Monday, December 28, 2009

How to design the "pretty mat or frame" with Home Decor

Thanks to all of you who made a guess about the cartridge(s) I used for this design.  As it turns out, the first guess by Linda was correct (and she was actually the only one that chose the correct cartridge).  I used three elements from Home Decor to make this design.

The main element of the design is the crown.  The key is highlighted in this screen shot of the keypad.

I thought the shape was so pretty and I realized that it was close to a quarter circle so I could probably fit four of the crowns together to make a full circle shape.  I rotated each crown by 90 degrees to create the final shape.

This screenshot shows the alignment of the overlap.  Because there is a decorative series of concave curves at the edge of the crown there are some places where the overlap results in a new cut out design.

While the overlap creates these attractive cut out areas there are some problems...

This screenshot shows the preview on the design page.  It can be difficult to see clearly what the cut will be when all of the lines appear in the preview so I always preview the design on a new blank page in the file.

By looking at this preview, I can see that the corner is pretty but there is a problem in the way the "beaded" band on the crowns are cut off by the weld.  I could have added another shape to complete the beaded lines but I chose to handle this problem another way.

To solve the overlap issue, I used "hide selected contour" (one of the best tools in the Design Studio program).  There are a few "glitchy" things about "hide selected contour" - one of them is that if you only hide one line or contour in an image it will not stay hidden when you reopen the file.  If you don't want to have to remember to "rehide" the line each time you use the file, you need to hide at least two lines.

If you have an image with three or more lines you can use a workaround to produce a file where the single line will stay hidden - here is a LINK to an old post where I explained how to do this.  In this case, I decided to hide the center circle and add another shape to make a slightly different design.  If you click on the image you should be able to see this more clearly.

I chose this heart and used the "handle" in the lower right corner of the selection box to resize it to approximately the same size as the circle it was replacing.  The Shape Properties box will not accept values less than 1 inch for the height and 1/2 inch for the width, however, by using the handles you can create tiny shapes (and they usually will cut well).

I wanted to create a solid shape, so I now needed to add something to fill in the center of the design.  I generally try to challenge myself to use as few cartridges as possible for a design so I checked for a useful shape on the Home Decor cartridge.

Home Decor does not have a simple plain circle cut but it happens to have a great scalloped circle with 37 "bumps" so I used this to "fill in" the center of the design.

When "weld" is checked on the scalloped circle the final design will look like the screen shot above.

Here is the test cut.

This is the offcut from the design which could be trimmed and used on another page.

This screen shot shows the design if you do not check weld on the scalloped circle and use it to create a cutout in the center of the design.

Here is the test cut of this design.

The version with the cut out center will produce these offcuts.  All of these could be used for other projects or for the opposite page in a two page spread.

If you do not insert the scalloped circle you will get this design.  I don't have a photo of this cut to show you right now.

The design is not "grouped" because some design elements had to be rotated individually and therefore I could not keep them all in the same selection box.  You could transfer the file to the Gypsy to group the items and resize it but you would then need to bring it back to Design Studio to hide the contours so it is probably easier to just recreate the design in the size you need directly in Design Studio.

You could add any shape you like to make the center cut out but you need to be sure it is larger than the naturally occurring center opening formed by the crowns.

I'd love to see what you create with this file!

Doily Mat or Frame


  1. I was thrilled to see that I was the first person to add a comment and that my answer to what cartridge was used was correct. I love design studio and pretty much use it for all of my cuts. Thanks again for all your posts, I have learned a lot of great tips from reading your blog.
    Hope you and your family have a Happy New Year.

  2. Thank you for explaining things so simply. I am starting with a gypsy and now seeing how you take different shapes to create something new. This is neat!

  3. Diane, Thank you for another lovely design
    I always look forward to your creations.

  4. This is really pretty. I used it to make a layout I will post it on my blog later here is the link:

    Thanks again.

  5. This is just beautiful. I did use it for a 2 page layout, with all the off cuts. On bright pink for my daughter. Thank you!


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