To begin your stencil making adventure, I am going to show you how to design a stencil frame. This is the part of the stencil that holds everything in place. I like to make my stencil frames 5.5 x 5.5 to fit in the Stencil Genie, but you can make the frame any size or shape you want- whatever works best for you.
I am going to try and keep the tutorials on the blog very simple and explain each step along the way. I am going to assume that you are a beginner. The tutorials will be shown in Version 3 for now. Version 4 has just been released.
I will post the Cricut and Silhouette tutorials separately. They will be the same or very similar stencils, as each software is capable of different things.
Open a new file if you don’t see a blank workspace when you open the Silhouette software.
Your workspace may not look the same as mine. You can change those settings in the toolbar at the top right of your screen by clicking on the icons that the blue arrows are pointing toward. You can also click View at the top left of your screen and get to the same panels to make changes. The photos above are my settings.
Click on the rectangle tool in the tool bar on the left side to insert a square. Hold down the shift key while clicking and dragging to keep the square(rectangle if you want to get technical) in proportion. If you prefer, you can resize the square in the panel on the right side by clicking the Scale Window. Make sure the square is still selected. If not, click on it. Uncheck the Lock Aspect box and enter 5.5×5.5.
**After you select a tool, such as when you insert a square, you have to deselect the tool or your cursor will keep drawing squares. If this happens with any of the tools, take your cursor back to the top left corner and click on the arrow(select tool). **A good shortcut to remember is just pressing the “V” on the keyboard to go back to the select tool.
Now insert a circle if you want a tab on your stencil. Click on the circle tool in the toolbar on the left side to insert a circle. Hold down the shift key while clicking a dragging your cursor to create a round circle. If you don’t hold down on the shift key, you will draw an oval.
**After you select a tool, such as when you insert a circle, you have to deselect the tool or your cursor will keep drawing circles. If this happens with any of the tools, take your cursor back to the top left corner and click on the arrow(select tool). **A good shortcut to remember is just pressing the “V” on the key board. See the photo of the shortcuts listed in the Silhouette User’s Manual at the bottom of this post. Those shortcuts can make your work go much faster!
Click on the circle to select it and move it to where you would like for it to be at the top of the stencil frame. Click and drag over both the square and the circle to select them or you can hold down the shift key while clicking on each shape. Click on Object>Align>Align Center.
To join the circle and the square, make sure that they are both still selected. Click on Object>Modify>Weld.
Save your stencil frame by clicking on File>Save.
Give your file a name and choose where you would like to save it on your computer.
**You can save it to your Silhouette Library or in the Cloud. To find out more about that click here. This post from the very helpful Silhouette School blog pertains to Version 2 and Version 3. I am using Version 3 for the tutorials since Version 4 was just released.
Now you have designed a stencil frame for all of the awesome stencils that you will be creating! Give yourself a pat on the back! If you have questions or comments, please comment on this post, because more than likely, someone else will have the same question. As I like to say, ” The only silly question is the one that does not get asked.” I also appreciate the feedback!
In the next post, we will create an easy background stencil.
Silhouette Studio Shortcuts
This is from page 118 of the Silhouette User Manual. You can access it by clicking >Help>User’s Manual.