Monday, 31 October 2016

Halloween Lantern with Heat Embossed Embellishments

Wrought Iron Effect with Faux Leather & heat embosssing by Janet Packer for Silhouette UK Blog

Hello Janet here again,

If you are decorating for halloween you might like to make yourself one of these cute lanterns, lit by a battery-operated LED.  I made it with faux leather paper, to make it stronger, with the intention of using it for a number of years. For a more disposable decoration it could be made from heavyweight cardstock.

I've also used a NEW (to me) technique to transform and strengthen the decorative shapes and sentiments cut from the faux leather by using HEAT EMBOSSING with ultra high clear embossing powder. This transforms the surface giving a smooth glossy look (to the cats) and a wrought iron effect (to the sentiment) as well as adding more texture and dimension.

I'll certainly use this technique again, especially for sentiments. Imagine the variety of colours and finishes you could obtain? The process almost plasticises the shapes, making them perfect for spanning open shapes. I think they'd be great for greetings cards with cut out shapes, or even shaker cards. I'll share with you when I try it - promise!

  • Silhouette Black Faux Leather Paper (or cardstock)
  • Orange Vellum (or vellum printed, or coloured orange with alcohol markers)
  • Scrap of Glow-in-the-Dark paper/vinyl/sticker paper
  • Silhouette CAMEO® or Silhouette Portrait®
  • Strong-hold Double Side Tape
  • Fabric Adhesive
  • Adhesive Foam Pads (preferably black)
  • LED Tea Light 
  • Black & White Twine
  • (optional) Embossing Ink Pad
  • (optional) Ultra High Embossing Powder (UTEE)
  • (optional) Heat Gun
  • Mission Style Lantern file download by A Little Hut (#25952)
  • Font file download, I used SW Swirl Dance by Samantha Walker (#57563)
  • Cat file download, I used 3D Classy Cat Luminaire by Marji Roy (#67874)

STEP 1: Prepare the Lantern file

I opened the Lantern file and made the entire design a little bigger by selecting everything and proportionally increasing it's size until it was larger, but would still fit on my 12" x 12" mat.

The original lantern had open sides, but I decided I would back the openings with orange vellum. I designed the vellum shapes on the virtual mat by 'drawing' on top of the lantern pattern pieces using the rectangle and polygon tool to make the pieces as large as they could be within the fold lines. Then I moved the original pieces aside.

In order to access the LED light (to turn it on and off), I realised I'd need a opening flap over one of the windows. It occurred to me that I'd also need a holder to stop the light from moving around in the lantern too much. I made the piece shown in the picture below, with the circle in it, to go into the base of the lantern. The side parts being shallow enough so they wouldn't show through the vellum windows. I also added an extra base piece for added strength.

STEP 2: Cutting the Pieces

The faux leather may be washed, but it isn't necessary for this project. All the lantern pieces were cut from vellum and the faux leather. Hints on how to cut this material can be found in this earlier post.

STEP 3: Assembling the Lantern

To assemble the lantern, I attached the vellum to the inside of the lantern pieces, using strong-hold double sided tape, as it doesn't make the vellum wrinkle like wet glue can.  Then the two large lantern pieces were adhered together on both side flaps with fabric glue. One of the larger panels should be left without vellum. Aside: I went ahead and stuck vellum on all of them, and then had to rip one out later!

Using the flaps on the base of the lantern pieces, attach the sides to the bottom pieces using fabric adhesive. As I had cut an extra one, I stuck one on the inside and one on the outside to neaten it up. Then I adhered the remainder of the side flaps. I found the easiest way to do this was to tackle one 'level' at a time and hold them until the glue had 'grabbed' (which is quite fast with the fabric glue). So first I stuck the larger slanted level, then the upright one. Then I more less did all the other bits at once, remembering to add in the handle pieces.

I then pushed the light support piece in through the empty panel (it will go in diagonally, then straighten out) and adhered it inside the lamp base.

Then I adhered the flap (with vellum added) over the empty panel. On reflection, this could have been adhered on the inside and then it wouldn't have stuck out, but I didn't think of that at the time.

STEP 4: Making the Embellishments

Now the fun part! I used the cat part of the cat luminary file. You could use a different cat (or animal), but I liked the big eyes in this design. I opened the cat file, deleted unwanted bits and reduced the cat to an appropriate size. I removed the smaller cut away parts, by ungrouping the design, deleting the ear slits and mouth parts, and regrouping it. From the faux leather I cut out four cat pieces and sandwiched the glow-in-the-dark scraps between two cats adhering them together. I'm sure neon card would also look effective.

Meanwhile I wrote the sentiment, using the SW Swirl Dance font, and resized it to overlap the sides of the largest lantern panel. I moved the letters closer, welded the letters together and then slanted them using the Shear Tool. Then I cut it from faux leather too.

To emboss the embellishments, I covered the front surface of the the cats and sentiment with embossing ink and dipped them into the the embossing powder and heat set them with a heat gun. I repeated this until I achieved an effect that I liked. I dipped the sentiment only once and it took on a wrought iron look, The cats were dipped and heated three times to give them a glossier appearance.

When cool, I  mounted them onto the lantern using black, sticky adhesive pads, then attached a length of twine to hang the lantern by and added a little more for decoration.

Then it just needed the LED Tea Light inside and the lantern was complete.

The simple lines of this lantern lend itself to so many styles, colours and occasions. I'm thinking they'd look brilliant strung together for a summer party, or even for holiday occasions!

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Sunday, 30 October 2016

love you layout tutorial

Love You Layout Tutorial

Hiiiii Caroline here with another scrapbook tutorial, it's super simple but very pretty and effective!

Here is the cut file that I used...

I chose to use this leaf design but I only wanted to use the red leaf, so the first thing I did was ungroup the design and delete the yellow leaf.

I then made the red leaf much larger, I just eye-balled how large I wanted it, no measuring for me HA!

I then chose the patterned paper and send it to cut on that setting.

Once the design had been cut I peeled it off my mat, the paper has a gorgeous marble effect on it but on the back it has blue polka dots. I decided I need to add some stitched details so I flipped the paper over on to the back side (the polka dots) and just hand drew some leaf veins in pencil...

I then took my pokey tool and made holes along the pencil lines ready for the stitching, I did mine about every 5mm apart...

Don't worry if you haven't got a pokey tool, I often just use a sewing needle to make the holes.

Now came the very annoying part of stitching with metallic thread - YIKES - I normally love stitching but boy oh boy; metallic thread has a life of it's own so I had to be patient. BUT I adore the final look of the gold yay.

Sooooo here is the finished layout...

I added in journalling around the edge using the lyrics from a favourite song of mine by Eva Cassidy called Autumn Leaves.

That photo makes me smile, the stunning colours from the trees matches in perfectly with the marble paper.

Here are some close ups...

I finished the layout with a few splatters in co coordinating colours.

I love how this page looks, sometimes the simplest ideas work best.

I hope you have enjoyed this post, please leave a comment!

'Til next time

C x

You can also find me here:





Tools Used:


Light hold cutting mat for Cameo


Saturday, 29 October 2016

How to do Double-Sided Print and Cuts

Double sided print and cut tutorial by Nadine Muir for Silhouette UK Blog

Hello, Nadine here with a tutorial showing you how to do double-sided print and cuts. All steps are covered, but I've also included a free download which has front and back cut files ready for you to simply drag and drop your design allowing you to make your own double-sided labels or business cards very quickly.

The key to double-side print and cut is the Center To Page option in the Alignment window.  This and other alignment tricks are covered in my Alignment tutorial.

What you’ll need

  • Silhouette
  • Optional Free Cut File –Download here
  • Card
  • Printer
  • Ribbon 

STEP ONE: Make Your Shape

The tags are included in the free download, but are very easy to make, just weld a rounded rectangle to a circle and then add a small circle for the ribbon and make this into a compound path as shown below:

How to make a tag for Double sided print and cut tutorial by Nadine Muir for Silhouette UK

STEP TWO: Make Your Front Design

Drag and drop your logo jpeg/png into your shape, or make a design within Silhouette Studio. For my design, the top line is Design ID 18548 and the text used is the LW Tall Sketch Font.  I used my free Crafter Stitch Font to make the border (lowercase letter w in size 4pt) as demonstrated below.
Crafter Stitch font to make embroidery style border.  Double sided print and cut tutorial by Nadine Muir for Silhouette UK

Top tip
Lines by default will not be printed.  This is normally good, for example we don't want the cut line of the tag printed.  If you do want any lines that are part of your logo or design printed, you can click this option in the bottom of the Line Settings Window.

STEP THREE: Cut Settings

Only the tag should be cut and not the printed components of the design.  This can be done by selecting the individual components and clicking on the relevant option within the Cut Settings window.

STEP FOUR: Replicate Shapes to Fill Page Within Registration Marks

The Registration Marks allow the Silhouette to align the cuts precisely.  I normally reduce the inset to 1cm left, right, top and bottom to allow me a larger cut area.

Group your first shape together and replicate to fill the page.  There is an option to automatically fill the page with your shape at the bottom of the Replicate Window, but I found I managed to squeeze some extra in by choosing the layout myself.

**KEY** STEP FIVE: Centre to Page

Here's the key to double sided print and cut - select all your shapes, group and then centre to page. this option is at the bottom of the Align Window

At this stage your front page is ready, so save the file with F or Front in the filename.

**KEY** STEP SIX: Mirror Shape for Back Page

Now lets work on the back page.  Save a copy of the front file, but put a B or Back in the filename.  If like me your design is not symmetrical, then you will need to mirror the grouped shape.

STEP SEVEN: Add your Back Designs

You don't need registration marks on the back page, so turn these off.

I used the the LW Tall Sketch Font for the TO and Bloom Font for the names.  If you have the same design for all your backs, check out my Alignment tutorial for some tips to quickly align each your designs within each shape. 

STEP EIGHT: Print and Cut

Print the front page, then the back.  If your printer is anything like mine, the page is loaded with the printed side facing away from you and the top of the page pointing towards the printer.  I printed two copies so you can see front and back together:

Load onto mat front page facing up and cut with your normal card cut settings.


Double sided print and cut tutorial by Nadine Muir for Silhouette UK Blog


Light hold cutting mat for Cameo