“A Thousand Thanks” Card & Free Cut File

Letter-Sized Thank You Cards - Silhouette Tutorial & FREE Cut File by The Thinking Closet

Here’s my first completed project in my new series, The Silhouette Challenge: a thank you card a la William Shakespeare.  What I love about the shape of this stationery is that it’s designed to fit easily into a legal-sized envelope, which is unexpected for a thank you card.  It also suits people like me who tend to be a bit (ahem) verbose.

Letter-Sized Thank You Cards - Silhouette Tutorial & FREE Cut File by The Thinking Closet

My initial inspiration came from these letter-sized thank you cards by Kolette Hall that I found at the Silhouette online store.  I decided to design my own rendition using the phrase “a thousand thanks” from Shakespeare’s Henry V in a more playful font.

For you folk with your own digital cutter, I’m happy to share the cut file I created with y’all fo’ FREE.  [Fine print: This design is for personal use and not to be used for commercial purposes.]  Just click on the image below to download the file from box.com.  Then, warm up that machine to start cuttin’ up cards for those Christmas thank yous.

Free Cut File - "A Thousand Thanks" Card - created by The Thinking Closet

Click here to download the free studio file.

Now me and my verbose self can’t just walk away and leave this post at that!  I think it would be just as valuable to share a run-down of how I made this, so those of you with Silhouette Studio software can adapt this design to suit your fancy.  I can attest, this is a great beginner project and was the very first thing I cut on my new Silhouette machine.  If I can do it, so can you!

Silhouette Tutorial:

Step 1.  Open up Silhouette Studio.  Click on the rectangle icon on the left toolbar.  Create a rectangle around 9.3″ x 3.9″ or slightly less to ensure your card fits in a legal-sized envelope.

Letter-Sized Thank You Card - Silhouette Tutorial & Free Cut File by The Thinking Closet

Step 2.  Click on the text icon on the left toolbar and the text style icon on the top right toolbar.  Select a font you like and type out your text!  (I used PilGi for mine.)  Click on the select icon on the left toolbar to drag your text to the top of your rectangle.  To re-size the text so it fits the width of your rectangle, click on the text box in any one of the corners.

Letter-Sized Thank You Cards - A Silhouette Tutorial & Free Cut File by The Thinking Closet

Step 3.  Now, using the rectangle icon from step 1, create a new rectangle that will sit within the large rectangle and butt up against the bottom of the text.

Letter-Sized Thank You Card - Silhouette Tutorial & Free Cut File by The Thinking Closet

Step 4.  You can now get rid of the original large rectangle by dragging it off of your grid to the margin (for use with future letter-sized projects).  Use the magnifying glass icon on the top left margin to zoom in on your letters.  You’ll note that some of your letters aren’t seated evenly on the top line of your rectangle, and if you chose a script font, some of your letters might not even be linked.  We can fix that!  Make sure your text box is selected.  Then, on the bottom margin, click on the icon that reads “ungroup selected shapes.”  This will allow you to work with each letter individually.

Letter-Sized Thank You Card - Silhouette Tutorial & Free Cut File by The Thinking Closet

{Update: Since publishing this post, I learned a MUCH easier way to do step #4 & #5…although the old method is good to know about, so you might want to go through those motions just to learn about ungrouping.  But in the Text Style window there is a “Character Spacing” dial at the bottom.  Just adjust that until your letters are slightly overlapping!  And voila!  Easy peazy.  You’re ready to hop down to step 6!}

Step 5.  Work with each word to ensure that each letter is touching or even slightly below the top of your rectangle, as well as linked to the letters on each side.  The overlap is really important as we prepare for our next step.  Special tip: once you’re satisfied with the spacing within one word, you can draw a box over it, and use the group icon to group those letters back together, that way, you don’t lose the work you did as you make adjustments in spacing between words.

Letter-Sized Thank You Card - Silhouette Tutorial & Free Cut File by The Thinking Closet

Step 6.  Now, it’s welding time!  We need to weld together all of the lines that are touching or overlapping.  Draw a box around your entire design to select every item.  Then, click on the welding icon on the bottom toolbar.

Letter-Sized Thank You Card - Silhouette Tutorial & Free Cut File by The Thinking Closet

Step 7.  If you generously overlapped your text in step 5, you might be ready for the next step.  But if you zoom in and see a few areas you want to clean up like the “o” in “thousand,” there’s an easy way to do it.

Letter-Sized Thank You Card - Silhouette Tutorial & Free Cut File by The Thinking Closet

On your top menu bar, click OBJECT, then RELEASE COMPOUND PATH.  Then, zoom in the section you want to work on first.  On the left toolbar, click on the “edit points” icon.  You can now adjust the points so that your lines are smooth and less jagged, or you can connect lines that might be broken.  Fiddle around with this tool to get a sense for how it works.  You can always hit “undo!”

Letter-Sized Thank You Cards - A Silhouette Tutorial & Free Cut File by The Thinking Closet

Step 8.  Now, you’re ready to send your design to the Silhouette machine for cutting!  Lay your paper of choice on your cutting mat in the same spot as your design appears on the screen (this is mostly important if you are working with a half sheet or scrap).  If you’re using cardstock like I did, a blade of 3 and speed of 4 works well.  And if you’re working with a brand new mat like I was, you may find that your paper curls as you peel your finished card off of the mat.  One tip I learned is to place the card face down on your table and peel the mat up off of the card instead of the card off of the mat.  Also, the more projects you do, the less sticky your mat will be, and the less your paper will curl.  Happy card-making!

Letter-Sized Thank You Card - Silhouette Tutorial & Free Cut File by The Thinking Closet

No Silhouette?  No problem!

You can totally recreate this effect without a digital craft cutter by following these simple steps:

  1. Cut a piece of cardstock to the size of an envelope.
  2. Open up your word processor and type out your word(s) in your font of choice.  Use the ruler in your program to match the width of your text to the width of your cardstock.  Print.
  3. Using scissors, cut off any excess paper around the four edges of the text.  Tack the text to the top edge of your cardstock using small pieces of double-stick tape.
  4. Use an x-acto knife to trace around your letters, cutting through both the paper and the cardstock.  OR use a sharp tool to outline the letters to give you sightlines, remove the paper, and cut out your text then.  Done!

I hope you enjoyed this insanely long post.  I’m loving discovering the ins-and-outs of my new Silhouette Cameo and can’t wait to tackle a new project in The Silhouette Challenge for next month.

The Silhouette Challenge by The Thinking Closet

To review more easy-to-follow tutorials like this one, check out my Silhouette project gallery: The Mother Lode of Silhouette Tutorials for Beginners.  You’ll find tutorials organized by both material and project type!  Happy cutting!

{I link up here.}

This is Lauren, signing off.

Lovely comments so far...

  1. says

    Love it, Lauren!! Since I didn’t get a Silhouette for Christmas, why don’t you send me a few and I will promptly write you a thank you note! :)
    Seriously, great job on your first challenge and thanks for sharing! I’m going to pin this for the someday when I get one.

    • says

      Ha ha! Great idea. And believe me, I have so many pins for projects I can’t accomplish right now (either for financial or practical reasons), but that’s what Pinterest is for – – a dream board for the “someday” ahead! :-)

    • says

      Great verb, “radiate.” Must use that more often. And I figure one project a month is do-able as it should still allow me time to tackle other fun projects…like sewing and journaling.

  2. Marmie says

    Very impressive….not sure I would have the patience without a Silhouette to cut out the letters but I love the phrase…it’s just right…and Shakespeare, no less! Also the hand-written note is a rarity these days and demonstrates a personal touch of love! It’s wonderful you are loving and USING your new gift!

      • Marmie says

        So sweet of you to remember what my roommate Beth said so many years ago…you are amazing!

        Oh boy, I look forward to a thousand thanks of my own in the mail! The trick for me is to slow down and take the time to write something unique and encouraging with true gratefulness to others…sometimes I confess I write just to get them done. But when I write to really express my gratefulness, it’s a joy!!

        • says

          For some reason that phrase that Beth coined has always stuck with me – – in fact, I’ve given that compliment to a few others since first hearing it. But you’re the original “friendly pen,” ‘fo sho.

          And I think we all feel that desire to write something from the heart and not just to get ‘er done. Your letters have always been heartfelt from my standpoint, so I wouldn’t give yourself too hard of a time!

          • says

            Ooh, I don’t remember the “friendly pen” story, but it is such an apt phrase to describe Mama.!..she’s got a friendly pen for sure, and friendly typing fingers now too! She is the best encourager via facebook, blogs, emails, as well as cards and packages, am I right, Laur?

          • says

            Amen to that! You are SO right. I hope to only be half as encouraging and uplifting and affirming as she is. Which reminds me, I need to finish my thank yous…especially now that I have the cards cut and no excuse to delay! :-)

  3. Gianna says

    These look beautiful! So glad you’re enjoying your new gift! And I think it would be more accurate to say “If I can do it, you can at least make a noble attempt” ;-)

  4. says

    I’m so envious of your Christmas gift. I still use a craft knife, my cutting board and my hand if I need to cut out any stencil and it takes FOREVER. Very nice! I owe you an email reply. It’s coming I swear.

    • says

      No worries, Alex! I think I may have figured out some of the answers to my follow-up questions, so only if you find time. Your first email was so incredibly informative, you’ve already been an immense help to me. Getting closer and closer to making that migration.

      And as I said in a previous post, never underestimate the power of a freshly-sharpened x-acto knife. They really can work wonders!

  5. bumblev says

    I’m loving my new Cameo right now too! The only downside is not having enough hours in the day to make things with it, right? Thanks for the free Silhouette file, absolutely beautiful!

  6. says

    Lauren, GREAT JOB! I love what you created, and you’re so generous to share it with the rest of us ‘fo free!’ Love it love it love it. You’re a pro already! I’ll definitely be using your download myself. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

    Debbie

  7. says

    Great tutorial, Lauren! I love how you first gave the file for others to download, then explained exactly how you made it, then gave directions for those of us who doesn’t have a silhouette cameo to recreate the effect. I love your card, btw. What a fun surprise for someone who opens it!

    • says

      Ha ha. Thanks, Bethany! (You comment so specifically, which I love.) The post was a little over-achiever of me, I’ll admit. I guess I just wanted to make sure it was helpful to EVERYONE, not just those with a Silhouette. I may not be able to keep up that pace each month, but I thought that my kick-off post needed to really reach more than a small percentage of folk, ya know?

  8. says

    Aha, just reading your other post, I expressed a desire to see your January challenge, and here it is! Ask and you shall receive! :) That’s so sweet of you to share the file with people…it’s such a lovely design. And I, too, love your Shakespearean choice of phrase! This encourages me to get going on my thank yous!!

    • says

      Seems like you’ve already gotten going! We received such a lovely thank you card from you in the mail the other day (with the owl package). We soaked up every sweet word your wrote, and the card is now displayed prominently on our “Christmas Card Display,” so we think of you every time we pass by and see it.

      Glad you enjoyed the shout-out to Billy Shakespeare. And speaking of Shakes, we had some folk over last night (friends of Mark from Wheaton/Honeyrock), and one of them had seen you in the Hamlet Project and of course LOVED IT. We discussed your stellar performance as Polonius (which might have been my favorite of your acting roles to date). Your entrance alone was pure genius.

    • says

      He he. Sure did. Thanks, Jessica! First one in a while…I even took photos with that in mind (made sure I’d have enough room on the top and bottom to crop as a square). That was key, I think.

      • says

        Good strategy! I’ll keep it in mind. Sadly, they didn’t like my new pillow pictures. Oh well!

        Thanks for linking it up at my Monday Makeover. It is definitely “table” related – you made it there, but also to me table is more a concept of hospitality and relationship, not just a tangible space. So your notes definitely fit that mold!

  9. Christina at I Gotta Create! says

    Wow! Fantastic card pattern. Thank you for partying with the Wildly Original Crowd.

    <3 Christina at I Gotta Create!

  10. says

    Thanks for sharing this!!! I just got a silhouette for christmas so I am a huge newbie! I’ve been trying to figure out how to do things! You tutorial helped me a ton! Thanks for linking up to Tell Me Tuesdays!!

    • says

      Ooooo, Tori, I’m so thrilled for you! Welcome to the newbie club! So glad that you found the tutorial useful. I know I watched a lot of other tutorials when figuring out how to do what I wanted (I love how generous everyone in blogland is). Also, I’m going to shoot you an email with an invite to our little Silhouette Challenge facebook group. It would be a great place for you to ask questions and find encouragement in these beginning days of exploring your new Silhouette! (It has been that for me.)

  11. says

    This is amazing, Lauren! Thank you ever so much for sharing your gorgeous file, as well as the idea and even how to make our own versions. Can’t wait to try it out.

  12. Missy says

    Love this design and extremely helpful tutorial! Which font did you use? I’d like to do some notecards with a name on the edge and love the font you chose. Thanks!!

  13. Katie says

    I followed this tutorial just now for my first experience creating on the Silhouette software… and I got there… made what I wanted! Playing with the “edit point” took me the longest… totally worth it because it turned out perfectly! Now to unpack the cutter and try it out!
    Thanksssss!

    • thethinkingcloset says

      You’re so welcome, Katie! I’m glad it was a do-able first project for you, as well. (And hopefully you were able to cut it without too many issues.) Onwards and upwards now!

  14. says

    I’m so EXCITED!!! I fell in love with Silhouette projects I had seen on Pinterest & various blogs so I asked Santa (my very generous husband) to bring me a Cameo. I finally got to unpack it this evening and installed the software. After a quick Google search, I found your tutorials and based my very first project on your “Thousand Thanks” card. I used the same font, just changed it to “Peace, Love and Joy”. I can’t believe I did something so cool on my very first attempt!!! I had a few issues with not “welding” things perfectly in a couple spots, and my mat is way too sticky so I tore the paper a little trying to remove my notecard, BUT I am totally excited.

    Thanks for this great tutorial. It was very easy to understand, which I really appreciated since I had never actually seen an electronic cutting machine before and didn’t have a clue how to use the machine or the software. Now my only problem is that it’s already 12:47 a.m. and I want to play some more but I really need to get some sleep!!!

    Thanks again!!! I’m so anxious to come back and try your other tutorials!!!

    Peace, Love and Joy,
    Joyce
    http://www.peaceloveandjoyce.com
    http://www.facebook.com/peaceloveandjoyce

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Yay, Joyce! I’m so proud of you, girl! Isn’t it empowering to create something you dreamed up like your “Peace, Love, and Joy” card? And this is the tip of the iceberg of what you can do with your machine! And ya know, since writing that tutorial, I learned a trick for welding script fonts that is 10x easier, so I’m going to go back into my post and edit it for others. And yeah, the sticky mat thing will be an issue at first. Just rub a pair of jeans on it a few times to get rid of some of the stick. But not too much! In a few more projects, you’ll be wishing you had more! Lol.

      Oh, and if you think of it, I’d love to see a photo of one of your cards! You can send it to me via email if you like, and then I can feature you in my next Reader Showcase!

      Now get some sleep! And sweet dreams of Silhouette cutting!

  15. says

    Hi Lauren,

    I’m so excited about my first Silhouette Cameo project based on this tutorial. I made a blog post about it with links to your web page and to this tutorial. I also posted about it on my Facebook page!!! Can hardly wait to try another of your tutorials!

    Here’s the link to the blog post if you want to see what I had to say about The Thinking Closet and The Mother Lode of Tutorials:
    http://peaceloveandjoyce.com/my-very-first-silhouette-cameo-project-peace-love-and-joy-notecard/

    A thousand thanks for this great tutorial. You made my first attempt at using the Cameo a really positive & exciting experience!!!

    Peace, Love and Joy,
    Joyce
    http://www.facebook.com/peaceloveandjoyce

  16. says

    A thousand thanks for this cutting file and for so generously sharing your creative Silhouette ideas!! I shrunk the file down to the size of envelopes that I have on hand and made several cards. You’re spreading gratitude like wildfire around the world :).

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