Sunday, 20 August 2017

Make your own adhesive patterned paper (or cardstock)

Hello Janet here sharing a trick I use all the time for transforming favourite card and paper into adhesive backed media. The sheets can be used right away or kept for future projects; with the peel-off paper backing they store perfectly.

Using adhesive backed cardstock saves time, adhesive, and often a good bit of mess. They are great for unusual shapes and batch projects. I love the  Silhouette Adhesive-Backed Textured Cardstock which comes in a wide selection of lovely colours, but not in patterns. So today I'll show you how to make adhesive sheets from your own cardstock or designer papers.

I use the Silhouette Double Sided Adhesive sheets to make them. I've tried other brands, but they tend to have thinner backing paper and I've had them stick badly to my mat when cutting and have torn and taken an age to peel off.  The Silhouette brand peels off the mat easily and having a thicker backing has the bonus of giving the paper/card additional strength and rigidity. The Silhouette sheets come in a pack of eight 8.5″ x 11″ sheets.

What You'll Need

Paper or Cardstock
Silhouette Double Sided Adhesive

Making Adhesive Backed Sheets

Place your chosen paper face down on a clean, flat surface.

Peel the yellow backing half way down the adhesive sheet.

Carefully align the adhesive at one of the corners, smooth out and then press firmly.

Trim your paper if you wish, then use for a design or store for later use.

Cutting Adhesive Backed Sheets

Place the adhesive-backed paper/card on a cutting mat patterned side up.  As you only want to cut to the backing paper, and not all the way through, your cut settings will be similar to those when cutting the unbacked paper or card. Carry out a test cut to be certain.

When your settings are correct the pieces easily peel off the backing paper.

I used the patterned paper to decorate these 5-Sided Pillow Boxes by Carina Gardner from the Silhouette Design Store.

It was quick and easy to stick all 33 pieces on, and even the patterns matched correctly!

I hope you find this useful. Let me know in the comments below, or share a picture of your finished item over on the Silhouette UK Facebook page.

Bye for now,

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Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Mason Jar Tissue Holders

Hello again,
Janet here using heat transfer to decorate fabric sleeves for mason jar tissue holders. I've seen ideas for decorating mason jars to hold tissues in their thousands on Pinterest, but most of them use distressing techniques to make shabby chic holders, and that's not really my style. I first spray painted the jars and decided I'd cover up the wording with a hessian sleeve and decorate it with heat transfer.

What You'll Need
Mason Jars with metal 2-part lids
Box of tissues
Spray paints
Hessian or open weave fabric
Double-sided fabric tape or glue gun
Silhouette Heat Transfer material (smooth, flock or metallic)
Iron or heat press

Step 1: Prepare the Jars

I first primed and then spray painted the jars in a cardboard box out of doors and used a pearlescent spay finish to tone down the colours. The inside of the lids proved useful to prevent paint from drifting inside the jars. The picture was taken part way through - just before the pearl layer.

You'll notice that the embossed wording shows up quite distinctly - more so than before they were painted.

Step 2: Prepare the Designs

I worked on two patterns initially, but realised that one didn't work for this project, and I've repurposed it as a bookmark!

The jars measure about 11"/280mm, make the designs a little under 12"/305mm. Open the design and resize it to just under 6"/152mm. Then:

  1. Open the Replicate panel
  2. Select the Replicate tab
  3. Click the Mirror Right symbol
  4. Draw a small circle with the Ellipse tool
  5. Hold down shift to make it round
  6. Move it onto the point where the two patterns meet
  7. Right click with mouse and Weld

(Optional) Make offset if you want to layer the vinyl.

  1. Open the Offset panel
  2. Select Offset tab
  3. Reduce distance to .050"/1.27mm
  4. Select Rounded Corner
  5. Click Apply

Move the offset off the original and look for small, unwanted cuts.

To get rid of them, right click your mouse and Release Compound Path. Select and delete the little cuts, but not the larger ones. Then select the whole offset including the larger holes, right click, and Make Compound Path. Now they are ready to cut.

Step 3: Choosing Heat Transfer Media

Now, I'm not the world's expert on layering Heat Transfer, but here's the consensus from the various manufacturers and blogs I checked out.

Base layer: Smooth or Flock
Secondary Layers: Smooth on Smooth, Flock on Flock, or Flock on Smooth
Top Layer: Metallic, Glitter, Holographic

Different brands may give different results.

For this project I've used Silhouette Metallic on Silhouette Smooth, and Silhouette Smooth alone. I've layered metallic on flock on other projects with good results too.

Step 4: Cutting Heat Transfer Media

Choose your media and cut out the layers, placing the shiny side down (you'll find further details on cutting metallic vinyl here and smooth vinyl here). Ordinarily you'd reverse the image before cutting, but these are symmetrical with no words, so it isn't necessary for this project.

Step 5: Pressing Heat Transfer Media

Press the heat transfer vinyl for the minimum time for it to allow the backing to be peeled away.

Add a second layer, if used and press again.  Press one more time from the reverse. Trim the sleeves and fray the edges up to the decoration.

Step 6: Completing the Tissue Holders

Affix the decorative sleeves to the jars. I used strips of double-sided quilting tape.

Break open a box of tissues and remove the tissues in one pile keeping it intact. Separate the pile into two and roll the tissues with one tissue standing proud in the centre. Remove the screw top on a jar and place the tissues inside. Replace the screw top.

I hope you'll try this project - so much prettier than a box of tissues!

Bye for now,

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Monday, 14 August 2017

Filling text with design store patterns

Hello Silhouette friends!

It's Maria here with you today with a scrapbook layout.

The photo that I want to scrapbook today is of my kids on a recent trip to Marwell Zoo. They were looking at the site map so attentively that I had to steal a pic. But when it came to scrapbooking it, I realised that I didn't have any Zoo/Animals papers that I could use on my layout. And that's when the Silhouette Design Store's Printable Patterns come in so handy!

I started my design by choosing a suitable font. You want a font that is quite "fat" so your pattern will really show.

Then I realise that I will be using the Print and Cut facility and the white cardstock that I am going to be using is A4, so I go the the Page Set Up tab and change the page size to A4.

I am using A4 cardstock for the Print and Cut, however, I know that I want my letters to be as wide as 12 inches (or as close as I can get). So I resize my letters using the background grid as a guide, and then ungroup them so I can move them on my A4 page.

Your Silhouette Studio should come with a few patterns that you can use. However, I find that these are very basic. Fortunately, you can purchase lots of patterns from the Silhouette Design Store. I applied the "printable pattern" filter and searched for "Zoo" and this very cute zebra design popped up and I knew it was the one!

Once you've paid for it, it will automatically download and it will appear on your "Fill Pattern" tab.

Now it's time to send it to print. Once it's printed, but the cardstock on your mat and load into your Silhouette Machine.

Make sure the cut settings are correct. You may or may not want to offset the lines in your letters and get the Silhouette cut the outerlines, rather than directly on the printed letters. I chose to cut without a border, but it's completely your decision.

I believe that you can upload your own patterns to the Silhouette if you have the Design Edition, but I only have the Basic Edition. However, downloading the patterns from the Store is simple enough!

Here is the layout that I made with the letters:

As you can see, I ended up using a pen to outline the letters, so perhaps cutting them with an offset would have been better! I know for next time!! :) (By the way, my ink is running out on my printer, that's why the colours are a bit washed off, I think. The design is a bit more orange I believe)

I hope you have found this tutorial useful! x


Saturday, 12 August 2017

Perfectly Imperfect - Creating a Sketch and Cut Title

Hi there! Niki here with you today with a tutorial about creating a sketch and cut title. I only have the basic edition of Silhouette Studio and therefore some of the fill options are not available to me but I have often wondered if I can achieve the same look in a different way.

So I went looking for a sketchy font and found one called Striped Block Font. I typed out my title and re-sized to a size I was happy with.

Becuase the font was already sketchy, I didn't need to fill the shapes with anything. I made them into two separate words and created a compound path for each.

I then opened up the Offset window and created an offset around the whole word and applied. I love that in the new V4 software the 'distance' goes up in increments rather than just one at a time, I find this very helpful to get the right size offset.

Once my title was created I selected the middle part of the word and set that to Tool2 and sketch pens. The outline offset I set to Tool1 and cut. I loaded my Silhouette with a blade and a sketch pen and sent the file to my Silhouette. The machine could then sketch and cut in one go.

In the end both words were a bit big for my layout so I just used the word Imperfect and added 'Perfectly' with little alphabet stickers.  I totally love how the Sketch and Cut title came out.

Thanks so much for stopping by. You don't have to use a sketched font for this, any design in the design store can be used in the same way so I'm sure you will find what you are looking for with such a big store of designs! Have fun!

My blog 'Being Scrappy'
Instagram: @Nikiclaire