique! Thanks for the great video!

  • 6. Cathy  |  September 23, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    Oh nice! That would work with lots of different cutter I think. I think it would work on my AC-40/Pazzles Pro anyhow.

  • 7. rap  |  September 23, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    Great instructional video. You also clued me into a cool web site at http://www.festisite.com. Thanks

  • 8. Clare D  |  September 24, 2009 at 5:48 am

    Thanks for the tips! Love the load paper again. Oh, and you have such a beautiful voice!

  • 9. Carole N.  |  September 24, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    This is so amazing. I love it and am so appreciative of you sharing it with us.
    I can hardly wait to try it.
    Thank you and hugs!

  • 10. Ladybug Linda  |  September 24, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    Super idea! Always wondered how to accomplish something like this. TFS!! ;-)

  • 11. Terry  |  September 25, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    Great video…appreciate you sharing it with everyone!!!

  • 12. mary  |  September 25, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    Thank you for the excellent – very useful – method.
    i’ve cut hearts with a poem centered once
    using the center point key
    this sure looks so much easier!

  • 13. goodfamilygirl2  |  September 28, 2009 at 6:42 pm

    Great technique! Thanks for sharing it with us. You are truly clever!

  • 14. Cindy S.  |  September 28, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    Kay, thanks for the excellent tutorial! I’ve been thinking about this idea for a while now but didn’t get into the logistics of how to do it. You’ve saved me from it! Thanks again, for sharing!

    CindyS. from Cricut MB

  • 15. Neva  |  September 29, 2009 at 8:20 am

    Great Idea!! Thanks!!

  • 16. Aimee  |  September 29, 2009 at 8:26 am

    So helpful! Really helps me solve some alignment issues when cutting. THANK YOU!

  • 17. Kat  |  September 29, 2009 at 9:06 am

    Great video! I love your sense of humor, too. :-)

  • 18. Lori McBurney  |  September 29, 2009 at 10:20 am

    Very helpful video! Thanks for sharing!

  • 19. Mary HK  |  October 5, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    You always amaze me! This is one of my favorite sites to visit. have a great day.

  • 20. Carmen  |  October 14, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    Thank you so much for making this video “one picture is worth a thousand words” especially for my chemo brain. I can see lots of uses for this.

    Thanks again,


  • 21. Catherine Evans  |  October 17, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    It is late but I am soo excited about finding this … can’t wait for tomorrow to have a good look – great ideas..

  • 22. Tina W.  |  October 18, 2009 at 11:57 am

    Thanks so much for showing us this technique. It will be very useful, and you explained it in great detail.

  • 23. Diana  |  November 8, 2009 at 7:01 pm

    awesome tut
    waiting on my cricut to be delivered
    can’t wait to try this
    thanks so much

  • 24. Ohhh Snap  |  December 20, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    I read this in September when you first posted it. It was so well done, I thought I have that. Today my sister was asking me how she could do this and I said I know because I saw this great video. Turns out I forgot a crucial step.

    Fortunately I remembered the name of your blog. My sister and I watched the video and there was the missing element! This works so well (when I remembered all the steps). Thank you so much : )

  • 25. Evelyn  |  December 24, 2009 at 8:32 am

    Thank you so much! That was really clear and easy to follow.

  • […] a photo of my kids on it.  To center the photo in the snowflake I used the hinge method described here, except when using SCAL it isn’t necessary to note the blade location.  I used a 60° blade […]

  • 27. Barbara  |  January 10, 2010 at 2:06 am

    Could you also use the Centerpoint feature to cut around the object?

    • 28. Kay  |  January 10, 2010 at 12:33 pm

      Yes, Barbara, on this example you could (I should have used a different example). The hinge technique is useful if your machine does not have a center point button, your shape does not have an easily visualized center, you need a high degree of accuracy, or you are using SCAL, MTC or CDS.

  • 29. Roberta  |  January 10, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    That was the most exciting idea I have found with the cricut and what I have planned for it! Thank you- you make a great video. I bet you have a good subtle sense of humor too!

  • 30. MamaD  |  January 10, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    Great Tip!!! Love your blog… Thanks so much for all you do! You ROCK!!!

  • 31. Barbara  |  January 22, 2010 at 11:14 am

    Excellent!! NOW it makes sense! Thank you

  • 32. Barbara  |  February 26, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    Great tip! I tried centerpoint on pictures and some didn’t cut exactly where I thought they would. The hinge method would show me exactly where it would cut!! Thanks again.

  • 33. Suzanna  |  April 26, 2010 at 9:17 am

    I really enjoyed your video. I am really new to using my Cricut and wonder if you could do everything you did except instead of having to reposition the blade back to the same coordinates, could you just have hit cut again?

    • 34. Kay  |  April 26, 2010 at 12:18 pm

      Good question, Suzanna. That is what you do if you are using CDS, SCAL or MTC. But if you hit cut again when using a cartridge (no software) it starts where the last cut *ended*. If you start your cut at the origin point, instead of somewhere else on the mat, then you can hit the load paper button to return to the origin point. Unfortunately, that is not a convenient spot to use a hinged piece. I have suggested that Provocraft add a “return to last start” button to make this and several other procedures easier.

      • 35. dahliawedding  |  June 29, 2010 at 12:41 pm

        Thanks so much for this tutorial! Question — is it impossible to use coordinates with SCAL? I tried repositioning the blade, but as soon as I hit “CUT” on my computer, it just moved the blade back to the upper right corner. Am I doing something wrong? Is there a workaround for this?

      • 36. Kay  |  June 29, 2010 at 2:11 pm

        Yes, it is impossible to use coordinates with SCAL but you don’t need them. SCAL automatically cuts in exactly the same place each time, as long as you don’t unload the mat. The procedure you use for SCAL is here https://cleversomeday.wordpress.com/print-and-cut

  • 37. gail lumpkin  |  May 1, 2010 at 11:07 pm

    Thanks so much. This video is just what I was looking for. I can’t wait to try it out.

  • […] are not familiar with the hinge technique you can look at steps 12-15 on this page. I also have a video here. (Of course, if you are using MTC you can ignore the part in the video about the coordinates since […]

  • 39. Sheri Corwin  |  July 4, 2010 at 6:50 am

    Thanks for this video. I can see where I can use this technique alot.

  • 40. Whitney C.  |  July 31, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    Kay thanks so much for this video. I have had my Cricut for over a year now and still am not very comfortable doing lots of things. You made this seem so easy and I can’t wait to give it a try.

  • 41. Sharon Mullins  |  August 30, 2010 at 9:39 am

    Are there some images just too complicated to work with in Inkscape & Sure Cuts A Lot? Granted, I just started working with both about a month ago but I’ve been able to get most of what I need to work first time. My sister e-mailed me an image that has a lot of detail & it freezes up in Inkscape & when I tried just doing it in Sure Cuts a Lot, not everything seemed to trace properly. Thanks.

    • 42. Kay  |  August 30, 2010 at 11:26 am

      Possibly, but I’ve never had a problem in Inkscape. SCAL, though, is not made to handle heavy details and I have seen it bog down on a complicated file.

  • 43. Mary Ann Click  |  September 22, 2010 at 10:48 am

    Genius! Great idea! I print out alot of sentiments and love the neatness of the even cuts of the expression versus my handcut shape. I really appreciate your knowledge and your thoughtfulness in sharing this tecnique.

  • 44. Cheri  |  October 22, 2010 at 10:00 am

    Sincerely appreciate your tips and uploading on You Tube, so you can physically see. I have Make the Cut, Cricut and SCAL, but I have been using Make the Cut more than any other software. I really like being able to cutout my images to stamp on.

  • 45. Cricutting Printed Objects: The Panther Version | Weddingbee  |  December 14, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    […] when moved over to Sure Cuts A Lot. So, I looked into other options. That’s when I found the “hinge technique.” Here it […]

  • 46. KeshCGY  |  December 23, 2010 at 8:55 am

    Just bought a Cricut (personal) for my wife, together with the DesignStudio software, all hidden in basement for Christmas! This is THE TIP that I was looking for, thanks a lot for the video !!! I do design in the computer and normally we print and then use scissors. This is the first time we have a Cricut, so I am learning in advance all I can to help wife get started !!!

  • 47. KeshCGY  |  December 26, 2010 at 3:46 am

    We tried today the new cricut (personal) and the technique explained here. It works really well although I didnt see any coordinates on the small LCD screen. It seems the cricut personal moves the blade in pre-set intervals (same distance every time the blade cursor keys are pressed) so I ended up using one plastic border of the machine and the ruler on the mat to align the head at the same place (this for the in/out distance) and counted the times I pressed the left arrow (for the left/right distance). It worked pretty well.

    Could you please confirm if this is the appropriate method for the Personal?

    Tomorrow I will try using the software (CDS) with the hinge technique. Thanks again!

    • 48. Kay  |  December 26, 2010 at 8:42 am

      You are correct, the exact steps in the video apply only to the Expression, Create and Cake. You have to count steps on the Original Cricut (personal) You will find it much easier to do with Cricut Design Studio as the design is always cut at the same place so long as you don’t unload the mat. No readings or counting required.

      • 49. KeshCGY  |  January 5, 2011 at 2:17 am

        Kay, thanks for the reply. I discovered something: our Cricut Personal didn’t show the coordinates on the screen BEFORE upgrading the firmware. With the firmware upgrade, which I did after installing the DesignStudio, two things changed: the LCD shows the coordinates as one presses the arrow buttons and the movements are now in much smaller increments at 1/16 of an inch each time. So for people out there with the machine but not the DesignStudio, just be aware that you will not see the coordinates on the screen and the movements of the blade need to be counted or referenced to the scale on the mat.

        I didn’t try cutting with the DesignStudio though (lack of time) and made the process manually…it worked perfectly !!! We cut printouts of cupcake tags, they came out nice. Thanks again for your video!

      • 50. Kay  |  January 8, 2011 at 3:38 pm

        Thanks for sharing this. It is great news for Cricut Personal owners because they can download the free trial of CDS, update their firmware and get some new features!

  • 51. dulce  |  January 13, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    thank you so much, you save me!
    i was trying to do this a lot!! i was dissapointed and starting to give up!, but i found this!!!
    greetings from mazatlan, sinaloa, mexico.

  • 52. Janet  |  January 22, 2011 at 11:37 am

    Great idea and a wonderful presentation. Answered all of my questions as it went along … like “why the green paper?”. Very well thought out. I know exactly how to proceed. Thank you so much!

  • 53. Belinda  |  May 10, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    Ok so I’m a late bloomer…I just figured that I actually wanted to do this! So for the last 4 days I’m beating my brains out on my cricut, because I knew logically that this could be done BUT couldn’t get it going. Well here you are showing my poor tired brain that it is possible! Thank you thank you thank you. I’m going to repost this on my blog…Because I love LD graphics and love how card making just got way simpler.

  • 54. Tracing trick revs up CDS and CCR « Clever Someday  |  May 19, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    […] as shown in the tumbler example above. -Match clip art to Cricut shapes for print and cut with the the hinge method. -Design or open a rhinestone pattern, then just drag circles into place for Cricut […]

  • 55. floppylattedesigns  |  December 11, 2011 at 9:29 am

    Fantastic tip! You have saved me hours and hours of frustration! I have linked this tutorial on my blog at http://www.floppylattesdigitaldesigns.blogspot.com! You Rock!

  • 56. Easter-themed challenge | My Little Craft Blog  |  April 3, 2012 at 12:04 am

    […] guess it’s a poor man’s “print and cut!!”   I adapted a technique from Clever Someday‘s hinge method.  It’s a lot easier with Sure Cuts A Lot than just using Cricut as […]

  • 57. Kim  |  August 6, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    You have no idea, now much time this has saved me. :) Bless you! Can’t thank you enough.:)

  • 58. Lucy  |  May 14, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    I’ve been looking for a method to do this for the longest time. I have a question…can you do multiple cuts? For example…I’m doing cupcake toppes and I usually have to cut the circles and print the pictures on a round label to put in on. Is there a way I can print my topper pics and cut them out 12 at a time using this method. Thanks so much for sharing :)

    • 59. Kay  |  May 14, 2013 at 4:02 pm

      You can do it, but it’s more complicated to get the print file to match the cut file, of course. Cricut creep is another issue. I usually have best results doing about a half page at a time.

  • 60. Linda Norman  |  July 6, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    cool idea!

  • 61. Sampheap Say  |  April 6, 2014 at 10:53 pm

    This is indeed CLEVER!!!


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