My Silhouette Portrait has been getting a workout. In fact, if it were human, it would be in much better shape than yours truly.
Like, fighting, marathon-running, Cross Fit Cindy shape.
One of my favorite tricks for using the Silhouette is the print and cut feature. It allows you to design something in the Silhouette software, print it on your home printer, and then cut it with the Silhouette.
CRAFTING. LIFE. CHANGER.
(This post is not sponsored, by the way. I just thought it may be helpful for others so I spent an embarrassingly long time going through all the steps to spell the process out in case it seems overwhelming. Because if you have a Silhouette, you simply must use the print and cut feature.)
Why is this a life changer?
If you have to ask this question, then we cannot be friends.
If you have ever stayed up until 1 a.m. cutting out pennants or favor tags or party decor or something else, you will understand. It basically takes all the hard work out of making anything cool.
Yes. I’m being dramatic. But the first time I used it was when I was making tags out of Kraft paper for Henry’s tractor party. And angels started singing and the clouds parted. I was so impressed, I started making tags for everything. I couldn’t stop myself.
I am always so excited about how my projects turn out when using this feature, I thought I’d share a tutorial using it.
One project I’m currently working on with a friend is a fun fall themed baby shower. I found this “cutest pumpkin ever” shape in the Silhouette Store. I thought it would make a great addition to the decor.
I purchased the shape and imported it into my Silhouette Studio Software.
A few notes/tips:
- Ungroup the shape (by right clicking – ungroup) to use all the elements separately. (This is important because you’ll want to move/delete/color all the elements by themselves.)
- Move the shapes around until the design is the way you like it.
- To add colors, select each shape individually and choose to add fill color or line color (see above). You can play around until you like the look. (Also remember to right click the shapes to move to the front or back, just like in other programs.)
- Typically, my software defaults all lines to red (for cut lines). You’ll want to change those colors to another color or to transparent. Otherwise, you’ll end up with designs with red lines. Ask me how I know.
Adding registration marks
Before printing, you’ll need to add registration marks, which allow your Silhouette to read the design and cut correctly.
To do this, get into the registration marks window and choose your machine. This will add the little doohickies below. Now, you can copy and paste your design as many times as you want on your screen. (Just make sure not to put anything into the greyed out areas at the top and bottom.)
Now, just select “File – Print,” like you would with any other document. I printed on adhesive Kraft paper. Because everything is better with Kraft paper and it’s a bonus that it’s already sticky – perfect for favor tags.
Confirm that all of your designs printed correctly. And pay extra attention to the registration marks on the top and bottom left. (If they don’t print, you’ll need to print again. Pay attention to the size of the media you’ve chosen in the Silhouette software. The few times mine haven’t printed were because my paper size wasn’t set to size 8.5×11.)
Now, just put it on my Silhouette mat to cut like normal.
Before cutting, you’ll want to check that your design is set to cut what you want it to cut. (You typically don’t want to cut every single letter of the shape, since you’ve already printed it.)
In general, I use the option for “cut edge,” which means that you’ll only cut around the total shape. (If you choose “cut,” you’ll cut every letter, line, etc., which defeats the purpose of printing. Ask me how I know.)
Now just choose your material and cut on your Silhouette. (You’ll need to change your blade, feed, etc., just like you always do.)
When you cut, the Silhouette will first scan those registration lines. So, make sure you line them up on your mat as straight as possible. If your software tells you that it cannot read the lines, re-align the page and try again.
And just like that, you’ll have a perfect cut around your shape – with no late nights or painful Edward Scissor Hands. It’s such a great, custom look. And I love that after designing, I can go back in and change words and size of the shape to create coordinating elements – banners, food labels, favor labels, invites …
Here’s one of the boxes I made to affix the sticker onto.
I also couldn’t stop making boxes. I’m sharing the whole lot of boxes for this party over at the Silhouette blog today, if you are interested in seeing them in detail.