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Print & Cut with Silhouette Cameo

Welcome back again! I hope you ‘re having a great week so far.

Today, I’m going to be sharing a simple but a long tutorial on how to print and cut using Silhouette Cameo. I’ve been asked many times on this topic whenever I print and cut my labels, tags and journaling cards and posted them in my Instagram.

So, I finally put together a tutorial that I hope will help you cut and print with ease using your Cameo. This post will be overloaded with loads of pictures to show you the process. I’m sorry I don’t do video tut if you’re going to ask for one because I hate listening to my own coarse voice, so you’ll never see me do a video tut, except once. That’s it. I’d rather spend time compiling them into words and pictures than hearing my awful voice! Hah!

There are many video tutorials available on YouTube, if you prefer to watch videos. Just search for “print and cut using Silhouette Cameo” and you’ll get a good list of videos to watch.

WARNING: This post is very very heavy with lots of step-by-step pictures accompanying the instructions. You know, in case you’re tired or sleepy, you may fall asleep half way through the tutorial. So, grab a cup of coffee before you read on!  😀

Here’s my process and some information you need to know before I start to print and cut digital printables.

– Before I open Silhuoette Studio, I’ll make sure my Cameo and printer are connected to my Mac and then turn them on.

– I’ll make sure there are still inks available in my printer. If some inks have run out, I’ll change the cartridge

– Prepare my printable white art paper. Please note that I’m using white non-textured art paper A’zone brand, with smooth mat surface finishing which is great for journaling and the print result is very sharp and clear. It also absorbs ink really well. I do not use textured cardstock to print and cut as I can barely write properly on the textured uneven surface and it turns out really ugly and the print finishing isn’t great. The art paper that I always use is purchased at a local store, Art Friend, weighing at least 250gsm (approx 169lbs). I don’t use anything lighter than this because the labels and journaling will be flimsy and they wrinkled easily if the paper is too thin.

– And I also need to make sure that the cutting mat is still sticky. If the mat is not sticking well anymore, you need to change to a new mat. Non sticky mat will cause your printed paper to shift and the cut will be out of alignment. It happened to me many times and I’ve wasted enough paper to make them into a tree!! Very wasteful indeed!

So, let’s get the tutorial started once you have all of the above mentioned ready. I’ll guide you through what I usually do when I print and cut digital printables. For this tutorial, I’ll be using Studio Calico’s Day By Day printables, which is not available on its own unless you sign up for the class. However, you can use any type of printables you have access to as the process of printing and cutting will be the same.

If you like, you can purchase Studio Calico’s Block Party Printables here and here or the other printables available in the shop here to use on your craft and Project Life pages. I used them for my Project Life spread here.

So, now you’re all ready, open up the Silhouette Studio and select an A4 page. I always use this size to print and cut all the printables because my printer can only print up to that size. It can’t print 12 x 12 unfortunately.

Next, go to “File” and select “Open”.

A separate window will pop up and I will go to the folder where I store my printable files.

Then I select the image that I want to print and click “OK”. The image that I’ve selected is an individual file in png format. You can also upload jpeg files to print and cut in Silhouette Studio.

The image that I selected is now opened on another new page that says “”.

I’d like to print all the images on one page, so I’ll cut this journal card and paste it on an empty page which I’ve opened earlier.

To do this, click on the card, go to “Edit” and select “Cut”.

Or you can use the short cut on the keypad, hold down the “command” key and press the “X” key to cut the journal card.

Then, go to the empty page, click on “Edit” again and select “Paste”.

Or you can use the short cut on the keypad, hold down the “command” key and press the “V” key to paste the journal card.

Please note that there’s no hard & fast rules on how you want to import your files (whether individually or all into your library in Silhouette Studio), re-size, print and then cut them. What I’m showing you here is my usual routine and I DIDN’T claim that this is the best way to import, print and cut. 🙂 If you’re new to Cameo, this is the basic information I can pass down to you but if you’re already an old bird using Cameo, I’m sure you have your own way of importing files, printing and cutting. 

The card now is pasted on the empty page.

Next, I’ll resize the journal card so that it will fit into my protector’s 3″ x 4″ pocket.

To resize, click on the card, hold down the “shift” key (to resize the card proportionately) and drag one of corners of the card on the tiny square to the width of approximately 2.9″. I’d like to cut the width at around 2.9″ so that the card slides into the pocket easily. I’ve experienced cutting the card at 3″ and it’s a bit snug when I tried to insert it into the pocket or sometimes it can’t slide in at all. Some of the 3″ x 4″ pockets in the protectors varies slightly in size which I believe do to production discrepancies.

I will then  repeat the steps 1 – 5 above for the other printable images that I want to fit into the A4 page.

Before the printables can be cut, you need to make sure you create cutting lines on the cards and shapes in order for the machine to register the outlines and cut them.

Do the follow steps:

1) Go to the “Trace” function located at the top right tool bar

2) Select Trace Area

3) Drag your pointer over the card from any corner and make sure it covers the card shape as shown in the highlighted grey box below.

4) Uncheck the “High Pass Filter” box in the Trace Setting.

5) Slide the Threshold reading to 100%. The card will now be completely highlighted in yellow.

6) Select “Trace Outer Edge” in Apply Trace Method

Now you can see the red outline on the journal card. That is the trace outline that the machine will read and cut the card.

I click and slide out the yellow journal card away slightly from the trace outline so you can see the line clearer.

Next, you can repeat the tracing steps again for the next journaling card or you can click on the red outline box, copy and paste to create another box with same dimension as the first journaling card.

Then drag over to cover the green journaling card. This is the faster way of tracing by duplicating the red traced box for multiple cards or shape with the same dimension. A shortcut I would say. 😀

Repeat the same tracing process for all the shapes to get the cutting outline.

There’s one particular shape that I’d like to show you a different method of tracing.

The shape below has a line drawn across the middle. If you use the tracing function, it will also trace the line that I circled and the side of the shape would not cut straight.

You can use the “Draw Polygon” function on the left side tool bar to manually trace the shape.

Once you select the “Draw Polygon” tool, click on the joint of the shape (not sure how to call this), pull the line to the next joint and left click on your mouse. Continue this process until all  sides of the label is connected.

Do the same for the red label. If you use this tool, you will drag the red outline across the length of the shape and over the white line that cuts across the shape. Refer to the black arrows in the image below.

And when I cut this shape using the Cameo, I’ll get the exact shape of the label. I hope this makes sense to you.

Once I’m done uploading the shapes and tracing them, I’d like to group them together so when I adjust the position of the cards and labels, the colored ones are not separated from the traced outline.

Just press and hold Command key and “A” key at the same time. This will select all the colored shapes including the trace lines.

Then, right click your mouse and select Group. Now everything is grouped together and when you move the shapes on the page, they will stay together.

Before you print the cards and labels, you need to add the registration mark on the page so once the page is printed and loaded into the Cameo, the machine will then be able to detect the registration mark and knows where exactly to cut the shapes.

So, go to the top right tool bar and select Registration Mark option.

Then, tick the box “Show Reg Marks” to enable the registration mark on your page. Now you can see the marks on 3 corners of your page except the bottom right.

Make sure your shapes stays within the printing area shown in red. Just move them about to fit within the red box. Or you can extend the area by reducing the margin in the “Reg Mark Margin” on the right bar to widen the red box to fit the cards and labels.

And it is ok that your cards and labels to be under the grey shaded area. You can utilize the space within the red box to maximize your printing. I always do that so I don’t waste the paper. They will still print and cut.

Now I’m ready to print my cards and labels.

Select the printer tool on the top left bar. A separate window will pop out to show the printing setting. I’m using Canon Pixma iP4970, so this is how my setting will look like. I’m not sure if this same window setting will appear if you’re using a different printer. I believe it should be similar.

Next, I will select all the suitable settings to ensure I get the color print as close to the actual digital printables.

Here are my settings that I always choose when I print journal cards and labels.

Quality & Media > High Resolution Paper > Rear Tray > High for print quality.

If you choose “plain paper” in Media Type and “normal” for Print Quality, you will get very saturated color result. They’re absolutely dull and looks nothing like what you see on the digital print files. Yes, it does save ink with normal setting but the colors are awful.

I cannot think of another way to save ink and yet get brilliant print result. If you want your cards and labels to look great, you need to set your printing to high quality print setting. That’s my advice to you.

Once my page is printed, I laid paper onto the cutting mat and load it into my Cameo.

Next, select “Send to Silhouette” option on the top left tool bar.

Then on the right side bar, select “Click here”. It will bring you to the next page and select option 5 “Continue”.

It will then bring you to the Cut Image page.

Select “Detect automatically”. The Cameo will start to running and detect the registration mark on the printed page.

Once the detection is completed and stop, the cutting option will appear on the right side bar. Click on “change setting” to go to the Silhouette Cut Setting page shown below.

I will usually set the following:

1) select “Textured cardstock – Heavy 80 lb. As I’m paper weight of 250gsm, I will select Textured cardstock for type of material to cut. It doesn’t matter if my paper is non-textured.

2) cutting speed at 8 and leaving thickness setting as it is at 33

3) adjust my blade to #4

4) click on Cut

And the Cameo will start cutting out the journaling cards and labels. That’s it!

Here I have the journaling cards and labels all cut out nicely and ready to be used on my Project Life spread!

I hope you find this tutorial on print and cut with Silhouette Cameo useful and enjoy cutting all the wonderful digital printables!

Thanks again for dropping by my blog and happy weekend to you! 😀

  • KateJanuary 12, 2013 - 12:04 am

    Thanks so much for the great tutorial!! Can’t wait to try it. I’ve been so intimidated by the Silhouette I’ve had mine sitting here for a few months and have yet to plug it in. I think I will try it today!!

  • pearlJanuary 12, 2013 - 4:27 am

    OMG… that was the best damn tutorial ever! i’ve had the cameo for several months… tried the print and cut… and we were not friends until today. i am sooooooo happy right now! wish i could go over there and give you a big hug and kiss. thank you! will be forwarding this on to my friends.

  • PollyJanuary 12, 2013 - 4:51 am

    This is awesome! I came over from the SC message board. I have had the Cameo for about 9 months and haven’t even taken it out of the box. I’ve been very intimidated by it as well. As soon as I break it out of the box I will put this tutorial to good use!

  • Mel nunnJanuary 12, 2013 - 8:55 am

    Hi Leena,

    Just a question about the grey shaded area up the top near the registration marks. I see some of your card is under that hades area, does this affect the reading of the marks? I was always taught o stay out of that area. If it works okay still, I will be so happy there is actually more usable area on the sheet!

  • Patty G.January 12, 2013 - 9:28 am

    This is an awesome tutorial. I have been doing Print and Cut for awhile now, but learned several things! Thank you SO much for taking the time to do this!

  • Viarty MinitaJanuary 12, 2013 - 10:09 am

    Great tutorial!! I like it much better than video because I can read it over and over. Now I need to try print and cut my SC day by day printable. Thanks so much Leena!

  • linda in AusJanuary 12, 2013 - 5:45 pm

    Ah Leena, thank you, this was so much work for you and a wonderful tutorial, I must look into where you get your paper from, i currently use PTI as i like the weight but postage is a bit high, will see if your shop posts international and how much. thanks again

  • Joy TaylorJanuary 12, 2013 - 8:05 pm

    So so pleased Leena that you did this, I need time now to sit and read through everything, but how awesome are you!! love it girl! hugs!

  • ClaudiaJanuary 12, 2013 - 8:17 pm

    Oh wow! Thats alot of prep to get things cut out. Still considering to get the cameo or not this sure comes in handy. Thanks for the detailed instructions.

  • Lisa S.January 12, 2013 - 8:53 pm

    Thank you so much for explaining this in such detail. I have the old silhouette and have not used it to cut printables – only to cut “clip art” or text. I am so looking forward to putting my silhouette to good use and no longer having to hand cut my printables!! Yay!

  • ElisaJanuary 13, 2013 - 12:40 am

    amazing tutorial, what a shame I don´t have a Cameo 🙁 i´d love to
    I´d love to see a tutorial about how you edit (size) and print your pictures if you do it at home.

  • Cassandra ChenJanuary 15, 2013 - 1:14 pm

    THANKS SO MUCH for the great tutorial!!:) So easy to follow and understand!

  • RubyJanuary 19, 2013 - 4:03 pm

    Thank you. You have tips which I really need to make CS work.
    Love it!!!!

  • Julie {CalleLillyCafe}January 20, 2013 - 2:34 pm

    I could of used this today! I had printed days ago & cut out by hand today! This is great! Thx for sharing!

  • Ann6January 20, 2013 - 10:19 pm

    Thank you so much for the tutorial, the steps by steps are fantastic, and very useful, nothing like a good step by step. This is the best tutorial on this topic I ever seen!!!! Love Ann

  • michelleFebruary 14, 2013 - 10:34 am

    Thank you so much for this! I have been eyeing the silhouette for awhile now and I got one today! YAY. And I don’t think I could have been so quick at getting started without this amazing post. Thanks so much.

  • Janelle ShultzFebruary 16, 2013 - 2:05 am

    I just used your tutorial…best out there by far! thanks so much for sharing! now that I’ve completed my first print & cut…I think I need to do an alignment/calibration…the cuts were a bit off. again, thanks so much!!!

  • paulinFebruary 27, 2013 - 10:24 pm

    thank you best tutorial i have found

  • MaeApril 25, 2013 - 2:59 am

    Thanks for creating such a thorough tutorial! Much appreciated : )

  • nannyofsixMay 23, 2013 - 9:32 pm

    Thank You so much for this great tutorial, now I am looking forward to using print n cut for decoupage, look forward to more of your tuts hugs

  • Claudia RenataJuly 5, 2013 - 12:52 am

    Wow! Ty for this super tut! Amazing, i fav it. xo

  • SuzanneSeptember 22, 2013 - 1:14 am

    THANK YOU!!! I just found this tutorial via google and it’s incredible. I’m a new cameo owner and had no idea how to use the print and cut feature. You made it so easy! Thank you for taking the time to make this tutorial.

  • SewCalGalSeptember 27, 2013 - 9:01 am

    I’m looking for tips for when printing on photo media (e.g. HP photo media) and what the cut settings should be. I’m not getting great results. I’ll keep playing with it, but hoping to find someone that has experience with it.


  • MaryOctober 2, 2013 - 12:29 pm

    I followed your instructions to the T and it says “Detection of registration marks failed” so frustrated!! I tried several times. I’m beginning to think it is my machine.

  • FindingnanaOctober 2, 2013 - 3:14 pm

    Hi Mary,
    You may want to try to turn off your Cameo, close all your Studio software and re-start again. Sometimes they need a bit of resetting to make it work again. Hope it’ll work out for you soon.

  • AngelikaOctober 26, 2013 - 11:45 pm

    Thank you for this wonderful tutorial. Just doing my first steps with the Cameo and it finished my battle with the registration marks directly.

  • loryOctober 30, 2013 - 9:46 pm

    Thank youuu Leah!!! Love you! This tutorial really helped me to print and cut my printables with my silouhette finally! Thank you from the deep of my heart!!!!

  • DebbieOctober 31, 2013 - 12:32 am

    Can these be cut using the regular Silhouette? Or do we have to have the Cameo?

  • FindingnanaOctober 31, 2013 - 10:09 am

    Hi Debbie,
    I remember I saw it somewhere that says it can be cut using the regular Silhouette. You can try searching the YouTube and I believe you can find something there.

  • Karen MortonNovember 10, 2013 - 6:50 am

    Oh my gosh. You are my hero. Couldn’t figure out the print and cut that is until I found you. Thanks.

  • LindaNovember 20, 2013 - 1:24 am

    Great tutorial Leena!! I have a question though. I am trying to print and cut labels with a colored border, but I want a small gap of white outside the color [rather than it cutting right on the edge of the color]. Do you know how to do this?

  • RosieNovember 28, 2013 - 1:29 pm

    Great tut! Very helpful, love the very detailed step by step instructions. Glad I found you,

  • LisaDecember 11, 2013 - 7:41 am

    Very very helpful! thank you!

  • kimDecember 21, 2013 - 10:38 pm

    thank you for doing this tutorial! very thorough and detailed!!

  • MarionDecember 25, 2013 - 11:15 pm

    THANK YOU so much for your awesome tutorial. I too have had my cameo sitting on the desk for several weeks, confused, wondering if I made a mistake purchasing the machine. Watched numerous youtube videos, none if them explained as clearly as you.

    I appreciate the time and effort you took to help others enjoy their Silhouette machine. Bless you!

  • Mary-AnnJanuary 7, 2014 - 9:35 pm

    Fantastic tutorial! What if I want to print a full page of labels that are already put together? I go to trace but it will not trace them? Example to Lifted labels by Marcy, all one one sheet….

  • jJanuary 9, 2014 - 4:45 pm

    great tut – ty

  • tiffanyJanuary 20, 2014 - 11:46 pm

    I follow step by step my silhouette detects the registration marks but then prints WAY off…. any tips- Please help.

  • FindingnanaJanuary 20, 2014 - 11:50 pm

    Hi Tiffany,
    Are you referring to the actual printing result before cut or the cutting being way off (out of alignment)?

  • FindingnanaJanuary 20, 2014 - 11:55 pm

    Hi Mary-Ann,
    I’ll be doing a quick tut on this one soon.

  • KimberliFebruary 12, 2014 - 10:24 am

    When I copy the designs from my library, it only shows the outline of the cuts with no color or design. Is there a setting or view that I am missing?? Please help! 🙂

  • LeslieMarch 8, 2014 - 8:07 am

    Huge thank you…I couldn’t find an answer until I saw your GREAT video. Prior to your video, I had tried to print a Project Life card with stripes on the outside and my Portrait wasn’t cutting a straight line, but your great tip of using the Polygon tool did the trick!

    Thank you for taking the time to provide such a detailed video w/o too much detail. Your video was PERFECT!!!

  • rkMarch 22, 2014 - 8:50 am

    Nice tutorial! May I just say that just printing and cutting a file that’s already designed for print/cut from silhouette store does not involve tracing etc. steps. This is a great tut for printing/cutting png or jpeg files but if people buy or have pnc files already, then it’s just a matter of printing with registration marks and feeding it back into silhouette to cut after automatically having the machine detect the marks. Thanks again for showing how to do jpegs and pngs as well!

  • rkApril 4, 2014 - 11:28 pm

    @Leslie, not all the designs in your library are print and cut. Most are just cut files, so you see just the cut lines. Print and cut files say they are meant for print and cut in the description of the file on silhouette store site and you will see color/pattern etc which are to be printed on your computer with registration marks turned ON. Then you feed the printed sheet with reg marks into your silhouette which will detect reg marks and cut them. Note, some print and cut files will have pnc tag to easily identify them. I must say silhouette doesn’t do a good job of easily searching for just pnc files.

  • TanyaApril 8, 2014 - 8:34 am

    I didn’t realize you can cut in the “grey” area…UGH! I have wasted so much paper. Not any more! Thanks for such a great tutorial.

  • Debi DuenkelApril 26, 2014 - 12:47 pm

    Hi Leena,

    I just purchased a Cameo. I haven’t had anything else and I am desperate to figure this thing out! I just need to make tags, signs and a banner for my daughter’s bridal shower next week. But, I really thought this would be easier. Do you have a simple straight forward cut, copy and print for tags especially tutorial? I am looking all over the web but I just can’t find simple enough for me. Do you have anything like that?


  • rkApril 28, 2014 - 8:27 am

    @Tanya, with the version of studio that was released on 4/16, you can’t cut in the hash area..the release notes clearly states “Registration marks now properly display hash mark area to indicate “no print zone”.

  • FindingnanaApril 29, 2014 - 12:55 am

    Hi Debi,
    I don’t have any other print and cut tutorial other than this one right now. Do you already have the designs for the tags, signs and banner? If you don’t you can visit Silhouette online store and buy them and then load those files to your Silhouette Studio software. You can follow this tutorial to print and cut those tags, signs and banners, the concept works the same as long as you’ve got those files. Do let me know if you have any other questions.

  • Julie {CalleLillyCafe}May 4, 2014 - 2:08 pm

    Hello—?! WHY did I wait this long to do this? OMG! Yes you’re my hero! Prayers have been answered. lol I think I was afraid to try it! I had to print/cut my NSD printables!

  • AdrianaMay 13, 2014 - 2:10 am

    Thank you for this tutorial! I finally managed to use this feature on my silhouette. So many printables, so little time!!

  • DhiniMay 23, 2014 - 4:14 pm

    woow…amazing… unfortunatelly i don`t have cameo

  • KathJuly 30, 2014 - 6:37 pm

    Thankyou so much not had my cameo very long only cut a couple of things but I’ve just stamp some girl images but wanted them bigger so scanned them in to serif and saved has svg then got them into my cameo couldn’t get them to cut registration marks not working was not doing it right saw your tutorial read it a few times till it sunk in, what to do and wow it cut lovely and these were three tall girls with slim legs and five inch tall thank you so much would not have done it without your help regards kath

  • JamAugust 20, 2014 - 4:31 pm

    Hi, I followed this tutorial but I tried a few times and the cuts were all a little bit off, resulting in some white area.

    I would just like to ask if you know of any way to further edit or scale the traces so that the white spaces would look intentional if the cutting problem is inevitable? 🙁

    Thanks so much for this tutorial!

  • Dianne BartonOctober 8, 2014 - 9:23 pm

    I really enjoyed your tutorial! Very informative.

    One thing I have been trying to find in the v3 software is how to stop the cut lines from printing. I notice in your photos they have not printed. I did not have this issue in v2. What am I missing? LOL

  • FindingnanaOctober 10, 2014 - 11:18 pm

    Hi Dianne,
    I tried switching to v3 and I’m not liking it at all and I made a switch back to v2! Hah! It was so hard for me to get into the learning curve again with the new version. I’m sorry I can’t be of any help at all with the v3 on how to stop the cut lines from printing. 🙁

  • Dianne BartonOctober 10, 2014 - 11:57 pm

    Leena I have since found out that if the cut lines are set to be too thick it causes the to print. However, I had not altered cut lines just add “cut edge” and never thought to check. A suggestion from one gal on the Silhouette chat group mentioned that and it has solved my problem. HTH

  • Tala DanielaDecember 1, 2014 - 9:33 pm

    Does anyone use My Memories Suite to design labels/boxes/etc and use the Cameo Silhouette to cut out the images they create? Are they compatible?

  • HeatherDecember 4, 2014 - 3:36 am

    Is their a way to not have the white border after you cut an image? I know for the Circuit they have a bleed option. Every tutorial I have seen they complain about it.

  • LyndelJanuary 13, 2015 - 7:14 pm

    Thank you so much, just got my Cameo today and just needed help in working out why my printing and cutting wasn’t aligned. Great thorough tutorial. Hopefully its that I didn’t register the mark margin. Off to try again. Thanks!

  • […] Silhouette Cameo that will do the cutting for me with their Print and Cut feature. Leena Loh has a great tutorial on printing and cutting so head on over there if you have a Silhouette and would like to learn more […]

  • MarjieFebruary 20, 2015 - 8:34 am

    This tutorial is exactly what I needed to give me courage to actually plug in my Silhouette and try to do something. I have been so intimidated since purchasing at least 6 months ago. I’ve listened to some youtube videos but I still did “not get” some of the steps. Now I have it! Thanks!

  • BetsyJuly 12, 2015 - 1:25 am

    Your instructions are fabulous. Silhouette should hire you full time to rework their manual

  • SarahSeptember 15, 2015 - 5:24 am

    Hi! These instructions are so great. I’m just wondering what the difference in registration marks is. It shows up for me as a red outline, and also grey hashes. Does it matter if the cut job is in the grey hash zone? Is it enough to just be within the red outline? Thanks!

  • SaraOctober 13, 2015 - 10:26 am

    I’ve had my Cameo for almost two years now and have never been able to figure out the print and cut feature until now.
    Thanks to your tutorial I just cut out so many of my digital printables.
    Thank you so very much!!!

  • MichelleJanuary 11, 2016 - 12:49 am

    Awesome!! Thank you very much for making something which seemed so difficult to do, so easy. I prefer taking one step at a time and with your tutorial it was very easy. Watching a video confuses me because I cannot do the step at the same time. Thanks so much!!

  • CaitlinMarch 7, 2016 - 5:45 am

    I know that this post is old, but I’m having some difficulty with print and cut. I’ve had a couple of times that it didn’t read the registration marks, but I figured that out. My issue is that it reads the registrations marks (at least I don’t get the failed message) but then it doesn’t cut. I get the finished box in my silhouette software but it doesn’t go through the cutting process. Any advice would be helpful.


  • sonya diazJuly 25, 2017 - 1:24 am

    I am just learning the silhouette portrait. Thanks for your tutorials. thanks, Sonya

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