Write with Cricut Explore & Cricut Maker using pens! Includes directions on how to address envelopes and invitations with the Cricut Calligraphy Pen + Other Pens Tutorial | #Cricut

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Learn how to use pens in your Cricut to make gorgeous handwritten gifts and even address envelopes and invitations! Cricut writing is so much easier than you might think!

Your Cricut is more than a cutting machine … it’s a crazy powerhouse of a writing machine! If you love the handwritten look but hate your handwriting (or the hand cramps that come with it), Cricut’s got your back. Just pop in a pen, set your design to “Draw” in Cricut Design Space, and click that Go button. But it’s not really THAT easy, is it? But almost! I’m going to share with you all of my Cricut writing tips, tricks, and font ideas so you can get compliments on your handwriting, too!

I created a video that goes over Cricut writing and pens here:

Write with Cricut Explore & Cricut Maker using pens! Includes directions on how to address envelopes and invitations with the Cricut Calligraphy Pen + Other Pens Tutorial | #Cricut

Let me show you how to use your Cricut to write! 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.

How to Create Text in Cricut Design Space

First, we need some text before we can ever start writing with our Cricut. To create text, go to Cricut Design Space, click on the Text icon on the left (it looks like a big “T”), type something you want written in the box that pops up, and then click anywhere outside the box to set it. For this tutorial, let’s write “Cricut Rocks!”

Creating text in Cricut Design Space for Cricut Writing

Creating text in Cricut Design Space for Cricut Writing

Sizing: Chances are it won’t be the size you want it, so click the double-arrow icon in the lower left corner of your text box to make it bigger or smaller. You can also change your text’s size by changing the size in the Font Size drop-down menu at the top of the screen.

Changing the size of text in Cricut Design Space for Cricut Writing

Changing the size of text in Cricut Design Space for Cricut Writing

Choosing a Writing Font: To change the font, first make sure your text is selected (click on it) and choose a writing font from the drop-down Font menu in the upper left corner of your Design Space screen. Once you’re in the font selection area, you can search your fonts or even choose to view just your computer’s fonts or Cricut’s font. You can also click the “Filter” label to see just your fonts, multi-layer fonts, single-layer fonts, and writing fonts. Since we’re writing something, you want to be sure you choose a Writing font. Click the Filter label, then click on Writing to see all fonts appropriate for writing. Be aware that not all fonts are free, so choose wisely. I’m going to choose “Dear John,” which is a font available free with Cricut Access.

Choosing a writing font for your text in Design Space for Cricut Writing

Note on Font Selection: You can write with a non-writing font, but it won’t come out as expected—the Cricut will simply draw the outline of the font, which is probably not what you wanted and definitely does not look handwritten. So pick writing fonts for your Cricut writing!

Selecting a writing style for a font in Cricut Design Space for Cricut Writing

Font with Writing Styles: Many of the Cricut fonts have multiple styles which you’ll see in the drop-down Writing menu. You want to be sure “Writing” is selected in this Style menu, whenever available.

Character Spacing: If your letters look too spread out or too tight, you should fix this before you write! Click on your text block and click the arrows on the Letter Space at the top of the screen until it looks right.

Changing character spacing in Cricut Design Space for Cricut Writing

Character Spacing Tip: If you just can’t get your characters spaced perfectly, click on the Advanced icon at the top of the screen, then choose Ungroup Letters. Now you can move each letter individually. Move the letters where you want them to be (hold down the Shift key to keep them aligned as you move), then select all the letters and choose “Attach” or “Weld” in the lower right to keep them all together.

Ungrouping to letters in Cricut Design Space for Cricut Writing

Select Pen Color: You can change your pen color by selecting the square in the toolbar by the Linetype box. A new Color Chooser panel will appear—just select a new color from this panel to set it. Selecting pen color in Cricut Design Space for Cricut Writing

When you’re happy with your text, click Make It to send it to your Cricut.

Clicking Make It in Cricut Design Space to write on your Cricut

How to Use Cricut Pens to Write on the Cricut Explore Air and Cricut Maker - Tutorial

How to Get Cricut Writing with Pens

Once you have created some text in Design Space, it’s time to actually get your Cricut to write it out for you.

Your Cricut comes with two tool clamps — clamp A and clamp B. Clamp A is for accessories, and this is where we can put pens. To insert a pen, simply open clamp A and insert the pen tip down while holding up on the bottom. If you’re inserting a Cricut pen, you’ll know it’s in place because you will hear it click and the arrow will disappear. Be sure to close the clamp once the pen is in.

And did you know you can use pens other than Cricut pens? You can! Not all pens work, but I’ll be showing which ones work for me in this video. Also, other brands of pens won’t click in the way the Cricut pens do. So the best way to insert non-Cricut pens is to hold a craft stick underneath the clamp while you insert the pen. Allow the tip of the pen to just barely kiss the craft stick—then you’ll know it’s in the right position. Close the clamp, remove the craft stick, and you’re ready to go!

Tip: Always test your pens on a scrap piece of paper before you use them in your Cricut. If they are new, they may need to be primed a bit to get the ink going, so you’ll want to do that BEFORE your Cricut uses them on your project.

Now let’s do some Cricut writing. I’ve prepared a test file in Cricut Design Space that will let us try out both Cricut pens and non-Cricut pens. I tested a variety of different pens on my Cricut Explore Air, Cricut Explore Air 2, and Cricut Maker, including:

Other pens I tried that did NOT fit in either my Cricut Explore Air or my Cricut Maker include Sharpie Fine Point Markers, Pilot Rollerball Precise v5, and Pilot G2 Gel Pens. I did get a BIC Mechanical Pencil to work once in my Explore Air 2, but it would not fit later on in my Explore Air or Maker. Note, however, that you may be able to use these and other pens that don’t fit if you purchase the Ultimate Cricut Pen Adapter Set off Etsy—I’ve put a link to it in this video’s description.

When you’re ready, load your mat and press the Go button to begin writing. For my writing text, I set most of these pens to write in the same “writing” font called Dear John, which is a Cricut font that is a part of Cricut Access. The only two that aren’t in the Dear John font are the two calligraphy pens, which are in Emiline, also available with Cricut Access.

Here are the results of my Cricut writing test:

Results of the Cricut Writing Test with Cricut Pens, Cricut Calligraphy Pens, and other pens and markers

Finding the writing fonts that look good on the Cricut can be tricky. Your best bet is to use the fonts in Cricut Design Space that are designated as “writing” as they won’t create “bubble” letters when the pen tries to outline a standard font. When searching for fonts, just click the “Filter” label on the far right then select “Writing” from the drop-down menu—now Cricut will only show you fonts that are good for writing with pens.

Now, what if you find a font you love but it’s not available as a writing font? There is a way to turn it into writing if you really want! You can create text from it in Inkscape or Illustrator by tracing the text you want with a single vector line, which is what is needed for a proper writing font. So if you feel comfortable using Inkscape or Illustrator, trace your text in that pretty font and save it as an SVG file to upload to Cricut Design Space.  Learn more about tracing an image or text in my SVG Design Course.

Address envelopes and invitations with a Cricut and a Calligraphy Pen! | #weddinginvitations #calligraphy #cricut

How to Address Envelopes with a Cricut Calligraphy Pen

Did you know you can address envelopes and invitations on your Cricut? You can! You can do it with any pen that fits, but I think that envelopes and invitations look the best if you use the Cricut Calligraphy Pen.

To show you what I mean, I’ve prepared a pretend invitation to my 50th birthday party. (No, I’m not really having a party, but I AM turning 50 this year!)

When you use your Cricut Calligraphy pen, you must put the tip in at a 45-degree angle to your machine so you get the pretty thick and thin lines associated with calligraphy. For the best results, angle your pen’s tip so it’s going off at an angle to the lower left corner of your machine. (If you put it going at an angle the other way, it just doesn’t look as good.)

Putting the Cricut calligraphy pen in at a 45° angle for best Cricut writing results

Tip: Use the arrow on the front of your Cricut calligraphy pen as a guide and point it at the left corner of your drop-down front panel.

It’s also important to note that you need to position your text so it writes in the proper place on your envelope. You can do this by clicking and dragging your text when you get to the Mat Preview screen.

When you’re ready, put an envelope on a cutting mat, load the mat, and press Go.

There we go! It’s gorgeous, isn’t it? And I wouldn’t know this wasn’t hand lettered if someone gave it to  me.

I used the Emiline font for this envelope design.

The results of a Cricut Calligraphy Pen on an invitation envelope

One thing to note is that to get this pretty look with your Cricut writing, I used one of the advanced features of Design Space. I selected my text, clicked Advanced, and then chose “Ungroup to Letters.” This allowed me to move each letter individually so I could position it where it looked best. When done, just select all of the letters and click Attach.

I hope this has given you some helpful insight into how to write on your Cricut!

I’d love to see your project! If you make one, please share a photo in our Facebook group or tag me on social media with #jennifermaker.

If you’d like to learn more about Cricut, check out my Cricut Coach Playbook, filled with over 100 printable one-page diagrams that show you how to do all the popular tasks in Cricut Design Space!


Want to remember this? Save the Cricut Writing and Pen Tutorial post to your favorite Pinterest board!

Cricut Writing Best Tips & Tricks with a pink Cricut and a black penWrite with Cricut Explore & Cricut Maker using pens! Includes directions on how to address envelopes and invitations with the Cricut Calligraphy Pen + Other Pens Tutorial | #Cricut

Cricut writing has never been easier than with the Cricut Explore & Cricut Maker! This guide will have you addressing envelopes and using your Cricut pens like a pro in no time! #Cricut #cricutmade #cricutmaker #cricutexplore #cricutpens #tutorial

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  1. ג’נפר יקירה

    יום נפלא רציתי לומר תודה על ההדרכה הטיפים הכל כל כך מובן וברור

  2. I am so happy to Have found your Pinterest site. You make everything seem so easy, even though they look so hard!!
    Thank you!!
    Cathy Pfingsten

  3. Hi Jennifer,
    thank you for the wonderful video.
    I wasn’t successful writing with anything other than Cricut pens 🙁
    I tried the same ones you tried in your video, but they will start the first letter and then pop up!
    Your video and blog were so explanatory. Great job! Thank you!

  4. Hi, for the envelope with the Calligraphy writing I see what pen was used but what specific font was that? Sorry if I missed it but I tried reading twice and watching the video but didn’t catch that. I’ve been doing some trial an error with the envelopes but hadn’t tried the Calligraphy pen yet! Thank you. Awesome tips and tricks and tutorials!

  5. I have used Silhouette pens with out an adapter in my Air 2 . thy work well but don;t hold a lot of ink

  6. Hi Jennifer, thanks for the post. How high of an item can I print with the machine? Would it be able to print a wooden spoon?

    1. You’re welcome, Tovi! A Cricut Maker can work with items up to 2 mm (.09 in.) thick, so it would NOT work with a wooden spoon unless it was exceptionally flat.

    2. I’m new to Cricut – is the print with pens function only useful with text (addressing envelope, etc) or can it be used for designs, shapes, other writing type functions? Would you use this for tee shirts, vinyl or other applications. Great video!!

    3. Hi. Thank you for your always helpful tips.
      Question, how can we “draw” an image with the Cricut Explore air 2 that does not “bubble” or become double lined when changing the setting from “cut” to write?

  7. Hi Jennifer. Thanks for your great post, I’m eager to try it. I have two questions. How do you keep the text from moving to the top left? That always happens when I cut and I assume the same thing would happen if I write? Also, is there a way to save addresses and recall them to use again in Design Space? Would be great for Christmas cards…

  8. Jennifer, thank you for your instructions. I’m having a problem using Cricut Pens. Whenever I use them, they smear. Have you had this problem and how did you solve it?

  9. Can you write on vinyl. I tried with the pen that came with my cricut but the ink kept smearing. What should I use . Thanks

  10. Thank you thank you thank you! I just got my cricut in the mail and did a search on how to do fonts using non-cricut pens and your site is the first one that came up. I make treats and desserts and was trying to figure out the best way to do my labels. Thanks again. Btw you look nowhere near 50 :).

  11. Hi I have no luck with lining up envelopes on the mat to align with the writing. Its always off centre , how do i correct that? yours was perfect in your video! Ive tried and tried and am losing my mind! lol please help!

  12. Jennifer, I love your tutorials! They have been inspiring and extremely helpful. Have you ever tried to print white or silver on black cardstock? I have a daughter-in-law that wanted me to print her daughter’s 2nd birthday invitation on a black cat cut from cardstock. I’ve tried to explain that it can’t be done on most home computers and the rare white ink is extremely expensive. I got to thinking that it might be possible with my Air Explorer. Have you tested white or silver pens on black cardstock on your Cricut?

  13. I’ve used Cricut’s gel pen and when writing it seems to smudge some letters by the roller . Has this happened to you? Didn’t know if there was a trick to it.

  14. O… M… G… the thing that drove me nuts about DS was the way it always pushes everything up into the top left corner of the mat. I am ashamed to say I never thought of dragging the image around on the Make It screen!!!! You are amazing! Thank you so much! Oh I cannot wait to make out envelopes now!!!!!!!

  15. This was super helpful! I’m using the Cricut to address my wedding invitations and I think I’ll use the Anna’s Fancy script, so pretty! In your experience, do the calligraphy pens bleed if getting wet in the mail? That is my only concern. Thank you!!!

  16. I absolutely love your videos and tutorials they are so helpful and have been lifesavers since I just got a cricut maker! I was wondering if I wanted to cut a design then write on it with the cricut how do i do that? I designed something in design space but when I went to make it the text went to the top and the images stayed in place.

  17. I tried using the calligraphy pen at the right 45 degree angle but every time it writes I get “bubble letters” how do I fix this problem?

  18. Hi Jennifer! I chose a single-layer cutting font to write in single line (no outline, just single line like handwriting). When I click on the Font Style to choose writing, that option is not there. Bold, Italic, etc are all there, except “Writing”. The font I’m using is a system font called AR DECODE. It came up under the “Writing” filter when I did a search. Is that option (writing style) no longer available, or am I doing something wrong? Thank you, I love your blog and tutorials. I’m learning so much!!

  19. Hi Jennifer,
    thanks for the tutorials. Can you tell me, do I have to join every letter when addressing envelopes to make the script look like handwriting?

  20. Thank you so much for this tutorial Can you do one on how to write within a confined space? When I try to put a message in a card and change the size of the borders it either makes the letters wide or so slim the text can’t be read.
    Thank you

  21. Hello! I am looking for more info on using the cricut maker to write on Vellum paper. Have you tried this? If so what pen/marker do you recommend?

  22. I am brand new to your site, but I suspect I’ll be using it a lot. I’m an experienced Word, Photoshop and desktop publishing program user. I address all my Christmas card and invitation envelopes using Word’s merge feature. I define field names on the envelope design in Word. Then I create an Excel files of all the names and their associated addresses (and phone numbers and email addresses, so I can also use the file to keep up with contact info and for email merge in Word). Then I give Word the name of the source Excel file for a print merge, and it prints all the envelopes for me in one go. The Excel file can be used to feed field info to and Word document. It’s very time saving and makes keeping up with information very easy. Plus, I can have a customer provide with a file as input. What I’d like to know is if there is a facility to do this in the CRICUT program. Sorry for the essay, and thank you so much for your very-easy-to-follow tutorials.
    Kathy Wallace

  23. Is there a way to use more than one font in a text? I have a “saying” that I would like some words to be in cursive. Do I need to do each word separately?

  24. Hello, I’m very new to using the pens on my Cricut Maker! For some reason after it prints it puts a dot at the top of page. Do you know why it’s doing that and how can I make it stop? Thanks so much!

  25. Still learning and still afraid to try anything, but I do have a question about the fonts that didn’t print correctly. Can you tell the Cricut to do them over in the same position if you haven’t removed the mat or repositioned the paper? Are you better off trying to fill in missing parts of letters by hand if this were on a project? Starting over with a different pen? BTW, I absolutely LOVE your tutorials! I plan on making the faux leather earrings for my first project….once I get the materials!

    1. I used the blue LightGrip mat, but for cardstock or paper either the StandardGrip or LightGrip should work. Just make sure that your envelope doesn’t move.

  26. Jennifer, Do you have a tutorial or know of a way to take fonts that are not in Design Space but on your computer and are not “lettering fonts” but can be used for drawing? I’ve looked all over and would love a way to do this! There has to be a way to avoid the bubble letters! Please help!

  27. I have found the Pilot V5 pens work if the lettering is set to “score” instead of write. I guess the difference is the depth between scoring and writing.

  28. Do you have any tips for removing the Cricut pen from my Explore Air 2 when I’m done with it? I’m sure to open the clamp, but it’s still so tight that I have to pull really hard on the pen while putting a lot of downward pressure on the holder. When the pen finally pops out, the holder jerks down because of the pressure, and I’m worried about breaking it. I’m hoping I’m just doing something wrong that I can easily fix! I have no trouble removing the scoring tool.

    1. Hi Kim! You shouldn’t be running into that issue specifically. Make sure that the writing process is complete in Design Space and it is prompting you to remove the pen before doing so. If you are doing that and still having trouble, reach out to Cricut for further support.

  29. Jennifer I love your blog, FB page and your webpage. I am enrolled in your new Cricut Design Classes. I am having trouble finding writing fonts and kerned fonts. I downloaded a ton of pretty fonts from DAFONT.com but they loaded as cut only. I also want to use some pretty kerned writing fonts since I make a ton of cards. Any help would be appreciate.

    1. Did you try changing any of those new pretty fonts from “Cut” to “Writing” in the Fonts Toolbar to see if they have a writing font associated with them, Elizabeth? Fonts will show as “Cut” first and you need to change them yourself to find the writing option of the font. 😉 The absolute best way to search for anything Cricut-related (and one that Jennifer recommends) is to go to your search engine, such as Google,” and type in “free kerned writing fonts” to find ideas! 😊

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