How to trace with your Silhouette

I had a comment on the football helmet pillow post asking how to trace in the Silhouette Studio software, so I thought I’d do a quick tutorial.  It’s SUPER easy and it will change your life.  OK, not really, but it’s still pretty cool.

I have the Designer Edition software, but you can do this in the regular version as well.  Just wanted you to know why some things might look a little different on my screen than on yours.

The first thing you need to do is find the image you want to trace.  Save it to your computer.  You can trace anything, but blocky graphic type things work best.  (Next week I’ll be showing you how I traced  some fabric and enlarged the motif to make a painted pillow.)  For purposes of this example, we’re going with the local high school logo.

Go to the "File” menu in the upper left hand corner and choose “Open”.

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The box that comes up with default to Silhouette Studio files only. This will not help you.  Open-mouthed smile  You need to go to the box at the bottom and select all files.

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Find your image and select it and then open the trace menu (indicated by the poorly drawn red circle in the image below).

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Next you’ll want to “Select Trace Area” (the top option on the trace menu).  This allows you to draw a grey shaded box around the portion of your image you want to trace.  If you want to trace the whole thing, you don’t have to be especially careful.

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Parts of the image will turn yellow.  This will be the part that is traced.  Mess around with the sliders until everything you want traced is yellow.  On a blocky black and white image, I have the best luck with clicking the “Low Pass Filter” box and unclicking the “High Pass Filter”.

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Click “Trace” up near the top, and you’re done!

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You can then move and delete the original image and resize/modify your trace as necessary.

Easy, right?

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  1. Maclaine says:

    I’ve always wanted to know how to do this but never been able to figure it out. Thank you!

  2. Thanks for the instructions! Would love to see more quick Silhouette tutorials!

  3. Kristina Noall says:

    Thank you SO MUCH for posting this–I seriously thought you couldn’t make anything with the Silhouette except either fonts from your computer, or images you buy from their website. This IS going to change my life, at least a little. :) Thanks again!

  4. Awesome, thank you! I just got a CAMEO and I need all the help I can get! HA! :)

  5. organizedconfusion says:

    THANK YOU! I am new to the Cameo. After having a Cricut for the last 4 years, there has been a bit of a learning curve with this machine. I have tried tracing and could never quite get it right. This has been very helpful!

  6. WOW! I can make some good crap now! :) Thank you thank you!

  7. Are you kidding me?! THANK YOU! That. Is. Awesome.

  8. This just saved Christmas! Thank you!!!!

  9. Great article! We will be linking to this great post onn our
    website. Keep up the great writing.

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