Extreme Cards and Papercrafting: Map Silhouette Note Cards

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Jul 17, 2011

Map Silhouette Note Cards

Maine silhouette card
This note card project is probably just crazy talk if you don't have a cutting machine. Okay, fine, there are some of you out there who are wizards with your craft knives, but don't say I didn't warn you!
How to make a photo silhouette note card from a map vector file
Select photos to frame in the silhouettes. I like scenery photos, but it's up to you.
map silhouette card
Download a vector outline map of your choice from Digital Vector Maps. If you want to use someplace more obscure, you may have to do some digging. I got lucky and found an editable PDF of my little island in Maine.
However, for this tutorial I used a Maine map from Digital Vector.
Open the map in a vector editing program. I used Inkscape (it's free!).
Maine map silhouette
Select the map and ungroup it. (Object/Ungroup)
Select and delete text.
Maine map silhouette notecard
Optional: select map and delete the fill. (Object/Fill and Stroke)
map silhouette notecard
Select map outline with the node tool and simplify. If your map has several paths making up the outline just select and simplify them one path at a time. (Path/Simplify)
silhouette notecard
Select and delete any small details that you don't want to cut (like islands).
map notecard
Select entire map and re size as desired. I cut two per page making my cards 4.25" x 5.5".
Save As a file type that works with your cutting machine.
Open the file in your cutting software and cut.
Re size your photo to fit behind the cutout. Print and cut out your photo.
map silhouette card
Glue the photo to the inside of the card, showing through the cut out.
map silhouette card
map silhouette card

map silhouette card
Cover the back of the photo (inside the card) with a rectangle of decorative paper.


Monica said...

Please will you do a post on cutting machine. As an amateur i look at them when they are on sale but have no idea of what I should buy or avoid.

Carol said...

Take at look at the chart here:

Much of it you can ignore :). Start with price you want to pay, then decide what kind of things you want to cut, then look at the maximum cutting width and see if it will work for you.

Once you have narrowed your choices, see if it will work with software you already use and like. For example, even though my cutter has its own software, I can do the entire design and cut process from CorelDraw, bypassing their software completely.

Bear in mind that NO Cricut machine will work with third party software anymore. They have issued a cease and desist to the couple companies that had designed such software ("Sure Cuts a Lot" "Make the Cut" etc.).