Photo Projects in Silhouette Studio Made Easy
(just drag & drop!)
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Do you ever create photo projects in Silhouette Studio? Whether you’re working on a digital scrapbook page, designing a printable transfer, or crafting 3-D objects, using photos in Silhouette Studio is actually quite easy. There’s no need to import them into your patterns folder or go through the process of opening a file – just simply drag & drop. Let me show you how!
When I first saw this Mini Photo Book design in the Silhouette Design Store, I knew exactly what I wanted to make – a mini photo album for my two-year old granddaughter with pictures of all her immediate family members. With the help of my Silhouette machine, it was a relatively quick project. The hardest part was selecting which photos I wanted to use!
What you’ll need:
- Mini Photo Book design (Silhouette Design Store ID 295181)
- Digital Photographs/Images
- Silhouette Printable White Sticker Paper
- Metal Brads (2)
- Washi Tape (optional)
- Clear Contact Paper (optional)
- Silhouette Studio
- Silhouette Cameo or Portrait
* I used patterned cardstock for my cover and two letter-size sheets of solid cardstock for the album pages.
In Silhouette Studio, set up a letter-size (8.5 in x 11 in) design page. Turn the registration marks ON by pressing M on your keyboard. Check the boxes for Show Print Border and Show Cut Border.
Open the Mini Photo Book design. Move the entire design into the grey holding area.
Ungroup the design. Select 12 of the photo squares and move them onto your virtual mat, into the lower right corner of the design page.
In the Page Setup panel, click on the Registration Marks tab. Under Advanced Options, adjust the left inset slightly so that none of the squares are within the cross-hatched area.
Navigate to the folder on your computer where your digital images are saved. Click on the digital image you wish to use and, while holding down the mouse key, drag the image into the first square on the design page. The photo will pop right into the square!
Once the photograph is in place, use the Scale and/or Pan pattern tools to adjust the size and placement of the photo as desired. (To locate these tools, open the Fill Panel and click on the Fill Pattern tab, then look under Advanced Options.)
Repeat for all remaining photos.
Print the page on Silhouette Printable White Sticker Paper and cut on your Silhouette machine. I used the Sticker Paper, White setting.
Creating the Mini Album Pages
I wanted to add names to both the front and the back of my album pages, so I set up the design for a two-sided print job. When creating double-sided Print & Cuts, you must pay very close attention to design placement. If you don’t plan to include text, just cut the pages from plain cardstock and move on to the next step. Or you could add text to only one side and not be as concerned with alignment.
True confession time: These instructions include registration marks for the album pages. Since the design allows for a bit of “fudge factor”, I didn’t include registration marks on my printed album pages. Instead, I was very careful in how I aligned the paper to the mat before cutting. (I did use registration marks for the photo stickers though!)
Duplicating and Aligning the Pages
Select a column of two mini album pages from the original design.
Copy and paste into a new design page. Turn Registration Marks ON.
With both of the pages still selected, go to Object>Rotate>Rotate by 90 degrees Counter Clockwise.
Then choose Object>Replicate>Column of 3. There should now be 6 mini album pages on the virtual mat.
Use the arrow keys to add a little space between the rows if desired. Group the pages together.
Select the group and choose Object>Align>Center to Page. This will align the group of pages directly in the middle of your virtual mat and allow for an accurate double-sided print.
Creating the Reverse Side
Copy the group of mini-album pages and paste into a new design page. Make sure the group is aligned to the center of the page. (Registration marks are not needed for this page since it will only be used for printing and not cutting.)
Since this will be the reverse side, the design needs to be a mirror image of the first page. To mirror the design, choose Object>Mirror>Flip Horizontally.
Checking the Alignment (optional)
If you want to be completely sure your mini-album pages are aligned, change the line size of the pages (both sets) to 1.0 then print a double-sided copy. (I recommend feeding the page into your printer manually to print on the reverse side rather than using duplex printing.) Hold the page up to a window or other light source to check the alignment. Adjust as needed. Remember that a small variation will not make very much difference since the cut/score lines for the album pages will not be printed on your finished page. Be sure to set the line size back to 0.0 when you’ve finished checking the alignment.
Important!!! Once you have set up your pages and they are properly aligned, it is crucial that you do not move them out of position.
Adding the Text
Because I wanted to keep my photos in a specific order, I first planned out the project on paper so I could see which names to print on the front and which names to print on the back of each album page.
I then made notes on my design page so that I would know which pages were which. Remember: the order of the album pages on the reverse side is a mirror image of the album pages on the front side. This means that the text that will appear on the back of the album page at the top LEFT on the front will have to be typed in the album page on the top RIGHT of the reverse page.
Type the text on each mini album page. Be sure to set the text to “No Cut.” (Hint: Copy and paste one of the photo squares onto a mini album page to gauge the correct size and placement for the text. I used the LW Lizzy Font set at 14 points for mine. Be sure to delete the photo square before cutting the album page.)
Printing and Cutting
Print both pages onto the front and back of a piece of cardstock.
Place the printed page on your mat with the front side up. This page will include the registration marks. Cut on your Silhouette machine using the Cardstock, Plain setting. (Be sure to perform a Test Cut first!)
Cut the cover page from either the same cardstock you used for the album pages or from a coordinating pattern.
Putting It All Together
Adhere the photo stickers to the individual album pages as well as the cover.
Stack the pages in order, aligning the holes on the cover with the holes in the album pages. Secure with metal brads.
Note: Since my mini album is intended for a toddler, I added some additional elements for durability. I laminated the cover with clear contact paper, wrapped a piece of washi tape around the page stack before I added the cover, and covered the prongs with an additional piece of washi tape once the brads were in place. (And, yes, I also changed my mind about the font color I used on the cover 😉 .)
Fold the cover around the front of the book and tuck the edge under the flap where the brads are inserted.
Didn’t the album turn out cute??? I hope my granddaughter enjoys looking at it as much as I enjoyed making it!
What Silhouette projects do you have in mind that include photographs? Let me hear about them! And if you’ve found this tutorial helpful, please be sure to share the image below on Pinterest.
Until next time,
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Lycia is a lifelong crafter whose goal is to help others find value, confidence, and joy in whatever they create. She geeks out on using technology to supercharge craft projects with Silhouette Studio, Design Space, Glowforge, sublimation, etc.! Lycia teaches these skills and more through online tutorials and videos as well as in-person classes at both the local and national levels.