You may be aware that on March 12, 2021 Cricut announced they would be limiting the number of uploads into Cricut Design Space to 20 per month for users who are not members of Cricut Access. This caused quite the controversy and people got really mad (understandably so).
After all of the anger surfaced, Cricut decided to change their mind on March 16, 2021 and let everyone who creates an account and links a Cricut machine to that account by December 31, 2021 have free unlimited uploads for the life of that machine. But they were very unclear on what would happen after that.
Then, on March 18, 2021 Cricut’s CEO announced that they will not impose an upload limit on non-Cricut Access users even beyond 2021 and currently have no plans to do so. Sheesh, make up your mind will ya? How about you discuss the customer ramifications before you make the decision to do an upload limit in the first place?! Ultimately, I am very glad they actually listened to their customers. But, the door was left slightly open for possible changes in the future. We’ll see… I guess this post I’ve been working on all week has become a post for just saving time with uploads/imports but I’m not bitter or anything…Lol!
So, for today’s tutorial I am showing you how to combine several SVG images into one SVG file using the free design program, Inkscape. This is helpful for Design Space because it means you will be able to upload many images as just one upload in the event an upload limit is imposed. It can also be a time saver with any of the cutting machine programs (eg. Silhouette Studio, Brother Canvas Workspace, Cricut Design Space) because you can import/merge/upload/open all the images you need for one project all at once.
Please check out the video tutorial below or scroll down for instructions with photos:
What is Inkscape?
If you’ve never heard of Inkscape it is an open-source vector design program like Adobe Illustrator or Silhouette Studio editions above Basic, but it is FREE. It is the main program I use to design SVGs. It can be a bit glitchy so bear that in mind. But, for me that is a small price to pay for a free and very powerful design program.
If you are feeling generous, you can donate to Inkscape by clicking on their Paypal Donate button found on the operating system page.
Inkscape can definitely feel intimidating when you first open it because it’s offers a lot of functionality for vector designs and everything in it can look a bit strange and unfamiliar if you’re not used to using these types of programs.
Don’t get too worried about that right now because today I am going to show you how to do a very simple import and save of multiple SVGs into one file. It’s easy and better yet, FREE, so just ignore all of the other scary-looking stuff on the screen once you open Inkscape because we won’t be using any of it today.
Go to Inkscape.org and click on Download Now!
The web page will change and you should pick the operating system your computer is using: Linux, Windows or Mac.
An automatic download should begin. Normally a small box appears in the lower left of your screen showing the progress of the download.
When it finishes downloading run the installation procedure for your computer. This varies by type of computer but usually involves double clicking on the download box and then double clicking on the program’s installer file and letting your computer do the rest of the work. Once installed, open Inkscape.
Change Document Properties in Inkscape
When you open Inkscape for the first time, the mat normally defaults to a letter size – 8.5″ x 11″ and the units of measurement default to both pixels and the metric system depending on what is being measured.
To change this, go to File>Document Properties
A box with tabs at the top will open. Stay on the Page tab and click on the dropdown menu next to Display Units near the top of the tab. Select inches (in).
If you want to show a mat that is 12 “x 12”, like most cutting machines use, go down to the Custom Size section. Change the units here to inches (all the way to the right on the tab) and then type in 12.00 for the width and 12.00 for the height and hit Enter. The mat on teh screen should change to 12″ x 12″.
Unless you want to get into more complicated uses for Inkscape, like Scale, leave everything else at the default. Close this menu and then go to File>Save Template.
Name it something like 12 x 12 Template and click the Set as default template box so it is checked and hit Save. Now whenever you open Inkscape, it will open with this mat and units.
Import SVG Images
To add images to the mat, go to File>Import. You don’t want to go to File>Open as that will open an entirely new Inkscape window.
Navigate to the SVG file you want to add to the mat. Click on it to select it and then click Open.
A box will appear showing you the default settings for the image. Click OK and then the image will appear in the mat. Resize it if necessary by checking that the aspect ratio lock is locked and then either click and drag on one of the corner handles to resize it or manually type in the new width or height in those boxes on the upper toolbar.
Repeat this process until all of the images you want to combine have been added to the mat.
Rearrange Images on Mat and Save
Once you’ve imported all of the images you need on to the mat in Inkscape, rearrange them as needed so they are grouped in the upper left area of the mat. This is the best way to group the images so when you import/upload/merge them into your cutting software, they will appear grouped together in the upper left of the mat in that software program (if applicable).
Now click on File>Save As. The save box appears. Give it a new name and make sure the file type is SVG. I suggest choosing SVG as the file type because that saves all the images on your mat as vector graphics that are the easiest to upload or use in any other cutting machine software. However, this only works if all of the original images that you imported into this one file were SVGs when you originally imported them.
Can You Import Image Files?
If you want/need to use .JPG, .PNG or other types of image files instead of .SVG files for your project, you can absolutely do that in Inkscape too.
It’s more complicated and involves tracing the images and turning them into SVGs in Inkscape before saving them.
I won’t be getting into that during this post, but if you’d like me to do a post on that, please let me know in the comments. You could also try doing a search for “tracing images in Inkscape” or “tracing jpgs with Inkscape” in Google or on YouTube to find some great resources to learn how to do that.
One Upload Instead of Five in Cricut Design Space
If you upload the file we just created into Cricut Design Space, you will now have all 5 SVGs you need to create your floral wreath in just one upload instead of five individual SVG image uploads. Helpful and a timesaver!
Questions or Comments?
If you have any questions, please leave me a comment below and I will get back to you soon. Want to just tell me how much you loved this tutorial? Please leave me a comment below – lol!
I would also appreciate any ideas you may have for topics you’d like to see me cover on the software for Cricut (Design Space), Silhouette (Studio) or Brother (Canvas) and any suggestions you may have for projects you’d like me to make with the Cricut Maker, Cricut Joy, Silhouette Cameo 4 or the Brother Scan N Cut DX. Please leave any requests you have in the comments. I appreciate you taking the time to visit and read my blog. Thanks!