Silhouette 101: How To Print & Cut Designs with your Silhouette Cameo

Learning how to do Print and Cut with your Silhouette machine will open up such a wide range of things you can do with your machine!  I created this card with a few simple Print and Cut images:

This card is super cute!  Two easy print and cut images and a few pop dots and it's done!  So easy to make your own printed die cuts!

There are two ways to use the Print and Cut function with your Silhouette machine.

  1. You can purchase pre-made designs that are ready to Print and Cut
  2. You can make your own images from scratch

This post will cover how to work with files that you purchase, but you can check out Silhouette 102: How to Create Print and Cut Designs, From Scratch! if you’d like to make your own!

When you have purchased a Print and Cut file, you will need to download the file and save it somewhere convenient on your computer.

Once you have downloaded your image, open your Silhouette Studio then go to File–> Open and find your file you have saved.  This will bring your image into Silhouette Studio.  Next, click on the Registration Mark Window:
Great tutorial on how to use the Silhouette Print and Cut feature.  The first step is getting the registration marks in place with the Registration Mark window.

I have always used the default settings, but you can change it up if you’re feeling adventurous! 😉

Once you click on the Registration Window, select the Style that you would like to use from the drop down box.  The options are: Off, Type 1 (Cameo, Portrait, Curio) or Type 2 (Original, SD):

How to do Print and Cut with the Silhouette!  It's so easy, why haven't I done this yet?I am using my Silhouette Cameo, so I picked Type 1.

This will add the Registration Marks to your work space.  There are a few different pieces to the Print and Cut window, so I thought it might be helpful to diagram it out for you:

This helpful diagram shows all the pieces of the print and cut feature on the Silhouette Cameo.  I couldn't figure out what all the lines meant, now I know!  Pinning now for use later!The large gray box in the background is your Silhouette Cutting Mat.  The white box on top of the Silhouette Cutting Mat is your material (in this case, I am going to use a piece of 8.5″ x 11″ cardstock).  You can adjust both of these settings by clicking on the Design Page Settings window where “Page Size” is your material:

The Design Page Settings window in Silhouette software allows you to change the page size (your material you're cutting) and rotate your view.

Next, ensure that you are positioning your image correctly.  You will need to pay attention to two things on your work area:

1) The red outside box:  This is the cut border for your material.  Nothing outside the red box will cut, even if it contains cut lines.

2) The cross hatch area:  This area is an area that the Print and Cut function looks at and you’ll want to keep anything that is printable outside of the cross hatch area (cut lines inside the cut area is okay, however).

For example:

What do those cross hatch marks mean in the Silhouette Studio Software?  NOW I KNOW!

The blue flower tag on the left will not work because the printing area is inside the cross hatch area.  The orange flower tag on the right is okay though, because the printable area is outside the cross hatch area, though there are cut lines within the cross hatches.  If in doubt, just keep everything you’re working on outside of the cross hatches.  

Once you have your design situated, click the Send to Printer button:

The Silhouette send to printer button sends your design to a connected or networked printer.

Note: You will need to have a printer either connected to your computer or you will need a networked printer to use, the Silhouette Cameo does not do the actual printing.

Your printer will print off a sheet with your printable file and some registration marks.  Notice that the gray hatch marks are not printed.

Once you print your design, you attach it to your mat.  The Print and Cut feature is SO EASY!

Place the printed paper in the upper left hand corner of your cutting mat.  Be careful to aligning it straight (follow the grid marks on your cutting mat).  Load your cutting mat into your machine.

Next, click the Send to Silhouette Button:The Silhouette send to Silhouette button sends your designs to be cut out by your Silhouette machine.

The machine will read the printed Registration Marks.  If your machine is having problems finding the Registration Marks, you will have to trouble shoot it (more on that in a different post).

Once your machine reads all three Registration Marks, it will begin to cut out your designs:

The Silhouette is so handy!  Check out these perfectly cut embellishments I can put together to make a quick and easy card!

To finish off my card, I cut a piece of white card stock for my card base.  I added foam adhesive dots to the back of the cupcake so it wouldn’t be flat on the card base.  Next I put more foam adhesive dots on the back of the Happy Birthday banner to make it pop it off the cupcake and give the card dimension:

I used the Silhouette Cameo to print and cut my own embellishments and made this cute card in a beat.  So quick and easy and looks so professional!

This was such a simple and easy card!  Doing Print and Cut is like making making your own die cut embellishments!

The Silhouette Print and Cut make it so easy to whip up a beautiful card! I never knew it was so easy!

What do you think?  Will you be trying Print and Cut soon?

Silhouette cameo tutorial

18 Replies to “Silhouette 101: How To Print & Cut Designs with your Silhouette Cameo”

  1. I am having trouble. My bottom regristration mark will not print on the printer so it will not read on the cameo. I have tried everyway and I am at a loss.

    Stacy M Holley says:
    1. Hi Stacy, I’m sorry to hear you are having difficulties! I would recommend reaching out to Silhouette’s customer service to get some help from them:

      Send a message

      Courteney says:
  2. This print & cut process is not this simple. I have tried what seems like a hundred times and it does not work. People keep asking me if I ‘cleaned it up’ and suggested try ‘flattening’ it. I am new to this and thought it would be simple but it’s not.

    Cathy Lippe says:
    1. Hey Cathy,
      I’m sorry to hear that you’re having some problems with print and cut. It is not that bad, once you get the hang of it. If you need some more help, email us at and I can help you more!

      Thank you

      Kala says:
  3. does this process work also for print and cut on vinyl for tshirts?

    joe says:
    1. Yes, same process only you may need to reverse your image (depending on your heat transfer material, most you don’t need to reverse, but some you do). Please let me know if you have any issues or questions!

      Kala says:
  4. Hi Kala – this is my first print and cut and I find your instructions very easy to follow. But I cannot get my Silhouette to cut… is reading the registration marks (at least that’s what I believe it is doing) but then it says job complete and never cuts them. Any suggestions on what I am doing wrong? Thanks in advance

    Veronica says:
    1. Hi Veronica!
      It’s possible your cut lines are turned off. In your design, click on the lines that should be cutting (you may have to right click and ungroup), then go to Send and make sure it says “CUT” under your tool setting. The lines should be dark red if they are turned on.
      If that doesn’t solve the issue, email me your file and I’ll take a look-

      We’ll get it figured out 😀

      Kala says:
      1. I figured it out – I was using the wrong file type….. 🙁
        Thanks for your quick response. 🙂

        Veronica says:
  5. Hi,
    I’m new to cutting (I have a Cameo 2). I have a first grandchild on the way & would love to make a mobiile/ some decoupage/ window clings for the babes room. So, I want to use my own artwork (created in CorelDraw). Whenever I try to cut – having taken photo, using a PixScan mat, the cut is made about 3mm BELOW the image. I don’t think machine needs calibration (which looks complex anyhow!). If you can help, would be much obliged -Best Wishes from the UK!

    Eddie says:
    1. Hi Eddie,
      Congrats on the new grandbaby! How exciting!

      I can certainly try to help you trouble shoot, it might be easier if you email me though so I can take a look at your file. You can reach me at

      So you printed the design off, stuck it to the PixScan mat and then tried to cut but it’s 3 mm too low on the design? Are you picking PixScan mat from the mat options? You may also need to calibrate the camera you used to take the picture of the mat (if it’s not a recognized camera like on a phone). What type of camera did you use?


      Kala says:
  6. On your previous post: you included that we needed to trace our picture but I don’t see that step now. Do we still need to trace?

    Tiffany says:
    1. Hi Tiffany,
      In the 102 post, we go over how to create a Print and Cut from scratch. You need to trace the image because Silhouette Studio will not recognize the image if you do not trace it first. In the 101 post (this one) you don’t need to trace the image, because someone else has already done so. So if you have a premade design (like one that you purchased from the Silhouette design store), then you don’t need to trace. If you found or purchased an image, that is not already a print and cut file, then you’ll need to trace.

      Does that make sense?


      Kala says:
  7. Thank you for this. You have made a tutorial in a simple way, even I understand it. Thanks again. Linda

    Linda says:
  8. Your tutorials are excellent. Very easy to understand. I’m getting my Silhouette today and I will be referring to your tutorials.

    Pam says:

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