Monday, 26 June 2017

String keeper solution

Hello friends!

Maria here with you today with a very quick project. Don't you love it when you can create really functional things with your Silhouette? Yes, making cards, home d├ęcor and scrapbooking layouts is amazing and I love it! but when I make a project that is cute AND functional at the same time, then I feel like my purchase of the Silhouette is totally validated :)

String keeper solution | Silhouette Cameo

So, who else has this problem?

I have bought thread and bakers twine in bulk before from ebay and it's come totally loose, so this project has solved my problem!

What you will need:

- Silhouette Cameo or Portrait
- Cardstock
- Glue
- Baker's twine or thread


This is a very straightforward project, so hopefully you can follow along without any problems! I am using three designs by Planeta Silhouette. They actually have four animals in their string keeper collection, but the fourth was a reindeer which I don't really want, as I have a thing about Christmassy items being used outside the season!

Open your Silhouette Studio and bring your files to the mat. You can do it one by one or bring all three at the same time in case you want to resize them, then you can do them together so they stay the same size.

I do not know how big or small the completed project has to be, as I haven't seen these before in real life, so I am assuming that the size that they come up as is how they are supposed to be. So I am not going to resize them.

I love that the shapes are already coloured as this makes it so easy for cutting and assembling! I am, however, a bit puzzled about the fact that the head shape is doubled up. Surely you can just glue the eyes, nose, etc directly into the background shape? Anyway, I am going to be a good girl and do as instructed as I am sure there is a reason for it!

If you want, you can cut all three shapes in one go. Simply prepare your cardstock, and cut it to size and arrange it on your mat:

The cardstock that I am going to be using for all these shapes is quite heavy, so I have to make sure that my settings are correct before I send to cut. I will also bring the speed down a bit, as the eyes and noses are quite small, and I want them to cut properly.

And once all your shapes are cut, it's time to assemble your cute little animals! Aren't they super cute?

And here they are with the bakers twine around them!

Now, I must confess that I have only made three for the purposes of this tutorial, but I am going to need at least five more for all the thread/bakers twine that I still have loose!

I hope you have liked this project, and read you soon!


Saturday, 24 June 2017

Make Phone Cover Decals with Printable Vinyl

Have you used the Silhouette Printable Vinyl yet?  I tried it out with this little project; making vinyl decals to decorate a phone. More accurately, to decorate a phone case that I'd bought as a gift.  I couldn't decide just what designs the recipient would like so I chose a selection and made a set of three sheets of decals to give as part of the gift. I call it a DYP kit - a Decorate Your Phone kit!

I've done the entire kit in two posts. This one, Part One, shows how to make the decals. Part Two will show how to make cover inserts and a gift box with customised holders for the cover and decal sheets.

What you'll need
Silhouette Printable Vinyl
Clear Phone Cover
Various Designs from the Silhouette Store (listed at the bottom of this post)

STEP 1: Prepare the Designs
Colour co-ordinate a selection of designs for the vinyl decals.

Open all your chosen files in one tab in the Silhouette software.   Roughly reduce them in size to fit on the virtual mat.

Ungroup the designs if necessary and delete any unwanted parts.  Decide on your colour scheme and start colouring the designs in matching colours (further ungrouping may be necessary). I used the colours of the heart design as a colour palette and 'picked' all the colours from it. The diagram below shows you how to use the colour picker.

Be aware that some Print and Cut files in the store can be re-coloured and others cannot.

STEP 2: Prepare the Print & Cut

Make a number of small decal sheets from one page of printable vinyl. 

Display Print & Cut marks by clicking on the Page Setup panel, select the Registration Mark tab, and select Type 1 in Style.

Click on Advanced and adjust the sliders to increase the Print & Cut area.

Change the paper size to match your media. The Silhouette Printable Vinyl comes in US Letter-sized sheets.

Hint: I also change the page orientation to landscape so the mat needs to travel less in the optical recognition process (uses less desk space).

Add cut lines for the decal sheets by drawing four rounded rectangles within the active cut area. Duplicate, resize, and re-orient the designs (Object > Mirror > Flip Horizontal) to fit within the new 'sheets'.

N.B. Avoid putting heavily coloured items in the hashed area, as this can interfere with the optical scanner.

Ensure that each separate decal is grouped. Select all the shapes that will be cut (I do this one sheet at a time), and make an offset to cut around the decal with a small margin. Open the Offset panel. Select [external] Offset, Distance of 0.050"/1.25mm, Corner as Rounded, then click Apply. This ensures all the decals have a similar sized margin.

Only the balloons proved difficult (possibly too intricate). A quick solution is to re-import the cut line from the original image and manually re-size it. For the Sunshine quote I just drew a rounded rectangle around the quote instead of using an offset.

Other fine-tuning required is to remove small cut holes by releasing the compound path on the offset and deleting the small cuts.

STEP 3: Print & Cut

Ensure that all the offsets/cut lines are set to zero thickness in the Line Style panel so that they do not print. Check that the Print Page Setup in the Main menu is set up for US Letter-sized printing. Then send the sheet to print.

Mount the printed sheet on the cutting mat.  The decals need to be "kiss-cut" (only cutting the top vinyl layer) and the sheets should be cut through to the mat (vinyl and backing sheet).

In Send, under the Cut by Line tab, select only the red and black lines to cut. Set the material of the red lines to Vinyl, Printable.


After carrying out a test cut, reduced the Thickness/pressure if necessary.

Set the black lines to a custom setting which is a little thicker. Again, a test cut is advisable.

STEP 4: Finishing Touches

Separate the sheets from the mat and remove the excess vinyl from around the decals.

I decided to put together a little gift package in a customised gift box. The fourth sheet, not shown in the photo above, will be used as a cover for the box. You'll find the tutorial for making the cover inserts and customising the gift box, with holders for the phone cover and decal sheets, in my next post. I hope you'll join me there!

Bye for now,

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Thursday, 22 June 2017

Flocked Heat Transfer Vinyl Cushion

Hello everyone! Marie-Clare here, with a tutorial for a custom cushion using gorgeous Silhouette flocked heat transfer vinyl. It has a gorgeous velvety finish which is very luxurious!

You will need:

Plain cushion cover
Silhouette Cameo
Silhouette Design Studio
Flocked heat transfer vinyl
Design ID #116235
Design ID #133409

Step 1

Choose your design and resize it according to your cushion cover's dimensions. I kept it simple with this beautiful stag design, and the Encyclopedia Town font, both from the Silhouette Design Store.

My vinyl was 9in x 11in so I set my page settings appropriately.

Step 2

Mirror your designs so that they will cut properly on the vinyl. With the stag, it doesn't really matter, but with the writing, I need to make sure it will appear the correct way round!

Step 3

Place the flocked heat transfer vinyl onto your mat. You should place it with the shiny plastic coating face down. The light coloured side which is facing you has a layer of adhesive, which is activated by heat, and the plastic coating is a protective transfer material for the heat pressing process. When you cut your design, you should be able to see it the right way round when you remove it from the mat and look at the shiny plastic!

Cut your vinyl using the default settings for Heat Transfer Vinyl, Flocked. I found that these settings were absolutely perfect for the task - a beautiful cut first time.

Step 4

Weed the vinyl, and position on your cushion cover for a guide.

Step 5

Using a hot steam-free iron and pressure, or a heat press if you have one, press the vinyl onto the cushion cover. If any part of your design are exposed to the hot plates after you have pressed them, use your scrap backing plastic to protect them from the heat.

I hope that you have enjoyed this tutorial - it made a beautiful gift for Papa!