When I first got my Cricut Joy I wasted so many materials and countless hours trying to figure out how to make my designs work on UK (and elsewhere) standard size cards, like A6 (or 10x15cm photo size). Because – infuriatingly – it’s not as simple as setting up your design with 10cm x 15cm dimensions. Go figure, as our US craft cousins might say.
Why don’t the measurements in Design Space correspond to ‘real life’ measurements? I have never been able to work this out – do let me know if you have the answer! Why doesn’t Cricut offer templates in non-US paper sizes? Again, I have no idea.
The name “Joy” seemed a bitter irony; I was on the brink of tears that I couldn’t use this expensive card maker I had just bought to make A6 cards! Well, after a huge amount of trial and (mainly) error, I figured out the hack.
And here is the secret: the perfect dimensions for an A6/10x15cm design are 9.531cm x 14.57cm.
Of course, there is no Cricut template for our non-US card size, so we need to hack our own. Start by creating a rectangle in the secret dimensions given above.
To do this, use the free square shape, and click the padlock to enable you to freely change the measurements.
Then set it to the Pen operation, and choose a colour that doesn’t feature anywhere else in your design. This is your frame to work within.
When you’ve finished designing your card, select your entire design and hit “Attach”, then “Make It”.
For the “Material Load Type” select the “On Card Mat” drop down.
When using your card mat, Cricut wants you to be making a card in one of three standard US sizes. We’re not, of course, which is where a little bit of Cricut hacking comes into play. Cricut will assume your card design is supposed to be for a card measuring 11.43cm x 15.89cm. Let’s just let Cricut (wrongly) assume that’s the card size you’ll be using.
Ensure you move your whole design into the upper left corner of the red outline, before hitting continue. Don’t skip this step, or your design will end up in the wrong place!
You might wonder why we don’t just delete or hide the frame, now that we have finished our design. The frame is our secret tool for ensuring our design is exactly where we want it on our card, on the ‘Prepare’ screen, before we print and cut. Without it we would be guessing where to place it.
Now you can go ahead and print and cut your design as usual. When you are prompted to put in the pen colour of your frame, simply remove any pen or blade currently in the Cricut Joy, and let the machine think it is drawing the frame.