Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Words in Frames tut

One of the things I often get asked is how to weld words into frames. It's actually quite easy but there are a few things you need to realise otherwise it's going to get you in a pickle.

These 2 shapes from the scal library might look the same and they will both cut a square frame but they're made from 2 different shapes. The first is made from a frame, the 2nd is 2 squares, 1 inside the other.

Now scal's good but it doesnt know that we're cutting 2 frames, it just thinks it has to cut 1 frame and 2 squares. The fact that the 2 squares create a frame and that there's a square left in the middle of the frame is purely incidental and of no interest to scal.

This is the screen shot taken when we preview the cut, still no difference between the 2.

Using just arial font I've typed in dad in seperate letters so that I can move them all individually. You might want to click on the pic to see how I've overlapped them slightly as well as overlapped the frame.

When we do a cut preview you'll see that scal is going to cut each of the shapes individually and it really doesnt mind that it's going to cut a piece out where they overlap. All it's doing is cutting what it's told to, 6 letters, 1 frame & 2 squares.

Once you're happy with the way you've arranged the letters you need to draw a box around them with the cursor and click weld. I've added a black arrow to show where it is on the properties box.

This is going to be the first time you'll notice a difference in the cutter preview. As you can see with the letters in frame on the left it's going to cut out exactly what we want, welded letters in a frame. The frame we made by drawing 2 boxes will only cut the outer large square. Basically scal thinks that you've glued everything together and wont cut in to the outer square because you've told it not to by using the weld button.

One word of warning, if you use the breakapart function on the frame scal will then treat it as 2 seperate shapes and it will be no different to using 2 squares to create a frame.

This is a tag I made for Tim Holtz 12 tags of christmas.

Instead of using one of scals basic shapes I drew a bauble in psp and erased an oval where the letters are before tracing it in scal and welding the letters to it.

It might not look like the square frame but scal treats it in the same way, a shape with a waste area in the middle.

If you want to have a play with my bauble feel free to. Just save the jpg and file/trace image with scal. Usual copyright applies to it, you're free to make & sell a completed project with it but not cut and sell as diecut or offer/share as a download.

Have fun with it and I'd love to see any finished pics.


  1. hi sue,just to say i made my first bauble with welded letters thanks to you and have added to my blog,off to try your tutorial now,xx