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!

 

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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!

 

 

 

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Cute, cute, cute!

So far with my Silhouette, I’ve decided that I love working with vinyl. I’ve been wanting to branch out and try some patterned vinyl.

I ordered some of this super cute polka-dot vinyl from Expressions Vinyl (you can check it out here). I wanted to use this to make a cute frame for a monogram. I recently purchased a floral-ish design (shown below) from the Silhouette Design Store and I thought it would make for a great frame around a circle monogram. I took a picture of the patterned vinyl and imported it into the library. If you move the image to the patterns folder in your library, then you can use it as a fill pattern. Its helpful to do this with a pattern vinyl so you can get a sense of how the pattern will look once the design has been cut.

Here is a picture of the design filled with the lime green polka dot pattern:

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For the monogram in this one, I decided to use a circular monogram pattern I purchased off Etsy. I ended up cutting it out in white. I sized the monogram in design studio, then moved to its own file for cutting.

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Once I had the two pieces cut and weeded, I cut a piece of transfer tape big enough to cover the entire pattern. I placed the tape onto the monogram first, trying to make sure it was as centered as possible. I then peeled up the tape with the monogram and placed over the frame. Very carefully, I placed the monogram within the circle and applied the transfer tape over the rest of the design.

Now my decal was ready! I applied it to my portrait to give it a personal touch 🙂

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Patterned vinyl is very cute and I’d like to try to print some patterns of my own with printable vinyl.

Happy Crafting!

(Shameless plug – if you’d like to get one of these decals for yourself you can snag one from my Etsy shop here : https://www.etsy.com/shop/ZnBDesigns?ref=hdr_shop_menu)

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!

 

 

 

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Decals, Decals, Decals

Wow – this week flew by! Busy week at work and busy weekend, but I did get a chance to work on a few small projects on my Silhouette.

The first project I’m going to share is a really quick and cute decal I made for my phone. I recently replaced my broken case and thought I’d add a cute little decoration.

I took the paw outline I used from my previous heat transfer project and a simple heart outline. This was so easy to make and cut. It can be easily sized for various phones, laptops, etc.

I would pick a different font in the future or make it a little thicker – it came out VERY thin when I sized it down for my iPhone.

applied-decal

I also worked on a few decals to customize tumblers for my family members. I started by working with a block-y font. I found a free font online called “Freshman” that is great for this use.

Starting with each block letter, I used thin rectangles to create an open space about 2/3 of the way “down” the letter. This leaves a space for the name text to go.

I sized each letter to about 6.5″. I made the rectangles 6″ wide and .125″ tall. I placed the top one about 3.5″ down and the next one about 2″ from the bottom of the letter. This will leave ~1.5″ space for the lettering. You can use subtract to remove the middle and weld to attach the thin rectangles.

I used a variety of patterns – chevron, floral, polka dots. This tutorial from the Silhouette School Blog gives a great “how-to” on how to get a pattern inside a shape or text.

For these, I tried out a few different font options – I like the look of a “script” font on top of the block letter.

A few lessons learned, be careful with patterns that are too delicate. The original floral pattern came out what to thin and the vinyl while I was applying it. Also, be sure to “thicken” the lettering somewhat or the script will be hard to read/get absorbed by the larger initial.

 

Cute, no? These decals would go great on tumblers, yetis, laptops, windows, etc.! If you’re interested in a custom decal for yourself or someone else in your life – please check out my Etsy shop. I can also do custom orders!

Happy Crafting 🙂

Posted in Silhouette Projects, Uncategorized

Trying out Heat Transfer

Since I got my Silhouette Portrait, I’ve had a blast trying out different types of crafts & materials. I’ve been wanting to try using Heat Transfer vinyl.

My husband and I don’t have kids, but we do have two fur kids. When we travel, they go to a wonderful doggie day care. I’ve been using a reuseable grocery bag to transport all their things in, but the other day, I thought – how cute would it be if I made a personalized tote bag for their food, toys, medicine etc.

I ordered a couple of canvas tote bags and a pack of glitter heat transfer vinyl off Amazon. (If you’re interested links Heat Transfer Vinyl and tote bags). I would recommend washing & drying the tote bags before working with them.

Next, I started working on the design. I began with a simple paw print. You can easily grab a clip art paw and trace in Silhouette Studio.

I wanted to curve each dogs name around the paw. To do this, I first drew an ellipsis and then cut it in half so there was a curve shape around the bottom of the paw.

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I cut the ellipsis (drawn below the paw) in half to use as the curve for the text

Next, I chose my font for the dogs names. I bought this font – Lemon & Honey – from the Silhouette Design Studio a while ago. I just love it and use it A LOT. To curve the text, type what you want and then double click until you see a lime green outline around the text box. Grab and move the box so it is over the curve that was created. The text will “adhere” to the curve and you’ll notice the curve will now be grey instead of red. You can move the text so it sits below or above the curve. You can also adjust where on the curve the text sits and the curve itself.

Once I got to the point where I liked how the text looked with the paw, I highlighted the text and welded the letters together. I also grouped the paw and text, so I could adjust the size more easily.

Before you’re ready to cut, do NOT forget to mirror the entire image!

I used the default settings in Silhouette Studio for Glitter Heat Transfer material. I found that this setting cut very well with no issues. Also, make sure that you place the vinyl with the plastic backing DOWN on the sticky mat when cutting.

After cutting, I removed the excess vinyl and weeded as usual.

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The cut & weeded design.

Onto the actual heat transfer. For this material, most sites recommend high heat (hottest setting) and 10-15 seconds of firm pressure.

We don’t have an ironing board, but I find a bath towel can convert any firm surface into a great ironing surface. I borrowed an old cotton undershirt from my husband to place on top of the material while ironing.

I don’t have a very nice iron, so I found that I had to work the design in sections and it only covered a portion of the design at a time. My process was – iron a section for 15 seconds – check that the plastic backing peels away easily – and repeat until the plastic backing comes away cleanly from the entire design.

I created a second design for the other pup. Cut, weeded and ironed-on for my finished tote.

Here is the final product:

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Not bad for my first heat transfer project!

Now the fur babies have a custom tote bag for their trips to day care! The verdict on heat transfer vinyl: I found it relatively easy to work with and the result is soo cute! Maybe the weeding was a little more difficult because it was a thicker material (probably because it was glitter), but overall once you are comfortable working with vinyl I don’t think you’ll see a big difference with heat transfer vinyl. There are many good guides, like this one that give good guidance for how much heat and how long it should be applied for the different types of HTV material.

Happy Crafting!

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We don’t like silly hats, but we love our new bag!
Posted in Silhouette Projects, Uncategorized

Quick and Simple Foil Craft

Today, I found myself in need of a nice sympathy card because of a death in our extended family. Instead of running out the store to grab one, I wanted to take a shot at designing one myself.

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A few weeks ago I picked up a couple sets of blank notecards and envelopes from Michaels. (Here: http://www.michaels.com/value-pack-cards-envelopes-kraft-recollections/10239830.html).

For my design, I started by downloading a design called “Bird on Branch” from the Silhouette Studio store (https://www.silhouettedesignstore.com/view-shape/8459). I thought it was simple and pretty design that would be appropriate for a sympathy card.

I also wanted to create a frame for the Bird on Branch design on the card. I found a stock photo of a “Chinese lattice window” and used the outline and an internal offset to create a beautifully shaped frame for the design. I welded the Bird on Branch design into the frame and cleaned up the cut lines a bit as well. You can see my steps in Silhouette Studio below:

For the lettering, I found a simple handwriting font – “Snell Roundhand” – for the “Thinking of You” text. After sizing and centering the design and text it was time to cut.

I chose the adhesive foil material I had picked up a few weeks ago. I used the cut settings recommended by Silhouette Studio for adhesive foil and the cut came out pretty well. The small “dots” over the i did not make it through the weeding process. Also, I cut two instances of the full design and I think a loose “dot” got caught in the blade and messed up the cut of the letters in the second design.

I weeding the foil and used transfer tape to apply to the notecard. Overall, I was happy with this project and now I have a nice design I can use again.