Custom Pages

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Drawing Teardrop Shaped Rings: Alternative Method

On Wednesdays, a few members of the Online Tatting Class have been meeting to discuss using Inkscape to create tatting diagrams. I've been attending the early sessions, which are at 3 PM Eastern Standard Time.

During the first class, one of the members named Pixie shared an alternative method of creating teardrop shaped rings. I had previously used a different method, which can be found by clicking here.

This alternative method involves drawing an oval with the Circle tool, changing the oval into a Path, and then making the topmost node corner (which creates a pointed end). I've incorporated another step, which is to add a Spiro path effect to the ring, to smoothen out the curves.

Here is a step by step tutorial.

After opening Inkscape, you will need to draw an oval using the circle tool:

This oval needs to be changed to a Path, so that we can get editable nodes. To change it to a Path, select the oval and go to Path -> Object to Path on the main menu:

Once the oval has been changed into a Path, it should have four little square icons (called "nodes") around the perimeter. These will be visible only after the node tool (F2) is selected.

Select the Node tool, which is right underneath the cursor icon on the left side of the screen. Then, click on the topmost node of your oval, or whichever node you would like to make pointy (it will turn blue after it has been selected). Next, click on the icon at the top of the screen to "Make selected nodes corner". You will need to click on this icon twice to get a nice sharp point:

This is what the oval looks like afterwards. You can see the teardrop shape beginning to form:

We can smooth out the edges of the ring by adding a Path effect called "Spiro Spline". To do this, select your ring and go to Path -> Path effects on the main menu.

This will open up a new window on the right side of the screen. Click on the "+" icon to add a new effect:

After clicking the "+" icon, a pop up window will appear in the middle of the screen. Scroll down and select "Spiro spline" then click "Add":

This will smooth out the edges of the ring to make a nice teardrop shape:

If you want to reshape the ring, you can do so by using the resize arrows, which appear when the ring is selected with the Cursor tool (F1). The height and width can be adjusted pretty freely, and you don't have to worry about holding the CTRL key while resizing. Click here to read more about resizing shapes in Inkscape.

You can also adjust the shape of the ring by moving nodes with the node tool, but I don't think it's necessary in this case. However, if you would like to see a more detailed explanation of that please leave a comment down below and I will create a separate post with pictures.

After you have a shape that you like, remember to save it to a template file for future use. Copy/pasting images from a template file saves a lot of time when creating new diagrams.

In my next post I'll talk about how to draw symmetrical chains. The question popped up in our online Inkscape discussion a few weeks ago, and I've finally found a solution. I just need to take screenshots and compile a post.


  1. One day, one day I will do this, thanks for sharing 🐥💟🐥

  2. I followed your instructions (thanks, Pixie) and loved how the oval transformed into a teardrop - magical !!! However, I didn't need to go through all the other steps. With grid view, & node icon selected, if I simply placed cursor on each of the 3 nodes on the curve, I could manipulate it into any size & shape.
    Try it & I'd love to hear your feedback.
    Thanks again, for sharing these detailed tuts - they have helped me no end and & don't tire of saying it :-)

    1. Do you mean that you used nodes to edit the shape, rather than adding the "Spiro spline" path effect? You can do it either way, and Pixie mentioned editing her ring using nodes. I'm just a big fan of the Spiro paths because they make the edges nice and smooth :)