Many of the projects on my blog use silhouette designs cut out of paper. You can cut them by hand or you can use a special silhouette cutting machine. Here’s a quick tutorial on importing JPG or PNG files into Silhouette Studio, so that you could cut them out with Silhouette Cameo or Silhouette Portrait.

Personally, I would recommend a Silhouette Portrait to any enthusiastic crafter. I had mine for four years, and I used it for a lot of crafts: shadow puppets, handmade cards, paper lanterns and other party decorations. It is reasonably priced, and it is very useful if you like handmade.

With Silhouette Studio program, you can cut out any JPG/PNG silhouette. There are six steps involved, but they’re all very basic. Adding one file should take you no longer than a couple of minutes, and once you learn how to import JPG and PNG into Silhouette Studio, you can do it with any silhouette images easily! Here I am going to show you how to import the files of one of our shadow puppet sets – Three Billy Goats Gruff – into Silhouette Studio. You can do it with any of our other shadow puppet sets.

JPG or PNG in Silhouette Studio Tutorial

1 — Open your JPG or PNG file in Silhouette Studio. Choose File –> Open…

2 — Open Object –> Trace… 

A new menu TRACE will appear at the right of the screen. Click the button Select Trace Area.

3 — The button will give you an opportunity to stretch a rectangle over the image you want to turn into a silhouette for cutting. You can see on the picture below that the goats are inside the rectangle, and the text is outside. The program will automatically detect any images inside of this rectangle and show their outlines in yellow. But we need all the black areas to be selected. To do so, adjust the high pass filter on the right.

4 — Move the high pass filter little by little until all the black turned yellow. I don’t recommend increasing it drastically because the image may lose some details. In some cases, you might also need to increase scale at the bottom, but it looks like the this image doesn’t require it.

When you are done, press Trace.

5 — The lines of the cut are shown in red. Move the original image out of the way and then delete it.

6 — You can now cut the design! If you think that you may to do it again, save the design into your library before closing the program.

Our Silhouette Crafts

All of our shadow puppets can be cut in Silhouette Studio, using this method.

Also, all of our Mason Jar Lanterns come with silhouette designs that can be cut with Silhouette Cameo or Portrait as well.

Halloween Mason Jar Lanterns

Christmas Mason Jar Lanterns

Fairyland Mason Jar Lanterns

Fairy-Tale Mason Jar Lanterns

If you like silhouette crafts, you might also like our Silhouette Christmas Bundle. The book is a collection of various ideas for Christmas-themed silhouette crafts—ornaments, lanterns, cards, tags and toys. Altogether, there are  fifteen silhouette crafts with over sixty pages of printable silhouette designs.

Silhouette Christmas Bundle: 15 Crafts to Print & Make