All About Cut Files – For Beginners

Have you ever seen a beautiful scrapbook page and been told that one of the main parts of the layout is a cut file? And then thought to yourself ….” What on Earth is a cut-file? ”

Don’t worry; you aren’t the only one! When I started seeing cut files becoming increasingly popular with scrapbookers, I thought the same thing, then decided that I needed to figure it out … and I’m so glad I did!

A cut file is simply a digital file full of creative pieces from which we can take and cut out on our electronic die-cut machine. One of the best things about using cut files is the ability to customize the files to your needs. You get to pick the size, material and “look,” creating a unique layout. For scrapbookers, they are a great way to add beautiful embellishments and designs which you completely personalize. They allow you to make your pages look unique and give them a personal touch. The perfect way to customize your scrapbooks and have your layouts stand apart with style!

The best part about cut files is that most only cost a few dollars, and you can find many for free! One of the benefits of these files is that they are yours to use as many times as you want once downloaded!

Keep reading to learn more about what a cut file is, how to find them and different ways to use them in not just your scrapbooking but also other crafting projects.

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What is a cut file?

A cut file is a digital representation of images or words that you download to your computer and then upload into die-cutting machine software. Once it’s uploaded, the image or text is cut onto various materials. For scrapbookers, the material of choice is typically cardstock or patterned paper.

You might be wondering why the term SVG keeps popping up.

SVG is an acronym for Scalable Vector Graphics – a digital file. SVG is the file type you will most often use in your cutting machine software.

An SVG is a file that can store both images and text in curves. It’s the shortened term for scalable vector graphics, so you might wonder what it means! You’ll find these files come up a lot when working with cut files because they allow us to scale our design and change its dimensions without sacrificing quality.

Other file types you may come across

  • DXF (.dxf)
  • PNG (.png)
  • JPEG (.jpeg)
  • PDF (.pdf)
  • EPS (.eps)

A DXF file is similar to an SVG file. It also stores images and text in curves or lines. Like an SVG, the text or image can be scaled up or down without losing quality. If you own a Silhouette machine (or plan on buying one), you will need to use the DXF file for your cutting unless you opt for their paid software which allows you to utilize SVGs for cutting.

When you purchase a cut file, you often will recieve a file full of different formats. You will always want to make sure your purchasing file contains an SVG file. You may also recieve a JPEG, PNG or EPS format. When cutting out your files with your Cricut for scrapbooking or paper crafting, these files are unnecessary for getting started. If your machine of choice is from Silhouette, you will want to make sure you purchase both an SVG and DXF file.

What do I need to be able to use cut files?

You will need an electronic cutting machine such as Cricut to cut out your newly downloaded cut files.

Although, there are some places you can buy cut files already pre-cut for you. But if cut files are something you plan to use often, it’s worth investing in a machine. This way, you can make the cut file however you want, change the size, and use whatever paper or material you desire.

To use cut files for crafting, you will need:

  • You will need a computer or device such as an iPad to download your newly acquired files.
  • You will need an electronic cutting machine such as a Cricut
  • The accompanying software is installed for your cutting machine. For example, If you have a Cricut machine, you must download Cricut Design Space.

Which die-cutting machines can I use with cut files?

Several machines can be used to cut files for scrapbooking and paper crafting purposes. Cricut, Silhouette, and Brother Scan and Cut are the most widely used machines.

Recommended Machines:

  1. Cricut Maker
  2. Cricut Explore Air 2
  3. Silhouette Cameo 4
  4. Brother Scan and Cut

I recommend the Cricut machine. It is hugely popular, and there are oodles of tutorials online to help you learn everything you need to know to get started and learn the more advanced techniques when you are ready. 

Where to find cut files

You can find a plethora of cut files just about everywhere nowadays and often for free. Googling “free scrapbooking cut file” will provide you with an endless supply. Free files are great, and for sure to take advantage of downloading those designs that you love. Like anything online nowadays, be wary of which sites you are downloading from, and use trusted sites to ensure you get a quality design. (and not a virus)

Free designs are great, but if you are looking for something more intricate, designers can offer some beautifully designed products for very reasonable prices.

And, of course, there is Etsy. It’s such a huge marketplace, offering almost everything and anything you could imagine, and when it comes to cut files, you can find just about anything you desire. There are many sellers on Etsy, so be sure to read reviews, and I recommend buying one file and testing it to ensure that the quality of files from that seller is up to your standards. Some deals that look too good to be true, they probably are. You may find that the quality of the files is not what you were hoping for.

Some of my go-to shops for cut files are:

What Can I Make With Cut Files?

Cut files are great for scrapbooking, cardmaking and paper crafting, but they can also be used in a wide variety of other projects. 

You can create a unique and customized piece of home decor, mugs, t-shirts for an upcoming family vacation or reunion, decals for your vehicle, or a fully customized gift for a friend.

One of the best things about cut files is their versatility and are only limited to your imagination!

Scrapbook Pages Using Cut Files

From -12 Days of Christmas Cut Files
From – Everyday Is An Adventure by Tarrah McLean
From– By Nicole Nowosad (Just Nick)

What’s your favourite way to add more of your personality into your scrapbook layouts? 

If you’re looking for something different and creative, cut files might be the perfect option. They allow users (you!) to take an ordinary page into something uniquely yours! Once I gave this new technique a try–I loved how easy it was to create beautiful layouts – giving every photo its own story and showing off all those colourful memories from years past in such a fun way.

Cut files are a fun way to make your scrapbooking and paper crafting projects personalized and unique. They allow you to take an ordinary page and turn it into something special. So if you’re looking for a way to get creative and personalize your scrapbook layouts, cut files may be just what you need. And don’t worry, cut files are super easy to use, even for beginners!

You can find them on Etsy or download them from other websites like Peartree Cut files. Once you try this new technique, you’ll love how easy it is to create something beautiful and unique!

Are you ready to start using Cut Files in your scrapbooking? You might want to read our easy step-by-step tutorial on How to use an SVG Cut File with Your Cricut Machine.

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