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How to Turn Any JPEG Into a Silhouette Print and Cut (also works for PNG files)

We've shared the basics on Silhouette's Print and Cut feature and even how to modify and customize print and cut designs that can be purchased in the Silhouette Online Store.  But today I'm going to go one step further and show you how to turn a PNG or JPG into a Print and Cut.

The first thing you need is a design. You know me and PicMonkey we're BFFs so I started there. (This tutorial would work for most JPEG images though, not just those design in PicMonkey.) I worked on a 'design' file with a transparent background.  The transparent background is key to avoid bringing a white background into Studio with the design!!

To find designs, shapes, and overlays in PicMonkey click on the butterfly icon (Overlays) on the left sidebar.  You can then scroll through and find shapes you like.  I picked two designs from the Chick n' Egg theme.

Both of these PicMonkey designs are free and totally available for anyone to use - you don't even need to sign up or register.  PicMonkey does have an upgraded 'Royale' package that gives you access to all their awesome fonts and designs. It's $33 for the year and worth every stinkin' my humble opinion, of course.

When you're ready, save your design file (if you don't have a transparent background it will save as a jpeg, if you do have a transparent background it will save as a png which works the same way) and bring it into Silhouette Studio.  If you aren't sure how to do that you can refer to my tutorial on cutting PicMonkey designs with Silhouette, which goes through how to bring PicMonkey designs into Studio

Once the design is in Silhouette Studio resize it so it fits on the work space.  

Because that little swirly area is actually a series of unconnected dots, I used the eraser tool to get rid of it.  It won't come out as a solid cut area so it won't work for this print and cut. 

Now you can go ahead and trace your design. This will create the cut lines.

Click 'Select Trace Area' > Draw a box around the design > Uncheck High Pass Filter  > Slide Threshold Bar Way Up (so entire design is solid yellow) > Trace Outer Edge.

This step is not necessary, I just want to show you that if you were to move the JPEG out of the way, you can see you have a thin red line trace of the image. If you moved your image too, click undo so the design goes back exactly where it was over the trace.  With Print and Cut you want to keep the image and the trace together.

It's a good idea to group the image and the trace now so they don't get separated or nudged at all or you risk having your cut line off.  Highlight all > right click > group.

Now you'll move forward like a standard print and cut design. I'm going to go through this part assuming you know the basics of printing and cutting...if not, head over to our 101 tutorial and read through it to get comfortable with the print and cut feature.

Add the registration marks....

Then send the file to print on your regular printer.

Once it's printed you can load the printed paper on your Silhouette cutting mat and follow the prompts on the screen in Studio to detect the registration marks and cut out your printed design.

That's all there is to turning a jpeg file into a print and cut!

I used a brad at the corner of the eggs to keep them together and just a dot of glue to attach the chick's wing to one of the egg shells.

FYI: It's a good time to try to out PicMonkey since they're offering up to a free week of 'Royale' just click on the monkey below to get started.
PicMonkey Photo editing made of win

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing products through my links, I received a small commission. That's what helps fund Silhouette School so I can keep buying new Silhouette-related products to show you how to get the most out of your machine! 

Thanks for coming to class today at Silhouette School.  If you like what you see, I'd love for you to pin it!

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1 comment

  1. Genius! I have just done this, so simple - yay! Now I can print my own ephemera for mail etc, no need to wait until we go to town, two hours drive away! I purchased files from AC Crafts and am having the best time surrounded by gorgeous cutouts 🎉🎉


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