Posted on 16 Comments

From Photo to SVG

Turning your Photo to SVG file has satisfying results

From Photo to SVG: The topic of taking a photo and making an SVG is one I keep coming back to. Perhaps it is because custom images from your own photos are simply delightful. Also, it is a great way to get some adorable silhouettes just in general. Whatever your reason for wanting an SVG from your photograph, you can do it! It may take some patience and attention to detail, but it is totally worth it.

My first attempt at a silhouette was one of our bunny rabbit Geronimo. It came out nicely, but wasn’t a very hard shape. With this shape I basically made a bunch of little shapes and then combined them with the path merge tools.

from photo to svg Geronimo the bunny silhouette by kabram krafts
Geronimo the Bunny

Then, for my second attempt I created some custom artwork for my girls’ playroom. These images were definitely more complex and took a lot longer, but with spectacular results. I used a different approach for these images. First, I edited the original photos to make them as black and white as possible.

gif of silhouette studio trace function from photo to svg

Second, I traced the images using Inkscape (you can also use Adobe Illustrator or your cutting machine’s software). Lastly, and most tediously, I hand edited the nodes of the path until it was just the way I wanted it. At last, you have converted your photo to svg.

From Photo to SVG

While I am not going to go into detail in this post as it is not my first on this topic, I will hit a few important points.

Check out this post if you want the details!

First, you need to find the right photo – a crisp, clean silhouetted photo with nothing in the background will be much easier to create a custom silhouette cutting file from than one that has a lot going on.

Second, you want to use a photo editing software to get it as close to a silhouette as you can from the start so it will be easier to trace. Like the ones shown below.

image edited for contrast with father and daughters ready for converting photo to svg
image edited for contrast of girls in tunnel ready for converting photo to svg

Third, you trace the image using a Vector capable software to go from your photo to svg file. I have used Silhouette Studio, Inkscape, and Adobe Illustrator.

Lastly, unless you are really lucky, there will be some hand editing to do to get it just right. And sometimes, when the background of the image just won’t cooperate, you may just have to use the path tool and trace your image point by point!

From Photo to SVG: my latest results

While I haven’t cut these images out yet, I can’t wait to do so. From pictures of my daughters swinging, I arrived at these adorable cutting files. One was begging for extra detail and ended up not being a true silhouette. I tried my best to make it all one connected path, but couldn’t see a way to connect in the facial details without compromising on the cuteness!

example of detailed photo to svg project

For the second image, I went true silhouette all the way. There is enough detail in the overall shape that you can still tell what is going on in the image.

from photo to svg despite a cluttered background image

While they may not hold the same emotional signifigance for you as they do for me, I am posting my final SVG files here because they are simply so adorable. Feel free to use them for your own personal projects if you so desire or make your own silhouettes using some of these photo to svg methods!

My silhouette cameo is my go to for creating beautiful home decor from these files!

To download these files, just click the DOWNLOAD button below.

from photo to svg free svg images of girls on swings

Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful April!


16 thoughts on “From Photo to SVG

  1. Could I pay you to change a photo of my kids into a ready DXF for my plasma table? What would the price be and approx timeline. I love your work!

    1. OOh, a plasma table sounds like fun! I have a 60 Watt laser. I could turn it around quickly for you if the picture isn’t too complicated. Email me at if you like and I can take a look at the picture.

  2. I had my photographer take a silhouette of my fiance and I. However, I cannot figure out how to get it to just cut us out instead of the whole picture with my cricut air explorer 2. Any tips?

    1. Hello!

      It helps to process the image in a photo processing software first. You want to up the contrast and edit out the unwanted parts as much as you can. If that works, great, if the image is too busy, you may have to do some hand editing. See these posts, hopefully they help:

      This one I made by hand without using the tracing functions:
      This one I edited first and did use the tracing feature with a few hand touch ups:

      Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Hi could I do this on a cricut explorer air2 I cant figure out how to make them into svg files grrrr

    1. Do you have a picture you are working from? I recommend making your photo as much like a silhouette as you can before trying to trace it in a program like gimp. Then, you should be able to save the file as SVG and open it in the Cricut software.

      1. Hi I’m new to Cricut. What is SVG?

        1. Hello Bekha! I actually have a post answering just that question. Have fun with your new Cricut!

  4. I don’t have a machine yet I’m saving for one! But I really want a tumbler with my dogs picture and maybe a cut out for my mom. Do you have an Etsy shop? Or an idea of what I could search on Etsy to get a sticker made with these details?

    1. Hello Kayla!

      Yes, I do have an Etsy shop HERE. I don’t currently sell custom decals, but I am always open to custom orders. I can work with you there and get you what you need!

      PS – If you are saving up for a machine, I have my eyes on the Silhouette Cameo 4 that is set to come out soon (maybe fall). It is supposed to be $300, and match or exceed the Cricut Maker machine (which also looks awesome but is $400).


  5. Hi i have a cricket air 2 and im unable to find a good app to do photos with ,can you suggest a good one. Im looking for more of a photo to sketch cut with a little detail. Any help is greatly appreciated.


    1. Hello Chrissy,

      Thanks for stopping by! I haven’t found any apps that do a perfect job automatically, I think it is more of an art to get something that looks really nice. I usually use Illustrator, but Inkscape is a decent free option. You have to use a combination of the trace functions and hand editing of paths. I have a couple of posts on editing paths. If you get good at it, you can get some really nice results. For help editing the actual paths, take a look at this article I wrote:

  6. If I send you a picture will you do this for me for a fee? Thank you!!

    1. Hello Marie!

      I could depending on the picture. Why don’t you shoot me a quick email with the photo at and I can take a look. Thanks!

  7. WOW!! I love this! Thanks for sharing! I look forward to checking out more of your creations!

    1. Thanks! I can’t wait to cut these ones out and frame them.

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