Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Project Blog 3: Halloween Card

I was going to make another tutorial post, but I love Halloween too much and just needed to craft something. Like my other project posts, I am only going to briefly explain the tools used in each step hoping that you know most of them already. I did go a bit more in-depth for a few of the tools that I felt weren't as well known.
 Let's get started with the final project picture first.

I have no idea how to make the skull... it's the card I can teach you.

The techniques and tools we will be using in this tutorial will be:
  • Tracing
  • Welding
  • Point manipulation
  • Text
  • Knife tool
  • Modify tool
Step 1: Draw the card.  Mine is a standard card with final dimensions of 4" x 5.5" so my opened card size is 8" x 5.5". I have also added a dashed cut line down the center to make folding super easy and perfect.  Finally, I have colored it in so I can see how it will look as we progress.  Set aside.  By 'set aside', I just mean move it off your work area into the surrounding gray area.

The basic card.  5.5" x 8" with a dashed cut line down the middle for folding.

Step 2: We are going to create the hill and graveyard next. This is a four part step.

  1. Create the cross gravestone. This is done by making two thin rectangles and overlapping them to make a cross. Weld the two shapes together.  Don't worry about being perfect, having lopsided crosses and odd shapes adds to the spooky factor. Set aside.


  2. Create the curved-top gravestone. To make this draw a rectangle and oval with the same width. Overlap the two shapes and you guessed it.... well them together.  I then double clicked on the new shape to enter point mode and moved the bottom two points inward using the arrow keys. Finally, I made the lines straight using the "make flat option". Set aside.

    To learn how to make exact measurements for certain shapes check out my tutorial post entitled Shapes!

    I love how easy this was. Much easier than free-handing it in my opinion.

  3. Create the hill. Make a rectangle with a width of about 4".  Use the knife tool with the curved option and click several times outside and inside your rectangle to make small hills (for clarification, check the picture below).  If you uncheck "Auto Apply" (at the bottom of the knives menu) you can edit your hills before the final cut is made.

    There are many ways to make hills like this.  I Found this one to be the most painless.

  4. Grab the gravestones you set to the side and put them on your hill in a creepy way. Weld everything together. Set aside.

    You can also find gravestone clip art and trace the images if you don't feel like making the gravestones by hand.

    Tilted gravestones are way creepier than straight ones.  Just sayin'.

Step 3: Find some Halloween clip art you like and want to add to your card.  I found a lacy corner spiderweb and a bat and cat that I liked. Trace these images set aside.

Tracing. It one thing that I love about this program.

Step 4: Find a font you like. For my card I used the Algerian font. It's not a good font for cutting out, so I had to do some point manipulation to make it work. Type out your words. In this case "HAPPY HALLOWEEN".

The more I stare at this the wronger the spelling looks.

Step 5: Select all your letters and right click to select the option "Release Compound Path".  Next, with all the letters still selected, right click and select the option to "Ungroup".  This will allow you to individually delete points in the letters that you don't want in your final card. The image below shows the progression of the letter 'H' as I deleted unwanted parts.

Don't forget, you can reuse the letters 'H' and 'A' from the word happy for the word Halloween so you don't have to redo all the point manipulation.
This step takes a little patience, but I was really happy with the final product that I think it was worth the time.

Step 6: I hate having to hand place individual letters.  To avoid this, I smush all the letters together so they overlap and weld them together. If you are finding the welding isn't welding correctly make sure your letters are all grouped together (select them all, right click and select 'group') before welding. Hopefully, that fixes your welding issue. Set aside.

Algerian font edited and smushed together to get a usable end product.  Super happy with the results. 

Step 7: We are now going to make the picture frame that will hold all the elements.  Create a rectangle that is smaller than your final card dimensions by about a quarter of an inch on all sides. My final card size is 4" x 5.5" so my picture frame will be about 3.5" x 5". Also, I made it orange.

3.5" x 5" picture frame.  I swear it will all make sense soon.

Step 8: Lets now bring all the elements that were previously set aside and arrange/resize them to fit in the picture frame. You will want your elements to overlap the frame's edge so you won't have to arrange them by hand later.  The only things not overlapping anything are the bats as they are easy to place later.

Step 9: SAVE YOUR WORK! I had a power outage while working on this blog... thankfully Silhouette software does automatically save your work, but it was terrifying!

Step 10: Once you are happy with the look select everything and open the modify tool in the upper right tool bar. Select the 'Subtract All' tool.  The image below shows what I was left with when I pulled the orange background away.

Step 11: For some reason the center of the letters did not remain with the main image.  I manually moved them and the corrected image is below. I am not sure why this happened, but I will be researching and testing on how to avoid this in the future.  For now, I think it has to do with how I grouped the lettering.  If you know, please let me know in the comments. 

Step 12: We are almost done! Check your cut lines. I found a cut line on the bottom of the hill that I removed. It's important to always check before you cut. I'm glad I did.

I removed the red cut line at the very bottom.
Always check your cut lines before cutting.

Step 13: Place your picture frame on top of your card that you made in step 1.  Line it up nicely on the right hand side.

Eeeeeee!!!! So close to being done.

Step 14: Cut it out. I also ended up cutting a second card that was orange and measures 7.75" x 5.25" to put on the inside of the card. 

Step 15: Gather your two cards (one orange and one black), your two bats, and glue.

All the pieces ready to assemble!!!

Step 16: Put glue on the back side of the orange card.

Step 17: Glue the back of the card in place.

Step 18: Carefully put glue on the backside of the black picture frame and other cut outs.

Step 19: Glue the picture frame onto the orange card. I recommend doing this step face down to start then flipping it over and sliding the words around after the frame is pressed down.  Glue on the bats.

Step 20: All done!  Just let it dry.  I recommend placing it under a heavy book to make sure everything stays in one place.

I can't wait to make more cards like this.  I love how it turned out.

Thanks for following along. Please let me know if you made anything.  I would love to see what kind of things I helped inspire.  If you have any questions or something isn't clear, please let me know in the comments. I will do my best to help you out.

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