Posts filed under ‘Freebies’

Distress kit for Silhouette Studio

Easily add a fully adjustable distress effect to your Silhouette files! I get lots of questions about how to get the grunge or distressed look in Silhouette Studio and I think I finally have a good solution for you! Download my new free distress kit file here and watch the video below to learn how to use it to easily add a fully adjustable level of distress to your cut files. For those of you who like written instructions, here are the general steps. -Open the distresskit.studio file. -File>Merge to add your image to the distress kit document. (Instructions assume a black image.) -Size your image to the desired size. -Place either of the distress overlays (bounded in pink) on top (right click and Bring to Front) of your image and size to fit. Note: The overlay on the bottom is lower density and seamless. -Adjust the scale, angle and position of the overlay using the Pattern Fill>Advanced settings. Multiple overlays can be overlapped for different effects. -When your image looks satisfactory, click the Trace button and select Trace Area, being careful to avoid the overlay’s pink boundary. -Uncheck the High Pass box and click Trace. -Separate pieces and copy your newly distressed shape to a new document for cutting.

April 30, 2015 at 2:53 pm 27 comments

Class of 2015 free SVG

Time for posting the 2015 edition of my “class of” SVG and .studio files. Hope you enjoy the file and congrats to all your graduates!

Classof15ss

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

2014 is here

April 22, 2015 at 2:52 pm 31 comments

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 19 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 18 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 21 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 37 comments

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Posts on this blog may include affiliate links which reward me for purchases you make from here. This allows me to defray the cost of providing this blog to you. Though there is sometimes a financial incentive for me to recommend products and services you can trust me to only steer you towards those I personally use and am satisfied with.

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