Convert a .PNG to a .SVG file…works for .JPG too!

Huh? OK we are getting a bit techie today but I swear this is easy! I get many emails form my fabulous blog readers on how to convert jpg and png files to svg files so they can cut them on the Cricut. Not that I don’t LOVE the emails, I thought it would be easier to explain it here with pictures because it is so easy. Expect to say “duh!” before this post is over. Don’t worry, I did not forget my non SCAL/Cricut readers you can do this project “old school” with paper and scissors and you digi-scrappers can play as well!. You will need Sure Cuts a Lot (SCAL) Software, a Cricut and a free program called Inkscape for this tutorail.

Here is what my 4 year old daughter made with what I cut:

Ooh-La-La, a fancy mask!

Ooh-La-La, a fancy mask!

Here are the free png mask files I used for this project. They are a freebie from Digi-Designer Meredith Fenwick and you can grab them on her blog here. Don’t forget to leave some love if you download, a simple thanks will do and it is sure to make her day!

Halloween mask freebie by Merdith Fenwick

Halloween mask freebie by Merdith Fenwick

A note about converting files. The files still belong to the original creator, that means you cannot share them or sell them without permission. This is for personal use only, otherwise I would just give you the files I made but that would be uncool since these freebies promote the designers business and drive traffic to their blogs. Yes, I’m a total square…OK I’m off the soapbox 🙂

Step 1. Find a file you want to convert (simple is best like a coloring book page or png file with a transparent background). Open that file in Inkscape.

open the file in Inkscape, select the mask.

open the file in Inkscape, select the mask.

Click the arrow in the upper left column, then click on your graphic.

In the “Path” menu choose “Trace bitmap”

click "path" then "Trace Bitmap"

Click "path" then "trace bitmap"

A box pops up, click update, and you will hopefully see your graphic. Click “OK” and close the box by clicking the “x” in the upper right hand corner.

A window appers, click update and you see your graphic, click OK then "X".

A window appears, click update and you see your graphic, click OK then "x"

Save the file as a .svg then you can import it to SCAL. * this is important, you don’t open a svg file in SCAL you need to choose “import”.

Open SCAL, click "File" then "Import SVG"

Open SCAL, click"file" then "import SVG" and select your file.

Yay! There it is just like magic! resize as needed.

Yay! There it is just like magic! resize as needed.

That is all there is to it. I you have a multi-colored image you can use a graphics program like Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro to separate everything with the “magic Wand” tool first then cut and paste them in a new document before opening it in inkscape…I think you can even do that in inksape but I haven’t tried (if it ain’t broke why fix it!). Have fun and if you have trouble leave me a comment and I’ll see what I can do…feel free to comment if you are successful too…I like the success stories!

I’m gonna cut a bunch of these for my kids classes, they had a ball decorating these and it will be so much easier than cutting them by hand! Honestly, I can’t wait to make some myself!

Thanks for sitting through this long post. Until tomorrow, Happy Crafting!

Lindsay

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