After you have been crafting with your Cricut for a while, you might want to try making svg files. I have made a few of them in Inkscape but I am in no way a master of this process. Like many of you, I have wondered if there is an easier way of making svg files, and that was the inspiration that started me searching for converter tools that can help us crafters.
First, let’s talk about SVG files
Before we dive into converter tools that help you in the task of making svg files, let’s talk about what a SVG file is.
A SVG file is a Scalable Vector Graphics is an XML-based vector image format for two-dimensional graphics. Basically, is a cutting file that can be used with your Cricut or other die cutting machine.
I did another post about this, and I go into detail sharing how to use a svg file in Cricut Design Space and I even provide a list of places that you can find free svg files HERE.
Making SVG files in Cricut Design Space
First, before I show you ways that you can make a svg file, I want to touch on the topic of SVG files and Cricut Design Space. You cannot make a SVG file in Cricut Design Space. If anyone tells you different, they either do not understand Cricut Design Space or they do not fully understand what a SVG file is.
You can upload a SVG file to Cricut Design Space. I have instructions for how to do that HERE.
You can upload an image to Cricut Design Space, and save it as a cutting file, but this is not the same as creating a SVG file. Why? Because this image can only live in Cricut Design Space. There is no way to export that file from Design Space. I go over the process for uploading an image and saving it as a cut file in detail HERE.
So what is the process for making SVG files? You will need to use a program other than Cricut Design Space or a SVG converting tool. So let’s look at some of those options.
One of the features that I was eager to learn more about when I first started to use the CREATE software was making svg files. Since I have solely worked with a Cricut machine in the past, I was never able to save and export my creations as SVG files. This made it very challenging when I created a project and someone that used a different brand of cutting machine wanted me to share that design with them.
Now, if you are like me and you have only ever used a Cricut machine and the Cricut Design Space software, transitioning to the StarCraft Solo machine and the CREATE software will be a learning curve. This is why I created a Facebook group and a Playlist on my YouTube channel specifically for using these resources. This way we can learn together!
I have used Inkscape a few times for making SVG files. I do not consider myself an expert. It will take time to learn this software but if you learn to master it you can create true SVG files. This will ensure that all of the lines for your projects are crisp and clear. You will also be able to create colored layers in your images. To download and begin to learn Inkscape you can click HERE.
There are lots of SVG converting websites and apps out there. The basic idea of these is that you upload an image to the website or app, and it will convert it to a SVG for you.
I want to review a lot of them for you. I plan to look at how easy they are to use, and if they create layered SVG files easily. I plan to use the same images to test all of the various converters I list here. If there is a SVG converter that you use on a regular basis for making SVG files please leave me a comment and I can add that one to this list.
PNG to SVG
I like that the PNG to SVG site is a free site, but it does have a donation button. The first image I want to test is a detailed mandala design. I have tried to upload designs like this to Cricut Design Space but I have always gotten frustrated since you have to click on and remove each and every little white section manually in Design Space.
For this example I am choosing a really detailed image on purpose. This is an image I would not want to clean up in Cricut Design Space because I would have to click on each and every little white spot. That would take a lot of time! I am hoping that this converter tool will save me time and still produce a great cutting image!
For the PNG to SVG site, you upload your image. Just click on the Choose a file button shown in the image below. This will open up a new widow so you can choose the image you want to upload.
Next, you are going to tell the PNG to SVG tool how many colors you want it to look for. For this image I enter one, which I circled in blue in the image below. Since I just want it to focus on the black areas and turn those into cutting lines, this is why I typed in one. Next I click on the lime green Generate button. Then the image appears on the right and I click the dark green Download SVG button.
After it is downloaded, I can go to my downloads folder to find it. I renamed it so that I would be able to find it again later. Now it time for the true test and upload it into Cricut Design Space. I am happy to say it uploaded perfectly! I can also tell that this will cut out nice and clean since the lines are crisp and clear. Also, if you look on the layers panel on the right hand side you can see that this whole image is one layer, which is what you want for a good quality SVG file. This has quickly become my go to tool for making svg files when I need them quickly.
Here is a short video so you can see how the whole process comes together.
My next test will be to try an image that has more than one color in it with this same PNG to SVG converter. Stay tuned!
Another online tool that you can use for making svg files is SVGTrace.com, and much like PNG to SVG, it allows you to upload your image, tell the software how many colors and use a color picking tool to focus in on those colors.
There is a preview button so you can see how your completed image will look before you download the svg file. One additional feature I like about SVGTrace.com is that you can also get a shareable link to the created SVG file. This will allow others to then download the SVG file that you created!
As always, the SVG you create will only be as good as the image you start off with. If your original image is fuzzy or grainy, then you might have to find a better quality image to start off with.
If you found this helpful, you should join my Teach Me Cricut Design Space Facebook Group. You can ask me questions and I will share all of my best tips and tricks with you.
I also have a lot of great resources on my Classes page of this website including my Teach Me Cricut Design Space Online Course. In this course I take you step by step through how to use every button and function in Design Space. I have compiled the most frequently asked Cricut questions along with the answers to those questions into one online course. This is my most in depth and detailed Cricut resource ever! It contains over two years worth of Cricut knowledge and research in one course!