Digital die cuts add visual interest and dimension, and give paper crafters the opportunity to bring their own creative spin to a scrapbook page or card while matching paper colors exactly. You can also save money, and a trip to the store, by eliminating the need for premade embellishments. But did you know you can make your SVG elements even more dimensional by assembling them with adhesive foam dots or squares as well as regular glue? Try this technique on features such as bird wings, animal noses, flower centers, and other parts of a design that you want to see “pop” off the page.
Q: “Will the cut files work with a Silhouette machine?” — Bette, Maggie, and Beverley
A: Unfortunately, the SVG files won’t work as-is with the Silhouette, because the QuicKutz company’s machine requires files to be in GSD format. We decided to launch CutFiles.net with just SVGs (for Cricut), since that’s the dominant format, but we are definitely considering adding GSD, DXF and other options in the future. However, it is possible for users to convert SVGs to GSD files, though it takes several steps and you will probably need to download the free program Inkscape. If you’d like to try it, there are several tutorials you can find by Googling. Please let us know if you were hoping to use cut files with your Silhouette, CraftRobo, Gazelle, Wishblade, Pazzles cutter, or other machine that’s not compatible with SVGs.
Digital die cut files, in SVG format, are a great way to get more out of your digital die cutting machine. You’ll also save time and money, as you won’t have to run to the store and spend money on pre-made die cuts, stickers, and other supplies for your scrapbooking, card making, or classroom needs.
While anyone can download the free SVG files from CutFiles.net, actually putting them to use in your paper crafting projects presumes that you have the following things:
1. A Macintosh computer or a PC running Windows.
2. Either one of the following third-party software products: Sure Cuts a Lot (for PC or Mac), or Make the Cut (for PC). The program communicates the information in the digital file to your digital die cutter, prompting the design to be cut.
3. A standard printer cable (You can just “borrow” the one from your printer and switch it back when you’re done cutting.)
4. A die cutting machine. As of this writing, third-party software is thought to be compatible with the Silhouette, Black Cat Cougar or Lynx, Pazzles Inspiration, Craftwell eCraft, BossKut Gazelle, and USCutter, as well as the Wishblade and other Craft ROBO or Graphtec machines. In some cases, you may need to convert SVG files to another format (such as GSD or DXF) before they will work with your machine. Some Cricut owners continue to use old versions of Sure Cuts a Lot and Make the Cut with their Cricut Expression or Cricut Personal or Create die cutter, but the software no longer officially supports Cricut, due to lawsuit settlements with ProvoCraft.