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Vector Cactus Birthday Card in Illustrator

Posted on 2nd October 2019
For this tutorial, we will use some vector “Cactus” from DesignBundles.com (https://designbundles.net/dorkmissy/215842-cactus-family-cartoon-set-cut-files-for-decals) and the Free Font “Le Discussioni” from FontBundles.com (https://fontbundles.net/free-fonts/script-fonts/le-discussioni).

1 - In Illustrator, create a “New Document”.



2 - If the “Rulers” are not enabled, go to View > Rulers > Show Rulers (Command/Control + R) to turn them ON.





3 - Use the “Rectangle Tool” (M), click inside the “Canvas” to create a 10 x 10 cm  “Squared” shape. Fill it with a Green shade from the “Swatches Panel”.







4 - Center it using the “Horizontal and Vertical Align Center” options on your Top Menu and make sure that “Align to Artboard” is selected. Or use the same options in the “Align Panel”.



5 - Lock the Square by going to Object > Lock > Selection (Command/Control + “).



6 - Open the “Cactus-Fam” document (or any other vectors you want to use). “Copy” (Command/Control + C) and “Paste” (Command/Control + V) them into your original file.







7 - Resize it if needed using the “Shift” key to make it proportionally. Change the “Fill” color of the vectors to White.







8 - With them still selected, head to the “Appearance Panel”, click on the “Effects” Menu at the bottom and navigate to Distort & Transform > Transform, use an “Horizontal” and “Vertical Move” of 0.02 cm and make 1 “Copy” then, click “OK.





9 - Go to Object > Expand Appearance and then Object > Expand.





10 - Right-click on top and choose “Ungroup”. Then, select the duplicate vector and change the “Fill” color to Black. Make sure you do it in every vector and that the Black filled ones are the ones “Under” the White ones.







11 - Select each individual vector and its “Shadow”, right-click on top and choose “Group”. Repeat with all of them.





12 - Start placing them on top of the Green “Square”. “Rotate” them a bit to create a fun pattern.



13 - Use some smaller vectors to fill some of the “Gaps” between the bigger ones.





14 - Use the “Ellipse Tool” (E), click inside the “Canvas” and create a 5 cm (Width) by 3.5 cm (Height) “Oval” shape. Center it using the “Horizontal and Vertical Align Center” options on your Top Menu and make sure that “Align to Artboard” is selected. Or use the same options in the “Align Panel”.







15 - Right-click on top of the Oval and choose “Send to Back”. If it disappears, head to the “layers Panel” and drag its Thumbnail so it is placed on top of the “Green Square” shape. Lock it too, by clicking on the small “Padlock” on the left side of its Thumbnail.







16 - Finish filling all the “Green Square” shape with “Cactus” but leave a gap where the “Oval” is. You can leave some portions of the vectors sit outside the square.



17 - Turn off the visibility of the “Oval” by clicking on the “Small Eye” icon on the left side of its Thumbnail (or delete it if you think you don’t need it anymore).



18 - Select the “Type Tool” (T), choose your font (we used “Le Confussioni” from FontBundles.com) and type your text. Place it in the “Gap” in the pattern created by the “Oval” shape. Fill it with Black.





19 - Rotate and or Resize it a bit if needed.



20 - Make a “Copy” (Command/Control + C) and “Paste in Front” (Command/Control + F).





21 - Change the “Fill” color of the copy to White and move it Up and Left a bit making it very similar to the shade used in the vector shapes.





22 - Go to Object > Unlock all. Select the “Rectangle Tool” (M), click inside the “Canvas” and create another 10 x 10 cm  “Squared” shape. This time it should have “NO Fill and Stoke”. Place it on top of the original one.







23 - Select everything, right-click on top and choose “make Clipping Mask”





24 - Check out your Artwork!


by @lornacane

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