Valentine’s Day has always been one of my most favorite holidays. I like it as much or more as Christmas! Maybe it’s because it takes place during February, right before my birthday. More likely it’s because I REALLY enjoy making Valentine cards and treats. This year is extra-special because I got to make my grandson’s classroom Valentines ♥. And as a bonus, I got to play with another type of Silhouette specialty media – Scratch-off Sticker Sheets.
If you’re new to working with Print & Cut files, Kelly Wayment of Finding Time to Create has a great tutorial available on the Silhouette blog that will get you well on your way to becoming a Print & Cut pro. Today I’ll take it one step further and show you how to make a double-sided Print & Cut and how to work with Silhouette Scratch-off Sticker Sheets.
Let’s get started!
What You’ll Need:
- Designs & fonts to fit your theme (see my suggestions below)
- Valentine jokes, puns, or riddles
- White cardstock
- Silhouette Scratch-off Sticker Sheets (available in silver, gold, and printable)
- Silhouette Cameo, Portrait, or Curio (with large base)
Step 1: Create the Card
Henry chose a robot theme for his Valentines. He has a sharp wit and a great sense of humor so I wanted the card design to reflect that as well. A quick Google search yielded a bunch of Valentine-themed jokes and riddles – enough to make 12 unique cards, each containing three jokes. Adding scratch-offs to reveal the punch lines provided an extra element of fun and was super-easy with the help of Silhouette Scratch-off Sticker Sheets.
All screenshots from Silhouette Studio, Version 4.1
- In Silhouette Studio, open a new file and set the page dimensions to 8.5” x 11”. Turn on the registration marks. (Shortcut: Press “M” on the keyboard.)
- Create a 3” x 4.25” rectangle with rounded corners. (See Kelly’s tutorial for more details.)
- Make one copy of the rectangle by choosing Object > Replicate > Duplicate Right. Move the duplicated rectangle a few spaces to the right so that there is space between the two rectangles.
- Select both rectangles and choose Object > Replicate > Duplicate Below. With both of the bottom rectangles selected, move them down a few spaces so that there is some blank space between the top two rectangles and the bottom two rectangles. You will now have a set of four rectangles that are evenly aligned.This is very important if you are planning to make a double-sided Print & Cut. If you are making a single-sided Print & Cut, the alignment is not as critical.
- Select all four rectangles, copy them, and paste them into a new file. (This will be the reverse side of your Print & Cut.) The new file does not need to include registration marks.
- Return to the design page for the card fronts. Fill the rectangles with color and or patterns, if desired.
- Add graphics and text. Be sure to set all graphics and text to “No Cut”. For the card fronts, I chose four Robot Valentine Print & Cut designs from the Silhouette Design Store, created by Stinkin Cute Paper Piecings. (Design ID numbers 113356, 113359, 113365, and 113368)
Tip: The Print & Cut designs I used include a white background. This is not a problem if your card background is white. If you’ve filled the rectangles with patterns or color, you will need to eliminate the white background of the Print & Cut design. This is very easy to do. Simply select both the cut line and the image and choosing Object > Modify > Crop. The white background will disappear and the graphic image will remain.
I used fonts with a “techno” appearance to coordinate with the robots:
- Group all four rectangles together and align them to the center of the page by choosing Object > Align > Center to Page. This will align them properly for a double-sided print.
- Repeat steps 6-8 for the reverse side. I created the background using elements from the Steampunk Gears pack (Design ID 80868 in the Silhouette Design Store). To add the jokes, I found it easiest to type the text into a Word document and then copy & paste it into Silhouette Studio.
Step 2: Create the Scratch-offs
- Draw a rectangle around each text area that includes a punch line. These are your text boxes that will become the cut file for the scratch-off stickers. Make sure the line weight is set to 0.00pt so that the rectangles do not print. I grouped each rectangle with it’s corresponding text so I would have a guide to follow when applying the stickers. (Note: The text should be set to “No Cut” as directed above. The rectangles should remain set to “Cut”.)
- Select all the text boxes by holding down the SHIFT-key and clicking on each one. Copy and paste them into a new file.
- In the new file, move the rectangles closer together in order to conserve space on your sticker sheet.
Step 3: Print, Cut, & Complete
For the Print & Cut design:
- Print the card front design with registration marks.
- Re-load the paper into your printer and print the reverse side without registration marks. (Tip: Test the alignment by printing first onto a sheet of copy paper. Hold the paper up to a window or other light source to check the alignment. Adjust the design as necessary.)
- Place the printed sheet onto the mat with the front of the design and the registration marks on top. Load into your machine.
- Click on the Send panel and double-check that only the outside border of each card will be cut.
- Choose the correct settings for the paper you’re using. (I chose “Cardstock, Plain”.) Perform a Test Cut if needed. Click Send.
For the Scratch-off Sticker Sheets:
- Place the sticker sheet onto the mat and load into your machine.
- Click on the Send panel and double-check that only the rectangles (no text) will be cut.
- Choose “Scratch-off Sticker Sheet” as your material and click Send.
- Peel each rectangle off the backing and place it over the text you want hidden.
Voila! You have just completed a set of scratch-off Valentine cards that are sure to be a hit with all your little sweethearts.
Some tips for working with Silhouette Scratch-off Sticker Sheets:
- The sheets have a strong odor when they are first removed from the package. I recommend leaving them exposed to air for a while before working with them in order for the smell to dissipate.
- If you place the designs too close together, you will end up with lots of stringy bits after cutting. (Ask me how I know!)
- Cutting the sticker sheets makes your blade quite dirty. Be sure to clean it before going on to your next project.
- Applying multiple stickers will leave some residue on your fingers. This is easily washed off but you’ll want to be careful not to get any on your printed cards.
- Scratch-offs can be messy but they are oh, so much fun!
Scratch-off Sticker sheets are just one of the many types of specialty media made by Silhouette. I enjoyed using them in this project and look forward to creating other scratch-off designs in the future. Are there some ideas you’d like to try? Any other specialty materials you’d like to know more about? Let me know in the comments below or visit me over on Facebook. I value your input!
Until next time,
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