How to Fill Letters and Shapes with Pictures in Cricut Design Space

Finished Apron

I have been using Adobe Illustrator to fill my shapes and letters with pictures and I was wondering how hard it would be to do in Cricut Design Space. So, I came up with this tutorial to show you just how easy it is to do. I decided to use my brand new Epson converted sublimation printer to create my filled letters and put them on a sublimation suitable blank apron I purchased at Joann’s. This project was far easier than I anticipated given how cool it looks. If you would like more sublimation projects check out my Infusible Ink page here.

You will need a sublimation printer for this project. I found them to be expensive so I learned that I could convert an inexpensive Epson Eco-Tank ET 2800 into a sublimation printer by simply using sublimation ink rather than the ink that came with it. Unlike a standard ink jet printer this printer does not use ink cartridges but little bottles of ink. The other important thing about this project is that you need to use sublimation paper to print your design.

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What you will Need: How to Fill Letters and Shapes with Pictures in Cricut Design Space

Step 1: Choose your Font or shape

You will need to choose your font or shape that you want to fill. I chose to use a standard system font called Ariel Black and changed the word Text to my name DIANA. I did this by going to the font selector on the top left of Design Space and going to the dropdown menu and choosing a system font. You can choose any font you like but just make sure that it is not script and is quite bold.

Choose your font

Step 2: Measure your Blank

You will need to measure your blank so that your letters fit. You will also need to make sure that your letters stay within the print then cut dimensions of 9.25″ x 6.75″. I measured my apron across the chest part and determined that it was 10 1/2″ wide. So I made my letters 7″ wide and 1 1/2″ tall

Step 3: Upload your Photo

Pick a photo that you like and upload it to Design Space. Do this by clicking on the upload button on the left menu of Design Space. Then click upload image. Browse your computer to select your image. Then click complex and continue. Upload a s print and cut design. Select the photo and click on add to Canvas.

Upload your photo

Step 4: Send to Back

Select the photo and go to the arrange tab on the top menu and click send backward. Your word should be on top of the photo at this point. Position the word where you want it to be. Switch the operation in the top menu bar to pen to see what your design will look like. Once you are happy with it turn the operation back to print then cut.

Send to back

Step 5: Select then Slice

Select both the photo and the word by clicking select all on the top menu. Go to the bottom right menu and click slice. You have now sliced the word and the photo.

Click Slice

Step 6: Delete

Select just the letters and delete them. Now select the photo and delete that. you should have a word with the picture inside.


Step 7: Outline the Word

If you would like to outline your word you can do it easily. Select the word and click offset in the top menu. You can control the width of the outline by using the slider to determine the right size for you. I chose .125 for my outline. You don’t need to do an outline at all if you don’t want to. It is completely up to you.

Click Offset

Step 8: Flatten

You will need to flatten the image so highlight the word and head to the bottom right menu and click flatten.

Step 9: Make It

Click Make it in the top right corner. Make sure that you fit the correct dimensions then click continue. Select “Send to Printer” and make sure that you are sending it to your sublimation printer and that the mirror button I on. Since I have an office printer and the new sublimation printer I had to be careful to select the correct one. Make sure to turn off add bleed and turn on use system dialogue. If you are using an Epson like I am turn off “flip horizontally since we already mirrored our design.”

Make it

Step 10: Load the Paper

Remember that we are using special sublimation paper for this project and there are two different sides to it. Make sure that you load it correctly in your printer with the appropriate side up so that it feeds right to be printed on the correct side.

Step 11: Print

Click print. Print your design onto the sublimation paper. Let completely dry before continuing to the next step. Trim off the registration marks so that all that is remaining is the design.

Cut out the image

Step 12: Prepare the Blank

Set your Cricut Easy Press or other pressing machine to 385 degrees for 10 seconds and press the blank.

Step 13: Sublimate the Blank

Place a piece of white card stock on a pressing mat and underneath your blank if you are using fabric blanks. Make sure there are no lint pieces on the blank. You can use a lint roller for this or alcohol if using a non-fabric blank. Place the design face down on the blank and tape with heat resistant tape. Cover with butcher paper. Heat the stack paper and blank using a heat press at 385 degrees for about 45 seconds. I went to the Cricut website to determine the length of time for my project but it was not listed but another canvas project was so I chose that.


Step 14: Let Cool

remove the butcher paper very carefully. let the design cool then remove it from the blank. it is no longer blank and your design has permanently transferred to your blank project.

Remove the paper

I hope you enjoyed this simple sublimation project. If you would like more Cricut and paper crafting projects subscribe to our newsletter and receive your free Paper daisy SVG.

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