Video Tutorial: How to open SVG files on the Silhouette Cameo

My favorite digital die cut machine is the Silhouette Cameo. I LOVE and adore it. So much fun. It comes with a pretty terrific software called Silhouette Studio. The cool thing is that it is really easy to use the software, especially if you consult some YouTube videos as you learn.

Some things to note about the Silhouette Studio Software:

  1. Anything you create in the software becomes a .studio format file. These can not be sold (according to the terms of use), so you will not see me selling them.
  2. You CAN open DXF files directly in the software that comes with your Silhouette. The process is pretty much the same as in the videos I’ll share here, except that it is a good idea to immediately group ALL of the lines so you can move the file around on your screen. Also, you don’t have to “find” the cut lines with DXF files. The caveat is that sometimes they come in at a different size than they were designed to be. Sometimes bigger, sometimes smaller. Still proportionate, though!
  3. You can purchase the Designer Edition (DE) of the Silhouette Studio software which has extra features, plus it allows you to open up SVG files very easily. You STILL can’t sell .studio files, though.

I put together this little tutorial to show you how I open SVG files in the DE.

That was my FIRST TIME recording and successfully uploading a video tutorial. It was so easy and so fun! I could get into this!

How to open SVG files in the Silhouette Studio software!

In this second video, I show you how I add digital paper to my project pieces, how to scale that paper (make it bigger or smaller) and how to trace png files to be cut on my Silhouette Cameo. Enjoy!

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Daddy’s Toolbox and a Freebie!

Just in time for Father’s Day, I have updated and released my fabulous Daddy’s Toolbox Template, AND I’m giving away a FREE set of tools!

Check out what I did with this great template!  I used my new They Call Me Mom kit and the Daddy’s Toolbox Template Set.



Five years ago, I put together a fun little present for my husband, complete with a mini album.  I shared the tutorial here on my blog.  Please click on over to check it out!  I show you how I assembled the Daddy’s Toolbox Template, and I show you how I put together the mini album shaped like tools!  SO seriously cute, right?


Well, I have now added cut files for both the toolbox AND the tool set!  How cool is that?  This will make creating a meaningful Father’s Day present so much for fun for everyone!

So, go grab your Daddy’s Toolbox Template Set (choose from SVG, DXF, PSD, PNG or PDF), then come back and grab your free tool set!



Easter Egg Ornament Template Tutorial

Check out my newest 3-dimensional box, the Easter Egg Ornament Template!  It is a great alternative to a HUGE Easter basket, because you can just put some jelly beans and chocolates, plus maybe a gift card or jewelry in the box and you’re done!  It’s a pretty and special gift without the plastic grass.  PLUS, this Easter Egg can be used for non-Easter themed gifts as well!  Don’t let the name “Easter Egg” put you in a box!



Assembling this cool box might look complicated, but it’s really not too difficult when you see how it’s done.

First, I printed a digital paper from my Sunshiney Spring collection onto some matte photo paper, then I cut the template out using the SVG file using my Silhouette Cameo.  If you don’t have the Designer Edition of the studio software, you should purchase the DXF file and select Group and cut!

As always (whether you are using a digital cutter or cutting by hand using the pdf or layered psd files), you cut on the solid lines and score on the dashed lines.  Then, fold on the scored lines.  I started by folding on the straight lines as shown.

Cut Out

Next, I started working on the intricate curves.  This part is actually pretty easy once you get the hang of it.  Easier for those of us who had a machine cut the dashes, but if you’ve done a good job scoring the curves, even traditional peeps can do this with no problems!  When I score something like this by hand, I use my bone folder or my metal embossing tool (with the round tip).  You can also use a fork, turned on the edge!

Fold on scored dashed lines

You’ll fold all of those little curves until your project looks like this.  Once you get going, it goes pretty quickly!  I promise!


Now, apply glue to the side flap of the template.  My favorite liquid glue is Beacon 3-In-1.  I like how quickly it grabs, but if I need to move something, I can do it if I catch it soon enough!  It dries well, and I’ve never had a problem with a project falling apart.



Now, we will assemble the bottom.  This is where all of your intricate folds come together!  Start with the two smaller pieces, and slide them together as shown.  I glued under the flaps to be sure it stayed closed!


Fold the non-tabbed side over and tuck the little flap in and under to give it a good seal.  I glued this flap down, too!  Then, insert the rounded tab into the slit to close the bottom.


Now, we’ll repeat these steps with one minor modification for the top of the box.  After sliding the tabs together (you might want to glue, but you might want to keep it unglued so you can tuck that gift card inside), slide a pretty ribbon under the connected tabs as shown.


You’ll poke both ends of the ribbon through the rectangular hole and pull it through to close that side.  Tuck the tab under for stability, as you did on the bottom.


Now, poke both ribbon ends through the other hole and pull through to close.  Insert the rounded tab into the slit on the side.  Tie a knot in your ribbon and decorate your box!


I used my Sunshiney Spring elements and some pretty ribbon!

I love how this project turned out, and I can’t wait to see little Easter Eggs filling up the gallery at The Digital Press!

If you like this project and think this tutorial is useful, will you consider pinning it on Pinterest?  I’d love to introduce more people to my products and can always use help with this!

Looking for more fun Easter-themed templates?  Check these out!


 Find them in my store at The Digital Press!

Rose in Bloom Tutorial

I love that I can make my own pretty paper flowers with nothing but paper and glue!  No need to run to the craft store when I can whip these babies up in no time at all.  Using the Silhouette Cameo and my Rose in Bloom cut file to cut the paper make the process that much faster!  (But, don’t worry!  You can still use your scissors or craft knife with the pdf, png or psd file, and your flower will turn out just as awesome!)



(Click the image to enlarge!)

Rose in Bloom Tutorial:

 1. Cut out all of the pieces.

2. Using your fingers or a pencil, round the petals as shown.

3. Starting with the largest flower shape, apply glue to the single petal to the left of the slit.  My favorite adhesive is Beacon 3-in-1.  I love that it dries fast and grabs well, but you can reposition if you move quickly!

4. Stack the neighboring petal (from the other side of the slit) over the petal with the glue and align the edges, holding until it dries.

 5. Repeat with the second largest flower shape to create a 4-petal flower.  Apply adhesive, stack neighboring petal, and hold.

6. Repeat with the smallest flower shape to create a 3-petal flower.

7. Use your pencil or fingers to roll the petals again as shown.

8. Use some scissors to cut small slits in the largest flower shape.


9. Start to stack the petals, applying adhesive to the area around the centers of each petal shape.

10.  You should see your Rose in Bloom take shape! You’ll have to push down on the center pieces quite firmly and hold them while the adhesive dries.


11.  You’ll be able to hold onto a small “stem” created by the centermost petal shapes.  If you would like, you can insert wire into the center, then use floral tape or washi tape to wrap the bottom!  I just left it as is, then bend the stem to adhere it to my project.

 12.  Your pretty rose is complete!


But, why not add a little glitter?  Like that little pink box?  It’s my Sachet Box!

This awesome rose will make a beautiful statement on your next papercraft project.  Make a full size Rose in Bloom, or make a cluster of different sizes!

Like this?  Check out my other flower template, Paper Flower Pieces!


How To Create an Adorable Christmas Themed Candy Dispenser



You can find the Candy Dispenser Template Set and Cutting Files in my shop at The Digital Press.  Choose the file type you want!

Don’t you love that adorable digital kit?  It’s called 25 Days by Laura Passage.  I just love it!!

This template is pretty little (about 4″ tall), and oh, so cute!  You can hold it in the palm of your hand (although you certainly can resize it and cut it from 12×12 paper!).  It would be so perfect as a teacher’s gift to sit on her desk, or as a gift for classmates.

If you love this project, go ahead and Pin it!

Tutorial: Improve the photos of your papercraft projects today!!


I’m a papercraft template designer, so I’m constantly putting together little paper masterpieces and sharing my work online.  I have to tell you, though, getting the photos of my projects to properly represent the delicious hybrid work of art in my hand is very difficult, to say the least.  My project is always so much more vibrant than the photos I take.  It’s sort of disappointing!

Lucky for you, I’ve been at this for over 5 years, and I think I’ve finally got it figured out.

When taking photos of your papercraft, you have to think about:

  • Lighting
  • Background
  • Post-processing

Lighting:  Natural light is always better.  Try to position your project in front of big window, but make sure the sunlight isn’t beaming down on your project or creating shadows.  I’ve found that the best times for taking photos are mid to late morning and mid to late afternoon.

0 My Photo Spot

Background:  I have seen some gorgeous project photos taken outside on the grass or against a wood-grain kitchen table, however I’ve found that the least distracting background is a solid color.  Bonus points if you have a light box (which I’ve heard are easy to make), however I like the look of my projects against a black background.  I like the way the colors pop, and it’s much easier for me to process my photos in Photoshop when I have a black background to correct the colors against.

This is what I use for my background.  It’s just a black secretary desk, located at the front of my house next to an open window in a well-lit space.  In the past, I’ve used a piece of black fabric, but this works well for me these days because I do so much with post-processing.  (And, if you think this is messy, you should see my REAL desk!)

Post Processing:  If you are great at photography, you might not even need to edit your photos in a photo editing program like Photoshop.  However, I always edit my photos.  And, here’s another confession:  These days, my DSLR takes a back seat to my iPhone 4 camera.  Seriously. I take all of my photos with the camera on my iPhone!  How many photos do I take?  Oh, about eleventybillion.  Or, maybe 45.  Give or take.  I like to get my project from all different angles so my customers (and gallery trollers) can get a good idea of the shape and dimensions of the template I am using.

Go ahead and take eleventybillion photos of your project.  If you are using your iPhone camera, tap the screen to focus, and tap on light and dark parts of your project to see how the camera adjusts the white balance.  The new HDR function in iOS7 is pretty cool, since it does all kinds of color correcting and image stabilizing.  However, I usually have it turned off, since I like to take photos super fast, one right after the other as if my project were a super model.

Original Image

Import your photos onto your computer, then scroll through to choose your top 3 favorites.  Look for FOCUS above all else.  We can color/lighting correct in Photoshop.  Side note:  I use the free program called Picasa to import and view my photos, which is a Google app, but others use iPhoto, Lightroom, ACDSee, Bridge, etc.  Find a program that will help you take your photos OFF your camera and allow you to edit them on your screen.

Open your program and open your photos in the program.  These days, I’m using the full version of Photoshop (CS5), but I used to use Elements.

This is my original image, completely untouched.  I did use the cool new “square” setting on my phone, so that’s why it’s already nice and square.  Notice the crud in the background, the highlights and shadows of my background, etc.  Not pretty. And, my project is NOT popping in any way.  Sad little photo.

Background is brushed

The first thing I do to correct my photo is Brush the Background.  Hit “D” on your keyboard to take your colors back to default (with black as your main color), or use the color picker to choose the main color of your background.  Did you use a yellow sheet?  Pick a bit of yellow.  See why I use black, now?  Black is easy to work with!

Choose a soft, round brush and make it nice and big.  Now, start brushing around the edges to get rid of the distractions.  You can choose to brush on a new layer on your layers palette, but I throw caution to the wind and just brush on the original picture.  Thankful for the Undo function!  Notice that I brushed those knobs out and everything.

Now let’s color correct.  That white paper SHOULD be white, right?  (The answer is yes.)

  • In Photoshop Elements:  Go to Enhance>Adjust Color>Remove Color Cast.  Use the eye dropper to click on either black or white.  (Another reason why I like black.)  Click around your photo to see what looks best, then commit.  Ah, corrected color!
  • In Photoshop (CS):  Go to Image>Auto Tone.  Done.

This is my photo after it has been color corrected:

Color Corrected

Now, let’s make those colors pop!  I like to use a an action that increases the contrast and the color saturation.  Check out this great Color Pop Action by Jennifer Valencia!

Contrast and Color is popped

And, finally, crop that photo nice and close.  Square is the preferred shape, so go ahead and crop it 12in x 12in at 300 dpi, then use your Save For Web feature to shrink it for web display (600px x 600px @ 72 dpi).

I added a little watermark to my finished project, because it’s always nice to see who created that little piece of art!  You can find this Sassy Princess Purse Template in my shop at Pixels and Company.  The digital paper and elements are from Up In the Air by Wishing Well Creations and Sugarplum Paperie.



If this tutorial helped you think about how to improve the photos of your papercraft projects, I’d love it if you would pin this post for me!

The Petal Box Template and Tutorial: A New Release by Kelleigh Ratzlaff Designs


Introducing the brand new Petal Box Template Set and Cutting Files!

Isn’t it gorgeous?!  It was so much fun to create this adorable and unique papercraft box template with the funny little self-closing top!

You can purchase the entire Petal Box Template Set and Cutting Files, which includes the pdf files (to simply print the lines onto your paper), the psd files (Photoshop), and png files, as well all of the cutting file extensions:  svg, dxf, jpg, png and ai.  OR, if you are only interested in the Cutting Files, you can grab those!











I figured that there would be a lot of questions about how to assemble the Petal Box Template, so I took pictures (with my iPhone) as I put my sample together.

As always . . .

Before I get started, let me direct you to some pretty good tutorials (if I do say so myself!) found at The Hybrid Chick:

Where to Start – offers suggestions for basic materials to get you started with hybrid.

Using Templates – guides you through the process of using my templates from downloading to adding digital paper, and preparing to print.

Borderless Printing – shows you how to find your borderless printing option on your printer . . . or at least gets you headed in the right direction.

Now, print your project! Of course, you can use digital paper or simply print the lines only pdf version on some of the patterned paper or cardstock in your stash.

I chose digital paper from the fabulous Aflutter kit by Wishing Well Creations, available at The Digichick.

Typically, I would add the digital paper to the psd version, but since I was using my Silhouette Cameo, I simply opened the dxf file in the Silhouette Studio Software (file>open>choose the dxf file) and added my digital paper to it and used the print and cut feature.  Did you know that you can simply drag and drop digital paper onto your template in the software and the template will fill with that paper?  To do that, click on the template on your screen “mat” in the software, then click over to the folder that the digital patterned paper is in on your desktop.  Select the paper (file name, not the thumbnail) and click and drag it over to the template in the Silhouette software, continuing to hold your mouse button down until you see the pattern fill your template.

Anyway, on to the assembly!

First, fold along the scoring lines as shown in the photo.
Print and Cut

Then, adhere the side tab to the inside of your box using your favorite adhesive.

Glue Side Flap

Next, gently fold the four petals along the edge as shown.  You should crease as you fold.

Bend Along Scoring Lines

Sorry for the bad color on these next photos!  :)  Pinch the corners together and then begin to push them to the middle as shown.  You will have to crease a bit as you go.


To assemble the bottom, follow these steps:


Check out my finished project:


As always, you can purchase the Petal Box Template at my shop at The Digichick for 30% off this New Release Weekend!  Enjoy!!

12 Days Blog Hop: Free Printable Gift Card Envelope

Thanks so much for coming back for MORE awesome 12 Days of Christmas inspiration, freebies and more!

First, let’s catch up on everything that has happened so far!  Be sure to click over to check out these awesome posts!

And today, I have a FREE Mini Gift Card Envelope Printable!  Just click the image to download it to your desktop, then print it out on 8.5×11 paper on your regular printer.

I used the Fan Freebie mini kit by Laura which you can pick up for a VERY limited time on her Wishing Well Creations Facebook page!

Looking for another great Freebie gift card holder, check out the Fan Freebie over at the Kelleigh Ratzlaff Designs Facebook Page!

Go grab it for a limited time!

Don’t forget to keep coming back for more 12 Days of Christmas blog hop inspiration!