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Silhouette Offset Tutorial for Beginners

Offset, Silhouette, tutorial, beginners
Today we're answering a reader question about making duplicate images in different sizes so they can be used together.  The question comes from Michelle who asks:

"I am wondering if you can help me make a duplicate cutout 1/4" bigger than another. I have downloaded the baby boy onesie template... I want to use the (onesie) to be a different color that is 1/4" bigger, but when I try to do it my proportions don't come out right. Any suggestions??"

I also own the same baby boy motif, that Michelle is working with, so I will use it for this tutorial.

What Michelle wants to do seems like it should work by just duplicating the design and pulling the corner so it's larger, but the design doesn't adjust proportionally as you can see in the image below.

Offset, Silhouette, tutorial, beginners, duplicate

If you're thinking 'oh it's just her design, it's actually not...this is a problem with many designs.

Offset, Silhouette, tutorial, beginners, duplicate

To make a second design that's exactly 1/4" larger than the original, instead of duplicating and dragging the design larger, you actually want to use the offset tool. 

Bring your design into Silhouette Studio.
  • Highlight it and click on the 'Open the Offset Window' button.  (Circled below)
  • Select 'Offset'. 
  • In the 'Offset Distance" slide, type or drag the slider over to .25 for a 1/4" offset. 
  • Click on 'Corner' so the offset is squared off instead of rounded corners.

Offset, Silhouette, tutorial, beginners, offset tool

You will see a second red line appear around your duplicate design.  It's perfectly .25" away from the design around the entire perimeter.   
Offset, Silhouette, tutorial, beginners

Now you can pull the two designs apart so that they can be both be cut. 

Offset, Silhouette, tutorial, beginners

Before I cut, I added a duck design from a dingbat font to the smaller onesie so the larger one would show through.  Click here for more on using dingbat fonts as free designs in Silhouette Studio.  

Offset, Silhouette, tutorial, beginners 
And now it's time to cut!  Since Michelle wants to cut on two colors or patterns of paper she can do that with just one single cut.   Have you read our no-fail technique for making the perfect single cut on multiple pieces of paper? Check out that tutorial here.  
The onesie came out so cute and would make a perfect gift tag or even a 'clothesline' garland for a baby shower if you strung a bunch of them together. 

Offset, Silhouette, tutorial, beginners, onesie

Offset, Silhouette, tutorial, beginners, onesie

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 comment

  1. I saw a design made with fabric and outlined the edges with glitter HTV. Is this the technique you would use to do that?


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