Category Archives: Tutorials and Quick Tips

Papercrafting and stamping tutorials for complete projects or techniques. Plus some quick tips.

Digital Die Cutting Files with Digital Papers

I love to use my digital die cutting files together with digital patterned scrapbook papers.  The design possibilities are really endless and I can so easily experiment and change my mind before I print anything.  Print and cut is one of my favorite crafty inventions!

Digital die cutting file tutorial finished cards

Today I have a tutorial for you on how I use digital scrapbook papers with more intricate digital die cutting files to create print and cut projects.  It looks long – but its all easy-peasy pictures.

I’m using the Folk Art Eggs digital cutting files and the Calico Spring digital kit in this tutorial.

The first thing I do is to add my digital papers to my pattern library in my Silhouette Studio software.  Just open the library (book icon), open the my patterns folder, and create a folder for my papers (it helps with finding papers from a certain kit later).

Digital die cutting files tutorial

Then open the file folder where the papers are stored and simply click and drag them into the space to add them to the folder in the Studio library.

Digital die cutting files tutorial

Just add in all the papers you want to use.  They will all appear in your pattern library when you are ready.

Digital die cutting files tutorial

Open the digital cutting file in your Studio software.  I’m using the SVG version of the files here (there are instructions for both SVG and DFX in the download).  Select everything and set the line thickness to zero using the line icon.  This prevents cutting lines from printing on your final project.

Digital die cutting files tutorial

With detailed cuts like these eggs, you want to prevent any tiny edges were the pattern is missing because of slight shifting during cutting, but you don’t want to waste printer ink.  So we are going to fill just a bit beyond the egg shape with pattern.

First, release the compound path with: object – release compound path.  Note – with some files you may have to ungroup instead, and other files may come already in pieces.

Digital die cutting files tutorial

Then click off the shape and go back and select only the outer edge of the egg. Go the the off-set path icon and off-set the egg shape.  This is going to be your pattern fill shape.

Digital die cutting files tutorial

Then go to the pattern icon.  Remember those patterned papers we added?  Scroll down and you will find them there.  Just choose the one you want add click-drag it into the egg shape you just made.

Digital die cutting files tutorial

If you  would like, you can alter your pattern fill using the advanced options.  Just select the filled shape and apply them.  Here I scaled my pattern a bit larger and I moved the pattern using Pan Pattern to put one of the flower clusters more in the center.

Digital die cutting files tutorial

Keep your patterned fill selected and send it to the back using object-arrange-send to back.  (this just makes life easier later).

Digital die cutting files tutorial

Select the entire egg, shift-click on the pattern fill to unselect it and then group all the remaining lines.

Digital die cutting files tutorial

While you have them selected, set the cut lines using the cut icon.  Select cut and set the paper type.  I print my items on Matte Presentation paper and I use the Pattern Paper setting.

Digital die cutting files tutorial

Do this for any other pieces you want to use for your project.  You do not need to re-create the egg pattern fill shape again, you can just copy it and place it behind any of the other eggs.  You can change the pattern fill by dragging a different patterned paper into the shape.

For the cuts below, I changed the pattern and I decided to add pattern fill shapes to the labels.  I didn’t bother with the label centers because they are very simple shapes and close to while already – so I’m betting they will cut just fine.

Digital die cutting files tutorial

The last thing I want to show you is adding sentiments.  These sentiments come with this digital cutting file, but you can also use digital scrapbooking wordart or digital stamp set sentiments.

Just open the PNG in Studio, cntr C to copy it…

Digital die cutting files tutorial

Then go to your working file and cntr V to paste it.  Align it on top of the label center you want to print and cut.  You can use the alignment tools to help you center it.

Digital die cutting files tutorial

Set all your cutting lines to cut and you are ready to print and cut (don’t forget to adjust your blade depth).  Save this document as a studio file and you can use it whenever you wish.  You can change the file with different scrapbook paper patterns or sentiments to make new projects.

Digital die cutting files tutorial

I hope you found this tutorial useful.  Here is a peek at the digital die cutting files and the digital scrapbooking kit that I used:

Easter card digital die cutting filesCalico Spring Digital Scrapbooking Kit

If you think this tutorial might be useful to others – please share it:

digital die cutting files tutorial

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Valentine Hugs and Kisses Canning Jar Craft

The challenge this month over at The Silhouette Challenge facebook group is print and cut.  I love print and cut!  Plus I want to make some goodies for my girls for Valentine’s Day – so bonus!

Here is what I came up with for my project (the rest of the challenge projects are linked at the end of this post):

Canning jar valentine project

For this project, I used the following:

Love In a Jar Templates and Cutting Files

Love in a Jar stamp set

Me, myself and I digital scrapbooking kit

Me, myself and I digital tone on tone papers

  • Printer (and presentation paper for printing)
  • Cardstock for the base
  • Digital die cutting machine
  • Adhesive
  • Quart canning jar with lid
  • 2 bags of Hershey hug and kisses candy

I followed the procedure in this post to create my print and cut PNG from the templates included in the cutting file set.  This allowed me to use the digital papers and elements, without  printing whole sheets and wasting printer ink.

My final PNG looked like this.  You can see I have my front and back panels, my side panels and my properly sized decorative elements all there.  I used the decorative labels stamps and added some text to customize the tags.  I added the digital papers just like described in the blog post linked above.

val-kisses-web

This PNG is bigger than the printing area when I turn on the registration marks in my Silhouette studio software.  The way to fix that is to just slice the PNG into pieces that fit into the cut area.  I just use my straight knife blade in the software to slice it up.  Then slide the pieces you want to print and cut first into the window and push the others aside. (I find it easier than making a bunch of smaller files).

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Layer the cut file lines from the cutting file set over the images and send to print and them cut.  Don’t forget to check and make sure the cut line thickness is zero so the lines do not print on your project.

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I want to add some scrapbook kit flowers as pop-up decoration – so I need to trace those before I cut them.  I cover the element with the trace area box, shut off the high pass filter, and adjust the threshold until I get a solid image.  Then just trace the edge.

val-kisses-inst4

I like to do my print and cuts using matte presentation paper because the printouts come out nice and bright.

I cut my canning jar sleeve base out of cardstock using the cutting files and then layered all the decorative elements I print and cut on it.  Add some hugs and kisses and your done.  Save your project as a Silhouette Studio file and you can make more of them whenever you like.

Canning jar valentine project

Want to Check Out More Silhouette Projects?

My Silhouette Challenge buddies and I are all sharing projects on our blogs today, so peruse the projects below for a wealth of Silhouette inspiration!

Print and Cut Rebus Valentine Tigger Printable Heat Transfer T-Shirt Love You Valentine’s Jar {tutorial} + Print & Cut Blog Hop Valentine BINGO with {FREE} Printable and Cut File DIY Conversation Hearts Temporary Tattoos {Heart} Dance! Custom Birthday Party Invitations using Silhouette's Print and Cut Milk & Cookies Valentine's Treat Print & Cut Valentine's Day Banner Old wooden box Love Print and Cut Fabric Labels Be Mine Banner Love is all you need - Print & Cut Valentine Journal Cards Free Printable: Snickers Valentine Tag Labor & Delivery Nurse Thank You Bags Valentine Robot Shirt with Print and Cut Heat Transfer Vinyl Print and Cut Fish Valentines 3D Print and Cut Magnets (And Tons More Silhouette Print and Cut Ideas) Baby Month Stickers with a FREE cut file Super Easy Print and Cut Journal Card Valentines Simple Silhouette Valentine Card Valentine Hugs and Kisses Canning Jar Craft Frozen Inspired Tattoos Be My Valentine Mini Album Print and Cut Valentine Pudding Cup Wrappers - February Silhouette Challenge Print & Cut Birthday Invitations

1. Clever Someday // 2. TitiCrafty // 3. GingerSnapCrafts.com // 4. My Paper Craze // 5. Simply Kelly Designs // 6. Little Blue’s Room // 7. Mama Sonshine // 8. Small Stuff Counts // 9. Dragonfly & Lily Pads // 10. GiveMeAPaintbrush // 11. Please Excuse My Craftermath… // 12. Barb’s Life // 13. GetSilvered // 14. Lil’ Mrs. Tori // 15. Minted Strawberry // 16. unOriginal Mom // 17. Where The Smiles Have Been // 18. Persia Lou // 19. Silhouette School // 20. From Whine to Whine // 21. DailyDwelling // 22. Creative Ramblings // 23. Paper Garden Projects // 24. It Happens in a Blink // 25. Perfectly Fabulous // 26. Adventures in All Things Food // 27. Create & Babble

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Canning jar gift packaging tutorial

I love canning jars.  I do actually use them to can (mainly tomatoes and applesauce) but I’d love them even if I didn’t can.  They are so sturdy and homey and practical.

I wanted to make some canning jar gifts this year, so of course I had to create a way to package them.

Canning Jar Cookie Mix

Cookie mix all packaged up cute

I called the collection I created “Love In a Jar” because that is kind of how I feel about homemade gifts.  They require a sacrifice of time, which seems to be our most precious commodity these days.

The collection includes templates, cutting files and some coordinating images.  I thought I’d share with you a little tutorial on how I use these kinds of products to make things.  Hopefully, you’ll find some helpful ideas here.

Here is the main product:  Love in a Jar Templates and Cutting files.

Love In a Jar Templates and Cutting Files

Looks like lots of pieces – but it all fits together – honest

There are so many pieces because I tried to give you lots of design options.  Each of the package styles have multiple label styles to pick and choose from.

Here is the coordinating stamp set.  All the the images are coordinated to fit the labels in the template kit – again with mix and match options.

Love in a Jar stamp set

These are only some of the images – there are 32 in all.

I tried to make this set as flexible as possible.  You can use just the cutting files – along with your traditional paper crafting supplies.

You can use the templates and stamp images along with your digital supplies to make packaging you simply print and cut out by hand.

Or you can combine the templates, stamp images and digital cutting files to create a hybrid project. That’s what I did to make my gifts, and I saved some screen shots along the way so I could share my particular process with you.

I start by opening the template I want in Photoshop and saving it with another name so I don’t overwrite my original. I choose the layers I want by turning the eyeballs on or off.  I also bring in any stamp images I might want to use by opening them and dragging them into the template.

Picture 1

I change my mind a lot – so I don’t usually delete any unused layers right away.

When I’m making a hybrid project, I like to create a little shadow-y edge between 2 papers that I’m planning to print and not actually layer in real life.  I just think it gives it  a little definition.  Its not necessary, I just like it….  I have created a Photoshop action that I use to create the shadow layer with just one click.

Picture 2

If you would like a copy of this action, you can download it here.

If you need more information on installing and running actions, you can get tons of great information from Charm Box Studios.  Charla has tutorials for installing actions here (She also has some great actions for photos, take a peek while you’re there).

So once I have the template I want, the stamps I want and my shadows made – then comes the fun part.  Adding the digital papers.  Just open a paper you want to try and drag it in above the shape you want to add it to.

Picture 3

I love this because I can change my mind a hundred times and never waste a single scrap of paper!

Then hover your cursor on the line between the two layers and alt click to snap the paper into the shape.  You can move the paper around to include a certain portion, you can resize and rotate it too.

I love being able to scale papers smaller to get smaller patterns.

I love being able to scale papers smaller to get smaller patterns.

You can also clip solid papers into your stamp images.  This will give the images both color that matches the kit you are using and a paper-y texture.

Sometimes a small tone on tone pattern looks nice.

Sometimes a small tone on tone pattern looks nice.

I add any custom text I want – then I can clip a paper into that too.

Oh the fun you can have with fonts!

Oh the fun you can have with fonts!

Now I have my finished design (Yay – save that file!).  Its decision time.  You can just print what you have and cut it out by hand and you’re done.

But what if you want to use your digital cutter? I recommend trimming your image by going to edit – trim – then hit OK in the dialog box.  This will get rid of all the extra edge and make it much easier to move your project around in your cutting software.

Picture 7

After you trim, save the item as a PNG file.  Then you can open your PNG in your digital cutting software, layer the digital cutting files on top and print and cut as many copies as you’d like.  (There are detailed instructions for this included with the cut files if you need them).

But here is the even more fun part….

I love that I can use any image I want from a digi kit to embellish my project.  For my Cookie Mix jar (way, way up there..) I wanted the bakery image from the City Sidewalks kit to decorate my jar.  I brought both the bakery and the popcorn tree into my project file so I could get the size right.  Then I moved them to a new document and trimmed them as saved them as a PNG as described above.

I opened the PNG in my Silhouette Studio software. I selected the trace window, chose the select trace area and drew the rectangle around my element.  Then I clicked off the high pass filter, set the threshold at 100%.

Picture 8

I love that I can use digi-scrap elements in my projects

Then I just clicked trace outer edge to get a cut line around it.  Then I  group the image and cut line, copy it and add pate it into my print and cut for my project.

Picture 9

Here are some of my projects made this way.  You can see that sometimes I just use cardstock for the base and digital supplies for the rest (I just shut the base off in the template).  I also like to use just parts of the templates to make more physical layers.  THere are cutting files for all the diferent layers included.

Hugs and Kisses Jar:

The base is cut from kraft cardstock, the papers and truck are from the City Sidewalks kit.  I cut the front and back tags as separate layers and added them with foam tape.  And added a flower and snowflake from my stash.

Hugs and Kisses Canning Jar gift

This quart jar held 2 packages of kisses with just a few left over to munch on

Homemade applesauce

This is the hang tag style.  I cut the label separate for this one too (it also used City Sidewalks papers).  I added a button tied with raffia.

Homemade applesauce gift tag

We have an apple tree so we make this every year – so yummy

Homegrown popcorn

This is the short version on a pint jar.  Also using City Sidewalks and cutting the front tag separately.  I added text instructions to the plain panel in the back.

Homegrown Popcorn canning jar gift

My kids love growing this – and the excitement of popping it

Cookie Mix

Also City Sidewalks papers and elements.  The base is cut from cardstock. and the bakery image is cut separately and popped up on foam tape.  I added directions to the back panel.

Canning Jar Cookie Mix

Cookie mix all packaged up cute

I hope you found some useful information in this tutorial. I really do enjoy combining my digital stash with my papercrafting stuff to make things.   I’d love to hear your tips and tricks for making gift packaging.

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A Tutorial For Creating Hybrid Greeting Cards

I have a little video tutorial for you today on how to make the sentiment tag on this card using some digital scrapbooking supplies and some digital cutting files. Greeting card made with Digital scrapbooking supplies

The videos will walk you through all the steps using a template, some digital papers, some Photoshop brushes and digital cutting files.  For this project I used the Vintage Label Templates and the Vintage Label Stamp set.

Tutorial for making cards from Digital Scrapbooking supplies

In this first video, I cover using the template and brushes to create a custom label and saving your images to import them into  Silhouette Studio software for cutting.

(My microphone was giving me troubles so I sound a bit stranger than usual, really, honest….)

In this second video I review how to combine the images and the cutting files to create a custom print and cut file for Silhouette Studio software.

The whole process is very simple and I love that I can remake the card any time so easily.

Once I had my custom print and cut document finished, I printed it and put it into the Silhouette to cut.cutterpic

I love pulling off the pieces – it always makes me smile…

vinlabpic3

Then I cut the cardstock pieces as mentioned in the video.  (Please pardon my scraps – I’m a paper scrap hoarder.  It makes me feel frugal.)

vinlabpic4

All that’s left is assembling the card (I used foam tape to pop the piggy up a little…)card made with digital scrapbooking supplies

(my plan is to put “Go Hog Wild” on the inside – in case you were wondering why I made a birthday card with a pig)…  I hope this tutorial gave you some ideas for how to use digital scrapbook supplies to make your own greeting cards.

Greeting card made with Digital scrapbooking supplies

I used these supplies to complete this card:

Vintage Labels Templates:

vintage Labels Digital Cutting Files

Vintage Label Stamps Bundle for the sentiments:

Vintage Label Stamp Set Bundle

Grandma’s Farmhouse Digital Kit for the solid Digital Papers:

Grandma's Farmhouse Digital Scrapbook KitGrandma’s Barnyard Kit for the flowered paper and the piggy image and cut file. Grandma's Barnyard Digital Scrapbooking Kit

The Scalloped Circle Card Templates and cutting files for the card: Scalloped Circle Card Templates and Cutting Files

 

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Silhouette Print and Cut Tutorial for Digital Cutting Files

Hi everyone.  I have a little digital cutting file tutorial for you today that I hope will be helpful to some.  I’m making this little crabby card using some new digital cutting files.

Fun in the Sun Crab Card

I have the Designer Edition of the Silhouette Studio software and I’m using it in this tutorial.  In my humble opinion, I think this software upgrade is worth it because it really does give you some great functions.  (and it goes on sale sometimes!) The ability to use SVG files and the pattern drag function are a couple that I really love.

Here is the crab SVG.  When I’m using a multi-layered image, I just copy all the parts onto my document and then just drag the parts I want to cut from a particular paper onto the cutting space.  It just helps me keep organized and size everything properly.

pic1

In the Designer edition of the software, I can fill a shape with any digital paper in my stash simply by dragging the thumbnail of the pattern into the center of that shape.  Awesome huh?

pic2

All filled with pattern…

pic3

Once I have that pattern in there, I can scale it or rotate it using the pattern tools.  Just click the pattern icon at the top right, then choose “Advanced Features” at the bottom of the side bar.  You can use the tools here to make your pattern larger, smaller or change its angle.

pic4

Now you just need to turn on the cut lines for your shape.  Select the shape, choose the scissor icon and select “Cut”.  Don’t forget to turn on your registration marks for printing.  Then send to Silhouette to print and cut.

pic5

So… that works…. but sometimes when you have small detailed cuts (like the legs here) it can be a challenge for the blade to cut each one perfectly and sometimes you end up with tiny white edges where the blade went outside the colored area slightly.

One way to fix this easily on the fly is to create a quick fill shape.  Create a shape (circle, square, whatever works) that extends a bit beyond the shape you want to cut. pic6

Set the cutting lines – you want the crab cutting lines on and the fill shape cutting lines off.

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Add a pattern paper to the fill shape just like we did before.  Make sure the full shape is on top (if not use Object – Arrange – Bring to front to move it).  You can now print and cut and not have any problem with white edges.

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Usually you don’t even need the registration marks if you have a bit of space around the cut lines (although you do have to print the page first LOL!).  I sometimes use this method when I have something that just won’t quite fit in the registration mark area.

(Note for you Silhouette experts – if you want to save even more printer ink –  you can create your pattern fill shape using “offset path” – a tutorial for another day 🙂  )

I hope some of you out there found this little tutorial helpful.

pgp-funsun-sample1

Supplies used:

Amber (from Southern Serenity Designs) and I created this collaboration between her awesome template designs and my shapes and cutting files. Its the Fun in the Sun {with your} Toes in the Sand bundle

The bundle contains 4 of Amber’s beautiful layered template designs and 23 layered digital cutting files.  So the package can be used for digital pages, physical pages or even a mix of both as well as other projects.

Fun in the sun with your toes in the samd bundlelder

One quick note:  If you only need the cut files, you can get them here:

pgp-funsuncollab_cf

Here are the shapes included:

pgp-summercut-prev1 copypgp-summercut-prev2

If you only need the digital templates, you can get them here:

ssd_toesinthesand_folder

 

 

 

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