Hello, Janet here with another cork project. Last month, I used the cork sheets to cover MDF shapes, and the designs I cut were quite large. As promised, I've returned to the Silhouette Cork Sheets to make sticker embellishments for my cards.
Now, I also discovered that although you can paint and stencil onto the cork I like the neater and more detailed results achieved using Silhouette Heat Transfer Material - yes, you can press heat transfer vinyl onto the cork sheets. Better still, the adhesive backing on the cork stays sticky, provided you use a lower heat setting. I made lots of these cute beach huts, but it was a little time consuming to apply the vinyl colours to one cork piece at a time. There had to be a way to decorate a whole sheet of stickers at once, and I think I've found it!
I chose the following regular cut files from the Silhouette Design Store, using some of the simpler elements from the designs:
- Gingerbread Peppermint & Candy Cane by Kristen Magee #35782
- Valentine Choc Rack Tall Card by Snapdragon Snippets #73620
- Filofax Planner Donut Bookmark Clip by PPbN Designs #76883
Cutting Cork Sheets
The cork sheets are 5in. x 7in. and you can fit quite a few stickers onto one sheet.
Previously, I cut the cork successfully with my Cameo3, but this time I decided to use the Curio. For both machines I used settings close to the recommended settings, but I found that it was necessary to lower the thickness (pressure) to achieve a 'Kiss cut' (that is, to cut through the cork, but not the backing). In a couple of places the blade cut through the paper a little, but the stickers were still held in place, although not completely attached.
These are the cut settings I used for the Silhouette Cork Sheets:
Ratchet Blade: Blade 7, Platforms 6, Speed 2 and Thickness (Pressure) 25
Silhouette ® Cameo 3
AutoBlade: Blade 7, Speed 1, Thickness (Pressure) 18
Your settings will no doubt differ, and it really is worth using the test cut and getting it right, because getting an adequate cut in one pass gives a much neater result.
Cutting Heat Transfer
I decided to use two colours for some stickers and these require two layers of heat transfer. Remember to reverse the design, cut shiny side to the mat, and refrain from moving any of the pieces once you've cut the cork, or they won't align. I cut all the white pieces and then all the pink and left them as whole sheets with exception of the white banner. Here are the 'weeded' pieces.
I'd though the process would need two presses, one for each colour, but I'd forgotten that the banner had the colour reversed (white under pink, while the doughnuts were the reverse), so I needed to remove the white banner and press it by itself. Here it is on my heat press. The small blue pieces are heat resistant tape, to prevent the piece sliding out of place.
Temperature and Duration
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 will shift too.
I initially pressed for 8 seconds, and allowed it to cool and then pressed for a few seconds more if it hadn't stuck. Ensure you use a protective layer between the stickers and the hot platen. I have a silicon sheet fixed to the upper platen of my press.
Next I aligned and pressed on the pink heat transfer.
Then I added the final white layer. The alignment wasn't perfect, but it wasn't far out. The backing paper did crinkle a little, but the stickers remained in place and remained sticky. A couple of the stickers (bottom right) did get detached in the process, but the backing sheet on the individual stickers remained in place.
WARNING: Do be aware that this is an experimental technique and uses the cork sheets and heat transfer in a way not intended by the manufacturer. Do take extra care.
Using the Stickers
To use the stickers, its simply a matter of peeling off the backing paper. They can be used on cards, scrap layouts and other papercrafting projects. I made a few into planner clips. The cork sticks really well when a pair are used back-to-back, securing the clip in between.
I hope you have fun experimenting. I'd love to know how you get on and what you make. Why not share pictures of your projects on the Silhouette UK Facebook page?
Bye for now,