Monday, July 5, 2010


Ever try your hand at silhouettes? All you need is the right picture, inkscape (free program on the net), and a little bit of time. This is a pic of my fabulous sister-in-law, Jill. Seeing as how she's so beautiful, I don't think she'll mind me using her as an example... :)

This picture had a lot of good things going for it. The first is that the focus is on the person. A lot of photos show the background as well as the foreground...which makes it hard for inkscape to decipher what to use in the picture when you trace the bitmap. It also had a lot of good contrast. Plus, it was just a pretty picture.
It's really a very simple process. You import the picture into inkscape, then go to path, trace bitmap. Once the screen comes up, choose brightness cutoff, then update. This will show you what it will look like. If you like it, click OK. It will create that image over the image you already had on the drawing page. Usually, the image has way too many nodes (the squares) that would be very difficult and time consuming for your cricut to cut out. You will have to simplify the picture. You can do this in two ways. An easy way to decrease the number of nodes is to press control L, or path, simplify. I don't typically like using this route though when the image is a face. The program doesn't do a great job at keeping the right features from being simplified too much. I like to press the node button and delete nodes a little at a time until I get the desired effect.
This is another silhouette I made that I will eventually use. I'm thinking about creating one of each of my kids; however, I don't have a good enough camera to take the pictures that will create a good silhouette. You'll find that's the hardest part...getting a good picture!

If you want the Joseph Smith silhouette, you can find it here:

8 Comments from you:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tutorial and the Joseph Smith svg. I will have to try this soon.

Anonymous said...

Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave in the Cutting category today [06 Jul 12:00pm GMT]. Thanks, Maria

Unknown said...

Hi Melinda,

wow, what a great tutorial! TFS! I will certainly try to make a silhouette one of these days and when I do, I'll link you back of course :-) Thanks for the wonderful tip, I just LOVE silhouettes, and now we finally get a chance of making them personal. Take care, ~Ira

CBH said...

Thank you so much for this post. I want to let you know that I posted a link to your blog in Creative Busy Hands Cricut Freebies Search List, under the Elements post on Jul. 07, 2010. Thanks again.

911barb said...

Thanks for the post. I have been playing but haven't gotten the finished project I want yet.
I have to keep at it I guess.

911barb said...

Thanks for the post. I have been looking for a tut for this.
I have been playing but haven't got it yet.

Rebecca said...

I would love to learn more about this. It would be fun to do all of my kids and frame them! we need to play!

stampgram said...

Thanks for the tutorial and the Joseph Smith picture. Love it.