Creating paper cutting templates to sell

As a seller. it is vital that you produce a good template for your customer, they are, afterall, paying you money for it. There’s nothing worse than paying hard earned money for a template that is all fuzzy around the edges or has shadows making the cut line difficult to see. It can result in a very unhappy customer who won’t buy from you again, and also, word gets passed around that your templates arent good. So how do you go about making sure your templates are the best they can be?

There are two ways of creating templates, either you hand draw and then scan the final cut or you create a template on your computer using an image editing software. If you are using the image editing software, make sure you design your template using 300dpi (dots per inch), that’s the highest resolution you can get and it will make sure that it gives nice sharp edges. Try to use a mid to light grey for the pieces that need cutting away as it uses less ink when printed. Don’t get it too light though, or your customer won’t be able to see the cut away very well. This is very frustrating and hard on the eyes. when you save it, save it as a nice large size, don’t re-size the image by shrinking it down as when it comes to being printed and perhaps made larger to fit the paper, it will go fuzzy around the edges (pixilate)

If you draw your designs you will have to scan your final cut to make it into a template. When it comes to scanning your template, put a piece of paper behind your template (again, mid to light grey works well), making sure all the cut away pieces are covered (you don’t want gaps). Make sure you set your scanner to scan at 300dpi so you get a nice high resolution image for your customer to download.

Your design might be the best design in the world, but if you don’t provide your customer with a nice, clean and sharp image to cut, your reputation for bad templates can ruin your business.

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Sue Fell

Of course if you design on the computer it is possible to produce a design that uses very little ink by just printing the actual lines that have to be cut along. However you do it as stated above the template needs to be sharp and clear.