Monday, 13 June 2016

Filling a shape with a cutout design - A Folk Art Jar


Janet here again! In making today's project I made several discoveries which I put to use making this pretty, yet durable storage jar.

My Discoveries?
  • Faux Leather Paper CAN be used to make durable 3D items AND 
  • Heat Transfer Material can be pressed onto Faux Leather Paper. 

I love making 3D items, but they aren't always as strong as I would like. Substituting the Silhouette faux leather paper for card means that items last longer and are more practical for regular use. To illustrate this use I chose Lori Whitlock's Curvy Container (Design id #123167) as it has such lovely lines.


Silhouette Faux Leather Paper in white
Silhouette Flock Heat Transfer Material (HTV) in black
Fabric Adhesive
Heat Resistant Tape (optional)

The main body pieces cut beautifully from the faux leather. You'll notice that I used a 12 x 24" mat - very useful for larger 3D items!

Once I discovered that heat transfer material could be pressed onto the faux leather I started to imagine the variety of patterns I could use in place of the plain panels. Many of the Silhouette Design Store files can be used, with a little manipulation, and I chose a folk art flower design by Emily Dyer. I love her stylised flowers and animals and wasn't in the least surprised to read that she has a background in handmade papercuts.

The folk art flower paper cut design by Emily Dyer (Design ID #59889), originally a card, was adjusted to perfectly fit the jar using the panel pieces from the container as digital templates. I cut the patterned pieces cut from black flock heat transfer material and attached them before assembling the jar.

TUTORIAL: Filling a shape with a cutout design

Today's tutorial is a step-by-step on how to make the panels - I call the technique "Filling a shape with a cutout design", the shape here being the jar side panel. The technique can be used with many of the store's backgrounds, stencils, masks and cutouts. I hope you find it useful.

STEP 1: Prepare the files

Open the card and container files in the Silhouette Studio® software. Ungroup the individual pieces in both files (select, Object > Ungroup, you may need to do it more than once).

Copy one side panel piece (pale green) onto the card workspace (all 4 pieces are the same size) if they were open in separate tabs, otherwise move the other jar pieces aside.

Move all but the main card piece aside too and ungroup the main card piece (select, Object > Ungroup). Ungroup again and remove the dotted line. The flower patterns, holes and card are part of a compound path, leave the path intact for now. Place the panel central to the pattern. Adjust the size of the card if necessary (don't change the size of the panel).

STEP 2: Add pattern to the panel

Make 1 additional copy of the panel (select, Edit > Duplicate) and move the 2 copies to the side. N.B. I made two, one extra for insurance!

To remove the parts of the pattern that are not required,
  1. select the panel and the card 
  2. open the Modify window 
  3. click Intersect. 

Then we need to associate the parts, so make a compound path (select, then open Modify and click Make)Now to make a frame to Join them together.
  1. select a plain panel 
  2. open the Offset window 
  3. click Internal Offset 
  4. adjust distance (I chose 0.145") 
  5. click Apply 

To complete the frame, choose both panel and offset, then Object > Make Compound Path.

Now group all the pattern pieces and move the frame onto the pattern and align them (Object > Align > Align Centre-Middle). Then select pattern and frame. Open Modify Window and click weld.

Now just replicate your panel so you have four (I used the Replicate window, but you might have a different preferred method). Arrange them to fit your media and you are ready to cut.


To finish the project, just cut your pieces from flocked vinyl remembering to test cut if you haven't used flock HTV before. I added a pattern to the lid too, or it could be left plain.

It's then time 'weed' the HTV (removing the unwanted material). You either love or hate the weeding process!

Then trim the panel pattern pieces, reverse them and press them onto the white panel pieces. I used my Hobby Jack heat press, but an iron would work too - just follow the directions on the heat transfer pack. I also used heat resistant tape to temporarily hold the pieces while pressing (makes the job easier but is not essential).

To finish, assemble all the pieces using fast grab fabric glue to adhere it. Ensure that each piece has stuck before moving onto the next.

There you have it - a pretty and useful storage jar!

I do hope that you try out the technique of filling a shape with a design - oh, the possibilities!

Bye for now.

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24 by 12  cutting mat for Cameo 24 by 12  cutting mat for Cameo 24 by 12  cutting mat for Cameo


  1. I somehow missed this yesterday but am so glad I went back to check what was on the blog yesterday. Love, love, love this.

    1. Thank you Karen. It was a fun project to make, I love trying out new combinations of materials.

  2. Oooh I love this. Thank you so much for the tutorial. Off to get the files and give this a try x.