Choose Happy Sign

A quick Silhouette paper craft

Colored paper, translucent paper and an inspirational phrase chase the clouds away in this choose happy sign. |

Sometimes I’m all in on a big, multi step craft.

And sometimes, it’s Saturday afternoon, and it’s a little rainy and I’m just restless.

I’ve posted before about my drive to be happier this year. Staring out the window and wishing it was nicer isn’t on the list.

Cutting out a positive statement in pretty purple paper and backing it with translucent paper so the dreary sky actually becomes an art feature  is a better way to approach the situation.

In Adobe Illustrator

I set up my art board to be 6 x 6 because I have some lovely double sided card stock that is 6 x 6. I wanted to make this a self-framing item, with most of the paper cut away (fancy term: inverted cut). I drew a square 4 x 4 and centered that in the art board to give me a 1″ frame all around.

The trick to having the artwork stay and not drop out when cut is all the letters have to touch, and everything has to touch the edges of the frame. So I typed out my two words, and chose two typefaces. I browsed the free font sites until I found a script font that had the extra loopy pieces I wanted for the beginning and ending of the word “happy”.

Type setup for the choose happy sign

The script word was easy – all the letters already touch. So I just had to make sure the word overlapped both sides of my frame.

The non-script word was a trickier – I sized it about as big as I wanted it, and then converted the word to outlines (Type > Convert to Outlines) and then ungrouped it so that I could hand place each letter so they all overlapped each other a little. I then resized that entire element as a group so it touched both sides of the frame. I decided to adjust the bottom portion of the “E” so that it touched as well – it would not have fallen off when cut, but I didn’t like it short of the frame.

Set up the type to overlap the frame for a choose happy paper sign



I then used the Pathfinder palette’s Combine tool to weld the top word together, and repeated that on the bottom word as well. (You need to convert the type to outlines before you can use the Pathfinder tools). And then I selected the lines of type and the box frame and used the Pathfinder palette’s Minus Front tool to delete all the overlapping parts.

The final art file for the choose happy sign

I exported this file as a DXF since the basic free version of Silhouette Studio does not support EPS files, but it does support the DXF format.

In Silhouette Studio

In Silhouette Studio I set up my Design Page settings for the 6 x 6 sheet, to be cut with a mat. I merged in my artwork and centered it to the page.

And then I set up the cut settings and sent it to the Silhouette to cut.

Cut settings for a choose happy sign

After weeding, I cut a sheet of translucent paper a little smaller than 6 x 6, and used clear glue to glue the paper to the translucent paper. When I make another sign like this, I’m going to make my life much easier and use spray adhesive – getting glue on the little script letters without tearing them was more painstaking than I really had patience for.

Once the glue had dried, I had a great inspiring sign that works like a suncatcher (cloudcatcher?) when propped up in the big back window.

Translucent paper and an inspiration phrase chase the gray skies away in this "Choose Happy" paper sign craft |

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