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Designing and Sizing for Custom HTV Ribbons in Silhouette Studio

Decorative ribbons are great for the holidays, not only as gifts, but to decorate your own home decor. A few months ago Silhouette School weekly contributor Becky from My Paper Craze, shared how to decorate ribbon with HTV by making a monogram cheer bow. We've received a lot of great feedback and one repeat question: "How do I set up the design to begin with?". Today, Becky's back with the answer for you!

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We're using another cheer bow as an example, just because they are so darn cute and I happen to have a daughter that (I hope) will wear them on day. But trust me when I say this can be used for any type of ribbon and is extremely useful when you just can't seem to find the right ribbon for your project.
I keep a stash of 4" grosgrain ribbon at home, so that is what we are using again today. 

The first step is to determine how much large your HTV design must be. For a whole ribbon, you'll simply measure out the length that you need.  But, if you're like me and you're conservative on your HTV, you may only want to apply the HTV design to the parts of the ribbon that will show (the front). 

So here is my ribbon, laid out in a mock design to determine the length of HTV.
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Now I'll jump on over to Silhouette Studio and start working on my design. Start by drawing a rectangle using the tool on the left toolbar.

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Next, using the SCALE tool, size the rectangle to my exact dimensions of the ribbon or the area of the ribbon to be covered. 

For this case, I've selected 11.62" W x 4.00" H.  ( TIP: The max width you can cut when cutting without a mat and still have it all within the cut border is 11.62"...but I always cut with a mat when I can.)

I duplicated my rectangle because I have two "tails" of the cheer bow to decorate. If you need to decorate ribbon that is longer than 11.620, you can simply cut multiple sections of HTV and then line them up before pressing on the ribbon or rotate your design in the work area. 

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Now here's the fun part. There's no real "trick" to setting up the design that I can share with you. I know that patterns work really well: (these are different than the digital patterns found in My Patterns and Fill Patterns) Chevron, quatrefoil, stars.  In this case I'm using snowflakes. I pulled this design from my library (it's actually a card design I downloaded from the Silhouette Online Store) and overlapped the two rectangles. I wanted rather large snowflakes because I knew I'd be using giltter HTV, which is not the easiest to weed on intricate designs.

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Once you have your pattern in place (or created a pattern of your own), select all your shapes and open your MODIFY menu.  Once you have MODIFY open, you'll select CROP because this will crop out all the parts of the design that do not overlap. Using MODIFY takes a little getting used to, so you might have to experiment with SUBTRACT or INTERSECT to see what works best for you.

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Using your normal routine for whatever material you have chosen (smooth or flocked or glitter HTV), go ahead and set your cut settings, load your media and send to Silhouette. Weed like normal, too.

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Again, this part will differ based on the project you are working on, but go ahead and line up your design to your ribbon. Make sure your design does not hang over the edge, you don't want to adhere your HTV to your heat press or working surface. When in doubt, you can trim by hand or reduce the width of your design slightly. 

Here is my finished product! From card design to custom ribbon in a few short steps!

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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!
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  1. Ummm...I'm new to this Silhouette crafty stuff, so please forgive me for asking, but what does "HTV" stand for...?

  2. hey i know its a hectic time for u. the heading has a spelling error "Designing" if its a slang or a phrase in the silhouette world i apologize. I am new to this.

  3. I will make sure to bookmark it and come back to learn extra of your helpful info. Thank you for the post. I will definitely comeback.
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