Silhouette Vinyl Cutter Tutorial

 Step 1: Trace and cut 


Open Silhouette Studio


Page set-up

Select the dimensions of the cutting material in the Page Setup panel to the right.  It should be 12x12" or 12x24"


Import image

Simply drag an image from your desktop or folder and place it into the program.  If successful, you’ll now be able to scale and edit the image inside the Silhouette Studio. You can also use the Library tab to find pre-made stickers or create your own stickers directly from the LEFT toolbar (including shapes and text).


Select Trace panel

On the right side toolbar


Select Trace Area

Now we will “Select Trace Area” and drag the tool over the whole canvas area that you want to cut, making sure we encompass the entire area of the image we want to cut.  If we don’t do this, the trace lines we’re about to create will cut off abruptly, and the machine will fail to read what we want it to. 

Make sure the Trace Style is also selected.  Adjust the Threshold until the desired image is either filled or outlined with yellow. Be careful not to increase the Threshold too high, risking the quality of the cut.


Select "Outline"

In the Trace panel. What this option does is either creates a cut line out of what the programs reads as the outline of the image, or an outline OF the outline of the image.  Now keep in mind, for some images the computer will not register a difference between what would be “Solid Fill” or “Outline”, as is the case for the Tiger Paw we are testing in these images.


Reveal cut lines

Click on your design and drag the image away from its original position. Now we have red “Cut Lines”.  These are what the computer reads as saying “CUT HERE”.  

We can edit and alter these cut lines in the same way we can edit the original image in this program. In this case, we will just expand to fill as much of the 8x11 page as we can.  However, if necessary, we can also draw and erase cut lines as necessary using the toolbar on the LEFT side of the screen.


Select Send

Now, to finally start the process of cutting out our image using the Silhouette, we will select the SEND tab found in the upper right corner or the screen.  

Select your material but wait to hit Send until you've loaded the machine (steps below).

 Step 2: The machine 


Put vinyl on the cutting mat

Place material on adhesive cutting sheet, fit with the top left corner (like it is shown in program).


Load cutting mat

Line up the edges of your cutting mat with the vertical lines on the front of the machine, place top corners underneath plastic pieces of roller, and press LOAD on machine. 

If your vinyl does not appear to be straightly aligned, select UNLOAD and try again.


Hit send

Now you can hit Send in Silhouette Studio. The machine will take care of the rest!

 Step 3: Finishing your design 



The complexity of finishing your sticker is dependent on the complexity of the design you chose. If you have chosen a design with lots of small components this portion of the process may take significantly longer than a simple logo. This process is called "weeding".


Transfer tape

If you have a lot of little pieces and want them to stay in the proper configuration, you can transfer your vinyl to transfer tape.



Next Steps

Now you are eligible to take the quiz! Note that a few questions come from the Circut Vinyl Cutter section. 

Continue to the quiz: