Hello, everybody. Today I’m going to teach you all about how to use SVG cut files. And I think that I should get up close and personal for this one. So every day, I get email from some lovely person who is so eager to make one of my day designs. But they just can’t figure out how to get from point A to point B.
Here are some of the questions that I’ve received. “What is the secret to making beautiful crafts?” “Why do some crafters seem to create so freely while others are stuck spinning their wheels?” “How do you find beautiful templates, patterns and tutorials for all of those amazing projects you share?” And “How are you supposed to know what to do, in what order, when it all seems so complicated?
” Those are big questions. But the thing is, those are questions that nearly every single crafter has asked themselves at one point or another.
Including myself. We all have questions. But when it comes down to it, I know you love to make things.
Beautiful things. Just like me. And I think that despite all the different ways the questions are worded, what folks are asking is this, “How do I make beautiful things that are fun to put together and get noticed, appreciated and loved?” Hi, my name is Jennifer Maker, and I’m the award-winning designer at jennifermaker.com, the blog and the YouTube channel.
Welcome to my video series, “SVGs Made Simple.” I designed this video series to help answer those very questions. And here in this first video, you’re going to learn all about how to find those coveted patterns, and files that take your crafts from blah to beautiful. So the way it works is that designers, like myself, can save and share their detailed patterns. The ones that allow you to recreate something with perfect precision into what are known as SVG cut files.
And you’re going to learn how they can transform your crafts. You’ll also learn how to find and download SVG files to help you cut and make gorgeous jaw dropping creations.
Once you get this down, you’ll blow everyone away with the things that you can make. And you’ll also totally make someone’s day, when you give them something that you made with your own two hands and a little help from your cutting machine. That means if you are the owner of a Cricut, a Silhouette, a Brother, or another cutting machine, who is struggling with this whole SVG file thing, you’re going to be able to start making amazing creations right away with SVG cut files.
My goal for this “SVGs Made Simple” video series, is to help you make beautiful creations that you can use to decorate your home, and wow your friends and family. You are going to blow them away. Now, as many of you know, I design and share my free SVG cut files through my blog, at jennifermaker.com. Sometimes the issue is knowing where to find the file.
But other times, people struggle with downloading the files or even finding them after they’ve downloaded them. It’s not always as easy as we’d all like it to be.
But the reality is that I can totally relate to that struggle, because that has a lot to do with my own story too. The day I bought my first Cricut, I took it out of the box and set it up, and did the first project. I was so excited.
And it was so amazing. But a couple of days later, I wanted to make some things really beautiful, really special.
Something that would just make people go, “Wow, that’s so cool.” I looked around online, and I discovered that it was possible to make flowers out of paper. I had no idea that you can make paper flowers and I was instantly drawn to it and hooked.
But it was a total mystery to me. So, I started poking around online and reading blogs and visiting sites.
And eventually, I discovered a wonderful blogger who was sharing some paper flower SVG files. I had no idea what an SVG was, but with time and persistence, I figured it out and I figured out how to use it. And that day, I made my very first paper flower.
I have to show it to you. Look at that. And when I showed everyone that evening, they were all so impressed. And so was I. I still love this thing.
But this story doesn’t stop with me. The tutorial I’m about to share with you, isn’t my method of making SVGs to make all of these gorgeous creations. Everything that you see here in my craft room, everything on my blog and on my channel, they all began as SVG cut files. Because I want you to be able to make things like this too.
And you probably wouldn’t be watching this, if you weren’t struggling, at least a little, with how to make these unique creations.
But luckily, there’s a solution. The purpose of “SVGs Made Simple” is to help you quickly overcome this frustration, so that you can get to the making stuff part that you love, faster. It’s really that simple. So as we go through these tutorial videos, I want you to identify obvious areas of opportunity for your current situation. What is it that you want to get out of this?
Are you ready? Let’s get started. So let’s begin with the basics. What is an SVG cut file? An SVG is a file with a pre-made design that you can download to your computer or device, upload to your favorite design software, such as Cricut Design Space, Silhouette Studio, Sure Cuts A Lot, or Make the Cut.
The file contains all or most of the imagery and directions needed to cut a project exactly as designed. And it’s this exactness that makes SVG cut files so appealing.
It allows designers to make something precisely, and share it with others so they can make the same thing. So here on the left side of my screen, is the SVG cut file for my penguin paper bomb in Cricut Design Space, just as it was designed by me. And on the right side of the screen is the completed penguin cut from the directions in the SVG file.
And by the way, SVG stands for scalable vector graphics, SVG. And it is an open standard file that has been in use since 1999. I love SVG files because they are so precise. Now you may be wondering, where do you find SVG cut files? As it turns out, they are all over the place.
I myself have a big collection of free SVG files on my blog at jennifermaker.com. I keep them all in my free resource library. And many other bloggers do something similar and are happy to share their designs with you via SVG cut files as well. If a design is being shared, the blogger will mention it in their blog post.
And many bloggers will have resource libraries or free SVG file collections somewhere in their menu bar that you can look for. Beyond blogs, you’ll also find cut files in SVG design shops. Most all shops have a free section along with their files for sale. If you don’t mind paying a small price, SVG shops usually have what you need in their large collections. Another place to look for SVG cut files is in Facebook groups devoted to Cricut, Silhouette, and other cutting machines.
Most of these groups encourage their members to share files they’ve made themselves, and members are allowed to download them. So to help you find the locations of these blogs, shops, and groups, I have a big list of great places to find SVG cut files on my blog at jennifermaker.com.
Just come on over and search for free SVG files. Or you can go to the blog post at jennifermaker.
com/free-svg-files-best. Finally, my all time favorite place to get SVG cut files is to just make them myself. Yes, that’s right. You can just make your own SVG cut files in precisely the way, size, style, and configuration you want without any compromises. Those SVG files aren’t found online, but are in your imagination, just waiting to get out.
And it’s totally possible to make your own. I do it. You can do it too. If you’ve ever thought about it, I encourage you to try it. I’ll be talking more about how you can learn to design and make your own SVG cut files in a future video in this training series.
Okay. So how do you get cut files? So now we get to the trickier part and the one that I get a lot of questions about, because it’s not always so obvious. If you haven’t done it before. Once you’ve done it, you’ll be golden.
So just how do you get the SVG cut files from online into your design software? The first thing you need to do is download the files. It isn’t hard to do so. Let me show you how to download a file from my library on four different devices. Windows, Mac, iPhone or iPad, and Android.
So we’re going to do a Windows computer with a Google Chrome web browser and the Microsoft Edge web browser. A Mac computer with a Google Chrome web browser, and the Safari web browser.
An iPad using this Safari web browser. And an Android tablet with a Google Chrome web browser. Let’s start with how to download SVG files in a Google Chrome browser on a Windows computer.
Which is the most common scenario and the one that I recommend if you are on Windows. First, you’ll want to locate the file. Usually all you need to do is click a link or a download button, and the file will download for you. Here I am in my free library. I click the link for the project file that contains the SVG, it downloads and then I can locate it.
Now, if you already know where your computer downloads its files, you can go right there.
On Windows, it’s almost always going to download to your Downloads folder. But if you’re ever unsure, most browsers have a way to track downloads. On Chrome, you’re recently downloaded files appear at the bottom of the window. Just click the little arrow next to the file name you see right here, choose, “Show folder,” and it takes you to your Downloads folder.
Now you’ll notice that the file that downloads is a compressed archive. This is going to be true of virtually any SVG file that you download anywhere online. Because most designers like to bundle a variety of versions and formats to make sure everyone can use it. But this file needs to be decompressed before it can be used. So to open and decompress a zip file on Windows, just right click with your mouse on the zip archive, and select, “Extract all”, from the menu that appears.
Or you can click the, “Extract all” button at the top of the window, as shown here.
You may be asked where you would like to extract your compressed zip file. Go ahead and check the destination to make sure it’s a place that you recognize. And can find, of course. If not, you can go change it with a browse button, and then click, “Extract.
” A new folder will appear with the same name as the zip file. Inside, you may see something called MacOSx, just ignore that folder. But there’s another folder in there with the same name as your download. Double click that folder to open it and reveal its contents.
Inside that folder, you may see many files, text files, image files, DXF files, and SVG files.
The SVG file is the one that you want. But you’ll notice on my screen here that it’s listed as an SVG under type. Instead, we see a file with the words, Microsoft Edge HTML. This Microsoft Edge HTML file, this is actually our SVG file. Your SVG files may appear as Edge HTML files, just as mine are.
If you don’t have an association saved for SVG files on your computer. And most people don’t. All right, so you’re really going to look for either the letters SVG in the file name, or the words, Microsoft Edge HTML file. So just remember, Edge files are actually SVG files in this case. You know, if you downloaded it, if you’re looking for it, that’s what you’re looking for.
Okay, so don’t try to double click any kind of SVG file, because if you do, it will search for some illustration software to open it.
And most people don’t even have that. So instead, we’ll open this file in a special way and I’ll be showing you to do that in our next video in this series. Okay. Now let’s switch to a Windows laptop running Microsoft Edge, which is the default browser.
And some of you may still be using that rather than Chrome. So here I am in my library on my blog, I scroll the page and looking for my project, when I find it, I click the link to download it. A small box appears in the upper right corner of the web browser. If you miss spotting this box because it does disappear after a moment, don’t worry. You can click the three dots in the upper right corner, then choose downloads to see it again.
So once you found your downloads, click the top most item. This will show you the folder. It’s important to note that this folder is not yet decompressed. It’s important that you click on, “Extract all,” to decompress it.
You can also just go to your downloads folder, find the file that you just downloaded, and right click it to select extract all or click that extract all button in the top.
Either way, you’ll get the same sort of folder that I showed you earlier. Again, you can ignore that MacOSx folder, and double click the other folder to see all of the files. Here’s our list of files inside. And the SVG that you want to use is right here. Again, it shows up as a Microsoft edge HTML document but this is your SVG file.
All right, so that was Windows. Now, how do you download an SVG file on a Mac? Let’s start with Chrome. So first you locate the file. Usually all you need to do is click a link or a download button, and a file will download for you.
Here I am at my blog’s resource library. I click the link for the SVG file. It downloads, and then I can locate it. If you know where your computer downloads its files, you can go right there. On the Mac, it’s almost always going to download to your Downloads folder.
But if you’re ever unsure most browsers have a way to track downloads. On Chrome, your recently downloaded files appear at the bottom of the window. Click the little down arrow next to the file name and it takes you to your Downloads folder. Now you’ll notice that the file that downloads is a compressed archive that ends in .zip.
It actually is restricted. So we need to put it into an archive. And also, because most designers like to bundle a variety of versions and formats of their files to make sure everyone can use it.
So to open and decompress a zip file on the Mac, simply double click it. A new folder will appear with the same name is the zip file. Double click the new folder, and inside, you will see all of the contents. The file that ends in SVG is the one you’ll want to work with. But, don’t try to double click or open an SVG file.
If you do, it will search for an illustration software on your computer it can use to open it. And most people don’t even have this. Instead, we’ll upload this file just as it is.
And I’ll be showing you exactly how to do that in the next video. Okay, so we’ve done a Mac desktop computer running Chrome.
Let’s see how it looks running Safari. So here is Safari, I’m at my blog’s resource library. I’m going to download the file, and you can see it downloading. And again, I could go right to my Downloads folder, but if you are ever not sure where your download went, you just click this little down arrow at the top of your screen, and it shows you the latest downloads. Click the magnifying glass, and it takes you to your downloads folder.
Finally, let’s talk about how to get SVG cut files if you’re using an iPad or even an iPhone. First, you should know that it is possible to download these piles on these devices. And since the introduction of iOS version 11, you can even download and upload directly from your iPad or iPhone. Let me show you how to do this on my iPad. So first make sure your iPad is updated to at least OS version 11.
Now we need to download an SVG cut file. Tap on Safari, and go to my blog at jennifermaker.com. From there, tap on libraries over on the right, and enter my library. If you don’t have a password yet, you can request one free on the same page.
Once you’re in the library, you can scroll the page down, to look for the file that you want. But I think it’s a lot easier to search the page for it. To search, just tap on the bar at the top of the screen, tap in the word that you want to search for, such as owl. And tap on the line under that says, “On This Page,” in the window below the bar. This will find all instances of that word on the page.
Tap the down arrow until you see this search result that you want, like the owl shadow box card. Now to down the file, just tap the word itself. Your iPad will ask if you want to download it and you should tap, “Download” to continue. Now you’re not quite done yet. Go up to the downloads icon at the top of your window, it looks like a circle with a down arrow in it and tap it.
This will show you all of your recent downloads, including the one that you just did which will be at the very top. Tap it to view it in your files app.
Now locate the file on the screen, and tap the file icon once more to extract it, to unzip it. And inside you’ll see the files, including the SVG cut file. And that’s all there is to downloading and extracting zip files on your iPad.
And finally, let me show you how to download an SVG cut file on an Android device. So first make sure your Android is updated to the latest version. Now we need to download an SVG cut file. To do this, I recommend you tap on Chrome, and then go to my blog at jennifermaker.com.
From there, tap on libraries over on the right in the red bar, and enter my library.
If you don’t have password yet, you can request one free on the same page. Once you’re in the library, you can scroll the page for the file you want, but I think it’s easier to search the page for it. To search, just tap the three dots in the upper right corner and select, “Find in page,” in the dropdown menu that appears. Then tap in the word that you want to search, such as owl.
And press the magnifying glass icon on the keyboard to start searching. This will find all instances of that word on the page. Tap the down arrow until you see the search result you want, like this owl shadow box card. To download the file, just tap it. Your Android device will show you the download progress.
When it’s all done downloading tap, “Open,” to go to My Files.
And now be careful, now you’re not quite done yet. You must first extract the files from the zip folder. So just tap, “Extract,” over here on the right to unzip and extract the files that are inside this folder. And inside, you’ll see the files, including the SVG file.
You’re welcome to keep it where it is or move it to another folder in My File, so it’s easier to locate when you want to upload it later. To move the file, press and hold the SVG file that you see on the screen until the checkbox appear on the left. Now select another folder on the left and tap move, to move it over there. And that’s all there is to downloading and extracting SVG files on your Android device. Okay, so now that we’ve worked on finding and downloading SVG cut files, the big question is, how do you upload and use these files anyways?
I mean, just downloading the file does not make it magically load itself into your machine and begin cutting, now does it? That would be nice.
How do you get an SVG cut file into Cricut Design Space or Silhouette Studio? What do you do if you’re on an iPad or a phone? Can you even upload them at all?
Well, that’s exactly what I am going to show you in video number two of this series. I’m also going to give you actual examples of SVGs being uploaded in a variety of different ways, and provide you with a handy workbook so that you can download it and use it as a reference, as you continue on your crafting journey. Solving the problem of getting SVGs into your design software is actually pretty easy. And I’ll show you how to do it in video number two. Before we go today, I want you to leave a comment right below this video.
And tell me what you think of it and what you’re struggling with when it comes to SVG cut files.
I’m going to read every single comment, just like always, and I’ll respond to as many as I can. And if you found this video useful, please share it on Facebook or YouTube, or even just send a friend a link to this page. Now remember, creating gorgeous crafts is not nearly as complicated as people make it out to be. All you really need to do is simplify the process.
And SVG cut files can do that. And you can start right this very moment in fact.
You can find and download some SVG files for projects that you’d really love to make. Next up, I’ll show you exactly how to upload those files into your design software, so you can actually use them. Remember this, when you are feeling frustrated, without some struggle, there can be no progress.
You can turn your breakdowns into breakthroughs. All right, I cannot wait to see you in the next video. Until next time. (happy music).