Thursday, October 23, 2014

Silhouette Studio tutorial: How to convert a Dingbat into a Layered image (Part 2)

This is Part 2 of the my Convert a Dingbat to Layered Image tutorial. 
Please click HERE to see Part 1.

In part 1 of my dingbat tutorial, I showed you how to bring a simple character from the free MTF Sweet Halloween Dings onto the Silhouette Studio virtual mat and convert it into a cuttable file with layers. In today's post, I will explain how you can convert a slightly more complicated image, particularly the costumed kids.

I had previously demonstrated how you can make the layers of a pumpkin from the MTF Sweet Halloween Dings file. To recap, in Silhouette Studio, just do the following 5 steps:

1. Type the text,
2. "Ungroup" the image
3. Use "Release Compound Path" to separate the shapes
4. Drag out the base layer
5, Use "Make Compound Path" to make the face layer.

as shown in Part 1 of my dingbat tutorial
as shown in Part 1 of my dingbat tutorial

Modifying the pumpkin was easy because there are only two layers to it- a base and a face. To convert the costumed kids, an additional step is required before you can drag out the base.

As illustrated in the screenshot above, in order to make the base layer, first select the largest shape and the "hole" between the treat bag and its handle (both shapes are indicated above with a blue outline). Right-click and "Make Compound Path". You can now drag out the base layer.

For the Mummy, there are two ways of making the layered image. You can either have a white base (with a black top layer) or a black base (with a white top layer).

I compared both methods.

I started with the black top/white base. Cutting the top layer was interesting as it was super intricate. My Cameo had no problem cutting the 4" tall layer out. I used Michaels' Recollections brand of cardstock and cut with the setting of Blade 3, Thickness 22, Speed 3. The layer was cut out beautifully!

Method 1: black top/white base

Gluing the black over the white base may seem challenging but it is actually rather easy with the use of a glue pen. However, I thought that the finished assembled piece looked a little flat. I decided I would try cutting it the other way around, using white cardstock for the top layer and black for the base, to see if it looks a little more interesting.

Method 2: white top/black base

Since there are so many pieces that make up that top (white) layer, I used washi tape** to remove the pieces from the mat so that they stay in position. I applied glue (again with my glue pen) to all the white parts at the same time and adhered the layers onto a black base. Once assembled, the washi tape is gently removed.

** Check the stickiness of your washi tape before using it as a transfer tape. If it is too sticky, it may not release the cutouts. To "de-sticky" your washi tape, just press it against a t-shirt (I used my jeans) once or twice. It should be sticky enough to hold the cutouts together but not so sticky that it will not release them when you are adhering the parts to the base.

Frankly, there isn't all that much difference in how the mummy look, whether with a white top/black base or vice versa. Personally I prefer the white top/black base because it doesn't look as perfect as the other option but you can use whichever method that you think is easier to cut and assemble.

I converted the Witch image in the same way as the Cat Girl mentioned in the beginning of this post. To make the Witch's hat stand out, I used Glossy Accents to add shine and dimension.

The Frankenstein Boy and the Vampire Kid were also converted into cuttables in the same way as the Witch and the Cat, but I did some further modification on the Pumpkin Kid.

In order to make the Pumpkin Kid look more like a cutting file in the style of an LD svg, I deleted away several parts of the dingbat and added some extra bases.

Here are the layers that I came up with. Can you tell what modifications I made?

Converting the dingbat into a LD-style cutting file is a lot more work but I thought that the final assembled piece looked much better. The hardest part was deciding which shapes to delete and which ones to retain and use to make the layers. I thought that the extra work was worth it as I really like how the finished piece looks- the kid looks like he is wearing a pumpkin head! Too cute! :-)

I hope that you enjoyed my dingbat tutorial. If you have not already downloaded the free MTF Sweet Halloween Dings, just click HERE to get it.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

25% off at the Silhouette store {including SSDE}

There is a new coupon to use at the Silhouette Store.

Use the code OCTOBER25 to take 25% off almost everything at The discount does not apply on the Silhouette machines, gift cards, and subscriptions to the Silhouette Design Store but you can use it on the accessories (e.g. vinyl roll feeder) and the Silhouette Studio Designer Edition upgrade. The price of the software drops to $37.49 (reg. $49.99) when you use the code.

I made a quick comparison and found out that the prices of mats and blades are still lower on Amazon even with the coupon code. The price of the cutting blade is $9.74 (including the discount) in the Silhouette store but Amazon is selling them for $7.79 each with free Prime shipping! If you are looking to buy mats and blades, you may be better off getting them from the latter. Amazon has frequent price changes and I do not know how long their offers will last. Click HERE to get your mats or blades before the prices go up again.
Amazon prices

Silhouette America with coupon applied

Click HERE to go to the Silhouette America** store and HERE to go to Amazon.

**I am not affiliated with Silhouette America.

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Our Really Big (93-inch) Teddy Bear

The kids and I love shopping but we are pretty good about reminding ourselves to only buy the stuff we need and will use. Every now and then we come across something that we can't go home without.

Like a 93-inch teddy bear.

Seeing it was like finding an old friend! Everyone had to hug Teddy. Even Hubby. :)

It took all 5 of us to carry the bear and put it into the cart.

We could not fit another thing inside the basket so we headed straight to the checkout.

We were SO EXCITED to bring it home!
image and linked video from

If you want a 93-inch teddy bear, go to Costco and get it. It costs $179.99 and the item number is 999424. The bear is supposed to be available only from November but we found ours yesterday. I would recommend that you give your store a call to check for its availability before heading there.

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Friday Freebies {plus new Milk and Spookies and Something Wicked}

LD released two collections today. Check out their Milk and Spookies, and Something Wicked:

If you are getting any of the new stuff, consider buying the bundles instead. The bundles are usually a better deal and you can even use a coupon on top of that.

Here's a great coupon for you: if you have at least $12 in your cart, apply the code GobbleUp. The coupon will take 50% off!

While you are checking out the new releases, don't forget to pick up the Monstrous Top Ten Cut Sets. It includes some of my favorite sets, especially Owl Goes Hoo and Ghost Goes Boo. Here is a card that I made using it:

The regular price of all 10 sets combined is $50 but for a limited time, you can get the bundle for only $6 when you use the GobbleUp coupon!

The Monstrous Top Ten bundles for graphics, fonts, and alphabets are also on sale. Click HERE to see them.

Here's your Friday Freebie:

Click HERE or the image above to go to the LD site. Add both the Milk and Spookies printables to your cart and checkout. You pay $0.00! The link to the downloads will show up after the transaction is completed.

Use the freebie to decorate your cupcakes or use them to make buttons! Get your free 1" template HERE.

scrapNfonts is a sister site of LD and they have a freebie to give away too. Click HERE to go to their Fontaholic blog to download the free Halloween Ice Cream Cone Wrappers (printables).

Silhouette users, don't forget to grab the weekly freebie from the Silhouette Design Store.

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Monster Madness Bags

When I first saw LD's Monster Madness Bags Cut Its/SVG, I thought of their Animal Boxes and Bags immediately. The two sets of boxes seem to be of a similar style. I love those Animal Valentines and I knew I was going to have some fun making these Monster bags.

There are 10 designs in this set but I only made the Bride of Frankenstein and the Frankenstein bags. As expected, they were both very easy to cut and put together! 

Halloween is only 2 weeks away and I'm going to make a couple these bags for the kiddos and their friends. I bet they'd get a kick out of it. :-)


File used:
Monster Madness Cut It Project (SVG included)

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Jin's Get-Out-of-School-Early cards

Not long after my oldest kid started wearing braces (see the SMILE card I made for her HERE), we found out that both her twin and her little sister (Panda Girl) also needed them. With three kids requiring orthodontics, scheduling the appointments for them can be challenging. We visit the clinic every 6 weeks and as hard as I try to avoid taking them out of school early, sometimes it happens. Last Tuesday was one of those days.

Writing the same excuse note to three different teachers at the same time is so boring. At the suggestion of Panda Girl, I used print-and-cut to make these instead:

These are so much cuter and more fun to look at! :-D

They are also extremely easy to make- I used the same idea behind my credit card notecards to print-and-cut these out with my Silhouette Cameo and SSDE v2.8.16d but I made these cards a lot larger. They are 6.75" x 4.25" each! That's like almost half of a letter-size page. If you had missed the notecard tutorial, click HERE to see it. I even included a video to show you the step-by-step.

You can use this idea for any other get-out-of-school-early excuses besides using it for an orthodontic appointment. Just replace the text and the graphic accordingly. :-)

Files used:
Dear Tooth Fairy graphic set
Sweet Tooth Town paper pack

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The NEW Silhouette Cameo (Pre-order for 10% off!)

Silhouette America has finally made the official announcement regarding the New Silhouette Cameo that I mentioned the other week (see the post HERE).

Looking at the information on their website, it seems that they didn't add a lot of new features to the cutter. In fact, the "upgrades" are mostly cosmetic. Personally I like some of the changes they made. For example, I think that the crosscutter and the new bold guide marks are nice. I also think that it is interesting that they have included 100 free digital designs with the cutter. My Cameo that I bought in 2011 only came with 50. I have mixed feelings about the full-color LCD touch screen on the new Cameo. Call me old school but I like the real buttons on my cutter.

Click HERE to see more info on the New Silhouette Cameo.

The New Silhouette Cameo will be available for purchase from the Silhouette America store on Oct 22, 2014. The listed price of $299.99 is the same as the original Cameo.

You can also purchase the New Silhouette Cameo from Amazon. The machine will be released on Oct 22 but you can place a pre-order. At the time that this post was published, the pre-order price is only $269.99. That's 10% off the price listed in the Silhouette Store! Click HERE to pre-order.

Edit to add this video clip that I just saw on their site:

Introducing the new Silhouette CAMEO® from Silhouette America on Vimeo.

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