The Question: "Can you import backgrounds into the "fill pattern" section? Shouldn't the Silhouette be able to create printables?"
Silhouette's Answer in their manual this: "Additional patterns cannot yet be downloaded and added to the pre-installed selections." (Sounds to me like there are future plans there, but none yet.)
I know some of you are thinking - I just print the pattern onto the paper and then cut the shape out. But seriously, where's the precision in that? Yes it's a solution, it's the first one I thought of, but it seemed like there had to be an even better one. Are you ready for it?
My Answer: There's another way to combine a pattern (or an image) with a shape you already own. I'm going to show you right now! This is a post full of pictures but it's so worth it. This is the end product:
The reader wants to make print and cuts for a Sunshine birthday for her little baby. How adorable, right? Now if it's a baby girl, you know I'd be buying up all the "Little Miss Sunshine" shapes from Silhouette and using those for the party. But, we're going to go with something more simple and more in line with the "typical" party packs.
So let's say I want a scalloped circle, a pennant banner, and a sign.
Fill A Shape With Your Own Pattern
1. Go through all your designs and choose the shapes that work for you. You will have to look at the designs differently. A frame might be the perfect shape for you sign, part of a flower might be exactly what you want for the circles, OR you might already have a shape for a pennant banner that is perfect!
In honor of the Sunshine Birthday I chose an adorable Sunshine image from the Silhouette store!
2. Then choose the pattern you want to "fill" your shape with. You might have digital scrapbook paper (I'll be doing another post on that soon), it might be a picture, it might be an image you made and prepared already. This is your party you can choose whatever you want!
Your only limit is in the file types that Silhouette will load: .BMP, .GIF, .JPG, .PNG, .TIFF.
3. Open the file you want to fill your design with. Move aside off the screen to make working with the design easily. Put the image to the side of you work space so you can work with the design easily (it's hard to select the design pieces with the image directly behind them.
4. Open the design you want to fill and if needed ungroup it and delete (or move) pieces until you are left with only the shape you want to fill. Then, if needed, resize it to your desired size. This is important because once the pattern is filled in, resizing it will make the image you fill with change in size as well.
5. Move the image back onto the work space and align with the design. Select both the design and the pattern. Go to the Modify menu and select crop. WOW - that was easy right?!
6. There is one more step to that though, you need to change the cut line because for some reason it's set to "no cut" after the crop. Select the design and go to the Cut Style menu. Choose "Cut Edge".
This shape is now a "Print & Cut" on it's own. You would just add registration marks, print and cut it if you are done at this step. But you can do much more with this if you want.
Create A Really Cute Print And Cut
We're moving forward with the same image we just made and turning it into something really cute for a birthday party.
1. You can either use other parts of the original image, or move ahead on your own. This is the part where you get to be creative. You most likely have an idea in your head of what you would like but I'm going to walk you through my idea one step at a time. For this button I decided to continue with the original design.
2. Take the center circle and change the fill color and line color to white. Don't worry about alignment yet, I'll show you how to do all that in a minute. Draw another circle just smaller and make the fill color none.
*To make a perfect circle hold the Shift key as you drag the mouse.
Now go to the Line Color window and select the eye dropper. Hover over your original image and you are going to see a little window pop up with the color you are over. Now you can select a color from the pattern you filled and match exactly to it if you want! Lastly go to the Line Style window. Change the Line Style to dashed (second down), line thickness to about 7, Corner Style to Rounded, and End Cap Style to Rounded. You can play around with these settings, but this gives you a perfect polka dot circle.
3. At this point select all three images. Go to the Align window and click on centralize. Did you see that magic happen? You didn't have to try to line them up yourself at all. It just does it for you!
4. I filled in the remaining pieces of the image (eyes mouth and cheeks) with colors from the menu. Make sure to change the line color too. I arranged them as I wanted over the original image.
5. Lastly I select all the images except for the filled in image, go to the Cut Style Window, and choose "No Cut". I strongly suggest grouping this image unless you want to create another variation of the it.