Sometimes you just want a little extra something for your design space project. You want to step it up a notch but not push it over the top. A really easy way to do that is to create an outline around your word. An outline just gives your project a little pop. It’s really simple to create an outline and within about 5 minutes you’ll be able to do it.
So as of now, Cricut Design Space does not have the functionality to create an outline within design space (I mean I bet they do one day, but they don’t right now). To make the outline you’ll need to download a program called Inkscape. It’s a free download and you can click here to get it. Once you have Inkscape downloaded just follow the steps below.
Open Inkscape and click into the Text Icon (pic below). Once you’re in text mode just enter the text your want to create an outline around. Use the font menu at the top to change the font to whatever you’d like. Any font you have installed on your computer will show up in Inkscape. Note, you will not be able to change the font if you are not in “text mode” so don’t click out of text mode until you have chosen the font you want.
To resize your text and make it larger to work with simply click the selector tool at the top left side of your menu bar (pic above) and then click the “lock” icon at the top middle of your screen. This locks your text so that it doesn’t get all skinny and weird when you resize it. Once you’ve got your text locked you can drag the arrows and make it larger so it’s easier to see.
Inkscape works in “Paths” and “Nodes”. When you just have text on your page, Inkscape does not recognize it as a design element. You need to turn your text into a path. To do this, simply select your word and then go to “Path” and “Object to Path”. This will turn your text into a path however each letter will be its own separate path and for what we’re doing we want the whole word to just be one path.
To combine each letter simply click into each letter while holding the “Shift” key so they are all selected at once or drag a box around the whole word making sure each letter is selected. When each letter of the word is selected go to “Path” and then “Union”. This basically works like “Weld” in Design Space. Now your word is all one path or, welded together.
Now it’s time to create an outline. You’ll want to make sure your word is kind of big on the page. It’s okay if it goes outside of the work box provided in Inkscape. Select your word and then go to “Path” and “Linked Offset”. You’ll notice your cursor changes to a skinny arrow and you have a little diamond at the top of your word. This means you are now in the “Nodes” feature of Inkscape. You can click on the little diamond and drag it down until you get a good shadow around your word (not the easiest way in my opinion) or you can hold the “Ctrl” key and hit the right parenthesis (“Ctrl + )”) a couple times to get a good shadow.
It’s up to you how big you want your shadow to be. This will end up being your outline when you are all done so you don’t want it to be huge. Maybe 2 or 3 clicks of the right parenthesis and you should be good to go. You actually have 2 words on your screen now although you won’t see it. Just click the selector tool and then click middle of the shadow you just created and drag down. You’ll end up pulling your original word out of the shadow.
If your offset (or shadow) has gaps in it like mine does in the photo then simply go to “Path” and “Break Apart” and then “Path” and “Union” and this will delete any gaps you may have.
By the way, this is also how you create a shadow layer for text in Design Space. Check out this tutorial, how to create a shadow in Cricut Design Space to see exactly how.
You’ve got your outline made. Now you just need to create the space between your word and the outline. First you want to change the color of that shadow you just made. Click the shadow and then click any color you want at the bottom of your screen. It doesn’t matter at all. The point here is to be able to see the different layers you’re creating.
Okay, to create the space between your word and the outline you need to make another offset. Just follow the same steps you did before. Select your main word and then “Path” and then “Linked Offset”. This offset needs to be smaller than the first one you did. If you hit the parenthesis 3 times for your shadow then only hit it twice for this step. If you dragged your diamond just eyeball and make sure you don’t do as much this time.
Click back into your selector tool and change the color of your second offset to something different than you did the first one.
Now it’s time to slice out the space between your word and the outline…this is the real trick to create an outline. To do this, simply place the smaller offset on top of the larger one. To make sure they are perfectly aligned click the “Align and Distribute” tool at the top of your screen (pic below). Drag a box around both offsets so they are both selected and then center both vertically and horizontally (Pic below). Once they are centered go to “Path” and then “Difference”. This is the same things as “slice” in Design Space.
You will now see that the middle part of your offset is completely removed. You can now drag your word up into the middle of the sliced offset and…viola…you got your outline. Just go to “Save As” and save your word as “Inkscape SVG”. You now have an SVG file you can upload into Design Space and finish your project from there.
I hope y’all found that helpful. That’s all I have for now. Make sure to watch the video for the full tutorial. Happy crafting!