I freely admit it — I’m a complete font junkie! Every time there’s a new text style that comes into vogue, I have to add to my already enormous collection. If you own a Silhouette machine, you already know you can cut out words for things like vinyl decals or HTV on shirts. But the good news for those of us who love fonts is that there are SO many more uses for them! Since this week (through August 31,2021) the Silhouette Design Store has fonts up to HALF OFF (yes, even on commercial licenses), I figured it would be a good time to share some other ways you can use those lovely creatures.
Note: This post contains affiliate links. That means if you click the link and purchase something, I receive a small commission. You pay the same price. This helps me to be able to keep my business going and provide more tutorials.
Use fonts on Print and Cut
With Print and Cut, you add the text to your Design area, fill it with a color or pattern, add registration marks, print on your home printer and then cut around the shape. You might have the text on a background piece like this…
…or cut out the letters or words themselves like the brown ones here…
This is a great way to use fonts that might be too delicate to cut from your material such as skinny script fonts.
Print and Cut is also the way to use color fonts. If you aren’t sure what those are, check out this post. Basically, the colors are already embedded in the font. Here, I’ve used on on this card for the words “love them.” The rest of the words are also printed on that background piece (except for “fall apart sometimes,” which we’ll look at next).
Planner stickers are easy to make with print and cut and that can save you a ton of money if you use them.
Be sure to either fill the text with a color or raise the line thickness. Otherwise, they won’t print.
Use fonts to sketch
My handwriting isn’t great, so I love to use my sketch pens or my own pen in the pen holder (my personal preference) to sketch out words. I even used them to write out the addresses on my daughter’s wedding invitations (you can read more about how I did that in this post).
I also used that on the taco card above for “fall apart sometimes.”
Be sure to get the right pens or pen holder for your machine, as they are different for the new Cameo 4 and Portrait 3 machines.
Use fonts with the foil quill
This is related to sketching, but it’s such a cool thing I wanted to give it plenty of attention. You can use the foil quill to add gorgeous shine to your cardstock, leather, wood and more.
Use fonts with the other quills
You may be less familiar with these, but there are other quills like the foil quill.
- The singe quill is basically a pen that has a heat-reactive substance in it. You use it in your pen holder, then use an embossing tool to heat the ink. The wood singes where the pen drew. You don’t need the full kit if you have a pen holder — just the pen.
- The bevel quill makes indented impressions on things like thick cardstock. It’s similar to an embossing stylus.
- The etch quill, well, etches onto a surface. It works best on things like clear plastic. Here, I’ve used it for the tag on this baby shower decoration. (sorry, no better photo)
Make hand lettering practice sheets
I shared in this post several ways to use fonts for practice sheets if you are learning to hand letter. You can type out alphabets or phrases to copy. I’m currently learning pointed pen calligraphy, and these have been a gamechanger.
For online selling
If you use your Silhouette machine to sell products, you might use fonts to make your designs. But another way to use them is to create your mockups for your online store.
Even if you aren’t selling your items, I find this a huge help when working on the right sizing and proportions for a project.
You can also use them to create watermarks on your photos to show they are copyrighted. HINT: to make the text semi-see through, change the transparency on the fill color.
Use fonts to create rhinestone designs
I’m a southern gal, so I love me some bling! With Designer Edition and up, you can turn any design into a rhinestone design. That includes text.
If this interests you, you’ll want to grab some rhinestones from Silhouette America while they’re on clearance. I don’t know if they are going to stock them in the future once those are gone. My other favorite place to get rhinestones is The Rhinestone World.
Use dingbat fonts
Some fonts aren’t made up of letters and numbers but small pictures called dingbats. You get lots of bang for your buck with these because you pay one price and get lots of designs. The cleaning icons here are from a font called Chores. The banner is part of Hilborn, which is also what I used for the words (it comes with several font variations for one price).
Caption your photos
This is similar to what I showed you above for creating a watermark. But if you’re going to print off photos, you can add text to the bottom and save it. Think the photo cards you get at Christmas. If you are printing somewhere besides directly from Silhouette Studio, you’ll need Business Edition to save the file as a jpg or png file because places like office supply stores don’t use our software.
Create web designs
Do you run a blog like I do or create websites? How about designing logos for websites? You can always use cool fonts for that. Again, you’ll need Business Edition if you are designing the logo this way because that’s the only software level that allows you to save in a format other than Silhouette Studio files.
Use fonts to make stencils
Fonts are great for creating stencils. Yes, you are cutting the words out, but you aren’t keeping them. You keep the background instead. That’s what I did for this project.
Here’s a cup my son made for me. He cut out a stencil then used a sandblaster.
Etch on a Curio
A Curio is a Silhouette machine that cuts on a rigid base instead of a floppy mat. Because of that and because of the way the mechanisms work, it can both feed thicker materials and perform actions other machines can’t. One of those actions is etching. The Curio uses a sharp metal tool to scratch the design onto metal, acrylic, slate, etc.
The Curio machine is being phased out, so if you can find one nab it now. As of this writing, there are still some left here.
In other software
When you purchase a font from the Silhouette Design Store, it installs on your computer. That means it’s available for use in other programs. Sometimes they have little quirks that make them not work correctly, but in my experience about 90% do.
So get out there and take advantage of the sale prices! (And did I mention that 3D designs are also on sale???)
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