Single Color SVG in Adobe Illustrator for Cricut

Adobe Illustrator is a great program for creating an SVG for Cricut Design Space. In this tutorial I’ll show you how to create a single-color SVG. After you’ve done that, be sure to check out the tutorial for converting your single-color SVG to a multi-color SVG! You can either watch the video above, or read my summary below.

File setup

  1. Import your sketch. If you’d like to follow along with me, you can download my sketch and open it up in Illustrator.
  2. In the layers panel, double-click on the layer that has your sketch on it, and check template. This is going to lock the layer so we don’t move it around, and it’s also going to dim the image so that it’s lighter and easier to trace over. You can also rename the layer to something like “sketch.”
  3. After closing out of that dialog, add a new layer by clicking the plus sign in the layers panel, and name it “vector.”
  4. Save your file – always save as you go!

The Pen Tool

Because we are on a desktop rather than an iPad (or other drawing tablet), we’ll need to use the pen tool with a mouse. The pen tool may seem weird at first, but the more you use it, the more you’ll get used to it – and eventually it will become second nature. So go ahead and grab your pen tool and experiment.

  1. Click and drag to create a curved point
  2. Click to create an angled point
  3. Hold down Cmd (Ctrl on Windows) to get the select tool, so that you can edit your anchor points & handles
  4. When you’re ready to end the line, click Esc. (Or if you want a closed shape, click or click & drag on the endpoint)

For a more detailed explanation of how to use the pen tool, watch my video Single Color SVG in Adobe Illustrator for Cricut. It’s always easier for me to show rather than tell!

Prettying up your lines

  1. Change the ends of your lines from flat to rounded by going to the Stroke panel, and select Round under both Cap and Corner.
  2. Hide your sketch layer by clicking the view icon on the layer.
  3. Use the width tool to give your strokes some variation, so they look hand-drawn. (This is much easier to see in the video)

Preparing for export

  1. First save the file you’ve been working on, so you have the most recent version saved.
  2. Go to FileSave As, and name it something like
  3. With the Select Tool, select everything and go to Object → Expand Appearance. This will convert your lines to shapes.
  4. Go to the Pathfinder window, and click the first shape mode – Combine – which looks like two solid squares overlapping each other. This will combine all those shapes into one solid shape, rather than overlapping shapes.
  5. Go to Object → Compound → Path  Make. This will ensure that all the pieces come through together on one layer in Cricut Design Space.
  6. Delete your sketch layer – click on the layer in the layers panel, and click the trash can.
  7. Save your file.
  8. Go to File → Save As, and select SVG, and save.

Final Steps

Be sure to import your file into Cricut Design Space, to check and make sure everything went through ok.

Questions? Email me!