Making JPEG Files into Cut Files in Cricut Design Space (updated for 2023)

In this tutorial, I walk you through step by step in Making JPG Files into Cut Files in Cricut Design Space. I hope you find this helpful when using your Cricut machine to edit JPG files.

Can my Cricut use JPG files?

Yes! Cricut Design Space has a handy method to take your JPG (JPEG) files and convert them to a cut file right inside the program. You can also use this technique to convert other files like GIF, PDF, PNG, and more using Cricut Design Space software.

Step 1: Open Cricut Design Space

How to upload a JPG to Cricut?

You might be asking yourself “how in the heck can I upload a jpg file to use with my Cricut machine?” It’s easy! To start, open Cricut Design Space and open a new project. Then click on the “Upload” button.

Step 2: Add Your Image File

Then Click the “Upload Image” button.

Next Click the “Browse” button.

Choose the JPEG file you want to use for your cut image, from your computer or device.
(the dark browsing mode on my Mac is so much easier on my eyes than the normal mode…do you use it too?)

Step 3: Convert the Image in Cricut Design Space

When it’s uploaded to Cricut Design Space, click on “Simple” under the “Select image type” section if it’s a simple image like the one I’ve uploaded here, and then Click “Continue”. 

If it’s more complicated simply click on the appropriate complexity of the image you are working with. You may need to do some experimentation to get it dialed in just right for your image. :)

Step 4: Remove the White Space from your JPG File

Next choose the “Select” icon that looks like a wand. You may need to scroll down a bit to see the icons under the “Manual” section.

Then drag your mouse into the white space of your image until the cursor turns into a cross beam, and simply click in the white space. You’ll need to do this for all the sections where you want the white space cleared.

NOTE: If you subscribe to Cricut Access, you can clear the background in a single click. (Once you get used to the manual method shown here though, it’s pretty easy.)

The background will turn a checkered blue and white indicating it’s now transparent. You can also click the “Preview Cut Image” text to see a more clear version of the transparent sections of your design.

Once your JPG image is ready as a transparent graphic you can click the “Apply & Continue” button.

Step 5: Save Your JPG Graphic as a “Cut Image”

Next click on the “Cut Image” version of your design, add & adjust the Image Name and Tags if you’d like, and then click the “Upload” button.

Step 6: Insert the Cut Image

Choose the saved cut image file you just created from the “Recent Uploads” list, and then click the “Add to Canvas” button.

The cut JPG image is ready to be resized to fit whatever measurements desired. It’s now essentially a JPG transformed into a vector graphic!

Step 7: Make your Cricut Project

Resize your design as needed, then click the “Make It” button when ready to cut. 

Cricut Design Space will continue giving directions until your cut project is complete.

I hope this tutorial on Making JPEG Files into Cut Files in Cricut Design Space is helpful. Please let me know in the comments below if you have any questions or hints for our fellow crafters.

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  • Corey (AKA

    Corey is a lifelong DIYer, crafter, and writer. He's combined those passions into many creations here on Repurposing Junkie and other websites like and

18 thoughts on “Making JPEG Files into Cut Files in Cricut Design Space (updated for 2023)”

  1. Finally a website that makes this super easy. I was getting very frustrated and about to quit. Thank you. Now i have to figure how to use transfer paper.

  2. THANK YOU for providing clear instruction with this topic! You were the first person to ever really make it clear what the clean up action was all about and how you have to click on the white areas. I was pulling my hair out and came across your piece.

  3. Leslie C Orman

    Thank you, this tutorial is so easy to use. I am new to Cricut Design, this tutorial was super helpful.

  4. Cindy Connolly

    when using a .jpg file in design space i clicked on the down arrow at top left side of screen & selected ‘basic cut’ and my image file turned into gray square the image disappeared why? if i don’t select ‘basic cut’ they will not cut the image. It simply wants to cut square. Am i misunderstanding this part?

    1. I am very new to using the Cricut. I found one of, if not the most important steps is to remove the background. I also had mine turn to gray squares but if you click on the gray box beside where it says cut or basic cuts, you can revert them back to the original picture you had before.

  5. Thank you so much. I am somewhat new to cricut and this is the first tutorial I’ve seen that makes sense to me. Thanks so much!

  6. Does the image need to be solid black for a cut file on a cricut?

    Like when it makes the image and its white with a black outline will the cricut cut it so when I weed it the chunk of the white is removed

    1. Repurposing Junkie

      Hi Cory! Thanks for your comment. In the latest version of Cricut Design Space, you may need to scroll down a bit once you get to Step 4 and need to use the wand “Select” tool. I’ve updated the steps and the screenshots for the latest version of the Design Space software. Hope that helps!

  7. Thank you for the tutorial. I was having issues with my saved images coming up blank and now because of this I am able to do more on my Cricut.

  8. do I make the file a jpeg..2nd when I try to do this, the design doesn’t show up. The screen is black. What am I doing wrong.

  9. Your instructions on this issue are so simplified and very easy to follow. I look forward to more tutorials you give. Thank you so much

  10. When I try to remove the background manually. I get a message that says “automatic background remover requires cricut subscription. To revert to original image, click OK.”
    I am new at this and wasting a lot of time!! Probably too many updates on design space to keep up to the changes.

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