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Tips for Designing in Silhouette Studio Using Basic Shapes

One of my most common questions from Silhouette users is how to design their own files in Silhouette Studio.

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There are tons of reasons to create your own instead of purchase, including the ability to sell your original files in SVG format.  With Halloween right around the corner, Silhouette School weekly contributor Becky Dykes is here with a tutorial on how to create your own witch hat using a few basic shapes in Silhouette Studio. 

I wanted to put together a new shirt for my toddler and this phrase catches her personality perfectly. We'll walk through designing it with no special tools other than what is available in Silhouette Studio.  These basic shapes are the ones we will start with: a triangle, two squares (one is actually an offset of the other) and a letter C (rotated 90 degrees).


First, create a duplicate of your letter C to use as the witch hat brim. You can choose whatever font works for you, so feel free to scroll through your library.  Your fonts actually have a lot of basic shapes to offer if you take the chance to check them out.  So overlap your letter C at the bottom of your triangle.


When your shapes are aligned, select both the triangle and the letter C, right-click to access the shortcut menu, then choose Weld to combine the two shapes.

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With the shapes welded together, select the combined image again, right-click for the shortcut menu and click Release Compound Path. This will allow you to remove the inside semi-circle. Just click on the semi-circle and delete.


Next, size and rotate the second copy of your letter C to form the band around the hat.  It's okay that the sides extend outside of the witch hat, we will address that next.


With your hat band in place, use your knife tool to cut the letter C to fit the hat. I left a slight overhang to show that it wraps around, but that part is up to you.


Now you can click and delete the parts of the letter C that you don't need.  Move the two squares into place and your hat will be complete!  If you're having trouble 'seeing' how your hat will look when it's cut on vinyl, heat transfer vinyl or print and cut, use the Fill Color tool to fill in the pieces. It's also helpful to turn the Line Color to transparent.
To add a little personal flair to your hat, double click on the shape to access the Point Editing tools. You can literally manipulate the lines in whatever direction you want until your desired shape is achieved.  

You can see that I added a bend to the top of my hat and sharpened the points on hat brim.
A tip for Point Editing is that you can hold the shift key and draw a drag box to select more than one point at a time.  This is really useful for moving or deleting multiple points.
Once you are satisfied with the final shape, just add color (and in this case, text) to complete your design!
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Want to download the text file to put your own hat together? Here you go...remember it's for personal use only!

Witch Better Have My Candy Working File (studio V3)

Want the FREE cut file for the completed look? Head over to My Paper Craze and grab a copy!

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!

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  1. Thanks! I am starting to do more of my own designs and this helps!

  2. Thank you so much! These are the most helpful. I'm starting to create my own designs and it's so helpful to see how you do it.

  3. I have made a design of my own and don't know how to save it in my design folder

    1. Open the file folder and select "save as" choose "save to library" the window will open then you can name and save.

  4. Thank you so much! I'm new to reading your blog and this is the first time I've ever tried to make my own design and decided to follow your steps just to check out ALL of the functionality that I didn't know about before. I've run into a snafu in filling the item in. I am having trouble layering the buckle, band and hat and the hat-colored area between the band and the buckle is remaining white. Do you have any advice on that or tutorial that could help me? I had luck searching and finding how to offset, create a triangle from a polygon, use the knife tool and edit points (your blogs are amazing!) but I must not be searching with the right key words this time. Thank you!


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