Posts filed under ‘Freebies’

Updated Cheat Sheet: File Formats in Silhouette Studio

Finally updated my Silh Studio File Formats Cheat Sheet for V3. Click here for a printable PDF.

ssfiletypesV3

The changes from version 2: Macs lost the ability to open .ai files, Mac basic users lost the abililty to open .pdf files. Win DE users gained the ability to open PDFs, and all DE users can take full advantage of vector PDFs as of version 3.3. BE added new vector options.

I’ve also prepared a new chart just to help you understand how to handle a PDF depending on its content and what version of Silhouette Studio you have.

PDFs in SS

To determine if a PDF has vector or bitmap content, zoom in to at least 800% and if the lines are still crisp, it is a vector. If the lines are blurry or pixellated, it is a bitmap. If you need help understanding the difference between vectors and bitmaps in general, this video should help.

 

February 21, 2015 at 4:18 pm 11 comments

A new free font for stand up lettering

Several years ago, the gift packaging project pictured below was posted on Martha Stewart’s site.

wordribbons

It’s no longer there, but it continues to live on via Pinterest and gets circulated in the various craft groups every so often. When it first appeared, I started working on a font to make it easy to create these stand up letters with a digital diecutter. Soon, however, new features like the eraser tool were added to our diecutting software that made a specialty font unnecessary. But now that Cricut Design Space has hit the scene, I’m dusting off some old resources that can be really useful given its limited feature set. And this one is a time saver no matter which software you use.

So meet the font that I’m calling Top College (because it is a college style slab serif with its bottom missing)…

Download Top College here (If you like it, I’d appreciate a pin, a tweet or a mention in your favorite diecutting group)

To use Top College in your diecutting software, simply type. All of the letters are upper case, but when you use upper case on your keyboard, you get letters with score marks and when you use lower case on your keyboard the letters will appear without score marks. This way you can decide which works best for your project. To use, simply type. If you want the letters to stand up from the top of a downward folded card, be sure to position the base of the text so that it rests on the vertical center line of your card as shown here.

TopCollegeInstrux

I should mention that this font has very thin lines that will seem to disappear in pull down menus, so you may have to locate it by typing into the search box instead of scrolling.

TopCollegename

 

And because no one likes single layer text (and Top College font can’t be offset properly), I designed it to work as a background/mat/shadow for a thinner font called CollegiateInsideFLF. The companion font is widely available online but I’m including it in the download package for your convenience. Be sure to type in all caps when using CollegiateInsideFLF. You will have to isolate letters and use the arrow keys to correct the spacing in Cricut Design Space, but it will line up perfectly in other programs as long as the font size and character spacing settings are the same as the Top College layer.

Here are some samples I put together to show you how Top College works with and without CollegiateInsideFLF. At the back is the corner of what I envision as a placemat, with the stand up portion used as the shadow for the blue letters cut from the companion font. In front is a ribbon that I split and inserted the strip of cut letters through. (This allows you to have a ribbon that is longer than your paper.) And my favorite is the black placecard, made by drawing the companion font with a sketch fill using a metallic pen in Silhouette Studio, and then cutting the unscored version of Top College from the center of the card. I can’t wait to see your projects.

IMG_4461

Here’s a video where I show how to use Top College in Cricut Design Space and Silhouette Studio.

If you don’t know how to install fonts in Windows, click here and for Mac, click here.

February 2, 2015 at 10:17 pm 17 comments

Grad overlays and a revised opinion

I spent some time working on graduation projects recently and made some custom backgrounds I wanted to share. Problem is, your school colors are probably different, and somebody would be left out. My solution was to make some transparent overlays so you can put your colors beneath to show through as the color of the lettering when the overlay is on top as shown in this screen shot. Hope you enjoy using these!

Overlays shown atop 4 different colors

And if you need more help, here’s a video on using the overlays that will make things clearer. And another post with more overlays and information here.

Right click above and choose “Save Link As” or “Save Target As” for 2014 grad cap overlay tile

Right click above and choose “Save Link As” or “Save Target As” for 2014 grad cap overlay tile

Right click above and choose “Save Link As” or “Save Target As” for 2014 grad star overlay tile

Right click above and choose “Save Link As” or “Save Target As” for 2014 grad star overlay tile

Now for the bad news, After I got these made, I discovered that PNGs don’t maintain their transparency once you put them in the Library. Yet another item for the “removed features” list. But these will work fine if you drag them from your hard drive or merge them to your mat. A lot less convenient if you don’t have DE. Sorry about that.

In fact, in working on a number of projects with V3 (SSDE 3.0.343 to be exact) over the last week or so, I found that while a lot of the design issues were resolved, the software is slow, buggy and just generally frustrating. So I’m retracting my recommendation regarding upgrading to V3. I just don’t think the meager new features are worth the trouble. I am hard pressed to think of a project that wouldn’t be easier in V2. Silhouette America is still working, and I’m still hopeful we’ll get resolution. Let’s keep reporting the issues we find, pressing SA to fix what’s broken and deliver a meaningful upgrade.

May 7, 2014 at 5:03 pm 19 comments

Character map template for Silhouette Studio

A while back, I posted Character Map templates for Inkscape and Adobe Illustrator. The purpose of these is to make it quick and easy to make a one page reference map of the main glyphs in a given font, especially dingbat fonts. Today I’m adding a Silhouette version to the lineup.

You can download the .studio template here, download the .studio3 template here  and instructions are in the margin of the file, but here’s a quick rundown. As with all my templates, I recommend you store them on your hard drive instead of your library and that you always work from a duplicate. An easy way to do this is to Save as and rename the file as soon as you open it.

Once you’ve opened a duplicate template, click anywhere in the middle of the page. You’ll see a bounding box to indicate that the grid is selected. Click the A button at the top of the screen (not the A button on the side of the screen).

charmap1-1

Select the font you want to map from the scrolling list on the right. You should see the characters change to the new font’s. Label the page by typing in the name of the font into the text box provided at the top of the page. This is optional, but will help you remember which font you are looking at.

charmap2-1

Here’s what a completed page looks like for my 09kutups font.

You can print the page, print it to PDF or just glance at it temporarily for reference. If you want to be able to use the characters after you uninstall the font, click the center of the page again to select the characters, choose Object>Convert to Path, then save the file.

And if you want some suggestions for great dingbats for cutting, here’s a great place to start. Ten Great Dingbats for Diecutting

April 16, 2014 at 4:23 pm 25 comments

Class of 2014 free SVG

I’ve got 2 daughters graduating this year, God willing, so in their honor I’m posting the 2014 edition of my “class of” SVG and .studio files. Hope you enjoy the file and congrats to all your graduates!

Screen Shot 2014-02-04 at 3.55.38 PM

Click here to download in SVG format

Click here to download in .studio format

Terms: Free for personal and commercial use. Just don’t sell the file in digital form. Please share the link to this post, rather than the file itself. Thank you!

2011 is here

2012 is here

2013 is here

February 22, 2014 at 2:13 pm 36 comments

Canvas sketch project and a share

Sketch on Fabric with a SIlhouette machine

I’ve been playing around with drawing on fabric for a while, but haven’t been able to pull it together into a project until now. Pretty excited about how this turned out and about the potential here. The rough texture of the canvas really makes this piece work.

IMG_4070

Here’s how it’s done (measurements are for an 11 x 14 canvas):

– Cut and iron a piece of canvas fabric (cotton duck) at least 13 x 16 inches.

– Cut a slightly larger piece of freezer paper and iron it wax side to wrong side of canvas.

IMG_4077

-Trim neatly to 13 x 16 inches (rotary cutter preferred). The leading edge should be especially clean and straight, other edges not as critical.

IMG_4078

– Load fabric pen into pen holder. I am using the Marvy Ball and Brush pen with the ball end. I used the new style Silhouette pen holder because this particular pen fits at the proper depth. You can also use the Chomas marker holder.

IMG_4081

– Set rollers at 12 inches apart. This is the slot second from the right.

– Load 13 inch edge of prepared fabric into Cameo centered on rollers (1/2 inch fabric extending outboard of each roller)

IMG_4080

– Load pen holder into Cameo.

– Open sketch file in Silhouette Studio.

– From the Cut Setting Panel choose settings for Sketch Pen.

cut settings

– Press Cut.

(You can see in the photo below that I used 12 inch wide fabric in my sample. It worked but was too nerve-racking so that’s why I specify 13 inch wide.)

Sketch on Fabric with a Silhouette machine!

The most complicated part of this project is finding a suitable sketch file. At small sizes you can get away with a standard trace of a line art, but at 11 x 14 a true sketch file with open path strokes is going to be needed.

Here’s a comparison of what a normal trace versus a proper sketch file looks like in Silhouette Studio to show you what I mean. Click to enlarge.

trace compare-1

Here’s how I went about creating the file (not for the faint-hearted … Adobe Illustrator, intermediate graphic design skills and lot of patience required):

– I selected a vintage image of an anchor. I have zero artistic ability so I needed something with just enough detail that I could handle.

anchor

– I printed it out at full page size.

IMG_4074

– I taped a piece of tracing paper on top and hand traced it  with an ultra fine pen. The idea here is to recreate the drawing with pen strokes that do not touch each other.

IMG_4076

IMG_4075

– I scanned my hand trace into Adobe Illustrator.

anchorScan

– In AI, I performed a center line trace (unlike the normal trace that finds both edges of a line, this attempts to find the center of the line and returns it as an open path.)

livetrace

centerclose

– I then point edited to clean up messy areas like this where the strokes overlap and can’t be traced as intended. This was the most tedious part.

cleanup close

– Saved as SVG. (You can export to DXF if you don’t have DE.)

– Merged the SVG into a blank 12 x 16, no mat page in Silhouette Studio Designer Edition.

– Applied sketch effects to the anchor SVG to give it a little more natural look. This step was optional, and the effect was subtle, but I recommend it if you have DE.

sketch effects

– Added text (I used Always Here font and added 1 internal offset at 0.010 as fill)

textclose

– Arranged layout and centered in 11 x 14 rectangle. (In my original I did not draw the rectangle, but in the future I will as it would help for final trimming of the canvas to fit the frame).

file preview

I found creating the sketch file to be a long and tedious process and I don’t recommend it unless you are very determined. No worries, though, because I’m sharing my file with you. Personal use only, and please share the link to this post, not the file itself, and whatever you do don’t try to cut this file with a blade, it’s for sketching only. Click here for the .studio file and here for the SVG. Thank you.

Now in case you are wondering why the sudden inspiration to complete a project, I am participating in a challenge. If you’d like to see more great fabric-related (our theme this month) projects, take a look below.

Silhouettechallengecollage

  1. No-Sew Valentine’s Day Pillows by A Tossed Salad Life
  2. No-Sew Interchangeable Fabric Bunting by unOriginal Mom
  3. Monogrammed Burlap Garden Flag by The Turquoise Home
  4. Crawl, Walk, Bike by It’s Always Craft Time
  5. Freezer Paper Stenciled Tote Bags by Weekend Craft
  6. DIY Bleach Spray Shirt by Practically Functional
  7. Stenciling Sherlock by Please Excuse My Craftermath…
  8. Felt Star Wands by Cutesy Crafts
  9. Yoda Kid’s T-Shirt by Architecture of a Mom
  10. Mark Your Territory- Dog Flags by Black and White Obsession
  11. Nautical Pillows by Lil’ Mrs. Tori
  12. Big Sister Gift & Silhouette Cut File by Creative Ramblings
  13. Nerdy Baby Onesies + Free Cut File by Essentially Eclectic
  14. Easy Easter Bunny Onesie – Silhouette Cameo Craft by Adventures in All Things Food & Family
  15. Fabric Envelopes for LEARNING LETTERS! (& cut file) by From Wine to Whine
  16. “Good Morning, Sunshine!” Memo Board by Tried & True
  17. Hearts-A-Lot Burlap Pillow Cover by My Paper Craze
  18. Baby Quilt by Dragonfly & Lily Pads
  19. Surprise Holiday Banner by Whats Next Ma
  20. “Team Betty” Tote Bag by The Thinking Closet
  21. DIY Sock Minion by Create it. Go!
  22. Pretty Up Some Organza Bags by Getsilvered
  23. Easy Heart Appliqued Onsies by Create & Babble
  24. Bleach Pen Gel & Freezer Paper Stencils Made with the Silhouette Machine by Bringing Creativity 2 Life
  25. Valentines Baby Onesie & Boy’s Shirt + Free Cut Files by The Frill of Life
  26. Valentine’s OWL Always Love You T-shirt by My Favorite Finds
  27. DIY Screen Printed Curtains by Chicken Scratch NY
  28. Fabric Painted Quilted Wall Hanging by Terri Johnson Creates
  29. Glitter Iron-On Top by Simply Kelly Designs
  30. DIY Monogrammed T-shirts with Silhouette Heat Transfer Material by Pitter and Glink
  31. Birthday Challenge by Fadville
  32. Machine Applique with SIlhouette Cameo by The Sensory Emporium
  33. Fabric Applique Valentine’s Day T-Shirt by DailyDwelling
  34. “Cute as Cupid” shirt by crafts, cakes, and cats
  35. Sew Cute Applique by Life After Laundry
  36. Rhino Onesie by It Happens in a Blink
  37. Upcycled Birchbox Cameo Accesory Organizer by Cupcakes&Crowbars
  38. Customizing textiles with Heat Transfer Vinyl (working title) by feto soap
  39. Easy Fabric Art by McCall Manor
  40. Lady Bug Tote Bag with Silhouette Rhinestones by Ginger Snap Crafts
  41. Mommy and Em’s Coordinated Aprons by TitiCrafty
  42. Canvas sketch project and a share by Clever Someday
  43. Foxy Lady Pajamas by Mabey She Made It
  44. Teddy Bear by Work in Progress

February 10, 2014 at 10:00 am 27 comments

Free fall sketch file

Screen Shot 2013-10-23 at 6.10.00 PM

Here’s another fall image I converted to a sketch file with Adobe Ilustrator. Hope you enjoy using it. The Silhouette file also has a path to wrap text on.

Download the .studio file here or the .svg version here. Please remember that this file is only for sketching, and is not suitable for cutting.

The original was a free vector from Vector Graphics Blog so if you like this file leave them some love, too.

October 24, 2013 at 2:36 pm 17 comments

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