Print Then Cut Stickers with Silhouette Cameo 4

Print Then Cut Stickers with the Silhouette Cameo 4

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At first glance it seems like print then cut stickers with the Silhouette Cameo 4 are going to be difficult to make, but I am here to tell you that is not the case. It is actually very easy, I swear.

Silhouette Studio software is kind of scary when you first open it because it is a very powerful program with tons of icons and tools all over the screen. However, once you try making print then cut stickers with it and your Cameo 4, it will become much less intimidating. The hardest part is learning (and keeping track of) which tools you need to use in Silhouette Studio to get the sticker designs set up. That is what I’m here for!

In today’s tutorial, I will walk you through exactly how to set up your sticker designs in Silhouette Studio, offer some tricks for getting the best results with your printer and Cameo and then show you how to actually make some perfect print then cut stickers.

You may also want to check out my tutorial on Group vs. Weld in Silhouette Studio

Please check out the video tutorial below or scroll down for instructions with photos:

What Images Can You Make into Stickers with the Silhouette Cameo 4?

The great thing about cutting machines with print then cut functions is that you can turn virtually any image file into a sticker. In addition to the standard shapes and words, you can use photos, drawings, clip art, svg files, etc. Anything you can scan, download or save as an image file (or an .SVG) will work; .PNG and .JPG files are the best image types because they are generally the highest resolution.

Close Up of Print Then Cut Stickers with Silhouette Cameo 4
Click to enlarge

Important Tips for Using Images

There are a couple of things you should know before using images from your computer to make stickers:

Low Resolution Sticker Example
Pixelating image example. Click to enlarge.

Sometimes the image is too small when inserted into Silhouette Studio and when you resize it, it’s blurry/pixelated.
This happens because the image is not at a high enough resolution to print clearly in a larger size. This can happen if you download an image from the Internet and the image is too small, say under about 500 x 500 pixels (sometimes less, sometimes more). Web resolution is 72 dpi (dots per inch) which is very low resolution; print resolution is 300 dpi (sometimes 600 dpi) which is a lot higher. The way around this is to only download larger (aka higher resolution) images from the Internet. My advice is that they need to be at least 800 – 1000 pixels x the same amount or higher. The higher the better if you plan to print the image.

The image is licensed like a Disney character, a corporate logo (eg Starbucks), or a cute design from an Etsy store or someone’s website.
Unless you paid for a commercial use license when you downloaded the image, you can only use these images to make stickers FOR PERSONAL USE. This is true 99.9% of the time if you downloaded it for free. That means you can make the stickers and put them on home decor, cards, tags, scrapbook pages, etc. that you are going to use yourself or give to others. But, you cannot print stickers using these kinds of images and then sell them. That is a violation of copyright law not to mention, a violation of an artist’s intellectual property rights. Please DO NOT do this. It is a large problem within the craft industry. If you don’t think it’s that big a deal, please check out this great post from an artist in the Netherlands whose craft designs were illegally used. I’ll get off my high horse now…

Matte or Glossy Sticker Paper?

A$ Matte vs Glossy Sticker Paper
Matte vs. Glossy Sticker Paper from Click to enlarge.

The basic essential for making stickers is sticker paper. You will cut your designs out of it but which kind should you use?

Matte Sticker Paper
This can be used for printing images on it like clip art, photos, patterns to be used for print then cut stickers. Or, you can use it to make your own background patterns with things like inks and markers and then use it to cut simple shapes and words into stickers (not print then cut).

The matte finish of the paper has a porous surface so inks and markers can soak into the paper and become permanent. If the paper is thick enough you could use watercolor on it too. But, it does have a flat, matte surface which can be unappealing for some.

Glossy Sticker Paper
This can also  be used for any printed image like clip art, photos, patterns. Similar to photo paper, the sticker paper is coated in a glossy finish that turns the paper into essentially a non-porous surface (not entirely but close).

This kind of sticker paper is difficult to ink or draw on because the glossy surface won’t allow the normal inks used for stamping or writing to soak into the paper and stay put; they will just rub off. You’ll need specialty inks to do this (like Staz On, Archival, Sharpies, etc.) of which some can be pricey and sometimes these inks eventually wear off the paper anyway.

Pick the type of sticker paper that works best for your needs. I am using matte sticker paper for this tutorial (linked below).

In addition to sticker paper, you can also use printable adhesive vinyl to make stickers – usually called decals. You can use permanent adhesive vinyl to stick things to mugs, bottles, plates, etc. or removeable vinyl to add decals to walls, phones, etc.

Set Up Your Mat in Silhouette Studio

Open Silhouette Studio. Your screen should show a new untitled project with a blank 12 x 12 mat. Click on the Page Setup menu on the top of the right toolbar.

On the first tab, click on the drop down menu next to the Media Size menu and change it to 8.5″ x 11″ if printing on a letter-sized sticker paper, which I am for this tutorial.

Silhouette Studio: Change Media Size
Click to enlarge

Now click the third tab at the top of the Page Set Up menu (it is a dark mat). This is the tab for Registration Marks. Check the On box to turn them on.

Silhouette Studio: Turn Registration Marks On
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To make any kind of Print Then Cut project, you must use the Registration Marks. The Cameo reads these before cutting to be able to tell where images have been printed on your sticker paper.

Print Then Cut & Registration Mark Tips

Laying out your sticker images on the mat properly is the most important way to avoid print then cut problems.

Now that the registration marks are turned on, you will notice a black square in the upper left of the mat, and a black right angle in the upper right corner and in the lower left corner of the mat. There is also a lighter cross-hatch pattern across teh top of the mat and around the lower left corner.

Silhouette Studio: Registration Marks on Mat
Click to enlarge

When you print your images, only the black square and right angles will print, but the crosshatch pattern is there to help with image placement because you do not want to place any images too close to the registration marks.

  • Tip #1: DO NOT overlap the crosshatch pattern or registration marks when placing print then cut  images on the mat

You should also notice a large red rectangle has been added to the mat. This is the cut border for the Silhouette Cameo machine (see photo above).

  • Tip #2: Make sure all of your print then cut images are inside the red cut line rectangle. If they overlap the box or are outside of it (hard to do) they won’t cut properly and may cause a machine error when it goes to read the registration marks.

You may need to turn on Print Bleed to avoid white halos or  white edges around some images.

  • Tip #3: Turn Print Bleed ON if you are cutting out colored stickers with no white border. With Print Bleed on, the printer makes the images ever so slightly larger so ink is printed just beyond the cut lines so no white will show around the edges of the stickers once cut.
  • Tip #4: Every so often turning Print Bleed on can make images print slightly blurry so test the clarity of your images first by printing them on plain paper (not sticker paper). If blurry, you can turn Print Bleed off but you then risk the white halo. Six of one, half dozen of the other…

Add Sticker Images on to Mat in Silhouette Studio

To add a print then cut image to the mat, go to File>Merge.

Silhouette Studio: File Merge on Menu
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A screen appears with your computer files and locations showing. Navigate to the location of the image you wish to use, click on it to select it and then click OK. The image will be appear on your mat.

Silhouette Studio: Mat with Initial Image Inserted
Click to enlarge

Images always appear in the upper left corner of the mat as you insert them, so with the Selection tool active, click and drag the image out of the corner and into the middle mat (not overlapping the crosshatch pattern or red rectangle).

Trace the Sticker Images in Silhouette Studio

If you want to create a white outline around the image, click on the Trace icon on the right toolbar (looks like a piece of toast to me).

Silhouette Studio: Trace Icon on Toolbar
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Click on Select Trace Area and click and drag to draw a box over then entire image.

Silhouette Studio: Select Trace Area
Click to enlarge

Portions of the image will highlight in yellow, but probably not all of the image. But, to get a good outline, you want to fill the entire image in with yellow.

To increase the yellow trace, click on the Threshold slider in the Trace menu and slide it up until the entire image fills in with yellow. If you get to 100% on the Threshold box and there are some spots still not filled in, go to the Scale slider and slowly increase it until all of the gray areas fill in as well.

Silhouette Studio: Increase Trace Threshold or Scale
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Click on Trace at the bottom of the menu to trace the image. Click and drag the image off of the new traced outline. Leave it somewhere else on the mat for now.

Silhouette Studio: Move Original Image off Trace
Click to enlarge

Add Borders to Images in Silhouette Studio

Now, click on the outlined star icon on the right tool bar (also in the upper tool bar) to open the Offset Menu. If the traced outline image was already selected, an offset may appear around it as soon as the box opens. If not, click to select the image, then click the Offset choice on the menu box.

Silhouette Studio: Initial Offset Size
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If the offset is too wide, reduce the size of it by clicking on the down arrow in the Distance box of the Offset menu.

Silhouette Studio: Reduce Offset Size
Click to enlarge

Select and delete the original traced outline leaving the newly create offset layer and the original colored image.

NOTE: If using a .PNG image that comes in with a cut border all the way around the image itself (a very thin red line), you won’t need to Trace it, you can skip directly to Offset. Unfortunately, .JPGs almost always need to be traced first. This is because .PNG files usually have transparent backgrounds so the software will see the image itself as the object to be cut and not its background. JPG files usually have white backgrounds that create a white rectangle behind the image itself and then the software sees the rectangle as the object to be cut instead of the image.

Clean Up Outlines with Weld in Silhouette Studio

Sometimes you may create an outline that has weird holes in it that won’t cut well. This usually happens when creating outlines around a multi-object image.

Silhouette Studio: Awkward Areas of Offset
Click to enlarge

To remove the holes, go to the Shapes menu on the left tool bar and select whichever shape will work best to cover the holes. I chose a rectangle. Return to the image outline and draw the shape over one of the holes in the outline. Click on the Select tool and then click and drag over both the outline and the new shape to select both. Right click and choose Weld.

Silhouette Studio: Fix Awkward Offset Holes with Weld
Click to enlarge

The drawn shape with weld with the outline to fill in the hole (basically both the shape and the howl will disappear). Repeat to fill any other holes in your outline.

Silhouette Studio: Offset After Holes Welded
Click to enlarge

Align Images in Silhouette Studio

Click and drag the original color image on to the outline. If you can’t get it centered properly, click and drag to select both the image and the outline layer. Then navigate up to the Align tool on the upper tool bar.

Click on the center vertically icon and the image will adjust over the outline layer. Then click on the Center horizontally icon and the image will again adjust to be perfectly centered over the outline layer.

Silhouette Studio: Align Tool Menu
Click to enlarge

Group & Duplicate Images in Silhouette Studio

If necessary, click and drag to select both layers and click on the Group button on the upper tool bar.

Silhouette Studio: Group Icon on Toolbar
Click to enlarge

If desired, resize the image by changing its dimensions in the Scale box of the upper toolbar. Then, if you want to make more than one copy of this new sticker, right click on it and hit Duplicate to create as many copies as you like. Click and drag each around to arrange them all properly on the mat, again making sure none of the stickers or their outlines overlap the crosshatch pattern or the red rectangle around the edge.

Repeat the previous steps for all of the images you want to make stickers out of; it really doesn’t take that long.

Silhouette Studio: All Images Laid Out on Mat
Click to enlarge

Make Your Outlined Stickers Easy to Cut

Turn your Cameo on so it can connect to Silhouette Studio. Honestly, at this point you could print your stickers (next step) but before I do, I make sure they are going to correctly cut. To do this, I click on the Send tab in the upper right of the screen.

Silhouette Studio: Go to the Send Tab
Click to enlarge

Now the mat will show with the cut lines highlighted in red and sometimes the outline layers and the edges of the images are highlighted to be cut.

Silhouette Studio: Cut Lines when Set to Cut
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Since you only want to cut the outlines, click on the Cut Edge choice on the Tool 1 menu. Now, hopefully, the mat will change and only the outlines will be highlighted in red to be cut.

Silhouette Studio: Cut Lines when Set to Cut Edge
Click to enlarge

If not, my trick is to return to the Design tab and click to select each image where its outline and the image edge still showed as cut lines. Right click on them and choose Weld. This will weld them into one layer and should correct the problem. Sometimes, if the outline is too wide, parts of the image can get repeated around the edge. If that is the case, print your stickers BEFORE taking this step so when you cut them, the duplicate images at the edges won’t matter (the images are already printed with white around them).

Silhouette Studio: Weld Image Layers Together if Necessary
Click to enlarge

Once the problem images are welded, return to the Send tab and repeat the first part of this step.

Print Your Stickers

Go to File>Print to bring up the print preview box. You will notice that the crosshatch pattern and red cut rectangle won’t be printed. But you should have plenty of room around the registration marks if you stayed away from them.

Silhouette Studio: Print Preview Screen
Click to enlarge

Click Print to bring up your Printer Properties box. For me, I then click on the Preferences box to bring up the advanced choices for my printer. Here is where I change the Print Quality to High; you should change it to whatever is the highest quality for your printer. I leave the paper as standard Plain Paper since I’m printing on matte sticker paper. But if you aer using glossy sticker paper, I suggest you change it to Glossy Photo Paper, unless your printer actually has sticker paper options (mine does not).

Silhouette Studio: Change Print Quality to High
Click to enlarge

Make sure you have loaded your sticker paper into your printer. Now click OK on the Preferences box (if applicable) and then OK on the main printer box to print your stickers. Yay!

Load the Mat into the Silhouette Cameo 4

Retrieve your now printed sticker images from your printer and place the paper into the upper left corner of a Standard Silhouette Mat.

Print Then Cut Sticker Images Loaded on Mat
Click to enlarge

Line the edge of the mat up with the gray arrows on the left side of the machine and press the mat against the roller wheels. Hit the Load Mat button (up arrow) to load the mat into your Silhouette Cameo 4.

Print Then Cut Stickers: Load Mat into Silhouette Cameo 4
Click to enlarge

Check Cut Settings in Silhouette Studio

Return to the Send tab in  Silhouette Studio. Check the Material setting and if necessary, change to Sticker Paper, White by clicking on the drop down arrow and scrolling the list.

Silhouette Studio: Change Material Type
Click to enlarge

From experience, I know that the default Force Setting for Sticker Paper, White is too high for the thin sticker paper I use. If I leave it at 14, it will just barely cut through the backing sheet. so I adjust the Force down to 12. You may have to experiment to see if you need to change it depending on the type of sticker paper you use.

Make sure the Autoblade is detected and it is still set to Cut Edge. Click Send to begin cutting the stickers with your Silhouette Cameo 4.

Silhouette Studio: Change Force Setting and Send
Click to enlarge

Cut the Stickers with Your Silhouette Cameo 4

The Silhouette Cameo 4 begins by scanning the Registration Marks on your printed sticker sheet. This takes a few seconds adn then it will begin cutting out the stickers.

Print Then Cut Stickers: Silhouette Cameo 4 Cuts Stickers Out
Click to enlarge

Unload & Weed the Stickers

When the machine stops cutting and will push the mat forward to be unloaded.

NOTE: If desired, check the cut BEFORE unloading the mat and if necessary click Send again in Silhouette Studio to have the Cameo cut the stickers again.

Print Then Cut Stickers with Silhouette Cameo 4: Check Cut Before Unloading
Click to enlarge

Flip the mat over and carefully remove the sticker paper from the mat by peeling the mat away from the paper while keeping the paper as flat as possible.

Like weeding vinyl, remove the excess sticker paper from around the now-cut stickers by carefully peeling it away from the backing paper. The goal is to have your stickers remain on the backing paper while removing the excess sticker paper from around them.

Print Then Cut Stickers with Silhouette Cameo 4: Weeding After the Cut
Click to enlarge

Check Out Your New Print Then Cut Stickers

If your sticker weeding was as easy as mine was, you should have new, ready to use stickers in no time. Share them, give them away or just enjoy!!

Print Then Cut Stickers with Silhouette Cameo 4 Completed
Click to enlarge

Questions or Comments?

If you have any questions, please leave me a comment below and I will get back to you soon. Want to just tell me how much you loved this tutorial? Please leave me a comment below – lol!

Print Then Cut Stickers with Silhouette Cameo 4: Closeup
Click to enlarge


I would also appreciate any ideas you may have for topics to cover related to the software for Cricut (Design Space), Silhouette (Studio) or Brother (Canvas Workspace) and any suggestions you may have on projects to create with the Cricut Maker, Cricut Joy, Silhouette Cameo 4 or the Brother Scan N Cut DX. Please leave any requests you have in the comments. I appreciate you taking the time to visit and read my blog. Thanks!


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  1. Carrie says:

    Well, this is quite interesting! I am on Cameo 3. Recently, I’ve been having serious issues with print and cuts. Mostly, it’s when I purchase a file for planners on Etsy. I truly don’t think this is a file issue, exactly, because even things I’ve been able to cut previously are now all whacked. The problem is the inset. I’ve compared the ones that are cutting ok with the ones that no longer work (but did). The common denominator is the lower left inset value. If it is anything other than .625, my mark at the bottom gets cut off in the printing (and it shows in the print preview as yours seems to be doing, but yours seems to print ok?). With a cut off mark, there are only registration mark errors. The sucker won’t read them. I have no idea what happened. NONE. I went back and tried files that have previously done fine and go. In fact, it has also started to cut all over the place. Not everything..but many things…even files I’ve gotten from the design store and were previously fine. I’ve calibrated the machine. I’ve changed the blade to a new one. I’ve gotten a new, clean mat. I’ve copied an entire design page, opened a new tab and pasted it (that always worked with the planner stickers with errors…but the marks were printing in full, too). My machine is set to what I am using…the mat is set to the 12×12…the media is set to letter size (as that is the size!). Lighting isn’t an issue because I can cut something ok in a certain light and in the next cut, nothing. The blade is as far into the carriage as it goes. There are no gaps. No paper stuck in the blade (it was brand new out of the packaging and it still failed). I’ve printed from another printer. I’ve uninstalled the software and reinstalled it. I’ve gone back a software version. Firmware is current. It’s odd because it also looks like page is “zoomed in” when it isn’t (by my own doings so I can’t unzoom it) and that is why the mark isn’t cut off….I would hope it would still print accurately, but I have no idea. I am on a Mac Big Sur….I’ve deleted the Silhouette p.lists (preferences) and restarted the software to create new folders. Nothing. I think I am going to just toss this in the dumpster and call it good. I am sooo over it! LOL

    1. elenaa3 says:

      Wow, Carrie. That really sucks! My Cameo is newer so that may be why mine is doing well with print and cut. The couple of thoughts I have are to completely delete the Studio program and reinstall it (make sure you have your license key handy if you are using a version beyond basic) and see if that resets anything. If you are handy with a graphics program like Canva or Photoshop, you could try creating your own version of the print page by taking a screenshot of the print preview of the registration marks and pasting that into a blank 8.5″ x 11″ canvas in one of those graphics programs. Then paste in the images you want to print, arrange them around the registration marks and try to print it all together (images and registration marks) and see if the machine can read it properly. That’s a lot of work but might be a temporary solution while you contact Silhouette for a solution. You might also check your printer to see if the margins have somehow been set wrong and that may be why it’s cutting off that lower left mark on the page? I know your Cameo warranty has probably expired but I would try Silhouette and see if they can do anything before you chuck the machine. I’m sorry that’s happening. I hope you can get it sorted out and let me know if any of my suggestions help if you try them, so I will know for next time. Good luck!! 😎

  2. Hope Casey says:

    You have saved my sanity! I have tried for three days to get these stickers to cut, I tried to follow other instructions and they did not cut it. Yours was the only one that made sense. Thank you so much!!

    1. elenaa3 says:

      I know exactly what you mean as far as the machine making you feel like you’re losing your mind – lol. I am so, so happy that you got your stickers to cut and that my tutorial helped! Thank you so much for letting me know, Hope.

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