AD| Using SVGs for Crafting

This is a sponsored post but all words and opinions are mine.

One thing you might not know about me, is that I love to craft. Whether that’s decoupaging anything that stays in one place for too long, trying out some Pinterest painting techniques, or upcycling odds and ends from around the house, to create a DIY Music wall. That’s not to say that I’m particularly good at it, but I would rather spend £1000 in Hobbycraft than Michael Kors, and before baby Roo was born, I had an entire craft room! Sometimes my projects are a little… messy, so I’m always looking for anything that helps them look a little more polished.

Since we are in lockdown, I’ve been getting back into crafting a little more (watch this space), and so I wanted to chat about what SVG images are, and how they can help even the less artistic of us, get our craft on. 

What is an SVG file?

So SVG stands for Scalable Vector Graphic. Basically, unlike some files, which become blurry or pixelated if you try to change the size of them (we’ve all done it!), an SVG file can be scaled to any size at all, and it will still stay super sharp and clear. This makes it perfect for creating polished, professional-looking crafts, even if you are not necessarily the most artistically-proficient. 

Who can use SVGs?

Anyone! If you’ve got a computer, and a craft in mind, you can use SVGs. Although the name might sound daunting, they really are super simple to use. They tend to come as zip files, so you simply need to download and extract them, and the next step depends on what you are using them for. You don’t need any particular technical skills, or expensive programs. Just a good idea of what you want to create, and the craft materials. 

So, what can you use SVG files for?

If you can imagine it, you can make it! (At least in theory – SVGs aren’t miracle workers!) If you have a Cricut, or a similar digital cutting machine, you can load the file into the software that comes with the machine and it will print and cut it out for you. This is perfect for creating vinyls, for example, or paper cut cards, where the hard work has been done for you! 

You could create a vinyl or iron-on t-shirt transfer to celebrate a hen party, or special birthday. The lines will be perfect and you don’t have to worry about making any mistakes cutting out, as the machine and your design will do all the hard work. Once you’ve got the designs, there are no limits to how much you can use them, and you can resize them for each project, so they’re perfect if you want to create a few different versions of your craft project. 

A couple wearing matching tshirts that say "Wifey" and "Hubby"
I made Steven wear these matching t-shirts with me on our Honeymoon – lucky thing- & with SVGs you could create your own!

One of my favourite artists is Rob Ryan – a breathtaking artist who mixes delicate papercuts with stunning poetry. Although he hand-cuts his original designs (that I am determined to own one day!), his mass-produced work, like cards and pictures, are likely created on a machine, using a similar technique. I love the papercut style, and it’s amazing that these super cheap SVG files are how they start! 

You can use SVG files to create intricate paper cut mandalas, leather or wood earrings(!), even Christmas ornaments. With the freedom to scale the design up or down, there are so many options, to create amazing shop-bought quality, but to your own specifications. 

If you’re fancy enough to have a laser engraver, that’s another example of how SVG files can be used. Engrave a beautiful design onto metal, or glass, without having to draw anything up yourself. The possibilities are endless. Why not create a special keepsake for a new baby, or engrave a prestigious award with a custom design on it.   

Use SVG files for embroidery

My newest hobby is embroidery. I am super new to it but it’s safe to say that I’ve got the bug now, and I was so excited when I realised that I can turn these SVG designs into super cheap embroidery patterns! You can re-size the designs to fit your embroidery hoop and transfer it to your material. There are a few ways to transfer the design; some people use heat transfer, or you can trace it on with an erasable pen, or you can even get a fancy water-soluble paper that you can print on, then stitch on top of, and run under water to dissolve! 

Embroidery in a hoop. that says "in a world full of adventure, be an explorer"
My first attempt at embroidery. Now that I know that I can use these files to make patterns, I’m excited to make more!

Buying embroidery patterns can be quite expensive, but these are a much cheaper option and I love the fun designs and quotes. For example, I kinda want to grab a cooking-themed set to create some fun decor. If they come out okay, I might even give them as gifts – y’all getting embroidered gifts this year! 

SVG bundles for more value

One of the best ways to get a selection of different designs, is to look at the themed bundles. I love the “Mommy and Me” set from Design Bundles, for cute matching t-shirts, that you can make at home to your own specifications. There are literally thousands of bundles available on the site, from kitchen-themed designs that would look amazing as vinyls on jars, to Christmas quotes for homemade decorations. Because the designs can be made as big or as small as they need to be, they can be used on anything from baubles, to sweatshirts, from candles to cushion covers. 

One thing I think these designs would be super cool for, are creating matching t-shirts for something like a big family holiday (there are usually 11 of us when we go, and I think it would look awesome if we all had personalised shirts to wear at the airport – when we can finally go on holiday again), or even print your own Christmas PJs. So much cheaper and more creative than the ones you can buy in the shops, and you can fully personliase them to exactly waht you want. It really is so much easier than it might seem at first glance! 

If you think that professional-looking craft projects are out of your reach, you haven’t tried SVGs! Create amazing printed T-shirts, paper cut designs and more, and look like an absolute pro, with minimal effort. Amazing! 

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