Creating A Border Around PNG Image For Print Then Cut With Cricut Design Space

There are so many gorgeous PNG images out there. But sometimes they are not quite ready to be cut with the Cricut machine. In this Inkscape tutorial, I will show you how to make an extra border for the image so that you never need to buy any scrapbooking or card making images again. From a good designer, the images should always come as PNG.

PNG is a picture on a transparent background. But, not always the images have a transparent background. Sometimes a designer just saved his work as png but haven’t actually removed the background, or just simply wanted the background to be white, black or another color. This tutorial is for the PNGs which are truly transparent and have no background at all.

We are going to add a small border to the png images so that they look better and more like an embellishment you can buy in craft stores.

Open Inkscape and then click MENU - OPEN and find a location of PNG file you want to work on.

A screenshot of flowers in inkscape.

Select image you just opened by clicking on it and click MENU - PATH - TRACE BITMAP

A new settings window pops up

A screenshot of inkscape's trace bitmap window.

Select the colors, tick “smooth”, “stack scans” and “remove background” and click OK.

You could click the live preview window which will show you what image will look like after tracing, but because we are doing the tracing only to get the shape out of the image, I don’t really care about the settings much.

When you are done click the little cross at the top of the window to close the window down.


Your image has been traced and it will slightly change depending on the rest of the settings your window was set to. By doing this step you changed PNG image into an SVG file. Because In my settings I had number 8 selected, the program has made my SVG to be made out of 8 colors.  My picture will now look something like this:

A screenshot of flowers ink inkscape.

Result image was stacked on the top of my original image. Select the top image by clicking it (despite both pictures being in the same place, the computer will select only the top layer which is the one we just traced.)

Click MENU - OBJECT - UNGROUP. You may need to do this twice.

A screenshot of flowers ink inkscape.

The image will break down into more parts, don’t deselect any of them and click MENU - PATH - UNION

Color will be changed into the color of one of the layers and it will become one single path. It should look something like this now.

A screenshot of flowers ink inkscape.

If there are white spaces in the middle of your image following step will remove those. Click on the image to select it and go to  MENU - PATH - BREAK APART and then without clicking anywhere else again (so that all paths stay selected) you click MENU -PATH - UNION

This is what your image should look like now:

A screenshot of flowers ink inkscape.

Make sure the image is selected and click MENU - OBJECT - LOWER TO BOTTOM.

Don't deselect the image.

 A screenshot of flowers ink inkscape.

You should now have your original image at the top and pink image at the bottom.

Go to MENU - PATH - OUTSET this step will enlarge the image  so that it is a little bigger and repeat the step until you are happy with the size of your border

A screenshot of flowers ink inkscape.

You can pick color of your border of course by clicking on any color swatch at the bottom of your window. I will pick light blue only so that we can see it better (even if whole png is transparent computer shows it as a picture with white background), but generally when I do this, I always go with white.

A screenshot of flowers ink inkscape.

To save image click MENU - FILE - EXPORT AS  and a pop up window will appear

A screenshot of inkscape export window.

Click Export As and a new window will pop up,

A screenshot of a filebrowser windows.

select a name.png and where you want the file to save, click ok. Then back at export png image window and click the Export button. This will save your png file to a selected folder on your computer.

Then go to Cricut DS and create a new document. On the left side in the MENU click UPLOAD icon - UPLOAD IMAGE and BROWSE then open image from the location you saved it at

A screenshow of a preview.

Select COMPLEX and click green button at the corner to CONTINUE

A screenshow of a preview.

Leave advance settings untouched on unmodified colors and click continue

A screenshow of a preview.

Select save as print then cut image, pick name and tags so you can find it easier

Click save. Your image has been now saved to Cricut DS. Select it and click Insert images and proceed with print then cut.

A screenshow of a preview.

Your image will open in DS

A screenshot of flower in Cricut Design Studio.

Adjust the size, add text or whatever would you like to do with it and proceed with print then cut as you would any other time.


I hope you find this tutorial helpful, happy crafting!


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