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What is the purpose of bleed in Cricut Design Space

What is the “bleed” option? Here I explain what it’s for and why you should almost always leave it on!

We commonly see on social media people who recommend turning off the “bleed” option in Cricut Design Space when you want to use the “Print then cut” function.

People mistakenly believe that this option distorts the image. Yes, that’s right, at first glance, it seems to have affected the printed image, but in fact, this option is there to help your Cricut!

What is bleed

“Bleed” is an option that is found when printing from Cricut Design Space when you make a “Print then cut” project.

“Bleed” is an option that adds a border to your image. In fact, it adds a border of the same colour as your image only where the blade of the Cricut will pass to cut it.

In the image below, we can clearly see the offset made by the bleed option:

This is only for “give a chance”, a margin of maneuver, to your Cricut if the cut made by the blade is not super precise.

By removing this option, you may see a slight white border after the cut (the colour of your paper) all around your image.

By leaving “bleed” on, Design Space offsets the colour of your image for a clean cut without any white edges or borders! As you can see, the majority of this “bleed” will remain on your sheet after cutting.

What if I don’t see any “bleed”?

In the photo below, we can see very well the bleed of the bee. But why does the bird have no “bleed”?

Well, it has one, it’s just that it’s white! As a matter of fact, if we look more closely at Design Space, we see that the colour around the bird is a very thin white line:

Therefore, the colour that is offset to act as a bleed is white and white is not printed by the printer so we do not see anything!

Even after cutting, on a dark background, the slight white outline of the bird is seen:

It will be the same if you make labels with a white background or even stickers that have a white border.

Where it gets confusing

One of the main reasons why people absolutely want to turn off “bleed” is that they do not know how to use the Flatten function.

As mentioned above, the “bleed”, the offset of the colour, will only appear where the blade will cut. So, if you’re printing and the result is this kind of image (see below), you probably should have used Flatten.

I would be surprised that your intention is really to “Print and Cut” and then have the Cricut cut each letter individually!?

This is unfortunately the answer that is often given on social media: “Just uncheck the bleed and it’s going to work!” FALSE! If you turn off “bleed”, you don’t solve the problem. Yes, the print will be better visually, but the Cricut will still cut the letters one by one!

That’s why you have to use Flatten. The offset of the “bleed” will be done only around the background image (where the blade will pass)

Click here to learn more about Flatten and when to use it.

The only time you should uncheck the “Bleed” option

The only time you should uncheck the “bleed” option in Cricut Design Space is when you don’t intend to cut the image.

For example, some people use Cricut Design Space to print images on a sublimation printer. These images will then be applied directly to a blank, without cutting.

Therefore, no cutting means that bleed is not required.

This is really the only example I found! If you have any others, feel free to let me know in the comments!

So, are you now convinced why you should use “bleed”? I hope so!

By using it, you will ensure a more precise cut that will result in a more professional and polished final project.


Wednesday 3rd of May 2023

HA HA I seen this after I learned about the bleed. I wanted to print my words in two colors but wasn't cutting them out so I could not flatten it without it changing the colors of the words. Printed and had unreadable letters so I played and found that bleed and clicked it off and PERFETO I got my saying done in two tone colors. I did not need the cricut to cut it as it was for a card as a complete saying. Thanks for your instructions If I would have read this first I would have known instead of wasting a piece of paper. I did this one day before you sent this out. THANKS for the great instructions. LOVE your emails.


Friday 5th of May 2023

Hey Marjorie! Thanks for the nice comments! I always love to know the "why" behind something!


Monday 1st of May 2023

Thank you so much for your time and I will try and remember this.


Tuesday 2nd of May 2023


Natalie Wassmer

Monday 1st of May 2023

Thank you I had no idea about bleed. I always turn it off.


Tuesday 2nd of May 2023

So glad I could help!

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