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How to Stipple with Silhouette Curio (for Beginners)

One of the features of the Silhouette Curio is its ability to stipple.   The stipple effect leaves a bunch of tiny dots rather than a cut line, resulting in a pretty cool effect.   With more and more Sil users getting the Curio I thought it was about time I share a basic 101 tutorial on how to stipple with the Silhouette Curio.

Silhouette Curio, Silhouette tutorial, stipple

The first thing you need to do is plug your Silhouette Curio into your computer and power it on. This activates the Stipple tool in Silhouette Studio.
Note: Silhouette CAMEO and Portrait users may notice the stippling and embossing tool icons along the top tool bar (thanks to a recent software upgrade), but the window will be grayed out unless a Curio is plugged into the computer and powered on.  If you own both a CAMEO/Portrait and a Curio, you won't have access to these tools when your CAMEO or Portrait is being used - you must plug in your Curio.
With Silhouette Studio open and your Curio plugged in and powered on, click on the Design Page tool along the top tool bar.   Make sure you have "(Automatic) Curio" selected from the drop down menu. Further down the window, from the Cutting Mat drop down menu, select "Curio (cut)".

Silhouette Curio, Silhouette tutorial, stipple, design page tool

Now it's time to add your design (or text). Add a design to the work area just like you normally would by clicking on your library and selecting a design. For this example I used a simple tie shape that I had in my library.

Silhouette Curio, Silhouette tutorial, stipple

At this point your design or text (I'm just going to say 'design' from here out, but know it applies to text as well), has a traditional cut line around it as indicated by the red line.  To stipple this design, instead of cutting it, we need to add the stipple effect.

Click on the Stipple icon along the top tool bar.  This will open up your Stipple window.  (Again, if your Curio is not plugged in and powered on, this window will be grayed out and you will not be able to access it.)

Silhouette Curio, Silhouette tutorial, stipple

With your design select, start by checking the box for 'Stipple Edge.'  The cut lines now change from a solid red line to a line of black dots.

Silhouette Curio, Silhouette tutorial, stipple

By adjusting the spacing bar and moving it further to the left, the stipples or dots will move closer together.  Play around with this until you get the desired effect.

Silhouette Curio, Silhouette tutorial, stipple

You can also add various other stippling effects by clicking the other menus within the Stipple window.

For the spiral stipple fill, I removed the polka dots from the original tie design (right click > release compound path > right click > ungroup > delete) before adding the spiral stipple.  Again, play with the slider bars to see how it changes the stipple effects.

Silhouette Curio, Silhouette tutorial, stipple

Below the Stipple Fill -  Patterns you'll find Stipple Fill - Shapes which gives you more fill options.

Silhouette Curio, Silhouette tutorial, stippleFinally, you can change the size of the actual stipple. Compare the tie designs below to see how the stipple size looks.

Silhouette Curio, Silhouette tutorial, stipple

Speaking of the finished project, you have the option of printing your stipple design or 'cutting' it using the stipple tip.

Printing a Stipple Design 

To print the stipple design, select the design and from the Stipple Window > Stipple Size > check "Print Stipple" box.

To change the color of the printed stipple, select the design.  Go to the Line Color tool along the top tool bar and pick a line color.  When you're ready click the Print icon along the top tool bar and your  stipple design will print on your home printer.

Silhouette Curio, Silhouette tutorial, stipple

 'Cutting' a Stipple Design

You can, of course, 'cut' or actually stipple your stipple design on the Curio.  To do so, you will need the special Stippling tip and you'll also want to grab some metal stippling sheets.

Silhouette Curio, Silhouette tutorial, stipple

In Silhouette Studio, click the Cut Settings tool along the top tool bar (in blue along the wrap around top toolbar).  Ensuring that the red Tool 1 is selected, scroll down the material list and click "Metal Stippling Sheet." (Don't worry about Tool 2 right now because we are only going to work with one tip in the Curio.) After you've selected your material, use the new scroll bar on the right and scroll down to see the recommended platforms.

Silhouette Curio, Silhouette tutorial, stipple

You'll see the Platform calls for 2 on the bottom, then a 1 and then the embossing mat. Stack them up and place them onto the platform and click them all into place.

Silhouette Curio, Silhouette tutorial, stipple

Place the metal stippling sheet on the embossing mat ensuring its in the same position on the mat is it in the Silhouette Studio work area.   Put the platform into the Curio and push it through until it comes out the back.

Then press the load/unload button on the side to force the Curio to move the platform into the correct starting position.

Silhouette Curio, Silhouette tutorial, stipple

Take your blue stippling tip and place it in the left blade housing (red to match the red tool in Silhouette Studio material list) locking it into place.

Silhouette Curio, Silhouette tutorial, stipple

Now back in Studio, click Send to Silhouette from the Cut Settings window and the stippling will begin.

Silhouette Curio, Silhouette tutorial, stipple

And there you go...that's how you stipple or print a stipple design with Silhouette Curio. 

Silhouette Curio, Silhouette tutorial, stipple

One thing I am bummed about is the Silhouette Curio, nor the CAMEO can cut through the metal stippling sheets.  I've even tried using the deep cut blade and it doesn't cut through. That means you're stuck with a 5x8" sheet or metal or you have to resort to cutting it by hand.

How will you use the Silhouette Curio stippling feature?  Leave a comment below.

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing products through my links, I receive 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!

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6 comments

  1. i got my curio for Christmas and I love, love , love it. there is a learning curve to it, but once you get the hang of changing the mats, ei: curio cut mat or curio embossing mat in the mat settings then the rest can be easy, I use the stippling feature for my silhouette pens and I have done one or two really great designs with it, i'm still learning....the only downside is if you do manage to get the embossing part wrong it wrecks the embossing mat, also thicker card won't stick to the embossing mat very well and it tends to slide all over the place therefore ruining the design. I have found a work around for that....I keep the protective sheet on the embossing mat, then I can use low tack tape on the edges of my cardstock to keep it in place, I found out very quickly that any kind of tape DOES NOT!!! come off the embossing mat(without the protective sheet on top)it pulls the mat to pieces,i learned that very fast and I didn't want to spend a fortune on embossing mats everytime I made a mistake!!! the protective sheet is so thin it doesn't mess up your platform formation, it has give in it and you can also use tape on it too. feel free to post this on your site as I find any tips for silhouette more than useful, and if it helps others out too the better for everyone. we all like to save money and I personally find this little tip helps.

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  2. Disappointing. I was expecting more from the Curio. Neat but I don't want to cut metal with my hands. :-( I also wanted it to be able to deep etch metal too for bracelets/charms.

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  3. Nice blog, Your work is great and i like you and hopping for some more nice posts. Continue writing such a nice blog. The author clearly describe all the parts of the article with good language and information.

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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  5. Melissa you are a genius! My husband wanted a stippled metal sign for his garden with a short suspense date. I looked all over Goggle and Youtube and you are the only one that actually talked about the mat settings. You are always brief and to the point and full of info. Thanks a huge bunch!!

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  6. Its brilliant...A good guideline for beginners. Expecting more creative blogs from you. Your choice of words and unique writing style are impressed me.

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