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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Tutorial: How to make a shape

Wow! still kind of a broad subject but I'll do my best.

I created this tutorial about how to make a shape card for a message board member who was struggling to understand how to use DS. In this case I connected school bus shapes but you can use circles, squares, flowers, letters, shoes, anything your heart desires.

Here we go....

Open DS (I know, no brainer but we are starting at the beginning...)

Select the cartridge you want to work with. In this case I selected Doodlecharms. If you don't see any carts in your list, make sure the View says All by Category in the drop down box located at the top of the Cricut Cartridge Library box. Double-click on the cartridge you wish to use.

Now, select your size. There is a small size guide found in the lower left corner of the virtual keypad area. It says Default Size. Once you set the size on this guide every shape you select will be set to the default size with regards to the normal Cricut sizing. In my example the guide is set to 5" tall (see the small number 5 to the right of the scale). If it's a shape the size will be 5" tall, if it's a letter upper case letters will normally be 5" but lower case letters will be relatively smaller so that it's sized appropriately for the uppercase unless you also select the Real Size feature.

When you put your cursor over a specific shape on the virtual keypad a larger sample will appear. See below I've put my cursor over the school bus (cursor disappears when you do Print Screen). Click on the shape you want. That shape will now appear on your virtual mat. (Note: if you want to make a shadow layer or a black out layer be sure to select the feature button that corresponds to it just like you would if you were creating using solely the machine and cartridges.)

Click the weld box on your shape. It is found in the Shape Properties box which is in the upper right corner of your DS screen.

Since I want the front and the back of the shape card I need an identical shape to my first one. There are two ways to do this. {one} simply Copy the first and Paste a second one on the mat. The copy will appear exactly on top of the first. Or {two} because I used the default size guide simply click on your selected shape a second time. You will want to make sure the two shapes are not within the same object box because you will need a mirror image of the first and currently you can not flip a single shape within an object box holding multiple shapes.

Using the features available in the Shape Properties box I made sure the second shape (back of my card) is at the same "Y" coordinate (distance from the top of the mat) as the shape I used for the front of my card. Usually I try to not go above .25" from the top to be sure my shape does not go into the no-cut zone.

I moved the shape that I will use for the face or front of my card to the far right of my virtual mat using the arrows/handles that control the object box that the shape is in. And then moved the shape I want to use for the back of my card to the left on my virtual mat, making sure there is some overlap. In this case, the bumpers are overlapping.

Basically the card is ready to be cut. Before clicking the cut button PREVIEW your design. If you see color, something isn't welded. For an shape to weld properly all of the shapes involved in the weld must have their weld box checked. I have forgotten this step so many times I can't tell you. You will save yourself a lot of wasted paper if you preview before you cut.

Whether you're welding shapes together to create a shaped card or you're trying to create a completely new shape you will follow these same steps. In the example below, I didn't have to flip any of the shapes because they are all circles but all of the shapes are welded and overlapped just like the bus shapes above.


  1. JEN,


  2. Thank you for another great tutorial!

  3. Jen, this tutorial came just in time. I had to create 30 invites for a friend's church function and I didn't know to flip the second shape. Thank you so much!!!

    Lisa (Justcrazy4scrapen)

  4. Jen.. I am working on doing the tutorial on doing a shape card. I have figured out how to weld, how to flip them, but I am having trouble with the x and y. I used the default size of 5, and when I try to put the y to .231 they keep changing back. Hope I am making sense. It looks like it is going off my mat. I am using the 12x12 mat. Any help is much appreciated. I tried the all-one object design.. that is way over my head, thought I might be able to do this one. Thanks.

  5. Thank you so much for doing some tutorials, I think that was easy enough to follow!

  6. Thanks so much for doing this. I am going to give this a try on a snowglobe card I have wanted to make with my new hero arts let it snow set.
    Thanks for being so talented and sharing with all of us.


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