How to use a design purchased from a website or Etsy with your Silhouette Cameo. 2

How to use a design purchased from a website or Etsy store with your Silhouette software

Are you finding all of these great designs but don’t know how to use them in your software? Well, this is the post for you! Follow along to learn more details! This post may contain affiliate links. These links support this blog but never costs you anything extra to purchase thru. By using these links this helps us keep all of our information free for your use!


Today we are going to be working with a design I recently purchased from but this technique will work with any downloaded design from any website or even Etsy shop.

  • First, let’s go shopping!  A few things I look for when shopping:
    • A reputable company is a must. But how do you know? Things I look for is do they sell NFL, Disney, any other well-known brands or characters? If so I choose to avoid these shops as I have no idea if the rest of their designs will be legally sold. Another red flag for me is shops that sell hundreds of designs for a really low price and you can’t see what all is included. Designers spend time making a design exactly how they envision and where they sell at a reasonable price, they do not give away hundreds of designs for a small price. Also, anyone selling a Google drive is a no go for me. A true designer will have a shop whether it is Etsy or a website. For those selling thru nothing but a Facebook page or a Google drive to me is hiding from the world. Why not have a place for everyone to find you like a website or Etsy shop? So use caution when purchasing anything from a site like these.


Click here for a direct link to this design!

  • Second, you must know the file type your software can use. SVG you must have Designer Edition software or better for Silhouette products. For the free basic edition software, you can use a DXF or GSD file.  If you are using a Cricut you can use an SVG file as well. For any other cutters make sure you are aware of your software abilities. I hate to see anyone make a purchase and then struggle with using their product, blame a designer for their file not working, or end up with a product you can’t use without purchasing more software.

Please use the download button below to download a pdf version of the above chart. Feel free to print it and keep it near by your machine or add it to a binder for your reference.
Free Download


  • Third, make your selection and checkout. Some shops will have a place for you to log into an account so you can download your products, others will send you an email with your download link.

This screen will pop up after checkout process and allow you to download your product at this time or you can use the email link you will see in the screen shot below. 


  • Fourth, let’s get your download to your computer. Click your download link if given the opportunity pick the location you want it to download into. Depending on your internet software of choice it simply may download to your to your default download folder.


Your downloads will most likely land in your downloads folder unless you have told them to go somewhere else.

  • And now begins the fun. The fifth step here will be getting this design ready to use in your software so you can cut it out of your material of choice. But first, you have a few things to get taken care of.
    • Most downloads are going to come in as a zipped file. Many people wonder why? Why do they have to make this so difficult? It is actually the complete opposite it is to make your life so much simpler. Many purchases come with several different file types as well as the designer’s instructions on the terms of use for their file. In order to make this a single download and you receive your entire purchase in one download they compress or zip the file up that makes it one single download for everything.



      • Now you will want to locate your newly downloaded file, you should see a zipper on the outside of the file folder. You will want to right click on it and extract/or unzip this file. Once unzipped/extracted all products inside will now be useable.


The above photo is if you have 7-zip or you can use the Extract All feature listed above it that will bring up the menu shown below. (If you would like to download 7-Zip for free click here.

The extract feature will make an unzipped folder with all of the products ready to be used in the same location as your zipped file is. If you want it in another location you can use the browse feature to select another location to place it in. 

    • Once downloaded and then unzipped/extracted this is when I would make sure to move both folders to its final location. I keep folders for each company I purchase from and inside these folders, I have three more folders and they are, Personal use, Commercial use, and Zipped. I keep all of my zipped files for an easy and compact way of backing up my files to Dropbox, Google drive, or my external hard drive.  But the other two folders are extremely important. If you keep your designs organized if you ever question or have the need to prove what permissions you have purchased it will be easy for you to locate.  Second, option in organizing is under your Personal or Commercial use folders to break them down by holidays, seasons, sayings or whatever organization works the best for you. I am a firm believer of if you didn’t purchase the designs from the Silhouette store I don’t save them in my library. Over the last 5 years of using my Cameo and helping people learn to use theirs, I have seen people lose everything because of a corrupted library. All of their eggs were in one basket and for me, that isn’t the way I chose to store my files or organize them. Others, however, have had a great deal of luck and love it.



  • Sixth is opening it in your software. So far you have purchased, downloaded, unzipped/extracted, organized your purchase and are all set to use it! Sounds like a lot but once you get in a habit of it then it becomes very simple and quick to do. And you will thank me when your items are organized, easy to find and easier to backup!
    • The first step is to get your Silhouette software open.
      • Now go to file
      • Open
      • Now you will see your hard drive options. You will now need to locate the file you have made and organized to find the file you are wanting to use.
      • Locate the file and select the correct file format for your software.
      • Once you have selected the file and correct format click open.
      • That’s it! It is now opened in your silhouette software and is ready for you to use.





In the above photo, you are giving the ability to only see certain files types. You can see all or you can only look for let’s say SVG files in that folder and it will only show you those. So make sure that drop down menu is set to look for either everything if you are unsure of the file format you will want to use.



  • The seventh and most important step that I think confuses the most people is making your newly purchased file ready to be cut in your Silhouette software.
    • To help understand why this step is necessary I feel a bit of information is needed. Silhouette store sells .studio files these are an exclusive file format only useable by the Silhouette software and is created with it. Therefore these files are coded to come with cut lines already on and ready to use. By the terms of use of the software .studio files can only be sold thru their Silhouette store. So, therefore other designers must save their files in a format that the software will also read. This is where SVG, DXF, and GSD come into play. These are standard vector-based file formats that allow a user to size these as small or as large as they wish without losing any quality. These file formats are used across many different graphic design needs so, therefore there will be no cut lines on when you open these in your Silhouette software. No other types of programs that would use these file formats would need any cut lines on except when used with a plotter/cutter.
    • So what do I need to do to be able to use this file? It is a very simple step:
      • First, select your design
      • Second, go to your cut settings,
      • Third, select cut or cut edge depending on the design and need.
      • That’s it! Your design is now cut ready!


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2 thoughts on “How to use a design purchased from a website or Etsy with your Silhouette Cameo.

  • Sarah Thigpen

    I have a silhouette and have only the free software. I have downloaded both the SVG and the dxf files. The problem I am having is the design will not ungroup such that I can cut in multiple colors for the letters vs the design. These instructions you have given don’t address this. Any idea how to make this happen for the design I purchased on Etsy?

    • CherryTreeDigitalDesigns Post author

      If the design doesn’t pull apart you may have to ungroup multiple times, maybe even release compound path, or maybe you selected the wrong file format. Because every designer can save differently it is impossible to know how they saved it to give exact information.