Hello, Janet here with an easy project using the new Silhouette Leatherette Sheets. When I opened the pack I knew they'd be perfect for making bookmarks. They look and feel like leather but are much easier to cut. I looked in the Silhouette Design Store for a traditional style but couldn't find just what I wanted. I was surprised to find how quick and easy it was to make my own file in the Silhouette® Studio software. I've included the file for you to download, but if you look at the screen shots, I'm sure you'll work out how to design one for yourself.
|Download the FREE Bookmark File HERE|
There are three sheets in a pack, one each of black, cream pearl, and soft gold pearl. Initially I attempted to cut the intricate pattern directly into the leatherette, but found that the pattern didn't cut well (the leatherette shifted a little and the pattern became misaligned). However, I did a quick heat test on the leatherette and found that heat transfer material (HTV), adhered successfully and decided to use that for the patterned part.
What You'll Need
Silhouette Leatherette Sheets
Heat Transfer Material (smooth)
Heat Transfer Material (flocked)
Iron or Heat Press
FREE bookmark file
Many Flowers Border file by Nic Squirrell (#177994)
STEP 1 : Cut the Bookmark
Download the free file and open it in the Silhouette Studio software, or design your own. You can fit four bookmarks on a single leatherette sheet (US Letter size). Here I used a half sheet and changed the page setting to reflect that. (N.B. The fringe lines are deliberately placed to overhang the bookmark edges to obtain straighter fringe edges).
Open Cut Settings and select Leatherette for both sets of lines. Before cutting I recommend that you carry out a test cut. Click on the Leatherette to open the Editing Leatherette options. Ensure that the AutoBlade is selected and ease up on the Thickness/Pressure setting if you can. Confession time - the first time I cut the leatherette I'd left the ratchet blade selected by mistake and managed to cut a slit in my mat before I realised, and cancelled the cut job. Be warned - double check your blade selection!
Attach the leatherette firmly to a sticky mat. If necessary, add a little painter's tape on part of the edges to ensure that the leatherette won't move. I turned the Line Overcut option on for these pics, but first time around I didn't, and I think it cut better without.
Don't be alarmed by the apparent drag marks, they disappear when you remove the cut piece from the mat and manipulate the fringe to separate the pieces.
STEP 2 : Cut the decoration
Open your design file in the software. There are many options in the store, use keywords 'bookmark' or 'borders' to find a huge selection. When choosing between borders, look for designs that work when the border is vertical. The Many Flowers Border file by Nic Squirrell (#177994) is perfect. Align the ungrouped designs with the bookmark file to resize if necessary.
I used both designs and cut the more intricate design from smooth heat transfer (above) and the outline version from flock heat transfer. Adjust your cut settings to suit. I found the defaults for both smooth and flock vinyl were perfect for the AutoBlade (double-check that it is selected in the media editing area).
Cut and weed the designs. You can judge for yourself which was the easier design to weed by the number of discarded pieces. The smooth version (top) weeded in one piece, the flock version, well, quite a few more!
However, the flock version feels great and has more dimension. I might try both designs in flock next time.
STEP 3 : Apply the Heat Transfer
Activate the adhesive on the HTV by pressing the design onto a bookmark.
Use a coolish setting on a heat press. I used heat setting 6 on my Hobby Jack heat press (which I believe is around 120ºC, so a good bit cooler than you'd use for garments). You can use an iron (non-steam) with a similar temperature, but if you move the iron around, the design may shift too. Press initially for 8 seconds, and allowed it to cool and then re-press for a few more seconds if it hasn't stuck when you check by carefully lifting a corner. Ensure you use a protective layer between the HTV and the hot platen. For ease I use a silicon sheet fixed to the upper platen of my press.
Carefully pull away the whole backing sheet. Your bookmarks are finished!
WARNING: Do be aware that this is an experimental technique and uses the leatherette sheets and heat transfer in a way not intended by the manufacturer. Do take care.
Job done. Do you prefer the smooth or flocked finish?
Bye for now,