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Saturday, April 16, 2011

How to cut a Lettering Delights SVG with the free Silhouette Studio program.

If you have downloaded yesterday's Lettering Delights' Easter Beasties SVG file but you do not have Make-the-Cut, this is how you can cut that SVG out with your Silhouette SD electronic cutter using Inkscape and the Silhouette Studio program.



1. Download and Install the free Inkscape program here:

2. Start Inkscape and open the SVG file

3. Separate the layers

 4. Because there are white layers which cannot be seen when they are separated, go to View>Display Mode>Outline to show the outlines of the layers.

5. Rearrange the layers so that they do not overlap.

6. Save the file in the .dxf format

7. Select the 2nd option: "use LWPOLYLINE type of line output."

8. Start Silhouette Studio. Open the .dxf from Step 7

9. Cut.

In the video tutorial, I only show how to cut the monster because I had already cut out the bag separately.

I Ungroup the layers before cutting just to show that it can be done. That's meant for when you only want to delete some layers and cut out the rest.

Also, if you want to cut out a larger size bag and monster, resize the whole thing in Inkscape first before separating the layers and proceed with Step 4 onwards.

When assembling all the cut out pieces, this is the layering order:

By using googly eyes for my bag, the top black layer was no longer necessary so I deleted the layer and further simplified the file. You do not have to do this because the original svg is fine. I am just adding this as an option and if you prefer the look of googly eyes.


  1. Thanks a lot for the tutorial. I'm still waiting for my Silhouette and I'm collecting ideas what to do with it as soon as it arrives. So I may ask a stupid question: are the items still coloured when I print them out or are they just the outlines you can see in your last picture (as you changed the view in Inkscape to "outline")?


  2. Thanks so much for the information. This is great!!!!!

  3. Thank you for posting the additional pictures. I was then able to figure it out. I was trying to make it harder than it was. I am new to all of the studio/inkscape/svg stuff. Hopefully by following your blog I will be able to figure out a lot more with the Silhoutte.

    Thank you!!!

  4. Thanks, Jin. I appreciate you trying to help us Silhouette owners open SVG's. Problem is that Inkscape does not play well with Snow Leopard, Mac's latest operating system. I get funny script errors etc after I've done all of the separating and never actually get the darn thing saved as a .dxf. Am trying to learn Illustrator in order to be able to use the .svg's but it is a steep learning curve.
    Am so glad LD is considering offering more file formats than just svg!

  5. I just can't make it work. I did everything you said, but unfortunately I don't know how to print and cut the dxf. When I seperate the layers in Inkscape, select outline, save it as dxf and open it in the Silhouette Studio, I cannot see anything. I first have to choose black as line colour. And of course the filling is gone.
    How can I print the dxf in colour and then cut it? Can maybe someone help me? Thanks!

  6. By using different colored paper on your mat, you can cut out the layers. You just can't print and cut because there is no color fill.

  7. Thanks. I just couldn't leave it alone... ;-)
    I know seperated the items in Inkscape and saved it as a png file. I put a grey box behind the item that was invisible, and now the Silhouette Studio can find the cut lines. I opened it in the Silhouette Studio, printed and cut it. Now it is coloured and I didn't have to use the 'outline' option or use coloured paper.

  8. Jin,
    I'm wondering if I have a setting that is different than yours. I think I'm following the steps. I separate the layers in Inkscape and save as a DXF. I can open in Silhouette Studio, but strangely the layers are back on top of each other. When I try to ungroup and separate the layers, some of them come apart in pieces. I don't know if that makes sense, but do you have any idea what I may be doing wrong? Thanks! Tina

  9. Tina- I've had that happen too, I think it was because when I separate the layers in Inkscape they were too close, make sure their is plenty of room and the boxes don't overlap and then be sure to highlight (draw a box) around all the separated pieces before you save them.

    I've been having good luck with using Inkscape for my LD svg's with just a few exceptions, one being the birdhouse basket from the new Spring set, I just can't get all the pieces to save as a dxf. which is sad, I want to make one so bad! There have been a few others and I can't figure out why they just won't work?

  10. Hi jen, I followed your steps. I noticed that importing DXF files increase the number of nodes and increase and that causes 'jagged' cutline? when I do 'simplify' the shape looks slightly different. I can edit them manually but that takes a lot of time,any ideas? thanks

  11. Priceless information. Thank you very very much. Makes my inkscape / silhouette life so much easier! :)