The Answers: Help for Frequently Asked Questions

PHOTO TO FILE Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to questions about accessing and utilizing this workshop that will help you as you work through it. This page should be your FIRST stop when you have a question, as 99% of the questions you will ever have are answered here. If you cannot find an answer to your question here, scroll to the bottom to learn how to get more help. Thank you!


Q: I lost my password. How do I get in?

A: Request a password reset at https://sso.teachable.com/secure/152016/users/pass...

Q: I can't get a video to play. How do I solve this?

A: Some students report issues playing the videos on the iPad. If you have issues, click on the video box anywhere near the start arrow and it should work for you. Clicking on the start arrow itself seems to be an issue.


Q: I don't like to use Facebook. Do I have to join the group?

A: No, you do not. You can complete this entire workshop without using Facebook. However, please note that we only provide feedback and assistance in our PHOTO TO FILE Facebook Group (If you request to join, when asked for the secret passphrase, please type PHOTOSAREFUN)


Q: Where do I find the workbook? How do I download it?

A: The PHOTO TO FILE Workbook is available to download in the Workshop Area. Click the link at the bottom of the workbook page to download it.


Q: What software do I need for this workshop?

A: You only need your web browser to access web apps, which I will teach you how to use. I may give you previews of other downloadable apps and software, but you DO NOT NEED to download or purchase these products to turn a photo into an SVG. I do not teach Inkscape or Illustrator in this workshop.


Q: What makes a good photo for conversion?

A: Most images can be converted into SVG cut files, but if you're trying to decide between several images, pick ones where the subject is clear and well lit (good contrast), free of dark shadows, and the background is uncluttered. It also helps if the photo does not cut off important parts of your subject (like the sides of faces or ears) and was not at such an unusual angle that removing the context will make it look odd. Beyond this, it's going to be a "try-and-see" approach, and you should expect to try several different methods before you get an SVG cut file you are happy with.


Q: Do I need a print photo or digital photo?

A: You need a digital photo in PNG or JPG format. If you have a print photo, please scan it and save it as a PNG or JPG. If you do not have a scanner, place the camera in a well-lit area without harsh lights and take a photo of it with a digital camera or smartphone to create a digital photo.


Q: Do I need a print photo or digital photo?

A: You need a digital photo in PNG or JPG format. If you have a print photo, please scan it and save it as a PNG or JPG. If you do not have a scanner, place the camera in a well-lit area without harsh lights and take a photo of it with a digital camera or smartphone to create a digital photo.


Q: Do I need to have converted my photo before I watch the workshop video?

A: No. I will show you how to do everything except take the digital photo.


Q: CuteCutter.com doesn't work on my iPhone or iPad. What do I do?

A: Use one of the other converters that DO work on iPhone, or use a desktop or laptop or iPad if you really want to use CuteCutter.com.


Q: What software do I need for this workshop?

A: Beyond your design software (such as Cricut Design Space), you only need your web browser to access web apps, which I will teach you how to use. 


Q: What makes a good photo for conversion?

A: Most images can be converted into SVG cut files, but if you're trying to decide between several images, pick ones where the faces are free of dark shadows, the background is distinct from the foreground, and the camera is not at such an unusual angle that removing the context will make it look odd. Beyond this, it's going to be a "try-and-see" approach, and you should expect to try several different methods before you get an SVG cut file you are happy with.


Q: I have been ungrouping my SVGs made from CuteCutter.com and removing those bounding boxes, as I don't want the boxes cut out. Is that correct to do?

A: Yes. I've chosen to keep my white outline for the photo block project, but that is up to you.


Q: Would you not want to invert the picture first?

A: I do not, but if you want an inverted photo, feel free to invert your photo before you convert it.


Q: When you touchup a photo, how do you keep your lines straight using your mouse?

A: Practice. I often have to try and undo and try again until I get what I want. There are no tricks that I know of, other than going slow and being patient.


Q: What are the pros and cons of scraper vs brayer and when do I use which one?

A: A scraper is for applying a lot of pressure on the back of an image, as well as for removing bits from a mat. A brayer is used to smooth a surface to a mat. I tend to use my scraper a lot more than my brayer.


Q: Couldn't you just put the frosted cling on the whole block? 

A: Yes, you could.


Q: I can't find any rubbing alcohol? Can I use windex or a glass cleaner instead? 

A: No, do not use a glass cleaner, as they leave a residue that can affect adhesive on the vinyl causing bubbles or just shortening the life of the adhesion itself. If you can't find alcohol, use white vinegar or a solution of liquid dish detergent and water and rinse it VERY well.


Q: Can you attach the window cling to the picture before putting it on the glass block?

A: I did not try this, so I do not know.


Q: What do you do if your transfer tape leaves a residue on the vinyl?

A: Either use a different transfer tape, or clean it by wetting a lint-free towel in either rubbing alcohol or white vinegar, then wipe the towel over the affected area of your vinyl surface and repeat until all the tape residue is removed.


Q: Would it work if you mirrored the design and put the window cling onto the back of a regular frame's glass?

A: Yes, though note that you'll see a lot more bubbles on the back then the front.


Q: Would it be easier to convert your photo to a black and white image first before converting it?

A: I don't think so, as it removes much of the color information that is useful for the converters to create a good looking SVG.


Q: Should I use different rotary cutters for fabric and vinyl?

A: I don't bother. You do you.


Q: After creating those two weeding boxes, if you attach the two boxes together, doesn't that make it have to cut on the same vinyl run through the Cricut?

A: Anything attached together will cut on the same mat, so be sure you're only attaching items you want to be cut together.


Q: Do the little lights with the fuzzy stuff get hot? 

A: Not when you use LED lights, which you should always use.


Q: Why use window cling?

A: I used it because it's what I had in my vinyl collection, and because I liked the idea of being able to reposition and remove the decal.


Q: Once the vinyl is on the glass, do you coat it with anything to seal it?

A: No.


Q: After I converted my photo, I lost facial features. Would it be because my subject was far back in the picture?

A: Very likely, yes. Crop your photo before uploading, or try a different photo.


Q: Do you have a recommendation for creating SVGs of animals who are all one color (e.g. we have a black dog and a white dog, with very little contrast)?

A: Be sure you lighten and increase contrast before you try to convert it.


Q: How would you suggest you "frost" an entire panel Ie for a lantern?

A: Measure the panel and cut a rectangle of frosted window cling that is the same size as your panel.


Q: Do you sharpen the rotary cutter? If so, how?

A: You can buy a rotary cutter sharpener if you wish. You may also want to clean your rotary blade by spreading out a sheet of aluminum foil on a self-healing mat and cutting the aluminum foil over and over.


Q: Is there a trick like reverse weeding for iron on to avoid loosing the small details?

A: No, because when you're weeding iron-on vinyl you are already reverse weeding.


Q: How does window cling do when exposed to sunlight, like in a car window or on a porch/outdoor table?

A: A window cling sticker is a material that doesn’t use adhesive to stay adhered to the glass. Instead, window clings use static electricity. I would estimate the lifespan of a window cling left outside to be 6 months or less. After that time they will lose their suction, pick up grease and dirt, and will no longer stick to the surface. They should last for a long time inside, however.


Q: Can this be done in infusible ink on a tote bag? 

A: Yes!


Q: Can you use the transfer paper to transfer paper instead of vinyl?

A: I would not recommend it as it won't release from the transfer paper very well.


Q: Can you convert a sewing embroidery file to an svg?

A: Yes, see https://onlineconvertfree.com/convert-format/pes-to-svg/


Q: Can you put a picture on both sides of the block?

A: Yes!


Q: Would putting the window cling over the whole surface of the block work as well to disuse the lights? 

A: Yes!


Q: Can you use a transparent paint on the block instead of the window cling?

A: I have not tried. My concern would be getting the paint applied evenly.


Q: I have a picture of dogs leaning over a railing. When I use remove.bg it removes the railing so the dogs are hanging in space. Can I get the railing back? I’m using an iPad?

A: Rather than removing the background before you convert it, try converting it untouched first. Or use CuteCutter.com to remove the background as you convert it.


Q: How do you create multiple layers like the butterfly example you had in the workbook?

A: Use the https://www.pngtosvg.com converter to do this. I also teach how to do this in the CUSTOM CUT workshop.


Q: Do you ever change the material size on the make it screen? Does it make a difference when using smaller material to change the material size?

A: Not usually. Change it if you're using a smaller material if you wish.


Q: Why can't you use a deeper blade instead of a fine blade?

A: A deep cut blade is angled differently and is intended for thick materials, so I would not want to use it for a thin material like vinyl as it may rip it. Better to increase the pressure on a fine blade cut.


Q: How do you do the outline for the frosted vinyl?

A: Convert your photo in CuteCutter.com to get the outline.


Q: If the weeded parts don't stick to your weeding tool when reverse weeding, what is the benefit to reverse weeding over traditional weeding? 

A: Reverse weeding is useful for retaining the small bits and lines as you weed.


Q: How do you convert handwriting?

A: You convert it the same way you convert a photo. Please watch the craftalong portion of the workshop video to watch me convert handwriting.