It is so neat what you can do in the Silhouette Studio software and with just a few clicks can have a completely different look.
Today we are going to explore the Pattern Fill in the Silhouette Studio software.
Tutorial written in Silhouette Studio v4.4.552
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What would you use a digital pattern for?
This is a great option for being able to print your own projects. A digital pattern can be added to a shape to cut or even an entire page printed of that pattern.
There are so many options you have for projects that you can complete with it. Stickers, cards, scrapbook pages, patterned cardstock, sublimation, etc.
Check out the end of this post for more tutorials on using patterns in projects.
Software upgrade feature
Adding custom patterns to the Silhouette Studio library is a Designer Edition upgrade feature. If you are currently using the Basic Silhouette software, you will be able to use patterns from the Silhouette Design store in this same manner, but will not be able to add custom patterns directly to the library as shown below.
With the Silhouette Basic software, you can open a jpeg or a png file directly into the software and then use the Crop tool to crop the pattern to your shape.
More details on the Crop tool HERE
I had previously cut a pattern out of Sparkleberry Ink Bubble Up HTV and it turned out fantastic, so I contacted the owner at Sparkleberry Ink and asked if it was possible to get a digital version to be able to use for printing.
Thank you Sparkleberry Ink for adding this set to your digital pattern options!
Grab it HERE at Sparkleberryink.com and use code SILSECRETS to save 10% on your order.
Make sure if you are planning to use this for business or selling products that you grab the Commercial Use license!
Adding Patterns to the Silhouette Library
Open Silhouette Studio.
Download and unzip the patterns. Open the folder where the patterns are located. I am using Windows Explorer folder to view the file location.
Now, select the patterns in the folder and drag them into the Patterns folder on the Silhouette Library tree. They can either be added to the main Patterns folder or into a sub-folder you have created.
The Silhouette library will need to sync and then Ta-da!
The patterns should now show in the folder that you moved them to.
Now I have 2 new patterns to play with in my Silhouette software.
There are a couple things to be aware of when using digital patterns.
Digital patterns are photo files. This means that they can be large data files.
Adding digital patterns to your library does take up Silhouette cloud storage space. There is a limit to Silhouette cloud storage, so be mindful of that when adding patterns to the library.
Since they are large photographic images, it can take longer for them to sync, open, and manipulate in the software. This in some part will vary by each user and how their computer can handle those large amounts of data.
Save your files often, especially if trying to add a lot of patterns to 1 file.
How to Use Patterns in Silhouette Studio
Open the design you want to use in the Silhouette software.
I am using a file from Design Bundles called Mandala Breathe by On the Spot Studio.
There are a couple things I want to mention about this file in particular. I am using it because it is one I’ve previously used and I loved it. However, I did have to do some work to the file to use it as it was shown and have 2 separate colors. I will have a future tutorial on how I altered it in order to achieve the look I wanted.
The other thing I want to mention on this file is….. holy edit points!
Edit points are the data points that the Silhouette software and machine read in order to cut. It has to connect the dots (edit points) to make the cut. In this particular file and can be common in mandala designs, it has a LOT of edit points.
You could try to click the Simplify button in the Edit Points panel, but sometimes it changes the look of the design or doesn’t make a big enough difference.
In this case, the file cuts fine at the size it opens, but if you were to scale it down and try to cut it, you may not have great results. This is because those edit points then are just squished into a smaller area. It still has to hit every single one of them to cut.
If you have ever experienced a file that you have scaled down and it just tears up the material or doesn’t cut right, this may be why.
Learn more about Edit Points HERE. They are a great tool to know how to use.
In this tutorial, we are using digital patterns for printing, so I do not need to cut it, but wanted to mention it for future reference.
Select the part of the design that you want the fill applied to by clicking on it.
Next, click on this little icon in the bottom left corner of the Design Tab screen. This is the Show/Hide Library and when you are working with patterns it helps to view the patterns at a larger size.
This will open up the library in a split screen with the Design Tab.
I prefer to look at my patterns this way but you can also find them under the
Fill Color Panel – Tab 3.
Look at the difference in the size of the pattern icons in the Pattern Fill Panel vs using the Show Library tab. It’s easier on my eyes to use the split screen.
With the part of the design you want to fill selected, click on the pattern and it will fill with the pattern you selected.
So cool! And you would never know that this pattern is actually made up of bubbles.
But that’s not all – there is more!
Click on the Show/Hide Library icon again to collapse the library split screen.
Once the design is filled with the digital pattern, it can be adjusted.
Open the Fill Color Panel – Tab 3 and click on the Advanced Options section.
You can adjust several things about the pattern that can give you a different look – angle, scale, pan pattern, etc. I was just playing around with this Bubble Up pattern and it was amazing how a few changes could give it a different look.
On the left, the pattern is scaled up 295% and on the right the pattern is at 100%.
Such neat options!
Now, you may have guessed…. that’s not all!
Use the Fill Color Panel eye dropper to pick up a color from the pattern to fill in the 2nd part of the design.
And you have a custom colored design using a digital pattern in the Silhouette Studio software.
This particular design I sent to my Epson F-170 sublimation printer and then pressed it to a shirt.
I love how it turned out when pressed on the shirt.
So many options that you could use with digital patterns.
Don’t forget to grab these digital patterns from Sparkleberry Ink and use my code SILSECRETS to save 10% at http://www.sparkleberryink.com.
Here is an example of the Bubble Up – Green with the same design.
Want to dive in more to digital patterns?
Here are a couple more blog tutorials I have written over the last couple years with digital pattern projects.
– Let’s Explore v4 – 3-D Tank Project
– Let’s Explore – Pattern Fill
– Let’s Explore v4 – Patterns, Print Bleed, Show/Hide Library
What would you use patterns for?
I would love to see what you are creating with your Silhouette software or machines!
Or if you have any questions, feel free to post photos or questions on my Facebook group at
Silhouette Secrets with EllyMae.
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