How are your Print & Cut skills? Kelly here, and today I’ll show you how to create some Print & Cut valentines, but the techniques translate well beyond this simple kids craft to help you become a Print & Cut pro!

Watch for links to how-to videos throughout this tutorial to find out more about certain Silhouette Studio® tools you may not be familiar with. Ready to get started?

Supplies Needed:

Step One: Create Design

  1. In this example, we’ll use a multiple-piece cut file to create a Print & Cut instead of cutting it from colored paper layers. We’ll do the assembly on-screen before printing.

Note: If you want to find Print & Cut designs in the Silhouette Design Store that are ready to use with no virtual assembly, look for the “P” symbol on the thumbnail when browsing designs or filter your search for Print & Cut.

  1. These robots I chose look something like this upon opening, so we’ll layer the pieces together on the screen.

  • Ungroup
  • Color or recolor the pieces, if necessary, with the Fill Panel. (The Fill Panel icon on the right looks like a painter’s palette, and you can choose between solid fill colors, gradients, and patterns between the three tabs of the panel.)
  • Drag with the mouse to put the robot pieces in place.

  • If some pieces are hidden that need to be in front of others, use the Bring Forward and Bring to Front commands conveniently found on the Quick Access Toolbar above the design page area.
  • Use the Align tools and your keyboard arrow keys to get the shapes perfectly positioned. (Zoom in closely to see the detail.)
  • I like the look of a thin black outline, so I selected all my pieces and chose a black line color and 0.5 pt thickness in the Line Style Panel.

Tip: Line colors will show when printing only if the line thickness is greater than 0.0, or if you choose “Print Lines of Selected Shapes” in the Line Style Panel.

  1. Once the design looks the way you want, Group it (Ctrl+Cmd+G) so that the carefully-placed pieces stay together.
  2. We don’t want all these pieces to cut individually, so go to the Send Panel and choose Cut Edge while the printable design is selected.

  1. Repeat the above steps with the three other robot designs.

Step Two: Create Print & Cut Text Backgrounds

Now we’ll make the backgrounds for the robot valentines with clever sayings. This is generally how you would create most Print & Cut text on a background.

  1. Draw a rounded rectangle to be cut that’s 3.5 in. wide x 5.0 in. high.
  • Use the rounded rectangle drawing tool to get it close to those dimensions.
  • With the rectangle selected, type the W and H dimensions in the Scale Panel or in the Quick Access Toolbar. (Make sure the lock symbol is Unlocked.)
  • Hold your Shift key while clicking and dragging on one of the red nodes to evenly adjust the roundness of the corners.

  1. Resize your robots so that they fit (mostly) within the rounded rectangle borders, by dragging a corner handle.
  2. Use the Text Tool to type out your valentine sayings, and change the font to something robot-like, such as PN Fineapple Stencil.

  1. Fill the font with black color and chose a blank line color.
  2. Fine tune the robots’ size, text size, and line spacing so they fit nicely on each rounded rectangle. (My font here is 36.0 pt with 75% Line Spacing. This can be done with the Text Style Panel or on the Quick Access Toolbar.)

Tip: To make sure my robots fit my mini candy bars, I measured the candy and drew a reference rectangle (in purple, on the image above) to make sure the candy would look good on the robot.

  1. In the Page Setup Panel:
  • Set the Page Size to match the paper you’re printing on, and select the correct mat.
  • Turn on Registration Marks in the 3rd tab.
  • These 3.5 x 5 in. cards don’t fit inside the default registration marks, so slide the Position: Inset slider all the way to the left (0.394 in.).
  • As long as no part of the images fall within the crosshatch area, and if the cut lines are all within the red cut border, the registration marks should read and cut just fine. Our cut lines do go into the crosshatch area, but they have no visible color (at 0.0 pt) and shouldn’t interfere with the optical eye.
  1. In the Send Panel, select everything on the page and choose Cut Edge.

Note: This “Cut Edge” choice is especially important with text on a background so it doesn’t cut every tiny little letter, but it also works with any of your pictures that may overhang the edge, like my blue robot’s hands.

Step Three: Print & Cut

Once everything is arranged the way you want on the page, you’re ready to print on your printer, then load the printout into your Silhouette machine to be cut.

  1. Use the printer icon (or File > Print) to choose your printer and print it.

Tip: Verify your page size and orientation on the printer dialog box matches the page size and orientation in Silhouette Studio. Also print at 100%, never borderless.

  1. Load your paper on the mat exactly as shown on the screen, with the black square in the upper left corner of the grid and the mat’s arrow at the top.
  2. In the Send Panel, choose the correct cut settings for your paper. I cut my medium-weight cardstock with material set as “Patterned Paper” (blade depth 3, speed 5, force 30, passes 1) for the most success, but you can perform a Test Cut if you are using a new material.
  3. Load the mat and choose Send at the bottom of the screen in the Send Panel.
  4. Your machine’s optical eye should scan for and find the three Registration Marks and then cut out the designs exactly as shown by the red preview lines in Silhouette Studio®.

Troubleshooting Tip: If your machine fails to detect the Registration Marks, it’s usually a simple fix. Here’s what to do:

  • Use the blue on-screen arrow keys at the bottom of the Send Panel to position your blade over the upper-left square Registration Mark.
  • Check “Manual” for your selection near the arrows.
  • Click on “Register.”
  • The machine will search for the Registration Marks again, hopefully find them, and proceed to cut your designs.
  • If you still have trouble, please see this video for Print & Cut Troubleshooting.

Step Four: Embellish

The cards are just about ready to have the candy attached, but we’re going to add another detail by printing the center piece of each robot to place on top.

  1. Ungroup and make copies of the front pieces of each robot.
  2. On a new page with Registration Marks turned on, place the copies of the robot fronts so you can print enough for your batch of valentines.
  3. My page looks like this when ready to print:

  1. Follow the same steps to Print & Cut as outlined in Step Three above.
    • The only difference is the Material needs to be changed if you use sticker paper instead of cardstock.
    • I used Silhouette’s glitter sticker paper and found from my test cuts that I needed to adjust my settings to blade depth 4, speed 2, force 30.
  2. Once the sticker paper is cut, apply the stickers to the candy bars and tape the candy to the card fronts.
  3. Don’t forget to add the “To” and “From” to your valentines! I used my Silhouette Mint™ to create a stamp for the backs (before applying the bulky candy, of course).

If you still want a little more instruction on Print & Cut, please see this video.

What do you think? Are you ready to try making your own Print & Cut valentines?