Silhouette Studio is a premium software that can meet all of your designing needs. The base edition of the program is completely free, giving you the tools you need to create with no barrier to entry. Dream big and design your own projects from scratch, or put together something spectacular using the thousands of designs available in the Silhouette Design Store. For the modern crafter looking to make creative designs and turn them into physical goods, Silhouette Studio is the program that does it all.
One of Silhouette Studio’s most useful features is Print & Cut. With this tool, you can design anything you want in the software, print it onto paper or any of Silhouette’s specialty materials, and cut it out with your machine. We’re going to show you how to use Studio to create custom planner stickers tailored to your needs. Whether you use a planner or a bullet journal, stickers are a great way to add your own flair to a project. Once you try it out, you won’t be able to get enough!
In this post, we’ll introduce you to the basics of Print & Cut in Silhouette Studio, and we’ll show you how easy it is to turn any design into a sticker using the Offset tool. Then, we’ll show you three ways to design your own stickers. At the end of this guide, you’ll know how to edit designs to fit your color palette, add and move elements to an existing design to turn it into something new, and design your own stickers using your favorite fonts and designs.
Silhouette Studio® Basic Edition
Silhouette Cameo 4 or Portrait 3
Printable sticker paper
Design ID #338361 by HansCo
Design ID #353513 by Dixie Type Co.
Design ID #377900 by Silhouette
Design ID #376318 by Sophie Gallo
Why Silhouette Studio?
Silhouette Studio is a robust design software that can do more than other programs on the market. Even the Basic Edition of the software has countless features that will elevate the designs you make. Out of all the tools Silhouette has to help you create, Silhouette Studio is maybe the most important because it’s where your ideas come alive.
One of the benefits of Silhouette Studio is that the Basic Edition is completely free. This version of the software provides all of the tools that are fundamental to all of the designing you may want to do. However, there are also three paid editions of Silhouette Studio: Designer Edition, Designer Edition Plus, and Business Edition. Each of these tiers comes with even more specialized and versatile features that will help you bring your creativity into the real world. To learn more about the different editions of Silhouette Studio, check out this comparison chart.
Another great reason to use Silhouette Studio is that it supports integration with Silhouette cutting machines. Instead of using different programs and software to draw a design, color it in, edit it, and send it to your machine, Silhouette Studio streamlines the entire creation process by including all of your design tools in one place.
Are you excited to design your own projects? Let’s get started!
Step One: Choose Your Fonts & Designs
The Silhouette Design Store is easy to access and features thousands of fonts and designs. Whether you want to cut a design straight from the Design Store, tweak one to fit your needs, or create your own unique projects, there are designs for every style and occasion available. We’re going to show you how to create stickers everywhere on this spectrum.
First, search the Design Store for designs and fonts you want to use. We decided to use these fun retro designs and fonts. Don’t worry if they don’t all match, because you’ll be able to choose your own colors once you’ve opened the designs in Silhouette Studio.
Step Two: Set Up Document for Print & Cut
Print & Cut is one of our favorite features in Silhouette Studio. You can use it to turn any design into a sticker, decal, or anything you set your mind to if you have the right printable media! We’re using the Silhouette Sticker Sheets for this project. Because these sticker sheets are lined with a backing sheet, we can cut these stickers without a mat using the Kiss-cut feature for the Cameo 4 and Portrait 3. You can also use a light tack cutting mat with your sticker paper.
First, select the correct settings for your machine and cutting mat. We’re using the Cameo 4 for our stickers, and we will not be using a cutting mat. Be sure to select “None” under the Cutting Mat dropdown menu if you’re doing this, too.
Next, we need to turn on registration marks for our document. This is important for Print & Cut projects because this is how your machine will cut your stickers accurately. Before your Silhouette machine makes any cuts, it will scan your paper for these marks to know where to start cutting.
Go to the third tab at the top of the Page Setup panel and turn on registration marks. We recommend using the default settings to make sure the machine can register properly. You’ll notice that the red cutting area on the design page has gotten smaller, and some crosshatching has appeared at the top and the bottom-left corner of the page. When you design Print & Cut documents, your design must stay inside of this border and not overlap any of the crosshatching or registration marks. Otherwise, your Silhouette machine may not be able to register the document for cutting.
The last setting you need to turn on is the bleed. Printing a bleed for your project will print a small border around your design that matches your stickers. This will make sure that there won’t be any white border on your stickers that you don’t want. This is what your registration mark settings should look like.
Step Three: Create an Offset
Once you’ve purchased your designs and fonts, they will appear in your Library in Silhouette Studio. Your fonts will be installed and accessible from the Text panel, but you’ll need to open your designs. In Library Split Screen, you can drag and drop the designs onto the design area. Or, right-click the design in your library and click the “Merge” option.
Let’s start by learning the main tool in Silhouette Studio we’ll be using today: the Offset. This is your secret weapon to turn any design into a sticker. This will create a border around the design that is a specific distance away from the edge of the design. By creating an offset, your Silhouette machine will only need to cut simple shapes instead of the intricate lines and details of the design you’re turning into a sticker.
We’re going to start with the You Deserve Joy design. Resize the design so it fits on your page so it’s easier to work with, but don’t worry—we can change the final size of the sticker later. If you’d like, you can also change the color of the cutting line to be transparent. This will help you visualize how the stickers will look without the red outline getting in the way.
Now, open the Offset panel. This is the icon that looks like a star with an outline on the right side of your screen. Select Offset and decide on the distance your offset will be. This is the size of the border you’re creating. We wanted a border a little thicker than the 0.125 in. default, so we increased it to 0.250 in. before hitting Apply. Don’t worry if the border is too big; we’ll be resizing this sticker in a minute.
Depending on the size of your offset, there may be small shapes with red outlines in the center of your design. This is because the offset creates a border around every piece of the design, not just the outer edge. If this happens, it’s important to delete these shapes so your Silhouette machine doesn’t cut holes on the inside of your sticker. We can do this by releasing the compound path of the shape we just made.
We had a small piece of the offset on the inside of our border next to the letter R. To get rid of it, select the offset you created, right click, and select “Release Compound Path.” Or, hit Ctrl + Shift + E. This will release all of the shapes inside of the offset, and we can get rid of the small shape in the center.
The last step is to group the offset and the design together. This way, you’ll be able to resize the sticker to any size you’d like. Select both the offset and the design, right click, and select Group. Or, hit Ctrl + G.
Congrats—you just designed your first sticker! Resize it and move it around on your page wherever you’d like, as long as it doesn’t overlap any of the registration marks or crosshatching. For now, drag it off of the page and onto the gray holding area so we can design our next sticker.
Step Four: Modify Existing Designs
If you’re anything like us, sometimes you’ll see a design that sparks your creativity but doesn’t quite fit your vision for the project you’re making. Fortunately, you can edit the colors and customize designs from the Silhouette Design Store to your liking. For this sticker, we’re going to take Sophie Gallo’s You Are Magic design and edit it to match our bullet journal theme for the month. We loved that this sticker has a vintage font like the You Deserve Joy design, but we want to swap the colors to a different color scheme and turn it into a circular sticker.
Open the file on this document and make all of the shape outlines transparent, like we did earlier. We also selected all of the pieces and resized it to fit our page, just so it’s easier to work with.
Let’s start by changing the colors of some of these elements. Open the Fill panel by clicking the paint palette icon on the right side of the screen. Select the element you want to change, then click the color you want them to be. You can select one of the default colors at the top of the panel, or you can go into Advanced Options and choose the exact color you want. We chose a nice navy color for the text.
Next, we wanted to change the dots to match the brown from the You Deserve Joy sticker. We can use the eyedropper tool on the Fill panel to match the fill color to one that’s already in the document. To change all of the dots at once, select each of them by holding down Shift, then click. Then, use the eyedropper tool or the color you want to use. We used the same process to make all of the stars yellow.
Now, we want to create a circular border for this sticker and fill it with a new color. Click the Drawing Tools icon on the left side of the screen and select the ellipse. If you hold Shift as you draw your shape, you can create a perfect circle around your design. Finally, you can change the color using the Fill panel. If the fill color covers your design, you can move it behind the design by right-clicking the circle and choosing “Send to Back.”
Note: Because this sticker has a color that goes all the way to the edge of the circle we want to cut, you want to be sure to turn on the option to print a bleed. You can find this option under the Registration Marks tab of the Page Setup panel, as mentioned under Step Two.
The last thing we want to do for this sticker design is to fill in some of the empty space in the circle. Because we haven’t grouped any of the elements together yet, you can copy and paste the stars and dots you want to use and move them to where you want them to be. Once you’re happy with your sticker design, group all of the elements together before resizing it and moving it around your page.
Step Five: Design Your Own Stickers
If you’re anything like us, it’s almost impossible to find the perfect functional planner stickers. The ones you find might not be in your style, or they might not fit your planner layout, or they might not have all of the sections you need. For example, you may not need a “gratitude” sticker but need a “budget” one! That’s exactly why you should design your own. You’ll be able to create them to fit your planner in every sense of the word. And the best part? You can print out as many copies as you want.
And fortunately, it’s super simple to design your own functional stickers. We’ve already gone over all of the tools you need to know how to use! All you need to do is write out what you want your stickers to say, format them using your chosen colors and fonts, and create an offset.
First, write out all of the text for the stickers you want to make using the Text tool on the left side of the screen. We recommend writing out each sticker in a different text box to make sure none of your offsets will overlap. Then, select all of your text boxes, open the Text panel on the right side of the screen, and choose the font you want to use for your stickers. This is also a good time to choose the color of the text in the Fill panel.
Now, select all of the text boxes and create an offset using the Offset panel. Because we want all of these stickers to be about the same size, we’re going to create the offsets and resize them together so they all match. Before you group each offset to the text, you can choose the background color you’d like for them.
Step Six: Print & Cut Stickers
Now that we’ve made all of our stickers, arrange them on your page in the way you want them to print. We’re only printing a few stickers for this page, but we recommend creating enough stickers to fill up the design area to get the most out of your sticker sheet. Once you’ve finalized your sticker sheet, print out your designs. Be sure that your stickers print on the white side of the sticker paper!
Now, go to the Send panel in the top right corner of the screen. We’re going to use the Line tab to cut these stickers because we can choose to only cut the red cut lines, rather than the transparent lines we used throughout our design process. Make sure that only the red lines are selected in the list that appears at the top of the section, and that the material is set to the media you’re using. In our case, we’re using the default settings for “Sticker Paper – White.” However, if you’re creating smaller stickers, you may want to reduce the speed.
Note: We always recommend performing a test cut with the default settings in Silhouette Studio to make sure your stickers will cut cleanly. When testing your settings on a Print & Cut project, make the test cut in the corner of the page without any registration marks to make sure the cut doesn’t interfere with the registration process.
You’re ready to send the stickers to your Silhouette machine! Confirm that all of your settings are correct and hit “Send” at the bottom of the panel. Watch as your machine scans the registration marks on the page and precisely cuts out your stickers!
Step Seven: Use Stickers
At this point, all that’s left to do is use your stickers in your planner or bullet journal! We use a blank notebook for our planning, but you can arrange them in your planner however you’d like. Get creative and create a layout that works for you!
Planner stickers are a fantastic way to customize your journal or planner and turn it into something that’s both cute and functional. We showed you how to use features that come with the free edition of Silhouette Studio to create your own stickers using a few different methods. Silhouette Studio is a premium design software that rivals other programs on the market, and we hope that you use Print & Cut to create your own stickers. There are endless possibilities of what you can make!