Cricut Scoring Tools and Tips: How to Change and Attach Score Lines in SVG Cut Files #cricut #cricutdesignspace #circutexplore #papercrafts

Share the love!

Stumped by Cricut scoring tools? Not sure how to change cut lines to score lines? Here’s how to score using Cricut Design Space and your Cricut cutting machine!

Many SVG cut files use the handy score feature available with Cricut. Scoring makes it SO much easier to fold your paper and cardstock. Alas, Cricut Design Space has no way of knowing if an uploaded SVG cut file’s lines are actually score lines. That means you have to manually change certain lines from cut to score after you upload a design. And if you’re new to Cricut and scoring, it’s not always so obvious how to do this. But I can show you how to use your Cricut scoring tools, set your score lines in Cricut Design Space, and make sure the scores stay with the right layer.

NOTE: I updated the photo tutorial below in summer 2021 to reflect the updated version of Cricut Design Space.

This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission but it won’t cost you a penny more)! Read my full disclosure policy.

About the Cricut Scoring Tools

There are currently two different Cricut scoring tools: the Scoring Stylus and the Scoring Wheel. The Scoring Stylus can be used in the accessory clamp of any Cricut Explore or Cricut Maker machine. The Scoring Wheel, on the other hand, can only be used in a Cricut Maker. Both the stylus and wheel score fine, but the wheel can exert more pressure and get a deeper, stronger score. Use whichever one you have.

Which Cricut scoring tool should you use? It’s mostly going to depend on your machine — if you have an Explore, you have no choice but to use the Scoring Stylus. If you have a Maker, you can decide. I personally use the Scoring Stylus most of the time because that doesn’t require that I change the tool mid project.

Tip: Get a Cricut Scoring Stylus or Cricut Scoring Wheel here.

Cricut Scoring: Understanding Layers

To understand Cricut scoring, we first need to understand the concept of layers in Cricut Design Space. All SVG cut files, except the very simplest, have layers. You can view the layers in the layer panel on the far right side of the Cricut Design Space (on desktop) or by tapping the Layers icon (in the iPhone/iPad/Android app). You can click or tap each layer in the panel and it will highlight and select it on your Canvas.

Cricut Design Space Layers Panel: Cricut Scoring Tutorial

Each line item in your Layers panel shows several important things — a thumbnail of the layer itself (so you can see a general shape), the color (or lack thereof), the linetype (attributes such as cut, draw, score, or print), and whether it is visible or hidden.

Cricut Scoring Tools and Tips: How to Change and Attach Score Lines in SVG Cut Files #cricut #cricutdesignspace #circutexplore #papercrafts

Understanding the Layers Panel for Cricut Scoring

By default, all score layers come in with the “Basic Cut” linetype. But score layers are not intended to be cut; they need to be scored. This particular project, like many other SVG projects I make, has score lines built in to help you fold the project after it is cut.

But all score lines are really just lines — YOU have to tell Cricut Design Space that you want them to be scored instead of cut.

Thankfully, this is easy. Here’s how you do it:

How to Change Cut Lines to Score Lines in Cricut Design Space

First, you need to upload your SVG cut file to Cricut Design Space. Here’s how to upload SVG cut files on Desktop (Mac or PC), and here’s how to upload SVG cut files on the iPad/iPhone.

Second, you need to identify the score lines.

Here’s a video of me setting and attaching score lines if you like to learn that way:

Your instructions or tutorial for the file will usually mention which lines are score lines, but you can also tell which layers are score lines with the fact that their thumbnail has NO color in the layers panel (it just looks empty). There is no color because it’s just a line or set of lines.

How to identify cut lines that should be score lines for Cricut Scoring

Once you find it, do this to get your Cricut scoring lines set correctly in the DESKTOP version of Cricut Design Space:

  1. Click the layer with the lines to be scored to select it.  When you have selected a layer, it will turn dark gray in the Layers panel.
  2. Go to the Operation menu at the top of your screen and change it from Cut to Score. 

Setting score lines in the linetype menu in Cricut Design Space for Cricut Scoring

Here’s what the layer looks like now that it is properly set as a score line:

Setting score lines in Cricut Design Space for Cricut Scoring

Do this for each score line layer. In this file, there are four of them, all indicated by the colorless thumbnail.

Great! So now our score lines have their linetypes properly set. But we’re not done yet. Keep reading!

How to Ungroup and Attach Layers in Design Space

One important thing you must do is understand Grouping, Ungrouping, and Attaching Layers, because it applies to scoring!

Let’s look closely at the layer of the Owl Shadow Box Card. At the top of the Layers panel, note that there is a small black arrow next to the word “Group.” This black arrow indicates which layers in this file are grouped together. If you click the arrow icon to the immediate left of the word “Group,” it will display (or collapse) all items in that group so you can see what is in the group. In this case, everything in this file is grouped.

How to identify groups in the layers panel for Cricut Scoring


Before we can change anything about how these layers are attached together, we need to UNGROUP the layers. To ungroup, click on the layer that says Group (it should turn dark gray which lets you know it has been selected), then click Ungroup at the top of the Layers panel.

How to ungroup groups in the layers panel for Cricut Scoring


You’ll see now the word “Group” is gone, but we still have a bunch of black arrows! Those black arrows indicate the sub-groups that were in this group. So this is important to note — some files, especially more complex ones, have more than one grouping. You can always ungroup any group, if you need to.

In this case, however, we don’t need to ungroup these subgroups. They were setup on purpose so that the score lines were grouped with the layer they belong to. This is important because it’s now necessary to ATTACH the score lines to the appropriate layer.

Now, I gotta be real with you. This idea of grouping and attaching was hard to wrap my head around at first, and judging from all the emails I get and comments I see on Facebook, it’s hard for you too. At this point, I have a good grasp on it, so let me try to explain the difference.

Grouping is just a way to indicate layers that belong with one another. Those layers may be anywhere on the Canvas — they are together, but not fixed in place together. Attaching, on the other hand, keeps those layers physically together when you go to cut the file. So they aren’t just together, they are linked by position.

Think of it this way. Grouping is like taking a walk in a park with someone you love. You might walk a little faster or slower at times, someone might stop to talk to a friend, but otherwise you’re together — you’ll arrive and leave at the same time.

Attaching is like holding hands while you’re taking that walk. You have to walk at the same pace and stay together when you’re holding hands, right? One doesn’t go anywhere without the other.

This is important because we need to get our appropriate score lines and cut lines to hold hands! We need to attach them!

Thankfully, this is also pretty easy. Just select the two layers you want to attach to one another (hold down the Shift key as you click on each layer to select multiples) and click the Attach button at the bottom of the Layers panel. When it is successful, the word Attach appears above the layers to indicate they are now attached together.

How to attach score layers to cut layers in Cricut Design Space

You’ll want to attach all of the layers that have score lines to their cut lines, just like this.

All layers with cut and score lines attached together in Cricut Design Space for proper Cricut scoring

Now, something that trips people up is when they cannot attach two layers. This is pretty much always because of a group. If you ungroup layers and keep ungrouping until the groups are all gone, you can always attach two layers together. Next time you have an issue with attaching, make sure you’ve ungrouped EVERYTHING, then try to attach the layers.

Ok, now that we’ve modified the layer linetypes from Cut to Score, and attached the layers with the Score Lines to their appropriate Cut Layers, let’s save this project! Just click the Save link up in the top right corner, give it a good name, and click Save. Now this project is in our Cricut Cloud and can be accessed anytime we open Cricut Design Space regardless of where we are.

And this file is now ready for cutting. Just click that Make It button and you’re good to go.

More Cricut Tips and Tutorials

Here are more of my Cricut tips and tutorials to help you make the most of your Cricut!

Best Cricut Design Space Tips & Tricks & Tutorials #cricut #cricutexplore #cricutmaker #tips #crafts  How to Use Cricut Pens to Write on the Cricut Explore Air and Cricut Maker - Tutorial  

30+ Easy Cricut Project Ideas - Fun & Free! #cricut #svg #papercraft  The BEST Cricut Tips and Tricks for Better Crafting | Cricut Settings | Cricut Hacks New Cricut Setup Guide | Cricut Explore Air | Tips and Tricks


Cricut Coach Playbook: A Collection of Easy One-Page Diagrams for Popular Tasks in Cricut Design SpaceI hope you found this tutorial helpful! If you are looking for more help with your Cricut, be sure to checkout my Cricut Coach Playbook filled with one-page reference sheets for all of the popular tasks in Cricut Design Space.



Want to remember this? Save the Cricut Scoring Tools & Tips to your favorite Pinterest board!

Cricut Tutorial: Scoring Tools and Tips: How to Change and Attach Score Lines in SVG Cut Files #cricut #cricutdesignspace #circutexplore #papercrafts

Learn how to use the Cricut Scoring Stylus and the Cricut Scoring Wheel in this tutorial. I share my best tips and tricks to help you score your projects. #cricut #cricutmade #cricutmaker #cricutexplore #papercrafts #papercrafting

Similar Posts


  1. i’m struggling with the pop up birthday cake card. I really want to make this card but cant get past the scoring grouping and regrouping and attaching. I’ve already uploaded the svg’s and I’ve watched the video tutorial but it starts after the paper is cut and I cant get to the cut and score. I’ve only had my maker for about 2 weeks, and I really want to use it. Love all of Jennifer’s videos so not sure why this one doesn’t start in design space?

    Thank you,

  2. Jennifer please can you do a video about everything on this page but a VIDEO. I can’t learn this way 🙂

    1. You can always remove score lines and then score your projects by hand after they’re cut using a ruler and something you have that could provide a crease line.

  3. Is there a way to make the scored lined dashed instead of solid with the Explore? I see you can do a perforation with the Maker, but I have the Explore with a stylus. Thanks!

  4. Jennifer, I have a Cricut Explore Air 2, so I can only use the scoring stylus (not the scoring wheel). My problem is, the scoring stylus doesn’t actually DO anything to my paper (no matter which angle I look at the paper with, I cannot SEE the scored line, and the paper doesn’t “want” to bend where it’s supposedly been scored). I was so surprised to read in this post that you prefer the stylus even when using your Cricut Maker, because, to me, the stylus seems useless. Any ideas what I am doing wrong?

    1. Hi Sonya! This is a known issue. The best thing to do is when your project is done cutting, don’t unload it. Go ahead and put your scoring stylus back in if you took it out and hit the Cricut button till it pulls your mat back in and it will score it again for you.

      1. JenniferMaker, Thank you for your suggestion. Unfortunately, I’ve tried multiple passes of my stylus before, to no avail. But, I wanted to share with you, and anyone else who stumbles across this thread, how Cricut helpdesk solved this problem for me today.

        The person at Cricut help first confirmed that I had the adapter installed in Clamp A, then checked that the stylus was pressed down far enough (so the arrow on the stylus was hidden by the adapter). Check & check.

        Then, she had me perform the following steps:

        1. With my Cricut powered on, unplug the Cricut power cord.
        2. While the Cricut is without power, press and **keep holding down** the “Load Mat” button on the Cricut (the double arrow), and plug the power cord back into the Cricut (while you still have the “Load Mat” button held down). At this point, your Cricut power button will be solid red, and you can let go of the “Load Mat” button.
        3. In Design Space, with a “New” canvas, go to the top left and click on the 3 lines.
        4. Click on “Update Firmware” and follow the prompts in the window that pops up.
        5. Test whether this solution worked by designing and then making a simple cut square with a score line through it (the Cricut helpdesk lady *did* suggest putting three score lines on top of each other).

        When I did Step 5, I could see that my problem was solved even after the stylus just made one pass!!! YAY!!!!

        So, essentially, for me, this was a firmware issue. I’m so happy it’s fixed, I just **had** to share!

        **DISCLAIMER: This might not be *YOUR* problem. Call the Cricut help desk for your individual solution. Seriously, call them – they really help.

          1. Thank YOU, JenniferMaker, for your prompt response, and trying so earnestly to help me!! You are awesome!

  5. I find your posts very helpful! But I do have a questions an cannot find the answer anywhere. Hoping you can help! I am making cards that need to be cut, scored, and written on with my Cricut Air 2. So we know the pen and score tool cannot be loaded at the same time but when I click to make such projects, it lists scoring and drawing on the same mat. But it obviously can’t…how do I separate them? I can’t figure it out! Can you help me or do you have a video/blog about this topic? Thank you!

    1. Hi Virginia! Design Space will prompt you to insert your scoring tool, it will score. Then when it is ready, it will prompt you to insert your pen for writing. Give it a try!

  6. Jennifer:

    Thank you SO MUCH for the “Attach” concept regarding scoring and folding!!! I am a professional corporate graphic designer and have used Adobe Illustrator since it came out in 1988!!!! I couldn’t get Cricut to line up my scores with my cuts.

    I LOVE your analogy of walking through the park HOLDING Hands! I had tried grouping the score/cuts and even creating a compound path (which just buried the score, never to be seen by Cricut, inside the cut). Of course “Attaching” made it happen!

    Before when they almost lined up, Cricut had me score, eject material, then reload to cut which of course makes it impossible to line up the scores exactly with the cut.

    One side note: I had 3 arrows in different orientations which I wanted to score down the middle to fold for dimension. Once I attached one score to its arrow, Cricut attached them all! I’m sure I’ll be back to your site with more questions as I explore this new tool!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.