Turning your Photo to SVG file has satisfying results
From Photo to SVG: The topic of taking a photo and making an SVG is one I keep coming back to. Perhaps it is because custom images from your own photos are simply delightful. Also, it is a great way to get some adorable silhouettes just in general. Whatever your reason for wanting an SVG from your photograph, you can do it! It may take some patience and attention to detail, but it is totally worth it.
My first attempt at a silhouette was one of our bunny rabbit Geronimo. It came out nicely, but wasn’t a very hard shape. With this shape I basically made a bunch of little shapes and then combined them with the path merge tools.
Geronimo the Bunny
Then, for my second attempt I created some custom artwork for my girls’ playroom. These images were definitely more complex and took a lot longer, but with spectacular results. I used a different approach for these images. First, I edited the original photos to make them as black and white as possible.
Second, I traced the images using Inkscape (you can also use Adobe Illustrator or your cutting machine’s software). Lastly, and most tediously, I hand edited the nodes of the path until it was just the way I wanted it. At last, you have converted your photo to svg.
From Photo to SVG
While I am not going to go into detail in this post as it is not my first on this topic, I will hit a few important points.
First, you need to find the right photo – a crisp, clean silhouetted photo with nothing in the background will be much easier to create a custom silhouette cutting file from than one that has a lot going on.
Second, you want to use a photo editing software to get it as close to a silhouette as you can from the start so it will be easier to trace. Like the ones shown below.
Third, you trace the image using a Vector capable software to go from your photo to svg file. I have used Silhouette Studio, Inkscape, and Adobe Illustrator.
Lastly, unless you are really lucky, there will be some hand editing to do to get it just right. And sometimes, when the background of the image just won’t cooperate, you may just have to use the path tool and trace your image point by point!
From Photo to SVG: my latest results
While I haven’t cut these images out yet, I can’t wait to do so. From pictures of my daughters swinging, I arrived at these adorable cutting files. One was begging for extra detail and ended up not being a true silhouette. I tried my best to make it all one connected path, but couldn’t see a way to connect in the facial details without compromising on the cuteness!
For the second image, I went true silhouette all the way. There is enough detail in the overall shape that you can still tell what is going on in the image.
While they may not hold the same emotional signifigance for you as they do for me, I am posting my final SVG files here because they are simply so adorable. Feel free to use them for your own personal projects if you so desire or make your own silhouettes using some of these photo to svg methods!
My silhouette cameo is my go to for creating beautiful home decor from these files!
To download these files, just click the DOWNLOAD button below.
Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful April!
Make your 2018 a year filled with crafting. You can start by using this free SVG New Year’s file to make an awesome motivational decoration, picture, print, or anything else you can think of.
New Year’s Resolutions
While I can’t make any promises, one of my main resolutions for this year is to grow my Etsy business and post more regularly on this blog. So, that ought to translate to more free SVG files for you! Just let me know if you have anything you would love to see featured here. One of my top priorities for the year is to simply do more. I don’t know about you, but I simply get lazy. When I don’t actively plan my days, I end up squandering them. So, I am resolved to try harder to stay motivated and quite simply, to be more active in every way.
Anyhow, enough about myself. What are your plans for the year? For instance, is there a new craft you would like to learn or perfect? Could you see yourself trying some hand lettering challenges on Instagram? How about knitting or sewing?
On to the Free SVG file!
Well, that is enough lead up for today. How about the free svg file? I really like this one and it goes with my resolution to be more active this year. I want to cut it out and hang it up on the wall by my desk as a daily reminder of my goals!
Welcome to my website and today’s journey through my hand lettered artwork project! Have you tried hand lettering? With all the amazing hand lettering on Pinterest and Instagram, I just couldn’t stay away. Such pretty lettering ought to be admired by imitation, in my opinion!
Well, my hand lettering led to water brush pens and watercolors, which led in turn to watercolor doodles. Then, I saw this on Instagram. Watercolor hexagons! Perfect, I thought, I can usually make patterns and I love playing with the colors. Of course, I didn’t attempt the project free-handed, like the lady I saw as my inspiration. We’ll save that for a later date.
Instead, I drew nice little evenly spaced guidelines for myself. I used the materials listed below. These are Amazon affiliate links, but buy wherever you like! I generally buy new supplies at the craft stores with coupons. I love coupons.
Very, very relaxing, at least for me! Try to leave a little border between the hexagons. I found that it helped to put a dot where each corner ought to go and then connect the dots. You can also add a little extra color to the hexagon while it is still wet to get some fun variation!
Adding a Hand Lettered Word, Saying, or Sentiment
I don’t know if it is a craze right now or not, but hand lettering is highly addicting! For my piece of craft room artwork, I thought “Create” would be an apt word to add. I used my Pentel water brush again to letter this on another piece of watercolor paper with the plan to cut it out and put it on top of my hexagon masterpiece.
As a sidenote, I have also been playing with brush markers for hand lettering practice. Take a look at my Instagram feed if you want to see what I have been up to in my spare time. Here are the pens I have been playing with (there are many more that I want to try as well!):
Hand Lettering Tools I have been playing with lately
After it dried, I cut the watercolor paper down a bit and stuck it on my PixScan mat for my Silhouette Cameo to cut out.
After several tries, it finally registered and cut. While it went through and cut smoothly, it was off a bit. I took it off and played around with it a bit on top of the hexagons.
It would have been okay, but I didn’t really like the look of it on top of the hexagons anyhow. So, I scrapped it, and kept just the outline.
When in doubt, use Glitter!
Glitter to the rescue! I found this lovely piece of VERY THICK glitter paper in a nice dark gray. It looked like it would go well, so I set about to cut out my lettering. Does anyone know if this particular glitter cardstock is thicker than normal?
I have not previously cut out glitter cardstock. Looking in the materials list on my silhouette, I found and choose the “glitter cardstock” settings. After running the file through the cutter, I pulled it out. Sadly, it was not cut all the way through.
So, I stuck it back in the Silhouette Cameo for another double-cut run through. Took it out, and it was still not cut through. This time I checked my blade to find it filled with glitter.
After cleaning it out, I upped the blade depth a bit and stuck it back in. Almost this time! Cleaned out the blade again. Fourth time was a charm and it looked great!
Persistence paid off and I was very thankful that it stayed aligned despite its many trips in and out of the machine. I then did a quick offset and cut a second one out of another piece of white cardstock. Isn’t it pretty?
Look at how pretty it looks on top of the hexagons! I am thrilled that the 4 times through the Silhouette Cameo paid off. Just in case you didn’t put this together, that is 8 cutting passes since it was set to double cut!
Now, it just needed a little extra depth. For this, I turn once again to my large supply of cork scraps. Use anything with a bit of thickness, I just have a lot of cork scraps lying around from making coasters!
In fact, if you need some coasters, please head over to my Etsy shop and take a look. I welcome custom orders if there is something in particular you are looking for!
Except, this time, I just sprayed the cork on both sides with spray adhesive. That seemed to do the trick nicely! Also, I didn’t get any photos of this, but I adhered the glitter cardstock to the offset white cardstock cut.
Almost Done! Now just position your lovely hand lettering on your lovely hand painted background
Beautiful! All set to frame.
A nice little glamour shot of my framed artwork next to my Silhouette Cameo.
And, if you were waiting for this, I’m sorry for the long post. Here is the FREE HAND LETTERED CUTTING FILE! Just click the link below and the free SVG file should download.
For now, I have lots of travertine stone coasters stocked in my new etsy shop. However, I plan to add more items as soon as I can write them up. Please take a look and admire the wondrous beauty that is travertine tile! Lemonade, sadly, not included.
These coasters look nice sitting on the table, on the shelf, or in the kitchen. Simply take a look at my etsy store for all your coaster needs. Plus, they are made from natural travertine tile and will protect your furniture well.
This DIY Pillowcase project was relatively simple and a great project for the licensed fabrics that we ended up with on our last outing to the craft store. Do you bring your husband along when you go to the craft store? Well, I end up bringing him because we are often out of town together when I have the opportunity to go.
Shopping with the whole Family
What happens when you bring your whole family to the craft store? This happens:
As you can see, we ended up with lot of licensed character fabrics. While the Star Wars fabric is still waiting to be made into pillows for the man cave, the girls’ Dory and Frozen fabrics made it into these cute DIY pillowcases. (Do you like my awesome table? It is a giant 4 foot by 8 foot piece of melamine board!)
Since I am a beginner at sewing, I followed this lovely tutorial on My Childhood Treasures Blog. While she said it only took her about 10 minutes for each pillow once the fabric was cut, mine took at least 30 minutes each. So, your timing may vary depending on your ability, but mine still came out quite adorable.
In this DIY pillowcase, the cuff is sewn on all at once while the body of the pillowcase is rolled up inside. Although envisioning how all the layers work is a little tricky, the sewing itself was straightforward. For my first ever pillow cases, I was very pleased with how they turned out.
Cutting the Fabric
Also, I used my new rotary cutting tools for this DIY pillowcase project. While I got them to cut squares from my rolls of cork, they made cutting the fabric out for this project super simple! If you give a girl several 60% off coupons, she will use them. So, while I recommend you get them with coupons from one of your local craft stores, here are the tools I used on Amazon. Actually, looking at the current prices on Amazon, I see that they really aren’t that much more than getting them 60% off at the craft store. While I love the craft stores, I do feel like they mark things up significantly!!
What do you think? Do you have different methods? How about customizing them with names or applique? For a long time now I have wanted to use the Silhouette Cameo for doing applique. However, I am intimidated by the sewing half!
My adorable girls enjoying the results. No hesitation here…
Story: “If you bring your family to the craft store, they will want to buy some fabric.”
Moral of the Story: “Don’t bring your family unless you are prepared to make pillows.”
Do you love a custom silhouette as much as I do? I recently made some artwork for my girls’ playroom and received a lot of questions on how I did it. This article won’t go into too much depth as the process varies remarkably depending on the photo that you start with.
DIY Custom Silhouette from Photo
A crisp, clean silhouetted photo with nothing in the background will be much easier to create a custom silhouette cutting file from than one that has a lot going on.
First, take a look at the two photographs that I started with. In the first one, I caught an adorable moment of my husband and daughters holding hands. In the other, I have a mostly silhouetted view of my girls running through a tunnel at a playground.
Can you guess which one was easier to convert into a custom silhouette svg cutting file? Yep, the one on the right. While the second image is already well on its way to being a silhouette in its own right, the image of the three holding hands has a lot going on in the background. When there is a lot in the background, you aren’t going to be able to trace the image to get a nice crisp outline. So, this is the first thing you need to resolve if you want to get a nice svg cutting file from your photo.
First Step: Edit your image in some variety of Photo Software
While I just signed up for a subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud and am having a great time with it, the cost may be prohibitive for some. If you don’t have a go to image editing software, I highly recommend GIMP. It is a free software and can do quite a lot – almost as much as Photoshop if you know how to work it.
As I mentioned before, it is hard to give explicit directions for this step as it can vary so much between images. However, the goal is always the same. You need to make your image into a black and white image with lots of contrast and you need to remove as much of the background noise and distraction as you can.
Here is what my images looked like after I had played around with them for a while and cleaned them up as best as I could. Because the one with my two girls in the tunnel was a cleaner image to start with, it was already starting to look like a cutting file. On the left, however, the image with the three holding hands still needed a lot of work.
Second Step: Trace the Image
There are several ways to approach this next step. You can use the built in trace function in Silhouette Studio, however I typically prefer to use Inkscape. Here is a demonstration of using the trace function in Silhouette Studio to produce your custom silhouette image. As you can see, the result is quite messy and would require quite a lot of processing to make it as nice as my final draft.
Now, here is a different way to generate your custom silhouette using Inkscape. Inkscape is a free software available for download and is quite versatile. Notice how the resulting custom silhouette trace is much cleaner. This means there will be a whole lot less cleaning up by hand to do and it will take a lot less time. Remember, your time is valuable! In addition, I have also found Inkscape to be much more responsive and kind to me when I edit cutting files node by node.
If you look closely in the GIF above, you will see that the “Trace Bitmap” function has lots of options. Take your time and play around with these features. For my image, the “Brightness Steps” option seemed to work the best. I then separated the layers it gave me and picked the best one. I didn’t take the time to go into detail regarding this feature, but there are lots of tutorials on it already if you poke around. Here is one that I found. And, another good site if you want to learn more about Inkscape.
Adobe Illustrator also works with SVG files and will probably be something I play around with more in the future. In the meantime, please enjoy these GIF images and feel free to ask me any more detailed questions you may have regarding the process.
Third Step: Clean it Up
While this step is the most tedious, it is also very crucial to getting a nice clean cut. Basically, you need to go into your traced cutting file and do a few things. Let me see if I can list them out.
Delete nodes that you don’t want (you can see there were a lot of cluttered points on my images above).
Connect the paths where the trace didn’t get it quite right. For me, I needed to reconnect the girls’ ponytails to their heads!
Alter any shapes that seem a bit off if you desire.
With some practice and a LOT of patience, you can end up with a file that looks something like this one:
Custom Silhouette of My Girls
Click to download FREE SVG file.
Fourth Step: Cut it Out
Finally, we get to the fun part! Now that you have your file all ready to go, open it up in Silhouette Studio. I have the designer edition and can open SVG files directly. If you do not, you can save your file as a DXF from Inkscape and import it from there. As a caution, I do warn that I have personally had struggles with this method and recommend you read my experience with it before you invest too much time into trying to cut out your files.
The file with the custom silhouette of my two girls that I show above I ended up separating into two cuts. My other file, with them holding hands, only took one cut.
Since their playroom is all decked out in pink and green, I used a pretty pink 12″ x 12″ cardstock I had on hand. While this playroom has been a long time in process, it just keeps getting more exciting (in my humble opinion, of course). Feel free to check it out.
For the two layer cut, I cut the tunnel background into the pink layer and cut the girls out of the white cardstock. On the other cut I just used the pink as a solid background.
Once you get your images cut out to your liking, weed them and get them looking just right. Take a minute to sit back and admire them! If you made it this far, congratulations! I know this is a long tedious process, but you can get such fabulous custom silhouette results!
Fifth Step: Frame It!
Don’t let your beautiful silhouette just sit there on your craft table. Get it off the table and into a frame! I promise, this part is really no so hard. You will need:
Something to add dimension behind the cutout. I used scraps of Cork that I had on hand.
Adhesive I used a tape roller from the scrapbooking section of the craft store.
Decide where you want your background. Mine was slightly smaller than the frame, but larger than the mat. In order to ensure it wouldn’t slip around, I adhered it centered to the example insert they always have in the frame. Next, add your cork (or something with similar dimension) to the back of your custom silhouette cutout. Then, adhere it to the background. Center your art in the frame and close it up. It is really that simple.
Well, I suppose that is all I have for today. Have you made any custom silhouette artwork? I would love to see it! Oh, and please excuse the quantity of social media images that follow, I really can’t put down my new CC apps!
Do you have a lot of buttons? Well, I have at least a modest amount stowed away in a small jar. I feel like it is a collection that will increase over the years. Perhaps someday, I will be a little old lady with a hoard of buttons. At any rate, I was definitely happy to find a bag of pink and green buttons for $0.99 at the thrift store. I love thrift stores. They have loads of potential. At any point, you could round the corner and find the best deal you have ever seen. Granted, it is probably going to be an awesome deal on something you probably don’t need, but it will still be awesome. See how pretty my bargain buttons are?
Wonderfully, the buttons I found on this particular occasion were perfect for my next project because pink and green are the colors of the playroomI have been working so diligently at the past year or so. Buttons, buttons, and more buttons!! Sitting around in my craft room waiting for some love were white letters to decorate for the playroom – I had picked them up at JoAnn Fabric at some point, on a big sale of course.
Consequently, here are the letters I started with, the link will take you to Amazon but know that they do exist at the craft store if you have a coupon burning a hole in your pocket!
Now for the fun part. While I used the lighted cardboard letter shown above, you really could use almost anything. And I mean almost anything. As long as it can take the heat of hot glue, you can probably cover it in buttons.
How to Make Your own Button Creations
What could you use? Other forms of letters like wood ones, paper ones, plastic, your own cardboard shapes, canvas, paper you will frame, vases, decor items, candles, and the list goes on. Have you decorated anything with buttons?
Materials I used:
Buttons – I got mine at the thrift store for $0.99, yay!
Lighted Cardboard Letter, or whatever object you would like to decorate. Mine probably cost around $5 with a coupon or sale. (I used this one: American Crafts Letter Kit, E)
Total Cost: About $6 for my materials, but could be more or less depending on what you decorate and what supplies you have on hand.
First of all, layout at least a few buttons ahead of where you are so that you can arrange them how you like.
I put the glue on the project, not on the button. I don’t know which would be best though. Any hot glue gun experts?
While my buttons do not overlap because I wanted to ensure that the lights would have enough room, if you don’t have this constraint, you don’t have to stick to one dimension! Overlap those buttons, place some on top or in between to add more dimension.
Choose your colors wisely. I picked a pink and green theme (to go with an existing room theme). You can use any button if you want an eclectic look, or go with only one or two colors in different shades. While it doesn’t matter what you go with, just put a little thought into it before you start.
Now you have fun and don’t be shy! Just start gluing. Don’t be afraid, the buttons can’t hurt you. 🙂
Do you have any tips for button art? I would love to here them or see any of your projects or creations. Here is some more inspiration from pinterest. I LOVE the button animals!
A lot of my time lately has been absorbed in planning and executing a playroom design in one of our basement bedrooms. It is a small room, though not too tiny, and had really REALLY ugly purple trim when we moved in. Well, okay, so the purple itself wasn’t such a bad color, but it was a really bad color for trim!
The first chore was cleaning and painting the room, including the trim. My theme colors for the room were in part chosen by the three clearance paint cans I found at Target in green, pink, and yellow. I ran with it and now everything in the room needs to be one of these three colors (or white).
Also, the outlets were a dark dark brown color and really clashed with the room, so of course I wanted those to be white too! Unfortunately, we couldn’t get the power back after the switch and had to have an electrician come out and help us, but now it is beautiful. This held me back for longer than I care to admit. I should have called the electrician in much sooner, but I kept thinking I would be able to solve it on my own. On the positive side of things, I did learn quite a bit about wiring in my attempts.
Paint Almost Complete!
I was also very glad to pull down the blue sheers and old purple cork board. The combination of new white trim and removing the old dusty curtains really lightened the room up! Sorry I took the picture at night – not much natural light coming in.
When the paint was dry, I really got moving. I was so excited to have the room in a usable state again after the electricity fiasco! Along the back wall I used the Kallax shelving from IKEA to create a lot of storage and a bench for adults to sit on. It is very handy to have somewhere to sit when your kids are playing, so don’t forget about yourself in the plans.
At last! It is coming together as I envisioned.
I splurged a bit on the bench fabric from JoAnn’s and used some foam I had left over from another project to upholster the top. I think it came out really nice and it was my first upholstery project. I will post more details in later posts for a lot of these projects. One project that is nearing completion is the vinyl animal alphabet I plan to add to the green wall on the right. I have it all cut out and ready to put up. I already posted the file HERE, but it will be much more fun to see an example of it all cut out.
Getting in on the Playtime
Labeling the bins with pictures is still on my to do list, but I really like how the “PLAY” and elephants from Hobby Lobby livened the room up.
Closet lights and Mirrors
Our girls did not hesitate to start using the space. The kitchen and kids table worked out really well with the color scheme too. In the closet, I made use of some super nifty wavy mirrors (from IKEA again) and lit the space up with some neat string lights. I was really quite excited to learn that they make light socket adapters with two outlets in them. This turned out to be the perfect place to plug in my string lights AND have them be on a switch to boot. I also have a curtain across the door (not in the picture) that I plan on lengthening. The closed still has some additions in the planning stage. These include IKEA spice rack book shelves and foam pillow rolls for the floor to make it a really cozy reading nook.
More pictures and project details to come! Let me know if you need details on anything.
Snow is coming, I can feel it! In my hometown in Colorado there was a snow day today, but we have been seeing quite the balmy weather here in Michigan. It has been in the 50’s in December! Awesome! Although, I do like a white Christmas, so I am torn.
Etched Snowman Mugs
At any rate, this latest file is the product of a friend’s etched glass project. She wanted a set of etched glass mugs for a gift she was making and we thought this little snowman was just right for the job. I think her mugs came out very cute! And, as I hate wasting such nice little cuts, I stuck the leftover stencil insides on the window for a little seasonal cheer.
If you are curious about the etching, it is really fairly simple. You cut out a stencil on vinyl (or contact paper if you want to cheap out – it seems to work just fine for this). Apply your stencil to your glass object – in this case it was a rectangle with a snowman cut out of it. Leave the part you want etched blank, the stencil should cover what you DON’T want etched.
Apply a nice little layer of etching cream with a foam brush. Let it sit according to the directions on the bottle. Wipe off the excess (or put it back into your bottle), and rinse. Be careful not to wipe the cream onto other parts of the glass or wash it off where it hits the glass outside the stencil if at all possible. Remove your stencil and admire!
This has been a long time in the making and I am really excited to share it with everyone. It has been a while since my last post with our new baby and a lot of fun summer activities getting in the way. At any rate, I have been plodding away a letter at a time making this file for use in our wonderful playroom (another incomplete project in itself).
My vision is to use these files in different colors of vinyl either in a big row around the room or a cluster. I made a concerted effort to keep each animal one solid piece so that there won’t be any smaller vinyl pieces to mess with. The animals themselves were either made from scratch by me or modified from free clipart I found online. Please let me know if you think I have made an error and modified a file that truly belongs to someone else – I make an effort to keep to freely available clipart for my modifications.
Use this file for personal use only, please. This file is free for now, although it may at some point be listed in my (future) etsy shop. Please download and enjoy!
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Welcome! Kabram Krafts is now selling premium SVG files at kabramkrafts.com as well as on Etsy. Dismiss