For the past few weeks, most of my time has been devoted to planning for Summer Adventure Camp. It’s a lot of work but worth EVERY minute. We always have so much fun and getting to be around all the kids for a week is a real blast!
One of our most popular activities is “Cupcake Wars”. The campers bake cupcakes from scratch, learn all about decorating from a professional cake decorator, and are then allowed to let their creativity run free in decorating their own cupcakes. Each person selects one cupcake to be judged and receives an award for its unique aspect such as “Most Colorful”, “Best Holiday Theme”, “Best Use of Toppings” … you get the idea! I used my Silhouette to make these sweet little awards and today I’m going to share with you exactly how I made the cupcake tag.
Step 1: Choose your graphic
For this project I used a graphic that’s in the public domain (click on the image to download). Feel free to use any graphic you choose; the process will be the same.
Step 2: Open your graphic in Silhouette Studio
Open a blank 8.5” x 11” Design Page in Silhouette Studio. Select File>Merge and navigate to the folder where you downloaded your graphic. Double-click on the filename of the graphic to load it onto your page.
Step 3: Resize
I want my finished tag to be approximately 2” so I resized my graphic to 1.8”. You can do this either by entering a value of 1.8” for height in the Scale area of the Quick Access Tool Bar (be sure to lock the aspect ratio!) or selecting your object and dragging one corner of the bounding box diagonally until you achieve the desired dimensions.
Step 4: Trace & Detach
The graphic I selected is a PNG file on a white background, which you can see when selecting the object and looking at the cut lines. In order to remove the cupcake image from the background, you will need to use the Trace & Detach command.Open the Trace Panel, choose “Select Trace Area” and draw a box around the cupcake image. Adjust the Threshold and Filter sliders until the entire cupcake graphic is solid yellow.Select “Trace & Detach”. Move the detached cupcake to the side and delete the white area (which may consist of multiple pieces).
Step 5: Create a hole for the string
Draw a circle that measures .175” in diameter by selecting the “Draw an Ellipse” tool and holding down the SHIFT key while you click & drag. (Exact dimensions can be entered in the Scale area of the Quick Access Tool Bar.) Change the line color to something other than red, since it will be hard to see on the cherry. (I used blue.) Align the circle in the middle of the cherry. (Tip: Draw another circle that matches the diameter of the cherry (.338”) and change the line color to black. Select both circles and choose Object>Align>Align Center-Middle. Delete the outer [black] circle.)
Step 6: Create the base of the tag
Select the cupcake and open the Offset panel. Choose “Offset” with a distance of .1” (don’t forget the decimal!). You should now have an outline of the cupcake image that is approximately 2” in height. (Note: If you manually enter “.100” rather than using the down arrow to adjust the default offset distance, hit “Enter” when you are done, rather than “Apply”. Otherwise the change may not take effect.)
In order to make a hole for the tag base that will align perfectly with the cupcake, select the circle drawn in Step 4 and choose Edit>Copy (or “CTRL/CMD+C”) then Edit>Paste in Front (or “CTRL/CMD+F”). This will create another circle directly on top of the first circle you created.
Select the tag base (offset) and one of the circles and choose Object>Group (or “CTRL/CMD+G”). Move the grouped image to the side or to an area off the mat.
Group the remaining circle and the cupcake image together.
Step 7: Create a Print & Cut for the cupcake image
Make sure registration marks are visible on the Design Page by typing an “M” or by selecting the Registration Mark area in the Page Setup panel and choosing the correct style for your Silhouette machine (usually Type 1).
Replicate the cupcake to fill the page, being careful not to overlap any of the crosshatch areas on the Design Page. Print this page on cardstock, using your regular printer, and cut on the Silhouette.
At this point you can either group the images together and move them to an area off the mat in order to proceed with Step 8, or save the file and create a new design page for the tag bases (select File>New or use the “New Drawing” shortcut in the Quick Access Tool Bar).
IMPORTANT NOTE: Do NOT move the images off the mat or adjust their position in any way until you are finished cutting. The design must remain identical to the printed image in order to achieve accurate cuts!
Step 8: Cut the tag bases
If you created a new Design Page for the bases, you will need to copy & paste the offset design onto your new page from the file you saved in Step 7. Otherwise, simply move your offset design onto the mat.
Because there is no printed image on the cupcake base, there is no need to do a Print & Cut. I replicated my design to fill an 8.5” x 11” page and then cut on a piece of kraft cardstock.
Step 9: Assemble the tag
Apply adhesive to the back of the cupcake image and center on top of the base, aligning the hanger holes. Press to adhere. (I love my Xyron for projects like this.) Add a bit of baker’s twine or elastic cord and you are done!
I can think of so many other cute tags to make as well as several other ways to use this technique. I’ll be playing around with it a bit more and I hope you will too. As always, I welcome your feedback and would love it if you would post a comment below or visit me over on my Facebook page. If you’ve found this information helpful, please share it with others on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.
I look forward to seeing what you create!
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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.