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A trend I’ve been seeing everywhere lately is the sunburst shape: rays of different papers or colors radiating out from the focal point of a card or layout. I really love the look, and was able to create my own using different patterned papers with my Silhouette Cameo. I found a great tutorial for the project here on the Silhouette blog. It’s such a great technique, that I wanted to figure out a way for all crafters, even those without the sacred Cameo, to be able to make their own sunbursts easily and accurately.
I came up with a method that uses your computer, a word processing program and your printer. The basic idea is to format your sunburst on the computer, print out the number of copies you’ll need (one for each patterned paper you’ll be using, and one to use as a guide) and then use the printed templates to cut your paper with either scissors or your paper cutter. The great thing about this is that you only have to format the document once and then use it as often as you like!
For this project you’ll need:
- A computer
- MS Word (or alternate word processing program)
- Printer Paper
- Patterned Paper (2 or 3 coordinating)
- Glue / Adhesive of your choice
- Card Base
The first thing you’ll want to do is build your template in your word processing program. Open your program and open a new document. I recommend at this point changing your page orientation to landscape, just as a paper saving measure. So Page Layout->Orientation->Landscape.
Next insert a text box. Insert->Text Box->Draw Text Box. Now put your cursor on the page and draw a text box just like you would crop a picture, click and drag. Don’t worry about getting the size just right. Once the box is drawn two boxes will appear in the upper right hand corner labeled Height and Width. Go here and adjust your dimensions. I will be using an A2 card base and I don’t want my sunburst to go to the edges so I’m sizing my template smaller at 5 inches by 3.75 inches.
Now that we have our box, we want to add the focal point. Decide where you want the center of your sunburst to be and insert a shape there. I like to use a star simply because it helps me line up my rays better than a circle would. Go to the top left corner of your screen, select your shape and then click in your template where you would like to place it. Next we’ll want to add our rays. Go back up to the shape panel and click the line shape. Click close to a point of the star and drag through the star to the outside of your text box. Once your line appears, lengthen the other side of the line so that it too ends outside the text box. Insert as many lines as you like to get your desired sunburst design. Just remember, the more lines, the more cuts, the more you’ll be gluing lots of small pieces of paper.
Now you want to copy what you’ve created to the right side of your page. (If you’re more concerned with saving time than paper, please feel free to skip this step, you are done!) While holding the Shift Key, select each component of your design, all your lines, your focal point, and your text box. Once they are all selected, copy, Ctrl C, and then Paste, Ctrl V, to the right side of the page. Please make sure that your design stays completely intact. It’s important that the two copies are identical.
Okay, now all you want to do is save your file and print 2 copies, the hard part is over!
Now with 4 copies of your sunburst, you can incorporate 3 different patterned papers and you can make 3 cards. I’m only going to use one patterned paper for simplicity’s sake. So for only one patterned paper, I only need 2 copies of the sunburst template, one for a guide and the other to cut with my paper. Here let me show you.
When you are ready to apply your rays to your cardstock I recommend starting with all the corners first and then adding rays to their approximate positions in between. Don’t worry too much about how it all meets up in the center. Hopefully you’ll be adding a sentiment or embellishment over that part of the card in it’s finished form. If you apply every other ray like I’ve done below, you can make another card with the remaining rays, bonus!
I think this technique gives you lots of options and makes the whole process manageable. Once you start cutting and you suddenly have a million little triangles, things can go downhill fast without a system. Hopefully this one will work for you like it has for me.
Keep pressing on!