Posts filed under ‘Cricut’

Class of 2015 free SVG

Time for posting the 2015 edition of my “class of” SVG and .studio files. Hope you enjoy the file and congrats to all your graduates!


Click here to download in SVG format

Click here to download in .studio format

Terms: Free for personal and commercial use. Just don’t sell the file in digital form. Please share the link to this post, rather than the file itself. Thank you!

2011 is here

2012 is here

2013 is here

2014 is here

April 22, 2015 at 2:52 pm 32 comments

A new free font for stand up lettering

Several years ago, the gift packaging project pictured below was posted on Martha Stewart’s site.


It’s no longer there, but it continues to live on via Pinterest and gets circulated in the various craft groups every so often. When it first appeared, I started working on a font to make it easy to create these stand up letters with a digital diecutter. Soon, however, new features like the eraser tool were added to our diecutting software that made a specialty font unnecessary. But now that Cricut Design Space has hit the scene, I’m dusting off some old resources that can be really useful given its limited feature set. And this one is a time saver no matter which software you use.

So meet the font that I’m calling Top College (because it is a college style slab serif with its bottom missing)…

Download Top College here (If you like it, I’d appreciate a pin, a tweet or a mention in your favorite diecutting group)

To use Top College in your diecutting software, simply type. All of the letters are upper case, but when you use upper case on your keyboard, you get letters with score marks and when you use lower case on your keyboard the letters will appear without score marks. This way you can decide which works best for your project. To use, simply type. If you want the letters to stand up from the top of a downward folded card, be sure to position the base of the text so that it rests on the vertical center line of your card as shown here.


I should mention that this font has very thin lines that will seem to disappear in pull down menus, so you may have to locate it by typing into the search box instead of scrolling.



And because no one likes single layer text (and Top College font can’t be offset properly), I designed it to work as a background/mat/shadow for a thinner font called CollegiateInsideFLF. The companion font is widely available online but I’m including it in the download package for your convenience. Be sure to type in all caps when using CollegiateInsideFLF. You will have to isolate letters and use the arrow keys to correct the spacing in Cricut Design Space, but it will line up perfectly in other programs as long as the font size and character spacing settings are the same as the Top College layer.

Here are some samples I put together to show you how Top College works with and without CollegiateInsideFLF. At the back is the corner of what I envision as a placemat, with the stand up portion used as the shadow for the blue letters cut from the companion font. In front is a ribbon that I split and inserted the strip of cut letters through. (This allows you to have a ribbon that is longer than your paper.) And my favorite is the black placecard, made by drawing the companion font with a sketch fill using a metallic pen in Silhouette Studio, and then cutting the unscored version of Top College from the center of the card. I can’t wait to see your projects.


Here’s a video where I show how to use Top College in Cricut Design Space and Silhouette Studio.

If you don’t know how to install fonts in Windows, click here and for Mac, click here.

February 2, 2015 at 10:17 pm 18 comments

More on Samantha

The most popular lady in all of Font Land, Samantha, is still on sale and continuing to generate lots and lots of buzz, and questions.
The information below also applies to Zelda and Dom loves Mary, which are also on sale right now.


I have spent a lot of time fielding your questions and finding the best procedures, so here is the latest info our lady Samantha (and all of her specially PUA-encoded friends from Laura WorthingtonDebi Sementelli , YellowDesign and Stephen Rapp.)

Where’s the best place to get Samantha?

The best place to buy is Mighty Deals, when it is for sale there it is deeply discounted.

Which package should I buy?

$17 Upright includes Upright Regular version of font plus matching alternate characters (with swirls), ornaments and catchwords

$17 Italic included Italic Regular version of font plus matching alternate characters (with swirls), ornaments and catchwords

$37 package includes Upright Regular, Upright Bold, Italic Regular and Italic Bold plus matching alternate characters (with swirls), ornaments and catchwords for each of those four versions

$55 package includes Upright Regular, Upright Bold, Italic Regular and Italic Bold plus matching alternate characters (with swirls), ornaments and catchwords for each of those four versions plus the versions you need if you are a web designer serving live type on the web. If you don’t know what web fonts are then you do not need them.

Can’t you just recommend something?

If you use the Cricut Explore, I recommend the $37 package so you will have the bold versions. (no offset in Design Space, boo)

If you have the free version of Silhouette Studio, I recommend the $17 Upright version and the $17 Italic version. You can “bold” your fonts with the offset feature.

If you have other cutting software, I recommend the $17 Upright version. You can “bold” your fonts with offset and “italicize” them with the shear tool.

Are these OK for commercial use?

Yes, these fonts are also licensed for use on items diecutters typically sell (words and phrases, not individual characters). For licensing details please see Laura’s FAQ’s.

How do I install them?

Unzip the folder and double click on the font file you want to install. Click the install button. You should see the fonts in the font list in your software the next time you open it or log on. You can find more specific instructions for installing fonts for your operating system in your computer’s help.

Which fonts do I install?

Either OTF or TTF, not both. For Mac I recommend installing all OTF files. For Windows I recommend installing all TTF files. That is just what seems to be working best for me.

I installed 4 fonts but only see 2 listed in my software.

This is normal, regular and bold are combined from your computer’s perspective.

How do I access the extra glyphs?

That depends on your OS and the software you want to use it in…

Windows Cricut Design Space

Windows Microsoft Word (including on to Cricut Design Space)

 Click here for my video tutorial

Windows/Mac Adobe Illustrator (including on to Cricut Design Space)

Windows Silhouette Studio

Also please see this link for written instructions and a couple of corrections.

Mac Cricut Design Space

Mac Silhouette Studio

Windows SCAL 3, Mac SCAL4

Also please see my last blog post about SCAL here

Mac – other programs

I’m using Windows Character Map, but the glyphs are so small.

Here are some ways to see them better

Use Nexus Font’s character map instead – Written tutorial from Paper Moon Snippets

Use Microsoft Word instead – video tutorial by me here

Use the Magnifier – Written tutorial from Under A Cherry Tree

I found the Private Use Area but it is empty.

You likely have an earlier version of Samantha and need to email designer Laura Worthington (hello at LauraWorthingtonType dot com) with your receipt so she can send you the latest version

I get an error in Cricut Design Space on my Mac when I select Samantha.

This is a bug in Design Space affecting Samantha Italic. Workaround is to wait it out, then choose Italic from the style menu and proceed. And/or email designer Laura Worthington (hello at LauraWorthingtonType dot com) with your receipt and ask her for the split version

It sounds so complicated.

Samantha is an advanced font that requires advanced techniques but yields advanced results. I recommend that anyone who is apprehensive download Milkshake, which is a free font by the same designer. It has a limited number of alternate characters but enough that you can practice the steps that are needed.

Can I download it to more than one computer?

Yes the license allows for one person on up to five workstations.

How can I print out all the characters?

There is a PDF for that here.

How can I get access to the special characters on my iPad?

You will need 2 additional apps to access the special characters in Samantha in the Cricut Design Space iPad app. One called AnyFont that lets you install fonts on your iPad. The other app called Unicode Character Viewer to let you access the special characters.

I am having trouble using Samantha in Cricut Design Space since the 2.0 update. Any advice?

Try this sequence: Click to make a new text box, type some dummy text from the keyboard, change it to Samantha. If it will not let you change the font, click on the mat and back onto the font box to re-select it and try again. Once you have Samantha selected, paste in your characters from Character Map, Font Book or whatever you use to access the alternates.

The characters I copied, don’t match the ones I pasted.

If the characters don’t match what you copied, try different versions/styles of Samantha (bold, bold italic, etc) because they have to match or you can get the wrong characters.

January 13, 2015 at 5:40 pm 19 comments

Sure Cuts A Lot ups its game

If you haven’t taken a look at Sure Cuts A Lot lately, it might be time. There’s especially good news if you are…

… a font lover with Windows (as of v4.008 works in Windows and Mac)
…. a Brother Scan and Cut owner
…. a Pazzles Vue owner
…. or an iPad or Android tablet user

Craft Edge has released both Sure Cuts A Lot 4 ( $59.99 new or 19.99 upgrade for registered SCAL users) and the Sure Cuts A Lot app in recent weeks.

SCAL4 features2-1

SCAL4 has lots of new features including easy alignment, a stencil tool and conical warp, but the best one, in my opinion, was not announced. You can now get to all the characters in fonts like Samantha and Cantoni (PUA encoded) from the SCAL4 font palette. This makes SCAL4 the very best option for diecutters looking to use these advanced fonts, since a click of the mouse brings each character onto your mat in proper proportion as editable type.


Unfortunately, for now this only works on the Windows version. (Please let know you’d like the Mac version to support extended character sets, too.)
We were heard! Thanks for adding your voice and thanks, Craft Edge, for responding so quickly! Here’s a video on this

Brother Scan and Cut owners will be happy to know that SCAL4 can export to Brother’s native .fcm format!

export as fcm

While you can’t cut directly from SCAL4 (or any other software including Brother’s) to a SnC, you can design anything you like, or import an existing SVG, export it to a thumb drive and cut without going through their cumbersome Canvas web app. SCAL4 can cut directly to a large number of cutters including the Pazzles Vue. Actually so can the latest version of SCAL3, I’m just late figuring this out.

Screen Shot 2015-01-01 at 4.10.09 PM

While you won’t find Cricut Explore on this direct cut list, SCAL4 is a great companion to the Explore because it can export to SVG for vector upload into Design Space. In addition to designing from scratch, SCAL4 can import .ai, .eps and vector .pdf files and convert them to .svg. SCAL4’s line fill effect is also helpful for creating write files with letters and shapes you want the pen to color in.

SCAL’s tablet app (9.99 via Apple’s App Store or Google Play) allows you to design for any cutter offline (away from the cutter and from the internet) and then transfer your designs to your computer to cut. If you also have SCAL4 desktop you can control it from the app to be able to cut from the tablet to supported cutters like the Cameo and Vue. Here’s a first look at the SCAL app from Rob at Scrappy Dew.

January 1, 2015 at 2:51 pm 62 comments

Cricut Explore vs Silhouette Cameo – Which is right for you?

There has been a deluge of biased information out lately comparing the Cricut Explore vs the Silhouette Cameo but the truth is the systems are very different, each with strengths and weaknesses and neither is a slam dunk for everyone. As the holiday rapidly approaches, which should be on your wish list? Let me try my best to give you some objective guidance.

First let me get the similarities out of the way. Both can cut vinyl or card stock to the level of precision and accuracy quite suitable for the typical to advanced crafter. (Cricut-commissioned tests do show the Explore with a slight lead in accuracy.) Both can cut the fonts on your computer or downloadable in TTF or OTF format as well as images in their own native formats. Both allow you to import and vectorize your own images from jpg or png format. Neither allows their proprietary digital content to be exported to another vector format.

It’s difficult to compare the digital subscriptions head to head because they are quite different. Keep in mind that with a Silhouette subscription you are *purchasing* image licenses, whereas with a Cricut subscription you are *renting* them. When your subscription ends (or if a company goes out of business), you walk away with nothing from Cricut, whereas the Silhouette image licenses are yours to keep.

It is also difficult to compare individual image purchases. You can purchase some image sets or individual images from Cricut, as well as purchasing/linking cartridges available at varying prices. The actual amount you pay for a Silhouette image varies widely depending on how much you pay for your subscription or download card, but is usually much less than advertised if you shop wisely.

As far as ease of use, I’m unimpressed with both companies’ current options. Cricut’s carefully designed user interface is marred by frequent errors, freezes and crashes brought about by their unfortunate choice to make Design Space browser based and built on Flash. You won’t have to learn many design options, but you will have to learn to install multiple browsers, to delve into their detailed settings, and to clear their caches, sometimes multiple times daily.

I thought Silhouette Studio v2 had a great balance of power and ease of use, but then came V3, and a lot of disappointment. It added meager new features but disproportionately more confusion, making it not so easy to use any more (V2 is still available but not fully compatible with the newest Cameos). Cricut Design Space and Silhouette Studio are free, so I encourage you to load them both and try your hand at some design and printing tasks representative of your needs before you make a machine purchase.

Now, below I’ve listed some key differences you want to be aware of in light of your own specific needs…

Things you can do with a Cameo that you can’t do with an Explore

-Design or cut without an active internet and server connection

-Cut (vinyl or other backed materials) or draw/write without a mat

-Create your own designs from scratch using built in shape tools, freehand tools, line styles, alignment, etc.

-Add a fully adjustable offset (shadow) to any text or image for cutting, for print and cut or for draw/write and cut.

-Cut larger images or designs without tiling (see size chart below)


-Print and cut larger images (see size chart below)


-Cut images out of preprinted media such as fabric, giftwrap, stamped media or commercial greeting cards (requires optional PixScan mat $14.95 MSRP, street price $12.00)

-Print purchased or original designs in high resolution (for print and cut or to create printables, Silhouette default 600 dpi, Cricut estimated max 100 dpi)

-Backup all of your designs (purchased or created) to your own hard drive or other local media and/or to the cloud service of your choice

-Cut without a computer (previously saved files via SD card in the Cameo 1 or USB stick in the Cameo 2)

-Cut/draw complex paths of over 3000 nodes

-Import SVG sets at their correct relative size (requires software upgrade MSRP $49.99, street price $30) Update: Cricut Design Space 2.0 seems to be importing SVGs from Adobe Illustrator at the correct size, but not others.

SVG Sizing

-Cut directly from 3rd party software such as Make the Cut, Sure Cuts a Lot, Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw (3rd party software must be purchased, AI and CD require the Silhouette Connect module as well MSRP $49.99, street price $30)

-Roll feed vinyl (optional feeder MSRP $39.95, street price $35)

-Precisely place cuts with respect to the page or mat

-Cut or write on media that is up to 15 inches wide

-Combine elements from existing files via copy and paste

-Easily draw, cut or score the same file with different settings for each layer or pass

 Things you can do with an Explore that you can’t do with a Cameo

-Write and cut without pausing to exchange pen with blade

-Adjust all material settings including blade depth with a single dial (Update: in several months of using my machine, I find the presets do not work, and it is cumbersome to find an alternative, not sure that this is really an advantage)

-Cut thick/dense/tough media like shrink plastic, craft foam and aluminum (may require optional deep cut blade/housing MSRP $29.99, street price $18 and strong grip mat MSRP $14.99 street price $9)

-Cut wirelessly (requires optional bluetooth adapter MSRP $49.99, street price $30 and Bluetooth compatible computer )

-Cut and score without pausing to exchange blade with scoring tool (optional scoring tool MSRP $8.99, street price $5.40) or to adjust blade depth. (I list this reluctantly, because the score pressure can not be controlled independently of the cut and you can not set up a separate file of just the score lines to work around this. Cut and score is somewhat disappointing as it stands now).

-Legally cut Disney images for personal use (purchase of cartridge/image set or individual images required, price varies)

-Cut SVG files out of the box (I list this reluctantly, as Design Space’s SVG support is spotty at best. I’ve been unable to use many of the SVGs I had hoped to)

-Use non-licensed content on items you sell without purchasing an additional license (all items in the Cricut subscription are included in Cricut’s generous angel policy)

-Cut ready-made projects with just a few clicks (some projects are free, most must be purchased)

-Cut from an iPad 2 or later (requires optional bluetooth adapter MSRP $49.99, street price $30, and, of course, an iPad).

-Automatically add a bleed zone to a print and cut image

-Quickly turn a layered OEM cut file into a print then cut

-Design with all library images from any internet connected computer without having to purchase the images first

-Edit an existing file of yours from any internet connected computer

There are few cases where the choice is obvious

For instance…

If you prefer to cut ready-made designs with as little effort as possible, then the Explore is for you

If you want to be able to cut metal, shrink plastic or other heavy materials, the Explore has the higher pressure you will need. (However, if pressure is your main consideration and you can afford to pay more, there are other options, such as the Pazzles Vue, that have even more pressure as well as better software and cutting size options)

If you have a ton of Cricut cartridges, you will probably want to stick with Cricut. Likewise, if you own a lot of Silhouette store files, you will likely want to stick with Silhouette

If you want a machine for print and cut invitations, the Cameo is the clear choice because of the size and resolution limitations of Explore’s print then cut

If you do primarily vinyl projects, the Cameo is better suited for vinyl work for a number reasons. (ability to cut without a mat, cutting length up to ten feet, optional roll feeder, ability to more easily add weed lines, better typographic support including text wrap, etc.)

If noise is a concern, the Explore is a significantly quieter machine.

If you rely on your cutter for a business, the Explore simply can not be your only machine because internet or server interruptions will bring you to a halt. I would also consider the lack of content control to be a major concern for business owners.

If you already have one, ask for the other. Then you will have the best of both worlds. :)

December 2, 2014 at 9:04 am 63 comments

Print and Emboss and Tutorials

Print and Emboss! Free templates and tutorials from Cleversomeday

Note: I am no longer distributing templates so as not to infringe on Darice’s new Terms of Use.

Earlier this year, I reintroduced the “print and emboss” concept but seemed to stir up more bewilderment than anything else. So I’m uploading the first 2 parts of a 3 part tutorial series. (Don’t worry they are both short.)

Part 1 of the tutorial series shows how to use the template to create a customized printout to match the corresponding embossing folder.

Part 2 of the tutorial series shows how to line up the printout with the folder and emboss it.

Part 3 of the tutorial series shows how to create your own templates

September 7, 2014 at 2:33 pm 30 comments

Making the most of

Making the most of video and written tutorial. Tips and tricks for using everyone's favorite font download site.

Most everyone knows you can download awesome free fonts at, but it’s got some other features you may be missing out on. Here’s a list of some cool things you can do at Dafont besides downloading:

1. Preview fonts with your own text

2. Customize the size of the text and number of fonts per page

3. View different cases of your preview text

4. View/download a character key

5. View all the variants of a font

6. Filter for commercial use OK fonts

7. Find fonts by the same designer

8. Find fonts in the same category

9. Browse fonts by category

10. Browse fonts by designer

11. Filter for foreign features

12. Create your own categories

13. Learn how to install fonts

14. Get help identifying a font

15. See the newest uploads

16. Sort by popularity, name or date






Take a look at my Robots category for an example.

July 23, 2014 at 4:30 pm 11 comments

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