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Sep 2, 2010

Make the Cut: How to alter an SVG file

Hi everyone!  It's time for another Make The Cut tutorial!  Make The Cut is a computer program that works with your Cricut (and many other electronic cutters).  It lets you do some AMAZING things with it.  I LOVE it.  You can purchase it by clicking one of the links above, OR by clicking on the link in my side-bar.  It is on sale right now for $58.36 (save $21.59).

Today, I am going to show you to how to alter an existing SVG cut file.  SVG cut files are available all over the place.  You can purchase them for small amounts of money AND find some for FREE!  (just google whatever you are looking for with SVG and see what you can find)  Remember the Fred Bear in a Hammock card?  I found it with a simple google search and it was FREE!  :) 

Here is the project I created using the box template I altered in this tutorial:

I am using the Berry Ensemble from MFT for this tutorial.  I designed both of them, but I want to show you, that even with purchased templates, you can be your OWN designer and change them to fit your needs.  Ready to feel like a graphic designer?  I know I always feel a huge sense of accomplishment when I can actual make something using the software, using my limited computer skills.  LOL

First, you need to import the basket from the Berry Ensemble cut file, and size it to 7 X 7.  If you don't know how to do this, I have a complete tutorial here:  

Make The Cut: How to import an SVG file, size, and cut
I do go through the basic importing process for this tutorial as well, though.  The tutorial above is more detailed. :)
Import your SVG.  File>>>Import>>>SVG

Look for the cut file you want to use.  I put all mine in "my pictures".  Just be sure to know where you save them, so you can find them easily.  Here, you can see I have located my strawberry box file.  double click on the file you want

After you double click, it will pop up on your screen as shown.  We need to size it to 7 X 7.  You can do this two ways:
  • Use the ruler/grid on your mat and manually enlarge it by pulling out on the red arrow in the corner.
  • In the upper center, look for the boxes labeled H and W, that is the height and width of your image.  Type in 7 for the height and 7 for the width to snap your shape to that size.  See the little lock to the right of those boxes?  If you unlock it (by clicking on it), you can lose the proportions of your image.  Sometimes you WANT to do that, but when you are working with pre-made templates, you'll want to make sure that stays locked.
You can see in the picture below, I have typed in 7 already.  Then press enter.

Your template will now snap to 7 X 7.  This is the size I cut for my project today.

The strawberry box was designed to look like a strawberry carton, of course... and that has some slits in the carton, but what if you want to use the box, but NOT have the slits on it?  We can do that with Make The Cut.  YOU can do it!  :) 

In the lower, left-hand side of your screen, you will see some little shape icons.  If you hover your cursor over them, a text box will pop up telling you what each one is.  You need to click the one labeled BREAK.  I circled it in red for you.
  • note: if you are trying to "break" and the button is grayed out, or not working, you probably don't have the shape (template) selected.  To select the shape, simply click on it, OR draw a little box around it by clicking and dragging (similarly to what you would do if you were cropping a picture)
Now, each part of the template is separate and can be moved, deleted etc.  You can see an outline of each part, below.

Like I said before, I did not want to use the slits, so all I am going to do is move the part I DO want (the basic template without the slits) away from the slits, so I can delete them.  Just grab the shape by clicking on it and drag it to the right
  • note: if you are having a hard time moving (dragging) something, always click on a blank spot on your mat, and then try again. 

Now, using a "crop box", draw a box around the slits to select them.  Right click IN the selected area, and click on delete.

They will all be deleted.  Now, move your template back over.  It is now slit-free and ready to cut.  Although it seems like there are a lot of steps, you can do all that in about a minute once you learn the program.  :)

All you would do now is press the CUT icon in the top tool bar (pair of scissors in a circle) and cut your box out. 

In the interest of being thorough and REALLY teaching you how to do things in this program, let me show you to delete single parts of the template.  Follow the steps above, up to the part where you "break" the image.  Click break, then click any clean space on the mat.  Hover over one of the slits.  It will be outlined in RED when you are hovering over it.  Click on one of the slits, which will "select" the slit.  Press delete on your keyboard OR right click while on the selected portion of the template and choose delete. 

That will remove only one slit at a time.  Maybe you want just 2?  LOL 

 If you have altered something, and there is a chance you'll want to use it again, you'll want to save it.  The benefit to this, is that when you save it as a Make The Cut file, when you open it, it will be sized just like you had it, so it will be instantly ready to cut.  Just click on the disk icon to the upper left and choose a file name (mine was cherry tomato box) and press save.  Now, it's available for another time. 

Another cool thing you can do with the program is EXPORT your project as an SVG.  This will allow you to use it with other cutting devices that you can't cut with directly from Make The Cut.  You can export as SVG, AI, PNG, and PDF.  The awesome thing about the PDF option, is that you can print out your own file to keep in a binder so you know what you have, OR to print out and cut by hand if you want to do that.

Here, I am exporting as an SVG.

You follow pretty much the same steps as if you were saving, but this time it will export it.  The exported file will go wherever you send it.  I send mine to my pictures.

This is the notification box that pops up after you have successfully exported your project.

I used the box I cut from this altered template, along with the Designer Basket & Apples template to complete my project.   All the pieces were cut using Make The Cut and my Cricut Expression (Walmart, $249).

I used the apple template to cut "cherry tomatoes".  Each one contains 2 pieces of candy.  :)  Assembly instructions for the basket and the cherry tomatoes are included with the templates, when purchased from MFT.

I hope you found this tutorial helpful.  :)  There are more to come.  If you have any specific questions or tutorial requests, please feel free to e-mail me at or leave a comment below.  Please be sure to include YOUR e-mail address if you ask a question that requires a response within the comment section. :) 
Stamps: Who's That Harvest Girl
Ink: Memento brown
Paper: Kraft, brown, white
Accessories: Berry Ensemble Template, Designer Basket & Apples template, buttons, twine, punch, ribbon, scor-pal, sponge, Copic markers, Sunshine Die-namics die, Cricut Expression, Make The Cut software


  1. Dude...I bow to your genious mind. Awesome as usual.

  2. Jodi~

    What a great tutorial! I have MTC also and I love it! I am on A DT for Filekutz by LisaJane through Visual Designs by Chris so I get plenty of free Files to play with too! Now if we can only get our friend Mary to buy it, she'll use her Crict more! LOL!

    Have a greay holiday weekend!


  3. Great tutorial, Jody! Looking forward to more!

  4. UGH!!! OK, I have some $$$ left over so I'll be clicking probably tomorrow or Saturday when I dont have graveyard cobwebs in my head... now there is NO difference with a Original Cricut right? I only can go up to 6 inches... will the thing size DOWN too??? OMG I SEE TEARS IN MY FUTURE!!! LOL

    OH and no cords to buy extra or should I look for those to hook it up to a computer?

  5. What a super cute idea! Would be awesome to bring those into school on teacher appreciation week! :)

  6. Thanks for a great tutorial. You instructions are very clear.


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