Hello Silhouette Nation!  Carrie again showing you how to add photos to your text designs to really add some punch to your amazing projects.


I wanted to make another fun art piece to add to my ever growing collage wall in my craft room to inspire me every time I walk in there.  Of course I found the perfect phrase in the Silhouette design store to do that. I also have a very healthy stash of fabrics collecting dust laying around, waiting for their turn at greatness. Then I thought to use a simple embroidery ring, bought at my local craft store and painted to add a bright pop of color.


And since I’m also slightly obsessed with heat transfer material, of course I had to figure out a way to work that in to the project.


Which is how we got this project! 🙂


resized staged project image


To make this project . . .


You Will Need:

  • Silhouette Heat Transfer Material for Light Fabrics
  • Silhouette Light Hold Cutting Mat
  • Silhouette Blade
  • Silhouette Scraper Tool
  • Silhouette Hook Tool
  • Personal printer
  • Fabric
  • Embroidery ring
  • Paint (Optional, for the embroidery ring if you choose to paint it too!)




(1) Find the design in your library and double-click on it to pull it into the live work space

#1 ss 648


Here’s how it will look:



#2 ss


My embroidery ring is 9 in. in diameter so I reduced the size of the design to fit.


Here is the best way to resize your design in a controlled manner, instead of just eyeballing it:


(1) Click on your design.

(2) Click on the scale toolbar to pull up the Scale menu on the side.

(3) In the dimension box, enter the size you want your design to be.

(4) Hit apply.

NOTE: Make sure the lock aspect box is checked to keep the proportions correct—otherwise, your design will get stretched out or munched!

#3 ss



I wanted to change the alignment of the design to be centered since I’m putting it in a round shape. To do that, I had to edit my phrase without losing the text spacing.


This is how to edit a phrase from the design store:


(1) Click on the design.

(2) Right click (or CMND + Click on a Mac®) to bring up the command menu.

(3) Select “Ungroup” from the drop down menu.

Now all of the lines are separate items that you can control

NOTE: For this design you will need to regroup the bottom line of the design (“THINGS” and the heart design). Otherwise, the Align Tool will treat these designs as two separate items instead of reading them in the line together and will move the heart to the center of the design inside the word “things.”  (Trust me, I learned the hard way first!)  

Follow the same instructions as above to regroup, but this time select “group.” 


#5 ss



(4) Click on the align tool.

(5) With the full design selected, click on the “Align Center” image.

Now your phrase should be centered!


#6 ss



Now we’re ready for the part that this whole tutorial is about—adding a photo fill to your text.  I hope you’re excited to learn how to do this.


NOTE: This works the same with adding a photo to a shape by the way, so think of the possibilities! Cute kid photos in a heart shape for Grandma as a card, and Mother’s Day is coming up, so I’m just saying . . .

I should let you know that there are multiple ways to go about doing this.  In this tutorial, I will be showing you two ways:


one is for the basic edition of the software and the other is a feature in the designer and business edition.  I will say that I think it’s well worth the money to upgrade to the designer version because there are some really great features.


(1) First regroup the image together—you should be an expert in this by now!  🙂

#7 ss


Here is the way to add the photo pattern in Silhouette Studio® Basic Edition: 


First you need to add the photo you want to use to your pattern library.


(2a)  Go to “File > Library > Import to Library” and click on the image you want to add from your computer. It will add the photo to your main library

(3a) Click on the picture and drag it to your patterns folder.

(4a) Click on the design in your live work space (Arrow 1).

(5a) Click on the Fill Pattern icon (Arrow 2) and your image should show up as an option in the Fill Pattern panel (Arrow 3).

#8 ss

(6a) Select your image and it will automatically fill your design in!

You can also click on “Advanced Options” to rescale the size of the photo or pan around to move it to show a different part of the photo.  I personally loved the way it came in automatically, so I didn’t change anything.


Now, here’s how you fill text in Silhouette Studio® Designer Edition: 


This time I just had the photo in my work space off in the gray area.


(1b) With the design selected, click on the Fill Pattern icon (Arrow 1, shown below).

Alt ss option

(2b) Now click on the Transfer Properties icon.  (Arrow 2, see the screen shot for the image if you’re unfamiliar with what this looks like.)

(3b) Click on your photo, and BAM!

Now go ahead and play with the scale, panning, etc.  I chose the fixed version.


NOTE: When I selected to change from the “stretched” to “fixed” my image disappeared.  All I did was go to “Edit > Undo Edit” and suddenly it appeared correctly.  





I love the look of having the photo fill the text but I felt like it needed some line weight and color to make it read better.


Here’s how to add line weight and color to your design:


(1) Make sure the design is selected.

(2) Click on the “line color” tool.

(3) Select the color you want to use.  I went to the Advanced Options to select a navy shade.

#9 ss


Now you need to add line weight or thickness so it prints.  If you leave it as “0” you’re saying there is no line.  Does that make sense?


Here is how to change the line style:


(1) Click on the design (Arrow 1).

(2) Click on the Line Style icon (Arrow 2).

(3) Change the line thickness to what you want.  I chose 1.5 pt

NOTE: The higher the number, the thicker the line will be.

#10 ss


Now the design is complete.  Let’s get it set up to print onto the heat transfer material.




(1) Click on the Registration Marks icon.

#11 ss

(2) Select the correct machine settings in the “Style” drop down menu

NOTE: You can move the marks around by resizing the settings in the dimensions and position boxes below.  I only do this if I absolutely need to because the marks are interfering with my design, so I didn’t worry about it for this particular project. 



First things first, because I’m going to be printing this onto the heat transfer material I need to flip it horizontally. That way, when I go to iron the design onto the fabric, the words read correctly.


To flip your design so that it prints properly on the heat transfer material: 


(1) Right-click (CMND + Click on Mac®) to pull up the menu and select “Flip Horizontally.”

(2) Go to “File > Print” and select your personal printer.



#13 ss


I like to make sure my printer settings are set up properly for optimal printing—and by that, I mean that different printers load paper differently. For some you’ll need to put the grid-side facing up and for others you’ll need to put it grid-side facing down.  For my specific printer, I need to insert the paper grid side up in mine.


printer grid


 ***Make sure you double-check the proper way to add the paper to your tray so you don’t waste any of the printable heat transfer!!



printed pic


But before we move on to the next step . . .




A Silhouette Sidebar by Carrie Christenson


Here is the scene in my craft room right now!  This is for all you busy parents out there trying to squeeze some happy craft time into your days, which means that you probably have “helpers” in working with you.


I’m here to tell you that you’re not alone!  (And yes my office is a disaster, please don’t judge!)

This is what he’s working on . . .

asher draw

Wonder where he got the crafting gene! 😉

Okay, now back to the project!






It’s time to use our magic machine to cut out the design.


(1) Click on the Cut Settings icon (Arrow 1).

All of the words should already be set up to cut each letter out individually.  If not, select the design and then click the “Cut” option.


(2) Select “Printable Heat Transfer Material” as your material type and the proper cut settings will automatically popup.

As long as you have a fresh blade these settings should work perfect for cutting.  If you have a worn well-loved blade then I recommend doing a test cut first.


#14 ss


I have the new premium ratchet blade and (just like the regular Silhouette cutting blades) changing the depth is as simple as a twist!




(3) Attach your design to your mat.


I went with the light hold mat because this material is pretty delicate and I didn’t want to risk it sticking too much. However, you could also use a regular mat.


attach mat



(4) Load the design into your CAMEO and click “Send to Silhouette.”


cutting shot




As you can see, I accidentally tore a little piece of the material while attaching the design to the mat.  Like I said in the last step, this material is super thin and delicate!  You need to be extra careful weeding this design out.


Here’s what I found worked for me when it came to weeding this delicate material: 


(1) I pulled and peeled the material at first to get down to the first line of words.


weed 1


(2) I used the hook tool to gently work my way around the letters to loosen it from the backing.


weed 2


And don’t forget to remove the inside portions of the “A” and “B” letters!


weed 3


Once I had the design fully weeded, I decided to trim down the excess backing so I could see the size of the design better when I went to attach it to the fabric.



There. Doesn’t that look better?


ready to press




I have a heat press, so I spread the material over the base and aligned the design to the center of the fabric.


If you have a regular iron here is the best method for attaching it:


(1) Place heat transfer on your canvas with paper side up.

(2) Cover heat transfer with a press cloth or scrap of fabric.

NOTE: This will save your iron! Otherwise, the plastic will melt and you’ll have a mess on your hands.

(3) On a hard surface, press iron with lots of pressure and no steam.

press 2


Once adhered, you can gently pull the backing paper off.  I waited for it to cool down a bit, but not 100% cool.


finished press





The hardest part now is just making sure you have the fabric centered in the hoop and tightly pulled. This will take a little tugging and maneuvering and totally depends on the kind of embroidery ring you have.



in ring


NOTE: I had previously painted my embroidery hoop to add a fun pop of color, this option is completely up to you!


To finish, I took my sewing scissors and trimmed the excess material away.


trim fabric


Here is the final result!



finished pic


Silhouette Pro Tip: Collage Wall


As promised, here is another interior design tip for your home:


When creating a collage wall, try to have a nice mix of materials that add visual interest but also keep the color family consistent to pull the grouping together.  


To illustrate this, here is a photo of  my living room wall showing the different shapes/sizes/materials. Notice that I kept the colors mainly neutral with pops of blue.


I also recommend laying the items out on the floor first to figure out what you like best before attempting to hang them on the wall. (My office wall is too much of a work in progress to show off yet, but hopefully soon I can brag about it too!) 😀




living 1


Thanks for reading this and Good Luck with your project!!