Splitting Up

You may not have thought it was possible for me to have another monogram tutorial, but I do. What can I say? I'm a Southern girl. :)

This is also a tutorial on how to split letters but can also be applied to any image in Silhouette Studio.

First we need to start with a letter. I chose a fancy font for this since it was just a single letter, my last initial.

I drew a rectangle .25" wide and placed it in the center of the W. I'm going to cut the letter in half, so I want to lose the least amount of the image possible.

When the rectangle was in place, I clicked Subtract. This cut the image in two.

It also made all of the little pieces into individual shapes. I selected each half of the letter, including all of the little pieces, and grouped them back together.

Here's a random little tip. I want to keep the two halves centered, but I need the top to be a bit above the bottom piece. To do this without throwing it off center, I opened the Move window. I clicked up once or twice and it moved it up without knocking it off center! This is a great window to keep in mind when doing projects on the Silhouette!

To give the letter a more polished look, I made a thin rectangle and placed it over the edge of both halves of the letter where they were cut. I made the image black so it was easier to see.

You can see one of the rectangles highlighted in the image below. I copied it and pasted another one so it would be the exact same size and placed it on the other half. I then welded each rectangle to their separate half of the letter. Now if you were to cut it, it would cut as one shape, not a separate rectangle on top of a shape.

I then typed out my last name in the middle of the two in a script font. I centered it, then grouped all 3 pieces together.

I love how elegant and fancy it looks!

Here's another one that I made below! This would be so beautiful etched into glass. Can't you just see this etched into an old window hung up on the wall? It would be gorgeous!

While I do consider this a monogram, it could also be used as a label for things. I've seen these types of monograms etched into casserole platters. You could even cut out a stencil and use it spray paint your monogram onto a welcome mat or your mailbox! There are endless possibilities!

A Fine Line

Today I'm going to show you the different options provided in the Line Style window! By altering the lines in your projects you can add so many little details and really enhance your craft!

I have a couple circles and a couple squares set up to show you the different styles and settings.

For the first circle I chose the second option in the Line Style box. The default thickness is set at 0 so it doesn't really look like much, but when you increase the thickness (here I have it at 4.0) you can see that it's a dotted line. You can use this style to cut out little circles to place rhinestones if you don't have the Designer Edition software.

 On the inner line I chose the third option in the Line Style window. It's a dashed line that looks like stitching. You could print this out onto scrapbook paper for a cute little detail or you could cut it and run thread through it! It would be such a cute little detail to add!

There's not really any options for the dotted line, but the dashed line has a few for the edges. I've labeled them so you can see the difference. There's flat edges, rounded edges, and square edges.

For the outer square line I chose another version of a dashed line. As you can see in the window, there's many options for dashed lines. This one looks very much like stitching to me. I would love to run thread through it for a card! I think that would be adorable!

For the inner circle, I kept it a straight unbroken line but I increased the thickness so you could see the corners better. There are 3 different options again: corner, bevelled, or flat. Corner has a very sharp edge; bevelled has the corners cut off at an angle; flat has more of a rounded look.

Who knew you could do so many things with a line? :)  The options provided gives you the ability to add so many cute details to your crafts and make them just a little more special!

Etched Glass Tutorial

Etched glass has been on my to-do list for almost a year now. I had been scared to try it though. I think the permanency of it freaked me out.

But this week I finally decided to just do it! And I am so glad I did!

I've seen so many cute etched glass tutorials all over Pinterest and knew immediately what I wanted to do. I decided to etch my name into all of my casserole dishes. That way, there's no confusion as to whose it is if I ever take it somewhere or let someone borrow it!

I found a cute label and attempted to trace it, but the image was too small for the lettering to trace correctly so I just decided to do it all manually. You can see the inspiration image in the bottom lefthand corner of my snapshots from Silhouette Studio below.

To do this, of course I had to enlist my Silhouette Cameo. I don't think I've done a craft without my Silhouette in over 6 months now. It's just SO addictive!

I wanted to share with you guys a few tricks I learned while doing this project.

I did a tutorial a week or so ago on creating circular text (or text along a path). You may remember me showing you how you can wrap text completely around the path. Here's that picture:

To do this, I just typed the phrase over and over again into one text box and then drug it to the path. The only problem with this however, is that the text can be hard to center evenly. I had to play with the character and line spacing a whole bunch before I could get it spaced evenly.

Fortunately, I have found a way to fix it so that all of the text is perfectly spaced and centered!

First, I created my circle and made two separate text boxes with the same text inside. I drug the first box to the top of the circle and centered it as best as possible.

Now, for the trick. Click on your circle and rotate it so it's upside down. See that little green circle in the picture below? Thats what you hold on to to rotate the shape. Another little tidbit: Hold down the Shift key so it will snap into place completely straight.

Now that we have our circle upside down, drag the second text box to the top of the circle. Now we have perfectly centered and spaced text! We didn't even have to mess with the character or line spacing!

To replicate the spoons, I just searched for an image online and traced it with the Trace window. Even though two are shown below, you really only need one to start off with. You'll see why in the next image.

Take that first spoon and tilt it like in the inspiration image. Center it as best as you can within the circle.

After selecting the spoon, press Control C (copy) and then Control F (this copies the image directly in front of your original image. Now go up to Object in your toolbar, click Transform, then click Flip Horizontally. This flips your copied shape right on top of the other one so it's already tilted at the right angle. It should be pretty close if not accurately centered within the circle as well. You may have to make minor adjustments.

Next, I drew a box and placed it over the two spoons. I selected those three shapes and hit Subtract All. Now the middle section is gone like in the image.

Then, I added the last little details. I drew a thin, long rectangle and placed it over the top section of spoons. Then copied and pasted it and placed it over the bottom section. 

Make sure to weld the rectangles to the parts of the spoons so the software registers them as one shape. Otherwise, it will cut the rectangle out on top of the spoons instead of as one continuous line like it's supposed to be.

All that's left is two little circles on each side of the text path and in the bottom of the spoons and my label is finished!

The process of etching the glass was so simple! You just apply your cut vinyl to your glass and paint the etching cream on. The bottle says to leave it on for 15 minutes but I left mine on for 45.

Here's the finished product! This is one of my smaller casserole pans!

Here's a close up detail of the etching. It's so smooth and crisp! It turned out so great!

I even did my smaller casserole bowls too!

Have you ever tried etching glass before? If you haven't, you should definitely give it a try!

Come Full Circle

I made a monogram a few weeks back (tutorial here). But it was more on the fancy side, so I wanted to show you guys how to make a different kind of monogram. Circular monograms are very popular so I have a tutorial today showing you how to make your own! It's so easy and works with any group of letters!

First, we need 2 circles (set one to the side, we'll deal with it later) and our letters. For those who don't know, your initial of your last name goes in the middle.

Ungroup your letters and set the left and right ones aside. Center your middle letter inside the circle. You want the top and bottom edges to touch or overlap the sides a little.

Instead of messing with the font size to do this, it's easier to just resize the letter like you would resize an image.

Once the middle letter is center, it's time to place the outside letters. I think they look best when they are a little smaller than the middle letter. I scaled them down a bit and placed them so they overlap just a little bit.

When you have everything like you want it, select all of the shapes, go to the Modify window, then click Crop.

Now the parts of our letters that were touching the circle are rounded! We're almost there!

You'll notice your circle has disappeared. This is why we have another one! Drag it over and center it over your letters.

As you can see, we still have corners that look a little awkward. They're too short so we need to round them out.

To do this, double click the letter. This shows all the points that connect two lines in the letter. Drag the points upwards towards the curve of the circle. You may need to even make a point yourself to help create that curve. To do this, just double click where you want the point, then you can move it exactly where you want it.

Once everything is in place, you can delete that circle. And now you have a brand new circle monogram!

Have you made a monogram in Silhouette Studio before? Do you have any tips or techniques you use? I would love to hear about them!

Creating Curved Text

I'm constantly learning new things in Silhouette Studio. Every time I use it I always press new buttons, set new settings, do anything to learn more tricks.

One thing I recently found how to do that I've been dying to learn is how to create curved text! It looks like it would be super complicated, but trust me when I say it is the easiest thing you will ever do!

First things first, draw a circle with your Circle tool. It can be any size, big or small. You could even draw an oval if you want. But for this tutorial, I'm just going to use a medium sized circle.

Now, type in some text. To celebrate a whole week of Spring weather, I keyed in "hello spring!" :)

Do you see that little circle with crosshairs running along the side of the text box? That is how we're going to curve our text.

Click on that marker and drag your text to the bottom of the circle. It wraps itself around the bottom edge of the curve! 

You can slide it around if you want it slightly off center or more to one side than another.

You can also curve it around the top of the circle!

Once you have your words placed, you can fill it with cute patterns or colors and make all sorts of things with it! This would be adorable on a scrapbook page!

Or you can cut patterns or shapes out of the middle of the circle!

I love how this cute little bird looks cut out of the center! This would be so cute on a card!

You can even type text all the way around the circle!

Have you ever used curved text in any of your designs? I have a feeling I will be using it a lot! :)

Arkansas Love

Wow! It's been awhile since I've posted!

School has been crazy lately. I've probably written 10 papers in the past month! And as you know, school always comes first so that means blogging has to be put on hold sometimes. Only a few more months until summer though and then I'll have time to blog all the time!

Today, I have a quick tutorial using Silhouette Studio. I don't know how many of you have familiarized yourselves with the Modify window, but I use it almost every time I'm in Silhouette Studio. This tutorial is going to be dealing with the Subtract tool.

For this tutorial I wanted to use two simple shapes to help keep things easy to understand. I used my Arkansas shape and a little heart. I filled them in with different colors so it's easier to see.

Once you have your shapes, click on over to the Modify window. I laid my little heart over the center of the state and hit the Subtract button.

Side note: I don't know if you guys noticed this or not, but when you hover over a button it gives a little brief description of the tool. How awesome is that?

Once you hit Subtract, you immediately see that the black heart disappeared and there is a hole in it's place. Now when you cut it, it will cut out the outline of the state and the little heart in the middle!

There are so many different ways you can use this tool! It's definitely one of the tools I use the most!

Just recently, I used this shape by American Crafts and cut my last name initial out of the middle of it.

Here's the cutout. Doesn't that look awesome? I just love it!

Totally unrelated to this tutorial on the Subtract tool, but I also made this Arkansas shape using this tutorial on welding. It's so cute! I plan on cutting it out in vinyl and sticking it to the back of my new car!

Welding Tutorial

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