How to Create an SVG for Cricut in Inkscape

There are a lot of little nuances when creating an SVG for Cricut. Inkscape is a great free program you can use so that you can create perfect SVGs for Cricut Design Space, that you can then use yourself, or sell on Etsy or other digital resource sites!

I’ve broken the process up into three steps – Creating the outline, then adding the color, and finally adding text. Of course, you can do just the first step if all you want is a simple, single-color SVG. It really just depends on how detailed you want to get with it.

Creating the Outline for Your SVG

It will probably be easier to watch my video tutorial on creating a single color SVG for the first step, but I’ve also outlined the steps below.

I always like to start by importing a sketch that I can then trace over. Then, the two panels I always like to have open are layers (Layer Layers) and appearance (Object Fill and Stroke). Set up your layer that contains the sketch as a sketch layer – in other words, lock the layer, and lower the opacity so that you can draw over it more easily.

Next, add a second layer (you can name it something like “vector drawing”), to do your vector drawing on.

To create the single-color outline, you can draw your artwork using the bezier tool. This allows you to use the mouse to draw. It may seem weird at first, but once you get used to it, it will become second nature. You’ll need to click & drag to create your curves, and then right-click whenever you’re ready to end your stroke. (Again, this is easier to follow in the video)

After you’re all done drawing, you can convert your lines to shapes, and then combine all of those shapes into a single shape.

Adding Color to Your SVG in Inkscape

The next step is to add color to your SVG in Inkscape. Because iron-on vinyl always has some shrinkage, I recommend having the first layer as a black silhouette of your artwork, and then layering colored pieces on top of it.

To do this, grab your outline SVG and select Path Break Apart.

This breaks everything up into separate shapes – including the silhouette. So then you can switch back to the select tool, select the silhouette, and cut it, and paste onto a new layer. Then, drag that layer to the bottom so that it will be behind everything else. You can lock that layer so you don’t move it around.

Then, you can select the separate pieces of the cupcake, and set their colors.

You can combine shapes of the same color to keep their orientation in the same place on the Cricut mat.

For more details on all of this, check out my YouTube video :)

Adding Text to Your SVG in Inkscape

The last step is adding text to your SVG. You can click on the text tool in the toolbar, click on the canvas, and type your text. Then, click the select tool, and go over to your text panel (if it’s not showing, go to Text -> Text & Font). Choose a font – it won’t change right away on the canvas, but the preview below will change. You’ll need to click Apply to see the changes on the canvas.

You can also put text on a curve. Select the circle tool, and make an oval. Grab both the text and the oval, and then select Text -> Put on Path. This puts the text on the path. You can change the fill & stroke of the path (I like to keep a stroke on the path while I’m working on it). To move the text to the center, grab the text tool and click into the text, move your cursor to the beginning of the text (using your arrow keys), and add some kerning to shift the text into place.

When you’re happy with your text, you can convert it to outlines (shapes). This is the way Cricut will need it, so that it can understand it. (I like to create a copy of the file so I save the editable text version in case I want to edit it later) To convert the text, click on it, and go to Path -> Object to Path. At this point you can delete the circle that you were using for the curved text.

For a more detailed walkthrough, check out my YouTube video, Add Text to Your Cricut SVG in Inkscape.