It’s time to show you the table centerpieces for my daughter’s wedding. Her rustic theme fit great with our taste & budget. I read a wise article that said the best decorations are already in your home because those are the things you love. Deciding that all the tables don’t have to match makes that easier & gives the room more personality. First up is wine bottles with chalkboard paint. Just a painted bottle isn’t quite custom enough for our liking, so I wanted to add a personalized touch. We wrapped some jute around the top of the bottle & hung a faux inlaid wood tag from the bow. It’s the wood tag we are going to work on today.
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Skill Level — Intermediate to Advanced
- Adhesive backed wood paper (2 colors) — I had some of the wood paper on hand, but Silhouette America sells it as well here. Or if you need a larger size, this is the brand I used.
- Chipboard tag — I had one in my stash already, but you can certainly cut one with your machine. If you are using Silhouette brand chipboard you may want to test stacking and gluing several pieces together. It’s a bit thin and we want the tag to have good body. You could instead use a wood tag so it looks like solid wood. Or you could put the wood paper on both front and back of your piece of chipboard.
- PixScan mat (optional) – I’m actually doing this project as a way to show you a way to use your PixScan mat that you may not have thought of, but you don’t have to have one for this design. You’ll see instructions for making your own tag without this special mat. If you do use one, make sure you get the correct one for your machine.
Step 1: Taking your PixScan photo
To start, I place my chipboard piece on my PixScan mat, then take my photo. This helps me make the size and hole placement for my wood paper pieces match exactly. I’m not even going to use the PixScan mat for cutting on, so it’s fine if you don’t have one. You can create your own chipboard piece, using the instructions below for drawing a rounded rectangle & a circle, or just measure a wood or chipboard shape you may have on hand. For more information on using a PixScan mat, click here.
Now click on the PixScan icon in the upper left, which will open the PixScan window on the right. Since I am using a photo I took with my smart phone & saved onto my computer, I select Import from File>Import PixScan Image from File.
Step 2: Creating the tag shape
I want the wood pieces to fit exactly on my tag. You could trace, but if you use the drawing tools you get crisper shapes. First, I draw a rounded rectangle. (If after you draw a shape your software just keeps on drawing them, click here to find out how to change that). Don’t worry if it isn’t perfect – we’re going to tweak it in the next step.
I zoom in so I can see the tag more closely. This helps me make sure my rounded rectangle is as close to the tag shape as possible. I want to resize my rounded rectangle, but the the normal white boxes at the sides & top or bottom aren’t there.
Because you can alter the amount of curve on the corners, you will be in that mode first. The 2 red dots on the upper left of the shape allow you to do this. We want to resize first. Double click quickly on the rounded rectangle and you’ll see the resizing boxes we’re used to.
Adjust the top, bottom and sides as needed. Now we can adjust the curves. If I click on a single red circle, it will adjust only 1 of the sides of each curve. Hold down the shift key and the red dots will move together so you adjust both sides equally. Keep tweaking as necessary until you have the right size & curvature.
Now I’m going to draw my circle for the hole. If you hold your shift key as you, you will get an exact circle instead of an oval. Just make sure you release your mouse key before releasing the shift key. To the circle & keep those proportions, be sure to use a corner box & not the top/bottom/side boxes.
Step 3: Moving the shape to a clean page
I’m not going to cut on the PixScan mat, so I’m going to move my rounded rectangle & circle to a new page. I can do File>New to open a new tab, or click the New Drawing icon.
Now I have 2 tabs across the bottom left of my screen – 1 for the PixScan image with the name of the photo, and 1 for my new page with the file name “Untitled” until I give it a name.
I’m not going to close the PixScan tab yet, in case I need to make some adjustments later. I select the rounded rectangle and circle (see here for selecting multiple images at a time), then copy and paste them to the new page.
Once I have the shapes on the new page, I select both, right click and group them. I normally recommend making compound paths, but if you do that here you will lose the ability to adjust your curves.
If you are using expensive material, or just want to be careful, I suggest cutting your shape out of some scrap cardstock first. Taking that little bit of extra time can save you LOTS of headaches. Because I’m basing my design on a photo (the chipboard piece on the PixScan mat), I am probably going to need some tweaking so this step is helpful.
Once you’ve got your shapes set, you can make them a compound path. This will allow you to see the hole as empty when you fill with color, which is what I suggest doing next. What I’ve done is to fill my shape with a tan color to represent the lighter colored wood paper.
Step 4: Adding the heart & initials
Here’s the fun part. I’m going to create what will look like inlaid wood. For my design, I add a heart (awwwww) and a text box with the bride and groom’s initials. For the heart, I use the medium-sized heart from Heart Set by Hazel & Ruby. The font I chose is Bernard MT Condensed (it came preloaded on my Windows computer). Since I am cutting small and want it to be easily seen, this one has bold lines. While designing, I fill the heart with dark brown and the letters with the tan.
Once I have the alignment the way I like it, I make a copy of the text box (for editing or identifying the font later as needed), then select them both and make them a compound path.
Now I use my Align tools to make sure my heart piece is centered on my tag. Once that’s done, I group my objects all together. I like to see a better preview and don’t like the red lines, so I usually set my line color to clear (none).
Step 5: Cutting
After doing my test cuts (ALWAYS!!!), I cut the design out of both the light and the darker wood papers. This will yield 2 tags with opposite colors. The setting for Adhesive Cardstock worked for me. If you are using the most up to date version of Silhouette Studio, there will be an option in the materials list of the Cut Settings window for Wood Paper.
You will also need to cut your chipboard piece(s) if you aren’t using a pre-made tag.
Step 6: Assembling your wood tag
To assemble the tag, it’s work from the outside inward. Remember that when you are “weeding” these designs, you will be using even the insides of letters. You can always go back & cut just any pieces you lose along the way. If you are having trouble working with really small parts, you can layer the wood pieces instead of inlaying them. In that case, you would cut each element separately instead of grouping or making compound paths before cutting. (Except that you do want the hole to be cut). You could also choose a stencil font so you aren’t working with as many inner parts, or make your overall design larger.
Use a pen or other cylindrical object to gently roll over the tag. You want all the pieces laying as flat as possible. Your inlaid wood tag is now complete! (I finally decided it’s not faux if the material is actually wood).
Step 7: Completing the look
Here’s my wood tag tied to the bottle.
We wrote a message on each bottle, but also provided the guests with chalk so they could write messages to the couple. Canning jars work great as well. Or you can use bottles with the wine still in them. You can remove the label before painting. (Remember the old trick of removing all the labels from canned goods in the pantry?) Guests can write date night ideas for the couple, conversation starters for a dinner where they’ll enjoy the wine, etc. I’ve even seen the “open this on your first anniversary” or “open this to help you make up after your first fight” idea. Makes a great gift! I removed the tags after the wedding to reuse the bottles for other occasions or general decorating. My daughter got to keep the tags 🙂
Here’s another pic with some earrings.
You could also do this with the design I used for my deer shadowboxes.
What else can you think up?
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