Craft foam provides the perfect finishing touch for many projects, especially those made with ceramic tile, and it’s easy to cut into the exact shape needed with the help of Silhouette Studio and your Silhouette machine. Let me show you how!
This is Part 2 of a three-part tutorial on creating monogrammed tile ornaments. You can find the other tutorials by clicking on the links below:
What you’ll need:
- Arabesque tiles
- Blank sheet of white paper
- Pen, pencil, or fine-point Sharpie
- Scanner or PixScan mat
- 2mm Craft Foam
- Silhouette Deep-Cut Blade
- Silhouette Studio
- Silhouette Machine with minimum of 2mm clearance (Cameo 3, Cameo 4, Portrait 2, or Curio)
Step 1: Hand-trace outline of the tile onto a blank sheet of white paper. Follow the outline of the tile as closely as possible. This is a trick I learned from my friend and fellow Silhouette instructor, Becky Dykes. Hand-tracing the tile works much better than taking a photo of the actual tile on a PixScan mat because the thickness of the tile will create a shadow on the image that makes it hard to trace accurately in Silhouette Studio.
Step 2: Scan the image using a computer scanner or place the paper on a PixScan mat and take a photo.
Step 3: Import the image into Silhouette Studio. If using a scanned image, be sure to scale the imported image to match the dimensions of the paper (usually 8.5 in x 11 in).
Step 4: Use the Trace tool in Silhouette Studio to trace the outline of the tile shape. Edit the points as needed.
Step 5: Select the traced image and create a small (0.15 in) internal offset. Delete the original trace line and use the offset as the cut file.
Step 6: Using a Deep Cut Blade, cut the shape. The default settings for Craft Foam worked best for me, but may need to be adjusted for your machine. (Note: I did experiment with the 2mm Kraft Blade but got much better results by using the Deep Cut Blade.)
Tips for Cutting Craft Foam
- Use a piece of craft foam that is narrower than your mat. Place the foam in the middle of the mat and adhere well, using a brayer if necessary.
- Slide the spring-loaded rollers to either side of the craft foam so that they don’t roll over the foam. (The white rollers should be on the edges of your mat.)
- Make sure to leave some margin around your design, rather than placing it close to the top, bottom, or sides of the foam.
Even after all these years, it still gives me a bit of a thrill when I see how accurately my Silhouette machines can cut! I hope you’ll give this technique a try and let me know what you think by leaving a comment below.
If you’ve found this tutorial helpful, please be sure to share it on Pinterest!
Until next time,
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.