How to Trace Handwriting for Custom Gifts

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I was able to share how I made a personal Christmas ornament by tracing my Mom’s handwriting and cutting it out in vinyl.

I made a video for Silhouette users and one for Cricut users. Scroll if you want to watch the video! Keep reading if you want a few extra tips!

First- You need a good photo!

I had a Valentine that my mom wrote to me that I saved from 2009. I took a photo of the spot where she signed.

The most important thing is to focus on the lighting. You don’t want any shadows and you want the contrast between the writing and the background to be very stark.

Since my photo wasn’t the best, I changed the contrast in the Lightroom App.

Second- for Silhouette users

You’ll need to upload the photo into Silhouette Studio and trace.

The trace button is on the right. After you click that, you’ll need to select the trace area and select around the signature.

Put the threshold up until the entire signature is highlighted in yellow, then hit trace.

Clean out all the small pieces that aren’t important to the signature, and do an outer offset. I usually change it to 0.015.

Second- for Cricut users

Hit the canvas in Design Space and then hit the upload option. Upload your photo and use the eraser and remove tool to clean up the image around the writing. Don’t forget the center of the letters. Then follow the prompts until you insert it on to the canvas. Then you can resize it to fit in your ornament.

Third- Supplies to turn it into a custom gift

You can cut this file in Adhesive Vinyl or Heat Transfer Vinyl. Expressions Vinyl is where I recommend buying the best vinyl and supplies from.

This time, I used adhesive vinyl and added them to some cute acrylic ornaments. I’ve also made a ring dish with it on there too!

Other times, I have used heat transfer vinyl and ironed them on to blankets and aprons.

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