Sunday, 25 September 2016

Watercolour #1: Making your own digital watercolour backgrounds

Watercolours are still in vogue, and today Hilary (that's me!) is going to show you how easy it is to make digital watercolour shapes, and to use them within the Silhouette software. I will then show you how to make a simple card using your own painting and the Modify tools.

Silhouette Cameo + Printer
Font LW Bubble
Watercolour paper + watercolour paint and paint brushes
Digital camera or scanner

Painting your own watercolour backgrounds

Take some watercolour paper, watercolour paints and some big brushes. Give the paper a wash of water, apply various colours with the brush and then whilst wet, hold up the paper at various angles to let the colours run. Let it dry, and then either scan the watercolour picture, or photograph it at a high resolution. 

Either way, save the resulting picture to your desk top. From within the Silhouette software, click on File/Merge (top menu bar) and select the photo to open it at the top left corner of a design page. Once open, use the tracing tool set on a high threshold and Trace and detach so you have the painted area without any background. Delete any extras on your design space and save just this traced portion to your library (Ctrl+Alt+R).

This can now be used over and over again. For example, with the watercolour painting open in the design area, and using the Text tool, pick a chunky font such as LW Bubble Letter and write your message. Select both the background and the letters and pick Modify from the top menu bar (9th from the left). I then used Subtract for one card and Crop for another.

I am already loving this! I think I would have to label my style as "Simple and Cute", so all I did was to make two rectangles 16 x 8 cm on my A4 sheet and then make two frames. To do this, make a square 7 x 7cm with an internal offset of 1.5cm. Select both the outer and inner frame and hit Ctrl + E to make them a compound path. Fill with a pattern or colour of your choice. Here is my arrangement for an A4 sheet.
Enable registration marks, check your cut settings are right for your card, adjust the blade in your Silhouette Cameo. Print off the card and put it on a carrier sheet. Load it into the Silhouette Cameo. Send the design to Cut. Simply attach some foam pads to the frames and centre them over the printed message.

Now you have the cutest little thank you cards, made with your very own painting! Feel proud :)

If you enjoyed this tutorial, please watch out for my next Watercolour blog post on 30th September 2016 and possibly a third in October. 



Saturday, 24 September 2016

Faux Leather Paper Business Card Holder

Hi! Bev here with a tutorial on using the Silhouette Faux Leather Paper to make this business card holder.

What you will need:
  • Silhouette Cameo/ Portrait
  • Silhouette Faux Leather Paper
  • Silhouette Glitter Heat Transfer Vinyl
  • Sewing machine
  • Eyelet and Eyelet setter
  • Elastic
Step One

Open up Silhouette Studio and draw a rectangle sized 4x8 inches.  Cut down the faux leather to make it more manageable to handle on the cutting mat.  I taped my piece down as it had a tendency to curl up. Choose the cut settings for Faux Leather and it will automatically be set to double cut.

Step Two

Once cut, the material will need to be soaked.  I ran it under warm water and gave it a good scrunch to make sure it was completely soaking wet.  Do not be afraid to pull it about, it is a very strong material.  I left it to air dry, but you can use a heat source to speed up the process if you are in a hurry.

 Whilst you are allowing the fabric to dry (I love the leather look it has taken on) it is time to concentrate on the logo.

Step Three

Open up a new page in your studio and type your text.  Flip the wording horizontally and select the cut settings for Heat Transfer Vinyl.  Once cut, weed and set aside until you are ready to iron it onto your leather paper.

Step Four

Once the faux leather is dry and ready, apply the HTV in the way you would normally, and fold the fabric into shape to create the holder, then sew up the sides.

Step Five

To help keep the card holder closed, measure and find the centre of the front flap and mark with a pen.  Use a holepunch to cut a hole (I used my American Crafts big bite)

Then use an eyelet and eyelet setter to create a neat setting for the elastic.  Create a loop with the elastic and tie a knot or two in the inside to securely hold it together.

And there you go! a business card holder with fastening completed.

I have enjoyed sharing with you and will be back with another project soon.


LD Colorado Font
Thin Arrows by Kolette Hall Design ID# 37815


Light hold cutting mat for Cameo

Friday, 23 September 2016

Faux Painted Wooden Box

Hello, Karen here with an idea on how to use Silhouette Printable Tattoo Paper in a different way.  I have to confess that the original idea of using it to decorate wooden boxes wasn't mine but I so loved the effect that I decided to give it a go.

You will need:-
Silhouette Printable Tattoo Paper
Wooden Box (I got mine for £3.00 from The Works)

STEP 1 - Making The Design

  • Open your design on a Letter sized page. Ungroup the design, select the printed part and the cut line and in the MODIFY window click INTERSECT. This will remove all the excess white around your shape. 
  • You now have to add the cut line back into the design and this is done using the OFFSET option under the OBJECT menu.  

  • I chose 0.05 as the distance I wanted my offset to be.
  • Next I copied, just the coloured part of my design  and grouped the original design and cut line. Under the SCALE menu made the new one 1.5 ins high.
  • In the REPLICATE menu duplicated this so that I had 5 flowers and then grouped them.  I added a cut line as above and then duplicated them below to give me two sets of flower borders. 
  • Under the REGISTRATION MARKS menu I chose TYPE 1 to add registration marks to my document and arranged the designs to ensure that all of the printed and cut areas were inside the designated area.
  • The final step in this part of the process was mirror my design, under the OBJECT menu at the top left of your drawing area and to print out my design onto Temporary Tattoo paper and cut it out on my Silhouette as instructed on the tattoo paper packaging. 

STEP 2 - Applying To Your Box

  • I simply followed the instructions on the packaging making sure to carefully align my row of flowers on the side of my box.  
This was a quick and easy project resulting in a very pretty box which I am going to fill with sweet treats as part of my Mum's birthday present.



Thursday, 22 September 2016

Light Up Cards

Light Up Christmas Cards by Janet Packer on the Silhouette UK Blog using LED Stickers and copper tape circuits.

Janet here with a fun idea to make greeting cards extra special by adding interactive lighting!

These cards contain a battery which powers a tiny light bulb that lights up when a certain part of the card is pressed; fun to make and great fun to receive!

The reindeer card is relatively straight forward, but being an easel card, the snowflake card is a little more complex so I have included detailed instructions for you.

WHAT YOU'LL NEED (For the Rudolph card) :
Plain, pearlised and patterned cardstock
Red vellum (or vellum coloured red with alcohol markers, or printed)
Silhouette Cameo or Portrait
Adhesive foam tape & foam dot
Card adhesive
LED bulb sticker (red), copper tape, flat 3V battery (I used Chibi Lights LED Stickers Kit)
Reindeer Holiday Rectangle file download by Loni Harris (#51516)
Chapstick Box Snowflake file (for the snowflake & button only) (#70564)

WHAT YOU'LL NEED (For the Snowflake card) :
Plain, pearlised and patterned cardstock
Clear vellum
White gem
Silhouette Cameo or Portrait
Adhesive foam tape
Card Adhesive
LED bulb sticker (blue or clear), copper tape, flat 3V battery (I used Chibi Lights LED Stickers Kit)
A2 Snowflake Easel file download by Lori Whitlock (#66545)
Chapstick Box Snowflake (for the small snowflakes only) (#70564)
Arrows file (for the arrows) (#45683)
Valentine Set file (for the word 'Love') (#54154)


The snowflake card is lit by a tiny light bulb sticker, not much thicker than a piece of heavy-weight card, hidden behind the snowflake. The bulb is powered by a thin battery and controlled by a switch positioned beneath the sentiment banner. The two are joined by a circuit made with self-adhesive copper tape. This is roughly what the circuit looks like.

It is necessary to alter the file pieces slightly to hide all the parts. To do this I edited some of the shapes to have holes to mark the placement of the battery and bulb and to allow the tape to pass through the card also a few extra pieces to hide the copper tape. I also added some extra decorative holes to the centre of the snowflake and added a sentiment and push instructions using this font and these decorative elements (love, arrows) to the instruction label.

This is how the circuit fits within the card ...

... and this is how the pieces fit together, showing the location of the bulb and battery.


Here are the pieces once cut.


1. Assemble the snowflake, layer three snowflakes and sandwich the vellum shape between the top layer and one below. This will disguise the light bulb.

2. The main (long) part of the card has two fold lines which both fold down, towards the bottom of the card base.  The green panel with the slot will be adhered to the font face of the top folded section and the snowflake and bulb mounted on that.

3. (A) Taking one length of copper tape, remove the backing paper and stick it down the back of the main piece spanning the place where the switch will be up to the second fold (which is also where the middle of the snowflake will be).  (B) Pass it through the slot and along the inside edge of the hole where the bulb will be. It is necessary to make a turn and reverse the sticky side of the tape and this is done by gentle folding (and is the trickiest bit by far). N.B. Large dots are on the reverse of the paper piece.

3. (C) Check that the pieces will align.  I added a small extra piece (white) to match the holes in the snowflake to reflect the light better (just trimmed from a spare snowflake).  (D) Put the copper tape back through the hole in the front face of the card to work out where the tape will need to be placed to align with the negative section on the bulb sticker. Stick it down on to the back of the green slotted card. The excess tape can be trimmed off. Don't stick the red piece down yet.

4. Now, use a second piece of copper tape to make a similar parallel strip. (E) At the battery end pass the tape through the hole and replace a little of the backing paper on it, so that it doesn't stick to anything (yet). Pass the other end through the slit at the bulb end, make a similar turn and stick the tape down so it aligns with the positive area on the bulb sticker (F). Ensure that the pieces of tape do not touch (this will light the bulb, and we don't want it to do that until we make a switch to be pressed for the bulb to light).

5. Test that the circuit is correct by touching the bottom ends of the tape onto the battery. If the bulb doesn't light turn the battery over (reversing the positive and negative) otherwise check there are no breaks in the tape. if so they can be patched. (G) If the bulb works, separate the tape ends again, and mount the snowflake. (H) Attach the blank white rectangle beneath the battery position, trapping the first piece of copper tape. (I) Attach the smaller green rectangle to the back of the centre section to cover the parallel section of copper tape.

6. (J) Remove the backing from the remaining piece of copper tape, turn and fold it and attach it to the back of the label back pieces and attach that to the card. (K) To make the switch, turn, fold and attach the end of tape to a scrap circle with a short tape hinge. Place the battery in position and adhere pieces of foam tape around the battery to hold it in place. Trim the scrap down so that it can sit inside the foam and reach the battery, but doesn't stick to foam or remain in contact with the battery. (L) Add foam tape to the edges of the label piece. Check that the bulb lights when the flap is pressed then adhere the next label place. Finally add some glue to the top of the flap and the instruction label edges and attach it.  

7. Your card is now complete and will light up when the instruction label is pressed.

There must be hundreds of card designs in the Silhouette store that you could add these lights to. I challenge you to try it!

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DESIGNS USED (Snowflake Card):

DESIGNS USED (Rudolph Card):