Sketch Pen Place-Cards, Silhouette Promotion & Giveaway!

Howdy, folks!  It’s a brand new month, which means there’s a brand new Silhouette promotion comin’ your way via yours truly…plus, another Silhouette Portrait Giveaway!

This month it’s all about the Designer Edition software.  Rumor has it that this is one of their most popular promotions, and there’s good reason why.  The Designer Edition software is “boss,” as my students would say.  (Yes, you can imagine me and my air-quotes to amp up the nerdiness factor.)

You betcha I’ll share all about what makes the Designer Edition so great, as well as give you link and code you need to get a discount, but first, let me share an easy tutorial for how to use sketch pens to design your own place-cards.

Sketch Pen Place Cards | A Tutorial and Special Promotion by The Thinking Closet

Sketch Pen Place Cards | A Tutorial and Special Promotion by The Thinking Closet

I recently made some cute place-card holders out of plastic animals from the Dollar Tree.  (Tomorrow, I’ll be sharing the full tutorial on those puppies on Or So She Says.)  In the matter of a few minutes, I was able to design, sketch, and cut my own custom place-cards.  Our dinner guests will no longer be stricken with panic when it comes time to be seated, and they have no idea where to sit.

While sure, I could have printed these, I really like how the metallic sketch pens have some texture and really look hand-drawn (hand-drawn with incredible penmanship).  Plus, I’ve been eager to try these sketch pens ever since I first got them in (cough) December.

Here’s a tutorial for how to make your own place-cards…or really any sketch and cut project!  The same tips will apply.

How to Make Place Cards with Sketch Pens

Step 1.  Create your frames.  Remember my monumental discovery last month that there is a FREE font of different types of frames called KG Flavor & Frames?  Well, that came in handy again.  I found a frame I liked (capital V) and sized it using my handy dandy ruler tool.  The ruler is one of my favorite features of the Designer Edition software.  You’ll see in my screenshot that sometimes, the dimensions around the shape are bigger than the shape itself.  That’s why I rely on the visual ruler to properly size my shapes.  No more meticulous counting of blocks to figure out dimensions like I had to do before the upgrade.  Now, I just drag the the shape to the corner, and use the ruler tool to size things.  Piece of cake.

Sketch Pen Place Card Tutorial via The Thinking Closet

Once I sized my frame to dimensions I was happy with, they were fruitful and multiplied to fill up my mat to the max!

Sketch Pen Place Card Tutorial via The Thinking Closet

Step 2.  Ungroup and release compound paths.  So, since I’m doing a sketch and cut, it’s important to highlight all of the shapes and ungroup and release compound paths.  That way, I can select which parts to sketch and which to print later on.

Sketch Pen Place Card Tutorial via The Thinking Closet

Step 3.  Add text and align center.  I used “Modern No. 20″ font to type out my text and used the align tool to “align center.”

Sketch Pen Place Card Tutorial via The Thinking Closet

Step 4.  Adjust cut style.  Now, you need to tell your Silhouette which aspects of the shape to sketch and which to leave be.  So, first click on the scissors to open the cut style window.  Then, holding down the shift key, click on the outside of the frame until they are all highlighted.  Then, select NO CUT, which in this case, means NO SKETCH.

Sketch Pen Place Card Tutorial via The Thinking Closet

Step 5.  Sketch!  This is the fun part.  First, remove your blade from my machine and replace it with your sketch pen of choice (I chose bronze from the metallic set).  Let me pretend to be a hand model for a sec:

Sketch Pen Place Card Tutorial via The Thinking Closet

And here’s my uncapped sketch pen locked into my machine:

Sketch Pen Place Card Tutorial via The Thinking Closet

Then, I went back my computer and went to my cut settings (or in this case, sketch settings).  I got a tip on some recommended custom settings when using sketch pens from this video by Linda at The Paper Boutique.

Sketch Pen Place Card Tutorial via The Thinking Closet

Next, I clicked CUT and watched my sketch pen create professional looking penmanship.  The settings worked like a charm!  My sketches were detailed and didn’t skip or seem faded in the least.

Sketch Pen Place Card Tutorial via The Thinking Closet

Step 6.  Cut.  Now, the key here is not to unload your mat, but to leave it loaded in your machine as you change out your sketch pen for your blade.  Then, pop back into your cut style window (see step 4) and follow the exact same protocol as you did in step 4, but set the sketched parts of your design to NO CUT and the parts you want to cut to CUT.

Sketch Pen Place Card Tutorial via The Thinking Closet

Step 7.  Unload your mat once all of the sketching and cutting is complete, weed out your design…

Sketch Pen Place Card Tutorial via The Thinking Closet

…and these cards are ready to be “placed” in some place-card holders.  I think I know just the ones.

Animal Place-Card Tutorial via The Thinking Closet

{sneak peek}

Stop back tomorrow for the link to the full tutorial on how to create these gold animal place-card holders.

Features of the Designer Edition Software

The Designer Edition of the Silhouette Studio software has a lot of special features that will not only make your life easier…but a lot more fun.  Now, I’m sure the number one question you’re asking right now is:

Special Silhouette Promotion on Designer Edition Software via The Thinking Closet

So, let me break it down for you.

Silhouette Studio Designer Edition contains all the same functionality as Silhouette Studio plus the following designer features (with my favorites highlighted in bold):

  • Ability to open, manipulate, and cut .svg files
  • Rhinestone tools to convert designs into rhinestone templates and create your own rhinestone designs
  • Sketch tools to convert designs into several styles of sketchable art
  • Creative knife tools to allow you to clip designs using different patterns
  • Enhanced eraser and knife tools to modify designs with more precision
  • Built-in ruler and guide lines for precise alignment and drawing
  • Shear window, which allows for more shape manipulation (video demonstration)
  • Eyedropper tool to transfer properties between shapes
  • Pivot point rotation feature to rotate shapes with greater ease

Plus, click here to check out a YouTube video tutorial showing these designer features in action.

Of course, I’m a rhinestone fanatic!  If you like bling as much as I do, the Designer Edition made it possible for me to make these two onesies as gifts for friends…

I also used the Designer Edition to create a rhinestone design for a pretty-in-pink dress for my niece Clara’s 1st birthday this May.  So, yeah, it’s pretty great!

Rhinestone Dress Made Using Silhouette Studio Designer Edition via The Thinking Closet

The little angel herself!

Silhouette Promotion

Silhouette Promotion on Machines and Designer Edition Software using the code CLOSET.  July 1 - 10 via The Thinking Closet

You’re in luck because Silhouette is running a pretty incredible promotion from now (July 1st) through next Wednesday (July 10th).  Each machine comes with the Designer Edition software.  Sweet sauce!

And if you’re already a Silhouette owner, but interested in the Designer Edition upgrade, you can buy it for half-off right now during the promo.  If you opt for a digital download, you also avoid shipping costs!  Yippee!

By visiting the Silhouette Promo page (click here) and using the code CLOSET, you have access to these deals:

  • 1 Silhouette CAMEO® plus the Silhouette Studio® Designer Edition software: $348.98  $269.99
  • 1 Silhouette Portrait™ plus the Silhouette Studio® Designer Edition software: $229.98  $129.99
  • The Silhouette Studio® Designer Edition software: $49.99  $24.99

Special Promotion on Silhouettes and the Designer Edition Software - July 1-12 - Use code CLOSET!

Click HERE to access the special July Silhouette deals running today through next Wednesday, July 10th…UPDATE!  Promotion extended to Friday, July 12th!  Bonus!

Silhouette Giveaway

Silhouette Portrait Giveaway ($229 value) at The Thinking Closet, July 1-7!

Y’all ready for this?  (Cue music.)

I am ecstatic to be hosting another Silhouette giveaway and this time, they’re throwing into the mix a free upgrade to the Designer Edition software, which we’ve already determined to be uh-ma-zing.

Just follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter widget below and gain up to 11 entries today.  This giveaway runs through 11:59 pm Sunday, July 7th…and you can come back every day from now until then and gain 5 more entries per day by sharing the giveaway on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.  (Do the math.  That’s a lot of potential entries per person.)

[This giveaway is only open to U.S. residents, 18 years of age and older.  Sad-face for my international friends.  For some light reading, check out the rest of the giveaway terms and conditions in the Rafflecopter widget below.]

a Rafflecopter giveaway

{Linking up here.}

Full Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post; however, I received a free copy of the Designer Ed. software during a past promotion.  This post contains affiliate links, meaning that if you make a purchase using my code, I receive a small commission.  Please rest assured that as always, I only recommend products that I use and love to Reese’s Pieces.


Lovely comments so far...

  1. Lauren, you are a craft boss. You are the OG of crafting. If I won your prize, (I’m being totally honest, although I should lie) I would give it to my sister in law who lives 2 house down. Then she would be completely obligated to make all my gifts. We would probably to a lot of the t shirt appliqués you showed last week, and party invitations.

    • thethinkingcloset says:

      Ha ha! I had to look up what “the OG” meant (clearly, I’m out of it). Thanks for the high praise, Amy! And I like your plot to pawn off a Silhouette on your sister, so she can make you things. After all, that’s what sisters are for! ;-)

  2. If I won the Silhouette I would make teacher gifts for the 1st day of school, extra credit points are never bad to start the school year with!

  3. Yippee! If you keep doing these giveaways maybe I will eventually hit the lucky number on the roulette wheel (uhm, random number generator). :-)

    My first project will definitely be one (or two or ten) of those great designer onesies for my (about to be born in less than three weeks) granddaughter! (And of course some cool tshirt designs for my 4yr old great niece!)

  4. Robyn S. says:

    I would make gifts for everyone I know!!

  5. mary graff says:

    If I won the Silhouette, I would make something special for my younger daughter’s wedding in October. Would definitely have to include a cute “bride” t shirt for her party with the girls!!

  6. Krissy Palmer says:

    I would be thrilled to give all of these projects a try!

  7. I love the designer edition. Just the ability to open SVG files made it worth getting for me. I got it for 40% off during Thanksgiving, but for $25 this is a no-brainer!

  8. I’ve been drooling over the Silhouette line for a while now, but can’t afford one on a teacher’s salary. (I’m sure you know how that is!) If I were to win, I’d make TONS of gifts and crafts for my sweet 1st graders next year. It would be much easier to do crafts with them during the year if I didn’t have to hand-cut all of the “tricky” pieces :)

  9. Kristin Schroeder says:

    Yay, thanks for doing another promotion! =)

    If I were ever so lucky to win this time around, I would make something for…..ME!
    Ha! I say that now but that never happens. Chances are, my kids will get a little crafty gift from mommy. I do like Mary Graff’s idea for the Bride shirt and then even Bridesmaid’s shirts for my sisters wedding next summer.

  10. If I owned a Silhouette, well… I’m not sure what I’d do with myself cause that would be a really cool prize to win. BUT I’d surely use it for different cutesy things that I do not have the hand-eye coordination skills to achieve a really cute look. Thanks for the giveaway

  11. I need to get me some of those sketch pens. Those place cards are so cute!

    • thethinkingcloset says:

      Thanks, Jessica! This was my first time using the sketch pens and they were a TON of fun. I can’t wait to play with them some more.

  12. Candi S. says:

    I would love to make a gift for my friend since we are doing a handmade gift exchange this Christmas.

  13. Angelica J. says:

    My daughters first birthday is coming up in a few months. I would love a silhouette to make decorations, gift bags, and party games. I would also love to make some gifts for my little sister who is getting married this summer. A nice Mr. And Mrs. Vinyl art for her home would be great. Gee I hope I win :)

  14. oh Lauren, I wish I had seen this post last week…I am making gift bag cards for my kiddos birthdays and successfully made a cut and print but then needed to change it and forgot how and I think I needed to select cut/ dont cut options and did not- I think this will help in the future though!

    • thethinkingcloset says:

      Darn it! I wish I had been more timely with this post for you, my friend. Yes, those cut / no cut options are pretty key when it comes to print and cut as well as sketch and cut. I had to check out a few tutorials myself to figure it out! (There’s a definitely a learning curve with the Silhouette, but it’s so worth it. Heck, I don’t need to tell you that!) ;-)

  15. Oooo, I LOVE the place cards…AND the rhinestones! I am quickly becoming obsessed with this whole Silhouette thing and all the capabilities!!

    • thethinkingcloset says:

      It’s a slippery slope into becoming Silhouette-obsessed, I tell ya. I’m already too far gone! ;-) Ha ha.

  16. I would definitely make a gift for my mother-in-law. She would love it!

  17. Taramarie says:

    That means I LOVE YOU!!

  18. I’d make home decor items for me!

  19. Would love to create some gifts for my little girl. Maybe some cute personalized shirts =)

  20. Me LOVE, LOVE those place-cards Lauren! love the gold about it and my son has those animals from the dollar store; you gave me tons of ideas and inspiration now! can’t wait to read your post tomorrow about it! & your niece is adorable wearing her t-shirt! :-)

  21. Allie Sansing says:

    I would LOVE to make school spirit items for the other teachers at our school!!!

  22. I AM SO INTO THIS GIVEAWAY! I wanna make pretty place cards and adorable rhinestoned things and fancy vinyl cutouts! ;) You go, girl. Those place cards are BOSS. ;)

  23. Those place-cards are so wonderful! (though I’ll always cherish the ones you and Lisbeth made by hand as children for Thanksgiving and other holidays or meals with guests).

    Those gold-animal holders are brilliant! Can’t wait to read your post tomorrow on how to make them!
    I plan to get a Silhouette when I retire, and then, watch out world!!!

    • thethinkingcloset says:

      I love your sentimental heart, Mama, and that you saved so many of those place-cards that we made over the years. And yes, you will rock a Silhouette throughout retirement, Mama, I know it. (And just think of the Silhouette craft parties we will share together.)

  24. Lauren…I REALLY want one of these but I have sooo many things I would LOVE to make for me…. but I am sure I would be kind and have a dinner party and use your fantastic place setting cards!!

  25. Kristine says:

    If I won the Silhouette I would do an Irish Jig down the street, climb a tree and Hoot like an Owl, then call everyone I know and a few people I don’t know and tell them they too need a Silhouette!!!!!!!!!

    • thethinkingcloset says:

      So, I made a conscious decision NOT to respond to all of the giveaway comments, just to preserve my time and sanity, but I had to tell you that yours was one of my favorites. Your imagery was out of this world awesome, Kris. Here’s to hoping you win a Silhouette soon so I can see this display of celebration in action! :-)

  26. Not sure what I would make….I have too many things on my list!

  27. ellen casper says:

    If I won a Silhouette, I’d like to create a gift for my sister.

  28. Andrea N says:

    How do you narrow it own to only one thing you would make?!?! There are so many options!! Awesome giveaway!

  29. Okay – I love these place cards. They are adorable. And your place card holders? The stuff of my dreams, lady.

    I’m totally entering your giveaway too, because I want to give a Silhouette to my girlfriend. Maybe one day I’ll win it for her! :)

    • thethinkingcloset says:

      You’re such a sweet friend to think of her! And though it may not have happened this time around, keep on keeping on. There’s hope for you yet, my manushka.

  30. I sooOo want to win!! I can’t wait to get started on all the cute things that can be done!

  31. Elizabeth M says:

    i’d make something for the grandparents first but i’m sure i’d just make something for everyone

  32. I’d love to share this with my sons teachers.

  33. I would LOVE to win this to make crafts projects with special verses and inspirational thoughts for my family and friends.

  34. I would love making thank you cards for my customers!

  35. Oh, how I would love to win this. Seriously!

  36. Oh thanks for this chance to win the Portrait! I would make adorable clothing items for my great niece who is due December 24th! :)

  37. Great giveaway! Thank you!

  38. Colleen Boudreau says:

    I would create a gift for my mom.

  39. I would love to make some subway art for both of my daughters new homes, or I could make some applique t-shirts for my grand-daughters. Either way would love to have one of these.

  40. Angela Yeremenko says:

    I would love to create some vinyl wall art for my sisters baby.

  41. I would love to win this! I would use it for so many things – but first of all I would make t-shirts for my daughter’s cheerleading squad. So many ideas!

  42. I would love to win this to share with my mom and sister. We all love to make cards for people.

  43. Sarah S. says:

    If I won this giveaway I would immediately make gifts for my sisters and mom!!

  44. I want to win for my friend Christina… I hope she’d made me a present if she wins! :)

  45. Jessica Hornibrook says:

    I am due next week and would love to make decorations for the nursery!

  46. Ooh I have a few baby showers coming up, so I think I’d make gifts for the cute little bambinos! Thanks for the giveaway, Lauren!

  47. I would make onesies for our baby born in Sept!

  48. Hope you have a great holiday weekend. I just found out that all of our town’s festivities are cancelled due to bad weather!

    • thethinkingcloset says:

      Oh no! Bummer! Hope y’all found some fun indoor activities to do in celebration of Independence Day! Most of our activities are indoors these days considering I live in one of the most hot and humid places in the country: Florida! ;-)

  49. Rhonda G says:

    I would love to make a gift for each of my 4 grandbabies if I won!!

  50. I would love to make pictures to decorate my children’s rooms.

  51. Megan Calhoun says:

    I’ve been wanting a silhouette so badly and love your beautiful creations! This would make the best birthday gift for me!

  52. I’ve been wanting a silhouette for the longest time. I have so many ideas for Christmas gifts for just about everyone I know.

  53. I have been wanting a silhouette so bad for so long! Thanks for the giveaway, that’s awesome!

  54. OK – you know I am DYING to own one of these babies!
    If – when – I become the proud owner, I’ll most definitely be doing the Awesome Grandma thing and whipping up cute onsies for my grandbabies :)

  55. Id make some signs for my mom (and probably sisters too!)

  56. I have so many fun projects in mind for the Silhouette!!!

  57. I would probably make a gift for my mom first, she’s amazing and always helping everyone :)

  58. c claiborne says:


  59. Dara Roberts says:

    How have I not heard of the product until now? Simply astounding!!

  60. April Lopez says:

    I’d like to make setting for my son and daughter in law

  61. Awesome giveaway and projects!

  62. I would make my friend Megan a tote that says “Jane Austen is my homegirl” with HTV :)

  63. I would make gifts for my DD for her college dorm room: labeling, monograms, decorating

  64. Wendy Byde says:

    If I won, I’d first make gifts for my daughter’s 3 swim coaches! ;)

  65. So many ideas…cannot decide what to do first; labels?

  66. I’d make personalized glass etched gifts – great wedding/shower presents

  67. Margaret says:

    I would love to have ones these. The things I could do…

  68. Caroline Ivory says:

    I would make a wedding gift for my friend! I’m thinking a large sign with their name and established.

  69. Ashley Hackman says:

    I would love to make all kinds of gifts! right now I’d love to have one to make my children’s baby books, a gift for them and myself :)

  70. KellyAnn says:

    So many possibilities! Onesies and t-shirts for my littles, banners, signs, nametags and decorations for our family reunion, cut-outs for scrapbooking and card making – oh my!!!

  71. I would make something for my mother in law. She’s impossible to buy for, but loves hand made gifts!

  72. Maddie Davis says:

    Love, Love, Love this post, so need a silhouette..

  73. Maria Rosales- Dean says:

    Love this Silhouette giveaway. I’ve been wanting one of these since they came out. I’m ready to get rid off my Cricut Mini…..

  74. OMG….I HAVE to have this! =) Pick me! Pick me!

  75. Thanks for the sketch pen idea! Winning a portrait would be so awesome! I am a cardmaker, crafter, and organizational wannabe. :)

  76. I would love to win! I have a family reunion and would love to give them their own personalized tshirt! Thank you for the chance to win!!

  77. Great giveaway! I would love to create a gift for my daughter and my readers!


  78. I would make tons of stuff for my toddler!

  79. I would make tons of stuff for my toddler

  80. Well with 10 grandchildren, I could only dream of all the things I could make and I have a special friend who will be adopting twins in November.onsies?

  81. I’d love to win! Looks like such a awesome tool!

  82. This is AWESOME! I have wondered the differences in the programs, you explain it so well! And how cute are those place cards?!?!? One day I would love to have a Cameo for now I’ll have to get by with my little Cricut Mini.:)

  83. I sssssssoooooo want to win this! My fingers are crossed! :D

  84. What wouldn’t I use a silhouette for?!?

  85. I would love to create a scrapbook for my grandparents who just hosted my whole family (20 people!) at their beach house! A scrapbook of all of our beach trips would be a great gift for them.

  86. I would make gifts for all my siblings and mother.

  87. I would LOVE to create gifts for my in-laws. The siblings-in-law are all getting married/engaged and I think it would be great to have some personalized place cards for their growing family at meals! :)

  88. If I won a silhouette – I would probably make a gift for my mom. Not sure what – but something fun! Thanks for the chance :)

  89. Carmen Lucero says:

    I just saw your post on facebook so I had to come and see what you were all about. So far I love what I see. Thanks for the chance at the cameo!

    Carmen L
    cal8007 at aol dot com

  90. lindsay fekitoa says:

    I’d love to give this portrait to my sister all together! I know she’d love it and put it to good use!

  91. Jean Bullock says:

    For my mom.

  92. These turned out so cute! I don’t own a Silhouette, but I’ve been dying to try one out. I’d love to tackle some projects for my twins’ bedroom with a Silhouette. Thanks so much for sharing. Happy Monday to you!

  93. Thank you for sharing at Give Me The Goods!

    Dimples & Pig Tales

  94. I love those sketch pens =D. I bought them when I bought my Cameo and I haven’t used them as much as I would want to. I just found hard to find the time to use them. I’m so silly. I might have to change that because those tags looks so cute. And of course I want to try the vinyl and the rhinstones I love how it looks… There are so many things I need to try Oh Dear LOL!!!! Thank you for sharing this with me at my Party!

    Cami @ TitiCrafty!

    • thethinkingcloset says:

      I know, there is SO much to play with and not enough time. I just try to take it one craft at a time…otherwise, I start to feel overwhelmed at all I COULD be doing. There really is an art to being present, isn’t there? Thanks for taking the time to stop by and visit. You are such a model party hostess! If I ever end up hosting a linky, I want to be just like Camila! ;-) Happy Thursday to you, friend.

  95. Whoa! The silhouette is blowing my mind. I’m like really behind the times, but I can’t believe it not only makes text, but CUTS complicated designs and curves as well. Actually, I think I knew that, but it’s just pretty incredible. I see why you love it so much! Maybe I should get myself down on that list for the next giveaway! p.s. Also, I see my name among the place cards! Wondering what animal will be my placeholder when I next visit!…:)

  96. This tutorial is perfection! Thanks!

  97. Pet Barnes says:

    I just tried this Sketch pen technique and just wanted to say thanks for a great tutorial. I had the Cricut for years, and my silhouette Cameo about 6 months and today is the first time I have used the sketch pens. Thanks to your tutorial which I watched for the first time this morning.


  1. [...] remember those sketch pen place cards that I shared yesterday?  Well, they needed a fun way to be displayed, and somehow, my brain [...]

  2. [...] for 50% right now.  That’s $24.99 and I can attest, it is worth it.  (Check out my Sketch Pen Place-Card post from last week for a breakdown of all the features of the Designer [...]

  3. […] seen this at Or So She Says last month or perhaps caught a glimpse of these animals in action in my sketch-pen place-card tutorial.  Either way, it’s a really simple and inexpensive way to infuse your next dinner party with […]

  4. […] Now, you’ve seen me wield these sketch-tastic wonders before when I created the place-cards for my gold animal buddies to display, remember? […]

  5. […] have been looking for an excuse to make place cards like Lauren over at The Thinking Closet for a while now…ever since buying my own set of Silhouette sketch pens!  Plus those little […]

  6. […] make the labels I referred to these wonderful sketch pen tutorials from the thinking closet and Chicken Scratch […]

  7. […] the label-love continues over at Life After Laundry where Brenna was able to use my Sketch Pen Place-Card Tutorial to create some sketchy labels for her craft bins!  So […]

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