How to make stencils from jpeg


I’ve always like to draw.

I’m not good at it but I’m persistent hardheaded.

I spent wasted a whole day once learning to draw a drop of water.

The conclusion is I only manage to draw because I stay persistent and spent time with it.

I’ve started drawing on the computer and drew these elk antlers.

The elk antlers were then made into a stencil for an animal theme makeover.

This post is how to make jpeg drawings into stencils using a Silhouette Cameo.

Making Stencils

I use a MacBook Pro.  I haven’t used a PC in 8 years.  So I’ve given the steps I use and if you use a PC hopefully you can adapt to PC programs. 😕

After many downloads of drawing programs, some free some not,  I’ve decided I like to draw basic drawings on Keynote.  Keynote is Apple’s version of Presentations.

Above are the antlers I drew using Keynote.  I drew one antler.  Then made a copy.  Then flipped the copy horizontally to make the other antler.  A few small adjustments in the copy antler was made.  Elk antlers are not exactly the same.

Use your favorite drawing program.

When the antlers were…antler-like…I clicked them and copied them to a new document in Pixelmator.  Pixelmator is a program like Photoshop or Lightroom.  But a lot cheaper.  I spent $9 each month for a year to use Lightroom and opened it about 3 times.

I’ve used Pixelmator for about 5 years now and love it.  I get weekly newsletters from them and it seems the other people who use Pixelmator are sci-fi enthusiasts.

Copy and paste your drawing into your favorite photo editing program.

Then export the image saving as jpeg.

Next, open the Silhouette Cameo program.  Then click the file and open.  Then find your jpeg drawing file.  Click on the file.  Then click ok.

Your jpeg drawing will appear in the editing area.  Notice I got a warning that my drawing was too large and may cut pixelled.  I ignored the warning.

Then along the top right click trace.

The trace opens a box to cover your jpeg drawing.  Make sure to cover your drawing completely.

The silhouette will make an outline of the cutting area for your drawing.  Then click the white area of your jpeg drawing and delete it.  That will leave the cut lines for your stencil.

At this point, you can resize if needed and send to the silhouette to cut.

You can save your jpeg drawing to the silhouette library for the next animal themed makeover!

You can also download an image and add in the same way.  Do check any copyright instructions on images downloaded.

Images or drawing with simple lines would work.  An image of our front yard would be way too many lines and way too much to cut.

Step by step how to make jpeg drawings into stencils using silhouette. Country Design Style

What would you like to make into a stencil?

Do you like to draw?  Would you waste a day drawing a drop of water?


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  1. I have spent a great deal of time learning to paint a realistic looking water drop. In the end it was worth it. ?

    1. Paulette, someone else working on painting a water drop! Thank you! Hope you stop by again soon. Should I do a post on painting a water drop? 🙂 Jeanette

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