Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Tutorial: How to print and cut Intricate images with the Silhouette Cameo

This method of printing and cutting stamps works for any photo, digital element (like the kind you download or save) or Photoshop brush. The files can be an SVG, JPG, PNG or ABR (digital brush), the steps are the same. *Note I am using the designer edition of Silhouette Studio.

1. For this card project I've chosen a floral bouquet stamp that I printed on a piece of paper and scanned on my computer. I scanned it at 350 ppi and that is a setting you will find on your scanner. I save the file as a PNG because it has a transparent background, but you can use many other formats too. Save the file somewhere easy to find, like a folder or desk top.

2. I open the stamp onto my Silhouette mat by file >open>file name. I have created a file on my computer called digital stamps and I save all my scanned stamps in the same place. When I design a project I like to lay out all the shapes I'm going to cut, so I can see how all the layers work together. I generally cut out extra shapes because I like to a few options for later when I'm putting everything together. Before I print and cut my stamp I size it by clicking on it and grabbing the corner anchors. (If I want to recolor it, I do that in Photoshop and save it in a color). Here is my mat with shapes I want to cut along with my stamp.
3. Now that I have everything sized, I clear off my mat, so I have just the stamp. You can save the project shapes by going File> save as>new file name, that's the safest way. Now I have a saved file of the shapes and I can delete them off my mat to isolate my stamp (you can just move them off the mat too)

4. Now I trace the stamp. In this case the stamp is very intricate so after I trace it I double check the trace lines by dragging the stamp out of the way, and inspecting the edit point. Double click on the line to edit points. You can simplify the line by right clicking on a point and deleting it or moving them with the arrow keys, this allows for very fine adjustments. I like to make sure it's not cutting a line too thin or cutting into the design.

In addition I had to weld an area because the lines were so fine it traced them as separate objects. (to do that ungroup first).

5. Now I rejoin the stamp and trace lines by selecting both and going to  Object>align>align center-middle.
Next a group them, so I can move it around together. You can find the group button on the lower left corner of the screen.
6. Because the print and cut feature uses a large area for registration I like to save paper by using the smallest piece of paper I can. So I open the page tool window and manually select the paper size that best fits the image leaving enough room for registration marks. You may have to redo this step if you don't leave enough room.
Here you can take a look at the paper size and registration makes.

Everything is within the lines and I'm not wasting a lot of paper.
7. Now you can send it to the printer, print according to your printer instructions. After printing make sure all 3 registration marks are there, otherwise it won't detect them for cutting.

8. Remove from the printer and place your printed paper on your mat and proceed to cut! You can click the skip printing button since you finished that step.Make sure you loaded the mat and let the machine automatically detect registration makers.
9. cut settings- the media I chose is heavy card stock and I like to change to speed to 1 and double cut, this seems to give me the best results with intricate designs.
10. The last step is I save the design to my Library so I can use it again and again!

That's it and I'm amazed how the machine can cut such tiny details out!

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I have used the same technique on the angel for the card below.
Thanks so much for visiting!


  1. Thanks for this clear tutorial. I am going to give this a try

  2. Thank you so much Lisa! I've pinned it to my Silhouette board!

  3. Such a clear tutorial. Thank you so much Lisa for doing this!!! I have printed out the instructions and I can't wait to try it!!

  4. Awesome!! Thanks so much! Hugs from Conroe, TX

  5. Great tutorial...will definitely have to try that!

  6. Thanks for the tutorial. Ordered my machine but haven't received it yet. Will be checking your blog a lot. Thanks again


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