Valentine's Decor and Design Tips
Creation Ideas
“Tips” “Tricks” & “Products”

Valentine's Decor and Design Tips

It's Valentine's Day! That means we're here with a new blog to give you decor ideas and some software tips!

Hearts A-Plenty


 

Paper
3.5W
Speed: 500
Power: 100
Times: 1

 

Maybe you're making a garland, crafts for school, or some cards for friends; either way, you need a LOT of hearts! It's easy to do multiple designs at once with SmartDIYs Creator, or the same design over and over! same design repeatedly, with the same settings, simply add a design and adjust the settings.Then, click copy (or use your keyboard shortcuts) and paste the design as many times as you want! On the sidebar, you 'll only see one file; adjusting these settings will affect each copy you created!

Need different colors? No problem! Simply do the same, just place different colors of material in your laser's processing area!




Letter Tips

Sometimes, you'll want to cut out letters that have an inner space, called a counter; think of the “B” in “Be Mine,” the “O” in “Love,” or the lowercase “e” in all of the words. When cutting out these letters, you'll lose the definition of that inner space.



So how do you solve this? We have two ways to help! We'll be showing you how to work with Adobe Illustrator, but free programs like Inkscape should also have similar solutions!

 

Sign on the Dotted Line

This method will allow you to create text on your material without actually cutting it out. First, create your text. Then, select it, right-click, and choose “Create Outlines”.



Then, with your text selected, open the “Stroke” panel. Check the box next to “Dashed Line”. This will then convert your text to a dashed outline. You can play around with the shape of the dash and the interval between each mark.



For ours, we chose a rounded cap to give more of an actual “dot” appearance, and changed the interval between dashes to 1.5 so they weren't so close together.

Now, your text will be part of your design, but you'll still be able to see the spaces within certain letters!

Play With Fonts

You may be able to find some fonts that avoid this problem; or, you can edit them yourself! First, choose a font that would look okay with some separation; think of a script- or handwriting-like font.Create your text with this font, then use “Create Outlines” again. Then, right-click and select “Ungroup.”

Choose a spot where the inside of the letter is connected to the outside. Using the “Direct Selection” tool, delete the anchor points that connect the lines. 

(Direct Selection tool)

(Anchor point)

 

(After deleting)

If this deletes too much of your letter, you may want to add new anchor points with the pen tool before deleting the old ones.

This deleted too much of our letter; we only want to remove a little bit.

(Much less deletion)

Then, using the pen tool, reconnect the lines in a way that eliminates the inner portion (the counter).

(Full View)

 

Continue to do this for any part of a letter that needs it (for us, the top part of the “B,” and 2 lowercase “e” s).

One more thing: by creating an outline of the letters, you'll notice they now overlap. SmartDIYs Creator will read every line there, so it will cut the overlap. To fix this, either manually separate the letters (just moving them to your liking), or, open the “Pathfinder” window and choose “Unite”. Now the overlapping letters will be part of one shape!

Keep in mind, you should still probably test your changes on a scrap sheet of paper; you may need more adjustments!

More Dotted Line Fun

Did you know, you can use the same techniques we used above to create folds and pop-ups in paper? By creating a dotted line, similar to a perforated line, you can make paper easier to fold wherever you want!
 
Take our card for example: first, we simply created a rectangle in Illustrator. Then, we made a straight line halfway across, went to the Stroke window, and made the line dotted.This gives you a basic template for any kind of card!



To add a pop-up feature, add your design to the card.


 
Wherever you want the card to connect, add two anchor points to the design, and a straight line connecting the two.



Then, delete the extra line from the shape. Convert your line into a dotted line.


 
Now you'll have a design for a pop-up card ready!

Chalkboard Love



Wood
3.5W
Speed: 300
Power: 90
Times: 10

Everyone knows love lasts longer than just Valentine's Day, so why shouldn't your decorations? Create a longer-lasting way of leaving love notes (and grocery lists) with a custom chalkboard! First, cut your shape out of wood. Paint it with a coat (or more) of chalkboard paint. Make sure to follow your paint's instructions for application of the paint. Hang it in your home, or on the fridge by adding a magnet to the back. Once it's ready, start leaving your notes!
 
That's all for this week; make sure to share your projects with us!