In today’s post I am going to tackle one of the most challenging types of cards to make by showing you how to create an easy masculine birthday card with the Silhouette Cameo 4.
My general rules of thumb for masculine cards are:
- Use dark or neutral colors
- Keep the design simple
- Don’t over embellish
For this project, I use navy (which I consider a neutral because if you think about it, it goes with every other color) and olive green cardstock. A geometric pattern drawn in silver gives the card a foil look. Finally, some very simple coloring of the birthday greeting provides a personalized touch.
The Silhouette Cameo 4 actually makes the process of creating this card pretty fast (despite the length of the video – lol) by drawing and cutting all of the components for you. After that, all you need is some adhesive, foam squares, a couple of markers and a bit of glitter gel.
Please check out the video tutorial below or scroll down for instructions with photos:
Open the Designs and Create Shapes in Silhouette Studio
I used a hexagon pattern from a single line foil quill collection (linked below) from SoFonsty.com and a birthday greeting (also linked below) from a collection of adorable birthday seals from DesignBundles.net.
Since I am using the basic free version of Silhouette Studio for this tutorial, I uploaded the Studio file for the hexagon pattern collection and deleted the ones I didn’t need. For the birthday circle, I merged the .PNG file of all of the greetings on to the mat. I used the Trace tool to trace just the one I needed and deleted the rest. For more info on how to Trace an Image, I show how in this linked tutorial.
Finally, I drew an A2-sized rectangle (4.25″ x 5.5″) and a 2.75″ diameter circle. I resized the birthday greeting to 2.5″ in diameter and duplicated the hexagon pattern by right-clicking on it and selecting Duplicate.
Arrange the Designs and Shapes in Silhouette Studio
After duplicating the hexagon pattern, I moved them close to each other so they appear to make one continuous pattern. I then grouped them and rotated them 90 degrees. Finally, I put the rectangle shape behind the hexagon pattern and arranged it so the hexagon pattern is overlapping all four edges of what will be the card front in a pleasing manner.
I put the circle behind the birthday greeting and used the Align tool to center the greeting on top of the circle.
Change the Line Colors in Silhouette Studio
For the card, I am going to have the Silhouette Cameo 4 draw the hexagons using a silver metallic marker to give the card front a foil look. Then the machine will draw the birthday greeting with a navy blue Cricut pen and finally, cut out the card front and the circle shape. Three different actions in one project
To make this easy, I am going to change each element’s line color so it is different from the rest. That way, I can tell the machine which action needs to be performed for each line color (next step). To do this, click on the element you want to change the line color for to select it, navigate to the left side of the upper tool bar and select the line color drop down menu (second from the left) and chose a color. Repeat this for the remaining elements, making sure to choose different colors for each (the two hexagon designs should be the same color).
When this is done, click the Send tab in the upper right of the screen.
The Line Tab on the Send Panel in Silhouette Studio
The Send panel normally defaults to the Simple tab where all line colors are red and everything is set to cut.
To change this, click on the Line tab on the right (next to the Simple tab). Now you can see the different line colors for each element much clearer.
First, set the material for each line color to Coverstock, Heavy if using heavy weight Gina K cardstock like I am.
Then make sure each color is set to Tool 1 in the first column and then change the Action to Sketch for the hexagons and birthday greeting layers. Finally, set the card front and the circle shapes to Cut.
Rearrange the Actions if Needed in Silhouette Studio
Often, the line colors aren’t arranged in an order that makes much sense. My default arrangement had the machine Draw, Cut, Cut, Draw. That won’t work because I have no faith that the cut circle will actually stay in place while the machine draws the birthday greeting on to it after it cuts is, so I need to rearrange the order of the actions.
To do this, click on the colored square of whichever line you need to move up or down. You can tell the line is selected because the color of the box on the area below the line color actions will be change to that color. Once selected, drag the line up or down within the list to get the actions arranged in a better order. Rep[eat as needed until the actions make more sense (Cut is usually last).
Add Pauses to the Actions in Silhouette Studio
The Silhouette Cameo 4 has the ability to pause between actions so you can change the tools being used but you have to manually add them to the actions list.
I want the machine to draw the hexagons in silver, then draw the greeting in navy and then cut the rectangle and circle. So, I need to add a pause after each Draw action so I can switch out the pens being used and add a pause between the last Draw and the first Cut, so I can replace the pen with the Autoblade.
To do this, click on the first Draw line. The section below the Actions list will show the color of the line you have currently selected which should now be the first Draw line and to the right of that, there is a button that says Add Pause. Click it to add a pause between the Draw actions.
A white Pause bar will appear between the tow draw lines in the Actions list. Do this again to add another pause between the second Draw and the first Cut action.
That’s it for adding pauses. You don’t need to pause between the Cut actions because both will use the Autoblade.
How Much Material is Needed on Your Mat with Silhouette Studio
Before you go to the machine to load the mat, a quick way to tell how much and where to arrange the paper on your mat is right on screen in Silhouette Studio. Since the mat you work on in the program is a representation of the mat that will be loaded into the machine, you can figure out by counting the squares (each square is the equivalent of 1 inch) around each design element.
My arrangement shows that I need a piece of navy cardstock for the hexagon design and card front that is 7″ x 7″ and placed in the upper left corner of the mat. The white cardstock for the birthday greeting should be 3″ x 3″ and placed 1″ down and 1″ over from the right side of the mat.
Once I figure that out, it makes cutting the correctly sized pieces of paper as well as their placement on the mat, a breeze.
Load the Mat into the Silhouette Cameo 4
Move the wheels on the bar in your Silhouette Cameo 4 all the way over to the right so they won’t go over the metallic ink while it is wet. Then line up the left side of the mat with the gray line and arrows on the left side of the Silhouette Cameo 4. Press the mat lightly against the wheels on the bar and press the load mat button (looks like an up arrow) on the right side of the machine. The machine should pull the mat in.
Install the Metallic Pen in the Pen Holder
To draw with the Silhouette Cameo 4 you will need the Pen Holder. It comes with a housing and three sized adapters – large, medium and small.
Slide a Pilot Extra Fine Silver Metallic pen into the large (gray) adapter that comes with the Silhouette Pen Holder. Holding the adapter on to it, slide the pen into the Pen Holder housing until the tip hits the inside of the cap on the housing at the bottom. Screw the gray adapter into the top of the housing just a bit. Then while holding the pen in place, remove the cap from the housing and move the pen back just a hair in the housing. The adjustment was necessary for me because the pen is so pigmented and wet that it had a tendency to leave small drag marks when the Cameo moved it around in the carriage.
Then continue to screw the gray adapter into the top of the housing until the pen is fully secured in the housing.
If you haven’t already, turn on your Silhouette Cameo 4. Open the lid and pull forward on the plastic tab holding the blade in place in the tool 1 carriage. Pull the blade straight up to remove it and set it aside. With the flat side of the housing (has a silver metal rectangle on it) facing into the machine, slide the Pen Holder straight down into the Tool 1 carriage. Push straight back on the plastic tab until it clicks in place and locks in the pen holder.
Draw, Pause, Draw, Pause and Cut with the Silhouette Cameo 4
Back in Silhouette Studio, click on Send to start the machine drawing.
The machine will draw the hexagon pattern and then pause. Remove the pen holder from the machine and replace the silver pen with a 0.4 mm Cricut pen in Geode (or any navy marker) in the Pen Holder. The Cricut pen uses the medium adapter in the pen holder and doesn’t require any adjustment of the nib, since it doesn’t drag.
Once the navy pen is installed in the Cameo, click on Resume in Silhouette Studio. The machine will draw the birthday greeting and then pause.
This time replace the pen holder with the Autoblade and click Resume in Silhouette Studio to begin cutting.
Unload the Mat and Remove the Designs
When it finishes cutting the rectangle and the circle, the Cameo will stop and then push the mat forward. Push the unload mat button (forward arrow) to unload the mat.
Remove the cardstock from the mat by flipping the mat over and peeling it away from the paper.
Modify the Card Components
Trim the navy hexagon panel down to 4″ x 5.25″. Color the candle flames, stars and candles with the markers of your choice (make sure they don’t cause the Cricut marker to run first). I sued Spectrum Noir Classique Markers in CT1, OR1 and CG2.
Add glitter drops to the stars and candle flames if desired.
Assemble the Masculine Birthday Card
Create a top folding A2-sized card base by cutting a piece of olive green cardstock to 4.25″ x 11″ and folding in half. Adhere the navy and silver hexagon panel in the center of the front of the card base with adhesive. Add foam squares to the back of the birthday circle and adhere in the center of the card front. Enjoy!
Questions or Comments?
If you have any questions, please leave me a comment below and I will get back to you soon. Want to just tell me how much you loved this tutorial? Please leave me a comment below – lol!
I would also appreciate any ideas you may have for topics to cover related to the software for Cricut (Design Space), Silhouette (Studio) or Brother (Canvas Workspace) and any suggestions you may have on projects to create with the Cricut Maker, Cricut Joy, Silhouette Cameo 4 or the Brother Scan N Cut DX. Please leave any requests you have in the comments. I appreciate you taking the time to visit and read my blog. Thanks!
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