Tips for Sketching with KNK Zing, Silhouette Cameo, or Any Cutter/Plotter

I’ve been having fun trying out some sketches on fabric using a pen in my KNK Zing.  I have learned that drawing to make things look good is one thing, but drawing to make them sketch out correctly (or cut )….. is quite another. I have taken some of my previous designs and re-worked them for this purpose. It has been a bit of trial and error, but I think I am getting the hang of it.

When I first tried this, I sent a PNG to my software and traced it. Look closely at the image of the Fan Club bag I made. I think it turned out pretty cute, but you can see that the image was traced. See all the double lines?

Picture of Handmade Bag ~ Sketch of Fan with text "Brevort Lake Fan Club"
Fan Club

I have since learned that I can send my SVG directly to MTC, or save it as a DXF and send to Silhouette. Now what was I thinking! This makes so much more sense and produces a  much better result! But…. I have to make sure things are drawn correctly….. no crossing lines, etc.

Another problem I had sketching on fabric was getting the fabric to adhere to the mat and stay put during the sketching process. However, Kay Hall at created a great tutorial and suggested using freezer paper on the back of the fabric for stability. With this method there is no need to use a mat.

Here are a couple of projects I worked on today. Not perfection….. but I like them much better!

Image of boat sketched on piece of canvas with black pen
Mackinac Ferry Sketched on Canvas
Image of Pillow with Sketch of Brevort Lake Map
Sketch Pen Pillow

Happy drawing!


Thrift Store, Silhouette Cameo, and Vinyl

upcycled and vinyl.JPGHere are a few easy projects I created using my Silhouette Cameo, a little bit of vinyl, and a few thrift store finds. I probably have about $1.00 wrapped up in all three. The glass jar and the old box were very easy to complete. I just used the Silhouette Studio software as there was no drawing involved.wpid-Live-Laugh-Love-Jar.png


The bike was a little tricky, and it didn’t turn out quite the way I wanted, but I still think it’s cute. I used a design that I had drawn in Inkscape for this, but had to do a lot of work to it in order to cut it out in three colors. Also, I had to think about which parts were going to be weeded out after cutting the vinyl. (If you’ve cut anything complicated you know what I mean!)

Oops! I almost forgot the vintage butter dish “Welcome” sign. The design is from Silhouette but I modified it (with an X acto knife) after I cut it. I have it sitting on a half table in my entryway. Cute, eh?


Happy drawing!


Rustic Place Cards

With the holidays rapidly approaching, and so much to do, I felt truly blessed to have 3 days in a row at home. Best of all, I’ve had a chance to play around with my new Silhouette Cameo. Oh how I love this new toy! (More about my Cameo in a future post.)

Today I worked at designing and cutting some place cards. I am planning to have a dinner party with several couples and wanted something to put at each place that looked seasonal and rustic. I didn’t want anything too “Christmasy” since the dinner is just a couple of days after Thanksgiving.

The first one you see here I created in the Silhouette Studio software that comes standard with the cutter. I did not draw the bird. The pattern comes from a Martha Stewart Bird Mobile and is a PDF, so I used the Windows 7 clip feature to capture and save it as a JPG. I then opened it in Silhouette Studio and traced it.

For the next place card I used Inkscape to draw the pinecones. I’m sure they could have been done in the Silhouette program, but I am more comfortable with Inkscape for anything with that much detail. As you can see I made two layers of this card. The underlayer is just slightly bigger and doesn’t have the cutouts. I liked the effect that it gave me.

I’m not sure I am completely satisfied with these… I may have to keep tweaking them. Perhaps I’ll combine the two because I like the bird, but also like the layers. Layering meant there was nothing to print so I didn’t have to worry about using the registration marks to line things up for a “print and cut”. I’ll try to post if I come up with a new idea.

Happy drawing.