Tutorial: Grandma Word Album


Here is the tutorial I promised for making your own Grandma Word Album with Silhouette Studio.  This can be adapted to make an album out of any word you choose.  Just so you know, National Grandparents Day is September 9, 2012.  (It’s the first Sunday after Labor Day each year.)

Download the free Cafe Rojo font here.

Video Tutorial using Silhouette Studio prior to version 3.0:

1.  Type GRANDMA with your text tool in the Cafe Rojo font.
2.  Stretch a side handle of the text to make it 11″ wide.
3.  Ungroup (Ctrl/Cmd U).
4.  Make each letter 3.9″ tall in your Scale Window, but do not lock the aspect ratio.
5.  Select all the letters, and in your Align Window choose Align Bottom.
6.  Drag each letter in towards the first letter so each slightly overlaps (about 1/4″) the letter next to it.
7. In your Align Window, (with all the letters selected) choose Align Bottom and Space Horizontally.
8. Draw a rectangle from the left edge of the first letter to the last letter so it overlaps the left edge of the last letter but doesn’t cover any holes in the last letter.  (The rectangle should be approximately 3.725″ tall and 7.5+” wide.)
9. Select the first letter and the rectangle. Choose Align Left.
10. Select all the letters and the rectangle. Choose Align Bottom.
11. Select the rectangle. Make a copy (Ctrl/Cmd C) and paste the copy on top (Ctrl/Cmd F) six times. (This results in one rectangle for each letter.)
12. Click off to the side to deselect. Click on a rectangle. Drag the right edge in to overlap the first letter.
13. Add the G to your selection by holding Shift while you click on the letter G.
14. Group (Ctrl/Cmd G).
15. Repeat this process (steps 12-14) for each letter in your album so each letter has its own rectangle slightly overlapping and grouped with it.
16. Fill each letter with color in the Fill Window, then bring the letters forward by choosing each (starting from the end) and pressing Ctrl/Cmd ] until it comes to the top.
17. Select each letter except the first, and click Weld for each letter, one at a time.
18. Bring out the letter G and Ungroup it from its rectangle.
19. Make a copy of the G and its rectangle.
20. In the Modify Window, with the G and its rectangle, choose Divide.
21. Pull out the extra piece that covers the open area of the letter.
22. Select the unmodified G and its rectangle, and choose Weld.
23. Use the extra piece from step 20 and place it over the welded letter G (bring to front if necessary).  Zoom in so you can place it exactly over the portion you want to cut out.
24. Select the extra piece and the welded G, and choose Subtract.
25. Move the G back to its place with the other letters.  Align Left, Align Bottom (in the Align Window).
26. Delete the extra divided G pieces.
27. Clean up a few flaws and sharp points on the letters with Point Editing.
28. Select all of the letters.  In your Replicate WindowDuplicate Below, and Mirror Left.
29. One copy is for cutting from thin chipboard or layers of cardstock, one copy is for filling with patterns for print & cut or for cutting from pattern paper, and the mirror is for filling with patterns or cutting from pattern paper for the back side of each letter.
30. Add photos (crop as small as 1.75″ x 1.75″) and embellishments.  Bind as desired.
(Download printable PDF instructions by clicking here.)

Some notes about cutting thin chipboard:

You can cut the chipboard with a Silhouette Cameo using “coverstock” blade settings, but if you don’t have a Cameo you can cut several layers of each letter in cardstock to glue together, or trace and cut chipboard by hand.  My first albums I cut everything by hand (pre-Silhouette days) and it is sooo much easier to have the Cameo do the work!  (Coverstock blade settings are speed 1, thickness 33, blade turned to 7, check the box for double cut.)

I cut these pieces out of actual cereal boxes.  They do come in different weights, but if you have several choices then always go with the thinnest.  These are cut from Walmart’s “Great Value” brand cereal boxes.




Now here are some freebies for you if you don’t want to tackle designing immediately:
Grandma Album File (Studio format)
Summer Album File (Studio format)
Grandma Album pieces ready to print (PDF format)
Mom Album pieces ready to print (PDF format)
Mother Album pieces ready to print (PDF format)

More photos of a pink version of my Grandma Mini Album are available here.
If you like this project, you may also like this Princess Mini Album.

If you have any questions, please let me know!

UPDATE 8-24-12:  I’ve added a follow-up tutorial here for those who use Silhouette Studio to create this album without a Silhouette machine and need to know the tips for printing it out.  Once you’ve cut all these pages out by hand, you’re going to want a Silhouette more than ever!  🙂

UPDATE 11-26-12:  I didn’t realize this project would spread so far on Pinterest and elsewhere, and I want to make this exact album available to everyone who wants it.  I wrote the tutorial to help anyone wanting to make their own album using any word, but Grandma is popular so I’ve made a PDF file you can print and use as a template if you don’t want to bother with Silhouette Studio.

You can download a printable PDF (click here) that includes all the letters to “grandma” in regular and reverse to cut by hand as much as you please.  Enjoy!  I’d really love to see your versions of this album if you use my file.

Update 4/20/2015: I have an assembly tutorial for this Grandma Album HERE.

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