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April 10, 2022

Convert a Drawing to SVG (with Layers)

Do you want to sell SVGs from your drawings or just be able to make your own designs? Let's convert our drawings from a Procreate drawing to layered vector SVG format so we can cut it on Cricut.

how to change a drawing in procreate to an svg vector file for cricut projects

I drew a flower - how can my Cricut cut this?

*Disclaimer* There may be links in this post that earn me a commission.

flower drawn on procreate

It's a few steps but it is possible! Today we are going to use Procreate for iPad and Inkscape on Mac.

Is this the fastest way? Maybe not, but it has been working for me and I am able to create fun designs in a few easy steps from scratch!

Step One: Draw

Let's start with something simple. I drew a three layered flower.

Don't get crazy at first! Start simple, I did only 3 layers for this design to show the steps from start to finish when creating an SVG.

first layer of flower on procreate

The key is to draw each color on a new layer like you would want it to be on Cricut Design Space. Think of each layer as a color mat- you want your pieces to be easily layered so we don't have to break apart, by creating layers, you are saving yourself in the long run!

how to change a drawing in procreate to an svg vector file for cricut projects

Try to keep your lines as clean as possible as when you convert, every bump and small imperfection are going to show! We will be able to clean up our SVG in Inkscape, but the cleaner it looks on Procreate, the easier it will be to format.

how to change a drawing in procreate to an svg vector file for cricut projects

Step Two: Export to your Computer

Once you have your layers drawn we need to export to our computer - I am using a MacBook Air

how to change a drawing in procreate to an svg vector file for cricut projects

I send my layers via Air Drop (I use all Mac devices), you can also email. You want to go to the wrench on Procreate. Click on share - then at the bottom it says share layers! You want to make sure you share layers and not images. I use PNG files, Inkscape picks these up well. Share layers, PNG files - send however is easiest for you.

Note: If you have a lot of layers, you will have a lot to send - each layer will be sent as an individual PNG file.

Step Three: Open PNG files in Inkscape

inkscape tutorial how to make an svg vector from a drawing

I have added all three layers into one Inkscape file - you can see them each here. I never change any of the settings when I import the PNG. I literally drag the PNG files over to the Inkscape window and a pop up appears. I hit OK for each one and it adds all the files!

Step Four: Trace Bitmap (Convert from PNG to SVG Vector)

Once you have opened all your layers, we need a basic trace. To get your trace option up you will go to Path - Trace Bitmap. This is going to convert your layers into SVG format with nodes. Make sure you click on the image you want to trace. You will need to do each layer individually.

You can preview the vector by hitting update. You will find that if the color is very light you may need to up the brightness threshold to .99. Just keep in mind that this may skew the nodes and we will need it clean it later.

Once you can see the object - it will be black, hit Apply.

making a vector from a png drawing on inkscape

Now that you have your first layer traced, I always use my eyedropper to color match - then I delete the original PNG. You can also change the colors with the color bar at the bottom.

changing color of a vector on inkscape

You repeat this method for every layer.

Step Five: Clean your Nodes - Simplify

simplifying nodes on inkscape

Before you save, I always simplify my nodes regardless of how they look (I try to eliminate as many as I can without distorting the picture.)

You have to make sure under settings that your simplification is turned down ALL THE WAY to 0.0001! If you skip this step, your lines are going to turn into jello.

simplifying threshold in inkscape

The, Click on the SVG layer - Path - Simplify.

simplify feature on inkscape

Step Six: Align & Save

Once, you have simplified, lets move those layers onto each other to re-form our original drawing.

how to make an SVG vector from a drawing

Now, we save! I have never had any problem with saving as an inkscape .svg and they give you options, you can save as a regular .svg if you feel more comfortable.

Step Seven: Upload to Cricut Design Space

Once this is saved, you can close Inkscape and upload to design space.

SVG vector from a drawing on cricut design space

If everything was followed correctly, you should see your three layers on the side by color.

You can resize and send to your mats!

SVG vector from a drawing on cricut design space

Once you have all our pieces cut, we assemble!

Step Eight: Assemble Your Craft

I decided to go with all paper to make my little retro flower.

how to change a drawing in procreate to an svg vector file for cricut projects

I used my Bearly Arts glue to attach and...

how to change a drawing in procreate to an svg vector file for cricut projects

My drawing is now a physical item!

This takes a few tries, don't be wary of beginner error. Soon you will be bringing all of your drawings to life!

Happy Crafting!

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