Thursday, April 5, 2018

How to Create an SVG for Free with Inkscape

 Hey y'all!

So I have been heat pressing everything I can get my hands on with heat transfer vinyl using my cricut. Through the process, I have been learning so many cool things not just with my Cricut Explore machine, but also through programs that can help make it better. I can create a personalized item for just about anyone with a little knowledge of an image editor and a few clicks of the mouse I can create an SVG for free with Inkscape. Since I was only creating a tea towel, I figured that this small project would be perfect to document from start to finish. This will be a 3-4 part series showing you the process of creating an SVG, uploading it into design space, and the finished product using the heat press.

Creating an SVG in Inkscape doesn't keep me from wanting to use a design space subscription through Cricut though. You can purchase the Cricut Access subscription for 9.99 a month and if you choose to do that, you get access to thousands of projects using various materials and for different uses. I love my Cricut Access membership, and also because I have it, I can get a discount on anything I purchase through cricut and I love that. If you are interested in purchasing a monthly membership with Cricut Access you can sign up HERE

To begin the process of creating an SVG for free, find an image you like. In this case, I chose a clipart image with a camper because I wanted to make a tea towel with a “Happy Camper” theme on it for a co-worker to enjoy. Right click the image and choose “save image as”. You will be prompted to save the file on your computer and renaming it. I suggest saving it to where you can easily get to the image and/or naming the file something that is easily searchable on your computer.

Open Inkscape on your computer. Select “File” and “Import”. This will ask you to select an image, and in this case, I chose the pink camper picture that I just saved. (NOTE: I decided to go with a different image after starting this article. It doesn’t change the process above, just using a different image for the rest of the steps.)

DISCLAIMER: These images are only to be converted for personal use as many of the images you find online are copyrighted and belong to someone else, so sales using the images are forbidden.


When you find your image select it, and choose “Open” in the bottom right of the window. Next, you will be prompted on how you wish to upload the image into Inkscape. Be sure “Embed” is selected, “From file” and “Smooth”. Now click OK.

Next, right click your image and choose “trace bitmap”.

You will see a menu pop up to the right of your screen that you are working on. This menu will be different depending on how simple or complicated the image is. The options you want to play around with are “Colors” (the amount of colors in the image) and “Scans” (the amount of stacked images you are going to require to sustain the colors and cuts in the image) – You can adjust this later. Choose “update”. This will give you an image of what will be converted. Keep playing around with the colors and scan options until you get this as close to the original image as possible. The final and MOST IMPORTANT part is to make sure you have remove background checked, or it will not upload into Design Space properly for cutting.

You now have 2 images. The image you want to use will populate on top of the original image. Pull that image aside and delete the other image.

Now you have your final image. Go to “File” again, and choose “Save as”. So that you can save your newly created image using inkscape. 

A window will pop up again with an option to rename your file and save it where it is the easiest for you to find. I usually always download my final SVG image to my desktop because chances are I will be using for a project that day. Be sure that your image is going to save as an SVG file. This is the menu option just below where you name your file under “save as file type”.

There you have it! You have successfully created a free SVG image using inkscape. How exciting is that! Now the possibilities are limitless as to what you can actually do with your Cricut Explore machine. As you get better you will be able to manipulate more images, and as I have said in previous posts there are wonderful resources on YouTube. Hopefully soon, you won’t have to watch someone else, I can help you out with your Inkscape needs, but I promise, my talents are extremely limited compared to everyone else.

Let me know if you guys use Inkscape and how you like to use it if you do, feel free to also drop any hints or tips for using the program more successfully in the comments below. 

Be blessed!

Geeks and Glitter

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing products through my links, I receive a small commission. That's what helps fund Geeks and Glitter so I can keep buying new Cricut-related products to show you how to get the most out of your machine!

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