How to Cut Larger Than Mat on Cricut – Canvas Posters

Word Art on canvas

I like to work with canvas. Throw some paint on it, add a saying, and then hang it up on the wall. I will make some that are motivational, that make me happy, some homey sayings, something funny, you name it. The issue I have encountered is that I prefer to use large canvases. Canvases, that are larger than the vinyl sheets I purchase (typically 12″ x 12″). So I thought it would be useful to share how to cut larger than mat on Cricut for canvas posters.

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How to Cut Larger Than Mat on Cricut pin

What You Need:

  1. Canvas – any size will work.
  2. Paint – Any color you wish to paint with.
  3. Vinyl – I use 12″ x 12″ vinyl sheets. I find I can get more colors in a package rather than buying long rolls of individual colors.
  4. Design  Program – I  use Vecortornator (on my iPad), or InkScape (on my desktop) and Design Space and my Cricut, but you can use other programs and cutting machines, or you can even just buy vinyl letters of different font types and sizes and use those if you want instead. 

Let’s Begin!

Create your Word Art

You need to have something in mind that you want to be displayed. I recently decided on creating one that says “everything is figureouable”. I saw the phrase and thought, yes, this is what I need.  

So I went to Design Space for my Cricut and typed it out, then picked out a font that I liked. Nothing overly fancy, but just in the style that I found pleasing that day.  

If you want to use a font that you don’t have in DS, you can learn how to upload new fonts to Cricut Design Space here.


Select a Canvas size

This seems like a simple step, but everything has to work out. I picked a canvas that was 12″ x 20″.  You need to know what size of canvas you will use before you start tinkering with your design and size. If this is not done at the front end, it will have to be reworked later in the project. So trust me, pick the canvas size first.

Fit the Design

When working on canvas posters, once I have figured out my canvas and phrase, I make a box in Design Space that is the exact size of the canvas that the final design will go on.

This helps me visualize how much space I am working with and how much bigger/smaller the words need to be.

For my design, I broke the text box into 3 separate sections.  One section was made large, and two were kept smaller.

How to Cut Larger Than Mat on Cricut

Break the design into pieces

I only have 12-inch width by 12-inch long pieces of vinyl for cutting. I know I can buy them in larger sizes, but I like to work with the materials that I have. 

This technique works as well for things that are larger than 12-inches wide or 24-inches long.

In Design Space, I make several copies of my design and put one aside to keep the original safe for later.

larger than cut canvas posters

As I have already created 3 text boxes with the phrases I needed above, I only need to modify “figureoutable”. So, making 2 copies of this word. I truncate the text to say “figureou” and “table”. 

By looking at the text size, I could see that ‘”figureou” would be just under 12-inches long, which is my maximum useable length.

Get Ready to Cut

Design space will place the text anywhere on the cutting surface and will use more than 1 sheet. If you click on any of the text/image sections, an ellipse will show up (the three dots), and if you click on that, it will allow you to move that part to a different mat. 

Once all of the design is on one mat, move them around until you find the best position to make it all fit on the page. This can take some time, but it is worth it not to waste materials.  Just keep in mind, it will not always all fit on one sheet.  So you may need to work on 2 or 3 or more 12×12 sheets. I am just trying to keep it simple.  

Once you are ready, hit cut.

How to Cut Larger Than Mat on Cricut

Prepare your canvas

I just threw a few splotches of paint on a canvas and painted left to right to get a nice color gradient.  

simple canvas painting with vinyl for kids
simple canvas painting with vinyl for kids

Weed and Prepare your design

Weed the design and cut around the edges to keep the text intact.  Cutting the surplus material also allows you to see the canvas behind. This is the time to play with the positioning and make sure that it fits your canvas.

I moved the weeded pieces around and slowly added more onto the transfer tap until I was happy with their positions.

The text that I selected is lopsidedly looking.  This helps with the alignment of letters as they are supposed to look off-kilter.

How to Cut Larger Than Mat on Cricut
larger than cut canvas posters
How to Cut Larger Than Mat on Cricut
How to Cut Larger Than Mat on Cricut

Final Positioning

Remove the vinyl backing and apply the vinyl onto the canvas. Using a burnishing tool to help make the vinyl stick (use a flat edge to press the vinyl down on the canvas).

As the project was just on a regular canvas and not a reverse canvas, I like to flip it over after the design is on and burnish it a few times from the back to make sure the design stick.

Check out here to learn how to make a Reverse Canvas Here.

How to Cut Larger Than Mat on Cricut
burnishing canvas
peeling transfer paper

And That’s It! You’re Done your larger than cut Poster!

How to Cut Larger Than Mat on Cricut

Some final thoughts On Larger Than Mat Cuts

I have done numerous larger than cut canvas posters, and here are some tips, tricks, and pointers from my learning:

  1. If you are getting your kids to do this activity:
    1. Make sure you are using a canvas that is the right size. If it is too big, it will not get finished.
    2. If they are young (8-year-old and under), you will be doing the bulk of the work.
  2. When applying vinyl to canvas, put some books or something hard behind/underneath. This hardness will help with burnishing, as well as reduce the chances of stretching, or tearing the canvas. However, if you do rip the canvas, follow this link here to see how you can fix it without throwing away the whole project.

Questions about Larger than Canvas Posters

Do you need to seal the poster?

I have not needed to seal any of my posters. I know others like to seal them with mod podge, but I have not needed to.

Can I use HTV instead of permanent vinyl?

Yes, you can, but you need to ensure that you are not overheating and bubbling the paint. Make sure the paint is fully dry before heating.

Remember, when doing HTV, you need to apply a lot of pressure, so you will again need to make sure you have something behind the canvas so that it doesn’t rip when pressing your HTV.

Was this Tutorial on How to Cut Larger Than Mat on Cricut Helpful?

Did you find this tutorial on How to Cut Larger Than Mat on Cricut helpful?  Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Mimmie Kaellander

    Really good and helpful article! Very informative and clear in the how-to-steps! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. Katherine

      Sometimes things are easy and they just need a good explanation, sometimes not so much,, this one was easy to make but tough to write up, so I appreciate the feedback! Thanks!

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