Looking for a great way to use your Silhouette or electronic die-cutting machine? This tutorial includes my best tips and is a quick start guide to using your machine so you’ll be a Silhouette expert in no time.
When I first got my Silhouette Portrait, I was stoked. I couldn’t wait to start cutting and printing and crafting. There were so many awesome project ideas and I couldn’t wait to get started, but what I didn’t know, was there was a learning curve to really rocking my Silhouette. The first few projects I did were simple at best. I liked them, but I wasn’t feeling the crafting high like I thought I would. I spent quite a bit of time watching tutorials and trying to figure out how to use it like the pros. Now that I’ve learned to use my machine effectively and I’m familiar with the software, that crafting high is going strong.
One of the main things I use my Silhouette for is to cut stickers. But even if you’re not interested in cutting stickers this cutting tutorial will help you with the basics (like how to get super clean cut lines) so you can branch out, grab some freebies from the internet, and cut with confidence!
Download the DIY Planner Stickers
- sticker paper
- digital sticker and black and white cut files (download this sample pack for free below)
- Silhouette Portrait or other electronic die-cutting machine
- color printer
- Download the sticker and black and white cut files (It’s an extra step, but this B&W cut file is what helps you get super clean cut lines!).
- Upload the black and white cut file to your die-cutting machine software.
- Select Trace Button>Select Trace Area.
- Click and scroll to capture all of the black shapes included in the B&W cut file.
- Deselect the High pass Filter option on the Trace Options panel.
- Select Trace under “Apply Trace Method” on the Trace Options Panel. (The yellow should be replaced with thin red lines – these are the cut lines that your machine will follow).
- Select and then delete the B&W cut file images – the cut file should be all that is visible.
- Upload and open the sticker file to your die-cutting machine software (it will open in a new window).
- Select the image, then copy (Edit>Copy) and move over to the cut file. Paste (Edit>Paste) the sticker file on the cut file.
- With the sticker file selected, Object>Arrange>Move to Back. (Don’t worry if the lines don’t match up, they will!)
- Your sticker file should still be selected. Take the top left corner and align it with the top left corner of the cut file lines.
- With your mouse, hold down SHIFT and click and hold the bottom right corner of the bounding box around your sticker file. Drag it up until it matches the bottom right corner of the cut file.
- Do any final adjustments with your arrow keys. The Deselect the images by clicking on the open white space.
- Select both files and Group – Object>Group. Then copy (Edit>Copy) and Paste (Edit>Paste) to fill up your sticker page.
- Now it’s time to Set the Registration Marks.
- On the Registration Marks panel – Select your machine type under Style. Select your groupings and adjust as needed to give your registration marks space as needed.
- Open the Cut Settings Panel.
- Select Cut Edge and White Sticker Paper.
- Send stickers to printer, then apply printed sticker sheet to cutting mat.
- Load cutting mat into machine.
- Send file to die-cutting machine – and you’ve got stickers!
Tip: Make sure you follow the recommendation of your machine regarding the blade setting before you cut.