How to Make a Rolled Frame

How to Make a Rolled Frame

Rolled Frame Wedding Card zzDSC_3028 cropped.jpg

(Click HERE for original card post.)

I recently posted a card project where I made a rolled frame.  The rolled frame is a technique I learned at a workshop given by Quick Quotes Scrapbook Company at the Scrapbook Expo in Somerset, NJ in 2015.  This is the mixed media project (on a 12×12 inch canvas) that we made using the “Moments Like This” kit that they make and sell:


Here’s a quick tutorial on how to make it: Continue reading


Inside-Out Chef Card

Inside-Out Chef Card

Inside-Out Chef Card wDSC_1822


I called this card an “Inside-Out” card because the card front is pretty simple, but the inside is the more elaborate part and the part meant to be displayed.  The above photo shows the inside of the card after the card is opened and the front is flipped over.  Below is the front of the card before it is opened:


I think the images in this stamp set called “Recipe for Happiness” by My Favorite Things are just the cutest ever, and I had loads of fun making this card!


The nice thing about a step card is that it has a lot of dimension but folds flat and usually fits in an envelope.  (This particular card is a bit thick even when folded so it requires a trip to the post office to mail.)


This card is being entered in the My Favorite Things – “You Could Be a Card Design Superstar Contest – 2016!”


The rest of this post is a detailed description of how I created this card.  If you wish to keep reading, grab a cup of coffee and get comfy – it’s a bit long! Continue reading

How to Make Silhouette Die Cuts for Your Stamped Images – Part II, Borderless

How to Make Silhouette Die Cuts for Your Stamped Images – Part II (Borderless)


In my last tutorial called How to Make Silhouette Die Cuts for Your Stamped Images, I explained how I make die cuts with small borders around my stamped images using my Silhouette electronic die cutting machine and the “trace” and “offset” features in the Silhouette software.  (I use the Designer Edition.) Sometimes, it is necessary/desirable to create a die cut where the lines of the stamped image go right to the edge of the die cut, with no border.  This is a follow-up tutorial explaining how I create this type of die cut.

The explanation below is a bit lengthy.  Before going into the step-by-step,  I’ll give you the quick summary:

  1. trace the image
  2. create a solid offset
  3. create an internal offset which goes back to the original size of the image
  4. clean up the file, if needed, to match the image more closely

If you want a more detailed explanation, keep reading!

Click on the photos that I included in the steps below if you wish to enlarge them.

(The first 4 steps are the same as in the last tutorial, so refer back to that if you need more details on these steps.)

  1.  Stamp your image.

stamp and scan (stamped on 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper)

2.  Scan your image.


(sorry for the bad photo; scanned as 8 1/2 x 11 inch document)

3.  Open jpeg file.

open jpeg

4.  Optional – erase to separate.

erase  erase 2

5.  Trace.

a.  Open “Trace” window, select “Select Trace Area,” and drag a box around the image you wish to trace.

select trace area

b.  Select “Trace Outer Edge.”  (If you need inner details cut, select “Trace.”)

trace outer edge

6.  At this point, it is helpful to enlarge your view to make it easier to see what you are doing.  (DO NOT re-size your scanned image or the trace. You need these measurements to stay true to size.)  Just change your view on your computer to make it larger.  Go to the “View” tab, then “Zoom” and then select your preference, or use the magnifier tool.


Notice that the red cut lines are not perfectly lined up with the black stamped lines of the image.  In some cases, there are broken lines.  (Click on the photo to see what I mean.)  In order to get a die cut with a complete outline and that fits the stamped image perfectly, you need to clean this up a bit. There are a few ways to do this.  I referenced a series of video tutorials in my last post called Tracing Without Tears in Silhouette Studio which I found extremely detailed and helpful in understanding the “Trace” feature of the software.  (Videos 7 and 8 specifically talk about point editing.)  If you don’t want to get as involved in the design process, try this:

7.  Move the jpeg scanned image away from the trace.  Highlight the image.  Under the “Object” tab, select “Convert to Path” to keep all the pieces of the trace together.

group trace

To make this easier to see in the next step, I changed the color of my trace to blue.

change trace color.JPG

8.  Open the “Offset” window, and click “Offset” which will give you a border at the default 0.125 inchs.

ofset .125

9.  Slide the distance slider all the way to the left to zero.  Then slowly slide it to the right (or use the “up” arrows) just until you have a solid shape around the outside with no gaps.  On this one, I went to 0.020 inches.  Make a note of the value you used.  You will need this later.

offset ,020

10.  Drag away the “trace” which is blue on this sample.

drag out trace

11.  Highlight the whole offset.  Click on the “Object” tab and click “Release Compound Path” to separate all the parts of the offset.  Then drag the outer piece (outline) away from the rest.

separate outer edge from offset

12.  Delete all the extra sections and just keep the outline.

keep outline offset

13.  Highlight your offset.  Open “Offset” window and select “Internal Offset” which will give you a slightly smaller shape inside your offset.  The default here is 0.039.

internal offset default

My internal offset is now green to make it easier to see here.  (You don’t need to change the color!)

internal offset default in green

14.  Change the value of the internal offset to match the number you used to get your original offset.  Recall, mine was 0.020 from step 9 above.  (Highlight the offset and internal offset.  Click on the “Object” tab and click “Release Compound Path” to separate the two parts.  Then drag the outer piece (outline) away.

separate offset from internal offset

15.  The inside (internal offset) should be about the same size as your original scanned stamped image, without the gaps.  (I made my green lines a little thicker so you can see them easier here.)

check size

16.  The above looks pretty close, but if you enlarge your view, by a lot, you will see where it is slightly off.

enlarged to see errors

17.  To make this more exact you can move the nodes a bit.  Here’s how.  Double click on the green outline.  You will see the nodes (square “dots”) on this shape.

double click to show nodes

Put your cursor on a node.  While holding down the left side of your mouse, simple move the node so it is closer to the stamped shape.  Look at the node in the red oval below.  The first photo shows the original position of the node.  The second one shows where it is after I moved it.





You can add additional nodes to your shape by clicking on the line where there is no node.

no node


add node


Be sure to save your work often while you work.

This is a very simplified explanation of how to clean up the cut file for your die cut.    As I mentioned above, you may want to check out the video series called Tracing Without Tearsin Silhouette Studio if you want a more detailed explanation of Point Editing.

When I need an exact cut, I enlarge my view and just work my way around the whole image, moving nodes into the exact position so they are on the edge of/slightly over the black line with no white gaps. This will give you a shape that matches the stamp so you will see no white when it is stamped.  Yes, it can be tedious depending on how messy your original trace was, but you will be pleased with the results if you are patient!

I know there are some who would be asking, “Why not just use scissors?”  That is certainly an option if you enjoy and are physically able to fussy cut your stamped images.  However, sometimes the images have lines that are difficult to cut with scissors.  And often, I create multiples of a card design, and it is so much easier to cut many die cuts with my Silhouette than to fussy cut each one.  This was the case with the card below.  I was making multiple copies of this card for a craft show, and I needed to cut the stamped crab image.  The claws were so thin and curvy that every time I tried to get around this portion of the image, the paper creased and/or tore.  I ended up making a cut file and was able to get a clean die cut and make lots of them.

Sandy CLaws zDSCN7072

(click HERE to see original post for this card)

Stamping on such precise die cuts can be tricky.  Check out my tutorial HERE to see how I use a positioning tool to get perfectly placed stamped images.

Finally, here is the card I made using the die cut I created above:

Hog Wild Birthday DSCN7819

(Click HERE for the original post for this card.)

Thanks for checking out my tutorial!

This content uses referral links as described in the disclosure policy on my sidebar.

How to Make Silhouette Die Cuts for Your Stamped Images

How to Make Silhouette Die Cuts for Your Stamped Images

die cut wreath DSCN0041

Many stamp companies now offer dies that coordinate with their stamps, but it is also possible to create your own die cuts for your stamps by using your Silhouette electronic die cutting machine and the “trace” and “offset” features in the Silhouette software.  (I use the Designer Edition.)

For this tutorial, I will show you how I create a die cut with a small border around the stamped image. (In a future tutorial, I add the steps I use to create a die cut with no border.)  This tutorial assumes basic knowledge of the Silhouette software design features and how to use the Silhouette machine for basic cutting.  To create a die cut, you need to be able to scan your stamped image, save it as a jpeg, and open this file with your Silhouette software.

*Note:  While working on your files throughout this process, DO NOT re-size your scanned image or the trace or the offset. You need these measurements to stay true to size. However, you can change your view on your computer to make it larger and easier to see what you are doing.  (Go to the “View” tab, then “Zoom” and then select your preference.  Adjusting your view to 100% allows you to see what the actual die cut will look like when done.)

I’ve included photos to illustrate the steps I am describing.  If desired, click on the photos to make them larger.  I’ve also added a “cheat sheet” with the steps at the end of this post.

  1.  Stamp your image on a plain piece of white paper with black ink.  This image must be the exact size of your stamp.  (In other words,  don’t use the printed image that comes on the cover sheet of your stamp set unless it is the exact size.)  Some sets come with the images on acetate, and as long as these are the same size, these are fine.

circle of spring original images with border.jpg

(images from the Stampin’ Up “Circle of Spring” stamp set)

2.  Scan your image, and save it as a jpeg.  When scanning the image, do not crop it.  Save it as is.  I usually scan and save it as an 8 1/2 x 11 document.

circle of spring scan with border

3.  Set page size in the “Design Page Settings” menu on your Silhouette software to “Letter – 8 1/2 x 11” which will keep the stamped image the correct size.  Open the jpeg of the scan.

open scan.JPG

4.  Optional:  Use the erase tool to loosely go around the image.  Creating a square or circle is fine; you don’t need to follow the edge of the image closely.  Ungroup the image from the extra background and delete the extra white.  This just makes the image you are working with less cumbersome.  (If there is more than one image on the scan, and you wish to use them all, use the eraser tool to loosely erase around each image.  Then ungroup the images and delete all the extra white.  What you are left with is several separate “scraps” of paper with stamped images – all still in the original size.)  I will just be working on the wreath for this tutorial.

Erase       Erase 2

5.  Using the “trace” tool, trace around the stamped image.  Select “Trace Outer Edge” if you just want a border around the whole image, or select “Trace” if you want the inner details to cut.  (If you start with a clean stamped image, you should get a good trace without much need for manipulating your trace.  If not, use filters, threshold and scale options to clean it up.  This is beyond the tutorial here. Check out the video series, Tracing Without Tears in Silhouette Studio, for a detailed description on how to do this.)

Select Trace Area

(select trace area)



6.  Drag the jpeg away from the trace.  (Highlight the traced image.  Under the “Object” tab, select either “Group” or “Make Compound Path” to keep all the pieces of the trace together.)

After Trace

7.  Open the “Offset” window and select “offset.”  (Notice 0.125 inches is the default distance here.)


8.  Use the Offset Distance slider or arrows/measurements to adjust for how much border you’d like to see around your image.  I adjusted mine to 0.041 inches.

adjust offset to taste

9.  Once you happy with the size of your border, move the trace away from the offset.

separate trace from offset

10.  Depending on your stamped image, there may be a number of internal cuts in your shape.  Highlight the offset and select “Release Compound Path” under “Object” tab.  Keep the details you want and delete those you do not want.  (You can click on and delete each piece separately, group multiple pieces to delete, or use the erase tool.  This can be tedious, but it will keep the pieces there that you wish to keep and get rid of those that you do not.)  For this sample, I needed the inner and outer outlines so I needed to erase all the little pieces separately.  If I had just wanted the outside without the hole in the center, I could have just dragged aside the outside and deleted everything left all at once.

discard unwanted pieces

11.  Once you are happy with your shape, highlight the shape and select “Make Compound Path” under object tab.  You can drag the original jpeg image onto your die cut to see if it matches up nicely.

check results

12.  Save your die cut cut file, cut it out, and stamp your image on it.  If you are using clear stamps, you can just look through the stamp, line it up as best you can, and stamp it.

Unfortunately, I am not really good at eye-balling it, so I create a positioning template, and I use a positioning tool to help me.  The positioning template is simply the die cut with a rectangle around it.  In my photo below, I needed 7 die cuts (6 plus the one in the template), but you can cut as many or as few as you need.

positioning template

Check out my tutorial HERE to see how I use this to get perfectly placed stamped images with a positioning tool.

Here’s a “cheat sheet” listing the steps explained above:


(Click HERE to see the card I made with this wreath die cut.)

Thanks for checking out my tutorial!

This content uses referral links as described in the disclosure policy on my sidebar.

Silhouette Tip – Cutting without Connecting to Your Computer

Silhouette Tip – Cutting without Connecting to Your Computer


Every now and again, I discover something that is so huge (for me), I wonder how I didn’t realize it before….

My Silhouette Cameo, along with all its accessories, is stored on a rolling cart in my craft room.   However, because my craft room is pretty small, I don’t have enough room to keep my laptop in there all the time. To use my Silhouette, I either needed to bring my laptop into my craft room where it took up valuable space on my desk, or I brought my Silhouette (with all the accessories needed) down to the dining room where my laptop usually sits.  Both were pretty inconvenient!

I recently discovered that you can save your cut files to an SD/SDHC card and cut from that without needing to attach the computer to the Silhouette machine.  HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS BEFORE NOW?!  🙂     Anyway, in case you were also unaware…

Here’s how:

  • Create your cut file(s) using your Silhouette software.  (I use the Silhouette Designer Edition.)
  • Insert your SD/SDHC card card into your computer.  Select “Save As” option and select “Save to SD card.”
  • Name your file.  It will be saved as a “gsp” file onto your card.  (You may also wish to save your file as you normally would since the format of the file is different for the SD card.)
  • Place the SD/SDHC card in your Silhouette in the slot located on the right-hand side of the unit next to the USB and power connections, and load your mat with your card stock (or whatever you will be cutting).
  • Select “SD Card Setting.”
  • Select “Select File” to see all your saved choices.
  • Select the file you wish to use.
  • Select “Cut” and Silhouette will cut the file.


Much easier!  Happy cutting …..without the cords!!

Thanks for checking out my post!

This content uses referral links as described in the disclosure policy on my sidebar.