Wednesday, April 10, 2013

How to cut your own images on a Silhouette

A few weeks ago, I got an email from one of my lovely readers asking me some questions about my Silhouette Cameo. She wanted to know a few things about the machine before making a purchase. One of her questions was whether or not you could cut your own images, or if you always had to purchase them from the online store.
She was trying to decide which craft cutting machine was best for her, she wanted something that had some flexibility. I told her what I had discovered with the silhouette and she was floored. The beauty of a silhouette is that it comes with cutting software that actually lets your cut your own images in the software its self! As long as the image is a JPEG or BMP image it will cut it. It will also cut any True Type Fonts.

I figured, this was a great opportunity to do a tutorial on the matter. So, for all you silhouetters out there, or prospective Silhouette purchasers, here is a step by step tutorial on how to cut your own shapes in the Silhouette Studio.

Grab an image. I found these adorable Silhouette style bunny and chick at Willowday (they came from an adorable shadow puppet card she did for Easter)

 Go ahead and open your Silhouette Studio.
 Next, open the picture you would like to cut.
 Place them anywhere within the virtual cutting mat on the screen.
Hit "Object", and then "Trace"

 This will open up your tracing options on the right hand sidebar.

{1} Click "Select Trace Area" {2} Trace a box around the image you want to trace with your arrow {3} Click "Trace Outer Edge"

Next, press "Trace and Detach". This will allow you to move the image out of the area it was traced.
Delete the other stuff on the cutting mat that you don't want to cute (like the background of the image, and the chick in this situation). 
Next, follow these three steps: {1}Click "Select Trace Area"       
{2}Trace the image with your mouse/arrow {3}Click "Trace Outer Edge"
 Remove the inner part of the image with your arrow, and delete it so all you have left is a red outline 
of the original shape. 
 VOILA!!! You now have your very own shape that will now cut on your silhouette machine.
The only thing left to do now that you have your very own awesome shape is to save it into your own library. So, hit "File", then "Save to Library..." 
 This window will pop up,  {1} Name your image {2}Select a category {3} Press Ok
Your shape will now be saved into the "My Own Designs" folder in the library. Isn't this fun? I feel like you could cut anything and I am really convinced that the silhouette has limitless possibilities.


Happy Cutting!!!


Questions? Comments? Let me know! I will do my best to get back to you as soon as possible!


XOXO Britnae

21 comments:

  1. I'm jealous that you have a silhouette machine! Great tutorial!

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    1. Kristie,
      It has seriously changed my life. It's spendy but so worth it :)

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  2. Awesome tutorial Britnae,Thank You. After we exchanged few emails, I went online and downloaded the FREE silhouette studio app and created my new custom designs. I also found out how to add my own patterns to the existing one on the app. Great app, great machine can't wait to get my hands on it:>

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    1. Mahina,
      Thank you for your email and inspiring me to finally get around to doing a tutorial on it. You will LOVE your Silhouette! I really can't say enough good things about it, and I cannot wait for you to get one!

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  3. Thank you for posting! I've done this so many times now. Great when you're only using a design once or many, many times. I love my Silhouette Cameo - just bought it & this is the first thing I did.

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    1. Jen,

      Thanks for reading! Aren't you amazed by all the things you can do on the Silhouette? I just love mine. I'm so glad this tutorial helped you out!

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  4. Hi, I just got a Silhouette and have been following your tutorial. I have a question.. how come when I do this it comes up with 2 lines around my object. what am I doing wrong?

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    1. Renate,
      Sometimes the complexity of the object makes the tracing go a little crazy. If you have something simple like the bunny above that is one solid line it is much easier for the software to trace. Try playing around with the trace settings and see if that helps. Good luck and let me know how it goes!

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  5. Thank you! I needed to know if it would be possible to use my extensive collection of clip art (from Dover / in JPG) with this machine before I purchase. I am truly grateful to have found your article.

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    1. You are very welcome! I am so glad you found me!

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  6. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I have had my Silhouette for a year and have wanted to learn this... tried on my own a couple times which just ended in frustration. Great tutorial, I'm SO excited about this :)

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    1. Thank you for reading! I'm glad you like the tutorial. This opened so many doors for me once I finally figured it out (not to mention saving me money at the silhouette online store)! Happy cutting!

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  7. Hello! Could you tell me, I'd like to do projects like this one---http://sweetyoungjourney.blogspot.com/2011/06/treasures-from-my-kitchen.html ---where I'd usually use an over-head projector. The over-head projector doesn't give the stenciled, professional look. Can I do this on the Silhouette Cameo I just got for Christmas? (And, if so, how much of a hassle would it be?) Thank you so much!

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    1. Hi! Thanks for reading and for your comment! You can most definitely use your new Cameo for that project! I would suggest cutting the lettering out onto card stock, then stenciling followed by a quick sanding for that distressed look. If you want it more clean and less distressed you can definitely use vinyl! Hope that helps! Good luck!

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  8. Brilliant tutorial!! the silhouette just keeps impressing me.

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  9. I am SO excited that I came across this post. I just purchased a Cameo and was wondering how to use my own designs in the program being as I am a graphic designer and would LOVE to make my own custom vinyls and cut outs! Thanks so much for this, I am excited to get home and try this out now <3

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  10. I just received my Silhouette machine. I have used the Cricut mini before and wanted something bigger...I almost purchased another Cricut but then I decided to go with the Silhouette because you have the ability to use your own images and also you can purchase single images instead of full cartridges. I followed the directions above and I can get to the step where I trace the outer edge, then my options are grayed out and I can not trace and detach. I am using the standard Silhouette Studio software, not the designer edition. Does that matter? Thanks!

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  11. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! This was so much easier than I thought it would be. I'm sorry I waited so long. Thanks for taking the time to share your tutorial.

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