The Answers: Help for Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to questions about accessing and utilizing this workshop that will help you as you work through it. This page should be your FIRST stop when you have a question, as 99% of the questions you will ever have are answered here. If you cannot find an answer to your question here, scroll to the bottom to learn how to get more help. Thank you!

Q: I lost my password. How do I get in?

A: Request a password reset at

Q: I can't get a video to play. How do I solve this?

A: Some students report issues playing the videos on the iPad. If you have issues, click on the video box anywhere near the start arrow and it should work for you. Clicking on the start arrow itself seems to be an issue.

Q: I don't like to use Facebook. Do I have to join the group?

A: No, you do not. You can complete this entire workshop without ever using Facebook. However, please note that we provide feedback and assistance in our Maker Academy Workshops Facebook Group (If you request to join when asked for the secret passphrase, please type SUPERMAKER)

Q: Where do I find the workbook? How do I download it?

A: The workbook will be available to download in the Workshop Area after the workshop premieres on APRIL 1st. Click the link at the bottom of the workbook page to download it.

Q: What software do I need for this workshop?

A: You only need access to Cricut Design Space (free) for the basic version of the mandala. For the intermediate version, we will be using Inkscape (free), and then for the more challenging mandala creation, we will be using Adobe Illustrator (monthly fee, 7-day free trial). You will not need access to all of these programs

Q: Why is Inkscape not used for the more complex design?

A: You can also use many of the same techniques we show in the Illustrator design in Inkscape.

Q: What is the difference between the weld and unite options?

A: They combine shapes, but you can edit the individual shapes later if you use Unite.

Q: What do you open the layered rose with?

 A: The layered rose file in the Workshop area is an Illustrator file.

Q: When I did your designs in all white, Cricut didn’t cut them out in order and it was frustrating to get them in order. Advice?

A: You can change the colors of the layers on your canvas before cutting so they cut in rainbow order - red will cut first, purple will cut last.

Q: Can you change pixels to inches in design space?

A: A: Yes, you can go to Settings and Canvas and change the Units there.

Q: Can you use Adobe Illustrator on iPad, or is Illustrator purely a Desktop app??

A: Yes, there is an app for Illustrator for the iPad

Q: Why didn’t you use the circle shape instead as an outline? (In Inkscape)

A: You can use any shape you want to outline your mandala!

Q: What was the outset used for in Inkscape?

A: You can use Outset to make your additional mandala layers. It will make each one thicker than the last. 

Q: How can you combine these designs with a solid square shape for each layer to better fit in a frame?

A: The directions for this are at the end of the Illustrator lesson. You can use the same techniques in Inkscape.

Q: Do you have the star file to make in Cricut design too?

A: It's located in the zip file. You can upload the SVG to Design Space to cut it on your Cricut.

Q: Jennifer, where do you purchase your shadow boxes? I’m having an issue getting ones that are not damaged.

A: There is an Amazon link to the frames we used in the Workshop area, OR you can create your own by following this tutorial #423.

Q: Can you also make the butterfly mandala in Cricut design space?

A: Yes! You can use the same techniques to make the butterfly mandala in Design Space.

Q: Is there a one-time fee option for Illustrator?

A: The payment options for Adobe Illustrator are monthly (paid monthly), Annual (paid by the month), or Annual (prepaid).

Q: Can you do this "reversing" (cutting the shapes out of a square paper) in Design Space or Inkscape?

A: Yes!

Q: Why did you do the last step when you did Adobe Illustrator?

A: The last step - the framed butterfly - can be done in any of the three programs (Design Space, Inkscape, or Illustrator). We just demonstrated the steps using Illustrator.

Q: If you were using a Cricut Joy, would you still do five layers since it will be smaller?

A: The number of layers you choose will depend on how detailed your design is and the depth of the frame where you will display it.

Q: Is there any way this can be done with a PNG?

A: You can trace a PNG into a vector file or SVG. Then you can use the same techniques to edit the file.

Q: Can this be done in something other than Adobe Illustrator (the demo on the rose)

A: Yes, it can be done in Inkscape also.

Q: How do you connect the shapes for the heart?

A: You can use the Unite function in Illustrator to connect all your shapes for each layer.

Q: So a positive offset will make it look stacked on top going from largest to smallest? If so, which layer would you offset first?

A: You'll always offset your top layer first to create your second layer, which will be thicker. Then you'll use your second layer to make an offset for your third, and so on.

Q. Can you do a negative offset in Cricut Design Space?

A: Yes! Just move the slider to the left. 

Q: Can we take any svg with large enough sizes/space as a design for a mandala?

A: Yes! There are many, many shapes you can use for the shape of your mandala. Just make sure you have enough space in the center for your pattern for the layers to really show.

Q: My question is not answered here. Where do I get more help?

Post in this thread in our Facebook group (posting elsewhere means we may not see your question) or email us at [email protected]

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