Pull out your Sizzix Eclips2
There are thousands of different free fonts that are available on the internet and they can be easily installed and cut with the Sizzix Eclips2 using the free Ecal Lite software that comes with the machine. I can see that I will soon need to upgrade the ‘lite’ software so that I can cut svg files, but that will be the topic of future blog posts. Today I am focused on installing, resizing and welding a font to make a title for a scrapbook page. This blog post isn’t meant to be a comprehensive step by step tutorial but will give you an idea of what is involved. I found it easy and wanted to share my first attempt. I’m sure, like anything else, it will improve with time and practice. If you’re interested, there are some excellent videos on the internet that will guide you through the process and provide helpful little tips as you are getting your feet wet.
To begin with, go to my favourite font site, www.dafont.com, or try typing ‘free fonts’ in the search engine of your internet browser. Dafont.com has over 25,000 fonts. The number and variety is simply mind boggling. Have fun browsing through all the styles and download some of those that strike your fancy. Keep in mind that not all fonts will be easy to cut with an electronic die cutter – try to avoid those styles that are not solid because the cutter will try to cut out every little space in the letter or shape. Font files are usually downloaded as a zip file. After the files are on your computer, they will need to be extracted to be usable. I have windows 7 on my computer and there is a button on the top left hand corner that is labelled ‘extract all’ that magically appears when I highlight a zipped file. I press it and the font files are unzipped and ready to use.
For today’s example, I chose the font ‘Marlboro’. I downloaded it from the internet, extracted it and then temporarily installed it onto the Ecal software by selecting ‘Text’, load font file. The font is only there while you are using the software. It does not load into the computer’s font library and if you closed and reopened the Ecal software, Marlboro would not be there any longer.
After the font is installed, simply select the type tool (the capital “T”) from the selection bar on the left side of your computer screen and type the words you want onto your virtual cutting mat. Move and resize as desired. If you want, it is quite straightforward to ‘weld’ the letters together so that they cut as one piece instead of individual letters. To do this, you need to ungroup the letters (select Object, Ungroup) and then adjust the position of each one so that they overlay each other slightly. Click weld in the text appearance box. You can then also regroup all the letters into one object for ease in resizing and moving about the cutting mat (using your select tool, draw a box around the word, then select Object, Group).
There is an awesome 5 minute video on the welding process available here. http://svgcuts.com/blog/2010/06/02/sure-cuts-a-lot-2-welding-101-video-tutorial/
Just think about the possibilities. You can cut any letters in a variety of fonts and sizes, welded or apart, any time you want, limited only by your imagination. Here’s the layout I did with the Marlboro font title.
While I had everything out, I thought I’d make a quick card. I downloaded the ‘creampuff’ font, loaded it into Ecal, typed hello, repositioned the letters slightly and clicked the weld box.
Isn’t it a pretty font? It’s easy to cut a few different sizes of your word to see what looks best, add a bit of stitching with the Brother sewing machine and call it a day.