What do you do on the fourth of July? Growing up we often went to a park with a blanket to watch the fireworks. Or, sometimes, went to see the Rockies play and watch the fireworks afterwards. More recently, we have done nothing. Yep. Nothing.
To be fair, we have three young children (ages 5, 4, and 0). Whenever I feel like we never do anything, I have to remind myself that the time will come where things will be easier, maybe?
If, unlike me, you throw a grand party, I have some great files for you. The one below is one I made last year. They would be great place cards for a more formal gathering, or labels for your buffet!
Fireworks SVG File Download
Additionally, I have a new 4th of July svg file for you to download.
Now, if I had one of the laser cutting machines that look so amazing, I would be making myself some cute little lanterns with this file. Can you blame me, doesn’t it look amazing?!
I mean, wouldn’t it look great on the side of a little lantern with an LED candle inside? I suppose I could make it into a paper lantern…
What machine or machines do you use? I currently use the Silhouette Cameo 3. It has served me well and handles everything I have needed thus far.
However, I have heard that the Cricut Maker is amazing! Anyone have it? If I upgrade though, it may be in the fall when the new Silhouette 4 is set to come out. It is supposed to match or surpass the Maker and be cheaper!
As a side note, the singular of ‘fireworks’ does not roll off the tongue easily. I looked it up. It is ‘firework’ but was noted as ‘rarely used’ in the singular. Languages were my thing in college. And math. I like words and I suppose that make me a nerd. I am okay with that.
Well, anyway, I have a beautiful fireworks SVG for you today.
YOU definitely can manipulate an SVG shape. It may look complicated, but it doesn’t take long to get the hang of it. If you want an introduction to the SVG file format and why it is so fantastic, check out the first part of this series: SVG file format for Crafters.
When you first try to edit an SVG, it may seem like a very strange object. Unlike your typical image editor on the computer, the svg files are not all about pixels but about points and angles. Each point and the way it is connected to the other points is recorded in the definition of the file. Each of these points is called a node and each node has one or more handles.
What is a NODE?
So, what is a node? I am so glad you asked. I was just dying to explain it!
A node is a point on the plane that contains your SVG shape. Many nodes make up each shape. The way these nodes connect to each other defines the path that creates your SVG shape. Each node can have two “handles” on it extending to their own points in the plane. These handles define the slope of the curve of the path for the mathematical equation that generates the lines of the shapes.
This way, instead of storing the pixels of a line, the data is stored in a discrete number of points which your computer can use to compute the lines and structure of the shape. We could go into more math here if you would like (I do have a mathematics degree after all) but I have a feeling the majority of my readers would prefer some practical information for editing the SVG files they have. But, if I am wrong just let me know, I would be happy to let my inner nerd shine out.
This manner of storing information is what makes the SVG file format stand out. It doesn’t matter how big you make it. It will always look sharp.
First, we see the SVG path without any markup. Second, if you go in to edit the SVG path, you will see the nodes. Lastly, if you click to edit the nodes, you should see little “handles” with “control points” on the end pop up. These will move the path without moving the nodes. If you like, you can think of the nodes as anchor points for the shape. Here is another illustration for you.
Well, I suppose that may be enough on the terminology of the SVG format.
You are probably asking me how can I actually DO anything to edit these SVG paths?
Shaping and Editing SVG shapes?
Would you like to edit a design? Do you have a path or a file that you got that just needs a little tweak? Would you like to make and edit your own shapes? You can do it!
However, if you would like to edit your SVGs in Silhouette Studio or in Inkscape(a free SVG editor) I have included little GIFs of what that looks like as well.
Move an Individual Node (this looks the same in almost any program)
Change the curve of the path between Nodes (this also looks the same in almost any program)
Make a Node either a point or a curve
Add a new Node
Delete a Node
Break a path at a Node
Join a path at two Nodes
Now you know the basics. Congratulations. You can now edit your own files with confidence.
Let’s look at an example.
In this example, my 5 year old had choosen a ballerina she wanted for the shirts we were making with heat transfer vinyl. Well, in my humble opinion, the body shape of the ballerina wasn’t quite appropriate for my 5 year old daughter. A couple of node deletions and moves, and all was fixed. Everyone was happy and no unrealistic body images had been memorialized.
What SVG files have you tried to change? Is there a file you are thinking of right now? Go do it! I know you can. Show me the results!
My First Day SVG File Freebie – Just in time for back to school pictures!
Tomorrow is August. Yes, AUGUST! For many that means summer is almost gone and school is starting up. We just launched our first year of homeschooling with our oldest. It is Kindergarten time! So far, it has been a lot of fun. Still, it doesn’t seem like summer is over. Weather here has been very hot and then very stormy. This is strange weather for Colorado!
At any rate, Iam looking ahead to August. I love new school supplies. Did you know that the fat crayola markers make an excellent tool for hand-lettering? AND they don’t cost a fortune. Especially if you shop the school supply sales this coming month. The sale can be really good, so be sure to shop around. If you are like me, you may already have a good stockpile of supplies, but the sales are sooooo tempting, who can stay away?
The My First Day SVG freebie I am bringing you today is perfect for those first day of school pictures. I only went from 1st to 6th grade with the apples, because I can’t really imagine a junior high or high schooler cooperating for custom shirt school photos. However, if you have an exceptional child who will cooperate, the font is Segoe Print if you need to add other numbers or customize the text in any way.
If, like me, you would like a simplified project that mitigates the need for layering, I have you covered. Included with this download are the following welded apples with the numbers inside for a more silhouetted version. The key here is that you only need one layer of vinyl and should look adorable all the same!
So, will I do first day of Kindergarten photos? I want to, but that doesn’t mean I will. Life gets in the way. Hopefully, however, I will get on the ball with photos. We need some. Do you do professional photo shoots or just take your own? Either way, this “My First Day SVG” would be a great photo prop or t-shirt.
Free SVG Cutting File
Without further to do, here is the file. It includes each grade text and apples for you to swap in as needed. I think it would look great cut out in glitter heat transfer vinyl on a shirt. As you see above, it looks very cute on the shirt of this adorable girl I found searching for free stock photos. I wish you and your kids a happy August and hope they enjoy their first day of School!
The SVG file format stands for “Scalable Vector Graphic”. Let’s break that down.
First, “scalable” means that making the image larger or smaller does not change the image. Imagine you have a photo and would like to make it much larger. Chances are that your image will come out grainy and lose much of the detail you can see in the original. This is not the case for the SVG file. No matter how big or small you make it, an svg file will maintain its original detail. This is fantastic because we can take the same file and make it exactly the size we want for our crafting project and it won’t change how the image looks.
Second, the word “vector” indicates how this scalability is achieved. Allow me a moment of indulgence as I was a mathematics major. A vector is simply a term to indicate a line of a certain length and direction. A vector is usually situated within the Cartesian plane (you know, the grid with x and y). To achieve scalability, the SVG file is saved in terms of a bunch of vectors at certain points going certain directions at certain lengths. Therefore, if you want to make your SVG image bigger, the computer just has to multiply all of these vectors by the correct scale which is a simple task for the computer.
Lastly, the ‘G’ in SVG stands for “Graphic”. That is, the image or object in the SVG file. I don’t feel like this warrants much more elaboration.
Why should I care about the SVG file format?
Well, why do we care? You can probably be a wonderful crafter without ever delving deeply into this subject. However, if you ever have an image that would be better with a tweak or an extra spike, then knowing a little bit about the SVG file could come in very handy. The SVG file is a natural choice for the hobby and professional level cutting machines precisely because of its natural scalability.
What cutting machines use the SVG file format?
As far as I know, all of the current generation of common hobby cutting machines can process the SVG file format. The only hiccup you may run into is that some companies will make you upgrade to their paid software in order to open the SVG file format rather than their own proprietary file format. For example, I upgraded to the Designer Edition of Silhouette Studio precisely for this reason. Check out my reasons in this post.
Other Programs for editing SVG files
In addition to Cricut design Space and the DE and up of Silhouette Studio, there are a few other programs that can open and edit the SVG file. My favorite of these programs is definitely Adobe Illustrator. Once I started Adobe’s subscription based Creative Cloud program, I loved it and don’t wish to go back. If you have the budget for it I would highly recommend looking into it. Not only do you get the ability to edit your SVG files in Adobe Illustrator, you also get access to Photoshop, Lightroom, and a slew of other top of the line programs. Seriously, it is super awesome and even comes with companion apps for your phone. The graphic above was made using one of Adobe’s apps. It is addicting and productive at the same time!
If you do decide it is right for you, make my day and purchase it through my affiliate link. 😉 I earn a small (pretty small sadly) commission for the referral at no cost to you.
If your budget is not up for the Adobe software package, have no fear. I used Inkscape for years and it is definitely a great option as well. Plus, it is freely available!
I found it useful to make, edit, and save SVG files though either AI or Inkscape rather than through the cutting machine’s software itself. First, the software that accompanies your machine often can’t save in the SVG file format even if it can open it. Second, I like having the ability to catalog and backup my files separately from the machine software itself in case I change machines or lose access to it for any other reason.
Are there other formats I can use?
There are other formats that are scalable. One that I have used is the DXF file format which stands for “Drawing Exchange Format”. It was developed for use with the AutoCAD program. I have used it in the past before I purchased the Designer Edition of Silhouette Studio as it is a format that can be read by the basic (free) edition of Silhouette Studio. However, it is not as widely used and it isn’t as reliable in my experience. If you want to read more about my experience with DXF, read my post on why I purchased the Designer Edition of the software.
Another format that is used is the EPS file format. This stands for “Encapsulated PostScript” and is also scalable and vector based. It is the standard format for vector images created by Adobe Illustrator. You probably will have no reason to use the EPS format.
What is next?
Learning more about the SVG file is important if you want to have more control over your designs.
Please be on the look out for the second article in this series. I plan to cover the details of actually editing an SVG file in various programs. Also, I will go over what a node is, what the handles are and how to add and delete nodes. These are very useful skills!
Can you believe March is here? Well, here I have a free SVG file to remind you that St. Patrick’s Day is on its way. So, who likes four leaf clovers? Did you ever spend hours in a field trying to find one? I feel like I did as a kid, but I don’t remember ever finding one.
Do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? We didn’t do much for it growing up, except for wear some green to avoid being pinched! Occasionally we would go out for lunch or dinner to somewhere vaguely Irish. What are your traditions? Is it a Holiday you take note of or just skip over? I have never been a big drinker, so I imagine that those who enjoy that pastime may do more to celebrate than I do.
Free SVG Cutting File
At any rate, this is a really cute little four leaf clover cutting file. I think it would look great cut out in glitter heat transfer vinyl on a shirt. Maybe with a cute little saying of some sort underneath? Well, I hope you enjoy! And have a fabulous March!!
Here I present to you this St. Patrick’s Day SVG file freebie, the famed four leaf clover!
Are you making lots of handmade Valentine’s Day cards this year? These free SVG hearts should make a wonderful addition to your projects whether you are making a new shirt with HTV, a super special handmade card for your sweetheart, or a card for everyone. Please enjoy and also check out my past Valentine’s Day freebies!
Free SVG Hearts for Valentine’s Day
Happy Valentine’s Day – a bit early!
I think these hearts would look great on a t-shirt with sparkly HTV! Sorry, I haven’t had time to try it out yet, but here is a mock up for you all the same. Please pardon my Photoshop skills, they are still in progress!
Also check out my other Valentine’s Day cutting files:
Make your 2018 a year filled with crafting. You can start by using this free SVG New Year’s file to make an awesome motivational decoration, picture, print, or anything else you can think of.
New Year’s Resolutions
While I can’t make any promises, one of my main resolutions for this year is to grow my Etsy business and post more regularly on this blog. So, that ought to translate to more free SVG files for you! Just let me know if you have anything you would love to see featured here. One of my top priorities for the year is to simply do more. I don’t know about you, but I simply get lazy. When I don’t actively plan my days, I end up squandering them. So, I am resolved to try harder to stay motivated and quite simply, to be more active in every way.
Anyhow, enough about myself. What are your plans for the year? For instance, is there a new craft you would like to learn or perfect? Could you see yourself trying some hand lettering challenges on Instagram? How about knitting or sewing?
On to the Free SVG file!
Well, that is enough lead up for today. How about the free svg file? I really like this one and it goes with my resolution to be more active this year. I want to cut it out and hang it up on the wall by my desk as a daily reminder of my goals!
Have you ever tried to make your own stencils with your cutting machine? If you have, you know that your design options are limited. No fancy fonts, only stencil fonts. You can’t have any designs that have inner details, or they will not be connected to your finished stencil. Unless you want to hand position each and every element, you have to be very careful in creating or selecting your stencil design.
THE RULE FOR STENCILS
In summary, there can be no inner shapes or details in your finished stencil. If you are having trouble understanding this, think about the letter “O”. If you cut out a stencil for the “O” there will be an outer circle and an inner circle. The inner circle will simply fall out. This is why every stencil font has at least one, usually two connections to the middle of the “O”.
For example, the following is an excellent stencil design. It will cut out easily with no inner parts left to fall out.
On the other hand, this design is not so good:
Then, what if you really want to stencil a more complex image on your card? How can you create more detailed and intricate stencils? You need a stencil that looks impossible, and you need it now! Luckily for you, now you can.
A Stencil Solution
While I am sure I am not the only person to do this, it was a light bulb moment for me. Reflecting on it, I have seen videos of spray paint artists using a series of stencils to make awesome composite pictures. This method is very similar. The idea is to use two stencils instead of one so that you can have details that you can’t get with just one stencil.
Just a note on stencils in general. If you want to make one car with an image like the tools above, you are probably better off just cutting it out of card stock without any hassle converting it to a stencil. However, if you want to put the image on a bunch of things you may want to use a stencil. That way you only have to cut and weed your image once (or twice for these two part stencils) instead of over and over again.
As I outline my solution, I will illustrate with the letter “O” as a simplified case to demonstrate how it works.
First, open up your image in your editing software. Typically, I open mine in Adobe Illustrator. If you don’t have access to this, Silhouette Studio, Inkscape, or Cricuit Design Space should work just fine. Here, I will illustrate with Silhouette Studio.
Create a thin rectangle in a contrasting color to your design and place it over your image.
Select both your design and the rectangle.
Copy and paste the two objects. Keep them in the same relative position.
Open the modify panel (or the tools to modify paths if you are working with another software). Working on just the first copy with both the “O” and the rectangle selected, Click “Subtract”.
Now, select just the rectangle on the second copy of your design. Be careful not to move it out of place.
Open the offset Panel. We need to enlarge it just slightly to ensure a little wiggle room in our finished stencil. Create an offset. This is something you will have to judge for yourself. I used a distance of .05 inches and square corners.
Select both rectangles and weld them together. You should now have a rectangle that is just slightly bigger than the original one.
Select both the rectangle and the copy of the “O”, which should still be in the same relative position. Using the Modify Panel, click “Intersect”. NOTE: If, like me, you have the whole thing disappear when you click “Intersect”, it is likely that one or both of your images are not paths. Select them, click “Object -> Convert To Path” and then try the previous step again. If you got it right, it should look something like this:
Select these pieces, right click, and hit “Make Compound path”. Do this to the original pieces of the “O” as well. Here are your two paths now:
Change the color and overlap them if you want to see what the finished stencil will look like.
Cut your finished pieces out on separate stencils. Then use one stencil followed by the other to create an “O” with no lines through it!
While the “O” was a very simple case, this method can be expanded to more complicated images. In theory, it could even have many more than two stencils to make the finished image, although I have not tried it.
Here is an example of a turkey that I have made into a two part stencil using an extrapolation of the method I outlined above. The key is creating enough rectangles to overlap any inner parts, there should be no islands in your finished stencils!
I have just a few parting remarks about stencils for you. First, there are stencil materials to consider. Both Silhouette and Cricuit make “stencil” blanks and rolls. I have not tried them because I haven’t found their materials to be high quality in the past. Freezer paper (usually found near foil and wax paper) does work fairly well as a stencil for fabric. You can iron it lightly to get the waxy side to adhere, but you have to be careful not to get the stencil too wet with paint or it will bleed through.
However, my favorite and economical stencil material is simply overhead transparency paper. It is thin and flexible and can be reused as long as you are careful. If needed, I spray the back with a light adhesive spray to adhere it to my project. You will want to play around with your cut settings, but once you get them set it cuts really well.
Thanksgiving is coming! What better way to celebrate than to give thanks with a nice free hand lettered SVG file!? Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday as gratitude can significantly improve your satisfaction and happiness levels! The more you appreciate what you have, the happier you will be. So, give thanks!
Personally, I have tons to be thankful for! Beautiful girls, wonderful husband, the opportunity to live in Colorado near my family again. I am sure it can be harder if you are going through a difficult time or situation in your life right now, but try to think of something, even something very small, to give thanks for. It could be the sun on your face, the warm cup of coffee, a smile on your child’s face, or even just a warm blanket. Give thanks.
So, without further ado, here is the freebie.
I think this file would look great on a sign, a plaque, or on a dishtowel! Sorry, I haven’t had time to try it out yet, but here is a mock up for you all the same:
And if you want to obey the command to “Give Thanks” directly, here is another free svg file you may want to check out. Make a nice thank you card and put it in the mail today. You will brighten someone’s day using these free svg files, I am sure of it!
Can you believe that June is almost gone? It has gone by very quickly for our family!
Fourth of July
Well, here I am always thinking about the next holiday and what SVG files I should create. Feeling patriotic? Great! I have just the thing for you. These little name cards would be great for labeling food at your great big 4th of July party!
Do you have any family recipes that only come out on the 4th of July? Our family has one that we like to call the “Fourth of July Dip”. Really, it is just a delicious 7-layer dip that covers a huge serving platter. I’m sure that the recipe is no secret. However, the dip is delicious and is rarely seen in our family except on the 4th of July.
4th of July Name Cards
So, what do you think of these cute little cards? I am partial to them. Since I like my projects to be as simple as possible, these cards only have 3 pieces – one for each color.
Free 4th of July SVG file download
And now, of course, the download. Please enjoy! As always, this is for your personal use only and I love to see pictures if you end up using it!
Note that the download will give you an SVG file which you can import into your software and ungroup to get each color separately.
Also, be sure to check out my fun STARS SVG file. Let me know how this one cuts if you try it out!
Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful Fourth of July!
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