Chevrons and Triangles

chevronsI’m not a great one for trend-following. It’s partly my stubborn streak. When someone says, “this is a trend!” I pretty much head the other direction just for the principle of the thing.  The scrapbooking industry’s trendometer says that currently, chevrons are IN. Under normal conditions that means I wouldn’t be using any. However, in my ongoing efforts to find ways to make embellishments on the cheap, I ran across three easy methods for making chevrons that I just might condescend to using. You get the first one today, and the other two in a later post.

This method was inspired by this layout that is cute enough on its own, but see the chevron stack on the side? The chevrons are actually made from five-sided shapes (irregular pentagons. Isn’t geometry fun?). It looked easy enough to do, and while thinking through proportions, etc., it occured to me that cutting two of the five-sided shapes opposite each other, point to point, I would end up with two isosceles triangles which would be great for banners. I know what’s happening. Right now you’re thinking, “What in the world did that girl just say?”

You see, I’ve also been wondering how to easily cut isosceles triangles (for another trend, banners!) without ending up with two half-triangles that I probably would never use. What follows gives you two 5-sided shapes and 2 isosceles triangles, and no wasted paper. Two birds with one stone! And if you do this from two-sided paper, it’s even better.

Here’s a sketch to show you what I mean:











I worked with a rectangle that is 4″ x 3-1/2″. Of course you can adjust proportions as you wish.

Cut out rectangles. I was using two-sided paper so I cut one each from two different patterns.












Mark both 3-1/2″ sides with two pencil marks, 1″ from each corner. The orange dots on the sketch show you where they go.

First cut

Then you will make a diagonal cut from one side to the other, matching two of the marks from opposite corners. It’s hard to explain with words, so refer to this photo:

first cut












It’s important to cut right from one mark to the other. You will want both the diagonal lines making the point to be even. Read on….

Now you need to mark the mid-point of the diagonal side you just made. The easy way to do that is lay the shape lined up on a grid surface like this:

diagonal cut

Second cut

This one is a little tricky. You need to know just where your cutter’s blade runs, and cut from the dot you just made on the diagonal edge to the mark on the longer side edge.

second cutting line







Make the second cut on the diagonal edge on the other shape from your first cut. You should end up with these shapes:









Run through the whole thing with the other rectangle. Now you have four five-sided shapes and four triangles.

Overlap the five-sided shapes to make a stack. Oops, look, my second cuts weren’t always completely on center and my stack isn’t either.

offcenter stack










The diagonal edges aren’t the same length. Quick solution: slice of a tiny bit from the short diagonal edge. Very thin! Too much and the problem will shift to the other side! (Long term solution: cut and measure more carefully!)

Now they line up better.

chevron stack









The size of this stack would work on a card. To duplicate the layout linked to above, make more and adjust the size of the rectangles. The “chevrons” in the layout are spaced farther apart, also.

Now you, too, are part of the Cool Chevron Crowd! Save the triangles to make banners!


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