Creating a Shaped Greeting Card

Thanks to Margaret for today’s idea. She posted to the Klic-N-Kut Yahoo group with a welding issue. She wanted to weld a partial outline of flowers to a flower pot for the purpose of creating a shaped greeting card. The problem is that you cannot weld unclosed objects. In Margaret’s project, by turning on Fill, you can see that the top part is not closed and bottom part is closed:

In general, when you need to do a basic weld on two objects and either or both are not closed, it’s easy to get them closed. If the path you need to close is continuous, then just select the image and go to Arrange>Close Graphics. Or, if the path is not continuous, then you can try Arrange>Connect Path and enter a fairly large value (try 1) and all gaps will close… hopefully… although, you may find that the wrong ends get joined together diagonally across your image!

In today’s video,

Flower Pot Design

I show another way to connect the two ends of a gap. Just select the end nodes and use the middle top icon to connect the ends with a straight line. Then you can proceed with the rest of the weld.

For those interested in designing shaped greeting cards, watch the entire video to see how easy it is to use the Flip and Weld technique to create perfect symmetry and even a dashed fold line, if desired.

Flip and Weld

Thanks to Terina who sent in her family business logo above for a slight editing change. The bottom of the “O” was open and she wanted to know the easiest way to close that part of the letter to match the top:

Now, I could have told Terina to just bring up the nodes, split a few of them, drag them over to the other side, weld the nodes to those on the other side, and then smooth out the curves. But whenever I see symmetry, I always think of a technique I call the “Flip and Weld” which can be used to easily reproduce the opposite side of any symmetrical object, such as this “O”.

It basically involves using the Ginsu Knife tool to break the image into two parts and discarding one of the parts. In this case it would be the lower half of the “O”. Then using the Flip function, a mirror image is created and overlapped on top of the original. The feature I love about the Flip function, versus the Mirror function, is that you have the option of retaining the original. Then by aligning the new side to just barely overlap the original, the two can then be welded and you obtain, a perfect symmetrical image:

And yes, I have a video for this process! Click on this link:

Flip and Weld

Keep this method in mind for both your manual and auto-traced images in which the original image is symmetrical. You will almost always notice slight differences from one side to the other and this can distort the overall appearance of the image. If an image is symmetrical both horizontally and vertically, then you can use the Ginsu Knife twice and end up with a quarter of the image to reproduce and Flip and Weld…. first one direction (say, horizontally), and then Flip and Weld it the other (thus, vertically) and obtain the perfect symmetrical image you wanted.

If you are designing a symmetrical image from scratch, using either basic shapes, hand drawing, or modifying an existing image, remember this method, as well.

Finally, this method can also be used in Rhinestone designing, when an outline (or even a fill) doesn’t end up with a symmetrical placement of the circles. In this case, only the Flip step is used. Here’s a video showing this:

Symmetrical Outlining with Circles

If you come up with a great application for the Flip and Weld, be sure to send it to me!