How To Slice In Cricut Design Space

Wondering how to slice in Cricut Design Space? Here is everything you need to know, from how to slice images & text, to why the slice button is greyed out and not working. Plus, learn a few cool tricks for using Slice to make awesome stuff!


The Cricut Slice tool is one of the five basic design tools that allows you to work with layers inside of Cricut Design Space (the others are Weld, Attach, Flatten, and Contour). The idea behind the Slice tool is really simple: it takes two overlapping images and cuts them each out of the other. But don’t be fooled by its simplicity; it has SO MANY uses and you can make some really cool things with it! It also can be a little frustrating because the slice tool has very specific rules that you have to follow before it will work properly.

This article will teach you what the Cricut slice tool is and how to use it properly, as well as show you some of the cool things you can do with it, and troubleshoot the most common problems with the slice feature.

Learn how to slice on cricut design space

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What is the Cricut slice tool & why would I want to use it?

The Cricut slice tool splits two overlapping images into multiple pieces by “cutting out” one image from the other. It basically applies all of the cut lines from two selected images to both images at the same time, leaving the “shape” of one image “cut out” from the other.

It’s a really simple concept (although hard to explain without pictures!), but there is a lot of cool stuff you can do with the Cricut slice tool. I’ll go into more detail below after I show you how to actually use slice inside of Cricut Design Space (with screenshots), but here are some of my favorite uses for the slice tool:

  • punch out shapes from a larger shape
  • crop images, or trim off unwanted parts of an image
  • cut images into multiple pieces, or separate multiple shapes into different layers
  • create your own fancy shapes by combining and slicing standard shapes

Using slice in Cricut Design Space

The Basics

Using slice in Cricut Design Space is pretty simple, but there are a few rules you have to follow.

  1. You can only work with two layers at once. If you select more or less than two layers, the slice button will be greyed out.
  2. Slice won’t work on a grouped image; you have to ungroup before you can slice.
  3. The slice tool doesn’t work on multi-layered images. If the image you want to slice has multiple layers, you must hide or ungroup the other layers before the slice tool will work.
  4. Hidden layers will disappear after slicing. Be sure to unhide any layers you want to keep before slicing.
  5. Slice only works on overlapping images. If your images aren’t stacked on top of each other, nothing will happen when you slice them.
  6. Slicing text is slightly different and doesn’t necessarily follow the previous rules. You CAN slice multi-layered text (i.e. text with a hidden shadow layer) and the hidden shadow layer won’t automatically disappear.

The Equipment

Technically all you need to use the the slice tool is Cricut Design Space, but without a Cricut machine you won’t actually be able to cut out your sliced design! I have shared the file I used for this tutorial below, feel free to use it for practicing.

The Instructions

Start by opening the practice file in Design Space.

How to slice on cricut design space

In this case we are going to use the slice tool to cut out the heart shape and letters from the Texas shape.

Position the heart shape on the Texas shape where you want it cut out. Then select both layers. You can click and drag a square around the shape to select both layers, or you can select one image, then hold Shift on your keyboard while selecting the other image to select them both at the same time. You can also select one layer in the Layers panel, then hold Shift on your keyboard while clicking the second layer.

Once you have two layers selected, the Slice tool at the bottom of the Layers panel should activate (it should be black and clickable instead of greyed out).

Click “Slice” to slice the selected layers.

How to slice an image on cricut design space

You won’t necessarily see anything happen when you click “Slice”, but if you move the yellow heart away, you’ll see a teal heart underneath it. When you move the teal heart there will be a heart-shaped “hole” in the Texas shape.

In this example, the Cricut slice feature creates three layers/shapes: the original yellow heart is still its own layer and the teal Texas shape becomes two separate layers, one that is heart-shaped, and one that is Texas-shaped with a heart-shaped hole in it. The two teal layers fit exactly together; they were just “sliced” into the shape of the yellow layer that was stacked on top of it.

The layers will all become single image layers and will be renamed “Slice Result” so you can tell which layers were sliced. You can move all the layers independently or delete any unwanted layers.

How to use the cricut slice tool in cricut design space

When slicing text, the text has to be a single layer. When you type text into Cricut Design Space using the Text tool it is automatically a single layer (or a multi-layered image with a hidden shadow layer, which also works), so it will work fine for slicing.

If you have separate letters that you want to slice out of an image, you have to weld the letters together before you can slice.

Then, same as before, position the single layer of text where you want it on top of the Texas silhouette. Select both the text layer and Texas image, then click “Slice”.

How to slice in cricut design space

The same thing will happen again:

  1. Your original yellow “home” layer will still be there, though the layer will be renamed to “Slice Result”
  2. Below the yellow “home”, the teal Texas will be sliced into a teal “home” and a teal Texas with a “home”-shaped hole in it.
  3. Both will be renamed to “Slice Result”.
  4. If you move the teal “home” away you’ll see that the two teal layers fit perfectly together, leaving a “home”-shaped hole in the layer below.
How to slice letters on cricut design space

Now that all your images are sliced, you can work with them however you want. If you don’t need the extra layers that the slice tool created, just delete or hide them.

What can I do with the Cricut slice tool?

Punch out shapes from a larger shape

You can “punch out” or stamp out shapes from a larger shape using the slice tool. The Texas project above is a perfect example of this!

You could also use the Cricut slice feature to stamp out a photo into a certain shape like they did here with this heart-shaped wedding photo.

Cricut has another good example of punching out heart-shaped holes in a gift tag in their Cricut slice help article.

Crop images or trim off unwanted parts of an image

The Cricut slice tool is perfect for “cropping” images. Just position a square over the shape you want to crop, select both shapes, and slice! Here’s a good example of cropping down an image to remove unwanted text.

You can also use this process to trim away parts of an image you don’t want.

Cut images into multiple pieces

A lot of times the images that you find in the Cricut library have multiple shapes in one single layer, like a shape and some text all grouped into one image. The slice tool is perfect if you want to separate those into multiple layers so you can move them around independently. Just position a square over one section of the library image, and slice. Then you can move that section around independently.

You can also slice a single image into multiple pieces if you want. This can give you the fun “explosion” look, or it’s great for slicing a large image into smaller pieces that will fit on a 12×12 mat.

Combine and slice standard shapes to create your own shapes

If you want to make your own shape that you can’t find in the standard shapes menu, you can! Here’s a great example of creating a crescent moon shape by overlapping two circles and slicing.

Learn how to slice in cricut design space

How to slice letters in Cricut Design Space

Slicing images in Design Space is pretty standard, just follow the instructions above and it will work.

Slicing letters in Design Space is a little different…the basic idea is the same, but there are a few differences.

First, when you add text in Design Space using the text tool, it automatically creates it as a single image layer, so you don’t have to worry about slicing each letter individually. Just type in your text, select your text layer and your second image layer, and it will slice just fine.

Some Cricut fonts are multi-layered, which means they automatically show up as one text layer with a duplicate “shadow layer” underneath it that is hidden by default. Normally you can’t slice multi-layer images or hidden layers, but that is not the case with multi-layer text. Multi-layered text images slice just like normal: the Slice button won’t be greyed out even though one of the images you’ve selected is multi-layered.

If you’ve ungrouped the text to letters, each letter will be on its own layer. In order to slice an entire word that has been ungrouped to letters, you have to weld the letters back together before slicing so that you have a single image again. (Or slice each letter individually.)

Troubleshooting common problems with the Cricut slice feature

The Slice button is greyed out

This is the most common issue when using slice in Cricut Design Space. There are specific rules you have to follow in order to “activate” the slice feature (make it black and clickable instead of greyed out). You can see the details of the rules in The Basics section above, but below are the most common reasons the Slice button appears greyed out:

  • You only have one layer selected
  • You have more than two layers selected
  • You’ve selected a grouped layer (always Ungroup before slicing)
  • You’ve selected a hidden layer (always Unhide before slicing)

My hidden layers disappeared

If one of the images you selected was grouped with a hidden layer, that hidden layer will disappear after you slice. Slicing only deals with the visible shapes, so after you slice the shapes you can see, Design Space assumes you don’t need the parts you can’t see and removes them.

If you still want those hidden layers, ungroup them or unhide them before slicing and they will still be there after slicing.

My text isn’t editable anymore

Cricut Design Space automatically treats text added with the Text tool as a single layer image, so it can be sliced without having to do anything special to it before slicing.

But the slice feature deals with “shapes”, so after it finishes slicing everything is converted into a “Slice Result” which is just the outline of the sliced shapes. This means even though the shape of the text didn’t change, it’s now a “Slice Result” rather than an editable text layer.

If you want to still have an editable text layer after slicing, just make a copy of your text layer and set it aside. Then, after the text layer is sliced and converted into a shape, the copy will still be editable.

Why do I have 3/4/5/more shapes now?

The Cricut slice feature cuts all overlapping portions of two shapes into their own distinct shapes along the cut lines of each image. If you put a small image on top of a larger image, Slice will cut the smaller shape out of the larger image, splitting that layer into two separate layers so that you end up with three layers: your original small shape and the original larger image split into two layers.

If you overlap two shapes so that they don’t entirely cover each other before slicing, you will end up with four or more layers: each layer will be cut into duplicates of the overlapped portions, plus all un-overlapped portions will be “sliced off” and turned into their own separate layers.


Hope that helps you understand more about using slice in Cricut Design Space. If you still have questions, ask them in the comments below and I will do my best to answer!

How to slice images and letters in cricut design space

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Below is a printable version of these instructions; click the large “Print” button to print them out. (It defaults to just printing the text in the instructions, no photos, to save you paper and printer ink!)

If you like this tutorial, leave a review by clicking the stars or by clicking the Review button! That way I know which types of tutorials are most helpful and which I should do more of!

How to slice letters on cricut design space

How To Slice In Cricut Design Space

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Wondering how to slice in Cricut Design Space? Here is everything you need to know, from how to slice images & text, to why the slice button is greyed out and not working. Plus, learn a few cool tricks for using Slice to make awesome stuff!
Active Time 5 mins

Equipment

Instructions
 

  • Create a file in Cricut Design Space with multiple shapes or layers.
    How to slice on cricut design space
  • Position one shape over the other, then select both shapes.
    How to slice an image on cricut design space
  • Click "Slice" to slice the layers. You will end up with separate layers for each sliced image.
    How to use the cricut slice tool in cricut design space

Notes

Using slice in Cricut Design Space is pretty simple, but there are a few rules you have to follow.
  1. You can only work with two layers at once. If you select more or less than two layers, the slice button will be greyed out.
  2. Slice won’t work on a grouped image; you have to ungroup before you can slice.
  3. The slice tool doesn’t work on multi-layered images. If the image you want to slice has multiple layers, you must hide or ungroup the other layers before the slice tool will work.
  4. Hidden layers will disappear after slicing. Be sure to unhide any layers you want to keep before slicing.
  5. Slice only works on overlapping images. If your images aren’t stacked on top of each other, nothing will happen when you slice them.
  6. Slicing text is slightly different and doesn’t necessarily follow the previous rules. You CAN slice multi-layered text (i.e. text with a hidden shadow layer) and the hidden shadow layer won’t automatically disappear.

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Jessi Wohlwend

I believe that anyone can do crafts and DIY projects, regardless of skill or experience. I love sharing simple craft ideas, step by step DIY project tutorials, cleaning hacks, and other tips and tricks all with one goal in mind: giving you the tools you need to “do it yourself”, complete fun projects, and make awesome things!

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