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Other way around. You go to the database without the theme, then import the theme from the database that has the theme.
I actually have a file that I use just for storing themes. I have a few layouts with common UI elements on it in that file to make it easy to preview the theme. Then I import from that file into the files I work on.
+1 on johnnyb's approach. Using a "sandbox" file to develop your themes will help maintain some discipline in theme design. Combined with a well thought out style naming system, it gets a lot easier to import themes and apply them to existing (or new) layouts. Alternatively, for a bigger project, you could also use a dedicated sandbox layout right within your UI file.
That is really helpful!