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If I create a plane and try to Outset, nothing happens. If I Extrude, press Enter, and then scale up, the vertices look right, but I end up with two faces fighting to share the same space. So that's two things that don't work. Is there something that will work?

Result of trying to outset a plane using Extrude

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First change to edge select mode and select the edges.*

Now Extrude, but not the "normal" extrusion (which is called a Extrude Region) you want to Extrude Individual.
You can get to that by clicking the "Extrude Individual" button on the tool shelf, or by pressing AltE > Edges only.
Extrude options on tool shelf and menu

Now, without doing anything press S. It is commonplace to cancel the translation part of the extrusion by pressing Esc or RMB RMB, but that is unnecessary and not needed (kind of like that redundancy).

Here in a glorious full color gif is the super simple process.
animated gif, because who doesn't like gifs


* If you use the keyboard shortcut instead of the tool shelf button, the selection mode can be in Vertex or Edge mode.

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  • $\begingroup$ Your answer is the right way to do it, IMO—much better than mine. (: $\endgroup$ – SilverWolf Sep 6 '17 at 17:09
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First, do exactly what you did. (You can just press ES and scale it that way without completing the extrude in between.) Then press X (Delete) > Only Faces. This will delete the face you just added, which covered the whole thing, but leave the interior faces (the ones you actually want) intact.

This will leave the normals flipped; you can then use Ctrl+F > Flip Normals to flip them back.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you! This does indeed work--but I found that it also flips the normals. $\endgroup$ – Charles Jenkins Aug 31 '17 at 17:34
  • $\begingroup$ Ah. In that case, you can use Ctrl+F > Flip Normals to flip them back. $\endgroup$ – SilverWolf Aug 31 '17 at 19:34

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