Friday, 12 September 2014

Make your Own Scannable Scrap Mat in Silhouette Studio

If you are like me, you have loads of scrap pieces in a drawer, that seldom get used because you can't be bothered to work out what will fit on them.

The advent of the PixScan mat may be a solution for some. For me, it isn't. Not only would I have to pay over the odds to get one but the Studio  software does not recognise my scanner. Not even my brand new one. Even though it has (according to Canon) an entire range of drivers, including Twain.
Somehow, everyone wants to pass on the problem to someone else. I don't care who fixes it, but someone should!

So, because I refuse to buy a mat that is not fully supported for my Mavericks set up,  I have been thinking. Pretty dangerous stuff. No one should ever tell me I can't do something because it makes me all the more determined...:)

People with machines under warranty, may not want to try this, as making your own mats would probably void it.

See the video here on how easy it is to make a mat that will not only fit in your scanner without the need for a second pass but also needs very little skill to use!  For best results if you want to use reg marks, get an opaque white plastic mat to use. 

I have made 2 files to be DRAWN in Studio. One is for a plain mat and the other has registration marks. Use a heavy black permanent marker to go over those, and fill in the corner square.  You cut only the outer edge of the mat, with scissors, after.

Note - there appears to be a differently placed cutting area for that size mat with reg marks, that is why they are different files. Scrapmats files here. 

Now, in theory, you should be able to use it by scanning the remnant on your mat. Save the file to your desktop or into Studio directly, depending on your system. Make sure your scanner is not altering the size of the image at all.

NOTE - I also made an acetate cover, the same size as the mat, for mine, to keep my scanner bed clean. Use temp adhesive on the back of your material to hold in place, or sticky your mat with it, choice is yours.

Without reg marks is good for cutting  out shapes that are drawn on scraps by hand or in Studio.  For more elaborate stuff you may want the reg marks. This should work the same way as the PixScan mat but is only suitable for use with a scanner, not with a camera - I'm giving you the file but I HAVE NOT tried out the reg marks one yet - I need some more place mats!


When your scrap is scanned, trace it or draw on it in Studio. To do this accurately, first line up your scanned image with the cut area on the screen, making sure that the rotation is the same and that you have chosen the 'Stamp' mat.  Where the arrow is normally, I have just added an ellipse, (only to show direction of loading).

Let me know how you get on!


  1. Wonderful Sandra, will return again and again!

  2. Sandra, I use a Canon printer scanner on a Mac and have found although I can print direct from Studio when connected to my network I need to connect via usb and then I can scan direct to Studio, i don't know if this might work for you it might be worth a try.

  3. Anne, I can scan and send an item TO Studio but as yet have been unable to scan FROM Studio - will give your idea a try if I can relocate usb lead and see what happens!

    Anonymous- thank you!

  4. Sandra I should have said from Studio not to Studio, I used this method again yesterday and it worked. I even Tried it using the Pixscan function and it scanned my image but of course would not complete the process because I didn't have a Pixscan mat. I am going to try your scrapmat .method when I get hold of something to make the mat with.

  5. If you just want to try it out to see that it works - just cut the mat from some heavy card stock, and use a pen to draw rather than cut your shapes out. It will give you an idea of how accurate it is!

  6. The files link seem to not work anymore. Can you reupload them please?

      I believe that is what you want. You are lucky I still had it - I no longer use a Cameo or Silhouette Studio. I now have a Silver Bullet and use Sure Cuts A Lot.
      While I do post links to files, every now and then I have to clear out the drop box, or I'd have no space left! Hope this helps you.