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Stencil Making With A Silhouette Cameo

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#1 garyo1954



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Posted 14 July 2012 - 11:02 PM

Okay, you just finished airbrushing that new lure. It looks great!
But it needs something. Maybe some spots or lines, or just something to make it stand out as an original. Maybe you just want to personalize it.

Attached File  DSCN5433.JPG   307.96K   178 downloads
If you’ve got an airbrush, you’ve probably used a stencil. And stencils don’t have to be fancy.

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Maybe some old netting for scales, a pocket comb for stripes. Something you’ve cut by hand or something bought for other purposes. You can even get patterns offline which you can print and cut. Something like this.

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For a simple stencil you could resize this pattern in Paint, print it, cut it with an exacto knife, lay it against your lure and spray. In this tutorial we’re going to use the same principles to cut this design with a Silhouette Cameo. From the Silhouette America site found here: http://www.silhouett...uetteCameo.aspx

“The Silhouette CAMEO® is an electronic cutting tool for personal use. Like a home printer, it plugs into your PC or Mac® with a simple USB cable. However, instead of printing it uses a small blade to cut paper, cardstock, vinyl, fabric and more up to 12" wide and 10 feet long.”

This may be the first you have heard of these machines. I learned of them from a friend who does scrapbooking. I got very interested in the idea when a group in hard baits began to toss around the idea of using such a machine to make stencils.
And this may very well be the first tutorial on using a personal cutter to create a fishing lure stencil. I’m happy to post it a TU.

We get started just as we would if we planned to download an image and cut it by hand.
We can go to any search engine and type in something like “fishing lure patterns” and click images.

Attached File  lurestencil.jpg   753.98K   187 downloads

I’ve already located this pattern (highlighted in the red box). Normally you’ll want something with a higher resolution, something around 350 by 350, but for this exercise, we can use this pattern.

Save this image to your computer and open Silhouette Studio.

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The interface is fairly intuitive. On the right side you’ll find the icons for text, trace, fill patterns, cutting, aligning, duplicating, etc. The left side has the same options under the headings Edit or Object. Now OPEN the file you downloaded into Studio.

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The little triangle in the upper right corner alerts you this is a low resolution image. Not a problem for what we are doing. But as I mentioned earlier, it is best to find an image around 350 x 350. So let’s move on. We need to TRACE the pattern we want to use. And to do that we open the TRACE menu and choose Select Trace Area.

Step #1: Draw a box around the area to TRACE. Make sure to highlight all the areas we want to remove. In working with an image in Studio always make sure the image is selected. If you see the measure lines and green dot, the image is selected.

Attached File  trace.jpg   53.88K   91 downloads

Uncheck the high pass filter…..in this case the pattern highlights in yellow.

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If necessary, we can adjust the threshold setting until everything we want removed turns yellow. Then click “Trace Outer Edge,” the second option in the menu.

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The box and yellow highlight will disappear and the pattern will now be outlined In red.

Step #2: Remove the white background. To do that we MODIFY the image.
First, we need to duplicate our cut lines. We’ll move our original image off to the side, open the REPLICATE window, and select duplicate. You can duplicate it above, below, left, or right. Doesn’t matter. You now have two sets of cut lines.

Attached File  duplicate.jpg   79.93K   61 downloads

We now put our image back on top the cut lines and open the MODIFY window.

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We select Crop and the whitebackground disappears.

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Step #3: Those little black lines show each individual part of our pattern. We need to GROUP these to keep them in place. We RIGHT CLICK on the pattern and a window will open. Click Group.

Attached File  group1.jpg   157.13K   51 downloads

We can now select both groups, make sure you have lines around everything, like the following picture and ALIGN them using the Center option. Like this:

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The images will automatically move together......

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Step #4: The final step is to GROUP this pattern…..

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Once we do that we have an image we can make larger or smaller depending on the size stencil we need.....

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Those are the basic steps to making a stencil. You can now size these and cut with the Cameo.

Or using the scale and mirror options you can make a two sided stencil like this.

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I went ahead an made the two sided stencils in various sizes. Once we send it to the cutter we'll have the finished product....

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We have taken an image off the internet, made two sided stencils in 1 ½”, 2”, 2 ½”, 3”, 3 ½”, 3 ¾”, and 4” in reusable 4 mil vinyl.

Attached File  DSCN5445.JPG   313.28K   117 downloads

Although this process may seem a bit complicated, for start to finish it can be done in about half hour. And you are not limited to downloading images, you can design your own with the tools included in the software.

Like I've said in other threads, the Silhouette Cameo is not just a one dimensional machine. It can be used for cards, gift boxes, scrapbooking, window decals, mailbox or any type lettering. The wife can use it, the kids can use it, maybe even the dog could learn. It is simple once you get familiar with the interface.

And you can make great looking fishing lure stencils at home! (Or stencils for anything you want to paint.)

*This tutorial was the result of a few guys brainstorming in the hard baits section of TU. I have not been compensated in any way by anyone for writing it or using the Silhoutte Cameo. There are other machines on the market that offer the same capabilities.*

This has actually been one of the most fun projects I undertaken on TU so thanks to everyone who had a brain in that storm!
And yep. The lures in the first picture were dotted and spotted and striped and personalized using stencils cut by this method.