Recently, the Silhouette Design Store featured a wreath as a Free Design of the Week. I love the design, but it got me to thinking. Wouldn’t it be pretty easy to create my own wreath if I wanted to use different designs? With the help of the Object on Path feature, the answer is a resounding, “YES!” because a wreath is simply a set of shapes spaced evenly around a circle.
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If you aren’t familiar with how Object on Path works, see this post for understanding what it is and how to use it. What I what to focus on today is showing you a specific type of wreath design to get your creative juices flowing. And, BONUS, it’s just in time for you to use in some holiday projects.
Step 1 — Draw a circle
A wreath is generally in the shape of a circle, so we’re going to start by drawing a circle to use as our path shape. Look for the Draw a Regular Shape tool in the icon bar that goes down the left side.
The icon that shows in the icon bar is based on the last shape you drew. For instance, if the last time you created a shape it was a rounded rectangle, that’s what you’ll see. If you haven’t drawn any, or if you have just opened the software, it will be a rectangle. Hover over whatever is there and the set of shapes will pop out to the right of the icon, which is what is showing in my pic above.
If you aren’t already on the ellipse (circle), click on it now. When you do, notice that your cursor changes to what looks like a plus sign. That’s telling you that you are in shape-drawing mode. To draw any shape, after selecting the type of shape you’ll left click and drag on your drawing area, thus drawing out the shape. I tend to drag down and to the right, so the cursor is upper left of my shape. We want a perfect circle, not an oval, so we are going to use a keyboard shortcut to help us make one. Hold the SHIFT key as you create your ellipse and you get a perfect circle. This works for a square, rounded square, horizontal, vertical and 45° angle line also. Just be sure to let go of the mouse button before the SHIFT key.
I like to then position my circle in the middle of my drawing area. It just makes the next steps easier.
Step 2 — Add shapes to the page
Now go into your library and find some shapes you like for your wreath. You can use just 1, or multiples. For my example, I’m going to use 3 — 2 different leaf stems and a set of berries. I’ve filled them with different colors. I also like to change my line color to clear once I’ve filled the shape because it gives me a more accurate representation of what my finished project will look like. I’ve resized them to a size I think will work well with the size of my circle.
Step 3 — Put the 1st shape along the path
Put the shape on the path
What we want is to have the leaf stems and berries positioned around the circle and the same angle and interval so it looks like a wreath. That’s where Object on Path comes in.
Look in the icon bar at the right for the Replicate icon. It looks like a daisy. Click that to open the Replicate panel. Then click on the 3rd tab in the panel to get to the options for Object on Path.
Select your first shape. I’m going to start with 1 of my leaf stems. When you do, you’ll that the options in the panel become active instead of grayed out.
Now click “Show Grab Handle” in the top of the panel. You’ll see the control point, which will look just like the icon on the Object on Path tab.
Click on the grab handle and drag your shape toward your circle. The software will place multiples of the shape around the circle, evenly spaced, at the same angle. Because the box for Perpendicular is checked, the stems all point to the middle of the circle.
Choose your settings
The first thing to check is the angle. I want my leaf to go around the circle, not point toward the middle. So I’m going to change the start angle to 90°. Keep Perpendicular checked so that the stems follow the curve. If you unchecked it, the stems would all stay at the same angle, so all horizontal (uncheck it momentarily to see what I mean).
Now I adjust the spacing between the leaf stems. You can do that either with the control point, or by adjusting the number of repeats or step length. See the post linked above for more specifics. I set mine to 6 repeats.
I could also tweak the angle more to get the bottom end of the stem right on the circle if I want.
Step 4 — Add more shapes to the wreath
I’m going to repeat the process for my other leaf stem and my berry set. I drag my second leaf set to a point approximately halfway between 2 of the original leaf sets. That sets the starting point there. Then I change my angle to 90° and adjust my number of repeats again. I like to use the arrow keys at the end to tweak the start position bit by bit.
Lastly, I add my berry set. This time, I used a set between each leaf stem, so a total of 12 repeats. And just that easily, I have a wreath design.
If you are cutting right at this point, without moving any pieces, you can leave the circle in place. Because it was used as the path shape, it won’t cut.
Notice that I overlapped my pieces slightly, which is what I would probably do when assembling if I were to cut this from several colors. If you don’t like that, just make your spacing, repeats or shape size different. To cut this from vinyl or HTV, I would cut by fill color to help retain my spacing.
Let’s say you want to cut your wreath as a single piece from just 1 color. You’d need the pieces to be regular shapes and not shapes replicated on a path. We can weld or use Cut Edge, but shapes replicated on a path act differently than regular shapes. Here’s the steps you need to take to cut your wreath as just a single piece–
- Make sure all your pieces overlap.
- For each set, do Release Copies. That makes them as regular shapes, but keeps them in place.
- Delete the circle, because you don’t need it any more and you don’t want it to cut. Once it’s no longer a path shape, it goes back to a regular shape that would cut.
- Select all your pieces and weld, or change them all to a single fill color and choose Cut Edge. The reason to choose a single fill color is so that you can see exactly how it will look when you cut it from your material.
I hope your brain is exploding with new possibilities. You don’t even have to limit yourself to a circle as your path shape — you can use ANY shape as the path for your replicates. Let me know what you’ve made!
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