Hi, I was wondering how to create templates for cake toppers?
Hi! The short answer is using any design software (illustrator, inkscape, photoshop and so on), or even drawing something by hand and use the Trace function on the Glowforge App.
Now for the long answer, I’m gonna let the experienced guys gives you some advice (it’s late here in this side of the world )
It really depends on what you want on it. Like @rodrigobrionesm said, we generally just find a shape that we like, or design one, add some text to it if desired and then stick a long rectangle or two onto the bottom so you can stick it into the cake.
But we do that in external design software like Inkscape (which is free) or Illustrator (monthly fee). There are a lot of tutorials for how to use either of those programs in the Matrix here:
And there are some general tutorials for designing for the Glowforge laser at the top of the list there that everyone ought to check out.
I use Inkscape. You really can’t create a template per say as I understand it. If I’m mistaken please let me know. Since most cake toppers are text based you have to do multiple operations to get to a cut able shape Svg based. Best bet is to watch some you tube tutorials on specific actions needed for that project.
For cake topper you need basic text manipulation, object to path, creating shapes like square or oval or with bezier tool, and finally how to punch out, join, exclude parts of paths to get final shape desired. If not familiar with software it’s going to take a while to figure it out but once you know the steps it’s like second nature auto pilot fast.
To get the basic outline, like a rocket ship say, you can browse a website called The Noun Project. They have over a million icons that can be downloaded as a .svg. These can then be resized in something like Inkscape. Add a rectangle to stick in the cake and then dress it up with your own text, or artwork or whatever.
Here’s a link to a caketopper that I just made for my son’s baptism this past weekend: Quick little cake topper for our baby's baptism!
The approach I took is roughly outlined as follows:
- Search for fonts on dafont.com (or other font repositories)
- Use a text manipulation tool. I actually used powerpoint lol. I basically created 3 text boxes (for each row of my cake topper design: “God,” “Bless,” “Luke”
- I then manipulated each text box (i.e. changed the font, size & position) independently
- If you want a similar design to what I went for, you want the text boxes to “overlap” in a subtle manner to keep it all as one piece. This takes some adjusting to ensure that everything is still readable & appropriately spaced/positioned.
- Once you’re happy with the placement, I screencaptured the 3 text boxes.
- At this point, I moved to inkscape (a free vector design tool similar to Adobe Illustrator). I pasted the design I created in powerpoint as an image.
- In inkscape, you can create a vector file from an image. This is especially easy for monocolor designs (which is the case here). While your image is selected, go to “Path > Trace Bitmap”
- A dialog box will open which will allow you to set the right parameters for inkscape to vectorize your image.
- I typically select use the “Grays” multiple scan option. I set it to 1 scan & check the box to “remove background” - there’s a live preview option to see what the generated vector file will look like based on your settings.
- Press OK once you’re happy
- You should now have a vector file that you can manipulate. At this point, I wanted to cut the shape out of proofgrade walnut, so I set the line color explicitly so that the Glowforge UI will identify it as a step/cut. Save your .svg file
- Go to app.glowforge.com & import the .svg file
- Cut out the shape!
Hope that’s helpful. Sorry no screenshots, but hopefully it’s simple enough to follow, especially if you’re already familiar with inkscape.
out of curiosity, is there a reason you didn’t just manipulate the three words together in inkscape? that would be far more accurate and would eliminate the need to try to convert a screen capture to a vector image. inkscape has vastly superior type handling to powerpoint and it would avoid the whole conversion.
Nothing in particular. It’s just the process that came to mind when I started to pull my idea together. I’m not 100% sure how to “merge” 3 separate text boxes in inkscape to make one “monolithic” vector, but I did know how to convert an image into one, so that was the path I took!
i don’t know the exact command, either. i’m an illustrator person. but there are inkscape how-to documents in the tutorial matrix.
and if you have questions, one of the inkscape users here will likely chime in to help. it’s a way less convoluted process.
Thank you everyone for all of your tips! Is there an easier way to cut around the letters besides using the bezier tool?