Written in the Clouds: Creating With Shapecloud
I’m always amazed with all of the things we can do with technology when it comes to crafting. Think about it: we’ve gone from hand-operated die cutting machines to electronic cutting machines; hard-wired connections to Bluetooth connections; we’ve even advanced from using disks, cartridges, and flash drives to having the ability to create in a completely digital, paperless system.
We know that technology is simply going to continue to advance. It’s what our children are learning in school. So it makes me happy and excited whenever I can find a way to incorporate technology into crafting projects that I can do with my kids. So far, we’ve had lots of success using the Cricut machine to create all kinds of projects. But we recently came across another form of technology integration that I’m excited to share with you.
What are word clouds?
A couple of years ago, one of my educator friends came to my learning center to teach a summer writing lesson. During the lesson, she focused on character traits. As a final capstone project, she had the students make “Wordles” based on their own personality traits. That lesson was a HIT! In fact, I came home and searched for apps to create my own cool word art!
At this point, you may be wondering what I’m talking about. Basically, I’m talking about word clouds. Sometimes they’re called tag clouds. A word cloud is an image that is created using words. The way a word cloud generator works is that you key in the words you’d like to use in your image. In some generator software, you can input the number of times you’d like for certain words to appear. The larger the number, the bigger the word will appear in your text.
Word clouds are super fun to create. They can be random shapes, or they can be specific. I’ve seen them used to form clouds, apples (especially for teachers), footprints for baby gifts, houses, animals, and a ton of other things. I’ve even seen them used to create a monogram or initial for someone’s name. They also make unique and personal gifts for graduations and anniversaries, fun notebook covers, and decorations on large blankets and throws.
Are you ready for the best part? Creative Fabrica has a Word Cloud Generator tool. It’s called “Shapecloud”. Isn’t that cool?! It’s really simple to use. You can even upload your own shapes to use. Follow along as I walk you through accessing the tool, creating your artwork, and downloading your word cloud to your device. I’ll also offer a few suggestions on projects to create with this creative tool.
Accessing the Word Cloud Generator
- Open your web browser and navigate to CreativeFabrica.com
- Select “Menu” from the top toolbar.
- Select “Tools”
- Select “”Shapecloud”
Creating Your Artwork
- You’ll notice five place-holder words in blue boxes. Click on the “x” on each word to remove.
- Input your own word where it says “Add a new word”.
- Click on the blue button with the white arrow to add the word.
- Repeat until you have all the words you’d like to use.
- Next, you will select your shape. You can choose from the already existing shapes or you can upload your own shape.
- To upload your own shape, click on that button and follow the instructions.
- You can use the drop down arrow to select the category of shapes you’d like. There are six categories.
- I chose “Nature” and selected the flower.
- Next, select the font you’d like to use. There are 12 fonts to choose from, or you can upload your own font.
- I chose Indie Flower
- Next you’ll select the color you want your word to be.
- You can choose a single color or you can select a schema, which is essentially a color pallet.
- I selected “schema” and chose “Ocean Sunset”.
- Now select “Update changes” and your design will be generated.
Congratulations!! You’ve created your own Shapecloud. Let’s save it before you lose all that work you just did (I may or may not be speaking from personal experience.)
Downloading Your Work
- Tap “Download your Design”.
- You can choose which file type you want to download.
– PNG is one flat graphic with a transparent background. This is good for making stickers or doing other print then cut work.
– SVG is your scalable graphic and is the format you’ll want to use if you’ll be cutting and/or separating into layers to create with vinyl or HTV.
– PDF is useful if you need to share your file via email. For example, if you intend to send the graphic to the printer to have an oversized poster made, a PDF file would be ideal.
– Not sure? You can download all formats.
Once you download your word cloud to your device, you can make all kinds of things. You can create posters, signs, pillows, shadow boxes, postcards, ANYTHING! You can print it directly onto paper or cardstock, convert it to a cut file and cut it with vinyl or HTV.
Here are a few ideas of projects you can make using the Creative Fabrica Word Cloud Generator Shapecloud:
- Team Roster as a Coach’s gift. For this, you can upload your own shape. Ideas might be a basketball, a baseball bat, or a helmet.
- House or geo-marker for housewarming gifts. In the example below, I uploaded my Shapecloud into Canva. I used the compass app on my mobile phone to find the coordinates of the city for this gift. Then I added the coordinates to the bottom. It makes a beautiful framed piece.
- Heart made with names of children or grandchildren placed on a large canvas
- Paw print with pets name and/or traits as a memory gift
- Let your child choose a shape and use all of the words from a current unit or theme being taught (because the teacher in me is always alive).
What will you make? Leave a comment below!
I’d love to see what you make. If you use the Word Cloud generator to create, please tag me on Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok. I am EJsFunCrafting on all platforms.