Custom outlines for stamps

Custom outlines for stamps

Hi everyone!  Did you miss me last week?  I know I missed you.  Sorry about that – things got really busy all of a sudden!  But, I’m back, and it’s time for the Silhouette Challenge Post!  If you haven’t seen one of these before, it’s where several of us silhouette users set a challenge for 1 project a month.  This month’s theme is paper!  And boy, do I love my paper.  We also did a card exchange in our group last month, which is a great paper project!  Here’s the card I made:


I’ll show you how to make the whole card at the end of the post, but I want to talk first about one special technique I used.  I created my own cut files to go with my stamps!  It’s not too difficult to do and worked great for cutting out all those little bees and the path behind them.  Ready to learn how to make your own custom outlines?  Let’s get started!  {Just want the free cut file for the card  shapes?  You can download it here.  I’d love it if you followed me on one of my social media outlets!}


Step 1: Stamp and Scan

First, we need to get a version of your stamp into Studio that’s to scale.  The easiest thing for me to do is to stamp it on a peice of paper and scan it.  If you don’t have a scanner, you could also take a picture (making sure you’re taking it from directly above and straight on) and make note of the scale.


Step 2: Import and Scale

Next, import your image into your library by going to File-Import to My Library and then add it to your work space.  Alternatively, you can drag and drop the image from your desktop onto the work space.

import image

If it imports too big, don’t panic!  You can re-size the image using the Object – Transform – Scale Options.  This is where having the scale is useful.  I happen to know that the width of my scanner is 8.5, so I can set the width of my image to match.

re-size image

Step 3: Trace

We’re going to do a relatively simple trace here, since all we need is the outside.   Use the selection box to create a box around the outside of the stamp.  Turn of “High Pass Filter” and increase your threshold until all of your stamp is outlined.  Then choose “Trace Outer Edge”.


Step 4: Offset

Ok, so the trace just gave us an outline that’s pretty close to exact on the stamp.  We want a little bit of padding around the outside, just so that the stamp doesn’t have to be perfectly aligned.  Select your stamp image and add an offset of .04 inches.  This will be our cut line at the very end.  (Note:  See that extra interior line on the bee?  If you get something like that, just select the line and choose Object Release Compound Path.  This will let you delete the interior line.)


With the dotted line, it looked like all sorts of crazy circles overlapping at first, but after the offset it applied, these circles are automatically welded together by the program.



Step 5: Create an outline

A cut line is great, but we need something to tell us where to stamp.  I’ll be using the print and cut feature to do this.  At this stage, I delete the underlying picture, as it’s no longer needed.


Next, I create 2 more offset lines.  Each .02 inches from the previous line.  I’ve set these lines to have a line color of black for visual reference.


Now, select the black lines around the bee.  This can be difficult to get just the black lines and not the red, but go ahead and use your zoom option to help.  Go to Object – Make Compound Path and fill the resulting object with a black fill.  Do the same for your other stamps.  This will create a shape that will print in the next step.


Step 6: Place and Print

Before you print, make sure that you add in your registration marks.  I made a small print area using the registration mark margins so that I didn’t waste the whole sheet.  I also increased the thickness of the marks to 1mm.  I find this helps the machine detect the marks better.  If you’re having trouble with detection, you can also try to shine a light on the machine.  Once you’re happy with your layout, go ahead and print it.


Step 7: Stamp and Color

Now we’ll be adding our stamp to the mix.  Go ahead and stamp your image as close to center on the image as you can.  If you plan to do any coloring, do it now.  And don’t forget to make sure you’re using the right type of ink for your markers, or your stamp might bleed the way mine did!


Step 8: Cut

And we’re ready for the cut part of the print and cut!  First, make sure you only have your cut lines set to cut, and not your outlines.


Set your paper setting to what works best with your paper (double cutting if necessary), and set your cut to go!  Don’t forget to make sure it’s registering those marks right off the bat.  If it’s not, hit the pause button to cancel the print.  I find that if it’s not registering, turning the machine off and on resets it’s interaction with the program so it registers the second time around. Ready to see the results?



What a cute little bee!

Want to make the card I made?

Here’s a quick rundown of the card making process.


Materials: (Some of these links are affiliate links.  Thanks for supporting my blog!)

Technique Tuesday Simply You stamps
Lawn Fawn Gnome Sweet Gnome stamps
Xyron sticker maker
Fiskers 4 stamp block set
Thermoweb XL tape runner
Pop dots (not shown)
Paper Source brush stroke orange paper
Paper Source brush stroke cream paper (2 pieces cut to 1.5″x3″)
Paper Source 4-bar card (lake)
Paper Source curry coverstock
Moxxie Perserverance paper {I used this for the envelope with my envelope punch board}
Free Studio cut file – Do you like my free cut files?  I’d love it if you followed me on one of my social media outlets!

First – prep and cut all your layered pieces.  (Tip:  for the paper source papers I used the following cut settings – Speed: 9, Thickness: 15, Blade:2 and a newish blade).  Use the thermoweb tape for everything but the dotted line, for which I used the xyron sticker maker.




Then, everything is just layered.  I used the thermoweb tape for everything but the bee and the saying.  For those, I used pop dots to give it a bit of dimension.  (Tip:  add the tape to the card instead of to the softer paper when layering the fibrous paper onto the cardstock).


And add your stamps to the inside and back!


And did you catch my awesome custom stamp I purchased from  I’m really excited about it, and so happy with how it came out!  I feel like I’m finally getting the hang of this branding thing.


Want to Check Out More Silhouette Projects?

500x200button (1)

My Silhouette Challenge buddies and I are all sharing projects on our blogs today, so peruse the projects below for a wealth of Silhouette inspiration!

The Great Lamp Rescue Barnyard Animal Paper Garland & Party Details Sweet and Simple Easter Bunny Card Owl Theme Baby Shower Ombre Paint Chip Earrings & Free Cut File Spring is Blooming Drop It (Like It's Hot) Hexagon Tray Spruce Up Your RECIPE BOOK Gift Card Giving Free Cut Files Custom outlines for stamps Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Juice Boxes Wine Themed Bridal Shower Learn How To Make A Sewn Paper Garland! Moroccan Thank You Card 3D Flower Spring Wreath For the Love of Paper: Cutting Embellishments Create Your Own St. Patrick's Day Cupcake Wrappers and Toppers Swimming Word Art St. Patrick's Day Lime White Chocolate Chips Cupcakes + Freebie You're invited to a dog party! I'm so Lucky! Spring Wreath with SIlhouette Cut Flowers Tiny Princesses Paper Dolls Colorful Quote with your Silhouette Get Well Bouquet with Persimmon Roses Greeting Card Holder Baby Shower Invitations How-To Create a Custom Pillowbox on Your Silhouette Machine + Free Cut File! Quality Time Jar Matchbox Cover with {FREE CUT FILE} DIY Baby Girl Shower Invitation Candy Alphabet Travel Game Paper Garland Pretty Paper Roses DIY Geometric Heart Journal Hand Made Decorations for a Pirate Party Wedding Shower Gift Heart Map Decoupaged Letters (A scanner + A Silhouette = Spectacular results!) Easter Pop-up Box Card with Sweet Sorbet Designer Paper from Stampin' Up! Better World Greeting Cards Star Wars Silhouette Canvas Monogrammed Gifts Make Printable Gift Wrap with your Silhouette Software Free Printable: Blank Banner with free Silhouette Cut File

1. McCall Manor // 2. The Turquoise Home // 3. Creative Savings // 4. Sandpaper and Glue // 5. The Thinking Closet // 6. Sowdering About in Seattle // 7. Persia Lou // 8. From Wine to Whine // 9. Dream a Little Bigger // 10. Please Excuse My Craftermath… // 11. Play. Party. Pin. // 12. Everyday Paper // 13. Practically Functional // 14. A Tossed Salad Life // 15. My Favorite Finds // 16. The House on Hillbrook // 17. Adventures in All Things Food // 18. A Glimpse Into Barb’s Life // 19. TitiCrafty // 20. The Experimental Home // 21. feto soap blog // 22. Creative Ramblings // 23. The Stamp Doc // 24. Ginger Snap Crafts // 25. Simply Kelly Designs // 26. Whats Next Ma // 27. unOriginal Mom // 28. Bringing Creativity 2 Life // 29. Cutesy Crafts // 30. My Paper Craze // 31. Create & Babble // 32. Grey Luster Girl // 33. The Sensory Emporium // 34. Lil’ Mrs. Tori // 35. Black and White Obsession // 36. Mama Sonshine // 37. Weekend Craft // 38. Creative Carnival // 39. Peace, Love and Joyce // 40. Tried & True // 41. The Frill of Life // 42. Dragonfly & Lily Pads // 43. Get Silvered // 44. Minted Strawberry

I like to link up here.
Affiliate links help me keep this blog running. Thanks for using them!
All opinions expressed on this blog are always my own.

43 Responses to Custom outlines for stamps

    • I’m glad you found it useful Holly! If you find yourself having questions, please feel free to let me know and I’ll do my best to answer them.

    • Thanks Laura! I try to stretch my imagination when thinking about how to use my silhouette. Sometimes it works out well. Other times… not so much. 😉 And the challenge group is definitely the place to be for learning!

    • Thanks Meredith! I was so excited when I thought of it. The thought of hand cutting all those bees was just too much for me!

    • Thanks Tanya! There are so many stamps that don’t have die cuts as well, like my little bees. I love being able to have this in my wheel house!

    • Thanks Pam! You inspire me with all of the amazing projects you make, so I’m especially thankful to be able to return the favor. 😀

    • I love the bee too! I’ve started about thinking of him as my little friend. I think he needs a name. I’ll have to ask my beekeeping friend!

    • And with all the stamps you must own, I can only imagine how you’ll be able to put them to use! I’m so glad you’re a part of the group as well Joyce!

    • No worries Jessica! I’ll just judge you quietly for it. 😉 {Not really. I should see if I can get a plugin that allows editing of comments!}

    • Thanks Carrie! Just to be clear though, the stamp is not made from silhouette stamping material. It’s a Fawn Lawn stamp that I used my silhouette to cut around, since they didn’t have a die cut. I can only wish I had the artistic ability to draw such a cute little bee!!

  1. Kristy,
    This card is darling! The use of the stamping technique and the other materials you used gives your work a top notch design. This branding stuff you mentioned is a lot to digest and learn isn’t it? I am still working on branding. Congrats on getting it right!!!!
    SC Buddy,
    Karen Marie
    Dragonfly & Lily Pads

  2. Aw! That little buzzing bee is too cute. I especially appreciate the pun on the front as well as your message on the inside. Also, I LOVE how easy to follow and thorough your tutorials are. You are a natural teacher! Brava, Kristy. And thanks again for all your help with the image map this month. It’s the bee’s knees! (Yes, I totally went there.)
    Lauren @ The Thinking Closet recently posted…The Thrifty Girl’s Guide to Coastal DecorMy Profile

    • Yay! Hearing I’m a natural teacher from one of the bests makes me feel all good inside. Loving the bee puns btw. 😉

  3. […] About in Seattle // 7. Persia Lou // 8. From Wine to Whine // 9. Dream a Little Bigger // 10. Please Excuse My Craftermath… // 11. Play. Party. Pin. // 12. Everyday Paper // 13. Practically Functional // 14. A Tossed Salad […]

Leave a reply

CommentLuv badge