Create Your Own Patterned Vinyl – or how to Fill your Patterns without Designer Edition

We are headed to the Virginia Beach this week, not only to relax on the beach, but also to visit my little grandson! Oh – and his parents! So, I decided that I needed a new Beach Spiker to hold my drink and phone!

And I don’t know about you – but I am loving all of the summer graphic packs and bundles from The Hungry Jpeg!  One that I recently purchased is 20 DIY Watercolor Patterns.  It comes with 20 watercolor textures; – 20 seamless patterns; – 20 ready-to-use patterns. Files format: JPEG, PNG, EPS.  If you have Designer Edition, you can use the Fill Pattern feature -and my next blog post will be about how to do that – But, how do you work with these pattern files without Designer Edition?
Watercolor patterns

First, I opened Silhouette Studio – and selected the Split Screen, so that I can see both my library and workspace at the same time.

Split Screen feature in Silhouette Studio

Now, I want to add those patterns to my library.   So, from the File menu – Drop down, select Library –>Import to Library.

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Select the patterns that you would like to use from where you downloaded the files.    With this pack, you have two options – you can either use the pre-colored Watercolor patterns that are included , or create your own color combinations – (DIY patterns).   I’m going to show you both ways.

First – Using the Pre-colored Watercolor patterns –  Select Watercolor Patterns – and the file you would like to use.

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Now – locate the pattern you’ve imported in your library.  The default is that it will show up in the “User Defined” folder.  If you cannot locate it, search for the file name – (Watercolor pattern.14) in the Search box of your Library –

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Once you have located the file, click on it to place it on your workspace.  You will see that it comes in huge!  So, with the file selected, scale it down to 8.5″ wide – with Lock Aspect selected.

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You can see that the pattern doesn’t fill up the entire page – because this is a square pattern.  If you adjust it to fill the page, you will lose the integrity of the design & get tall, skinny seahorses!  Also, the pattern is a little large – so I decided that usually, you only need a smaller piece of patterned vinyl — so I sized my file down & fit multiple pieces on the page.    At this point, you would be ready to print your vinyl.

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But, if you don’t want purple seahorses – there is still a way to use the DIY files and choose your own color fill for the design.

Using the DIY Files – So – now this is the 2nd method that allows you to use the patterns to color (fill) your images.  First, you will need to import the Watercolor patterns with the select color – select the DIY file –> Watercolor folder –>the color you want to use.  (You do this the same way we imported the file above).

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Now, bring in the design you want to use.  Import it the same way as before.

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These images cannot be filled as they are – because they are PNG format files.  So you have to trace them.  Its an easy trace because they are solid black.  Simply open the Trace window –  Trace Window –>Click Select Trace Area–>Drag your cursor over the area to trace –>Uncheck ‘High Pass Filter’ –>Increase the Threshold until everything is solid black–> Click Trace.  

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Next – select the color pattern that you imported.    Simply drag the color pattern onto the selected design in your workspace — and it fills the design with the color!  As my grandson, Greyson, always says – -“Ta-da”!!   You have filled your design with the pattern – without the Fill Pattern feature!

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These are actually cut files – and since we are not going to cut each little fish or anchor out – simply go the Cut Settings window & with everything selected – click “No Cut”.

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And you can scale the design & fill your page to print, just like the above page.  In my next post, I will share with you how this is easier with Designer Edition — and even how you can use the EPS files in Designer Edition Plus – even easier!  (and just a note to hopefully avoid confusion.  You may notice in my screenshots, that I am running Business Edition — however, for this post, I did not use any of the Designer Edition or Business Edition features!)

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I recommend the Printable Vinyl and laminate sheets from Expressions Vinyl.  Even though the printable vinyl is waterproof, the laminate cover sheets extend the life of your vinyl – -especially when you are using them in the elements such as the beach.    Here’s a pic of my finished Spiker – and I will share Part 2 – using Designer Edition & Designer Edition Plus – in my next blog post!  So — Until Next time – -Terri

Create Your Own Patterned Vinyl

FYI:  Some of my posts may contain affiliate links. This means that if you purchase through my links, I receive a small commission.  You pay the same, but these fees help me keep my tutorials & freebies coming your way!



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  1. Betty davis says

    Thank you for this amazing tutorial. I have a question though — does one have to use a laser printer to print this adorable designs? I only have ink jet printers.

  2. Bernadette Stephens says

    May I ask what printable vinyl you use – what brand?