Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Creating a geometric background from scratch (for beginners!)

Hello fellow Silhouette fans! Maria here with you today with a tutorial on how to create a geometric background from scratch.

This is one of my favourite things to do, as I find the creative process both relaxing and exciting too! I love how it is so simple that I can just sit back and create, and I love how exciting it is to create something from a blank page!

What you will need:
- Silhouette Cameo or Portrait
- Cardstock
- Pattern paper and glue to finish off your project

Open your Silhouette Studio and create a new project. I am going to be making a 12x12 page, so I can turn it into a scrapbooking layout, however, you can make this as big or small as you want. You can do a 5x5 greeting card, or anything you want.

I have turned my grid lines on for a bit to help me with the first step of my process, which is create a box about half an inch away from the edge of the mat.

Now I start creating my geometric background (I have turned the grid off in my mat for clarity)

With the "Draw a line" tool, create a line going from one side of the square to the other. You can go any direction that you want, and any angle. The images that I will show you below are how I create my backgrounds, but the beauty of this process is that there aren't any set rules!

Now that you have your first line, you want to duplicate it. Select it, and then you can either right click > Duplicate or simply Copy and Paste (Ctrl+C > Ctrl+V on Windows). This will create a line completely paralell to your previous one. It is the same size too, which means that you will have to either enlarge it or crop it, depending on where it is. If it's too long, don't worry about it now - we will be sorting this out later. If it's too short and you need to make it bigger so it touches the outer square, simply drag one of the outer corners until it reaches the line you want to touch. By dragging from one of the outer corners, the line will remain parallel to the previous one.

Now repeat this process as many times as you want, filling your page with random geometrical shapes.

As you can see in the image above, most of my lines are crossing each other in certain points. The next step is the most time consuming one, but as I said before, I actually like sitting down and relaxing doing this! What we are going to do now is delete the lines that cross each other, as you can see in the screenshot below.

First of all, zoom in quite a lot in an area, and select the Eraser Tool. I like using the small square eraser, but it is up to you which one to choose and which one you are most comfortable using. Make sure you select "delete outline" in the settings of your eraser tool. We are now going to delete all the intersections! Ready? Let's go!

You don't have to erase the whole line, just do the intersections, and then you can select the remainder of the line and just click delete. If you come across any lines that do not touch and need to be resized, just remember to drag from the outer corner to keep the line parallel.

If you make a mistake and delete a bit too much of a line, don't panic! Just go edit > undo erase, and try again. Sometimes you really need to zoom in an area, so just go ahead and zoom in until you are comfortable.

Repeat in all the intersections and... you're done!

I understand that going for a full 12x12 inches to start with can be a bit daunting, so maybe you want to try with a little card first! The same process applies. Create the ouline of your card (in the example below I have gone for a 4x5 inches card) and then fill one of the sides with the geometric shapes as I explained above.

And you are ready to cut! Make sure you select the correct settings for the medium that you are cutting. When I am making scrapbooking layouts, I like to cut my creation on thinner cardstock, approximately 180gsm, as I will be pasting pattern paper to the back so that will make it heavier. For greeting cards I use thicker card, as it needs to be able to stand on its own.

Once your project is cut, it's time to back the spaces with pattern paper. You can use just one sheet of a contrasting colour or you can do each shape with a different piece of paper. I actually love doing this last bit, as it gives a very striking effect. In order to do that, you can use the pieces that have been cut off to be used as guides. Just make sure that you cut your patterned paper slightly bigger than your guide piece, as you will need to apply glue in the edges.

You can cut all your pieces in one go and then use spray glue on the inside of your card, and position all your pieces of pattern paper in the corresponding shape. This is the fastest way to do this if you don't have many pieces and know where they are all going. I have done this method before and it is fast, however, I am a bit silly and I prefer the slow and painful way :) I cut each piece at a time, apply glue to the edge of the shape on the inside of the card, and stick them all one by one.

Another method of cutting the pieces is by putting your cut card over the pattern paper and marking the lines with a pencil on the inside of the paper. The only downside of this method is that you then have to erase the pencil lines in the paper before gluing, otherwise the lines will show.

Once you have stuck all your pieces together, the inside of your card will look something like this:

It does not look very pretty, and unlike scrapbooking pages - where you don't see the back of the cardstock, with greeting cards you do see the inside, so let's go ahead and cover all of this with a piece of paper.

And that's it! You can now add a sentiment to the front of your card and write a message inside and your card is done!

And here below is an example of a scrapbooking layout that I made using the same method of creating a geometric background.

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial and it has encouraged you to try this technique at home! Please do let me know with a comment below if you have any questions!

Happy crafting!



  1. Love this tutorial and the projects you've made with it.

  2. Thank you Janet! It's one of my most favourite techniques :)