Sorry for the delay this morning. I love Time Warner internet when it works. Too bad it stopped working nationwide last night. That’s the 2nd time this month. And with us living on a military base, we don’t have any other options for internet service. Grrr. But on the positive side, when it is working, it’s lightening fast.
One of our Exploring Cricut and More followers asked this question recently.
I have already answered her via e-mail, but I thought I would share my answer with all of ya’ll, as well. Although I love my Expression 2, I never have used the center cut feature. So my answer won’t be a way to adapt the technique to the Explore but rather how I would achieve the same result.
Let’s say your picture is 4″x6″ and the part you would like to cut out is 3″x5″, which leaves 1/2″ of excess on all sides. Open cricut design space and insert an oval image. Go to the edit toolbar and change the size to 3″x5″. You may need to unlock the sizes, otherwise every adjustment you make will keep the image proportional and not the size you desire. This is achieved by clicking on the lock icon until it opens. At this point, there is no need to worry about positioning. Where the image is on this screen is not where it will cut on the canvas.
Click Go and the matt preview will pop up. In this screen, you can move the oval to whatever position you desire. Click on the oval and a cursor box will surround your image. Align the cursor box so the top left corner is at 1/2″x1/2″ on the screen. Now, place your picture in the top left corner of your cutting matt (aka 0″x0″). Load your matt and cut like normal.
Something to notice is Design Space creates a border of about 1/4″ around the matt where it will not cut. So if you want to cut an oval placed directly in the corner of your picture, you will need to move the oval (and your picture) to another spot on the matt. It may require some basic math, but ya’ll are some pretty smart folks and will have no issues. Also, remember that each solid line represents an inch on the matt. So even though the font is teeny tiny, you can count the lines to compare the matt on the screen to your cutting matt and make sure everything is lined up perfectly.
Another method is to ignore everything I just said, well at least the stuff about alignment, and just cut the oval in the default position onto some scratch cardstock. Then, you can use this to “frame” your image to cut exactly where you want it to. This is very useful if your desired image isn’t in the center of your photo. In the example below, you can see that my picture is very crooked. However, the flowers I want to show off are perfectly framed. Just remember to line up the cardstock on the matt in the same spot each time and remove it before cutting.
I made a stationery set using a dozen pictures I took when Matt and I visited the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona. The scalloped oval I used to frame my pictures came from the cricut Baby Steps cartridge, but obviously anything will work. The paper I used is the 8.5″x12″ Southwest cricut cardstock. One sheet makes 2 A2 cards plus a random extra 1″x8.5″ strip. I just love how the colors coordinate so well with my desert flowers.