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Silhouette Studio Compound Paths Tutorial: Welding Words to a Frame

Compound path, Silhouette Studio, welding, words, frame
Who's ready to learn about compound path's today?  They are perhaps the most confusing part of Silhouette Studio - at least for me anyway.  I'm going to try to make this as simple as possible so that we can all get through this together.  Once you 'get' compound path you'll really be rocking Studio.  We're gonna start basic and learn about how to weld words in a frame.   Our end project will end up looking like this...the key is compound paths so put on your big girl pants and get ready to conquer your fears of compound paths.

Alight the first thing we want to do is draw a box using the 'Draw a Rectangle Tool'.  This would also work with the circle or any other of the drawing tools...but let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Compound path, Silhouette Studio, welding, words, frame, draw a rectangle tool

Once you have your box, we want to make an offset of it so it actually looks like a frame and not just a box.   Highlight your shape and then click the 'Offset Selected Shape' button on the bottom tool bar. It looks like a little target.  I wanted squared off edges so I checked that box. You can also change the desired offset distance on the right side as well. 

Compound path, Silhouette Studio, welding, words, frame, offset tool

This next step is the MOST important when welding words to a frame.  Right now what you have is a box with a solid middle.  Think of it as a picture frame. The two squares make up the actual frame and the middle area is the frame's backing.  We want to get rid of the frame backing so that the inside of that frame is empty.   To do that we need to make the frame a compound path.   Highlight both the boxes at the same time > right click > make compound path. 
 Compound path, Silhouette Studio, welding, words, frame

Ta da! You did it. That wasn't so scary was it? You've essentially knocked out the middle of the picture frame so you can see right through it.  It is now negative space.  In just a minute I will show you how this project would turn out if you hadn't created the compound path.

Now you can add your text.  Type somewhere on the screen where the word is not going to touch the frame just yet.  I wanted my letters joined together to make one solid word, so I overlapped them and welded them together.  (More on welding here.)  If you don't weld your letters, I would recommend grouping them so they all move as a unit.  (I used the font HaloHandletter to type out 'hello')

Compound path, Silhouette Studio, welding, words, frame

Okay...it's time to weld the letters to the frame.  Position the letters so at least a small area is overlapping the frame as in the photo above.  Now highlight the entire design and weld it all together.  How cool is that?
 Compound path, Silhouette Studio, welding, words, frame

Here's another example of welding to a frame using a circle and a monogram.

Compound path, Silhouette Studio, welding, words, frame, monogram

Alright let's look at what this would have looked like had we not made the frame a compound path first.  If we had just made the box, made of the offset, added the text and welded it to the box the words and the box would have disappeared as shown in the bottom example.  The reason is because the box is still solid - the picture frame backing is still inserted.  When you weld without making the frame a compound path, the text is essentially being welded to the back of the frame therefore it's no longer visible because it becomes part of the backing.

Compound path, Silhouette Studio, welding, words, frame
I used my hello frame to make a greeting card.  After the welded frame printed, I cut a separate backing out of white cardstock. 

Compound path, Silhouette Studio, welding, words, frame

I love how it turned out.  A little cute and a little whimsy.  

I'll be sharing the cut file for the hello card exclusively in this week's 'Class Notes' newsletter so be sure you have subscribed!  You can do so in the bar at the top of the screen.

Compound path, Silhouette Studio, welding, words, frame

Thanks for coming to class today at Silhouette School.  If you like what you see, I'd love for you to pin it!


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