Posted in Silhouette Projects, Uncategorized

DIY Spring Table Runner

During my last trip to IKEA, not only did I pick up a great cabinet for organizing my craft room, but I found tons of great and inexpensive items just dying to be decorated.

One of the many great things I found was the MARIT table runner in beige. Since then, I’ve been thinking about the best way to decorate it for spring.

I wanted to do floral/leaves/birds and spent a lot of time surfing the Silhouette Design store for some patterns I liked. I ended up settling on a leafy border for each end and a floral design for the center. Patterns here & here. I also went back and forth on whether to do use freezer paper or HTV. Since the material was more rustic, I thought fabric paint would look better, so I went with freezer paper stenciling.

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To do this yourself you will need:

  • Silhouette Cameo
  • 12″x12″ cutting mat (either a light-hold mat or one that is less sticky)
  • Freezer Paper
  • Tulip Soft Fabric Paint
  • Sponge brush & smaller paint brush
  • Other tools: scissors, hook tool, tweezers
  • Patience 🙂

After I chose and sized my designs, I cut the stencils one at a time out using the freezer paper. I used the Vellum setting on the Silhouette (Blade 1, Speed 6, Thickness 19). I cut with the shiny side down on the mat. Note, my blade is pretty new and very sharp, I recommend a test cut before you cut the full design.

After cutting, I weeded out the areas that will eventually get painted. The border design was relatively simple and only had one piece to iron on. The center design was much more complicated.

I’ll start with the end designs first. After removing the interior piece, I carefully peeled up the remaining stencil from the mat. The reason its good to use a light-hold mat is because the stencil will come up more easily.

To prepare the fabric, be sure to first put a piece of cardboard under the area to be painted. Carefully smooth out the stencil, shiny side down, over the area and make sure its positioned where you want it. After heating the iron, I find for a larger stencil its easier to first tack each corner to make sure its positioned correctly. After that, carefully apply heat with an iron to adhere each piece of the stencil to the fabric. Once all the pieces are down, go back one more time with the heat and make sure the corners and edges are all carefully adhered to the fabric. Try to avoid swiping the iron across the stencil as it may displace the edges.

Using the fabric paint, I mixed a bright green with some white, and a sponge brush, dab paint over the stencil. Be careful to not apply too much paint to the edges and do not swipe the brush across the stencil as it may cause it to peel off the fabric.

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After application, you can either wait for for the paint to dry or peel the the stencil off right away. I find the tweezers are handy here to get small pieces out of the pattern.

The same method generally applies for the more complicated design, but I have a few tips since the stencil is not all one piece. For the design, I applied the outer piece of the stencil first. I kept the individual pieces on the silhouette mat and used the mat to help align the remaining pieces. I carefully peeled each piece of the mat and adhered one by one.

For the center design, I used multiple colors and the same application method as for the border. The small paint brush is also helpful for touching up areas that didn’t get enough paint or overlapped.

All-in-all, I love the final product. It was definitely a lot of hard work and I do not recommend this project as your first time using freezer paper stencils, but it was my second major project with freezer paper and it came out great :).

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Happy Crafting!

 

Posted in Silhouette Projects

The 3-Projects-in-1-Post Post

I had a great Saturday. No plans, no travel – a whole day to organize and craft. Hence, this post will contain three great projects that I finished up yesterday – not just one!

First of all, my craft area (which is also our office, which is also the sitting room off our master bedroom) was WAY overdue for some organization. Last weekend, I got to make my first trip to IKEA (our closest one is ~2.5 hours away). Its as amazing as everyone says and its way more than just furniture as I found out. Its also paradise for the person who desperately wants to be more organized.

Long term, I want to redo the whole office with IKEA, but I decided to start small. I picked up the Alex storage unit with 6 drawers that are wide enough to fit 12″x12″ sheets. (Side note: As with everything from IKEA its “assemble-yourself.” My husband had this together in a couple of hours)I figured it would fit nicely next to my craft table and also be the perfect height for my printer. I also picked up a few of the Variera shopping bag holders. I had seen these on Pinterest as a great (and cheap – only $1.99 each) way to store vinyl rolls. IKEA is also a great place for crafting blanks, but more on that in another blog post.

 

I had enough space to separate out cardstock, vinyl, heat transfer vinyl and miscellaneous materials. I also created some simple vinyl labels for the drawers, so everything is easy to find. I need to enlist my husband to hang up the vinyl roll storage and help me shift a few pieces of furniture, but I’m very happy with the end result.

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My second project yesterday was homemade spice mix jars. I actually started these a few days ago using some of the patterned vinyl I printed off in my last project, but I got a chance to finish them up yesterday.

The idea came from our latest taco night and my realization that the Taco Seasoning mix we bought was way, WAY too salty. So, I decided to make my own and of course it would need some adorable labels cut on my Silhouette.

I found these cute jars on Amazon for <$10. They are small enough to fit in my hanging spice rack in the pantry. The challenge with these jars was that they were very small, so the labels had to be even smaller (about 1.25″ square).

In my last post, I went through how to use printable vinyl and laminate, so I won’t go through that again. For the label, I used a square decorative frame from a frame collection I had created for my library. I did an internal offset twice to create a frame for the text. I sized the text to fit into the frame and separated the offset frame & text from the larger frame outline.

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I cut the larger frame out of the patterned vinyl and the text and internal frame out of white adhesive vinyl. After the first pass at the small letters, I realized I needed to thicken the letters a bit to get a clean cut on the Silhouette.

After cutting and weeding, I used the transfer tape to first apply the white frame & text onto the patterned vinyl and then apply the entire design to the jar. For some reason, I noticed that the transfer tape adhesive really stuck to the laminate on the patterned vinyl, but I was able to clean it off pretty easily.

For the actual mixes, I used some of the recipes collected here. To reduce the salt, I 1/4th the amount of salt called for in each recipe. Most recipes also tell you how much of each mix to use to equal a packet (its usually about 2-3 tablespoons worth). Depending on how fast we go through the mixes, I may upgrade to some bigger jars in the future.

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Finally!! I got a chance to breakout my Curio this weekend. I purchased this a while back with an Amazon gift card, but had not had the time to really dig into the machine. I’m not going to go into a full review yet as I have not really had time to try out all the features, but I will say from what I’ve seen so far it is definitely unique.

The Curio supports embossing/debossing, stippling, metal etching, has a deeper base so it can cut thicker materials and supports two tools (you could say do a sketch and cut in one pass).

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Things I love: the Design Studio software automatically recognizes when my Curio is plugged in and enables the new features. The software tells you how tall the platform should be. The embossing mat is a nice addition. The etching is pretty darn cool.

Things I’m “meh” on: The tray loading was a little confusing – it does not load the mat like the Portrait/Cameo, you have to push in the tray yourself. The software auto-mirrored my design (emboss – auto-mirror, deboss – not mirrored). Curio seems to be designed for small scale projects. An intricate etch design took ~30 minutes to complete.

To etch, you can use any design with cut lines. If you don’t fill it, it will only etch the outlines. You can fill with embossing effects or via multiple internal offsets. Just beware, if you’re embossing it will auto-mirror the design (which makes sense for actually embossing). You can select deboss and get the same fill patterns without needing to mirror.

You can see my original “oops” and the final design below. Overall, I think this machine is a nice compliment to the Portrait/Cameo, but definitely not a replacement. I’m excited to try out some of the other features. I will be sure to let you all know.

Hope you all are having  a great weekend and Happy Crafting!

Posted in Silhouette Projects

Adventures in Printable Vinyl Pt. 2

In my last post I tried out printable vinyl for the first time, using a spray acrylic sealer for waterproofing. The results were OK, but I wanted to try another method.

After a bit of searching, I found this great starter kit from Expressions Vinyl. It includes 7 sheets of printable vinyl (8.5 x 11) and four 12×12 sheets of vinyl laminate. Vinyl laminate is a clear film that can be applied over printed vinyl to waterproof and protect the vinyl from fading.

For my patterns, I used some more watercolor backgrounds and scanned in some of my patterned cardstock. Note, my printer won’t print larger than 8.5″ x 11″, but there are plenty of good, reasonably-priced photo printers that can print larger. You can buy printable vinyl in 12″ x 12″ format as well.

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Watercolor backgrounds ready to print

The vinyl printed nicely and I noticed less curling compared to the Cricut brand printable vinyl. I let it sit for about 30 minutes and then got to work.

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Printed sheets of vinyl. WAY less curling than the Cricut brand

I recently purchase these gorgeous mandala patterns from a designer on Etsy and was anxious to get to try them out.

I decided to start with the watercolor sheet. I cut out about a fourth of the printed sheet. I cut a piece of vinyl laminate to fit and carefully applied it to the vinyl. On this step, be careful to avoid it folding or bubbling. It worked for me to start applying on one end and gradually lay more laminate down. Having a credit card handy to smooth the laminate out is certainly helpful.

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The vinyl laminate is on the left, printed vinyl on the right

After laminated, it was time to cut. The printed vinyl with the laminate is definitely a bit thicker than regular vinyl. After some searching online, I found some very helpful guidelines for cut settings – here. It may be because my blade is getting a bit dull, but I set my blade to 4 instead of 3. The settings otherwise were perfect and my first design cut perfectly! I was so excited to try this out, I used my favorite of the four patterns as my first cut. In retrospect, always go with your *least* favorite. I got lucky this time :).

The vinyl also weeded well. Again, its a bit thicker with the laminate on, but no issues weeding and the laminate did not pull away from the vinyl.

Here are my final designs cut and weeded:

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This ended up being a great pattern to show off the watercolor variations

I’m DEFINITELY a fan of using a vinyl laminate vs. the acrylic spray. No mess, way less fuss. Using the laminate is a bit more expensive of course, but overall worth the investment.

I’m working on the best way to sell these via my Etsy shop, so if you’re interested keep an eye out or send me a message 🙂 – UPDATE: You can purchase one of these beautiful decals here!

Happy crafting and HAPPY FRIDAY!

 

 

Posted in Silhouette Projects

DIY Watercolor Vinyl

Vinyl is great. Its so versatile and in this post I’m going to show what I did with printable vinyl.

Its very easy to find solid vinyl, but patterned vinyl can be expensive and specific patterns are hard to fine. Luckily, there is printable vinyl for all your customized vinyl needs.

I picked up this printable vinyl a few weeks ago at Michaels. For my first project using it, I wanted to create some watercolor vinyl using watercolor graphics I picked up a while back.

To get started, the printable vinyl sheets are standard 8.5 x 11, so I opened up Microsoft Word and imported the graphics. I decided to just do two sheets to start. You can see screen shots of the Word documents below:

I set the printer to high gloss photo paper settings and printed both sheets. My printer is a pretty basic inkjet Epson printer, but it handled the printable vinyl very well.

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After printing, I let the sheets dry for about 30 minutes so as not to smudge the ink. At this point, the vinyl is ready to go if you’d like, but it is not waterproof.

In order to make it more durable, I decided to use acrylic sealer. You can also purchase vinyl laminate that can be layered on the printed vinyl to waterproof it.

Below is the vinyl as I sprayed it with acrylic sealer. Note, if you’ve never worked with acrylic sealer, it STINKS and you should definitely always use it in a well ventilated area – preferably outside. The vinyl had a tendency to want to curl up, so I applied some tape to try to keep it as flat as possible.

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I let the sealer dry overnight and other than a few spots where the sealer pooled a bit the vinyl turned out very well.

I cut a simple design on my silhouette on the green vinyl and I’m very pleased with how it came out. I’m a little hesitant to use it on any drinkware because of the remaining smell from the acrylic sealer. Maybe a laptop or cell phone decal? I definitely want to test out its durability.

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I have also ordered some vinyl laminate, so I look forward to trying that out on printable vinyl as well. I will definitely be using printable vinyl again!

Happy Crafting!

(P.S. Shameless plug – If you want to check out any of my designs for sale, check out my Etsy store. Maybe some watercolor vinyl designs will be popping up soon!)

Posted in Silhouette Projects, Uncategorized

A Housewarming Gift using Freezer Paper Stencils

A month or so ago, AC Moore was having a great sale on canvases, so I picked up a few including this cute burlap photo canvas.

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I’ve been thinking of ways to turn this into a cute housewarming gift for my sister and her husband as they will be moving into their first home in about a week. Based on what I’ve read, seems like people get mixed results with vinyl and heat transfer vinyl on canvas. One suggestion I found was to use freezer paper stencils and use fabric paint on canvas.

My sister is doing a beach theme in her home and I whipped up a quick design with a starfish and vine monogram letter for their last name.

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I started out by first cutting the starfish. For the freezer paper, I found the best setting is to use the “Vellum” setting in Silhouette Design Studio and adjust the blade to 3, speed to 3 cm/s and thickness to 15. For the starfish, I put the shiny side of the wax paper down onto the sticky mat and cut, but for the more detailed vine letter, I needed to cut shiny side up. Note, if you cut shiny side up you need to mirror your design.

After cutting the first stencil, I carefully laid the paper on the spot I wanted to paint on the canvas. I used a book and a piece of cardboard to provide a good surface to iron on. I ironed down the stencil make sure that it was well adhered to the burlap.

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I then carefully dabbed paint over the stencil. Be careful not to go too heavy on the paint near the edge. Dabbing is better than brushing the paint on as that technique may shift the stencil or get paint under the edges. After finishing the starfish, I let it dry completely before ironing on the next stencil.

I found having a pair of tweezers was handy to pull up the small pieces of the stencil. You can either wait for the paint to dry to pull up the stencils or pull it up right away. I found that the “L” was a little more difficult. I think the loose weave of the burlap make it more difficult to get super clean lines.

Overall, I’m happy with how the whole project turned out and would definitely use this technique again. Compared to the cost of heat transfer vinyl, freezer paper and fabric paint is a cost efficient option as well!

 

 

 

Posted in Silhouette Projects, Uncategorized

DIY Floating Frame Decor

Happy Saturday!

Today I finished one of my favorite projects to date. Since getting my Silhouette, I’ve admired the beautiful floating frame projects. I think it makes for gorgeous decor and I’m so excited to say that I finished my first floating frame project.

It all started last Saturday when I was out consignment shopping with my sister. I’ve been keeping my eyes open for affordable frames and other knick knacks to transform with my Silhouette. Tucked in a nook in the back, I found two pieces of what can best described as “motel art.” The “art” I could care less about, the frames, however, looked great. The pair was 75% off and I scored them for a total of $12. I think all the people in the consignment store were questioning my taste as I hauled the pictures up to the checkout, but little did they know my plan for these frames 🙂

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For the first frame, I started thinking about putting something cute together to hang over our bar cart. I went with “You be my glass of wine, I’ll be your shot of whiskey” – perfect quote for me and my hubby as I prefer the wine, he prefers the whiskey. My sister tells me its from a country song :).

My first step was having to remove the “motel art” occupying the original frame. It was NAILED in, so it took a few more tools than anticipated, but I eventually freed the frame. I cleaned the glass and applied a generous line of tacky glue around the inside of the frame and placed the glass on top of the glue. You want to make sure there is ENOUGH glue for a good hold, but not so much that it spills out onto the glass that is visible. I let this dry while I worked on the vinyl.

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I started by measuring the frame – ~15″x15″ and created a 14″x14″ workspace in Silhouette Design Studio. I decided on Rockwell Extra Bold and Safina Script to have a nice contrast between blocky and curvy fonts. I also fond some simple wine and whiskey glass outlines. I decided on black gloss vinyl for the text and some glitter vinyl for the wine & whiskey glasses.

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Note, I moved the words, the glasses outline, and glasses filling all to separate files before cutting. I found the master version was helpful when I returned to layout the final design on the glass. I cut, weeded and applied transfer tape to all the pieces. I then cleaned the glass on both sides and laid out the the design. I used blue painters tape to help with lining up the words.

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Next, I used the hinge method (described here) to apply the wording, one line at a time. I did the glitter glasses last. I found the glitter vinyl I used did not stick well to the transfer tape, so it was a bit of work, but I FINALLY got them applied to the glass.

After putting one quick nail in the wall, cleaning the back of the glass again, and smoothing out a few bubbles – VOILA – I had a great new decoration for our kitchen.

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TBD on my plans for the other frame 🙂 I will keep you all posted!

 

 

 

Posted in Silhouette Projects

Fairytale Wreath Decals – Layering Vinyl!

Yikes, over a week since my last post – another busy, busy week, but I’m back and I want to share my latest project.

I have been experimenting with creating different “frames” for monograms, etc. For this project, I decided to use a “fairytale wreath” I created (seen below).

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I was a little concerned about the small dots and how hard they may be to work with on small scale, so I removed those and added some color with a few simple flowers.

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To actually cut the vinyl, I separated the flowers from the wreath portion and cut the wreath on green vinyl and the flowers on pink.

Both patterns were very delicate and took a lot of care and patience to weed away the excess vinyl. Below are the two parts of the design after being cut & weeded.

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To apply, I started by cutting a piece of transfer tape and applying it to the flowers. I then carefully lined up the flowers for where I wanted them to be on the wreath and then placed the tape over the wreath design. I slipped *ever so slightly* and got the flowers a bit off, but nothing too noticeable 🙂

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To apply to a tumbler, I used the hinge method (good demonstration here). As delicate as this pattern in, its important to make sure its carefully applied and the transfer tape is removed *VERY* carefully.

Now the wreath is ready for a monogram or a name!

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I love the delicate floral look of this decal and it makes a great, personalized gift.