Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Design of the Week - Kawaii Inspired Cactus

Using the free design, I created a Kawaii inspired cactus, I used this design to make a digital print, a garland and a t-shirt for my daughter. Here is a thorough tutorial how you can make your own kawaii cartoon using simple shapes and lines from the silhouette program. And how from that design you can make a garland, a t-shirt and lots more projects.

Supplies needed:

Silhouette Cameo/Curio/Portrait
Twine cord ribbon
Free cactus design
Free plus background from the silhouette library (PLUSBG)
Free flower design from the silhouette library (FLOWER)
LW SUGAR font (ID #56447)(for the t-shirt and print)

1. Preparing your design:

When you open the free design it will look like this:

You only need one of the cactus shape, so ungroup and delete all the extra ones. Also deleting the line in the middle of the cactus. 

Now you need to stretch it a bit. 

I wanted to add a bit of pattern to my cactus, so I chose the free plus background design that was free with my silhouette machine.

Resize the design and release compound path.

Colour your cactus in green and before transfering the plus shapes to your cactus, color them white. 
I also rotated the plus shape a bit so it looked more like crosses.

Add a couple of them to the cactus, leave a  gap where you want to have the face of the cactus in. 

Working on the face:

Start with doing the smile. Draw an arc, about 201º degrees, resize it and rotate it to the right angle. 
Using the line color, color your smile black, and using the line style, thicken it to about 1.9 pt.

Now we work on the eyes:

Draw an oval circle about 0.52 x 0.41 cm and duplicate it so you have two of the same size.
On the second oval, resize it so its about 0.16 x 0.13 cm duplicate so you have two. 
On the second oval, resize it even smaller to about 0.08 x 0.06 cm.
Color the big ovals black and the four smaller ones white

Using the square, make a thin rectangle, 0.34 x 0.03 cm. duplicate it so you have two of them.

Place them on top of the black oval and rotate them so you they look like eyelashes. Now you can weld it together. 

Mirror the design to the right.

Arrange the two white circles on front and place them inside the black oval, position it till it looks like a cartoon eye. Move the black shape away, group the two white circles, duplicate to the right and position them inside the black eye shape.

Now for the cheek, make a circle about 0.4 cm radius, duplicate and color both with a light pink color. 

You have everything ready now for the face, just positioning everything on the cactus and resizing the shapes till they look good.

I wanted to add a little flower to my cactus, I used one of the free flower designs that come with my silhouette machine. It's called "flower".

Ungroup the design and attach each petal to the other and weld it together. 

Color it in a darker pink color and place it on the "head" of the cactus. 

Your cactus designs is ready to use in your designs. 

I have continued the tutorial using the cactus design to make a garland:

To make the garland design, make an offset of 0.5 cm. and group the design together. Add to circles of about 0.06 cm on the top of the design for holes to attach your garland.


I resized the design so its about 11 cm tall. Duplicate the design and ungroup. Remove the flower and add a darker green color to the cactus. You will have to delete the offset and do a new offset on 0.3 cm. Group your new design together. 

Put your page settings on your current printer and add registration marks. 
Add as many cactus designs you can on the page. 

Put the cutting settings cut only the edge of your design and the two holes. 

2. Assembling your design:

Print and cut your design. Using a twine cord, assemble your design and it's ready to hang on the wall :) 

To make the t-shirt design, just ungroup everything, remove the offset and cut each design seperately using the heat transfer vinyl settings. iron/hot press each layer separate. In the end I also added "HUG ME" text in the bottom using the LW SUGAR font from the Silhouette store. 

For the digital print, assemble all the pieces you used for the t-shirt and and group it together. Put your page settings to current printer. 

On a mac you can get a high resolution print by doing these steps: 
File -> print -> Open pdf in preview -> export file as PNG or jpeg (remember to set your DPI high enough). And save your file. Now you can either print at home or print it at your local printing company. 

As you can see I am a bit obsessed with cactuses! Hope you enjoy this tutorial and I would love to see what you make with this design!






  1. An amazing range of projects from a single design - and you made it soo cute Sara.