Designing for decal cutting machines like Cricut

I have a Cricut machine for cutting vinyl decal designs that I’ve bought, but I want to start making the designs myself. I’m pretty new to graphic design software and would like to know some things. Specifically I’m looking to take somewhat simple hand drawn things and turn them into vector graphics so the can be easily scaled within Cricut Design Space. I’ve followed some tutorials on how to use the pen tool within Illustrator, but my tracings tend to come out kinda bumpy or have jagged bits sticking out in places. So a little too messy for my liking to actually cut out as a decal. Does anyone else on here have experience with this?

Unfortunately all of us are going to tell you that it takes alot of practice.
The pen tool in Illustrator is only one of several tools you can use. If you are just doing simple shapes, the Blob tool can be friendlier as it tends to smooth lines out. Sometimes too much though and it is a filled shape, not a line, so you have to think a little differently.
There is also the variable line weight tool.
Both of these are my new best friends and I been doing this 20-some-odd years.

Seriously though, find some tutorials on the pen tool and practice practice practice.
Here’s a game for you:

Remember, you can use the shift key to make horizontal or vertical lines and you can hold the shift when pulling beziers to keep them horizontal or vertical.

Thanks I didn’t know about those tools. I also didn’t know there was a game to help learn the pen tool. That’s pretty cool.

For graphic designers, using the pen tools in drawing software is the equivalent of a carpenter knowing how to wield a hammer. The job isn’t possible without mastering the most basic of skills, and the only way to master those skills is through practice.

Gotcha. And practice I will do.

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