Hello! Welcome to the first Thursday of fall. OK, that's probably a strange welcome, but oh, my. It is just getting glorious here in Utah, and Thursdays are my favorite day, and I have a picnic to go to today. A picnic in the mountains—in the mountains where the trees are changing colors.
Anyway, on to some scrapbooking goodness! This is Amy Sorensen, and ever since I got my Silhouette, it has been my constant go-to tool. I use it all the time. And while I cut out my fair share of shapes, what I really love it for is letters. But I started bumping into a little complication: it didn't seem like I really could use all of my fonts, because some of them were just too thin to cut. Making the font size bigger doesn't always help, because if the font starts out thin, parts of it will stay too thin (unless you increased the font size until the letters were too big for a layout). And sometimes you just don't have enough real estate on your layout to make your title so big.
Then I figured out how to use the Offset feature to make my letters thicker...just thick enough that I can peel them off from the cutting sheet and stick them down to my layout without all sorts of frustration. Take the white words from this layout as an example:
The font I used, arsenale white, is pretty thin. I widened the letters up a bit and then, when I glued the words down on the layout, there were no glue accidents! Just for comparison, here is the text as I first typed it, and how it looked after I made it thicker:
Not a HUGE difference, right? But just enough to make the sticking-down much more pleasant!
The Offset feature in the Silhouette Studio software is the key. Here's how to use it to make your letters just a little bit thicker:
1. Type the text. At this point, size doesn’t matter, just the words.
The exact amount you space things doesn’t matter, because you’ll line the letters back up in awhile. Just make sure there’s some space around each letter. Otherwise they’ll touch each other. Mine looked like this:
(It also doesn’t matter that the text extends beyond the cutting mat. We’ll fix that later too.)
3. Click on Object, Offset. The Offset button makes an outline around the object you’ve selected.
4. In the Offset window, click on Offset. You’ll see the outline appear around your text. It starts of with a pretty big outline—at this point, the offset hardly looks like text anymore:
Next we’ll adjust it. That is what the Offset Distance box is for. The number is how big or small the outline is. You can either slide the slider or type in a number. I go with typing, because you only need a ridiculously small amount of offset. I use anywhere between .015 and .025, depending on the font. The outline that the Offset button creates also outlines the inside spaces of the letters, so as you adjust the Distance, look at the way the letters change.
5. Once you have used the Offset feature, you now have a duplicate of your original text. The Offset button automatically ungroups the copy, while the original stays as one piece. This makes it much easier to get rid of the first (smaller) text. Just drag it down a bit, and then delete.
6. Now you can adjust, size, and weld your text as you desire. My image looked like this before I cut it:
Here's the layout I made with the letters from the instructions:
And, just for fun, another one I made with letters that I offset: