On today’s journey, we will be discussing Cricut Cut Files. We will be diving into the differences between JPEG or JPG, PNG, and SVG and how to upload these cut files into cricut design space. I will list all the file formats below, but we will only be discussing the three I mentioned above.
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OMG, When I first started out I was so confused by all this I didn’t know what to do! I had moments when I just wanted to throw things out the window or door if you know what I mean but Once I figured it out man oh man it was fabulous!
Brand new to Cricut? Check out my Ultimate Beginners Guide to Cricut Design Space.
Need more help with the tools in Cricut Design Space? Check out my series on the Slice, Attach, Weld, Flatten, and Contour.
What is a cut file?
A cut file is a digital image that is made to be cut by a cutting machine. They have been around for a while but are gaining popularity because of companies like Cricut and Silhouette.
These types of files are known as SVG files which stands for Scalable Vector Graphics. SVG Files have very specific shapes, details, or paths, so our software can recognize them and know where to cut. This is the recommended file type because it is clean and ready to go because it is designed for a cutting machine!
What type of cut files work with my Cricut Machine?
There are many many formats out there but today we are going to be talking about the ones that deal with Cricut in particular. Below is a list of formats that work with the machine, but we will only be talking about JPEG, PNG, And SVG.
Cricut File Formats
- JPEG or JPG
JPEG OR JPG stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group and within the title, it tells you that you should use this for photos. An example would be a photo on a website. Its main purpose is to take all that raw data within a photo and compress it into a small file with almost the same quality.
PNG stands for Portable Network Graphics which is great if you are working with a complex image like a web graphic. The PNG uses lossless compression which means it preserves the picture quality but the file will be larger than if you were to save it as a JPEG.
PNG also supports a transparent background which we as crafters LOVE!!! Let’s think of mock-up images where you can take your png with a transparent background and overlay it on a shirt or mug.
The JPEG and PNG are both raster-based formats which means that if you try to enlarge them they will be blurry or pixilated. These are also known as Basic images and are uploaded as one layer and can be edited during the uploading process.
SVG stands for a Scalable Vector Graphic which means you can scale this format as big or as small as you want to and it will hold the same quality because it is a vector based format. A vector-based image will already be in layers and can be enlarged or shrunk down with no loss of quality. SVGs are great for graphics. WE LOVE LOVE LOVE these files!
Now you can cut files in other formats such as the others listed above but these are the most popular. I always recommend trying to find Vector images because they will be much cleaner than a JPEG or PNG.
What can I use cut files for?
You can use cut files for so many of your crafting projects if not all of them. You are probably already using these files just didn’t know you were. That happens to so many people. If you have worked with images in Cricut design space then you have worked with an SVG file.
- Paper Crafting projects such as a handmade card or a scrapbook page that you whipped up
- Creating stencils for wood signs
- Vinyl for signs or HTV (Iron-on) for tote bags and t-shirts
- Drawing images onto your creations
- SO you will be using cut files for almost everything! And the possibilities are endless.
How do I upload a JPEG and PNG file to Cricut Design Space
Cricut Design Space allows you to upload your own files for free! There are a few different processes to upload images depending on which format they are in and we will be going through them now.
If you would like the file I am working with which is a yogi you can grab it here. Just click on the yogi below to sign up and get the free yogi. Plus you will get updates once a week:) YEAH!
TIP: Always know where your downloads go! I have spent so many hours trying to find my downloads because I didn’t look at the destination of the file it was being saved to. So always always always look to see where your file is being downloaded to.
So let’s start by opening up cricut design space and logging in. Then we are going to start a blank canvas. Next, we are going to go into upload icon on the left side panel and click on the upload image button which will take us to a screen that looks like this. (right side)
From here we are going to click on the browse button and another window is going to pop up that looks like this.
Now let’s go find the JPEG image we are working with which in our case is the yogi. Next, select it and we are taken to a screen that looks like this. See image below
Cricut Design Space asks you about your image and how complex it is. This image is pretty simple so we are going to select simple and hit continue. If you are working with a more complex image read the description of each and pick the one you feel is the closet.
You are now in an editing screen that should look like this. See the image below.
The Editing Screen Anatomy
3 Tools in the top left corner
This is your editing screen. Here you will have different options for editing. In the top left corner, you have three tools which are
- select and erase
What do these tools do? (left to right)
- The wand-select and erase which allows you to select the areas of negative space you wish to get rid of
- Eraser-erase which allows you to drag the eraser over the areas you wish to get rid of
- the crop tool which allows you to get rid of unwanted areas of the image
Other parts of the editing screen
Getting back to our example now.
So we are on the editing screen. We want to make sure the erase and select is selected and we want to click on the white parts of the image to get rid of it like so. I had to click on 4 different parts to get rid of all the white. You will see the difference when you start because there will be a checkered background.
Now we can hit preview and we see all those little pieces still there around her head and arms. See Image Below.
So we are going to take our eraser and zoom in to get all those little pieces like the image below. I zoomed in and took my eraser and got all those tiny pieces as best as I could.
Once you are satisfied with how your image looks, we are going to hit the continue button and will be takin to a screen that looks like this one. Image below. We have two options here. We can save it as a print then cut or as a cut image only. This decision will be yours as to how you want to save it.
In our case we will save it as a cut file. If you want to name it and apply tags to it to find it faster you can in this screen.
Hit the save button in the button right-hand corner and TA-DA there you have it. You have uploaded a JPEG image!
From here you would select that image and go down to the insert images button and insert image onto your canvas.🥳
WOOHOO AND CONGRAULATIONS!!!!! You just did that and I am so proud of you! But as you can see it’s not the cleanest version, hence why I always recommend finding a SVG file because will would be cleaner
Uploading an SVG Cut File to Cricut Design Space
We are going to be working with a file I made in InkScape! WOOHOO! I am learning just like you are! Go ahead and click on the image and sign up for my freebie and once you confirm your subscription you will be taken to the SVG. You are then going to save the image. Remember where you are saving your images!
So we are already in Cricut Design Space so Lets start a blank canvas and go over to the upload icon in the left panel and we are taken to a screen that looks like this.
Next we are going to click on that upload image button and find the file that we just saved. Once you find the file click on it and it will then take you to a screen that looks like this.
As you can see there isn’t much we need to do here because it’s an SVG file. Here you can name and tag the image for easier finding later on. We are now going to hit save and TA-DA You just uploaded an SVG file! I am super proud of you! Your new file is now in the recently downloaded images.
You are now ready to upload the image onto the canvas and begin creating whatever your little heart desires with this! All I ask is that you don’t sell anything with my image and if you would like to use my image please ask permission!
So my friends As you can see working with SVG files are easier and has less steps because it is already a compatible cutting file!
I truly hoped this helped you along in your journey! If you do have any questions Please feel free to reach out! If this article helped you please share the love and help others too! I appreciate you!
DREAM BIG AND BE YOU!!!
A few places to start you on your way with SVGS
These are just a few of my favorite places to shop for SVGS. If you want more please let me know!