Saturday, 29 July 2017

Make Your Own Bokeh Backgrounds in Silhouette Studio DE

Hello Janet here again with new tutorial. I love bokeh backgrounds for cardmaking and other papercrafting and surprisingly I couldn't find any in the design store. I'll show to how easy it is to make your own if you have the Designer Edition of Silhouette® Studio. Don't be put off by all the steps; you'll only need to do the designing once. Save the overlay to your library or computer and then you can reuse the bokeh overlay, with different colours and patterns, over and over again.

STEP 1: Make a Base Background

Firstly change your paper size to 12"x12" and draw a square to fit the 12 inch paper. Open the Fill window and select a gradient fill pattern.

Click on the Advanced options, and with the square selected, change the gradient angle so that the lightest part is in one of the corners (e.g. -115º).

STEP 2: Make the Bokeh Overlay

Draw five sizes of small circles to the side of the mat (press shift when using the ellipse tool, to make the shape round). Set Fill to white and line colour to clear (they will be easier to see if your background colour is grey, Edit > Preferences > Display > Background Color.

Move the set of circles to the left, select them, and in the Replicate window, Replicate tab, click the row of four symbol .

Make each set of circles have a different level of transparency (Fill window > Fill tab >Transparency). I made them 60%, 70%, 80%, 90%.

Drag them into the square and copy them twice more. Re arrange them in to space them apart and to make a pleasing pattern. Select everything by holding shift and drawing a bounding box then deselect the square, and then Group.

Duplicate the pattern by clicking, the copy right, copy below, and copy left symbols.

Select them in turn and either rotate or flip them so they are have a different orientatation (Transform window > Rotate tab > Rotate by -45º, or Object > Mirror > Flip Horizontally, or Flip Vertically.  Replace them back onto the mat (move them around until you like the effect). Then, either move or delete circles that are completely off the mat. Group the whole thing and deselect the square.

STEP 3: Fine Tune the Background

Select the square only and open the Image Effects panel > Tint tab and adjust the sliders until you like the colour and effect and click apply. Play with the other tabs too, using undo if you don't like the effect.

When you are completely happy with how it looks save the file to your library or hard drive. You can save the overlay separately to use on different coloured backgrounds. Resize the paper size to suit your printer and print as required. You can print it on to plain paper, textured cardstock, pearl card and even vellum. Of course once saved, you can also use it to fill selected shapes.

Do try it - these bokeh backgrounds look even better in reality!

See the project I made with one of the bokeh backgrounds here (available from 6th August at 6:00 am GMT).

Bye for now,

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  1. This is fabulous and wonderful tutorial too!
    Linda xxx

    1. Thank you Linda. I do hope you'll try it.

  2. What a brilliant idea Janet. Right up my alley!

    1. Thank you Hilary. I had a specific project in mind when I designed this paper. I'll be sharing the card I made with it next month.

  3. Thank you for this great tutorial. I work in several other drawing programs and never quite got this to look right.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Thanks for letting us know Susan. I'm glad that you found it useful.