With all the sticker papers out there, you won’t find many more options than matte, glossy, or clear. Like sparkly? Silhouette America has gone beyond these basic options by introducing sticker papers that come in holographic, iridescent, and brushed metal options. These papers were for a Silhouette machine, so if you try to use them with a Cricut, you’ll find issues with the print, then cut sensor and placement. In this post and tutorial, I’ll show you seven tips for using Silhouette sticker paper with a Cricut machine. So you can make the coolest looking stickers that really stand out from others.
THIS POST IS FOR YOU IF…
You get an error banner over your material settings page that says your machine can’t find the lines of the printed registration box or if the sensor is WAY off and cuts way off as well.
This can happen when the sensor on your Cricut-
- doesn’t have enough light
- your printer is running low on black ink
- your sensor has debris on it
- there isn’t enough contrast between the black lines and your paper’s surface
- your paper is too reflective, shiny, glossy, or dark
IF you do not get this error banner, you may need to calibrate your machine to get your print then cut to work correctly. There is more info on this at the bottom of this post.
Tip #1- Too Glossy? Try Transparent Matte Scotch Tape
The problem is that the sensor can’t read the lines because the material is too glossy or shiny. The solution is to make the paper less shiny or glossy where your Cricut would try to sense the registration lines.
⬇️ An easy way to do this is to cover the black registration marks with transparent, but matte, tape. This should bring down the shine enough that the Cricut should be able to sense the lines. I saw this hack on YouTube (*see the link below) and of the three different methods I tested this one works.
Tip #2- Center Your Design
Silhouette papers have corner registration marks that are a different material than the rest of the sticker paper. That limits the printable area to about 6″ w. x 10″. And because we’re using a Cricut we’re limited to their Print then Cut limits of 6.25″ x 9.25″ max for our image.
This will help us avoid those triangles. But we still need to make sure that our design is perfectly centered within the sticker sheet.
So to center our designs consistently we can create a second box that is 6.25″ x 9.25″ around our image. This will tell Cricut that’s the actual size of our project.
Then, when we get to the print then cut part Cricut will auto-magically center our project in the middle of the sticker sheet.
Confused? I demo this step-by-step tutorial below.
Tip #3- Use a Light Grip Cutting Mat And Tape Down Your Paper
Because some of the Silhouette papers are a heavier weight they do not want to stay in place on a Light Grip Mat.
However, the Standard Grip Cutting Mats can also rip or tear the backing sheets for your sticker papers. Not cool
The solution is to use the Light Grip Cutting Mat and tape down the edges with your transparent tape.
Tip #4- Seal Your Stickers BEFORE You Cut Them
The Silhouette sticker papers are for inkjet only and have the same issues as other inkjet stickers in that the ink can be washed or even just wiped off through use. The solution is to use a spray sealer or add a laminate before you cut. I prefer the spray sealer but there are pros and cons to each.
Want more info? Read the FULL post on the 3 Best Methods to Protect and Waterproof Your Stickers.
When testing the spray vs. laminate options, I liked the laminate’s added weight if I was making die-cut stickers, but for the sticker sheets, I prefer the spray.
The spray takes a little more time to apply as you have to wait between coats, and you may have to do 3-5 coats. However, it doesn’t take any added pressure to cut through the sheet, and you don’t even know it’s there.
Wondering Which Spray to Use*?
Or Which Laminate to Use?
Another fun option is to use a holographic laminate sheet on top of your regular sticker paper, this seals the stickers AND adds a specialty holographic effect.
*These are all aerosol sealers and you need to follow the precautions for each as recommended by the manufacturer. These precautions usually mean wearing a mask, holding the can away from your body, and using the spray in a well-ventilated or outdoor space.
Tip #5- Create a Custom Material Setting
Because the Silhouette Sticker Papers are thicker, they are harder to cut through.
Try the Foil Holographic Kraft Board Material Setting, and you may still need to repeat the cut depending on the type of Silhouette Paper you are using.
For instance, the glitter and holographic dots papers are heavier than the iridescent or holographic sheets.
In my post on How to Cut Glitter Sticker Paper, I demo how to create a custom material setting for Silhouette Papers and give my custom setting for the glitter sheets.
Tip #6- Flip the Mat Upside Down to Keep the Paper from Curling
This is a GREAT tip no matter what paper project you’re doing, as it keeps your paper flat.
After you unload your mat, flip it upside down. Peel the mat away from your paper, gently pressing down as you peel back to keep the paper as flat as possible. Use your other hand to assist the paper as gently as possible to release from the mat’s adhesive and separate from the mat.
Tip #7- See How to Use Silhouette Sticker Papers with a Cricut Below
To make this SUPER easy for you, here’s a tutorial to walk you through these tips!
Free Sticker Designs To Practice Your Print then Cut With
I made the project download for my completely Retro 80’s Name Stickers FREE to my subscribers. Personalize them in Cricut Design Space with the names of your choice!
I use these stickers to walk you through step-by-step the tutorial below. You can sign up to get the password and access to over 100 files and weekly freebies. Unsubscribe whenever you want!
Tutorial: How to Use Silhouette Sticker Paper with a Cricut
Tools and Materials
- Retro 80’s Name Stickers Digital Design.PNG file from my Creative Resource Library
- Sticker Paper: I use this Holographic Dots Sticker Paper and this Iridescent Sticker Paper by Silhouette (note- it is for inkjet printers only)
- A home inkjet printer ( I use the Canon Crafter’s Printer)
- Computer, smartphone, or tablet
- Cricut Design Space
- Cutting Machine like a Cricut Maker or the Cricut Explore Air 2
- Light Grip
- Transparent MATTE Tape like Scotch’s Magic Tape
- Small Paper Trimmer to cut the sheets apart when you’re finished
Directions For How to Use Silhouette Sticker Paper With a Cricut
NOTE: This tutorial is for the NEW CANVAS in Cricut Design Space as it refers to the Operations instead of Line Type.
Step One: Uploading into Cricut Design Space
Open up a new canvas in Cricut Design for desktop, hit the Upload icon in the left side toolbar, and Browse.
Choose your file and upload as a Complex file, and Save as a Print then Cut.
In the Image Uploads, select your design and Insert Image into your canvas. If you are using Cricut’s mobile app, I have a tutorial on making stickers with that.
Step Two: Sizing and Arranging Your Sticker Sheets
Right away, you’ll see the warning sign next to your image layer. That’s because Cricut Design Space can not print then cut any image larger than 6.75” x 9.25”.
The solution is to make your stickers no wider than 6″ and a max of 9.25″. I really like to do sets of 2 sticker sheets per single sheet of sticker paper. So I made my 2 sheets a combined size of 6″ x 8.814″. That gives me a little room between them. Then I select both, Align>Left and then Flatten them.
About the Size of these Stickers-
I made these 2 sheets small enough that that they would fit between the triangle registration marks that Silhouette Papers have.
BUT if you’re going to make your stickers the full 6.75″ x 9.25″ you can skip the Draw rectangle in Step Three.
Step Three: Create a Full- Size Registration Box
Next, to center your design to avoid the corner registrations on the Silhouette paper as much as possible, we want to create a rectangle that is the FULL 6.75″ x 9.25″.
Go to the Shapes icon in your left-side toolbar. Insert a Square, then Unlock the constraints (click on the lock in the left bottom corner of the shape or the lock in the top toolbar by Size).
Then, change the Size in the top toolbar to 6.75″ x 9.25″ and hit return.
Next step, change the Operation to Draw>Pen.
Finally, Select the rectangle and the stickers and Align>Center. Then Attach them both.
Step Four: Prepare to Print then Cut
First, choose Save to save the project and then click Make It in the upper right corner of your canvas.
This sends you to the Mat Preview Page where you want to make sure that your screen looks like the image below. If it looks good, go ahead and click continue at the bottom of your screen!
Because you’ve already set your size as the full 6.75″ x 9.25″ it will automatically position your design in the center of the paper. This will help you avoid the registration corners in the Silhouette Paper.
Step Five: Print Your Stickers
First, print your design. Make sure you toggle off the bleed, and I suggest you use the System Dialog. So toggle that on and click Print.
Then minimize your Cricut screen so that you can see the System Dialog for your printer (it often opens up behind your window). I like to use the rear-feed option on my printer with any thicker materials. Next, hit Print on your System Dialog.
Step Six: Seal Your Stickers (optional)
Because we’re using inkjet printer paper and inkjet ink it wipes off easily with wear or if it gets wet. SO if for instance, you were planning to put your new cool Retro Name stickers on your phone case I can tell you that it won’t last very long before wiping off.
SEALING your stickers is the solution to this problem. (For more on this see Tip #4 above).
Note: I tested two aerosol sealers that I had on hand; Krylon’s Krystal Clear and Mod Podge’s Matte Acrylic Spray Sealer. Both worked great. Krylon has other products that I’ve also heard good things about, but have yet to try. Both are available at your local craft store or online.
Step Seven: Prep Your Mat
Place your printed sticker paper as shown in the program on a Light Grip or Standard Cricut Cutting Mat. Use transparent matte tape to cover the registration marks as well as the edges of your sticker paper.
When I left some of the glossy showing at the edge then my sensor had issues again. Err on the side of too much- and press down.
If you are using a Light Grip Cutting Mat be sure to press down on the sheet so that it sticks to the adhesive on the mat and then use some of the transparent tape to secure the edges of the paper to the mat.
Note: Make sure that your star wheels are in place, and spread out along the bar. It really makes a big difference when you’re doing print then cut as the machine tracks better, feeds the mat in more precisely, and it helps keep your paper in place as it cuts.
You do NOT need to insert a pen or marker. Just ignore that instruction on the screen.
Then, select your material onscreen and then load your mat. Press the blinking Go (C) button when prompted.
After cutting, flip your mat over and peel the mat off your paper. This keeps the paper from curling.
Follow the prompts on the Material Settings page to select your material setting. For the holographic and iridescent sticker paper, I often use the Foil Holographic Kraft Board material setting for a kiss-cut sticker sheet. For a die-cut create a custom setting that uses the 350 pressure and change it to 4x passes.
The Holographic Dots sticker paper is thicker than the iridescent or the regular holographic and often does require a second go around.
Load your mat and Go.
Once it’s cut, and BEFORE you Unload, check that it’s cut through the top layer of the sticker paper so that if necessary you can repeat the cut (just press the Cricut Go button on your machine a second time).
Note: I know that getting the Cricut’s sensor to read registration marks on glossy paper is a problem. If you do get the Print then Cut Error Banner then you’ll want to try Tip #1 above.
Step Eight: Trim Your Sticker Sheets
Lastly, using a paper trimmer, cut off the printed box on your paper, and cut the sheets apaart. Ta-Da! Sweet, right?
Still Not Cutting Correctly?
If you’re STILL having trouble with aligning your stickers (but didn’t get the Sensor Can’t Read Your Image Error Banner) you’ll want to test the calibration for Print then Cut. You can do this by going to Settings (under your profile) and clicking Calibration. Next, choose Print then Cut, and follow the prompts to calibrate your machine.
For more info on Print then Cut check out Cricut’s FAQ on calibrating Print then Cut with your machine on Cricut.com.
And Now You Know the Super Secret Tips for Using Silhouette Sticker Paper with a Cricut!
Want your stickers to stand out? Using any of these specialty sticker papers will really be an obvious difference.
For More Inspiration
If you’d like to know more about making stickers with your Cricut, then I’d love to have you check out my post, How to Print then Cut Stickers with a Cricut. OR if you’d like to draw your own stickers in Procreate, my post How to Trace Photos to Draw Stickers in Procreate has an excellent overview of the entire process of making stickers.
*Also, the tip for using transparent tape on glossy paper was one that I found on YouTube by Sarah Types- you can check it out with this link.
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