What are Cricut registration marks? How do you use them?
There are 2 reasons why you should be using Cricut registration marks in your projects. Learn how to use them and how to create them.
Cricut Registration Marks – The video
What are Cricut Registration Marks?
Would you like to have completely level projects from now on?
What would you say if I told you I have a fool proof way to line up multiple vinyl layers?
Cricut registration marks do just that.
Cricut Registration Marks are marks or blocks we deliberately put on our projects to help us line up several different layers or to help level our project.
In the picture above on the left, you can’t see both the green and red Cricut registration marks because they are on top of each other. In the picture on the right, I have moved the two images so you can see both Cricut registration marks.
Let’s learn how to use Cricut registration marks and how to create them.
How to use Cricut Registration Marks to Level Projects
There are a couple ways to use Cricut Registration marks. If we want to create level projects, that isn’t always easy to do with designs. Some designs are not the same height on both sides, so lining them up level on each side isn’t going to work.
We can use them to help make our project level when we transfer it on whatever material we are using. Using the Cricut registration marks we can line up corners or marks we make on wood or any material we are using showing a level line.
You can see above that I marked my level line with green tape. Then it was easy for me to line up my Cricut registration marks. Now when I come back with the red, I put the red registration marks right on top. Be careful, don’t press hard on the registration marks, you want them to come off when you are done placing all the pieces.
We can also use Cricut registration marks to line up multiple layers of vinyl using the exact same action plan, but working from the bottom layer all the way to the top layer, matching up the registration marks for each color.
How to Make Registration Marks
The idea is to have Cricut registration marks for each color or layer in your design. In the picture above, you can see there are green registration marks and red registration marks. For every color in your design, you will need to make registration marks. I only used 2 colors, so I only had 2 different colored registration marks
We build the Cricut registration marks on top of each other, that way when the vinyl is cut in Cricut, we can line each color up with the same registration marks and it will all fit together perfectly like a puzzle. I know it’s confusing.
Creating Registration Marks
So let’s create some Cricut registration marks. Either create your own design, like I did, or grab a layered design from either your downloads or the Cricut image library and put it on the Cricut canvas.
Now don’t start separating the layers. It seems that is what I always want to do, but that makes this job harder.
Click on your image that has multiple layers and then click Ungroup. Now each layer is separate. That is how we need them to be to create the registration marks. But still don’t move them.
Click on Shapes in CDS (Cricut Design Space) and grab a square or a star, it’s up to you. Duplicate it 1 or 3 times. Depending on how detailed the image is and how many layers, is how I decide how many to duplicate. If it is a fairly easy image, like the one above, I would duplicate it just once more.
Take one of the registration marks, that’s what the square or star is now going to be called, and put one in each of the upper corners of the image. Not too close and not touching the image. More like a frame, so outside the image, but not too far away either. Look at the image below.
Once you have your registration marks in place, just like I have shown you above, click on the registration mark on the left, press the control key on your keyboard, and hold while you click on the registration mark on the right. Now click Weld on the far right bottom corner in CDS.
This welds those two registration marks together. If you chose to use 4 registration marks, one for each corner, then just keep clicking on each one of them while you have the Control key pushed down on your keyboard.
Now click duplicate these registration marks for as many colors as you have in your design. I only have one more color, so I only click duplicate once. But if you have 4 colors in your image, click on duplicate in the top right hand corner 3 more times.
Now that we have all our registration marks created, drag the duplicates to the side of your canvas while you work on the first set.
Adding Registration Marks to Layers
Working on the right hand side of CDS, locate your layers panel and click on the eye of all the layers, except the first layer. Ignore the welded registration marks. You don’t need to hide those. We want to hide each layer so we can work with one layer at a time.
When you click all the eyes, it hides that layer. You will know it’s hidden because the eye icon will have a line through it.
So my first layer is the heart and this is what it looks like on my canvas when I click the eye of the state.
The state is hidden, but the heart and the registration marks are still there. Everything is still in the exact spot it was. We haven’t moved anything.
Now, drag a box around the heart and squares and weld them together. The squares/registration marks should turn red just like the heart. That layer is done.
Grab another set of registration marks we already made and put it on top of the red one. You may need to arrange the pieces so the new marks are on top of the old ones. You can do this with the tool above called Arrange, then click Send to the Front. Try to get these marks exactly on top of each other. It’s important that all the marks line up exactly.
Now go back to your layers panel and click the eye of the heart and unclick the eye of the state.
This is what mine looks like. Now drag a box around both, click weld and that layer is done too.
Cutting Registration Marks in Cricut
When you have done this with every layer, you are now ready to cut your material. Each color should be on its own mat and have their corresponding registration marks on the cutting mat as well.
If you have used the same color for more than 2 layers, they may be on the same mat as that color. Cricut is trying to save you materials. Thank you Cricut!
This is what your cutting mats should look like.
I know it looks odd, but this really does work. So when you are ready, go ahead and cut your materials.
How to put Registration Marks on Project
Once all your layers are cut out and put on transfer tape, unless it’s HTV, its time to create your image. Think about this step very carefully. Start with the bottom layer. For me, that will be my state. I usually cut my vinyl so that I can put my registration marks in place without fighting with the rest of the vinyl. I generally cut where you see the red lines below.
Before putting your materials on your project, make sure you have measured to create a level line, so that you can now put your registration marks on this line for every layer.
So…your level line is drawn, each layer is on transfer tape and trimmed as I showed you above. You are now ready to assemble your project.
Start with the bottom layer. Peel back the transfer tape under the registration marks. Don’t peel back any more than just those marks.
Lay the registration marks on the level line. Once you are sure they are in the proper place, slowly start removing the rest of the transfer tape by pulling it down from underneath. Go slowly and work out on the image with your scraper as you go so there are no bubbles.
Do each layer exactly like this and you will have a perfectly level and perfectly assembled layered project. Don’t forget to take the Cricut registration marks off once you have it all assembled.
Whew…that was a lot of work. But I promise, it’s worth it.