Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Rose Stencil Card Step by Step

I've been asked to explain exactly how I took the free sample image from Dover Publications and made the cutting file for this card.  I thought I'd share this with everyone since many of you have written to tell me that you have added a Silhouette Cameo machine to your crafting tools.  The Silhouette Studio software is very easy to use and gives you total control in creating your designs.  The basic version is free and there is also a paid upgrade for the Designer version available.  I'd start with the basic and then decide if you need to upgrade or possibly buy a different software to do more complicated projects.

I save the Dover sample images that appeal to me in a file on my computer.  Some of them I use for digital scrapping with my CM StoryBook Creator 4.0 program.  Black and white images or images with high contrast between the colors are the easiest to trace and turn into cutting files. 

First, open the file location where you have saved the image and drag it onto the mat in the Silhouette software. 

Next, open the Trace menu and choose "Select Trace Area" from the top.  Drag your mouse from a point above and to the left of the image to a point below and to the right of the image (you can start anywhere - just pull a box around the image).  The lines can be moved until you have the box close to each edge of the flower shape.  There will be a check in the "High Pass Filter" box by default - uncheck the box.

Next, adjust the Threshold slider until the image is completely filled with yellow.  Don't go too far and overfill the shapes - the yellow areas should match the original image size and shape.  Then click "Trace" in the "ApplyTrace Method" box.

Grab the original black and white image and pull it off the mat to the side.  You could delete it now but I usually keep it as a reference as I work on making the file.  You will see the outline of the shapes on the mat.

I like to fill the new shape with a color so I can compare it to the original image more easily.  You can see here that the two are a good match.

To create a card with the design cut into the front you first need to make a card sized rectangle. Use the drawing tool for a rectangle in the left column and create a rectangle that is 8 1/2 by 5 1/2 inches.  You can just quickly draw the rectangle and then type the sizes into the boxes in the "Specify Dimensions" boxes in the "Scale" menu.

Next, make another rectangle but this time it should be 4 1/4 inches by 5 1/2 inches, to represent the card front.  Use the "Align" menu and align the two rectangles at the top and right. 

Now you can resize the rose image and pull it into position on the card front.  When you have it about the right size and close to the center, choose both the rose image and the smaller rectangle (hold down the "shift" key as you click on each of them) and choose "Center" from the "Align" menu.

Once the image is centered, you can move the smaller rectangle off the mat.  Then select both the rose and the card rectangle, right click and choose ""Make Compound Path" from the drop down menu.

Fill the card with a color to  make sure that the proper areas will be cut.  You can leave the color fill on or turn it off before cutting.

This card is simple to make, because you are starting with a stencil image that was designed to be cut into a larger shape.  You can create a full cuttable image by adding an outer edge with the offset tool (as seen in red above).   If you are starting with a regular image and want to place it into a card, you would have one extra step to release the compound path and then delete the outermost shape. I'll show an example of that method in another post.

I can't believe it is Wednesday already!  In just two days I'll be starting the Tim Holtz weekend of classes.  We went to see the apartment, filled out a lot of paperwork and now have fingers crossed that everything goes through smoothly - send some good vibes up to Massachusetts for my son!

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  1. Sending good thoughts to Massachusetts and I will talk and see you soon at the Tim Holtz classes at Absolutely Everything.

  2. Thanks for the tutorial. I have not used my Cameo as much as I should be. Enjoy the Tim Holtz classes!

  3. Wonderful step by step tutorial, Diane! I just discovered this tool on the Silhouette last week using a png file from a digital scrapbook kit. The Silhouette is an awesome tool! Thanks for sharing your tips.

  4. Diane, my sincere thanks for this detailed tutorial. You are such a sweetheart! I am at work right now but can't wait to get home to follow these steps with some jpg's I have collected which I think might make nice designs. I don't know how I would figure this out without your wonderful help. I am a creative and detailed person and I would like to think I am computer literate but definitely not a computer genius like you and didn't know about all the settings you use and click on/off. Did you gain this knowledge through trial and error or did you have a class or other source where you learned what to do?

  5. Thanks so much for the tutorial - I am just getting started on my Cameo adventure and I have wondered how to do these types of things!


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