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Design a Paper Bead SVG Cut File

Paper jewelry is a very popular craft. Just look on Pinterest to see some of the beautiful hand made jewelry. I wanted to include some paper beads in my August altered art project for the Robinís Nest Design Team. Of course, that lead to an SVG cut file for making paper beads.

I watched some videos on YouTubeR and studied the examples on PinterestR more closely and noticed a common thread. Most of the paper beads are made by wrapping designer paper around a thin stick and there are just a hand full of paper shapes used to make these beads.

As you can imagine, drawing these shapes in IllustratorR was very easy. The thickness of the bead is determined by the length of the paper strip and the width of the bead is determined by the width of the strip. I decided to include two sizes of beads in the cut file, for both a thin and thick bead in widths of .5 and 1 inch.

The easiest bead is a tube bead. The two cut files for the thicker bead is a rectangle 1 inch by 11 inches and .5 inch by 11 inches. For the thinner bead, I reduced the length of the rectangle from 11 to 5 inches.

Open Illustrator and letís get started. Begin with a blank document that is 12 x 12 inches and 300 dpi. These are the settings that I use to create cut files for the Silhouette Cameo. If you are designing cut files for another cutting machine, your settings might vary.

Tube Bead

First, draw a rectangle for the thick bead that is 1 inch by 11 inches.

  1. Click the screen with the Rectangle tool and set the Width to 1 inch and the Height to 11 inches in the dialog box.

    With the rectangle selected, letís set the stroke color and width for the Silhouette Cameo, which requires an RGB of 0,0,1 and a width of .1 pts.

  2. In the Tools panel, set the Fill color to null and the Stroke color to #000001. In the Control Panel, set the Stroke width to .1 pts.

    Letís make the second tube bead cutting line, starting from a duplicate of the first.

  3. Select the rectangle and click Edit - Copy and Edit - Paste from the top menu.

  4. With the duplicate rectangle selected, set the Width to .5 inch in the Control Panel.

Oval Bead

The next bead was a simple oval shape, which surprisingly is made from a triangular shape.

  1. Click the screen with the Polygon tool and set the Radius to .58 inch and the number of sides to 3 in the Polygon dialog box.

    This will give you a small triangle. We need to make it longer.

  2. Change the Height of the triangle to 11 inches in the Control Panel.

    We need the bottom (opposite the pointed end) 1 inch of the triangle to have straight sides. To do this we need to add two new anchor points.

  3. With the Add Anchor Point tool, click on the left long side of the triangle 1 inch from the bottom edge to add a new anchor point. Add another anchor point to the right long side.

  4. Select the new left anchor point with the Direct Selection tool and move the anchor point to the left until it is in line with the end point. Repeat this for the right side anchor point.

    Now we will make the .5 inch shape for this bead.

  5. Make a duplicate of the shape and set the Width to .5 inch in the Control Panel.

Continue to learn how to make cut lines for a cone and hour glass shaped bead.

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