It’s possible to convert an image and create svg files for Cricut or Silhouette
You can use jpg or png image files and turn them into svg files to use with your cutting machine. Learn how you can convert a basic image file, for example a jpg or png file, to svg format that you can use in your Cricut or Silhouette cutting machine.
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Difference between svg, png and jpg
First, a little background information for you. Most image files are in raster or bitmap form. This means that they are images made with pixels (a small dot or point of color) that is displayed on a screen.
“In computer graphics, a raster graphics or bitmap image is a dot matrix data structure that represents a generally rectangular grid of pixels (points of color), viewable via a monitor, paper, or other display medium. Raster images are stored in image files with varying formats.”
No time to read the post, download the PDF checklist to read later.
Using svg files
The problem with this format is that if you want to enlarge the image, the end result will be grainy and highly pixelated. This is not so great when you need to transfer that image to a t-shirt that you want to customize.
A better option is to use an svg file. Svg stands for scalable graphic vector. A vector file can be enlarged or reduced without losing any quality to the image. Basically, you won’t end up with blurry images on your crafts.
If you only have a jpg or a png image, you can still use the image for your project. All you have to do is convert the image to an svg format.
It’s best to use an image with a clear background. An image with a complex background will be harder to convert. You can clear up the image background using an online editor like Picmonkey.
I’ll show you how to do this in 5 steps using a free online graphic editor program.
This is a no frills method than will give you a simple svg file that you can upload to your cutting machine. You will be able to use it like any other svg file because, *hint,hint… it is a real svg file.
I’ll be using png files from the Hope Collection of my monthly Digital SVG Subscription. The monthly subscription comes with 10 files (svg, png, jpg and dxf format) to use in any craft projects, personal and business usage included.
Browse the new collection and find out more about the svg subscription by clicking on the image below.
Steps to convert an Image
Time needed: 2 minutes.
Steps to convert an image to svg file format
- Chrome browser
Open your Chrome browser, go to the Chrome Web Store and enter “File Converter – By Online-Convert.com” in your search bar, then click on add to Chrome. You can also just go straight to the website, https://image.online-convert.com/. I like having the shortcut handy in my browser bar.
- Choose an upload option
Scroll down and click on “Convert image to the SVG format”. Upload your image using any of the four options;
– Choose Files
– Enter URL
– Google Drive
- Convert file
Click “Start Conversion”. Optionally, you can make further changes before converting your file if you would like. For instance, you can crop the image to convert only the part that you need. It’s up to you. If you don’t need any further changes, just click on start conversion.
- Get downloaded svg file
Your file is now converted to svg. It can be found near the bottom menu of your computer. If you don’t see it right away, look in
the Downloads file of your computer.
- Import SVG to Cricut
The next step is to import the svg to Cricut Design Space
Import SVG files to Cricut
You’re almost there. The hard part if finished and you are one step away from cranking up your Cricut machine to start pumping out those cute t-shirts.
Once you have your cutting machine set up, you can upload your new svg file. You are ready to import the svg file to Cricut (or any cutting machine software program). To do this, you will
- open the Cricut Design Space software on your computer.
- Select the .svg file that you just created.
- Click “Open” in the file selector, or drag and drop the file into the Design Space image upload window.
Upload the file into the Cricut Design Space image upload window
Open a new project to see the svg on the canvas.
That was simple! Now you have an svg file that you can work with and cut your designs from.
Here are instructions on how to upload an svg to Silhouette if you are not a Cricut user.
The Pros and Cons of Online Image Converters
Pros of online image converters
- No expensive software needed. It’s Free!
- No downloading of more software programs to you computer
- It’s quick and takes less than 5 minutes.
Cons of online image converters
- No color option available. Your svg will be black, but you can recolor it using a free program like Inkscape.
- Loss of layers. The converted svg is only one layer. If there are other layers stacked on top of each other, you will get one merged layer.
The original png is multicolored.
This method is really a quick and dirty option for when you need a simple solution for converting images.
If you don’t need colored multi-layer svg files then you’ll be fine with this method. Most likely, you will use different color heat transfer vinyl to get the colors that you want on your project.
Software Programs to Make SVG Files
For more complex svg files you may want to look into other editing programs.
There are lots of software programs that are available to make svg files and to convert image files into svg files.
Payable Graphics Editor
You may already be familiar with the Adobe suite of products like Photoshop and Illustrator. These are considered to be among the top professional level of graphics editor programs. They are widely used by designers and artists. If you want to use any of these programs, you will have to pay for a monthly subscription.
Free Graphics Editor
Personally, when I need to make an svg file or convert an image, I use Inkscape but I have used an online converter in a pinch, like when I was on vacation and away from my computer.
Inkscape is an open source graphics editor program, which means it is free to use it. The downside is that there is no customer service to contact if you have questions but the upside is that there are many forums with users that are able to answer almost any question.
Now that you know how to convert your image files to svg format, you will be able to make your own svg files and cut files for your crafts.
It’s so much fun when you can DIY the craft supplies that you need.
Do you use any other programs to convert your files? Let me know which online image converter program is your favorite.