A few months back I bought a large format printer + die cutter to experiment with making custom stickers. However, I made the following for a birthday present and felt uncomfortable with the idea of selling them so, here's a walkthrough!

I started off researching the two major competitors in personal die cutters: Cricut + Silhouette. Utmost I wanted the freedom of design customizability, ruling out Cricut, which had some limitations in creating your own patterns. And although the curio offered more tool options it had restrictions on paper size. I decided on the Silhouette Portrait for my own estimated level of usage:

Although the portrait has no short restrictions when it comes to length of paper (up to 10ft!), I was limited by the size of the paper on which I was printing and created my design with the initial dimensions of a smaller stickerpack at 4.5"x6.5", which allowed for 2 prints on a single sheet of letter paper.

But I also wanted the stickers to be presentable as a set vs standalone pieces + therefore had to account for a lack of bleed by rearranging the individuals drawings to allow for a white border.

Which leads to a lot of experimentation with printing + cutting! As the tailored cutting mat for the die cutter had marks for paper size, I (incorrectly) assumed that cutting would naturally align with the respective location on the print and ended up with a few offset stickers.

My final print settings had to include registration marks that reflected those in the Silhouette Studio software. (Turns out you can also set up and send the order to print from the software itself, which cuts out the need to adapt your own registration marks).

Fortunately kiss cut settings were pretty intuitive to figure out + the provided trace tool options made it easy to generate beziers via color contrast. I used the white outlines from the print file to isolate the individual stickers, but it wasn't entirely necessary. As long as the background was a distinctly different color, trace could be used to separate the stickers and an outline could be generated within the software.

The cut options were also incredibly useful! Ability to separate cut settings by colors + stages allowed for different depths of cuts. I ended up placing a pause in between the kiss cut for the stickers and the deeper cut for the border so I could check for mistakes. The one major pitfall I found with the silhouette was inability to cancel cutting from the program; I had to turn off the machine completely. Unfortunate as finding out proper cut settings for different papers takes a bit of trial and error!

The end result is pretty satisfying (though I realize belatedly that I should have taken better pictures..)!