Introduction: Silhouette Print-and-cut Stickers - Brand Your Makerspace!


Our Makerspace does a lot of outreach in the community, and our branding is important. Having seen the vinyl stickers made by one of our members, we set to work making branded stickers using the Silhouette's Print and Cut facility. A quick look online suggested to us that a lot of people are a little unsure of print and cut - but it really is easy, and the results are fantastic! So here is a tutorial on how to to use it!

You will need:

  • Access to computer running Silhouette Studio and to a Silhouette cutter
  • Access to a printer
  • Full-page shipping labels, of the appropriate type for your printer
  • Awesome logo that you would like to stick on everything!

Step 1: Prepare Your Artwork!

It sounds obvious, but the first thing you need is artwork for your stickers. I used the Coventry Makerspace cog logo. Because we had a lot of community outreach workshops planned, I decided to add our website to some of the stickers as well. To do this, I opened our cog in Photoshop, drew a circle, and added text on a path. You can do the same thing in free software such as GIMP.

Step 2: Open in Silhouette Studio

Next, we need to move our design over to Silhouette Studio. First, prepare a new document so that Studio can perform the print and cut correctly:

  1. Ensure that Studio is set up for the correct model of Silhouette (we used a Portrait)
  2. Add registration marks and, again, check that they are set up for the model you are using.

Once you have done this, open your artwork in Studio. By default it will open in a new document. Cut and paste it into the document that you have prepared. You now need to resize the artwork to the correct size for your sticker. How you should do this depends if you want stickers the exact shape of your logo, or if you prefer a standard sticker with your logo printed in the middle. Each will be explained in the following steps!

Step 3: To Create Shaped Stickers

Creating stickers the shape of your artwork is easy in Studio. First, ensure that you have resized the artwork to the size of the sticker you would like to produce.

Next, use the trace function to select your artwork. Shift the high pass filter until all of your outline is highlighted yellow but none of the surrounding area. Then click trace outer edge. This will create a cut mark that contours round the edge of the sticker. If you like, you can then use the point editor to refine the cut mark further.

Step 4: To Create Standardised Stickers

If you want to create regular sized stickers with your artwork printed into the middle, you can do easily.

First, create the shape of your sticker in the size that you want. I am using a circle 1.8cm diameter to make stickers that fit CR2032 batteries we are using for bristlebots and LED throwies.

Once you have your shape, you can move your artwork into it and resize accordingly. Once done, group the shape and artwork by right-clicking and selecting group.

Step 5: A Page Full of Stickers!

Whichever way you chose to create your sticker, you now have one - but I'm going to assume you want a whole page of stickers!

Luckily, Silhouette has made this really easy as they have a replicate function that will do it at the touch of a button!

Ensure that your sticker is selected. Click on the replicate function then, at the bottom of the menu, select fill page. You will end up with a page full of evenly spaced out stickers.

Step 6: Print... and Cut!

Print your page onto full-page shipping labels. Then fix your sheet onto the Silhouette carrier sheet - making sure it is the right way round!

Ensure that the settings and ratchet blade are correctly set up for the sticker media. Our goal is to 'kiss cut', that is, cut the top sticker level without cutting the backing paper. On our machine this means reducing the ratchet blade setting by one, then further reducing the thickness setting, but every Silhouette machine is different, and of course it also depends on how sharp your blade is!

Once the Silhouette has finished cutting you will have lots of lovely stickers to brand with!

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