I occasionally see people ask about how to create a single cut path around an image. This is usually because they want to do a “Print and Cut” with an electronic cutter such as the Silhouette Cameo or KNK Zing. I have used both Inkscape and Make The Cut to accomplish this task. Each has its benefit. Today, I’ll show you how to do this using Inkscape.
Here’s a PNG that I downloaded from Openclipart.org.
First you’ll need to import your image into Inkscape. File > Import. Find your image and select it. A box like this will pop up. Say OK. (You can click on either Embed or Link. You can see more info on this subject here.)
Now select your image. Path > Trace Bitmap. You will get a box that looks like this. You might need to experiment with your settings. But you’ll probably want to use Brightness Cutoff, with a Threshold around .900. Click on Update to see how it looks. If you think it’s good, click OK.
Now click on the new image in Inkscape and go to Path > Object to Path. Next, Path > Break Apart. The object will be all one color and you will see dashed lines around all the individual parts.
Next is the part that I think is easier in Inkscape than in Make The Cut. It may or may not be an issue for the image you choose.
I want to leave this part of the picture transparent because when I cut around it, I think this part should be cut out.
Now select just the largest portion and the white piece that you want to be transparent. Path > Difference.
Next, drag to select around all. Path > Union.
Now if you like, you can use your Fill and Stroke Box to delete the fill and create a Stroke. This will be your cut line.
If you want to make the path a little larger than the original image, Ctrl + ). However, keep in mind this will make any area that you are cutting out get a bit smaller.
And there you have it!