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Jul 20, 2010

Make The Cut: How to import an SVG file, size, and cut

I recently told you I got a Cricut Expression (Walmart - $249) & Make The Cut software and I am now ready to start my tutorial series.  I will be showing you a TON of uses for MTC software.  Everyone person that I have shown it to... has purchased it.  It's THAT awesome.  TRUST ME!  I get SO excited using it.  I am not a software pro by ANY means, but this is so easy that I can use it. :) 

So many companies (including MFT) have started offering their templates in SVG format and it makes using them SO much easier.  Imagine not having to cut them out by hand?  It is AMAZING.  It is precise, professional, and AWESOME. :)

You can buy the software HERE

A couple things to know about Make The Cut:
  • compatible with all Cricut machines (even Cricut Cake)
  • also compatible with Silhouette and Wishblade (and more)
  • Use it to import SVG, SCUT, and PDFs
  • Cut any True Type Fonts you have on your computer (WOW)
  • Export shapes YOU create to share with friends
  • The image on your screen matches your mat size for the Cricut
  • SO much more... but we'll get to those things later

Now for the first (of many) tutorials showing you to use this amazing software.  I used screen shots to make it as easy to follow as possible.  If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail me (posted over in the left side-bar of my blog).

I am using MFT's Berry Ensemble template for this tutorial. (SVG file)

How to import an SVG file, size it, and cut

  1. Over on the right hand side of your software, you have a VISUAL MAT tab.  There, you can choose your mat size (match to the size of mat you are using - I am using a 12 X 12)
  2. Zoom in or out to what you are viewing on your mat (to make it easier to see everything at a glance).  I zoomed out a bit, so you could see the whole mat.  Just slide the slider until you get it the way you like it.
This is what my screen looks like before we get started. 

Next, I am going to import the SVG file of the Strawberry Template.  Click on FILE, IMPORT, then SVG FILE

You'll locate where you saved the SVG file and double click on it to import.

Now, your SVG file will be on your mat.  The awesome thing about SVG files is that they can be sized to ANY size your electronic cutter can handle.  The MFT Berry Ensemble instruction document gives the recommended size (which makes it SO easy to do).  One way to re-size, is to drag one of the red arrows in the corner until you get the size you want.  The awesome thing about the MTC software, is there is a built-in ruler along the side, that helps you see exactly what size you are dragging it to.  If you want an EASIER way to do this, you can simply type in the measurement you want along the top tool bar.  You can type in EITHER the height OR the width that you desire, and it will keep the image proportionate and size it properly.  In this case, the width is 5".  Just type 5.0 in the width box at the upper right and press enter.

Here is the strawberry, after you press enter.  It is 5" wide.

To have enough strawberries for the carton, we'll need at least 4.  Let me show you an EASY way to duplicate what is on your screen!

Right click on the image on your screen (you need to be able to see the blue box around the image), and click DUPLICATE

A box will pop up, prompting you to enter the number of times you want the image duplicated.  The number you enter INCLUDES the shape already on your screen.  Type in 4 and click OK.  4 identical strawberries will pop up on your mat.

The strawberries on the mat would be easily cut out on a 12 X 12 mat, using 12 X 12 card stock.  But, let's say you have an 8 1/2" X 11" piece of card stock, and still need 4 strawberries.  You can click on each shape individually and move them around on your mat until they are "squished" enough that they will fit on your card stock.  Remember to use the rulers on the mat to see how big a piece of paper you will need.  Click on one shape at a time and move them.  If, when you try to move one shape, they all move... click OFF the shapes, then try again.  Hover your cursor over the shape you are trying to move.  The outline of the shape turns RED.  That is how you know what will move. 

A couple tips:
  • Be sure that your "bounding box" is not outside of the cut-able space on your mat.  No part of that box can be on the green-shaded space of the mat on your screen. 
  • Don't overlap the shapes.  What you see is what you get, so anywhere there is a solid blue line, you will get a cut.  To see a one dimensional shape of what you are cutting, click on the double magnifying glass icon at the top, to see exactly what will cut out (it will show in bright red). 

Here are my 4 strawberries laid out to fit an 8 1/2 X 11" piece of paper.

Now, click on the scissors in a circle icon in the top tool bar (or click on cut project - also in the top toolbar).  A box will pop up that will give you a couple options including speed, pause, and start.  For more detailed images, reduce the speed.  I usually keep it at medium for most things.  It also includes a status area.  For your Cricut to cut, you need to make sure of a couple things:
  • Your cricut needs to be plugged into your computer tower with a "printer cord".  I had one laying around that was extra, and used that and it works fine.  It was for a printer I no longer have.  I plug it into the front USB port on my tower, but you may need to plug yours into the back.  It's very easy.
  • You need to have your Cricut mat loaded into the machine (with the paper on it of course)
  • You need to have ANY cartridge in the machine (not sure why, you just do LOL)
If you have all those things done, you'll have 3 "green lights" and you can press START to cut. 

As the Cricut is cutting, you'll be able to see on your computer screen what exactly it is cutting.  That is the red line in the small box below.  You'll see your shape "taking shape" as it goes.  It doesn't take long at all.  Maybe a minute or 2... and you don't get hand cramps cutting with scissors!  LOL

You'll follow the same procedure to cut the strawberry carton.  Import the SVG file.

Type in 7" in the width field in the upper toolbar to re-size.

Here is the re-sized version that pops up on your mat.

Click on the scissor in a circle icon to cut.

Press START.  Watch the shape as it cuts (yay). :)

Now, all that is left is unleashing your creativity to assemble and decorate the die-cut shape.  This is only ONE of MANY things this software can do.  JUST the fact that is cuts template precisely and professionally is fun enough.  :)

Here are a couple shots of the Cricut in action as it cuts out the template: (HOW FUN!)

Stay tuned for more tutorials in the coming weeks/months.  If there is anything you would like to learn how to do, please e-mail me with your suggestions for future tutorials. 

Again, if you'd like to purchase the software (I purchased JUST the download), HERE it is.

If you'd like to purchase the template I used today, HERE it is. 

If you need any help, or have questions, please feel free to e-mail me! (address in the left side-bar of my blog)

Here is the completed project using the template:

See you soon!


  1. seriously impressed you have mad skills

  2. Congratulations on your fabulous new creation. I'm looking forward to what the future holds...and you're so right...we're all buying the MTC because of you.

  3. Are you serious?! Wow girl! You are BRILLIANT! OMG I will definitely be buying this template! TFS

  4. OMG! thanks for such explicit instruction. almost like you living next door, but not really. (there is a house for sale down the street though). i can't wait. and good to know about the printer cord. i think i have an extra or two of those.

  5. incredible tutorial and i'm very, very thankful for it as i'm brand new to MTC!
    i LOVE LOVE LOVE this template set- thank you so much for creating it- just so super cute!!
    i have the original cricut so i had to cut smaller & i never could've figured it out without your awesome instructions!! you're just amazing!!


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