How to Turn a Layered Design into a Print & Cut

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I love a good layered design as much as the next gal but there’s a special place in my heart for Print & Cut projects. The ability to easily and accurately cut out printed designs was actually the main reason I bought my first Cameo! And being able to turn a layered design into a Print & Cut is the best of both worlds. There are a few steps involved but once you get the hang of it you’ll see just how easy it is. Let me show you how!

Getting Started

There are three basic steps to turning a layered design into a Print & Cut:

  1. Adjust the fill colors and line colors of the individual elements.
  2. Layer the pieces to create the finished design.
  3. Set the cut line.

I’ll demonstrate using the Cupcake Shaped Card design by Lori Whitlock, Silhouette Design Store ID 170662.

Adjust the Fill Colors and Line Color

Open the file in Silhouette Studio and ungroup.

Layered Cupcake Card

Select each element individually and change the fill color/pattern as desired. Change the line color to transparent.

Print & Cut design

I used the Tropical Watercolor Flower Pattern by Angie Makes, Silhouette Design Store ID 185629 for the cupcake liner, and then chose coordinating colors for the frosting and heart.

Layer the Pieces

Layer the pieces to create the design. The elements can be stacked upon one another on the screen just as if you were stacking actual cut-out pieces. (Hint: to easily align pieces that stack right on top of one another, select the pieces and click on the Center icon in the Quick Access Toolbar.)

Print & Cut design and alignment tools

You may also need to use the Arrangement tools (Bring to Front, Send to Back, etc) so that the pieces appear in the right order.

Move the card base into the grey holding area. Group all elements of the cupcake together & change the line color to transparent.

Set the Cut Line

Make sure your page is set up correctly for a Print & Cut:

Media Size set to match your printer.
Registration Marks: ON
Show Print Border: ON
Show Cut Border: ON
Design should not overlap the cross-hatched areas.

Silhouette Studio Print & Cut Setup

Click on the Send Tab and look at the bold red lines in the Cut Preview window. Each element will likely have its own cut line. That’s great for layering but not for Print & Cut.

Silhouette Studio Cut Style

To cut around just the border of the cupcake image, select the grouped elements and change the Cut Style option to Cut Edge.

Silhouette Studio Cut Edge

Once you have everything like you want it, print the page on your printer and cut on your Silhouette. That’s it!

Print & Cut cupcake card

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I hope this tutorial has inspired you to try turning some of your layered designs into Print & Cut images. If you have any questions, leave a comment below or come visit me over in the Silhouette Crafters by Design Facebook group. I’m always happy to help!

Until next time,

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  1. Oh!!! You print if on the printer and then cut it out with the machine! That makes sense! I’ve taken Cindy Popes class on Mandela’s that are printed on transfer paper and then pressed into t-shirt, so that’s basically the same idea almost except for the cutting out.

    Thank you for that! I really appreciate your help.

  2. Hello! I fairly new to Silhouette and I had never done print and cut. I’ve just started working with vinyl for t-shirts. I cut out vinyl, but how do you print this out before cutting?

    Thanks for your help!

    1. Hi Vicki! Once the page is designed in Studio, go to File>Print and print it on your home printer. Place the printed page on the mat with the square registration mark in the upper left corner. When you send the job, the machine will read the registration marks and know precisely where to cut!

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