Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tutorial: Print, Cut,and even Design Magnets with Silhouette

Yesterday I shared with you my Magna Chalkdoodle and promised that today I would share with you exactly how to make those magnets for yourself.
***Remember that you don’t need a Silhouette to make some magnets. You can still get the magnet paper from Silhouette,
then print out your own shapes on your home printer, and cut out the shapes with scissors. A couple of places you can grab some shapes include Microsoft ClipArt and Picnik.***

If you have a Silhouette, then this tutorial will explain step-by-step how to create the above magnets.

1. First let’s go over the “print and cut” feature that the Silhouette can do. In Silhouette Studio, you need to open up the shapes you would like to use. Right now, I am going to open up the apple, rainbow, and quilt since they are already all set to print and cut.
Open shapes 
Go ahead and resize them as desired. Then over in the top right-hand corner, see the button with three black corner marks? Click on it and it will pull up the registration marks menu. Click on the box that says “Show Reg Marks”.
Reg marks
2. Go ahead and print now on your home printer, making sure you load your magnet paper so the images print out on the white side. Here is a copy of one of my printed out sheets. Notice the registration marks in three of the corners.
3. Click on the send to Silhouette button, which will bring up a Print Image menu on the side. Since we’ve already printed, you can click on skip printing.
Send to silhouette
4. Another menu will come up called “Send to Silhouette”. Follow the steps and load your sheet into your Silhouette and click Continue.
This time a “Cut Menu” comes up and you want to click on “Detect Registrations Marks.”
Detect Reg Marks
The Silhouette will run your sheet through and detect the marks, so it knows exactly where to cut. Once a successful detection has been done, set your cutting speed to 3-5 and your thickness to 20-25 and use the yellow cap. Go ahead and cut page and your shapes are cut!
So that’s what you can do if you downloaded print and cut shapes. See the little “P” by the rainbow and quilt? That means those are all set to print and cut. Those were very nice.
Print and cut shapes
However, 23 of my 26 alphabet shapes were not print and cut, so here’s what I had to do.

Open up your desired shape in Silhouette Studio. Leave your reg marks showing so you know what space you are working with. This was my zebra.
Not exactly ready to print yet, huh? So I had to start filling it in with color. Since everything isn’t the same color, we need to ungroup the shape so we can work with the individual parts. In the bottom left corner, click on the “ungroup selected shapes” button.
Ungroup shape
Then select all the shapes that you want the same color. From the top menu, click on the “fill color” button (the one that looks like a paint bucket), then go ahead and click on the desired color. I chose black.
Fill color
Notice some lines that are part of the zebra’s smile and the lines around everything we just colored are red? We fix this by clicking on the “line color” button and then clicking on the desired color. Again, I went with black.
Line color
Repeat for the remaining shapes. Then move all the pieces around to form your finished shape.
Colored Zebra
Select everything and group the pieces back together, by clicking on the button in the bottom left-hand corner.
Regroup shape
Now that it’s all one shape, we can get it ready to print by adjusting the cut lines. However before I did that, I was a little worried about my young kids tearing those legs off, so I offset my magnet first to make it more of one solid piece. See in this photo the zebra in the bottom right-hand corner? Also notice the jellyfish? Most of them are offset, actually.
We need to click on the “Offset” button in the top right. Go ahead and click on offset in the menu below. You now have a wonky-looking outline around your shape.
To fix this, go into your “Fill Color” menu and select the “No color” box (the one that looks like a chain-linked fence), then I change my “Line Color” to red since that is the standard cut-line color. Then go ahead and resize to the desired outline.
Fixed offset
Select both the offset and the picture shape, and group together to form one shape. Now we can adjust our cut lines. Click on the scissors button in the top menu. A lot of bold red lines will show up of everywhere that will be cut. We need to change this so only the outside is cut. Select “cut edge”, and now we are set.
Cut edge
Go ahead and print and cut as usual. Here are the three pages I made.
Page 1
Page 2Page 3
If you have a monthly subscription, you can get $25 worth of downloads for only $9.99/month. So in one month you could do all but one of these shapes. I would share the files, but I just don’t feel like it’s honest to give them to you guys without you purchasing the shapes. Sorry. However, here is a list of all the shapes I used if that helps.

A- apple_C02586_1
B- beach_ball_C20091102130359_22157
C- toy_car_C00344_23067
D- dog_C20090914105020_2581
E- Elephant_0059
F- chubby_frog_C20090803103417_19007
G- golf_bag_C0011
H- country_house_C00385_19547
I- ice_cream_cone_C00037_28466
J- googly_eyed_jellyfish_C20091026070055_17986
K- kangaroo_C20091124050310_20387
L- ladybug_C00004_30551
M- monkey_C20090817003201_2581
N- bird_nest_C00254_20508
O- animal_owl_C00595_19210
P- Princess_0709
Q- pink_quilt_squares_C20090921235609_19007
R- print__cut_rainbow_C00607_20509
S- sun_C00077_28466
T- train_C00235_20387
U- unicorn_C00600_2581
V- chore_chart_icons_set_1_C00566_19210
W- baby_whale_C00002_30551
X- xylophone_C00072_28466
Y- yoyo_C00073_28466
Z- zebra_zoo_C00428_20508

Phew! That felt like a really long post. Sorry, lots of information there. Hopefully, it makes sense. Please let me know if you have any questions and I would love to see if any of you make some of your own!


  1. WOW this is so amazing. they are so cute. that machine is the bomb..

  2. Thankyou for a great tutorial!!

  3. Thanks so much for the information. My kids are begging me to copy your idea and make them each a set:o)

  4. Thank you so much for this! I'm off to copy it right now, especially since the Silhouette shapes are only $.75 right now through April 5th!

  5. Each day I want a Silhouette more and more!!!

  6. That was a really great tutorial. I tried this technique of print and cut the other day. I finally got it to print and cut, but I seriously had no idea what I was doing. Instead of it cutting out around the guitar, it actually cut all the little strings out and made this very fragile piece. It was darling just not what I was going for! Anyway, I will definitely be referring back to this post in the near future! It was very informative. Thanks for the time you put in, to explain it all!

  7. Would you be willing to make me a set and how much would you charge to do it? Please email me at
    Blessings, Lori

  8. I think you should email Silhouette and see if they want to sell your images, as you've prepared them already, and make some of us so happy. I still struggle with the print and cut feature. But now with your little tutorial, maybe I'll have to give it another go. Thanks.

  9. This is absolutely adorable! I do not have a silhouette. Obviously I should!

  10. i featured these cute things today

  11. Will you sell these? I don't have a silhouette yet, but my kids would LOVE these magnets and they would be great for a teaching tool too!

  12. So kind of printer do you use that it will take the magnet paper (isn't pretty thick)? We have 3 printers and it is a battle to use cardstock (one sheet at a time) in them. I would think the magnet paper would be thicker than that. I just got a Silhouette for Christmas. Even though it is simiiar to the Cricut I still have much to learn. thanks for your help!

  13. Okay this inspired me! I have a Silhouette but I haven't decided on what I should actually make on it. I think this will be my first project. :) Thank you!

    I'd love to see other teacher-y stuff tutorials, if you decide to do them! :)

    Miss A's Kindergarten

  14. This might be silly - would you sell sets of these? I have the machine but am so overwhelmed - I have only used the machine one or two times because I get frustrated when I can't figure things out! Let me know!


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