Cricut Explore Design Space: Using our SVG files


***See our latest Cricut Design Space Tutorial in this August 31st, 2015 post here.***

Updated March 11, 2015 to account for new changes in the DS software update!

If you are new to our site, first read about our Cricut DS SVG color conversions program and our file compatibility at this link here.

We want to help anyone new to our site who may be new to using our cutting files. We are now including a special SVG file for Cricut Explore Design Space users in our SVG cutting files. If you don’t use a Cricut, don’t walk away, there are other crafters who may prefer the way these files are formatted. These files are still SVG files and will work with many other software too, they are just in color and arranged a little differently.

We will show you how easy it is to use these files in the Cricut DS software, and how to organize the colors and lines onto the right cutting mats. There are lot’s of picture steps in this post to help you through the easy process. I’ve broken this down into the very smallest steps so you don’t miss anything. If you are a more advanced Cricut user, feel free to skip down a few pictures to the spot where you need to be caught up.

Here we go…

Free SVG file for customers

Free SVG file for customers

Today we are using this free file: 3D 6 Count Flip Open Candy Box, by Jamie Cripps. We are offering it free so that you can see how 3D files are formatted, and to see how easy it is to use within your Cricut Explore Design Space software.

How to upload SVG files into Cricut Explore Design Space software

Step 1. In your Cricut Design Space software, click on “upload image,” then click on “vector upload.”

How to import SVG files in Cricut Design Space software

You are going to browse images from your computer. Find the SVG file you want to upload, then save it.

digiplayground Cricut Design Space SVG Conversion files size

Look for the file labeled “DS.” Right after the file name you will see the file width, listed in inches.

This is a good time to take note of which file to look for within the file you downloaded from Look for the file that starts with “DS” in the file name. Also take note, the size of the file is listed right after the DS. This file is 4.48 inches wide. We only list the width, as that is all you will need to resize this file in the Cricut Explore Design Space software.

*** Update***

The new version of the Design Space software no longer needs you to enter the native file size. The software now recognizes the original size of the file. Yeah! Thanks Cricut for listening!

Cricut Explore Design Space software sizing SVG files

This is my only complaint about the Design Space software, it is unfortunate that the software doesn’t retain sizing info of SVG files. See how the file is so small in the window. We have no control over this when we design our SVG files. This is just how the software imports them, but fortunately, there is an easy solution. Size doesn’t matter so much for paper piecing cuts, but it can make a difference on some files that require specific sizing, like some boxes. Since this project is a box for mints, it has a very specific size. We will use the width of 4.48 inches to work with.

resizing SVG files in Cricut Design Space software

To fix this small issue, click on “edit” in the upper right corner of the DS software. This will open the size dialog window. Look at the sizes listed.

change size SVG files in Cricut Design Space

Now before we type in the new size, make sure that the little lock symbol is closed. Then type in the width found in the file name. It will automatically fill in the length for you since it is locked to resize proportionately. That is why we only list the width.

how do you change SVG size Cricut Design Space software

Now that the file is the correct size, you will just need to move it over to the live cutting area.

Ungroup Cricut Design Space software

After your file is resized, you will need to “ungroup” it. Do this by clicking on the ungroup icon in the layers palette.


The “ungroup” button may not be found right below the layers, as this does not open as a floating window. Instead, you may need to scroll down to the bottom of the page below the layers and then you will see the symbols for ungrouping. You can still detach the layers palette and make it a floating window by clicking on the blue layers tab and then dragging it out to separate it from the rest of the tabs.

make score lines Cricut Design Space software

Now we will make some of our lines score lines. This is my favorite feature of the Cricut Explore Design Space software.

Find the layers with the dotted lines. We group them together logically so you can choose them independently of their layer underneath. (our files that are converted will have all the score lines per part in their own layer. Our old files are in black and white, and score dashes end up in lots of layers. We are happy to convert our old files free should you come across one. See about our free file conversion program here.) With our files, you will be able to choose whether you want to cut them as dotted lines, or change them to dotted score lines. (If you want solid, not dashed, score lines; this is an edit you will have to make. We do not make solid lines as some of our users use the color DS files in their software and do not have the capability of creating score lines, and solid lines would just cut across their paper.)

score lines Cricut Explore

Click on the little “scissors symbol” in the layers palette.  This will open the line dialog box. We will now change the cut lines by clicking on the little “score symbol.” Do this twice for each set of lines you want to change into score lines.

how do you change cut lines to score lines in Design Space

Now we will attach the score lines to their corresponding cut part underneath. This way they will cut and score on the same mat.

***Important Update!***

Do this by clicking on the two layers that need to be attached. Depending upon your operating system (Mac OS or Windows), you may need to hold down the shift, command, or control or key to select more than one layer at a time. (Shift if they are next to each other, and command if they are a layer or two apart.) After the layers are selected, click on the “attach icon” that looks like a little paper clip in the top of your layers palette. Now those two layers are attached and will appear on the same mat in your cutting window.

With the cricut update, you can no longer select multiple layers from the layers palette by clicking on the layers and pressing the shift key. Instead, you need to click on the actual objects and lines instead in your view window. So click on the objects and lines you want to attach, then click attach. After the layers are selected, click on the “attach icon” that looks like a little paper clip in the top of your layers palette. Now those two layers are attached and will appear on the same mat in your cutting window.
Change cut lines to score lines Cricut Explore Design Space software

Do this for each color and line grouping. We will select all the yellows and attach.

step 16

Then you will select the blue main box piece, and it’s corresponding score lines and attach. One thing to note, the Design Space software will show you what layers you are selecting by the box drawn around it. I’ve pointed it out in this screen shot above.

rearranging layers in Cricut design space software

You may now ask, Where did my layers go now that everything is attached? No worries. They did not disappear. You simply need to rearrange them. This step isn’t necessary, but it will calm your nerves, if you are uneasy about not seeing them in the picture.

rearranging layers Cricut Explore

Do this by clicking on the group you want to bring forward. Then click on the “arrange icon” in the top menu bar.  It will bring up a screen where you can choose to bring the selected group of layers to the front.


You can also do this by selecting on the objects in the view window, and right clicking then selecting “move forward” “move backward” “move to the front” or “move to the back.” Do this until you get your layers, or attached groups in the right order.

Cricut Explore Design Space tutorial for Design Space SVG conversions

Now let’s look at the Cricut Design Space Cutting dialog window. See how the parts are grouped perfectly onto their corresponding mats for paper color changes? Notice how the score lines and cut lines are on their correct mats too. You are ready to start cutting. Cool!

We invite all Cricut Explore users to use our files and hope you enjoy our SVG files specifically designed for cutting software that recognizes layers.

Thanks for visiting our blog today! Happy Cutting!


15 Comments to “Cricut Explore Design Space: Using our SVG files”

December 31, 2014 at 6:33 am

Pat Kulman says:

It is wonderful that you are willing to go the extra mile for us explore users! I love your files!

January 24, 2015 at 1:33 pm

Cheryl Dunn says:

Thank you so much for this information. It is with 5 times it’s weight in GOLD to me. I have not been using my Explore but my Expression as I love the files I can get free or buy for a little bit on the internet. This makes my Expression a thing of the past.



February 5, 2015 at 5:16 am

SamanthaW says:

I’m so glad that our article resonated with you! The Explore is a really cool machine, and it sounds like you will enjoy it even more after this all clicked with you. Yeah! Have fun creating!

your instructions are very easy to follow and understand. uploaded one of your freebies to the cricut explore design space without a hitch. thanks so much. love the playful look of your playground. :)

February 5, 2015 at 5:14 am

SamanthaW says:

Thanks, Agnes! I’m so glad you were able to use our file so easily. That is our goal! Please help us spread the word.

March 11, 2015 at 2:25 pm

SamanthaW says:

I have patched in updated instructions for the new version of Cricut DS. I intend to write a new article with new pictures to show the new way of doing this very soon. I hope you haven’t gotten used to the old way.

hi just wanted to say I came across your websight by chance I have a cricut and honestly have not bothered with it for over a year as found downloads and the machine not easy to use and just left it on a shelf and carried on using my cameo. I downloaded a simple design and managed to get it on my cricut and then looked into your sight more WOW I love what you are doing to help people like myself. I now understand my explore alot more and am using it alot.. Just a massive thank you for all the time and effort you put into informing people how to use the machine and helping me even do the scoring lines. What a difference Love your sight and will become a regular buying designs now I love my cricut explore. Massive thanks


March 30, 2015 at 2:52 pm

SamanthaW says:

Sherrie, I am so glad that you found us, and discovered that Cricut can be a fun machine to use. I agree, a little info goes a long way. I’m glad this made sense to you!

If you cut letters in vinyl, you need to use vinyl transfer paper and do a “kiss-cut” of the phrase. It will cut the letters but not the transfer paper, and you will be able to transfer the whole phrase to the wall or window that you are applying it to.

March 18, 2016 at 1:37 pm

Samantha says:

On my design space it has only upload image and upload pattern I can not figure out how to upload a multi layer image can anyone help me? Mine does not have Vector Upload like shown above

Cricut has changed their software once again. Now you can upload vector and non-vector with the same upload option. I will have to update these instructions. Sorry for the confusion. They change their software a lot.

May 9, 2016 at 11:47 pm

mawatrous says:

I am a new Cricut user and I have been very overwhelmed with the software and creating projects, but the candy box project you have shared has certainly helped to relieve a lot of my apprehension. Your Instructions with the screenshots and descriptions are incredibly clear and have made using my new machine fun and exciting. Thank you so much for sharing your expertise and knowledge and making learning how to use the Cricut a breeze. I am really looking forward to exploring your website and making more projects from the DigiPlayGround!

Leave a Reply