Scrapping Boxes with the Silhouette - Pentagon Badge Box Freebie included!

Today I want to talk about incorporating a Silhouette with Photoshop. Not an easy feat, I can tell you. The two programs are not really meant to work together, so you have to be a little sneaky. Still, I love using my Silhouette, and combining it with my Photoshop skills was a natural progression.

First of all, What is a Silhouette? Well, if you know what a Cricut is, it's like that. If you still don't know what a Silhouette is, it's basically a cutting system. You enter in a design and it cuts it for you. You can cut out paper, fabric, vinyl, use a pen instead of a blade--the possiblities are endless. They cost about $300.00, and you can find them on the Silhouette website if you want to learn more. The rest of this tutorial will be aimed at those of you who have or Silhouette and have a basic knowledge of how to use it.

Now, this baby is a real dream for paper scrappers. I got one at work, and at first I wasn't quite sure what to do with it. I mean, I'm a digital girl. I don't use ACTUAL PAPER. Why would I need it? And of course, for my actual digital scrapbook pages, I don't need it. But there are so many other projects that I do in Photoshop that do require cutting, and this has been awesome.

The main thing I have used it for so far is cutting out boxes. I have taken a few of the box patterns that I have created and turned them into Silhouette files. Here's a quick tutorial on how I do this, and I will also include the Silhouette and photoshop files needed to create this box. It's my Pentagon box, modified to be shorter. I use this for a badge box.

NOTE: If you do NOT have a Silhouette but still want this pattern, you can still download the file at the end of this tutorial. You will not need the Silhouette file, but you can still juse the Photoshop pattern that is like the others I have created on my site.
Here is the written instructions for this tutorial. I also have a two-part video at the bottom of this post if you prefer to watch!
Step 1: First, I create the pattern I want using the Silhouette software. This in itself is an artform that I am not going to explore with you. It will also work to use an existing pattern from someone else, but keep in mind that patterns are copyrighted--if you use this process, don't give out the pattern or sell it or anything like that. Use it only for personal use!

Step 2:  Do a screen capture of it. Open Photoshop and create a 8 1/2 x 11 page. Paste in your screen capture and resize to the full size. From there, I create a template. I added a little to the edges--it gives me a little more wiggle room when it's cut out. Here's the template below. The red lines are on a different layer and can be made invisible when I'm ready to print.

Step 3: Create your design on the template using the kit of your choice, as explained in my earlier box tutorials.  Here's one I made using a kit by Lindsay Jane. Make sure to make the "Overlay" layer invisible before you save it--those lines are only a guide when designing your box. You don't want to actually print them.

Step 4: Now I go to my Silhouette software. Open up the original pattern. Go to file open. Make sure you pull down the file type menu and choose ALL so that you can see more than the Silhouette files in your folder.
Open up your scrapped design and paste it on top of the pattern. Resize the design so they are the same size. You will need to right click on your design and send it to back.

Step 5: Now you are ready to cut! Make sure the Reg marks are showing. Click on the Send to Silhouette button. Choose Click Here to Print. After it's printed, put it on your cutting mat and put it in the machine. Click on Detect automatically. The Silhouette will work for a moment until it identifies all your marks. Once you have the message that it was successful, press cut.
Step 6: You should now have a perfect, scrapped box! Carefully lift your box off the cuttong mat. Fold it on the now perfectly perforated lines, and glue or tape together!

The finished box measures about 3 inches across--the perfect size for an average size badge!
Here are the files so that you can do the above project. It includes the Silhouette pattern of the badge box, as well as the Photoshop file of the badge box template. It also includes a freebie design show below, using JennCK's kit Low Tide. If you need directions on how to design your box in Photoshop, read my pentagon tutorial. There is also a video attached to that tutorial.

Video Tutorial - Part 1

Part 2

I will be creating another post shortly showing some of the other box projects I have made with my Silhouette, using other, more simple techniques.

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