Please tell me I’m not the only one who looked at the calendar today and said, “Holy Cadiddlehopper, Batman, we’re at the end of the first week of December and I still haven’t sent out Christmas cards! If you’re like me, this post is for you—a simple card that’s easy to cut and assemble and get in the mailbox quickquickquick. And if y’all are more organized than I am and already have your cards sent, I tip my hat to you…you can tuck this idea away til next year.
The tree, made of little circles cut out of the card, is topped with a glitter heat transfer vinyl star (or you can use adhesive vinyl or cardstock, if you prefer…I just happened to have some HTV scraps to use up).
Silhouette (v.3) Dotty Christmas Tree File HERE
Silhouette LEGACY (v.2) Dotty Christmas Tree File HERE
Personal Use Only
I’ve included a few affiliate links so you can find the products I used. Read my full disclosure here.
What you need…
- Card blanks (or you can make your own from cardstock)
- Heat transfer vinyl (or adhesive vinyl or cardstock) – small pieces, I used Siser old gold glitter HTV.
- Parchment paper or Teflon sheet (if you use HTV)
- Iron or heat press (if you use HTV)
- Silhouette cutting machine – My Cameo is powered by Silhouette Studio Designer Edition verson 3.3.638
What to do…
It’s pretty straightforward. Cut the tree from the front of each card. My cards were about 5″ by 6½”, but you can resize the tree and star for smaller or larger sizes. Cut and weed the star outlines and apply one atop each tree. Apply the HTV at the same temperature you normally would, with a piece of parchment paper or Teflon sheet in between the iron and HTV. It doesn’t take long for HTV to adhere to cardstock, though, so reduce the time to a few seconds. And you don’t need nearly as much pressure, either. If you can’t peel it up with your fingernail, it’s on.
HINT: If you weed the inside of the star outlines carefully, you can apply the weeded stars on some of the cards (a two for one deal!) or save them and apply them something else altogether, such as a gift bag or plain-wrapped gift, or t-shirt or whatever. They won’t be on the carrier sheet anymore, but that’s okay. Place them dull side down, cover with parchment paper or Teflon sheet, and press as usual. The little hole made by the weeding tool will seal up when heated. I also hole punch “dots” from the weeded background and use them the same way. Kinda fun and it uses every inch of HTV (that stuff’s expensive!).
I’m not going to do a full tutorial here because I want to get this on the blog while there’s still time for it to be used *this* year (LOL), but I thought I’d give you a general overview—a peek—at how I came up with this tree. I figure if you know the basics, that might be enough for you to go and play with the Silhouette Studio tools to create the designs that are in your head. So here’s the fast forward version.
I started with this tree image from openclipart.com (#1), traced it using this easy tracing method, and filled it with green color (#2). I decided to simplify the tree by eliminating the top two tiers, so I stretched the tree lengthwise to give better proportions to the the remaining bottom tiers (#3). I used the knife tool to cut off the base and the top two tiers, then welded on a triangle I drew with the ‘Draw a Polygon’ tool (#4). Note: before welding the triangle, I double-clicked on it to show the editing points, clicked to add an edit point on each top line, selected those edit points and clicked ‘Make Curve’, then dragged them inward slightly to give a bit of a curve to the top of the triangle to match the other tiers.
Then I selected the tree, and used the rhinestone tool (available in the Designer Edition and higher versions of Silhouette Studio) to ‘Edge’ a row of circles around the outside of the tree (#5). I played with the ‘Spacing’ until I was happy. To manually adjust any errant circles, click on ‘Release Rhinestones’ to select and move them individually. When finished, I selected all and made them into a compound path so I could resize them and move the tree around as one unit. (to make the compound path, select all the circles, then right-click and select ‘Make Compound Path’). And that’s it!
Now…if you don’t have the Designer Edition, there’s another way to get a similar effect (that’s one of the things I love about Silhouette Studio…there’s often more than one way to do something!). One of my readers (waves to Emelee!) wrote to say she typed in a string of the letter O and then used the text-to-path capability (dragging the little circle with X in it when you have a green textbox) to make the string tree-shaped, then converted to compound path. If you use this method, you can control the spacing of the O’s by altering the Character Spacing before making the compound path. If you need to adjust individual O’s, you’ll have to use multiple text strings and adjust the spacing between them. A little more work, but completely doable.
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