How to Create your own Heat Press Design using Canva

How to Create your own Heat Press Design using Canva main article image
Posted on February 22, 2021 by Emily O'Leary

If you do not know about the program Canva, you are missing out! If you are unaware of what I am talking about, Canva is a free website that you can use to design anything that your heart desires. It is also super user friendly, so crafters of any level can utilize it. I am going to demonstrate step by step how you can make your own design to transfer to Cricut Design Space to cut out for a heat press project! Of course, this would also be applicable to other Cricut crafts, such as vinyl stickers. First, I will walk you through a digital tour of the basic Canva tools, and then I will teach you how to make your own design!

Get started with Canva

First, you will want to make an account. You can log in with your Google, Facebook, or Apple accounts, but I would sincerely recommend just signing up with your email and creating a password. This way you can ensure that you do not lose your designs!

Once you get to the home page, you’ll want to click “create a design” on the upper right-hand corner. I would highly recommend customizing the size of the design layout to the size it will be when you cut it, or slightly bigger. In my experience, you can always shrink a design, but if you try to blow a design up too much it becomes grainy and may compromise the integrity of your cut. You can also change the unit of measurement when you create the design dimensions; you can choose centimeters, millimeters, inches, or pixels.

After you choose “create design”, your screen should look somewhat like this.

Editing in Canva

I will guide you through each of the sections on the left side, even though you will only need to know how to utilize a few.

The templates menu is sort of self-explanatory. It is dedicated to providing templates for a specific layout category – Instagram posts, posters, you name it. These templates are also customizable, so if you see an intriguing element that you would potentially want to use, you could take it from that template.

The upload menu I utilize a lot. Basically, this is where you can access images that you have uploaded from your computer. To upload them, either drag the file from your desktop to the menu or click “upload media” and click where you would like to upload the image from. Be careful though because not all image and file types are supported to upload.

The photos menu is where you can use stock photos and implement them in your design. For this tutorial, we will not be utilizing this menu.

The elements menu is where you can find items to give your design flair – lines, shapes, and even drawings. To add these to your design, just click the element you would like to add to your design and it will pop up in the middle of the page. Then, just drag it to where you want it!

The text menu is also pretty self-explanatory. To add text to your design, just click one of the three text options and it will be added to the page. I would recommend using the headline option first and then increasing or decreasing the size if needed. 

For this guide, you will not need to know about the other menus. 

How to make your own heat press design

To create your design, get creative! I usually utilize Canva for text-based designs, but depending on the file type, you can also integrate some of Creative Fabrica’s images into your own design! I will link the one I used in my design here.

I will also offer some tips and advice to elevate your design to the next level. 

First of all, I would highly recommend working with just white and black colors. If you are transferring this over to Cricut Design Space or a different cutting platform, there will not be any layers in the design, so keep that in mind as you are working.

I would also recommend you keep in mind that you will most likely be weeding the design after you cut it out, so it is important that you do not choose a font that has “brush strokes” in it. For example, search for the font “Lemon Tuesday”. While the font is super pretty, it would be a pain in the butt to weed.

Edit the design

You can also trim or crop images in your design. To do this, double left click on the image and drag the edges to the part of the image you want to keep. It should look similar to this if you are wanting to keep the image on the left. 

You can also group together elements to move them together. To group items together, click and drag a section of elements you want to group. Then just click “group” at the upper right-hand corner.

Seems easy enough, right? When you are satisfied with your design, you can click the white box at the top right with the three dots or ellipses. It will then prompt you on how you and to save your design. If you are planning on cutting out your design, I would recommend using a PNG format to save your design. After you hit save, your design is ready to transfer to DesignSpace or another cutting platform!

Transfer the file to Cricut Design Space

To transfer this design to Design Space, first you will need to open a new project. Then, click on the “upload” icon at the bottom of the left side menu panel. Then, click upload image or drag and drop your design into Design Space. It will then give you three options as an image type. I always go with complex, but you can choose whichever type you think best suits your image. Then, you will want to click and erase all of the white space in the design. This will ensure that your design cuts properly. Once you think you have the design the way you want it cut, click on the next menu and it will show you a rough outline of how your design will be cut. If you go to the next menu and you see some parts that you still need to remove, you can always go back and forth to delete the bits you do not need. Once you are satisfied with your cut design, Click “save” and it will save your design to your uploads.

To place your design into design space, click your design and then “upload images”. Your design will then pop up onto Design Space. From there, you may want to shrink or increase the sizing of your image.

From here, you can finally cut your design! If you are using this design as a heat press, please remember to mirror your design before cutting it. 

Now you have successfully designed and produced your project! Now you can make and customize your own designs. Let me know what you make in the comments below!

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