Using the ‘Subtract All’ tool
First Cut

Using the ‘Subtract All’ tool

Hi There! Today I want to chat a little bit about the ‘subtract all’ tool in the modify window of Silhouette studio. Β For my card design, I wanted to use circles, but with a small twist. I didn’t want to just layer them on top of each other, but wanted them to fit together like a puzzle. You can see a little better what I mean in the close up picture here…

It looks like there are a lot of steps involved, but you can actually achieve the look with just one click in the modify window. Let me show you…

First, I used the ‘draw an elipse’ tool to create circles of different sizes, and overlapped the edges like this.

Then, I opened the modify window, selected all of the circles and clicked ‘subtract all’. Β Easy, right?

I separated the ‘new’ shapes here so you could see the results a little better…

At that point I cut them out of the different papers, as well as chipboard to get different dimensions, and pieced them back together on the front of my card.

I’ve got some other fun ‘subtract all’ project ideas that I’ll share next week, and until then I hope you’ll try it out, and share your project or questions you come across in the comments below.

Have a great Wednesday!

Click play for a closer look at the modify window and the ‘subtract all’ tool. {the ‘subtract all’ portion starts at about 6:30}

7 Lori Whitlock journaling shapes


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  1. I love the dimension! Such a clever card, and the patterns are so great together.

  2. Love this…. When I draw and then overlap the circles and click on subtract all – it cuts into the center circle – not the smaller outside circles like yours.. what am I doing wrong? πŸ™

    1. Whichever shape you have ‘on top’ will cut into the others. So you’ll want to select the center circle, right click and select ‘bring to front’, then try the subtract all again. πŸ™‚ Hope that helps!

    2. Yahooo! It worked! Thanks so much!

    3. You bet!

    4. Thanks for asking this same question – and answering Jeana – I always wondered that and was actually going to pose the same question – I learn more and more each time I come here… it’s all dropping into place – thank you so much.
      Paula x x x

  3. Thank you soooooo much. Very helpful! You make it so easy to understand. Im so glad I found your site!!! πŸ™‚

  4. This is right on target for me. I was trying to figure out the Subtract All tool this morning and didn’t have the appropriate objects on top. It makes total sense now. THANKS!

  5. Brilliant! Thanks for posting this!

  6. OMG Have I ever told you how fabulous you are?
    This was just the thing I was looking for!
    Keep up the good work.
    Because off this site, I’m always learning new and fabulous things about my Silhouette! Thank you so much!!

  7. Beautiful card, is the quote shape “hello” in the sil store? Also, how do you cut chipboard, I have had no success.

    1. Hi Debi! They are in the store, and I’ve added the links to the bottom of the post. πŸ™‚ As for chipboard, are you using the Silhouette brand?

  8. When will the Silhouette brand chipboard be available again?

    1. Hi Kaylyn,

      It’s a popular one and seems to sell as soon as we get it! We don’t have a specific date when it will be back in stock, but we are working to keep up with the demand. So keep checking πŸ™‚

  9. Great tutorial, I’m learning new things all the time. Thank you!

  10. I just realized that these video tutorials were here, and now I want to spend my afternoon watching all of them. This one clearly explained things, and I’m excited to try out the techniques!

  11. This tutorial was fantastic! I had no idea that you could do those things and I am so excited to go play with those features – thank you!!

  12. How easy is that, wow! Thanks!

  13. Beautiful card and great tutorial, I have a Facebook group, Silhouette Cameo Lovers Uk, and I have given my members the link to this and to the blog! Thank you, Denyse πŸ™‚ x

  14. What cut settings are you using for the chipboard please?

  15. Thank you for an easy to follow but informative tutorial,Its a beautiful clean cut effective card
    Bea x

  16. Thank you, a VERY useful tutorial πŸ™‚ Pretty card too!

  17. Right – I watched all the way through the video and wow – what a revalation it was… everything I wanted to know – right there… I’ve taken notes too ( as an aide memoire).

    Paula x x x

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