It seemed to make sense to start my Silhouette tutorials out pretty basic for any newbies out there – how to manipulate basic shapes to create some simple and useful designs. If you’re a Silhouette Pro already, hopefully there’s a tip in there for you anyway or you enjoy seeing the finished product. There are multiple ways to design shapes like the three I’m going to show today, but I wanted to concentrate on the basic shape tools in the software because I find them so easy to work with. I’ll start out by showing you how to create each cut file, then move on to how I embellished them with parts of my Simon Says Stamp October 2014 card kit to make little gifts for my coffee-loving friends.
These three tag shapes (rectangular, scalloped, and slider) are the ones I reach for most often when wrapping gifts, and I love being able to cut them out of any color I need to match my packaging. All of them start as a rectangle, and are welded to other simple shapes from there.
Start by drawing your rectangle…I’m using a rounded rectangle (tool shown by arrow 1) to coordinate with the scalloped top I’m going to create. You can easily adjust how round the corners are by clicking and pulling the red control points at the corner. By holding the shift key down while doing this, it adjust both points at the same time…meaning the curve on the top and bottom of the rectangle will be equal to the curve of the sides. BTW – I’m showing exact dimensions in my screenshots so that newbies may follow along if they would like. If you are struggling to draw a shape at an exact size, you can simply open the Scale Window (button in upper right corner of screen, highlighted in blue) and manually adjust your sizes.
Next draw three small circles using the Circle Tool. Again, holding the Shift Key down while drawing will keep the dimensions even, giving you a circle instead of an oval. Similarly, holding the Shift Key down while using the Rectangle Tool will give you a square instead of a rectangle. You can quickly make multiple copies of a shape using the functions in the Replicate Window.
Align a circle with each side of your rectangle…you can zoom way in using the magnifying glass at the top of the screen to make sure they line up perfectly. Try to keep them at the same height on the tag, but if they get skewed a bit you can always select just the two circles and click “Align Top” in the Align Window to get them back in place. Place the third circle between the other two, but slightly higher. Select all three circles and then click “Space Horizontally” in the Align Window to create a nice even scallop.
Now, select all three circles and the rectangle and then click “Weld” in the Modify Window. The Modify Window is near the upper right corner of my screenshot and highlighted in blue.
Draw a small circle for your punched hole and place it about where you’d like it on your tag. By selecting both shapes and clicking “Align Center” in the Align Window, your hole will be exactly centered from left to right on your tag.
Now you have a scalloped tag shape that you can resize to fit your needs, stretch out length-wise to create a bookmark, or cut out of any material to match your packaging.
For the rectangular tag, you only need two shapes. First draw the rectangle at your desired size. Then click on the Regular Polygon Tool (indicated by arrow 2) and draw a quick shape. Change the shape to a heptagon by dragging the slider (arrow 3) until the indicator shows “7”. Then, rotate the heptagon (using the green control point) so that three sides are facing up and resize it to fit just within the edges of your rectangle. If you align the corners perfectly, you’ll create a smooth tag shape.
Once again, select both shapes and click “Weld” in the Modify Window. Add a small circle for your punched hole. You can experiment with the Regular Polygon tool to create different types of tag toppers – using an octagon would give you a more shallow topper, for example.
The last tag is a simple ribbon slider that works well with 3/4″ inch ribbon. Start by drawing out a 1″ wide rectangle with your desired length. Then use the Text Tool (arrow 2) to type out two brackets (separately) in 72pt. bold Arial font.
Place the brackets on either side of the rectangle and resize them using the corner control point to the same width as your rectangle. You may need to zoom in to be sure they are sized correctly (72pt. Arial brackets are pretty close to one inch tall so you won’t need to adjust too much).
And once again, select all of the shapes and click “Weld” in the Modify Window to create your final slider tag shape.
If you’ve used the dimensions shown, the final cut shapes will look like this. I used 100lb. Neenah Desert Storm cardstock to cut mine out using the “Coverstock” setting.
For the scalloped tag, I first embossed the little coffee cup image and sentiment from the “What’s Brewing” set by Simon Says Stamp in bronze metallic embossing powder (source unknown, but it looks pretty for fall!). After inking the edges with some Vintage Photo Distress Ink, I tied my scalloped tag to this K-Cup Treat Bag from the Silhouette Design Store with some mocha twine from Paper Smooches. The “Love” wood veneer piece is from the Prima Coffee Break Collection (SSS card kit).
For my rectangular tag, I die-cut one tag with the Coffee Cup Craft Die from Simon Says Stamp (for any Silhouetters out there, one of these cute cups would work well) and adhered it directly over a second tag covered in adhesive. I also cut a second copy out of some of the patterned paper in my card kit (BasicGrey’s “Grand Bazaar” Collection). After coloring the heart and coffee pieces with alcohol markers, I pieced the die cut back together into the tag creating an inlaid effect. The sentiment and sequins are also from the October kit.
I kept the ribbon slider simple by just stamping a sentiment from the same “What’s Brewing” set in Versamark ink and heat embossing it in metallic bronze. Then, I just slid the tag onto some 3/4″ grosgrain ribbon I had laying around and wrapped it around my K-Cup Treat Bag. Both treat bags were made using cardstock from Authentique’s “Thankful” collection.
I love giving coffee/hot chocolate gifts this time of year. Not only is it surprisingly cold in the mornings sometimes, but fall colors just go so well with the whole concept. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial…and if you’re not new to designing for your Silhouette, rest assured, I’m going to cover increasingly complex Studio design principles as we go on.
Thanks for coming by and I’d love to hear any comments you may have!