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! :D
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 “card1.studio”.
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!