Using Cut Files to Make Custom Backgrounds

How to use a cut file to make a custom background for your scrapbook pages |

I have owned a Silhouette Cameo for a couple of years now, but I’m ashamed to admit I hardly use it. Let me start by saying that I am technology challenged- computers stump me, my printer hates me- if it has a plug, I struggle. It was pretty simple to learn how to cut titles with the Cameo, but I haven’t ventured much past that. Time and again, I’ve scrolled through Pinterest, envious of all the amazing layouts using cut files. But it just seemed over my head.

Until I discovered The Cut Shoppe. I found Ashley Horton’s Easy store after listening to an episode of the podcast Live Inspired, hosted by Tracie Claiborne. Ashley was so funny and smart and I loved hearing about how she grew her creative business by designing and selling cut files. First chance I got, I checked her store out and instantly fell in love! Her cut files are versatile and adorable and the Design Team on her blog is amazing. I couldn’t wait to put one (or twenty) of the files to use.

How to use a cut file to make a custom background for your scrapbook pages |

See that cool triangle background? A cut file. The title? A cut file. Oh- and the cute cat face? Yep. A cut file. Now I know people have been using their electronic cutting machines for years and you’re wondering what the big deal is. The big deal is I picked my Cameo up off the floor, dusted it off and figured out how to use a PNG file to make the cut. Now, I’m no expert (see above) and Ashley has a FREE class on different techniques for using cut files here, but I’ll give you the short version.

  • Open the PNG file in your Silhouette software.
  • Open the Trace window and select the area you want to cut
  • Click off the High Pass box
  • Click the Trace button
  • Delete the original PNG file and you are left with a perfect cut file!

I used a 12×12, white sheet of cardstock to cut the background. I wanted to keep the colors bright and fun, so I chose a 4×6 Studio Calico paper pack and went to work. I started at the top right, picked a paper, and traced the backside of the paper with a pencil. When I cut it out, I made sure to trim a little larger so I would have something to glue to the backside. To keep it from being too busy, I only backed about every other triangle. When I was happy with how it looked I adhered the whole thing onto a 12×12 piece of yellow cardstock. And viola- a custom background!

Because I wanted to use a variety of patterned papers, I printed the photo in black and white.

How to use a cut file to make a custom background for your scrapbook pages |

The Cut Shoppe has all sorts of incredible background cut files, but they also have all sorts of themes too. My daughter and her fiancé recently got a new kitten and when I saw this cut file, I knew I had to have it! The mini flair is from Feed Your Craft and I just love her designs and quality.

How to use a cut file to make a custom background for your scrapbook pages |

The cat is from the same set as the title. I backed it with white paper to set it off from the background and added it next to a sticker from the Simple Stories Life in Color Collection. I stamped the date on a tag from Elle’s Studio and tied a piece of embroidery floss through the hole. It only took a second to find the floss, but I think it’s one of those little details that finishes things off.

How to use a cut file to make a custom background for your scrapbook pages |

Another mini flair from Feed Your Craft with a couple of hearts punched from matching patterned paper. I loved how the layout came together and I can see using this file over and over. Cut it out with black cardstock and use Halloween paper to fill in the triangles. Or put it over a piece of paper that you’ve painted with watercolors.

Are you a regular user of cut files on your layouts? Any tips or tricks you’d like to pass on? I’d love to hear them!

4 thoughts on “Using Cut Files to Make Custom Backgrounds

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *