Silhouette ”“ Make Your Own Shape

Here are Part 1 and Part 2 of my basic tutorial for the Silhouette SD.

Now we’re getting into the reason that I ultimately decided to go with the Silhouette over a Cricut machine: custom shapes! Not only can the Silhouette cut any font on your computer, you can make shapes with it too. At the time I bought it (November!) I didn’t know what custom shapes I might want to make, but I knew I’d want that ability. When we got the first drafts of our invitations, I fell in love with the H <3 P that was on the top of the bookcase, and suddenly we had a wedding ”˜logo’. If not a logo, at least a motif! I decided to see if I could make a cut file for that shape.

First I opened a copy of our invite file in Photoshop, and cut it down to just the H <3 P. Then for good measure, I changed the background to white—I’m not sure if doing this made a difference or not, but it made me feel better. Then:

1. I opened Silhouette Studio, clicked File > Open and opened the new little graphic I’d made.

1 open file

2. Then click on the ”˜Trace Shape’ button which is the blue butterfly-ish one at the top. Their website said to hit ”˜trace shape’ but gave no clue what it looked like, and it took a long time to find! I put an arrow in so you can see.

2 open trace window

3. Now click ”˜Select Trace Area’ on the right hand side. Your cursor will change, and now you can draw a box around what you want it to trace.

3 Select Trace area

4. After you’ve drawn the box, click one of the 3 options in the right hand panel—it is easy to experiment here; just click undo if you don’t like the result! To get my outlines, I clicked the middle one, Trace Outer Edge.

4 trace outer edge

5. Now you’ve got a shape! Drag your graphic away, and you can see the nice red cut lines.

5 you have a shape

Now you’ve got a cut file like all the ones in the Silhouette store, you can resize it up or down, un-group it if you want, put it inside other shapes, anything really! This particular graphic was fairly simple, I probably could have figured out what font it was and just typed it in Silhouette Studio, but I wanted to keep the spacing and everything proportionate.

I’ve only used this file for one project so far, but I’m sure it’ll make more appearances at the wedding. Did you end up with a “logo” for your wedding? Was it on everything?


Mrs. Cinnamon Bun

Calgary, Alberta
Wedding Date:
June 2011
Brooch Gets Her Bachelorette On!
Gallery of the Day

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  1. Member
    deaconbride 659 posts, Busy bee @ 10:46 am

    I LOVE MY SILHOUETTE SD. I choose mine for the same reasons. Great tutorial. Thanks!!!

  2. tartlet Member
    tartlet 3227 posts, Sugar bee @ 10:59 am

    Love your monogram! We *almost* used the exact same design with the heart!

  3. Guest Icon Guest
    Iuxta, Guest @ 11:50 am

    We have a “logo.” My sister is a graphic designer so she designed it (I certainly don’t have the skills! x_x). There is a color version (for invites and programs etc) and a black and white version that I had a rubber made from. Yup, it goes on everything!! It’s a nice, personal touch! Yours looks great! A cut will look will look so nice!

  4. Guest Icon Guest
    Iuxta, Guest @ 11:51 am

    @Iuxta: Rubber. hahahah that changes things… Ahem: Rubber STAMP.

  5. Member
    xtatic1 783 posts, Busy bee @ 12:02 pm

    Ok, I want one! I am trying to hold off since I don’t NEED one but you are making it difficult by showing me how cool it is! 😉

  6. lox Member
    lox 1465 posts, Bumble bee @ 12:16 pm

    I think that will look awesome sprinkled throughout your wedding day. :)

  7. meerkat Member
    meerkat 3257 posts, Sugar bee @ 12:45 pm

    I don’t think I can say this enough but I LOVE that heart! I would totally put this one everything.

  8. Member
    Crown 578 posts, Busy bee @ 1:05 pm

    Thanx so much for great toot for those of us who are techno-phobes. I’m with Meerkat…LOVIN’ the heart.

  9. Guest Icon Guest
    smores, Guest @ 4:46 pm

    I MUST have one of these. Must. Like three weeks ago. It’s all I can do to keep from bolting out of my office and purchasing one immediately. To steal a patented Hive expression–I die.

  10. Member
    mrspaetz 3812 posts, Honey bee @ 7:17 pm

    I want a silhouette!!

  11. biscuit Member
    biscuit 627 posts, Busy bee @ 10:38 pm

    That’s going to be great! I want one…but it would probably just collect dust like my Cricut.

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