Posts tagged ‘dingbats’

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).


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.


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 31 comments

Power tips for text to path in Silhouette Studio

Screen Shot 2013-09-06 at 12.36.15 PM

If you’ve only been using “text to path” in Silhouette Studio to curve words into a circle, then you have barely scratched the surface of what this fun feature can do. Here’s a video that will start with the basics and move on to the techniques that will make you a power user.

And be sure to grab Border Bits, the font I demo in the video, here.

December 11, 2013 at 11:27 am 53 comments

Border Bits – a new free dingbat font


I am proud to introduce another dingbat font designed for diecutters, at least that’s how it started. Silhouette Studio, Microsoft Word and even Photoshop are among the programs that can wrap text on a path but can’t wrap objects … or so it seems. Simply put your objects in a font – problem solved. So here’s my collection of little shapes that repeat or combine to make fun borders and, for the most part, lend themselves to wrapping along a path. Hope you’ll have as much fun with it as I have.

Download Border Bits here and make my day by leaving a comment. This font is free for personal or commercial use but not for resale or sharing on other sites, please. Pinning or otherwise pointing people to this blog page is a great way to say thanks. I’d also love to see creative ways you use this font.

How to make a doily with Border Bits with thanks to Gisela!

For a video on how to use this font and text to path in Silhouette Studio see this post.

September 5, 2013 at 11:12 pm 317 comments

10 great free dingbat fonts for diecutters

Free dingbat fonts are a great source of images to use with your diecutter, but how do you know which ones cut nicely? I’ve done the trial and error for you on these ten fonts that are perfect for diecutting. Links are listed below the graphic.

10 great dingbats for diecutters

1)09kutups 2)Efon 3)Board Dudes 4)Damask Dings 5)Hibiscus 6)Kalocsai Flowers 7)Peoni Patterns 8)ND Urban 9)Sepeda 10)Sewing Patterns

10 great Doodlebats for diecutters

10 more great Doodlebats for diecutters

May 1, 2013 at 6:36 pm 32 comments

Cool online tool for diecutters and other font lovers

If you follow this blog you know I love web apps and I am always on the lookout for new and cool ones. Mariairie left me a comment a couple of days ago with a link to IcoMoon, an icon font generator for web developers. At first I didn’t understand it or see any application for us diecutters, but the more I played the more excited I got. Here are some things you can do with IcoMoon:

Easily export all or selected glyphs in a font to individual SVG files.

  1. Go to Free Font Converter, browse for your font and set the “…format to convert to” to SVG and click the big blue Convert button. An SVG font with the same name as your TTF will be downloaded to your computer (SVG fonts carry the .svg extension, just like a single SVG image)
  2. Click the Import Icons button in IcoMoon and select the SVG font that you just generated. You will see all the glyphs from that font appear under “Your Custom Icons”
  3. Click on the glyphs you would like to export to SVG. Selected glyphs will be outlined in yellow. To select multiples at once, click on the first and then hold down the shift key while clicking on the last one you want to select
  4. Click the Images button. A zipped folder containing SVG versions of each glyph you selected will be downloaded to your computer. How cool is that?! Perfect for creating a specialized alphabet or for sorting images from a mixed theme dingbat font, among other uses we haven’t imagined yet.

Create a personal favorites dingbats font.

  1. Go to Free Font Converter and convert each of the source fonts to SVG as shown in step 1 above.
  2. Import your first font into IcoMoon as shown in step 2 above, select the glyphs you definitely do NOT want and press the trash can icon to delete them

  3. Repeat this process with successive fonts until all your favorite glyphs appear under “Your Custom Icons”
  4. Select the glyphs that make the final cut for your favorites font
  5. Click the Font button
  6. Type a character in the top box above each glyph and/or drag and drop glyphs to set their encoding (which key you will type to access each glyph)
  7. Click the gear/flower icon and type a name for your font in the box and click the X to save it. (choose carefully as internal font names are not easily changed)

  8. Click the Save button. A zipped folder containing TTF and SVG versions of the compilation font will be downloaded to your computer

    Note: The key word here is personal. Use these “mix” fonts on your own computer only. Please don’t use this technique to redistribute copyrighted fonts/glyphs/images.

Make your own dingbat font.

  1. In Inkscape, Adobe Illustrator or other vector editor, create a set of SVGs you would like to compile into a font. (I am still experimenting with the format but starting using a 512 x 512 pixel high document seems to work.)
  2. In IcoMoon, click the Import Icons button and navigate to your SVGs and import them.
  3. Click and/or shift-click to highlight all of the SVGs which are now showing under “Your Custom Icons”
  4. Click the Font button
  5. Type a character in the top box above each glyph and/or drag and drop glyphs to set their encoding (which key you will type to access each glyph)
  6. Click the gear/flower icon and type a name for your font in the box and click the x to save it. (choose carefully as internal font names are not easily changed)
  7. Click the Save button. A zipped folder containing TTF and SVG versions of the compilation font will be downloaded to your computer

Caveat: So far I have only been able to get IcoMoon to work using Chrome as a browser.

July 18, 2012 at 9:23 pm 18 comments

A gel pen card with the Silhouette

I’ve been waiting for a chance to post this card, but my busy summer has kept me away from the blogging. Thanks for your patience! There a several things I’ve been wanting to show you, all demonstrated in this simple card.

I found a beautiful free dingbat font of state birds that I thought would work great with gel pens and it gave me a great chance to see what I could do with my Silhouette SD and the gel pens and holder from Chomas Creations. As you know from my prior posts, I have been disappointed with the “jiggle” issue when using gel pens in the Cricut. Well, that problem goes away in the smooth drawing Silhouette, opening up all sorts of new possibilities. I love the look I got from the glittery metallic blue ink in the Chomas pens.

The South Carolina shape is from the Every State Cut It set from Lettering Delights. I used 2 identical files deleting the cut outline from one and the drawing image from the other since Silhouette Studio does not have layers. Otherwise the procedure is very similar to what I show in this older SCAL video.

The striped background was extracted from a discontinued Lettering Delights graphic set tag image that did not have a matching background paper or tile. For stripe patterns it is really simple to crop down to a short strip that contains a full repeat (see selection box in graphic below) to create an efficient, seamless tile that works wonderfully in Silhouette Studio, MTC and other programs that support tileable patterns.

Hope you’ll find something in this post you can use in your projects, especially since you had to wait all summer to hear from me.

September 9, 2011 at 3:53 pm 5 comments

More Doodlebats for diecutters

In my earlier post I gave ten Doodlebats I think are great for beginners. Here are ten more that I would call advanced beginner, because only some characters are ready to cut, there is detail such that you will need to cut in larger sizes or or you will want to use your software’s break apart function to separate layers for different colors on these:

DB Woodsy

DB Trees

DB Chill Out

DB Hello Cupcake (same images as Sweet Treats Cricut Cartridge)

DB Gingerbread Cookie

DB Fruity Bowl

DB Retro Noel

DB Frank’s Friends

DB Hoos Birthday

DB Lil Pumpkin

September 5, 2010 at 8:17 pm 9 comments

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