One of my favorite things about the Silhouette studio software is the ability to modify text into unique cards or artwork. This instructable shows how to make a custom card using your favorite font and a custom saying.
It also explains how to use the text, weld, scale, align, modify, line style, and grouping tool.
You can download the silhouette software here without having to need a silhouette machine:
You could even choose to print after step 5 and just cut it with scissors/hobby knife, if you wanted.
Please refer to the notes on the pictures for tool placement. If something doesn't make sense, just let me know!
Step 1: Create Your Saying and Pick Your Font Choice
For this card, I'm going to stick to a very basic saying "Happy Anniversary"
However, you could customize the card with names, dates (wedding date for anniversary, birthdate for birthday, etc)
After typing your phrase in the Silhouette Studio software, click off your wording and then click on the top type tool (see note for placement). Once the typing menu is open, click on your word selection and change the font to your chosen font choice.
Note for beginners: thick print fonts are the easiest to work with in the beginning.
Also, I've chosen to center my word selection to make things in the next step easier.
Step 2: Weld Your Font Together
If we cut out our current selection, the letters wouldn't be one solid piece. To fix that, we're going to weld them together.
First, we're going to lower the character and line spacing of our selection in the text tool until our letters start to overlap. In the example, this happens at character spacing of ~90% and line spacing of ~50% but this will differ based on your chosen font and words.
Next, we're going to ungroup our letters. Now when we click on a letter, it will only select that letter and not the whole word.
Now, we're going to open up the modify tool (image two). Starting with letters that are already overlapping, we're going to click and drag until we've selected both.When both letters are selected, we're going to click "Weld"
As shown in image three, the R and Y are now one piece instead of two. Continue on with all overlapping letters.
Once the easy letters are taken care of, we are simply going to select the outside pieces and move them inward (since our wording is centered. If you chose right-aligning, you would move the pieces to the right). I find it easiest to click the selections and use the arrow keys.
Once the unconnected parts are overlapping, weld these as well. Repeat until all letters are in one group.
Since I have a lowercase i in my phrase, there is a dot that is unconnected to the lettering. There are a couple options here. I could move it down to rest on the i base, or up to touch the bottom of the H and then weld it on. If you choose to go this route, I advise you to increase the size of the dot in order to make it more distinguishable.
Another option is to add in a stability line. A small rectangle is drawn which overlaps the H and dot. Then, selecting all three items, weld them together. This allows you to keep an item in the same spot and keep the "floating" look.
Step 3: Weld Your Font Onto a Card Shape
Now that we have our font ready, let's weld it onto a standard rectangle look.
First, create a rectangle that overlaps the top of your word selection. Now click on the rectangle and copy and paste it (Ctrl+c then ctrl+v). Move the second rectangle to the bottom of your selection. Select your wording and both rectangles and then weld. Repeat with rectangles on the side. To check your work, open the "fill color" tool, select your wording again, and pick a color.
The light blue section represents what will be cut out in one piece.If you choose to print the color picked will be the color ink used.
Step 4: Add Back Portion and Easy Fold
Draw another rectangle. Noting the measurements of your wording section, open the Scale tool and select the blank rectangle. Enter in the dimensions in the entry fields and apply (make sure to turn lock aspect off). You now have a blank rectangle of the same size.
Drag the rectangle so that it lines up with your card front (the right side of blank should touch left side of blue). Weld these two pieces together.
You now have a card! However, to make things easier, let's take it a step further. Draw a straight line (hold ctrl) about the height of your rectangle. Open the line tool and select a dotted (perforated) line style. Now your line selection should look like a series of dots instead of a continuous piece.
Open the Align tool and select both your card and the dotted line. Click center. This will move the line to the middle of the card both length and height wise.
Group the shapes together. We now have perforations on the correct "bend" spot of the card.
Step 5: Optional: Add Additional Details
Note: this should happen before you group the dotted line.
To add a little extra detail, I'm welding on two heart shapes I had in my library to the empty space. You could use balloons, numbers, swirls, swooshes, and several other decorating touches based on your card purpose.
Once done, I resize the whole item to my chosen card size.
Step 6: Replicate and Cut
Since I'm making multiple cards, I open up the replicate tool and click fill page. This spaces out three copies on my 8.5X11 piece of paper perfectly. All that''s left to do is hit cut!
Note for beginners: I recommend using a lower blade setting than the silhouette recommends for your first several cuts. Doing this, while also double cutting will help break in your supplies without possibly chipping a blade or cutting through your mat.
Step 7: Assemble
After you've cut out the card, remove any pieces that are still sticking inside. If you find that a piece didn't cut out completely, follow the cut with a tiny pair of scissors (think cuticle sized scissors).
Next, find the dotted line and begin to gently fold there. You should feel the paper start to naturally fold straight as you apply pressure.
Once you have a nice crease, completely fold the card in half. You should find that the edges line up perfectly! Your card is finished!
If you really want to make it stand out, cut your card again, changing cut settings to cut edge only for the card (Ungroup the perforations). Use a different paper color. You'll get a perfect insert for the card. Simply glue this piece inside your card (lining up the perforated sections).