More on using the Paint Bucket in Inkscape

February 25, 2009 at 4:43 pm 26 comments

Update: Please watch the Paint Bucket Basic video here if you haven’t already

Wow, the response to the first video has been overwhelming, literally. I am approaching my bandwidth limit at screencast and am looking for a different way to host the tutorials. Here is the second video, which shows how to use the Inkscape paint bucket technique to convert a color image into color separated vectors for cutting on your Cricut. If this doesn’t work, please try this alternate site for viewing the video.


Entry filed under: Computer Crafts, Cricut. Tags: , .

New Technique for Making Piecing Patterns in Inkscape A giant source of public domain SVG files

26 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Donna Lee Williams  |  February 26, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    WOW!! You make that look so simple!!
    THANK YOU for sharing.

  • 2. Dani  |  March 2, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    WOW! What a great tutorial! Thanks!! You made layers/piecing SOOO much easier on the Cricut! Now I am not near as afraid to try it!

  • 3. beanie  |  March 9, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    For some reason I can not get the background or outline as it is called?

    • 4. Kay  |  March 10, 2009 at 10:51 am

      Press the control key and the number 5 on your numeric keypad simultaneously to toggle back and forth between normal and outline view. Or go to the View Menu and select Display Mode>Outline.

    • 5. Kay  |  March 10, 2009 at 11:02 am

      Beanie, now I’m thinking I misinterpreted your question. If you are having trouble getting the solid outline (black) piece to use as a background, be sure that the image is bounded or the paint bucket will not work. In the video, I placed the image on top of a black rectangle so it was surrounded by black pixels. Another method is to simply click on the black line with the paint bucket and then place the resulting outline in SCAL with the blackout feature activated so that the interior detail disappears.

  • 6. Jennifer Friedlander  |  March 25, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    That was great, both videos seem easy, i just need to try it. Thank you so much for your time in making this tutorial. I probably will watch it over and over until I understand it completely.


  • 7. Sonya New  |  April 14, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    Hi Kay, OK, I watched your tut on seperating this jpg. I just dl the Inkscape about a week ago, and am still trying to learn all there is to know. It will probably take me forever. LOL

    Anyway, this is my ? for you.

    I import the image into Ink, and then do I trace the Bitmap? I would like to know step by step how to do this to the point where your video tut starts. I am an idiot when it comes to this kind of stuff. I have a Cricut Exp. and SCAL, but really want to understand what you are telling me. Any help is appreciated. Is there a book out there for dummies on Inkscape?

    Thanks alot,

    • 8. Kay  |  April 14, 2009 at 4:03 pm

      The paint bucket technique is an alternate way to trace the bitmap. That’s the beauty of it. You don’t have to do anything else once you import the bitmap to be where the video starts. The only other thing I did, as I explain at the beginning, was place the bitmap on a black rectangle so it would be bounded for a later part of the demonstration.

  • 9. Tatumn  |  April 23, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    That was great! Bonus…we are a GT family!!
    Thank you and please keep them coming!

  • 10. barb911  |  May 4, 2009 at 7:43 am

    Very easy to understand tuts. Thanks so much.
    barb911 s/e mi

  • 11. Donna  |  May 4, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this, it has really helped me to understand how to break down the different colors !

  • 12. Kristi  |  July 22, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    How do you switch between normal view and outline view?

  • 13. Alicia  |  November 30, 2009 at 11:24 am

    What an awesome video, TY so much for making and sharing! *Hugs* Alicia

  • 14. Brenda  |  February 8, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    Once you get these broken apart, then how do you save them so that they can be imported in SCAL. Also, do you resize them before you save.

    • 15. Kay  |  February 8, 2010 at 1:56 pm

      For SCAL1, drag them to separate parts of the page if you want to cut them all on one mat or copy each color set to a separate document.
      For SCAL2, select all the parts of one color and group. Repeat for each color. When you bring the SVG into SCAL2, each group will be on a separate layer that you can move or toggle off/on.
      For SCAL1 it is easier to resize before you save them, but in SCAL2 it doesn’t matter, just be sure you select all the parts and resize them together to maintain proportionality.

  • 16. Brenda  |  February 8, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    I haven’t really got a good grip in Inksdcape yet so could you explain to me how to make and fill a rectangle and then insert the pix. Also how do you get the bounded box. Sorry for all the questions, I am trying to learn as quickly as I can.

    • 17. Kay  |  February 8, 2010 at 9:23 pm

      If you go under the Help menu and choose Inkscape Manual it will take you to a great website where you can learn the basics of Inkscape. Then this tutorial will be much easier for you to follow.

  • 18. Jeanne  |  June 17, 2010 at 10:02 am

    You are brilliant! I’ve been looking for this for a while and you make it look sooooo easy. Thank you for sharing!

  • 19. Donna  |  July 14, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    I just got my SCAL2 program today but haven’t installed it yet. After reading all this I can see I will need a pot of coffee. LOL
    If I want to cut a piece of clipart out in whole without separating the colors into layers which I have jpg & png files for, do I just make it into an svg file & then cut it out on my Cricut the same way but just don’t separate it? I hope this makes sense since it may sound confusing. I do have some that alredy are for using the SCAL program.
    I guess there’s no way you can just cut certain parts out such as the head to pop dot it to make it look 3D. I have been printing multiple copies out of the clipart pieces & then cutting them out by hand to give them a 3D look for my layouts.

    • 20. Kay  |  July 14, 2010 at 6:55 pm

      If your jpg is line art or black and white or even high contrast solid colors, you can just import them into SCAL and trace. Then you can break apart the different pieces and cut them separately if you like. You only need the paint bucket in Inkscape now for low contrast images. Don’t worry about Inkscape yet, just enjoy SCAL2!

  • 21. Donna  |  July 14, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    They are all clipart images in colors.
    Do I need to do something special to cut the whole piece out? Also do I trace the sections I want to cut out separately even if there are more than one color in them? I am truly a rookie at this & not that computer literate when it comes to all these terms but I am trying.

    • 22. Kay  |  July 15, 2010 at 11:44 am

      I suggest you watch some of the basic SCAL 2 videos at or and see if they answer your questions. I think you may be trying to make this harder than it is. If you need more help, I and others answer questions on the forums at and there you can post sample images so we know exactly what you are tryng to do.

  • 23. Donna  |  July 15, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    I see I am not the only one after reading lots of questions that wants to do the same thing. The only answer I found so far is the Print & Cut one that has you tracing the image & cutting it out on the Cricut & then putting the printed color one back on the sheet & cutting the same outline out again which will print your color image out. That is a lot of work for as many as I want to cut. I guess a lot of us would want to import the whole colored image over & have the Cricut just cut it out but it doesn’t work that way.

  • 24. Donna  |  July 15, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    I meant it will cut the image out not print although doing both would be the answer. LOL

    • 25. Kay  |  July 16, 2010 at 4:10 pm

      The fact that you were commenting on this post about paper piecing really threw me off on what you were trying to do which I now understand to be print and cut. Sorry about that. I have a number of posts related to print and cut as well, but yeah, the bottom line is that there is not really an easy way to do it with the Cricut and SCAL. What many of us are doing now is using the gel pens in the Cricut to draw the clip art outline, then cutting that out and coloring it in with markers. Drawing with the pen and then cutting (using layers in SCAL) is the easiest way to have an image cut out.

  • 26. Inkscape paint bucket basics video | Clever Someday  |  February 5, 2015 at 10:11 pm

    […] Paint Bucket Technique for layered color logos video is here […]


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