An easy technique that can create a card for any occasion
Here’s a quick card technique that combines Silhouette cutting and and a simple design/print technique that can be used for just about any occasion.
To set up the printed portion
In your choice of design program, using an 8.5 x 11 sheet size, create a wall of repeating text about the occasion. In this case, I’ve typed “Happy Father’s Day” over and over.
To give the inside a little more pop, I have colored this text a light blue, and then added a large rectangle of darker blue behind it for a tone on tone effect. Placement here isn’t super important – the only important part is you want the entire block of text and background color to be considerably larger than the card you are going to cut.
Make sure that design is centered to your page, and then print. I like to use an 80# smooth white cover stock for this – regular paper would be too flimsy to stand up on it’s own after folding.
Set that sheet aside.
To set up the cut file
I use Adobe Illustrator to design my cut files because I’m more familiar with it, but this same technique works in Silhouette Studio.
In either program, set up a page that is 8.5 x 11 (the size of the already printed sheet). Draw a rectangle that is the full flat size of the card you are making. In this case, I have an A2 envelope handy, so I’m making an A2 sized card. That card is 4.25 x 5.5 when folded. So I need a rectangle that is 5.5 wide by 8.5 tall for the outside cut dimensions.
Draw a line that is the same width as the card (5.5 inches in this case) and center it to the rectangle (both top to bottom and left to right). This line is going to become the score line later.
Draw an inner rectangle that is 1 inch less than the width and height of the panel. The panel is half the card, so in this case, my rectangle will be 3.25 x 4.5. Position that rectangle so it is centered left to right in the bigger rectangle. Move the inner rectangle up so it is .5” inch from the bottom of the bigger rectangle. This centers the inner shape in the front panel of the card.
Type the text you want in a big bold font and size it large enough to span the width of the inner rectangle. You’ll then need to adjust the spacing between the letters so that they touch, and resize the overall width of the word so that it slightly overlaps the left and right sides of the inner rectangle. In Illustrator I select the overlapping letters and choose United from the Pathfinder Pallette. In Silhouette Studio you would select the overlapping letters and choose Weld from the Modify menu. Once the letters are united/welded, you’ll need to select them and the inner rectangle and choose Minus Front (from the Pathfinder Pallete in Illustrator) or Subtract (in the Modify window in Silhouette Studio). Check to make sure the letters are now a cutout portion of the inner rectangle – if something has gone wrong, undo this step and check to make sure the united/welded word is in front of the inner rectangle.
Since I created my artwork in Illustrator, I need to save it, and then export it as a DXF file because the basic version of Silhouette Studio can’t open an Illustrator file but it can use the DXF format. Once I’ve exported that file, I open Silhouette Studio and merge in the file. If you’ve created your artwork in Silhouette Studio then you skip this step.
The Silhouette Cameo doesn’t really produce a true score line, but a perforated cut will work. Select the center line you drew in the big rectangle and select a dotted line pattern from the Line menu.
Check to see that the lines are all set to cut properly, and then place your previously printed sheet printed side down on the cuttng mat. You want the text to be upside down as well, so the first line of text is at the bottom of the mat, not the top. This sounds backwards, but when the card cuts, the front panel of the card is going to be at the bottom of the sheet, and the printed text forms the inside of the card.
Load the mat, and send the cut file to print. Remove the cut sheet from the mat carefully, and fold along the perforated line at the top. Note – if when you fold the card your inside text reads upside down, then the printed sheet wasn’t placed correctly on the mat. Just print a new sheet and position it the other way and cut a second version. That’s the great thing about paper crafting – mistakes are pretty easy to hide (just through them in the recycle bin!).
Sign at the bottom (in that ½” space at the bottom so it isn’t visible from the cutout portion when folded) and you are done!
By changing the color and text on the printed portion and the word on the outside that gets cut, you can create an infinite number of custom greeting cards using this method.