Silhouette Tutorial: How to Make DIY Auction Paddles

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How to DIY an auction bid paddle using your Silhouette (tutorial) | 11 Magnolia Lane

As promised, I’m back to share more details from last month’s Bowtie Ball {this year’s school fundraiser}.  We were able to DIY most of the decorations at a huge cost savings, which is so important when every penny raised goes to such a good cause.

Since so many schools and non profits use fundraising auctions as a way to supplement tight operating budgets, I thought it would be helpful to share a few of my tricks.  Successful event planning is all about the details–people really notice them!

Jane Austen auction paddle--using a paint stick

|  Jane Austen Fundraising Gala  |

 

Today I’m going to show you how we made the live auction bid paddles.  We made almost 200 paddles and our only costs were two packages of white card stock, printer ink, and a can of spray paint.  And as you can see, we were able to customize the paddles to fit our black and white bowtie theme:

How to DIY an auction paddle using your Silhouette (tutorial) | 11 Magnolia Lane

Our posts contain affiliate links.  If you make a purchase after clicking on these links, we will earn a small commission, which helps to keep our content free.  You don’t pay a cent more than you would otherwise, since that would be tacky! Read our full disclosure policy {here}.

I used my Silhouette CAMEO for this project; I’ve had mine for over four years and it is literally worth its weight in gold.  A few words before we get started:  first, I still use an older version of the software, so my screen shots might look different from yours.  I prefer this version, although I do sometimes use the newer one.  Second, I’ve never used a Cricut and sometimes people will comment asking me how to do projects on a Cricut.  I’m sorry I can’t help!  Third, the folks at Silhouette will be giving away a Portrait machine to one of our readers between now and the end of the month, so you’ll want to be sure to follow along via email {here} if you’re not already so you don’t miss the giveaway.

If you’d like to download the .Studio file I created, the link to download it is {here}.  It will look like this and you can edit and tweak it as needed:

How to DIY an auction paddle using your Silhouette (tutorial) | 11 Magnolia Lane

However, if you’d like to create your own auction bid paddles from scratch, here’s what you’ll do.

First, start a new document.  Click on the Page Tools window and select “Letter”, “Landscape”, and a 12 x 12 cutting mat.

How to DIY an auction paddle using your Silhouette (tutorial) | 11 Magnolia Lane

Because we’ll be using the Print and Cut feature, we’ll need registration marks on our paper, so click on the Registration Marks window and check the “Show Reg Marks” box.

How to DIY an auction paddle using your Silhouette (tutorial) | 11 Magnolia Lane

Select the frame you’ll use for your auction numbers.  I fit two on a 8.5 x 11″ page, and I used this frame that came with my vinyl starter kit:

How to DIY an auction paddle using your Silhouette (tutorial) | 11 Magnolia Lane

Select the frames, right mouse click and select “Ungroup” or alternatively, use the ungroup button at the bottom left (circled).

How to DIY an auction paddle using your Silhouette (tutorial) | 11 Magnolia Lane

You can then select and delete the square frame.

When you’re left with just the rectangular frame, you’ll need to right mouse and select “Release Compound Path” in order to select one of the remaining frames and delete it.

How to DIY an auction paddle using your Silhouette (tutorial) | 11 Magnolia Lane

You can then use the green circle to rotate the frame and drag it until you’ve got it the size you want it to be (mine measures 6.910″ x 4.470″).  Copy and paste it so you have two.

How to DIY an auction paddle using your Silhouette (tutorial) | 11 Magnolia Lane

Now, click on your Text button and add your bid number.  I like the font “Superclarendon” for numbers because it’s easy to read from afar.

How to DIY an auction paddle using your Silhouette (tutorial) | 11 Magnolia Lane

Drag the numbers so they’re positioned correctly, then while they’re selected, click on the Fill Color Window and select black (or whatever color you want your numbers to be) from the menu on the right.

How to DIY an auction paddle using your Silhouette (tutorial) | 11 Magnolia Lane

Since you want these numbers to be printed, but not cut out by the Silhouette, you’ll need to select your numbers, open the Cut window and select “No cut.”

How to DIY an auction paddle using your Silhouette (tutorial) | 11 Magnolia Lane

I copied and pasted the number on the other paddle, updated it to a “16,” and then I added the line and bowtie at the top.

I used the Draw a Rectangle button to drag a rectangle across the top of both paddles, then I used the Fill Color and Cut buttons (just like I did with the numbers) to make the line black and remove the cut lines.

step-10

I then imported a black and white bowtie graphic into my library (see this post if you don’t know how to import a photo into Silhouette studio) and brought it into my project.

I sized the bowtie and copied and pasted it onto the other paddle.  You can add a graphic that fits your particular event, or your school/company logo. You can even print on colored card stock or add gold foil accents in a second step (we’ll cover gold foil in an upcoming post).

How to DIY an auction paddle using your Silhouette (tutorial) | 11 Magnolia Lane

When you’re finished designing your paddles, click on the print button and send your project to the printer.  I used white card stock.

How to DIY an auction paddle using your Silhouette (tutorial) | 11 Magnolia Lane

Place your paper on the cutting mat as shown and click on the Cut Settings button and select “Cardstock” and cut.

How to DIY an auction paddle using your Silhouette (tutorial) | 11 Magnolia Lane

I got into quite a rhythm, and while one page was cutting, I was printing another one and updating the numbers in the software.  While you might have to re-size and recenter the numbers as you change the numbers sequentially, the adjustments are minor and take seconds.

Just a tip on blades:  I have one blade that I use exclusively for vinyl and another one that I use just for card stock.  The blade that cuts paper tends to dull faster, but the vinyl blade lasts at least six months for me (and I cut vinyl every single day for our Etsy shop).

How to DIY an auction paddle using your Silhouette (tutorial) | 11 Magnolia Lane

Our local Lowe’s was happy to donate the paint stir sticks that we used as handles.  I gave them a coat of black spray paint (we only use Rust-Oleum 2X spray paint!) although you could certainly pick whatever color coordinates with your event.

How to DIY an auction paddle using your Silhouette (tutorial) | 11 Magnolia Lane

If you need to buy the handles, though, they’re available {here}.

We then glue-gunned the sticks onto the back of the bid numbers.  I put the notched end at the top but either would work.

Obviously, the sky’s the limit with the Silhouette–you can cut round auction numbers, use your event’s customized fonts and graphics, add borders, cut on colored or patterned card stock, you name it!

To recap, here are the supplies we used:

 

You can read more about the event {here}.  It was tremendously successful–and SO much fun!  I’m already pinning ideas for next year!

Thanks for stopping by–

Final New Christy headshot 2015

 

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Comments

  1. Christy, this made my head hurt! Lol Seriously, you are amazing! I don’t have a Silhouette but would love to. Can’t wait to see more of your creativity.
    xo
    Pat

    • Pat, you need to enter this giveaway later in the month. These machines are just amazing, and there’s a tutorial out there in blogland for practically anything you can imagine!

      Hope your week is going well!
      Christy

  2. Would love a silhouette….love to make things.

  3. They are adorable!!!….You are a master of the Silhouette Cameo!!!

  4. Just used this tutorial last night to make my “6” picture frame. Love finding new ways to use my Silhouette! Keep these great tutorials coming please!!

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