After I made this fun fall layout, I thought I’d share a tutorial with you on how to create a script chipboard word using the Silhouette Cameo. You can see more details of the whole layout over on the Craft Warehouse Blog, where I’m a Design Team Member. I don’t know about you, but I love the look of the chipboard letters, like THICKERS, on all my papercrafting projects. But for this project, I wanted to use as many of the beautiful patterns as possible. My Design Team assignment was to create a layout using the new Grateful collection from Authentique Papers. The collection features a variety of patterns and colors that are perfect for fall. For my title, I used two different alphabet sticker fonts from the collection, but I wanted the word “leaves” to have a little more oomph. So, I decided to use my Silhouette Cameo digital die cut machine and the Silhouette chipboard to add some dimension to my title.
I created the design for my layout in the Silhouette Studio Software, so I opened that file and chose a script font (Mistral) from the font list and typed my word approximately where it would appear on the layout. I sized my word on the layout for this project, but I could have, just as easily, measured the space available on my paper layout and sized my word according to that. As you can see, there are small lines between the letters of my word. These lines are breaks in the word. In order to weld your letters together and create a true script shape, there are a few more steps to follow before we can cut.
It is necessary to Ungroup your word in order to move the letters closer together, so they overlap. I Ungroup my words by holding down CTRL and the “U” key. You can also find Ungroup in the lower left hand corner of the software. (It’s in the far left box, the first icon is Group and the second is Ungroup. You’ll see Ungroup has already been selected in this screen shot.) You can tell that a shape is Ungrouped by looking for the thin boxes around each letter, as shown above. The word “leaves” has already been Ungrouped in this shot.
Next, click outside the area of your word, to deselect it. Then click each letter, one at a time and nudge them toward the left. I typically select the second letter and nudge it so that it barely overlaps the first letter and then do this with each subsequent letter. (You can move or nudge a selected item by using the arrow keys on your keyboard.)
Here is what the word looks like after all of the letters have been moved so that they overlap the previous letter. Notice the tiny amount of overlap between each letter. This overlap is necessary for the WELD command to work. As long as your letter, or shape, is overlapped, it can be welded together. In this shot, all of the individual letters have been selected and are ready to be welded together.
With all your letters selected, choose the OBJECT drop-down menu, then MODIFY and WELD. As you can see in this photo, the letters have been welded together. There are no red lines (cut lines) between the letters. Now the word is a true script word and is ready to be cut on the machine. I wanted to give my word quite a bit of dimension, so I decided to cut the word three times out of the Silhouette chipboard. Instead inserting the mat into the machine and cutting three separate times, I used the REPLICATE feature. With the word selected, choose the OBJECT drop-down menu again, then REPLICATE and COLUMN OF THREE. You now have three copies of your object. You can leave them as they are or move them closer together to save paper. I cut one word out of my printed paper and three words out of the Silhouette chipboard, using the settings provided by the software. I find that my machine usually cuts perfectly according to the software settings. But, when it seems to be having a hard time cutting through my material, I lower the blade one more notch than is recommended and that usually works fine. If I’m still having problems, it’s probably time to replace my mat and blade. I replace mats and blades every six months, but I use my machine frequently to create designs for clients, so you may have to replace yours less often.
After cutting out the chipboard and patterned paper words, I was very impressed with how easily the machine cut the thin chipboard. This was my first time using it and I can’t wait to try it on other projects.
I love the simplicity of my Xyron for projects like this. I insert my paper and chipboard pieces in one end, crank the handle and my shapes come out the other side as adhesive stickers.
Next, I carefully stacked all three chipboard words on top of each other, one at a time. As the last step, I applied the patterned paper word to the top of the stack.
You can see how the layers of chipboard give an added dimension to the word. Time to add it to my page.
I hope this tutorial has been easy to understand and follow. Please let me know if you have any questions about this process in the comments. Thanks so much for stopping by and following along. I post updates and sneak peeks of my projects over on my Facebook Page. I’d love it if you’d follow me over there or on other forms of social media. Check the buttons at the top of the right hand column to see where I hang out. Thanks again, Julie