Being in lockdown has meant people have had more time to focus on their hobbies or discover new ones, something that is seeing a surge of interest lately is vinyling or vinyl crafts.
I’ve had lots of messages from people asking me how they can get started with vinyl crafts and the most cost-effective way to get started (so keep your eyes peeled for those posts coming up soon!) so I thought it would be a good idea to answer the question many new crafters ask – ‘What is a SVG file?’ and give a bit of background on why they are the biggest and best tool in a vinyl crafters ‘toolbox’
What is a SVG file?
A SVG is an image file that is made up of a fixed set of shapes as opposed to a normal image being made of pixels. The acronym SVG stands for Scalable Vector Graphic. A SVG allows for a smoother look when increasing the size of an image – if you increase the size a normal jpeg by too much you can start to see the pixels in it but because a SVG is made of fixed shapes it ‘scales’ up without any distortion. When SVG files are used for crafting they are sometimes referred to as svg cuts or ‘cut files’.
Who can use them?
Anyone! As long as you have a computer to download them onto and a machine to cut them with then the possibilities are endless.
What are SVG files used for?
SVG’s are used by crafters with digital cutting machines such as the Cricut, Silhouette and Brother Scan’n’cut. It’s an easy way to get sometimes complicated designs sized to fit projects and broken down into layers. You can use SVGs for all sorts of projects from scrapbooking and cardmaking to papercuts and vinyl crafts, you even have machines such as the Cricut Maker that are capable of cutting sewing pattern SVG’s.
They are perfect for personalising items for a group, say a Hen Do, you can find a SVG file that everyone likes and use that for the front of some t-shirts and personalise it by adding their names underneath or to the backs. If they want the same design added to travel cups or water bottles then its no problem (and a good upsell/add on sale for you 👍) because the SVG is fully scaleable you won’t get any distortion.
How do you use them?
Even though the name sounds a bit technical they are super easy to use, the majority of the time they come as zip files so you have to download and extract them. You would then upload it onto your design software (I have a Cricut so I use Design Space) and you are free to manipulate the design however you want to fit your idea and project. You can split the SVG into its individual layers if it has them to adjust the colours you want to use or resize certain elements. You can then group your layers all back together and adjust the whole image to fit the project you are working on.
This handy video below shows you how to add SVG files into Cricut Desing Space
Where can I get SVG files
There are lots of places online to get SVG files but my favourite by far is Design Bundles they have thousands of options of SVG files for all kinds of projects. One of the best ways to get hold of a selection of different designs is by buying bundle deals, and as the name suggests this is a speciality of theirs. Some of my favourite bundles to purchase have been the Craft Bundles because as well as SVG’s they also usually include a few fonts and image files, here are a few of their current ones
The Impressive Craft Bundle – £19.45 for over £210 worth of files
This bundle includes some great gym quotes that would be great for personalising t-shirt or water bottles and some beautiful mandala style cuts perfect for clothing or tote bags.
The Mega Craft Bundle – £15.40 for over £195 worth of files
This bundle includes a Mega bundle of over 400 files (I know, its a bit like bundle inception) that makes it worth buying just for that! It’s called the Mega Bundle and I actually purchased it separately a few weeks ago and I have so many ideas for projects that I can’t get them designed quick enough. It also includes files for fairy and mouse doors which would sell really well on eBay as wall transfers for kids bedrooms.
The Little Craft Bundle – £12.16 for over £130 worth of files
This bundle includes a Wine Tumbler quotes file that I’m actually using on a project this week plus some more beautiful mandala cuts that would work as vinyl decals and some great funny quotes to put on t-shirts.