One of my goals for this year is to explore a broader range of materials and Silhouette Studio tools. Today, I’m using a familiar material (cardstock), but the tutorial involves a tool you don’t hear about very much—the center of rotation tool. It’s pretty cool. It allows you to change the pivot point of an object and then duplicate and rotate it at the same time so the duplicates are positioned evenly around a circle. A couple of clicks and you can have a more complex—and beautiful—design.
For most of my tutorials, the Basic Edition of the Silhouette software works just fine. I usually forego the Designer Edition shortcuts to keep the tutorials Basic-Edition-friendly so everyone can play along. Today, that isn’t so. If you have the Basic Edition of the software, you can still download the free doily files and cut them, but to use the center of rotation tool in the tutorial to create your own doily, you need the Silhouette Studio Designer Edition.
I’ve included affiliate links so you can find the products I used. Read my full disclosure here.
What you need…
- Cardstock – I used 12″ x 12″ cardstock because I wanted a large doily
- Silhouette cutting machine – My Cameo is powered by Silhouette Studio version 3.3.638 (an older version because I don’t want the stinkin’ cloud library messin’ with my files…oh, dear [grin] did I say that out loud? ;^)
- Silhouette Studio Designer Edition – to create your own design in this tutorial (with the Basic Edition you can cut the free file)
- Free cut file (above) or your own design
And if you make a card with the leftover cut pieces, you need:
- Cardstock or blank cards for the card base
- Cricut spatula – the Silhouette one will work just as well
- Drywall mesh – as transfer tape
- Cardstock Adhesive – fast-drying, non-wrinkling
If you want to cut one of the doilies in the download file, you’re in the right place. If you’d rather create your own doily using the center of rotation tool, go to the Center of Rotation Tutorial HERE, and then come back for cutting directions and tips. I was going to include the tutorial here, but the blog post got waaaaaay too long with all the photos and diagrams.
Cutting & Weeding…
Cut settings will vary from machine to machine and with cardstock brand and weight, but these are the settings that give me a good clean cut for 65lb cardstock: Blade 3, Speed 3, Thickness 10, Double cut: ON, Line Segment Overcut ON with 0.1 for Start Ext. and End Ext. The Line Segment Overcut is a miracle tool. You can read all about how the Line Segment Overcut works HERE.
Creating the doily is straightforward. After cutting it on your Silhouette, flip the mat upside down, curl the mat back on itself, and carefully remove the mat from the doily. This will prevent the doily from curling (what usually happens if you remove the cardstock from the mat). If you leave the cutout letters on the mat, you can remove them altogether later to use in another project. Some of the hearts will probably want to stay as well, and that’s fine for now, too.
The doily is now ready to use.
Now…check out what was left on my mat after I removed the doily.
I’m definitely saving those perfectly cut hearts for another project—to glue to a card or gift wrap, or perhaps to sprinkle on the table like confetti. And I wonder if one of the Will you be my valentine? sayings will fit on a card. [sounds of industriousness heard coming from the studio] Why, yes, yes, it will.
I transferred the lettering from the mat to the card using drywall mesh as the transfer tape. It’s got just the right “sticky” to stick to cardstock without damaging it as regular transfer tape tends to do. Apply the drywall mesh to the words. You can fit all of the words on a single strip of mesh tape with a few straggly letter ends sticking out. Try and position the mesh tape so the dots (on the letter i’s and question marks) fall on an intersection of the tape strands.
Flip the mat upside down and curl the mat back on itself so you can peel the mesh tape onto the work surface. I used a Cricut spatula in short movements to gently coax the letters and tamp them down on the mesh.
Add cardstock adhesive to the lettering. My fave for something like this is the Zig 2-Way Glue Pen…the tip allows you to add a series of dots to super-thin pieces.
It’s easy to apply, doesn’t wrinkle paper, can be used as a temporary or permanent adhesive depending on how you use it, and once adhered, it dries fast. (I don’t have any affiliation with the company; I just love this glue. Can you tell? :^) Then apply the lettering to the front of a 5″ x 7″ or larger card, wait a few seconds for the glue to dry, and peel off the mesh
A peek into the design process…
I’m always curious about other people’s design processes, so I like to give a peek into mine when I have the time to write about it. Hopefully, once you get a feel for how to do things and see how easy it is, you’ll be able to apply some of these techniques to your own projects.
Design-wise, I used the center of rotation tool to place the hearts (after which I added an offset to get the hearts poking out of the circle). I also used the center of rotation tool to place the wording (after I’d used text-to-path to curve it and modified the font).
The font is Nouradilla, a commercial use freebie from The Artistry. Unmodified, it looks like this:
Some parts of those letters are mighty thin and probably won’t cut well, so I started by adding a 0.004 offset to get this:
It’s not that much thicker, but it’s enough to get it to cut well and still retain the feel of the original…it doesn’t look forced or bulked up. But if you cut this into a doily, you’ll lose all the counters (what the font folks call the centers of letters like a, b, e, and in this font, the L, W, and Y), and you’d get this:Not quite the romantic, whimsical, feel I’m going for. So I got out the knife tool to stencilize the loops. I also point edited the W to thin out the loopy areas so it doesn’t look like there’s anything missing. When I was finished, I had this:Here’s a closeup of part of it so you can see how I sliced the L, O, B, E letters so the counters would become part of the background and wouldn’t fall out. It worked, but the long skinny bits in the L and B letters were very spindly and fragile when cut, so I got busy with the knife and point editing tools again to eliminate those loops altogether to get this:
Much less fragile when cut.
Happy Valentine’s Day, y’all!
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