Shark Week is coming up so I thought I’d share how to design a shark background stencil using shark silhouettes from the Design Store in Silhouette Studio. The design had 5 shark silhouettes for 99 cents. I did this tutorial quickly and didn’t include photos for some of the steps if I have covered those steps in a previous post. The shark stencil background is not shared because it is made using Silhouette Store files. The tutorial is to show you how to design the stencil yourself. However, I did design two other shark week stencils to share.
Go to the Design Store and use the search term “shark” (You can find copyright free shark silhouettes online). There are several images to choose from in the Design Store. You can see above that the one I chose had five shark silhouettes in the design. Upload the images into your workspace from your library.
Choose the sharks that you want to use for the stencil and resize them. Move the others off to the side.
If you have a stencil frame saved, go to File>Merge. If you don’t have a stencil frame saved, click HERE for that tutorial.
When the window pops up, locate the stencil frame you have saved and click>OK to add it to your design.
Select the frame and drag it over the sharks that you have resized.
Select the sharks and begin duplicating them.
Once you have the stencil frame filled, place the sharks where you want them.
Duplicate the frame just in case you want to make another stencil in this same project later. Move it off to the side if you don’t want it in your way. Select all of the sharks and group them. You can also select the grouped sharks and the stencil frame and group them. That way the sharks will stay in place inside the frame when you move it around the workspace. It drives me crazy when I forget to group things because when I move them, they get out of place and I have to use the undo button to get everything back in place. It is easier to group everything from the start.
The shark background stencil on the left is now ready to cut.
A few people have asked about stencils not cutting correctly. They can’t figure out what is going on with the blade. The Line Segment Overcut has been the problem almost every time. Remember when cutting to uncheck the box that says “Line Segment Overcut”. If you cut a stencil and there are lots of little cut lines extending beyond your images or letters in the stencil, the blade is overcutting.
Shark Week Words and Shark Silhouette Stencil
I designed the word stencil using a font on my computer called Abadi MT Bold, a polygon shape, and the line tool. A Public Domain CC0 image from Pixabay was used for the shark silhouette stencil. It is a great site for images. Be sure to check it out!
**The free stencil files can be downloaded at the end of the post or from the Shared Stencil Files page.
I could not find a font with bite marks that was free and for commercial use, so I came up with my own version. I needed to create something to take bite marks out of the font I chose for the words. To do that, I drew four polygons with the polygon tool and welded them together. The polygon tool is on the left side tool bar.
**I could have duplicated the fin a few times and used it to create a bite mark shape, but didn’t think about that until later.
I typed the words SHARK WEEK using a simple font on my computer and ungrouped them. I duplicated the shape that I created with the polygons because when you subtract the shape from the letter, it is gone along with the part of the letter you took a “bite” out of. I wanted 4 letters to have bites out of them.
To Subtract one shape from another, select both of them. Go to Object>Modify>Subtract.
Here, I have subtracted the shape(bite) from the S and then the R. I thought that the W and an E needed a bite mark also.
The shark fin was made with the line tool. I drew three lines and connected them with edit points. Curved the two lines on each side and made all of the lines into a compound path. Notice the shapes(bites) remaining that I am going to subtract from the letters at the bottom of the pic? Once all of the letters have been “bitten”, I moved them back into place. The letter R also needed to be bridged so that the counter will stay in place. I used the knife tool to create that bridge. Those directions can be found HERE.
Finished SHARK WEEK and Shark Silhouette stencils are ready to cut!
Download them by clicking HERE.