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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Tutorial: Creating All-One-Object Designs

This is a VERY simple design. I did it mostly just to show how it's done. The possibilities are endless though. It takes a lot of patience and a good clicking finger. lol You'll see why....

You need to have a plan when you create something all inside one object. Remember when creating in DS, you still need to create from the inside out, especially if using shapes with inside holes (like the letter "O" or a silhouette shape from George).Since I'm using a solid shape and adding holes to it I want to add the shape of my object first, then the holes. If I was putting letters or words inside a frame I would start with the letters/shapes first then add the frame.

Creating a buckle/slide design.

Select the size of the finished buckle. You need to make the finished size of your buckle a bit larger because the holes you will need to fit inside it without cutting it in half. If I made the buckle 1" I wouldn't be able to put a hole inside because the smallest size available on the Size guide is 1". It would cut the buckle in half. So, to leave space around the hole I made the buckle 2"

Now, don't click off the shape. You want the arrows/handles around your shape. This shows you the boundaries of the object box. With the object still selected, change the default size guide to 1" and then select the skinny vertical rectangle twice.

If you were to deselect the object box now you would see a very faint grey line around all three shapes. That is the object box. Everything within it will be affected the same way if you select it and click on weld, rotate, flip, pull the arrows any of the various directions you can take them, all of the shapes within the box are treated as one object and will weld, flip, grow, shrink, etc. all together.

Ok... time to move the holes into the buckle. Click on the 2nd shape. You will see the arrows/handles have reappeared and the second shape now has a dotted line appearance. That is how you know you have clicked on the right shape.

Now find the left Nudge button in the Shape Properties box and start clicking. Each time you click on the nudge button the dotted line shape will move. It's not a big movement but it will move. With this new upgrade (August 2008) you can hold down the left mouse button but unfortunately after holding it down too long it won't stop moving and it will eventually move off the cutting mat and into the unknown. It won't stop moving until you delete the shape. So, until we find out if it's fixed I wouldn't recommend holding down your mouse button.

Another note to be aware of.... every time you move this shape to the right or to the left every shape that was added to the design will be nudged right or left also. The shapes are not moved up and down only right and left. You will want to keep this in mind when placing your shapes.

Now you are ready to move it up to the center of the buckle.

Now you can click on the third shape. The 2nd shape will now be solid line and the outline of the third shape will become a dotted line. Because the 3rd shape moved left with the 2nd shape you will need to move it back to the right a wee bit and then move it up into position.

Voila! An All-one-Object buckle/slide shape that can be resized, flipped, rotated, stretched... just like the shapes that are found on cartridges.

For this design, Weld isn't necessary but you will want to Preview your file to make sure it will cut as you want. The holes will cut out of the shape even if you click weld on this since they were added after the outside solid shape.

Another example of what is possible with All-One-Object designing. You can switch from cartridge to cartridge. Below, the shapes came from Calligraphy and Doodlecharms. Being able to resize a Title to fit a layout or a card is great.

(**Calligraphy Collection cart to be released December 10th!!**)

Hope this helps.


  1. Thank you Jen. That was a very good tutorial - very easy to understand. Thanks for your time in doing this.


  2. Thank you for the the very well explained tutorial Jen!

  3. Thanks for the good explanation! Love the Let it Snow design you did.

  4. Thanks, Jen! Great tutorial. Can't wait to play with my DS.

  5. Jen, thanks for all your time with helping all of us learn and have fun.

  6. Hi Jen: Thanks so much for taking the time to write these tutorials. I have learned so much because of your willingness to share and help.

  7. Wow Jen,
    I was wondering and I had tried work with different size shapes in a given object. Yeah! I am so happy that now I know what I did wrong and that there was a way. Thanks for your information, it was clear.

  8. Wow Jen, I did the all in one object buckle/slide design.. thank you. Trying to figure out how you did the let it snow, I don't have calligraphy. Thanks so much. Still haven't figured out why the x and y change when I flip the bus????

    Maybe there is hope for me :-)

  9. Always wondered how this worked. No I've got it. Thanks for explaining it.

  10. Hi Jen!!

    I'm a Jen too!! Thanks for this tutorial and everything else that you have shared. This was the first time I've tried this out, as I was trying to figure out how to make adjustable cuts. So thanks for this. Just wanted to share that I unfortunately held the left mouse click down to long, and my shape went of the mat, just as you said - and I was cracking up at myself, what a nut.

    Anyways, love your stuffs girl... keep up the awesome work.

    Much Hugs n' Aloha,
    Jen Young (lologrl on Cricut MB)

  11. I love your snow globe. How cute is that! May I? delipa@hotmail.com


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