Making patterned letters or shapes using Inkscape

July 23, 2009

There has been some interest lately in making patterned letters.  These would look great cut in vinyl for wall art.  They could also be used like an illuminated letter for cards or scrapbook pages if a connected pattern was used.  I used a letter for my example, but this would work just as well for shapes.

  1. Make your background pattern.  I used a dingbat called Flower Ornaments for the pattern and repeated it four times.
  2. Make your letter (or shape)
  3. Convert the pattern and letter to Path
  4. If you are using Inkscape 0.47  make sure that all letters/dingbat characters are ungrouped (Object/Ungroup) before continuing.
  5. If you used more than one dingbat for the pattern, use Path/Union on the pattern pieces
  6. Place the letter where you want it cut from the pattern (I have my letter with a stroke and no fill so that I can see the pattern)
  7. If you want an outline, duplicate the letter (control D when the original letter is selected)
  8. Select the pattern and one letter
  9. Path/Intersection.
  10. Select the remaining letter
  11. Set the stroke to a width that you like
  12. Path/Stroke to path
  13. Select the patterned letter and the outlined letter
  14. Path/Union