Make Your Own SVGs

Updated: Apr 6, 2021

Let's start with What is an SVG file?

SVG is the acronym for scalable vector graphics. SVG is a type of vector file that most cutting machines use to determine what direction to send the blade. There are other vector file formats but SVG is the most common and is the file used by Cricut machines.

I'm going to focus on making our own #SVGs to use with our Cricut machines and not going into basics of SVG vs JPEG or PNG images. If you need that, Google it! I'll cover many of the basics within Cricut Design Space and in a future blog will share my attempts at dipping my toes into using #Inkscape software for designing and creating SVGs from very simple shape manipulations to leading towards more complex and intricate designs, if that is your goal. You see, it's my goal to have SVGs in my shop before 2020 ends.

Inkscape is a free and open-source vector graphics editor used to create vector images primarily in SVG format.

So let's start with Cricut Design Space where I'll focus on Shapes tool to start. In this blog we will focus on Square and Circle shapes and the Slice tool. These three elements are quite effective in unexpected yet simple shape manipulations. Let's make a Bow-tie shape (Christmas is coming and I'm always making snowmen and some wear bow-ties. As you can see in the first screenshot below, my desired Bow-tie shape doesn't exist in Shapes yet I've found I like to use a bow-tie in many SVG designs (everything is cuter with a bow-tie!) and it's easy to do.

Add a Square to the canvas in Cricut Design Space, unlock it's properties so you can change to Rectangle. (Steps 1, 2) Then add Circle (Step 3) and before modifying image with Slice tool, we will first insure the Height properties is the same for both the Rectangle and Circle shapes. Example is 3" high with Circle overtop of Rectangle and then I moved Circle to right-end of Rectangle, just so the shapes overlapped (and canvas isn't displayed between the 2 shapes) as shown in screenshot below. Then click Slice tool in bottom right of canvas (Step 4).

In next screenshot, turned off the 'sliced' cuts by toggling off Visibility of those layers (Steps 5, 6, 7) and the remaining shape on the canvas is now the 'right-side of desired bow-tie shape'; we need to do similar process for left-side of rectangle.

You could do Steps 3 - 7 again for the left-side this time but that's even more steps than necessary. Instead, toggle Visibility on again for second red layer cut (Step 6 layer ) as Step 8; next click the Select All button in toolbar to enable the Align properties (Step 9).

Next select Align > Align Left option (Steps 10, 11) and while both visible layers are still selected, select Align > Center Vertically (Step 12).

After aligning the objects both aligned-left and centered vertically, your canvas should look just like mine below. The red semi-circle shape is now covering the left-hand side of the desired bow-tie shape. Next, click Slice tool (Step 13) and then toggle visibility off of semi-circle shape (Step 14) to reveal the desired bow-tie shape.

Goal achieved! Yes, it's a very rough bow-tie shape but you understand the process better now, don't you? So go practice with other shapes and see what other manipulations you can do all in Cricut Design Space.

TIP: I find this is the time to clean up my SVG files by deleting/removing the layers no longer needed for the project. Simply select the desired layer in Layers and click Delete button until only necessary layers are remaining. Makes for cleaner projects later.

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