Posts tagged ‘rubber stamping’

Stamp and cut with a Silhouette

Realizing that many of us haven’t been content with cutting first and then stamping, I’ve been pondering some of the ways we can stamp then cut out the image with our Silhouettes. I finally settled on a method that works very well, and with a little effort up front, makes subsequent cuts quick and easy. Here’s how:

I. Create a cuttable outline of your stamp the same as you would for cut-and-stamp or print-and-cut. If you don’t know how to do this, I have a video here and written steps here.

II. Next you will combine the studio file I’ve provided and the cutline you’ve created to prepare a new studio file.

-download if you have an SD or if you have a Cameo and open it. Select File>Save As… and choose a new name to preserve the original template and begin working on a duplicate copy. Screenshots shown are for an SD.

IMPORTANT: Be sure you have the right file for your machine (SD ends in sd, Cameo ends in c). Do not change the paper size (should be LETTER) or the orientation (should be LANDSCAPE) or the template file provided will not work. If your plastic is smaller than letter size position it on the mat strategically. While this technique will work with any paper size/orientation and image size, the studio file will need adjustments that are beyond the scope of this tutorial.

-copy and paste the cutline you created in part I onto the mat of the new template document.

-position the cutline inside the L-shaped slots. You may rotate the cutline but be very careful not to resize it. Do not move, rotate or resize the slots at all. Here, the bike is turned on the diagonal so it will fit.

III. You are now ready to cut your plastic template

I used polypropylene notebook tab dividers (blue in the photos) from Dollar Tree for my template (8 colored tabs to a pack; possibly a back-to-school seasonal item), but you can use any somewhat stiff cuttable plastic such as transparency film, mylar, acetate, page protectors, report covers, etc. In fact, you can probably use card stock, though I’m not sure how well it will hold up over multiple uses. Keep in mind that what we are making here is a very accurate stencil.

-load plastic sheet onto mat, load mat into Silhouette

-be sure registration marks are turned OFF (you will see what looks like marks on your screen but no crosshatched area as shown in the next screen shot)

-open the Cut Style window and verify that the outer rectangle, the registration slots and the stamp outline are all set to cut (showing in red).

-choose appropriate cut settings (I use heavy card stock settings and double cut)

-cut the file with your Silhouette

-remove the template from the mat and carefully clear any remaining plastic from the stamp outline and registration slots.

All the steps above comprise a one time (per image) process and then your custom template can be used with that stamp and the corresponding .studio file until it wears out or you lose it. I suggest you mark it clearly so you know which stamp it goes with and store it with the stamp if possible. Be sure the .studio file is easy to find as well.

IV. It’s time to try out the plastic template

-stamp your image in the center of a half sheet (so you’ll have plenty of room for the tutorial) of light colored card stock in the ink of your choice. You can even powder emboss the image if you like.

-center the template carefully around the stamped image and tape it securely in place.

-use a black pen to draw in all 3 registration marks through the slots. Be sure to fill in darkly and solidly.

-carefully remove the template so as not to smear the ink

V. Time to cut around the stamped image

-Place the image with the surrounding marks on the Silhouette mat. General orientation of marks relative to machine is important, location is not. You can trim it down if you like, as I’ve done here for convenience. (And yes, I am using a Cricut mini mat in my Silhouette SD as they are cheaper than Silh mats.)

-in Silhouette Studio, open the Registration Mark Settings window, turn registration marks ON, and verify that they are set to default orientation (you should see crosshatches and only one set of 3 marks, as shown in the next screen shot).

-open the Cut Style window and turn off all the cut lines except the stamp outline

-select cut settings appropriate for your card stock

-MANUALLY detect registration marks and cut. That’s it! Enjoy your cutout and repeat sections IV and V anytime you want to cut around that image again.

The same general idea can also be used with Make-the-Cut, but you will need to create your own file because the position of the registration marks changes with the size of your image.

You can theoretically use this technique to cut out any preprinted image (from a store-bought card, wrapping paper, a photo, etc.) provided you can get a good trace of it, but you might have to mount that preprinted image on another sheet of paper in order to have clear space to draw the registration marks.

Special thanks to Gayle aka Cut-It-Out on the Silhouette Plus board for testing the Cameo file for me!

If you have an eclips or a Zing this process is even easier. Check out Heather’s tutorial here.

June 20, 2012 at 2:32 pm 23 comments

How to make stamp mats with Silhouette Studio

Here’s a video on how to create a cuttable outline of your stamps using only Silhouette Studio (and a scanner):

And for those of you who prefer the steps written out:

-stamp your image clearly in black on white paper. (you can also use the back of the stamp, package insert or even an image from a catalog but be careful that size and details are identical)

-scan the stamped image (I use RGB or grayscale at 150 dpi/ppi, but that’s not important as this image is only for tracing) and save as a .jpg (this is important because .png or .psd files do not import at the proper size)

-file>merge and select your .jpg and click OK, or simply drag its icon onto the mat [note: this is a good time to roughly verify the size of your trace against the physical stamp]

-open the Trace window and click the “Select Trace Area” button, then drag around to select the area to be traced

-adjust settings until yellow in preview shows coverage you are happy with and then click the “Trace” button

-drag the traced image away from the .jpg

-click on the traced image (in the video I change its colors for better visibility) and open the Offset Window.

-click the Offset button and change the offset distance until it is the size you want and/or you see no unwanted interior details and click Apply

-If the margin is too wide once details are eliminated, keep that path selected and click Internal Offset. Adjust as desired and click Apply

-drag the paths apart and verify the one(s) you like against your .jpg image

– drag the .jpg, the original traced image, and any intermediate paths off the mat for safekeeping

-save and name the file

If you are going to cut then stamp:

-duplicate the desired cutline (in the video I click the Replicate button, then click Fill Page)

-cut a sheet of your mats from card stock and use a stamp positioner or other method to stamp on the cutouts (tip: it’s easier if you leave them on the mat, stamp, then remove the card stock and cutouts from the mat.)

For making stamp mats in Make-The-Cut  scroll to the bottom of this post.

My earlier video on making stamp mats in SCAL is here.

June 18, 2012 at 2:12 pm 23 comments

Make stamp mats with SCAL -video

Don’t have SureCutsALot yet? Get info/order here.

(To see how to do this in MTC, scroll to the bottom of this post.)

October 22, 2010 at 12:04 pm 27 comments

Latest MTC version simplifies print and cut

Buried in the update notes for Make-the-Cut 2.3.0 was a feature to “take in to account” the DPI of imported files. I hoped this would simplify the print and cut process and did it ever!

Here are the steps I used to get the results above in minutes:

1. Open a .jpg (.png, or .bmp should work, too) file in the program of your choice (I used PSE) and print it, being careful to select settings that will result in a 100% print size (uncheck shrink to fit, etc.). This image is from an ancient PC Crafter ClipArt CD.

2. Import the same .jpg file that you used in step 1 into MTC (if you made changes to the file before printing, be sure to save it before importing) or for a preprinted image scan directly into MTC. Adjust threshold until you see a solid outline (the internal details don’t matter) and click “Import” to trace.

3. In MTC, with the image still selected, click Break followed by Weld to create a solid outline (also called blackout).

4. In MTC, create a shadow layer at the desired size and turn off the original outline so that only the shadow layer will cut (click the corresponding eye icon in the layers palette).

5. Here you have a choice to:

a: Use the carrier method to print onto your cutout with an inkjet printer. Print a black and white draft copy of your image on scrap paper (to save ink). Cut the file prepared above and attach the cutout lined up over your draft printout using repositionable adhesive, load it into your printer and then print the final image in high quality color. This method has been in use for many years (see excerpt from my 1998 book) and is the first choice for those with a top loading printer and for less detailed shapes. I would not use this method with a laser printer.


b: Use the hinge technique to position the printout on the mat for cutting, and cut.
If you are not familiar with the hinge technique you can look at steps 12-15 on this page. I also have a video here. (Of course, if you are using MTC you can ignore the part in the video about the coordinates since MTC will cut your outline in exactly the same location on 2 successive cuts automatically.)

A beautifully cut out printed image is achieved without noting or entering a single measurement! Can you tell I am psyched?


c: MTC does a pretty good job of correlating the virtual mat to your actual mat when cutting, so if your file is forgiving (can tolerate ±1/16in.), you may prefer to simply position it on the mat using the guidelines (image aligned with same guidelines on both virtual and real mat, for instance).

Regardless of the method you choose, keep in mind that the Cricut’s “creep” will come into play with larger images and wreak havoc on your efforts to print and cut page size images.

Another note: The MTC steps above work great for making mats for your rubber stamps, too. Instead of step 1, stamp the image cleanly on a white piece of paper (or use the image from the back of the stamp). For step 2, scan the image into MTC and continue with the rest of step 2, step 3 and step 4. Then duplicate the mat shape as many times you like and cut out of blank card stock. Now you have custom cutout shapes to stamp on.

Use code MTC327 to order Make-The-Cut for $58.36 … the lowest price available.

June 12, 2010 at 4:39 pm 23 comments

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