How To Create Sketch Pen Fills
First Cut

How To Create Sketch Pen Fills

Have you ever created a design with text where you wanted to use your sketch pens and have the font filled in? Kelly here to show you a few tricks to fill in those fonts!

Supplies Needed:

As you probably know, simply typing regular text in Silhouette Studio® creates unfilled text. If you sketch the design with sketch pens after creating your text, you’ll just get the outline with no fill.

You do have sketch font options in the Design Store. If you choose a sketch font, the lines are practically writing on top of each other and there is no need to create a fill inside the letters. This is LW Tall Sketch (Design ID #47439) and Mr. Stripey (Design ID #82085).

If you like the look of those options, sketch away! If you want to learn how to create a fill for regular fonts, then read on.

Step One: Create the Initial Design

  1. Type out your text with the Text Tool.
  2. With the text selected, open the Text Style Window and choose a font you like. I chose Beradon Script (Design ID #243649) as a formal option.
  3. If your font has extra glyphs, take a look at them in the Glyphs tab of the Text Style Panel (in Silhouette Studio® Designer Edition and higher). I replaced the last R with an included glyph to get a beautiful flourish.

Note: To install and access premium fonts (and access glyphs in basic Silhouette Studio®), please see this video.

  1. Save a copy of your text off to the side of the cutting mat in the holding area in case you want to edit any text later.
  2. Weld your text design, and then Group the parts you need to keep together.

  1. Resize as desired. I enlarged the last name and made the date smaller.

Step Two: Create the Fill

  1. Select the entire design.
  2. If you are using a Curio machine, you have the advantage of using an emboss fill.
  • Open the Emboss Panel
  • Choose Deboss
  • Choose an Embossing Pattern
  • Adjust the Spacing and Angle as desired to get the look you want
  1. If you are not using a Curio but do have Designer Edition or higher, you can use a sketch fill.

  • Open the Sketch Panel and choose Edge and Fill options. (Fine tune in the second tab for advanced options.)
  • My example uses Edge Effect = Plain; Fill Type = Hatch; Spacing = 0.059; Angle = 0; Sweep = 30.0; Offset = 0
  1. If you don’t have Designer Edition or want a tighter fill, you can create it manually using the Offset Panel.

  • With your text design selected, click Internal Offset
  • Type 0.005 for the Distance and hit Enter/Return on your keyboard
  • Click Apply
  • Without selecting or deselecting anything, repeat these same steps until your design is completely filled (click Internal Offset, input 0.005 Distance, Enter, click Apply). In my example this took about 13 sets.
  • Once the design is filled and there’s no more room for internal offsets, select the entire design and Group it (Control/Command G)

Step Three: Sketch with Sketch Pens

  1. If you want to frame your design, use the Rectangle Drawing Tool to draw a rectangle around your design that matches the size of your frame (7 in. x 5 in. for my example).
  2. Go to the Send Panel to choose which part of the design will cut and which part will sketch. This will vary by machine. I’m using the CAMEO 3.
  3. In the Simple action tab, for Tool 1 (red), select your rectangle and choose:
  • Material = Patterned Paper, Medium (or whatever you are using)
  • Action = Cut
  • Tool = Autoblade (or whatever you are using)
  • Cut option (the rectangle should show bold red lines in the preview area)
  1. Click on the arrow to expose selections for Tool 2 (blue).
  2. Click to select your text design, and then choose the following for Tool 2:
  • Material = Patterned Paper, Medium (or whatever you are using)
  • Action = Sketch
  • Tool = Sketch Pen (this will change automatically when you choose the Sketch action)
  • Sketch option (your text design should show bold blue lines in the preview area)
  1. Your rectangle is now set to cut with the AutoBlade and your text design is set up to sketch with the sketch pen, so make sure the AutoBlade is inserted in Tool holder 1 (left) and your sketch pen is inserted in Tool holder 2 (right).
  2. Place your paper on your cutting mat, load it into the machine, and press SEND at the bottom of the Send Panel.

Note: If you have a single tool holder in your machine, you can set it up to sketch first (turn sketch lines ON for the text design only, and turn OFF cut/sketch lines for the rectangle). Once sketching is complete, turn sketch lines OFF and turn cut lines ON for the rectangle. Remember to use the correct tool for each pass, and don’t unload the mat in between.

Another alternative is to cut by line color when sketching and cutting. You can find out how to do that in this video.

Step Four: Frame and Enjoy!

Your sketched design is now ready to place in a frame as a gift or décor. You can use these fill techniques for more than just fonts, and with more than just sketch pens. You may even want to try it with foil transfer sheets to add extra shine to your project. (Yes, this was done with my CAMEO!)

Now break out those sketch pens and create something fun! What will you try first?

Kelly Wayment

Hi! I'm Kelly Wayment and have loved working with Silhouette America on their design team since 2013 and contributing to their YouTube videos since 2017. I live in Utah with my husband and four kids. The Silhouette machine has literally changed the course of my life as it has turned my simple hobbies into ways to push the boundaries with my creativity, along with innumerable opportunities to teach and share that joy with others. You can find my blog at

Products Used:

Silhouette Curio™

Silhouette CAMEO® 3

Silhouette Portrait®

Pen Holder

Sketch Pen Starter Kit


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  1. Hi. I have a Silhouette Cameo; and I am having problems with my Silhouette Sketch pens. They most always leave unwanted streaks on my paper as they move from one position to another. Can you help me with this problem? Thanks. Cris White

    1. Hi Cris! That happens when the pens stick out just a little too far. You can try: 1) reduce the Force setting in the Send Panel, 2) keep your paper flat as it moves in and out during sketching by pulling out the extension arms on the CAMEO 3 or by creating a temporary platform in front of the machine to hold the mat flat (like with a book or box), or 3) don’t insert your pen completely into the tool holder before locking it in place. Experiment with a gap that works, perhaps a millimeter or less. I hope that helps!

  2. Hi

    Thank you for this tutorial. I have the designer edition, V 4.1.442, but unfortunately when I click on the Sketch icon, the options are greyed out. Any idea why?


    1. Do you have your design selected on your page? That’s my first guess as to why they would be greyed out.

      If you still have trouble, you can reach out to support with their live chat on, or send them an email at

  3. Excellent tutorial. Do you have a link to show how you used the foil transfer sheets?

    1. Hi Lorraine. I don’t have a tutorial for using it with the CAMEO specifically, but it’s really easy. When you have a design ready, you simply remove the backing off the foil transfer sheet and place it tacky-side against your page (foil side facing up). Then use a Sketch action in the Send Panel, but insert a Curio Fine Embossing tool into the tool holder instead of a sketch pen. You may need to experiment with the settings a bit to get it right.

      You can see photos in steps 4 and 5 of this post on foil transfer sheets to get an idea of how it works.

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