I have been using my Silhouette for about five months but last week was the first time I have cut vinyl. I was prepared for this project to be a learning experience and I was right. My finished project was this vinyl on a glass block bank. You can see more about the project in this post.
Creating The Design
I wanted to copy an existing design so I used the same Scriptina font. I created each word of the designs separately with the text tool.
Next, I selected each word and right clicked and selected Weld. The Weld will merge the connected letters so that they are cut as one shape instead of separate letters.
Next select each word, right click and select Make Compound Path. This will merge all the unconnected parts of the words so that when you select or move part of a word, the entire word will move.
I measured the area of the glass where I wanted to put the design and it was 4.5 inches square. I used the rectangle tool to draw a 4.5 inch square around my design. You can see the dimensions of the rectangle when you are creating it by the numbers on the sides.
Next I resized and repositioned the words in my design to fit in the square. The I deleted the square and tried to cut the design with vinyl. And that leads to lesson 1.
Lesson 1 – How To Thicken A Thin Font
The vinyl ripped because the font was too thin. I used the offset feature to thicken the font a bit. Select the Offset Window. Select Offset. The default Offset Distance is set to .25 inches but I used a value of just 0.02. Click Apply.
I selected the original design and deleted it so only the offset was leftover.
Lesson 2 – Make Weeding Easier
Did you know that vinyl sticks to vinyl? When you are weeding a large design some of the vinyl you’ve weeded might stick to your design. To avoid that, I created another offset around the design. I used an Offset Distance of 0.15.
I right clicked on the offset and clicked Release Compound Path.
Then I deleted all the extra little cuts inside the offset that are pointed to by the red arrows below.
Cutting and Applying The Vinyl
I have a Portrait. The Silhouette black vinyl I used is 12×30 inches so I cut a small rectangle the size of my design and used a mat to cut the design with my Portrait. I used the default Silhouette Vinyl setting but slowed my speed down to 2. I weeded the outside of the design.
Then I weeded the offset. I used the tweezers to weed out the really small pieces. I cut a piece of transfer paper, peel off the backside and adhered it to the front of the vinyl design.
Then I peeled the transfer paper off the vinyl backing and that took the black vinyl off the backing too.
I adhered the vinyl and transfer paper to the glass block bank. Then I carefully peeled off the transfer paper leaving the vinyl behind on the block! And just like that the project is complete!
Using vinyl was easier than I thought it would be and I foresee many vinyl projects in my future!
Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post but I only recommend the products I love!