Realizing that many of us haven’t been content with cutting first and then stamping, I’ve been pondering some of the ways we can stamp then cut out the image with our Silhouettes. I finally settled on a method that works very well, and with a little effort up front, makes subsequent cuts quick and easy. Here’s how:
II. Next you will combine the studio file I’ve provided and the cutline you’ve created to prepare a new studio file.
-download smalltemplatesd.studio if you have an SD or smalltemplatec.studio if you have a Cameo and open it. Select File>Save As… and choose a new name to preserve the original template and begin working on a duplicate copy. Screenshots shown are for an SD.
IMPORTANT: Be sure you have the right file for your machine (SD ends in sd, Cameo ends in c). Do not change the paper size (should be LETTER) or the orientation (should be LANDSCAPE) or the template file provided will not work. If your plastic is smaller than letter size position it on the mat strategically. While this technique will work with any paper size/orientation and image size, the studio file will need adjustments that are beyond the scope of this tutorial.
-copy and paste the cutline you created in part I onto the mat of the new template document.
-position the cutline inside the L-shaped slots. You may rotate the cutline but be very careful not to resize it. Do not move, rotate or resize the slots at all. Here, the bike is turned on the diagonal so it will fit.
III. You are now ready to cut your plastic template
I used polypropylene notebook tab dividers (blue in the photos) from Dollar Tree for my template (8 colored tabs to a pack; possibly a back-to-school seasonal item), but you can use any somewhat stiff cuttable plastic such as transparency film, mylar, acetate, page protectors, report covers, etc. In fact, you can probably use card stock, though I’m not sure how well it will hold up over multiple uses. Keep in mind that what we are making here is a very accurate stencil.
-load plastic sheet onto mat, load mat into Silhouette
-be sure registration marks are turned OFF (you will see what looks like marks on your screen but no crosshatched area as shown in the next screen shot)
-open the Cut Style window and verify that the outer rectangle, the registration slots and the stamp outline are all set to cut (showing in red).
-choose appropriate cut settings (I use heavy card stock settings and double cut)
-cut the file with your Silhouette
-remove the template from the mat and carefully clear any remaining plastic from the stamp outline and registration slots.
All the steps above comprise a one time (per image) process and then your custom template can be used with that stamp and the corresponding .studio file until it wears out or you lose it. I suggest you mark it clearly so you know which stamp it goes with and store it with the stamp if possible. Be sure the .studio file is easy to find as well.
IV. It’s time to try out the plastic template
-stamp your image in the center of a half sheet (so you’ll have plenty of room for the tutorial) of light colored card stock in the ink of your choice. You can even powder emboss the image if you like.
-center the template carefully around the stamped image and tape it securely in place.
-carefully remove the template so as not to smear the ink
V. Time to cut around the stamped image
-Place the image with the surrounding marks on the Silhouette mat. General orientation of marks relative to machine is important, location is not. You can trim it down if you like, as I’ve done here for convenience. (And yes, I am using a Cricut mini mat in my Silhouette SD as they are cheaper than Silh mats.)
-in Silhouette Studio, open the Registration Mark Settings window, turn registration marks ON, and verify that they are set to default orientation (you should see crosshatches and only one set of 3 marks, as shown in the next screen shot).
-select cut settings appropriate for your card stock
-MANUALLY detect registration marks and cut. That’s it! Enjoy your cutout and repeat sections IV and V anytime you want to cut around that image again.
The same general idea can also be used with Make-the-Cut, but you will need to create your own file because the position of the registration marks changes with the size of your image.
You can theoretically use this technique to cut out any preprinted image (from a store-bought card, wrapping paper, a photo, etc.) provided you can get a good trace of it, but you might have to mount that preprinted image on another sheet of paper in order to have clear space to draw the registration marks.
Special thanks to Gayle aka Cut-It-Out on the Silhouette Plus board for testing the Cameo file for me!
If you have an eclips or a Zing this process is even easier. Check out Heather’s tutorial here.