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How You can use Digital Templates in Your Electronic Die Cutter

 

Digital-template-die-cut-card-tutorialhover over the image to pin this tutorial to be able to come back to it easily

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The Scrapbook Campus is running a super fun and FREE 12 days of Christmas event.  If you sign up, you'll receive an email each day with a free template and a link to a tutorial like this one that will give you some fun ideas on using digital templates :D  To get this template that I'm using you must sign up before tomorrow's email gets sent out, so go now ;)

Okay, ready to get started?  Let's go!

The Card

I'll be working with Photoshop and my Silhouette Cameo but I'll mention ways to do these steps with PaintShop Pro and a Cricut as well.

The templates from the Scrapbook Campus are in various shades of grey so we need to increase the contrast so that the Trace feature of the die-cutter will pick them up.

In Photoshop, open the template and flatten the image.  
In Image > Adjustments > levels move the sliders so that the darkest part of the template is almost black.  I actually lost the square behind the diamond in the centre, but it's okay, stick with me I get it back in the end ;)

Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 10.29.40 AM

In Paintshop Pro, you can do the same thing in Adjust > Brightness and Contrast > brightness/contrast or levels.

Next, save it and move to your electronic die-cutter software and open it there. 

Resize it to fit your work space.
In the Silhouette software, using the Trace function, go to Select Trace Area and trace around the template image.
Turn off the High Pass Filter and adjust the Threshold until you get it the way you want and then trace.  
I actually traced it twice.  Once, to trace all the elements, and then a second trace to get the outline of the entire card, because the front of the card is still grey and didn't get picked up by the trace function as easily.  With the second trace, I used Trace Outer Edge

first trace:
Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 10.20.16 AM

second trace:
Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 5.12.20 PM

You'll get pieces like these:
Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 10.20.49 AM
Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 10.24.10 AM

For the Cricut, you'll need to be a Design Space user.

Upload your image.
Select simple, moderate or complex depending on the contrast between the image and the background.
Use select tool to remove background.

This is a great time to add score lines. Use a dotted line and with the help of the grid to get it centred and straight, draw a line across the middle.
Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 10.27.46 AM

Next, you can cut the pieces as usual on whatever paper you'd like.

The Envelope

Repeat the steps for the envelope.  This time, I actually traced around each individual piece.  And again, I added in the score lines the same way as with the card.
Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 10.40.36 AM

Cut, decorate and give it away to put a smile on someone's face!

Cara-12-days-template-card

If you've enjoyed this tutorial, please share it so that others can play too :D

Tweet: Making cut files for your die-cutter from digital templates is easy with this tutorial from @caravincens

It's so easy to translate a digital template to your die-cutter.  Another idea: if you've used your template in the traditional sense and made a digital card, you can use this tutorial to cut out your project, add score lines etc.  And if you have a Silhouette, there's always the print and cut option. 

If you have any questions whatsoever don't hesitate to ask any questions either in the comments or shoot me an email at cara@thehootingpirate.com

I added my cards from the Creative Christmas bundle to my etsy shop, so if you missed that deadline but still would like the cards, check them out :D

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