Copyright Silhouette School 2016. Powered by Blogger.

Cutting & Weeding Distressed Fonts with Silhouette

Did you ever download a distressed font but worry about how difficult it's going to be to weed?  Fear not!
Silhouette Cameo, cutting, weeding, distressed fonts 
Three of my favorite distressed fonts - Brawls Rough, Furach, and Bronks Script - came with a recent deal from The Hungry JPEG. (That deal's now expired but a new one is up!) My favorite among the favorite is the Brawls Typeface Rough so I'm going to show you how to cut and weed distressed fonts using Brawls as an example.

Silhouette Cameo, cutting, weeding, distressed fonts

I know the vintage or distressed look is one that many Silhouette users strive to get, but it can be a challenge. Some distress the actual heat transfer vinyl with various tools like say a cheese grater (ouch)...but I choose to use designs and fonts that are actually designed as distressed such as this awesome Brawls font. So here goes...

What you want to do is type out your text.  You'll notice some of the same characters in Brawls are actually different -like the two E's - that's the difference between upper and lower case so keep that in mind.   After typing out the text I selected it and welded.  I filled it in so you can see what it looks like as distressed.

Silhouette Cameo, cutting, weeding, distressed fonts, Silhouette Studio

Now you want to size your design.  Keep in mind, the key to using this font - and other distressed fonts and designs - is that you don't want the design to be too small for three reasons:
  1. It will take FOREVER to cut (like my two designs took more than half an hour!) 
  2. The distressed area won't be obvious enough once pressed on the shirt (as in the example below)
  3. It will be impossible to weed out the distressed areas because they will be more like specs than distressed. 
My design is about 10" across, but even at that size the distressed areas are still really really tiny as you can see above.  To help give even more of a distressed look I actually use the offset tool. You'll be amazed at how a tiny offset of just .015 around the distressed areas only can really change the look!
 Silhouette Cameo, cutting, weeding, distressed fonts, Silhouette Studio

To get the bottom effect above: Select the text  > Right click > Ungroup.  Then right click again > release compound path.

Silhouette Cameo, cutting, weeding, distressed fonts, Silhouette Studio, ungroup, release compound path

Note: Your Silhouette Software is running slow right now because of all of those little cut lines. Each distressed area is a separate line and that's a lot of the computer to handle.

Go back and select ONLY the outline of each letter. Hold down shift while you select each letter in the design because you want the entire outline to stay intact. Move it below and immediately right click > group.

You should have something that looks like this.

Silhouette Cameo, cutting, weeding, distressed fonts, Silhouette Studio

Now select all of the distressed areas by doing a big swipe around them with the mouse > right click > group.

Open up the Offset window (in blue below along the top tool bar) and Offset > .015 > Apply.

Silhouette Cameo, cutting, weeding, distressed fonts, Silhouette Studio, offset tool

Immediately grab that selected area and move it away from the original distressed pieces (which you can now delete).  I'm showing them to you here all together so you can see the difference - the blue is the original outline and distressed area while the red is the offset distressed.

Silhouette Cameo, cutting, weeding, distressed fonts, Silhouette Studio

Now you can put the offset distressing and the outline back together.

Silhouette Cameo, cutting, weeding, distressed fonts, Silhouette Studio

Once you do that be sure to select them both at the same time > right click > make compound path.

Silhouette Cameo, cutting, weeding, distressed fonts, Silhouette Studio, release compound path
Ta da!

To prepare to cut, mirror the design like you normally would any other HTV design and go ahead and cut.  Prepare to can take forever to cut all those little distressed areas.

But once it's done get ready for the fun part - weeding all that distressed area!   Sounds like it would be a huge pain-in-the-you-know-where, but I've come up with a little craft hack to make your life so.much.easier. Ready to have your mind blown?

Weed away the large piece around the design.  If you're lucky the machine kind of weeded some of it for you while it was cutting. That can happen with these little pieces so check your blade.

Now you're going to go dumpster diving in your craft room trash can.  You're looking for the sticky HTV sheet that you peeled off a previous project after you pressed the HTV on.

Lay the sticky side down onto the BACK side of the distressed design and use your finger to press it.

Silhouette Cameo, cutting, weeding, distressed fonts

You're going to use it like transfer tape, but you only want to pick up the distressed areas! You can keep doing this blotting the sticky sheet all over until you have removed all of the little distressed cuts.  Here's a quick :17 second video to show you how it should work...

This video has no audio

Now before you go slapping this thing on your shirt - there's one more step.  You don't want little specs on your shirt where they don't belong so use some scissors to cut really close to your design, then use some tweezers or your finger nail to pick off any remaining specs.

Silhouette Cameo, cutting, weeding, distressed fonts

And now you're finally ready to flip them that into a shirt and press it on!

Silhouette Cameo, cutting, weeding, distressed fonts

 Note: This post may contain affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing products through my links, I receive a small commission. That's what helps fund Silhouette School so I can keep buying new Silhouette-related products to show you how to get the most out of your machine!

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

 photo 2b820f06-c93b-4b24-929c-96287390140f_zpsf3cd3a23.jpguse twiter photo Twitter_48x48_zps4e06061c.pnguse twiter photo Twitter_48x48_zps4e06061c.pngUse Feed photo Feed_48x48_zps63f27a4f.pngUse Feed photo Feed_48x48_zps63f27a4f.pngUse Feed photo Feed_48x48_zps63f27a4f.png

Get Silhouette School lessons delivered to your email inbox! Select Once Daily or Weekly.


  1. I love the bundle. How do I use the otf fonts with silhouette?

  2. I absolutely love this bundle. I really would like to make this my first font purchase but, I have the same question about using it in my Sil Studio DE, since I do not have PhotoShop, Illustrator, InDesign and CorelDraw. If I were to invest in one, does anyone have a recommendation?

  3. You're simply amazing! What a great tutorial!

  4. I totally have a project in mind for this. You are a genius!

  5. This is great info! I have wanted to do the distressed look but couldn't bring myself to weed all the little specks from the fonts. Thanks so much.

  6. Any idea if this would work for Oracle 651 instead of HTV? My mom wants a wood sign but wants the distressed lettering.


Thanks for leaving a comment! We get several hundred comments a day. While we appreciate every single one of them it's nearly impossible to respond back to all of them, all the time. So... if you could help me by treating these comments like a forum where readers help readers.

In addition, don't forget to look for specific answers by using the Search Box on the blog. If you're still not having any luck, feel free to email me with your question.