Introduction: Make Custom Embellishments From PNGs in Silhouette Studio

About: I spend most of my craft time cutting stencils and silhouettes out. May have a strange obsession with x-acto knives...

Scrapbook embellishments are an easy way to add extra detail to a scrapbook page, but they can be pricey and the selection is not always ideal. 

Silhouette Studio allows you to buy or create your own designs...but their choices are also somewhat limited. 

Here is a way to easily create your own elements using Paint.NET (Free to download, can substitute photoshop as well) and Silhouette studio (also should work with other die cutters or stop after step two, print, and cut out by hand). 


Picture of design you want


Silhouette and software

Step 1: Find a Design You Like

I'll be using this great silhouette from

Since I don't have a picture myself, I'll be taking a screenshot, which you can do by using ctrl+printscreen and then pasting into Paint.NET or another program. 

I'm going to crop it so that there's less in my image, which will make step two easier. For this step, rectangular select and crop to selection tools work fine. 

Step 2: Remove Everything But the Design

Now that we have an image of the design, we're going to clean it up so that it's easier to use in the studio software. 

The easiest tool is the Magic Wand. The magic wand tool selects all of a color (we'll use black) within a certain tolerance range. 

I've turned my magic wand to global, so that it will effect the whole picture and I've turned up the tolerance to 62%. Now, I'm going to click on the black picture frame since it is the same shad as the art. It should select all of the heart. If it does not, double check your settings and increase tolerance. 

Next, we're going to invert our selection (second picture). This will mean everything that is not black is selected. Once done, delete the selection (third picture).  

Since there still is a little unwanted material in our picture, I'm going to crop it using the lasso select tool (fourth picture). Draw around your shape til everything is included and then crop to your selection (fifth picture). 

Save the file as a PNG.

Step 3: Open the Picture in Silhouette Studio

Open the picture in the studio software and resize to fit your needs. The image can also be resized at any time. 

If you have never opened a PNG before in the program, you will need to use the drop down box in the "Open" window to select PNG files instead of Studio files. 

You will most likely see a yellow warning symbol telling you that the image is not large enough to work properly. Let's fix that...

Step 4: Trace the Image (the Right Way)

Open up the trace sidebar. From here, you'll click the "select..." button and draw a box around your image. 

The program will give you it's own settings, but honestly they don't work well. I suggest turning off the high pass filter almost always. 

As shown in the second picture, you want your entire heart to be yellow. Raise the threshhold slowly until it reaches that point. 

Click the trace method and wait for the yellow to disappear.

Separate your  original image from the trace (picture 3). The traced copy is red. You can delete your original image now. The alert will go away after doing so. 

Step 5: Send to the Die Cutter

Now that you've got your traced design, you can send it to the cutter. Use appropriate settings for whichever material you are using. I personally prefer cardstock and vinyl. 

Let the machine do its cuts then slowly pull off the excess material, leaving your design (picture 2). Again, VERY slowly, pull the design off the cutting mat.

This particular design would be great for a relationship/wedding scrapbook but the idea is easily adapted. Cut outs of Big Ben or the Statue of Liberty for a travel scrapbook, flowers for a gardening scrapbook, cutouts of people for a general scrapbook, etc. 

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