In today’s Successful Beginner Project, we’ll learn to add text, draw a simple shape, create an offset and a compound path, use more scale and align features, and cut by fill color. This tag is great for any time, but especially Christmas. By putting an initial on the tag, you can personalize it and see quickly to whom the gift belongs. There’s lots to do, so let’s get started.
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. I will always be honest about my opinion of any product.
Cardstock – I like to use 1 patterned and 1 plain (or very subtle pattern) in coordinating colors
Adhesive of choice
Embellishments (optional) — I only used twine to tie the tag to my package
Step 1 – Set up the file
Start a brand new page. Set your page setting to the size of paper you will be using. For me, it’s 6″ x 6″.
Step 2 – Add a shape to the page
Once again we’re going to use the Mat free shape that came with your machine. If you don’t have that shape, find one that’s a simple, solid piece. Add the shape to your drawing area.
As a reminder, I recommend ALWAYS working with filled shapes. The things we’re going to learn in this lesson will show you why it’s so important. For today’s lesson, use solid colors and not patterns. I’ll tell you why later.
Step 3 – Make the shape a specific size
In our previous lessons, we learned how to use the corner squares of the bounding box to resize the image proportionally. We used this to get it to a size close to what we wanted. Now let’s learn 2 different ways to get the shape to an exact size.
Method #1 – The Quick Access Toolbar
Make sure your mat shape is selected. Then look up in the Quick Access Toolbar for the Scale icon — a diagonal line with and arrow on each end. This shows you the current size of the shape. As long as you did nothing after you added the shape to the page, the size shows as width 7.968” and height 9.575”.
Also check the picture of the lock at the end of this section of the QAT.
If it looks like the lock is closed, as in the pic above, then the Lock Aspect Ratio is on. What that means is if you change either the height or width, the other will change proportionally. This is usually what we want.
If the lock is open, Lock Aspect Ratio is off. In this case, changing either dimension will not affect the other. In other words, if I set the width to 4”, the height would remain 9.575”. That means the shape gets distorted.
Click on the lock to toggle the Lock Aspect Ratio on and off. Practice resizing your shape both ways, then end with it on. Hit the undo button if needed to get back to the right proportions (or just start over).
Common Rookie Mistake: Not understanding Lock Aspect Ratio.
I want my mat shape to be 3.75” tall. I click my mouse at the end of height dimension, backspace out the numbers, type in 3.75, and hit Enter. That changes the height and simultaneously sets the width at 3.121”. You don’t have to make yours the same – pick a size that works for your intended use. Just don’t get too small (less than 2.5″).
If your shape gets distorted, you didn’t have the aspect ratio locked. Hit undo, close the lock and try again.
Method #2 – The Scale tab of the Transform Panel
The Quick Access Toolbar is the easiest way to set an exact dimension, but I want to introduce you to one more option. That’s the Scale tab of the Transform panel.
Look at the icons that go down the right side and click on the one that looks like a bar graph. That opens the Transform panel. If you’ve been working through the beginner projects in order, you’ve already used this for aligning objects. This panel has tabs to align, scale, rotate, move and (with Designer Edition and above) shear objects. Click on that second tab to open the Scale feature. This gives you more options than the Quick Access Toolbar.
In the top area you can set a specific percentage. Want to make the shape double the size it is currently? Click on 200%. That would change the height from 3.750” to 7.50”. Half the size? Click 50%. You can even backspace out the number and set your own percentage.
In the bottom area, you can set the size as you can in the QAT. Notice the Lock Aspect Ratio button at the right.
Why would you want to use this instead of the QAT?
- If you already have the panel open for aligning or rotating, it’s convenient.
- This is the only spot to increase or decrease by percentages other than the default ones.
- The Quick Access Toolbar has different options when you have a text box chosen. Specifically, it does not have the option to set the dimensions (but make sure to read this whole post to understand text sizing).
Step 4 – Create an offset for the mat
We’re next going to learn about offsets.
What is an offset?
An offset is a larger version of the selected shape that has the same amount of distance all the way around between the original shape and the larger shape.
For symmetrical shapes, like a square or circle, you could just make a copy of the shape and enlarge it proportionally. That keeps that same amount of distance between the shapes.
But most shapes and letters aren’t like that, or our designs would be pretty boring. When you just make a larger copy of this type of shape and line it up with the original, you’ll notice that the distance between the original and the larger varies. That’s because the shape wasn’t symmetrical to begin with. Our mat is an example. Notice how when I just make a larger copy (the blue), the distance between the 2 shapes on the sides is less than the distance at the top and bottom.
For letters or shapes with internal pieces, the difference is even more pronounced. The blue is my original letter, the orange is the larger copy I made. I also did a trick of raising the transparency on the fill color of the original shape so you could see the back one better.
As a beginner, I didn’t understand this and got very frustrated when trying to make layered letters or numbers. I ended up moving points 1 by 1 with point editing to even out the distances. True story. Believe me, it takes a LONG time and curves make it even harder. Had I taken the time to learn about offsets, I would have saved HOURS of work.
Common Rookie Mistake: Wasting time by not learning all the features of the software.
But on the plus side, this was for a large project that I was working on for my teenage son, so I taught him the software and had him help me. We spent many precious hours together working on it. He now uses my original machine for a business he started with some friends. So it’s all good. When I showed him the offset feature, after I learned it he just rolled his eyes at me. He he he.
How to create an offset
Let me help you learn from my mistakes. The Silhouette Studio software has a feature to do offsets automatically. Look for the icon at the right that looks like a star with a star outline – like the Dallas Cowboys logo (yep – had to get that plug in for my fav team). Click that to open the Offset panel.
You can create an offset, which makes a copy outside the selected shape, or an internal offset, which makes a smaller one inside it.
Let’s start with a regular external offset. Click the word Offset at the upper left of the panel. Notice that the lower part of the panel that was previously grayed out is now active. You can play with the options there before you create the offset.
This is where you can set the amount of spacing between the original and the offset shape. The default on an offset is .125, or 1/8”. Try moving the slider bar around a bit and see how the size changes. I’m going to leave mine at that default in the end. Since there’s .125″ on each side, the overall size of the offset piece is .250″ larger than the original.
When you create the offset, you can choose to have sharp or rounded corners. It’s completely up to you. Just make sure you make a choice here of what you want. If you don’t, it will default to the rounded corner. Here’s a close-up of the difference (the red line is the offset shape).
If you make your offset really large, sometimes the sharp corners will flatten out. It’s just the nature of the software.
In cases like this, it’s better to do an internal offset instead. That usually keeps those corners sharp.
Any flaws in the original shape will show and be magnified in the offset. And the larger the distance of the offset, the more you’ll see it. Look at this Mat shape when I have corner selected and have a large distance setting. See how the offset looks odd?
That’s due to an imperfect original design. I’m going to use the rounded corner option to keep that distortion to a minimum. If you’re using the same shape, I recommend doing that as well. Or, do the internal offset as you’ll get a much cleaner image with that.
If you decide you don’t want the offset, click cancel. Or, once you’ve got it set the way you want, click Apply. Or simply click on another icon to automatically apply the offset.
If you know you want a rounded corner, external offset of .125”, there’s a shortcut in the QAT. Just click the offset icon up there to create an offset of a selected shape.
Fill the offset
Even if your original shape is filled with color, your offset won’t be. Since that offset will still be selected right after you create it, use the Quick Access Toolbar to fill it with a color right away. Choose one that is different than the color of your original mat shape.
Step 5 – Draw a circle for the hole
We’re making a tag from these shapes, so we want a hole at the top. We want it to be cut through both shapes at the same spot. Let’s create it here, then I’ll show you in a bit how to make sure it’s aligned and cut from both pieces.
Check your preferences
The first thing you want to make sure of is that you have your Preferences set correctly for drawing shapes. This is something that will drive you batty if you don’t understand it.
At the default setting (so if you just start using the software and don’t change it), after you draw a shape the shape tool remains selected. What that means is that it will just keep drawing shapes endlessly until you click on another icon. It’s really annoying and no one likes it. So, you can change that in your preferences. I’ve already discussed how to do that in our Software Basics series, so check this lesson if you notice that the software keeps drawing shapes after you’ve drawn 1.
The draw an ellipse (oval) tool
Look at the set of icons that goes down the left side of the software. The 4th one is for drawing simple, regular shapes such as rectangles, rounded rectangles, ovals and regular polygons.
The icon will look different depending on what playing you’ve done so far in the software. If you haven’t drawn anything, it’s a rectangle. If you have played with this tool, the shape that you drew last is what shows (unless you’ve closed and restarted the software). Hover over whatever shape it is and a menu of shapes pops out.
The one that’s highlighted is the one that will shows in that icon bar and is the type of shape that will be created as you draw. As you move your mouse along the menu of shapes, words also pop in telling you what shape you are hovering over.
Click on the oval because that’s what we want to draw. Notice that the oval should now show in the icon bar and that the cursor changed to a plus sign. That means we’re ready to draw a shape.
How to create a perfect circle
If you just start drawing a shape now, it will be an oval. But we really want an exact circle. There’s a trick to telling the software that’s what we want. While holding the SHIFT key, click and drag on your drawing area. When it’s the size you want it, let go of the mouse button and then the SHIFT key. You’ll have a perfect circle. Remember that this is the hole for putting ribbon or string to tie the tag onto a gift so keep that in mind.
This trick of using the shift key works to make perfect squares and rounded-corner squares, as well as perfect horizontal, vertical or 45° angle lines. We’ll be doing some of those in upcoming projects.
Fill your circle with yet another color.
Step 6 – Add the initial
The text creation tool
To begin creating a text box, click on the Text Creation tool along the left side. It’s 2 down from the Draw a Shape tool you just used.
Notice that your cursor becomes what looks like a capital letter “I.” That tells you that you are in text creation mode. Click anywhere on your drawing area away from your other shapes. The cursor turns blue, gets bigger and starts flashing. This tells you you are ready to type. Also notice the target-like shape on the lower edge of the flashing cursor. We’ll use that in a later project.
Typing the text
Now type a letter on your keyboard and you’ll see the letter on your drawing area. You have just created a letter that can be cut out, just as when you create with any of the drawing tools you are making cuttable shapes. Notice that the box around the letter is green and there’s a blue bar at the right end of the line. This indicates we are in text editing mode. It is in this mode that we’ll be able to change the words and adjust the text wrapping later.
Now click off the letter and back on it. This time the bounding box is the normal gray with dimensions, green rotation circle and resizing squares. This tells us we are in our regular resizing mode.
Also notice that the letter isn’t filled with color, unless you had a color selected before you typed the letter. Go ahead and fill this with any color other than the one you used for your smaller mat shape.
Step 7 – Change the font
The font the software uses when you type text is a generic default – a simple Arial font that comes pre-installed on computers. But you can use any font that’s installed on your computer. That’s the beauty of using a Silhouette machine.
For this project, we want very simple font. You can stick with the Arial, or choose a different one. Serifs (those little extra bits on the ends of the letters) are fine. Just stay away from lots of curlicues right now. We’ll get fancy later.
We’ll talk more about the Text Styles panel later, but for now we’re going to use the Quick Access Toolbar to select a font. Make sure your letter is selected. When a textbox is selected, the QAT will show the current font.
Click the arrow at the end of the font name box and the menu of your installed fonts shows up.
Scroll down and click on a font you like. I’m going to stick with Times New Roman. As long as your letter is selected, clicking on the font name will change the font for the letter. Or, if you know the name of a font you like, you can backspace out the current name and start typing the name of the font you are looking for. The software will show font suggestions based on the letters you type. Hit enter to select the font as its name shows in the box.
Also notice that frequently-used and recently-used fonts show at the top of the list for your convenience. Mine also shows categories for Cursive and Sketch fonts, as in my library I have created folders for those and sorted fonts into them. You can only do this with fonts purchased from the Silhouette Design Store.
Step 8 – Resize the letter
When you type letters, the default font size is 72 pt. You can see that in the same area of the QAT.
Letter size vs Text Box size
One thing you want to understand right off the bat is that there’s a difference between letter size and text box size.
Common Rookie Mistake: Thinking the size of the bounding box tells you the size of a letter.
When you create text, the size of the bounding box is based on the potential size of all elements that could be typed in the box – capitals, subscripts, letters that dip below the line, spacing between lines, etc. Even if you don’t use any of those things, the box has to leave room for them. It’s just the way fonts work. You don’t notice it in other programs like word processors because you don’t measure the size of a letter in inches.
Here are 2 text boxes – 1 with a capital “C,” one with a lowercase “c.” They each have the same font and font size chosen, so the bounding boxes are the same 1.107” in height. But if you look at the 1” grid I’ve set up (the blue lines), you’ll see that neither letter is actually 1” tall.
That’s because if I typed “C2,” I’d need room above the letter. Or if I typed “cage,” I’d need more room below for the “g.” The text box leaves room for the possibility of those characters.
The width of a text box will usually change based on the letters in the box. For example, if I typed a letter “i” in the same font and font size, the width would shrink accordingly — from .444″ to .278″. But the height would still remain and the width of the text box would still be wider than the actual letter.
How to get an accurate sizing
So how do I know the ACTUAL size of the letter and not just of the text box? I’ll teach you several ways as we go along, but for today we’re just going to use that grid on the drawing area as a reference. If I want the letter to be 1” high, I enlarge the text box using the corner squares of the bounding box until the letter fills up the full height of my 1” grid square.
For today, resize your letter until it fits nicely inside the smaller mat shape. Be sure to leave a good amount of room around the letter.
Step 9 – Create a compound path
Pull your smaller mat shape and your letter to the middle of the screen and move your other pieces out of the way for now. I’ll make sure you get them back in and aligned again correctly in the next step, but right now I want to show you how to make a compound path.
First, put your letter on top of that smaller mat shape, the original one. We want to align the pieces before we go any further, so we’re going to use the alignment tools in the QAT.
Select both the letter and the mat shape and you’ll see that the QAT shows the alignment tools.
It wouldn’t if you had 0 or just a text box selected, but with a single shape or with 2 or more elements of any type it does. We’ll talk later about why it shows up when only a single shape is selected (I mean, why would you need to align a single shape to itself? Stay tuned….)
We’ve already used the Centralize option in a previous lesson, so let’s learn a different option. Hover over the icon and the options pop up below. The pictures tell you all you need to know.
We’re going to use the Align Center, which is the middle option on the top row. That centers the letter left to right on the mat shape. You can also use the Align Middle, the middle option on the bottom row, to align top to bottom. But the latter is something you can just eyeball if you want. Since we’re going to have a hole at the top of our tag you don’t necessarily have to have the letter in the dead middle of the tag.
Grouping vs. Compound Path
Now that we’ve got those 2 things – the letter and the mat – selected and aligned, we’re going to combine them in a compound path. Remember that there are 2 ways of combining separate elements – groupings and compound paths.
If we group them, they will stay together temporarily so that we can move and resize them together, but they can still be ungrouped later and be just the same as they are now. The pieces remain separate, solid pieces sitting on top of one another. If we could look at them from the side in the software, we’d see a stack of 2 images. It’s like stacking 2 pancakes on a plate so that we can move them to the table together.
Even though you can’t see if, the mat is actually grouped with an “invisible” piece. It’s because of the way it was created by the designer. Select the shape, then right click and choose ungroup (or use one of your other methods to ungroup if you prefer). It won’t look like anything has happened, and you won’t actually have a second piece, but this will help us to keep the fill color in a future step.
A compound path is more like a donut. When you look at a donut from above you see 2 circles, just like you would see 2 circles when looking from overhead on a stack of pancakes. The difference is that it’s just 1 thing with a hole in the middle, not a stack of 2 things. The middle is empty, because it’s an edge of the donut. When we take separate elements and combine them into a compound path, we are turning pancakes into donuts. We’re creating a single shape in 1 level. If we could look at that shape from the side in the software, it would be only 1 level tall, just like a donut.
Why would we want to use a compound path (a donut) instead of a grouping (a stack of pancakes)? There are many reasons, but the reason for today is that we want that hole in the middle so we can see through to our larger mat shape we’re going to put in back. This is going to help us visualize the completed project better.
Don’t worry if you don’t fully understand it yet. We’ll talk about it many times. Just trust me that we want to create a compound path.
So, select both your pieces and make a compound path with—
- Right click>make compound path
- Object drop down menu>make compound path
There’s a 3rd way I’ll show you much later, but you don’t need to mess with it cluttering up your brain right now.
Things that happen when you make a compound path
Once you’ve done this, notice that the fill color on the letter is gone. That’s because the letter is no longer a separate piece – it’s a hole in the middle of the mat shape. If you pull the smaller mat over onto the larger one, you can see through it now to that larger mat shape.
There’s another REALLY important thing to know here. Once you make that compound path, that letter is a part (hole) of the smaller mat shape and is no longer text. That means you can’t treat it as text any longer. What does that mean? It means you can no longer change the font or the letter, or even figure out what the font was, even if you release that compound path we created. This is the case any time you do modifications. Because of that, I always make a copy of all my pieces BEFORE I do anything that will change the text to image. Or, I make a sticky note with the name and size of the font. Since we’re just starting out, we’re not going to mess with any of that today. But it’s a concept I want to introduce.
Step 10 – Align the pieces
We’re going to use those alignment tools in the QAT again to get all our pieces aligned perfectly. Here are the 3 pieces—
- The larger mat
- The smaller mat that now how a letter-shaped hole in it
- The circle
Move the smaller mat onto the larger mat. We want those lined up both vertically and horizontally, so we can use the Centralize button.
Now move the circle over toward the mats.
Order of images
Wait? Where did it go? It used to be on top of all the pieces, but it isn’t any more. If you keep scooting it over, it will “disappear.” It’s still in front of the blue piece, the larger mat, but because it’s behind the smaller mat + letter piece we can’t see it.
The order of the pieces back to front (bottom to top) depends on the order in which they were added to our file. We brought the items in in this order:
- Mat – from the library
- Offset – created based on the mat
- Circle – drawn with drawing tools
- Letter – typed with text tool
That means the original mat was on the bottom and the letter on the top. When we selected the offset and the letter and combined them into a single compound path, they stayed in the order of the top-most (highest) piece. The letter was on top, so the letter+offset mat moved to the front of the order. The circle is behind that piece.
Changing the order
We want to be able to see the circle, so we need to change the order. Here’s our current order:
- Bottom – mat from library
- Middle – circle
- Top – mat with letter
You can move any one of the pieces. The easiest for me is to select the mat+letter and send it backward. I don’t have to send it all the way to the back – just down 1 level. So I choose Send Backward, NOT Send to Back. Now the order would be:
- Bottom – still mat from library
- Middle – mat+letter that I just moved backward
- Top — circle
Aligning the pieces
Now select everything on the page and use the alignment tool to align them pieces to center. That’s the middle option on the top row. We don’t want to align along the middles (the middle option on the bottom row), because that would put the circle in the middle of the page. We need it at the top.
Once the pieces are aligned, group them all together. Notice that grouping didn’t change the fill colors at all the way making a compound path did. Move the set of grouped images to a corner of your cutting mat area to make the best use of your paper.
Step 11 — Cut the 1st piece
I’m assuming by now that you are using cardstock on which you have already performed a test cut. If not, do that before you continue as I’m not going to repeat instructions from previous lessons.
We want to cut 2 different mat pieces, but we want the circle we created to be a hole we cut out of each one. Or, maybe you don’t want a hole next time you cut it because you’re going to use it on a card. That’s why we filled the pieces with all different colors – so that I could teach you how to cut by fill color.
Open the Send area
Before we’ve used the Action by: Simple to just choose Cut and No Cut. That’s what should open first by default. This time, we’re going to go into Action by: Fill, which is a more advanced cut mode. Click on that now.
Now our Send area looks different.
Instead of having to select each piece individually and choose No Cut, Cut or Cut Edge, we’re going to tell the software what to do based on the fill color of each piece. This can be a great time saver, since you can choose the settings for multiple images at once. Or, as we are doing here, you can cut some but not all of the pieces of a single grouped design.
There’s a separate line for each fill color I’ve used in my design. For each fill color, you can choose different settings. This is why I wanted you to use solid colors and not patterns, because pattern fills would all be on the same line no matter how many different patterns you were using. It’s all or none for pieces filled with patterns.
On our first pass through the machine, we’re going to cut the larger mat and the circle. We don’t want to cut the smaller mat, so the first thing I want to do is uncheck the box beside the tan color. The boxes beside the blue and green are still checked. Checked means Cut; unchecked means No Cut.
Now we’re going to look at the settings for the blue and green lines and make sure they are the same. Whatever you do on one line, do on the other as well.
Common Rookie Mistake: Not checking each line when using Action by: Line, Fill or Layer.
Let’s look at each column.
This is where you choose Tool 1 or Tool 2 (left or right) if you are using a Cameo 3 or Curio. If you’re using any other machine, you won’t see this column. Make sure the left tool holder, the red one, is chosen.
The next column should say Color, but is currently mislabeled as Layer. That’s just a typo. This column has a row for each fill color you’ve used in your designs. Make sure the boxes are checked as previously stated. The next little icon is for Auto-weld which we will skip for now, just as we skipped Cut Edge earlier. Those are different names for the same feature that we’ll talk about later. The RGB just helps you differentiate your colors if they are similar. RGB stands for Red, Green, Blue and is an industry standard way of identifying colors by their mix of those hues.
This is where you want to choose the Cardstock, Plain for each line. Notice that in the pic above, for my green line the material is Vinyl, Matte. Click the arrow at the end of the material type to open the menu of materials and choose the appropriate one.
This should still be set on Cut unless you’ve changed it.
Here is where you select the type of tool you’re using. This column doesn’t have the arrow at the end like the rest, but if you click on the picture of the tool type the menu opens. Since the Action is Cut, your choices here will be Auto-blade, Ratchet Blade or Deep Cut Blade. I recommend using the Auto-blade as a beginner because it’s one less thing for you to worry about. For more about blades, see this post.
In the middle of the page you’ll see the cut settings for whichever line is currently highlighted.
Make any adjustments here as needed. You can only have 1 set of settings for a given material. What I mean is that you can’t have 1 set of Cardstock Plain settings for your blue-filled and a different set for your green-filled pieces. You can choose something like cardstock, textured for the latter, or create a custom setting which I’ll teach you to do later. But on any given pass through the machine you can only have 1 set for a single material. For more about cut settings, see the post linked in the previous paragraph.
I taught you previously that pieces set to cut should have a bold red line. That will be different when you cut by fill color. The line should still be bold, but instead of being the generic red it will be the color of the fill. This can make the cut preview a bit harder to read, as the blue is here. Zoom in as needed to make sure the correct pieces are set to cut.
Notice that the line around the tan piece is still red and is pale/thin. That’s telling you it won’t cut this time. Also notice that the line of the letter isn’t going to cut. That’s because it’s just a hole in the tan piece, remember? It’s not a blue “C” pancake sitting on top of the tan mat.
Load and cut
Just as you’ve done previously, load and cut. Here’s the checklist. Be sure you check each color line where applicable:
- Mat loaded with cardstock firmly on it
- Material chosen
- Action (cut) checked
- Correct tool and tool holder chosen
- Line Segment Overcut on
- Blade adjusted (if ratchet blade)
- Blade loaded and locked correctly
- Cut preview checked (to make sure correct pieces are cutting)
- Machine on and free from obstructions
One thing to be aware of is that even though you have selected the same material for both your fill color lines, the Auto-blade will readjust in between. So make sure to wait until the cut is complete and check it before you unload.
Step 12 – Cut the 2nd piece
Next we want to cut that smaller mat, the one that has the letter-shaped hole in it. But we do still want to cut the circle for the ribbon hole. So we’re going to look at that list of colors again. We need to uncheck the color for the outer mat and check the one for the inner mat. The one for the hole should stay checked.
Notice that the lines around the tan and green pieces are bold and the one around the blue is red and thin. That’s the cut preview showing you what will and will not cut this time.
Now check the settings on the color lines for your inner mat and circle, so that would be my tan and green. You can stay with Cardstock, Plain and adjust the settings right there in the middle of the area if your second piece of cardstock has different weight that your first. Since you can only have 1 set of settings for that material, it will work for both the mat with letter and the circle.
Go through your checklist again and cut your second piece. Congratulations! You’ve now learned how to cut by fill color!
If the letter you chose had inner parts, like the letter “O,” you’ll need to keep those inner parts.
Step 13 – Assemble the tag
Because we grouped the pieces, that circle cut out of both pieces in the exact right spot. Using that as a guide, adhere your top piece to your bottom piece with your chosen adhesive. Also adhere any of those internal pieces if your letter had them. Add embellishments if desired and tie onto your gift.
Save the file if you want to use it again.
Be sure to save the letter you cut out, as you can use it on another project. In our next project, we’ll be making another gift tag but learning more new features including resizing disproportionately, using control points, spacing horizontally and cut edge.
To start with project #1 in the Successful Beginner Project series, go here.