Posts tagged ‘printable’

How to make your own “print and punch” designs

I have gotten several requests for a tutorial on making the digital stamps/printables that match the punches. The problem is I use a mix of oddball software for these and it isn’t a very straightforward process the way I’ve been doing it.

Nevertheless I’ve been able to distill it down to a set of general steps that you can use with whatever design software you are familiar with. If you don’t know how to complete a particular step you may need to check Google or Youtube for a tutorial on how to do specific things with your specific software (for example “how to fill a shape with a pattern in PSP”). So here we go:

-Punch a piece of black paper with the punch you want to design for.

-Scan the punched out shape with some sort of dimensional reference such as a 1 inch square cutout, a ruler, etc.

-Bring the scanned image into your design software and autotrace or make a path/shape of the punch’s outline.

-With the aid of your reference item, resize the traced punch shape to its exact real-life size. In other words, the one inch square should read 1.0 inches when measured within the software. Once you’ve done this, the reference item can be deleted. Save a copy of the punch shape somewhere safe so that you only need to do these first steps once.

-Working from a copy of the punch shape you saved, use inset, internal offset, contract or other similar command to create a new shape for your design with the desired margin to the edge of the punchout. Also save this inset shape somewhere safe as this only needs to be created once as well.

-Fill the inset shape with the color or pattern of your choice.

-And/or set the stroke (outline) of the inset to the line style of your choice, or use pattern along path, text along path with symbols, etc. to create the border of your design.

-Add shapes, text and other elements as desired to your design.

Tip: I find it helpful to use a digital overlay of the punch’s negative (the hole it leaves behind) to better visualize how the design will appear after punching. It’s even better if this is on its own layer that you can toggle on and off as you work.

-Once you have a design you like, duplicate it and use it as a base for additional designs with different colors, sentiments, etc.

Tip: Remember that because these files are made for specific punches, they must print at the exact design size to work correctly. Saving the print-ready versions as PDFs is a good idea for this reason, especially if you are sharing the files.

When distributing files, convert text to paths or rasterize text (so that the files work for those who don’t have the same fonts installed as you). But remember to always keep a fully editable version for yourself.

August 15, 2012 at 2:49 pm 9 comments

Mothers Day digis to punch

My first set of digis to match the EK Tools “Real Estate Sign” Punch was so popular that I decided to share some more. Most are for Mothers Day but a few different takes for Fathers Day, too. I’d love to link to a card you make with one of these, so let me hear from you if you are able to use these.

Download the PDF note: this is an update. Be sure you have “ekresmday2.pdf”

Confused about how these work and/or want the first set, too? See this previous post.
Want a cut file to shadow this punch shape (not shown)? See this previous post.

April 18, 2012 at 8:11 am 21 comments

Where are the digistamps to match punches?

The big name stamping catalogs have all these great rubber and/or acrylic stamps to match punches and vice versa, but what about all those other punches and nesting dies we already have? Surely some artistic folks have put together digistamps to go with those. I mean, with these old school tools you avoid all the print and cut issues inherent with the newer technologies. Just line ’em up and punch ’em out. It could hardly be easier. So digital images and templates to match popular punches must be plentiful, right? Umm, no. In fact, I couldn’t find any. Instead I found all kinds of complicated instructions about how to measure and make your own MSWord etc. docs for sentiments. This seems woefully inefficient to my engineer brain, so today I am doing something about it and sharing the files I use with one of my favorite punches, the “Real Estate Sign” from EK Tools. If you own this punch, please download and enjoy this file and let me see what you do with it. If you have punch-coordinating files of your own, I hope you’ll post them and let me know so I can link you up here. And if you are a punch or die manufacturer, you can thank me later.

download the PDF here

Update: I did find one other PDF printable to match this punch here.

My tutorial on how to make these is here.

March 8, 2012 at 8:01 pm 64 comments

Printable seamless patterns with Repper

Update: Repper appears to be down, not sure if its permanent.

And I’m sharing 6 free patterns I created using the techniques in the video.

Remember to scale the patterns down to around 30% after you fill your object to get great print quality.
Steps for doing that in Silhouette Studio are as follows.




September 26, 2011 at 11:14 am 7 comments

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