Wednesday, December 21, 2011

How To Tuesday: Make SVG Cuts Manageable

Ok, more like How-To Wednesday, I'm a little late. But I really wanted to share some SVG tips to make them a little less daunting!  ALL cuts shown are from my favorite holiday set Lettering Delight's "Peppermint Holiday" set, I use Make the Cut software, and my beloved Silhouette SD.

I was working on a lot of Christmas cards over the weekend, and I always want to use great SVG files but it always seems like such a hassle to deal with them. I mean, I'll spend a solid hour just going through all my paper stacks and finding the perfect color for each little piece. Then a huge 'duh' lightbulb went off... Just cut everything on good white cardstock and color the pieces later! Duh.
TIP 1:
everything on one sheet!
So with just one sheet of pretty white paper, I could make all of the cuts for 4 Christmas trees and two awesome reindeer. This is so much quicker than cutting a separate piece for green paper, piece for brown paper, piece for purple etc etc etc.
Then I would color the pieces however I wanted; I used mostly inks, but if you have Copics this would also be a great way to use them.

This also gives me more freedom if (when) I change my mind about colors. So for these birdies I decided later that I wanted some blue ones, no problem! Just color em :)

TIP 2: When opening a svg file in your software (I use Make the Cut) don't be afraid to delete all the unnecessary layers. For example, the birdie above originally has 5 layers to be cut. By deleting things like an extra shadow layer, and an extra layer just for a little eye, I made him 3 layers. I am able to draw a black dot as an eye, and also save my sanity by not having to cut or glue a teeny black dot.

Delete stupid layers
TIP 3: Add your own accents, don't cut them! Another example... see the two little red dots on the mat? Those are holly berries. I don't need to cut two small circles for berries. Why? I have Stickles! Just add accents like Stickles, Pearl dimensions, bling, gel pens, ribbons, whatever. Then you can get rid of more cluttered cuts and also make it your own. The Christmas tree cut I showed in photo 1 had about 10 'ornaments' to cut for each tree, they were really just circles. I eliminated all of those and drew in my own with shimmery gel pens and Stickles.

The end results:

I took this awesome reindeer from 7 (seven!) layers down to 2! By coloring everything myself and adding glitter accents, you can't even tell it's only two layers. By the way this ended up being my favorite Christmas card I've made all year :)

So I hope these tips help! They may seem like 'oh duh' ideas to you, but I am so glad to have finally figured it out. I don't hesitate to use my Silhouette SD anymore, it's so easy with just a white piece of paper!!

Oh, and it doesn't hurt to have a little helper...

my lil Pumpkin telling me what colors to use
<3 Rachel w k
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  1. Love seeing how you did it!!The process is so fun to see! The cards are darling! The photo of your "little pumpkin" makes me smile! Merry Christmas to you, Rachel!

  2. Lovely paper piecing ! Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a creative 2012

  3. Those are great ideas Rachel! I love your birds. Your "Pumpkin" is very cute!!

  4. How precious! My big gift is going to be a sizzix... I will have to keep this tip in mind! How do you color with ink though? A brayer? I love that you are able to blend colors that way too!