Today we’re continuing our series on how to create a t-shirt from start to finish as I show you How to Add Text in Silhouette Studio.
As you know from Create a Custom Design in Silhouette Studio, my Silhouette Cameo is the most used machine in my craft room.
Today’s tutorial is going to be pretty darn simple, but I’ll show you a fun trick when adding text that you may not be aware of.
After all, we want to harness the power of our little machines and make them work for us!
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In the first post in this series, Create a Custom Design in Silhouette Studio, I showed you how easy it is to take a PNG image and turn it into a Silhouette Cut File using the Trace Feature.
Once you do this a time or two, there will be no limit to what you can create!
I know you’re anxious to keep creating, so let’s move on!
As a quick reminder, this is the finished design we are going for.
- Silhouette Cameo
- Silhouette Studio
In case you’re joining me for the first time in this series, let’s do a quick recap regarding Silhouette Studio.
When you purchase a Silhouette Cameo cutting machine, you get the Basic Edition of Silhouette Studio which is a great place to start and all you need for this tutorial.
However, you will notice in the images below that I have the Business Edition of Silhouette Studio. Even if you don’t own your own business, I highly recommend it.
It’s a one-time upgrade fee and includes everything you get in Designer Edition and Designer Plus Edition, and includes additional upgrades like my favorite, the ability to export my designs in SVG, PDF, PNG, and JPG formats.
Seriously, Business Edition is worth every single penny!
Let’s talk about fonts for just a moment.
When you open Silhouette Studio, the fonts you have installed on your computer will automatically load.
However, you are in no way limited to just your boring old computer fonts!
And oh how glorious that can be! (I’m a bit of a “font junkie.”)
There are a lot of places you can purchase fonts, including:
- So Fontsy – Which is my favorite because they offer a standard commercial license and their prices are great compared to a lot of others online.
- The Hungry JPEG
- Font Bundles
It’s also very important to pay close attention to the license options when purchasing a font. As I discussed in Create a Custom Design in Silhouette Studio, you want to ensure that you know exactly what you can do with the font after purchasing it.
There is almost an infinite amount of projects that we can create using text, but for this series, we’re going to keep this tutorial fairly simple.
When I first created this design, I used the font, Merry and Light, however, I lost it in a computer crash. #techproblems
No worries, we can find something else that works just as well.
- Open the Page Setup Panel at the top of the right-side toolbar.
- Choose the Machine you are using.
- Choose the Cutting Mat that you will be using.
- Choose 12” x 12” in the Width and Height.
- Check Cut Border. I choose to have this on so that I can easily ensure that my design is within the border.
Adding Text in Silhouette Studio
- Click the letter “A” (Text) on your left toolbar.
- A text bar will appear, and you can start typing, “Young, Wild, & Three” (or whatever phrase you would like). You will notice that I hit enter so the text would appear on three separate lines. We will align this shortly.
- Open the Text Style Panel on the right toolbar and then begin scrolling through the fonts until you find one you like. For this tutorial, I chose “STHeiti.”
Important tip: When weeding your design later in this project, you’ll discover that it’s better to choose a thicker font. However, today I’m choosing a thin font so that I can show you what to do when you find a thin font that you just can’t live without.
As you may remember from Create a Custom Design in Silhouette Studio, I like to work with my designs in color, so we’ll take care of that now.
- Open your Line Style Panel on the right toolbar and then move it down slightly.
- Open your Fill Panel on the right toolbar.
- Click on your text and choose a fill color and outline color.
- Now we can see what we have going on!
Aligning Your Text
It’s time to align our text before we bring in the arrows from Create a Custom Design Silhouette Studio.
- Click on the text, right-click and choose ungroup. (Or shift, command, G for my fellow Mac users.)
- Every letter, as well as the “&” sign, are now ungrouped. Drag a box around the top line to grab all the letters at once.
- Right-click and choose Group. (Or Command, G for my fellow Mac users.)
- Repeat this with the bottom line.
- Now that you have three separate lines, draw another box and grab them all.
- Open the Transform Window on the right toolbar.
- Choose the Horizontal Middle.
- Now you have beautifully aligned text, and though we are getting close, we aren’t quite done with it yet.
Important Tip: Don’t worry if you make a mistake while working in Silhouette Studio. There is a back button on the top toolbar (that I use all the time!)
Thicken up your font
I love this font, however, as I mentioned earlier, when working with vinyl, you’ll find that this particular font is pretty narrow. It will make it difficult to weed later, so let’s fix this now.
- Open the Offset Panel on the right toolbar.
- Highlight your text and click Offset.
- You’ll notice that it will automatically form an offset of .125 which is too big for this purpose. We’re looking to just plump it up a bit, so change the distance to .10.
- Move the original text out of the way and delete it.
- At this point, the new text is not grouped together Simply drag your cursor around all the letters in “YOUNG, WILD,” right-click and then hit group. Do the same with “THREE.” Leave the “&” sign by itself for now. You now have three separate lines of text.
- Add color back into your text using the instructions from above.
Merge in the previous design
Now it’s time to merge the arrows you made onto this mat.
- Open the arrows by clicking File in the upper-left corner, then choose Merge in the drop-down menu, and open up the arrows (or design) you’ve saved from Create a Custom Design in Silhouette Studio.
- Important Tip: If you click “open” instead of “merge,” it’ll open your design on a whole new mat.
Now that the arrows are on your mat, we need to get them aligned with your text. You could align them by “eye-balling” it, but why go through the hassle of that when we can let Silhouette Studio do it for us in just a few clicks?
- Open the Align Window from the right toolbar.
- Highlight the two arrows as well as the “&” sign, click Vertical Middle.
- Since that entire line is now highlighted and aligned, right-click and select Group.
Ta-da! I love this feature in Silhouette Studio. It completely takes the guesswork out of aligning your designs!
You will now have three separate lines…
- “YOUNG, WILD”
- “ARROWS, &”
To align these, we’ll do the same thing we just did above.
- Highlight all three lines.
- Open the Align Window on the right toolbar.
- But this time, click Horizontal Center.
- Right Click and choose Group again.
You, my friend, have just completed your first Custom Design in Silhouette Studio from start to finish!
All that’s left for you to do is cut your design and Apply Heat Transfer Vinyl to your t-shirt!
Don’t worry, I’ll walk you through every step.
I know it seems like a lot of steps right now, but once you do it a time or two, you’ll be creating custom designs and adding text within minutes. Who knows, you may even turn into a font junkie like me!
But with some patience and a little practice, it won’t take long and you’ll be running around Silhouette Studio like a pro.
Be sure to also check out The Ultimate Silhouette Guide to help you in your journey.
This book cut my learning curve in half when I was learning how to use my Silhouette Cameo and I often refer back to it for DIY projects that I’m not familiar with. As a Footprints of Inspiration reader, you get 10% off by using coupon code: FOOTPRINTS at checkout.
Thanks for joining me today! While you’re here, check out our Free SVG Cut Files. (And sign up for our weekly newsletter because I’m always creating more!)
Until next time, my friend…..
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