Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Making a Cake Topper

Hi Silhouetters, Niki here with you today with a little tutorial on how to make a cake topper. I made a Unicorn cake for my daughter's 6th birthday and I wanted her name in gold glitter over the top.

I began by choosing a font (Sailaway) and writing her name with the text tool.

I ungrouped so the letters were sepatate, and I nudged them altogether so they overlapped and then I welded. I forgot the dot over the 'i' so also moved that down so it overlapped too and re-welded.

I was worried that my word would be too thin so I fattened it up a bit by applying a small offset. I deleted the middle file and kept the outline only.

I then copied and pasted so that I had two exactly the same.

and then I highlighted the second one and went to 'Object, Mirror, Flip Horizontally' so that I got a mirror image.

 Now I was ready to cut. I was cutting on glitter cardstock that was quite thick so I set the blade setting quite high and selected double cut. It didn't quite cut through so without unloading, I sent it through the machine again (still on double cut) and then it peeled off beautifully.

 Then all I had to do was stick the two together, but with two BBQ skewers sandwiched in-between so that I could poke them in the cake.

Here was the finished cake, complete with topper and I also cut '6 today' to lay around the base of the cake too.

Thanks so much for stopping by and I hope that in your cake-topper making endeavours in the future, you find this useful!

Happy scrapping

Instagram: @nikiclaire

Designs Used
Sail Away Font


Sunday, 21 May 2017

Screen printing with your Silhouette

I love the effect of screen printing, so I experimented with some of the materials available from silhouette.
Here's how I got the best results.
For my project, I choose this design from the silhouette store,  Design ID#197602 by Sophie Gallo.
After purchasing the design I located it in my library and double clicked to open it. Once on my mat, all that needed to be done was to size the phrase to suit the t-shirt that it was to be applied too. With the wording selected I dragged one corner until I was happy with the new size. 
For this process, we will need to mirror our image so the writing is the right way when applied. to do this right click on your mouse and select flip Horizontally.
 Open the align tool window on the left of the screen and from the panel that appears click the center to page button this places your design in the center of your virtual page which will help later to avoid ink escaping when printing later.

After trial and error, the best results I got was from an unlikely material, unexpectedly transfer tape makes an excellent mask. As you would expect transfer tape isn't in the preset media list within the software so using the test cut feature and a small piece of transfer tape I was able to determine that on my machine with my blade depth of 2, a speed of 2, and a thickness of 21 would cut my media perfectly. Click the send button up in the right-hand corner and with material selected,

 click add new media and you will be given the option to save you new media type and name it. You will also be able to save the appropriate cut settings for that media by clicking on the down arrow next to the words "add action" select "add cut action" in this case. Adjust the blade depth speed and thickness that worked best in your test cut. Click save and the media will now appear in your user-defined section of the material type list.
 As I was using a 12x12  printing screen frame I cut myself a piece of 12x12 transfer tape and placed it on my mat. using the settings above I sent the project to the cutter.
There are a number of ways to make a screen for printing, from a picture frame or embroidery hoop with a fly screen or net curtain as the "silk" but for the purpose of the tutorial, I borrowed a frame from a friend. A mesh was stretched across the frame so it was tight in preperation for the mask.
After cutting, the transfer tape was removed from its backing sheet and applied to the outside of the frame. It is easiest to lay the transfer tape down sticky side up and lay the frame down on top of it. If this is done on a hard surface a silhouette scraper tool can be used to ensure the tape has properly adhered to the screen.  the t-shirt was then placed under the screen.

A line of silhouette fabric ink was placed above the top of the design taking care to make sure the paint stretched out further than the widest part of the text. The paint was then dragged down across the design. I used a ruler to do this but an old plastic credit type card would work just as well. The design can be used over and over to print enough for a castle full of little princesses.

I really had fun on this project and will definitely be exploring it more. Why not have a go and perhaps make a few screens and layer them up using different colours of fabric paint. but don't forget to heat set your project if you want it to be permanent.
Designs used

Design ID#197602 by Sophie Gallo.


ink starter kit

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Making Stencils for Mixed Media Scrapbook Pages

Hello, hello - Karen here to tell you about my latest new crush - making disposable stencils to use just once to add mixed media accents to my scrapbook pages.

You will need:-
Card (I used pieces that had been drawn on or were a colour that  I knew I wouldn't use)
Silhouette CAMEO®
Temporary glue (I used a spray glue)
Mixed media - I used texture paste, Paper Artsy Infusions, Marion Smith Colour Lab
  • For my first stencil I chose an all over rose pattern.  I cut it from white card and used temporary adhesive to attach it to another piece of card.  

  • I sprinkled various colours of Infusions onto the cut out parts and spritzed it with water.

  • Then I carefully removed the stencil and admired the result.  

  • Next, I thought I would try some texture paste so I coloured a piece of gloss resist card with a distress ink pad.  Cut an arabesque shape, sprayed the back with temporary adhesive, placed on my page and used a spatula to smooth the paste through the holes.  Again I was very pleased with the results. 

  • Finally, inspired by the layout above, I decided to try to make some gloss resist card.  I have bought several sheets recently and the average price is £1.75 per sheet!  I cut a stencil from a piece of card and sprayed the back with temporary adhesive and attached to a piece of white card. 
  •  I then dabbed an embossing pad over the whole of the the card, removed the stencil and sprinkled clear embossing powder all over the page.  Once I had shaken off the excess I used a heat gun to set the powder.
  •  Finally, I used Marion Smith Color Lab sprays to colour the parts of the card that didn't have the embossed resist on. 
  •   I don't think this one turned out quite as I would have hoped, the embossing was a little patchy but that was down to the execution and not the technique. 

I had so much fun trying out the different techniques and have already used the texture paste and stencil one for a class I taught earlier in the month.



Friday, 19 May 2017

Chalkboard Labels using the Pen Holder

Chalkboard Preserve Labels using Adhesive Chalkboard Cardstock. Janet Packer for Silhouette UK Blog

Hello again.  Janet here with a quick and easy project to decorate preserve jars. I love to make use of the things we grow in the garden, and when I made a hot and spicy chutney with home-grown rhubarb and fresh root ginger knew I wanted to 'prettyfy' the jars to give some as gifts. Regardless of whether you make or buy the preserves, a decorated jar makes a lovely gift. I'll show you how I made the labels with my Silhouette® CAMEO 3, Chalkboard Cardstock and a favourite gel pen in the Silhouette Pen Holder.

Chalkboard Preserve Labels using Adhesive Chalkboard Cardstock. Janet Packer for Silhouette UK Blog

What You'll Need
Silhouette Chalkboard Cardstock
White gel marker pen
Silhouette Pen Holder
Double-sided adhesive tape
Baker's twine
Lori Whitlock's Circle Monogram Frames (e.g. #192907, #192922, #192910, #192919)
Rivka Wilkins' Sisters Sketch Font (#76091)


STEP 1: Prepare the Lid Stickers

Measure the indent in the jar lid and draw a circle of the same diameter in Silhouette Studio using the Ellipse Tool (hold down the Shift key on your keyboard to ensure that it is round). Open your chosen circle monogram and re-size it to fit within the circle.

Using the Sisters Sketch font, write the preserve name adding returns to make new lines where required. From the Text Style Window, adjust Font Size, centre justify your text, and adjust Line Spacing and Letter Spacing to suit.

SKETCH FONTS:  It is preferable to select a sketch font when using pens with the Silhouette. When pens draw letters, they usually draw around the edges (inside and outside). Sketch fonts have a smaller space between the inside and outside of the letter outline and, in a smallish font size, give the appearance of being solid letters. The effect diminishes as font size is increased. To judge how your chosen font will look when drawn, colour the text lines, and make the fill clear. The thickness of the line will be dependent on your pen tip width, rather than the line thickness you select. It is possible to fill ordinary fonts with fill patterns, or successive internal offsets too, but it can be tedious to achieve a pleasing effect.

Adjust the design Page Setting to reflect your media - Silhouette Chalkboard Cardstock is US Letter-sized.  Duplicate and arrange your stickers to fit. In order to use the advanced settings and use cut settings based on line colour, set your outer (cut circles to one colour - red) and the sketch parts in another (black).

Chalkboard Preserve Labels using Adhesive Chalkboard Cardstock. Janet Packer for Silhouette UK Blog
(Optional) Make small tags to a add to the string around the lids saying 'hot' and 'spicy'. To make these just draw a small rounded rectangle, add holes for the string and type in the words. Treat the cut and draw lines in the same way as the bigger labels.

STEP 2: Preparing to Cut

In the Cut Settings Window,  Open Advanced Settings and select Line Colour.

Chalkboard Preserve Labels using Adhesive Chalkboard Cardstock. Janet Packer for Silhouette UK Blog

CHALKBOARD CARDSTOCK - For the cut lines select the red lines ensuring the red circle is selected (matching the AutoBlade located in the red marked blade holder). Select the required media  (There is no option for Chalkboard Cardstock in my software, but Adhesive Cardstock is a similar media). Click on the media type and ensure the AutoBlade is selected and make adjustment to thickness if necessary. (My settings are shown below - yours may differ so do check with a test cut).

PEN & PEN HOLDER - For the cut lines select the black lines ensuring the blue circle is selected (matching the pen & pen holder in the blue marked blade holder). Select the required media type (Silhouette Sketch Pen). Click on the media type and reduce thickness. (I find a lower thickness/pressure works much better with a gel pen, as too much pressure causes the ball point to cease rotating and can cause blotching and sometimes a line drawn across the sheet at the end of the drawing process).

Note: You might have noticed that I changed the line colour of the lower sets of labels to another colour (aqua) with the line colour unticked so that only the top row of labels would draw and cut.  I used the undo button to reverse this temporary change after. Drawing and cutting one row at a time reduces the likelihood of smudging the ink before it has had time to dry.

Chalkboard Preserve Labels using Adhesive Chalkboard Cardstock. Janet Packer for Silhouette UK Blog

STEP 3: Drawing and Cutting

Secure the pen in the pen holder and mount the pen holder into the blue marked blade holder. Send the sketch part to draw. The send the AutoBlade to cut out the circles.

Chalkboard Preserve Labels using Adhesive Chalkboard Cardstock. Janet Packer for Silhouette UK Blog

Prior to using the sketch function, try to move the rollers to a position where they won't roll over the drawn ink, as this may cause the ink to smudge.

Chalkboard Preserve Labels using Adhesive Chalkboard Cardstock. Janet Packer for Silhouette UK Blog

STEP 4: To Finish

Peel off the lid labels and centre them onto the lids. Place a piece of double-sided tape around the outside of the lid. Wrap baker's twine around the lid to cover the tape.

(optional) Thread the mini tags on to the twine (I used additional, thinner twine to do this).   Knot the twine and the job is done.

Chalkboard Preserve Labels using Adhesive Chalkboard Cardstock. Janet Packer for Silhouette UK Blog

Your gifts are ready.

Chalkboard Preserve Labels using Adhesive Chalkboard Cardstock. Janet Packer for Silhouette UK Blog

I hope you enjoy this project, and that the recipients love their gifts.

Bye for now,

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