Sunday, February 5, 2012

Tutorial: Step by Step paper piecing card with the Silhouette Cameo

When I first started scrapbooking i loved paper piecing, it was so popular than and I did all kinds of custom designs and I never really stopped enjoying making designs with layers of colored paper. Here is one of my first designs all the back from 2001. This was all done with an exact-o I would spend hours cutting! I recently went to a Prima scrapbook class and someone remarked how fast I was at using an exact-o knife. But no more! I would whip this design out in minutes with my Silhouette Cameo.

So here is a cute Valentine card I made for my daughter because she loves penguins!

 I don’t know about you, but when I open shapes on my mat I like to fill them with color. It helps me remember what the little shapes are and where they go in the design. 
For this project, I started with two sweet penguins and because they have lots of little parts, I colored them using the fill color option. (It looks like the bucket tipped over). Next, I ungrouped them using the ungroup button in the lower left hand corner of the screen. The one on the right is to ungroup and the left is group. You can always mouse over them in case you forget (like I do). *Just a little note to you all- I have the Silhouette Studio Designer Edition software, in case something looks different to you.

Before I cut, I want to size everything together as a group. To do this I select the whole area by pulling a selection box over the whole mat, making sure I have every shape included. You can see light grey boxes around everything. To change the size I use the corner anchors to make everything smaller at the same time, so I know the scale is the same. I want the black base of my penguin approximately 2” x 2”.
Next I sort them by color on my mat.  I use my scrap cardstock and place it around the mat according to the color paper I need.  (I love using scrap cardstock!) Don’t be afraid to use a pattern either, the scarf and bow would look so cute in a plaid for example. I used a tone on tone pink paper I had stashed in my scraps. By doing it this way I can cut out all the penguin shapes at one time.

After cutting, I assemble the penguins and glue the parts together, I find it handy to use reversible tweezers to hold the little parts in place for gluing.
Now we are going to make a background with two welded hearts. (If you want a square card skip this step and cut a 6”x12” piece of cardstock and score it in half to make your card base). To continue, first select the heart shape, size it to 5.84”, right click and duplicate it, then right click again and flip it vertically. Line the two hearts up so they barely overlap and align them by going to Object > Align > Center. After aligning, then weld the two together. You weld by selecting the two shapes and going to the menu bar to Option>Modify>Weld. Place the paper on your mat and cut it out.

Next are going to cut the last few shapes. (If you want less layers, skip any steps you want, after all it’s your card!) The scalloped heart is 5.15”, the plain is 4.395”, the heart snowflake is 4.555”, mini scalloped heart is 0.87” and smallest heart is 0.69”. You can size yours by using the pequins on your mat for scale. These measurement are given for conveience, but yours may vary.  When you are ready to cut your shapes, push you penquins over to the grey area off the mat so they wont cut.

It’s time to glue all the shapes together. I like to pop some of the layers up for added dimension, but this is a personal preference. The last step is to add the “Be Mine” banner, to make the banner simply print out any sentiment and cut out a narrow strip of paper just slightly wider than the text, and fold it back and forward to create the banner shape and finish the ends by cutting a triangle. 

That’s it! Feel free to use any paper you have on hand what’s important is the contrast between the layers, you can use the colors on the mat as a general guideline and don’t be afraid of throwing some patterns in there, it’s only a card after all… be daring!! **all the shapes are from the Silhouette Library! **I lighten the background to make it easier to read, if anyone is still having a problem viewing just leave me a comment. Thanx Lisa.


  1. Thanks for the fab tute, Lisa. I'm a newbie, so you've taught me some things I've been wondering about :)

  2. a tutorial like this is super helpful.....I just got a cameo and i havn't actually cut anything with it. I was having trouble "translating" the cute shapes and ideas and figuring out how to actually make them happen. Thank you!

    ps. the combination of the background on your blog and your text is making it hard to read the text that overlaps the design. Just a suggestion, since this is such a helpful tutorial. :)


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