I have recently bought a silhouette portrait cutting machine, and I am pretty happy with it. Although I was a bit intimidated at first, I think slowly but surely I am getting the hang of it. I guess making stickers has turned into yet another hobby of mine, since I enjoy drawing and painting, whether it be on paper or on computer. I kind of stumbled upon this craft, and now I am selling my own designs on my etsy shop, which is quite exciting.
I started out with normal sticker papers, matte white, glossy clear, glossy white etc., but I wanted to try out vinyl as well, so I bought the generic black and white glossy vinyl. I did some cuts yesterday, and was quite happy with the results.
Here is a step by step on how I did it
- I made my design (writing) on photoshop and saved it as a PNG file.
- I brought that into Silhouette and opened the Trace Panel. Click on > Select Trace and trace the design.
- With designs I usually hit Solid Fill, but with writing I choose Ouline and then hit >Trace. (Again with designs I would choose Trace outer edge, but with writing I want the inside of letters traced as well, for example an A or e or O).
- Click on the writing and delete the picture. All that is left is the red outline of the writing.
- Click Send to Silhouette and choose the Material > Vinyl (there are different Vinyl options, in my case I chose Vinyl Glossy).
- Select your Blade, Speed, and Thickness settings. Mine are Blade 2, Thickness 4, Speed 3. (I don’t do double cut or 2 Passes (this is what its called in the updated version of the software). Make sure you change your blade settings on the blade itself, and not only on the software.
- Position your vinyl on the cutter (with or without cutting board, both work, its your choice), I chose to put my vinyl on the cutting board, and it worked very well, since I didn’t have to worry if it would get fed into the machine straight. Click Start. Your machine should start cutting the vinyl now. If it doesn’t…
Then save your design to your Library (you should do that anyways in case something goes wrong and the software crashes, you will not have to trace everything all over again), turn the machine off and back on, open your library, chose your design, make sure your settings are still correct, and hit start.
When I cut my first vinyl I didn’t know that I didn’t need the registration marks on. I guess by turning them on my machine was set on those settings, and was looking for those marks on the vinyl. Since the vinyl has no registration marks, my machine would not cut. I had to turn it off, and turn it back on. When I did, it reset to my vinyl settings, which let the machine know that it didn’t need to find any registration marks.
I hope these instructions help. Have fun making vinyl stickers.
Here is what mine looks like. Available for purchase in different sizes here.
Below is a list of items that I use to make my stickers
Silhouette Portrait 2
Silhouette Portrait Pack
Silhouette Portrait Cutting Mat
Silhouette Portrait Blade
Brother Laser Printer (similar to mine, but this one is less expensive and will work great as well)
(These are affiliated links that support my work, and I am very appreciative of any help!)
copyright 2018 Cristina Tarantino