Make a cutting file from digital brushes

Jeryn here, with a Silhouette tutorial for you! Digital brushes are so versatile; you can use them in your digital layouts or as overlays on your photos but did you know that you can also create cutting files out of digital brushes? Yup. So many possibilities!

Does one of these sound like you?

  • You’re a hybrid scrapbooker and have a good collection of digital brushes. You love your digital brushes and would love to use them in your hybrid projects.
  • You’re a paper scrapbooker and have come across some cute digital brushes that you either saw on your crafty friend’s Facebook page, blog, Pinterest, or Instagram. You love it but not sure how to use these brushes.

Regardless of what kind of scrapbooker you are today you’re going to learn how to get more out of those digital brushes you love or have been drooling over!

In this tutorial I’m using a brush from Deena’s Every Little Bit: Wander (see the top right).


Step 1. Open the digital brush in your Silhouette Studio. This would be the .png file that comes along with the .abr file.

Side note: The difference between a .png file and an .abr file is that the .png files are the individual files that can be used as a digital mask to clip papers, photos, etc. The .abr file is a “brush” file that you add to your brush folder in Photoshop. A .png file can be opened in your Silhouette Studio whereas an .abr file cannot be used in the Silhouette Studio. 



Step 2. We’ll trace the word so it can add the cut lines. Choose the Trace button that’s highlighted here.


Then create a box over your brush.


At this point you’ll need to play around with the trace settings to get the cut lines just right. I tend to use the same settings each time I trace with slight variations to the threshold. Once you think you have the right setting choose one of the options under “Apply Trace Method” on the right side above “Trace Settings”. Because I want to cut the outer edge and the inner loops of the letters I chose the “Trace” option.



After you choose the “Trace” option check to make sure your cut lines are what you intended. To do this click on the scissor icon like this one.


The cut lines are red so you’ll know you have the right cut lines when you see it.

Now you’re ready to cut! Here’s what your digital brush-turned-cut file looks like now:

2014-07-09 22.48.34

Pretty cool, right? The other option you can use before you start tracing would be to add a border around your image. This is called offset. This creates a sticker-like border and is great for those dainty brushes that would take awhile to trace as-is. To do this, choose the Offset option and input the offset distance anywhere between .005 to .010.

So go out there and do some cutting! I know you want to. 🙂





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