There’s a lot of confusion out there to whether or not Cricut Design Space is actually free. People buy a new Cricut machine like the Cricut Maker (check out our Maker Review) or Cricut Explore Air 2, get a free Cricut Access trial, and later find out they need to pay money to keep using their designs. So how much does Cricut Design Space cost?
Is Cricut Design Space Free? Yes, Cricut Design Space is free. Cricut Access, however, requires a monthly subscription.
What is Cricut Design Space?
Cricut Design Space is Cricut’s design software (check out more software options) that lets you cut with the Cricut Maker and Cricut Explore machines. Older machines like the Cricut Expression 2 and Cricut Mini used the older software known as Cricut Craft Room, which is no longer available (sorry!).
Design Space is a downloadable program for your Mac or PC computer which allows you to create unique designs, import premade designs, or use free or for purchase designs directly in Design Space. You can also use the Design Space App on your Android or iOS device but it does have more limited functionality. Sorry Chromebook users, currently you can’t use Design Space on your Chromebook.
If you have cartridges from older machines you can link these to your Design Space account and have full access to use them with your newer Cricut Machine. The Cricut Maker needs a special adapter to link your cartridges, learn more in our how to article. The Cricut Explore has a cartridge slot so it’s a little easier to link your cartridges, find out how to link your cartridges here. Once you’ve linked your cartridges you can use your design in Design Space with any machine that it registered to you
So why do so many people think Cricut Design Space costs money? Well, when you purchase a new Cricut, you are given a free trial to Cricut Access. If you use any designs available through Cricut Access in a Design Space project, once your free trial expires, you won’t be able to use that project unless you continue to pay for Access.
This can make things quite confusing! To continue using projects that you created in Design Space that have images from Access, you’ll need to continue to pay. If you don’t want to pay for Access anymore, you can still use Design Space by using their free designs or by creating or importing your own.
How Do I Get Cricut Design Space?
Cricut Design Space is downloaded from the Cricut Design Space website. In fact, you don’t even need to buy a Cricut to use it. To use Design Space you do need to have an internet connection in order to connect to your Cricut account.
Once you have logged in you can disconnect from the internet if you need to and continue to design offline and even save your designs to your computer.
What is Cricut Access?
Cricut Access is the Cricut’s subscription to its Image Library. This means you can get access to use certain images for a monthly fee. Unlike Cricut Design Space, Cricut Access is not free.
But for that monthly fee you get a ton of stuff. You have access to 100’s of thousands of images, more than 400 fonts plus 10% off all purchases made on Cricut.com. There are even Access member specific sales that occur.
But do you NEED Cricut Access? In short NO. You do not need Access to use your Cricut. In fact you can find many free images online, see our Free SVG list, and import them into Design Space. But Cricut Access does give you a seamless way to look for designs and ready made projects and it’s pretty reasonable starting at just $8/month.
How Do I Get Cricut Access?
If you want to try Cricut Access, you can head over to their Cricut Access Page. Once there, you’ll see the prices for Cricut Access.
They have 3 pricing options:
- Annual Subscription for $95.88 per year ($7.99/month)
- Premium Subscription for $119.88 per year ($9.99/month)
- Monthly Subscription for $9.99 per month
Cricut Design Space vs Cricut Access
Here are some quick differences between Design Space and Cricut Access
- Requires monthly subscription
- Gives you access to Cricut’s Image Library
- Is not required to use Cricut Design Space
Cricut Design Space
- 100% free
- Design software to use the Cricut machines
- Does not require Cricut Access to use
A lot of the confusion in people thinking they might need to pay for Design Space (which is free) comes from their Cricut Access subscriptions expiring, often from their free trials. Once this happens, projects that contain Access images won’t be available unless you pay for the Access membership. This doesn’t mean you won’t’ be able to create new projects with Design Space.
Remember Cricut Design Space is FREE and you NEED it to use your Cricut. Cricut Access is a monthly subscription and is NOT FREE but does provide a ton of value with easy to access fonts and images.