Friday, November 30, 2012
Hello everyone! It’s Casharina here to bring you another fun, yet EASY hybrid project! So for starters, just to refresh everyone’s memory, I am a scrapper who does not LOVE to cut things! Ha! I cannot cut a straight line to save my life, I have been through three straight paper cutters, and will just about do ANYTHING to prevent me from “having” to cut things out! I recently splurged on a new toy for myself the Cameo Silhouette. I have only had it for about a week and I absolutely love it, I can see it becoming one of my favorite scrapping buddies <“wink”>!! After playing a few days with it and knowing I had a hybrid post coming up, I was determined that I had to use the machine, and with Christmas just around the corner I wanted to create some Christmas décor! With all the beautiful new products from the Shabby Shoppe I had lots of inspiration and most importantly, many things to choose from! I decided to create a Decorative Charger to display on my counter.
Cutting Machine - any cutting machine that will allow you to design your own cutting files, OR you can choose to cut the design by hand (but you all know I “don’t” do cutting!)
White Contact Paper - I bought a roll from Walmart for $5.99. It was 18 inches wide, too wide for my machine so this is where my carpenter dad came in! ;) He took a skil saw to it, making it around 13 inches, leaving a second roll of about 5 inches wide, which is perfect for using on the mat that goes along with my machine! He also told me that a miter saw would be perfect for the job! ;) (The edge is a little rough, but not too rough, and fed right through the machine without a problem.
Software to create the cutting file. For this project I used the silhouette software that is free and came with the machine.
Wordart of your choice – I used the “Cookies for Santa” wordart from the Holiday Wordart and More collection.
Plate or charger to decorate, or a sign for that matter, whatever you want to adhere the contact paper to.
Designing the cutting file:
If you’re cutting by hand you could simply print and trace the PNG file that comes in the kit.
If you’re cutting with a machine, you may want to modify it just a little. For mine, I used the silhouette design software (the version that comes free with the machine).
Tracing a .png, graphic, etc. using the silhouette software:
Drag the image into a new document.
Click on the blue square icon (aka the Trace Window) in the top corner.
Here you will choose the top box which will give you an arrow cursor.
- You will need to draw a box around your element that you want traced. Make sure everything you want traced is in the grey part of the square.
- Next, uncheck the High Pass filter option, and then up the Threshold to around 80-100%. It should fill in your whole design, if little pieces of it aren’t covered that’s okay.
- Lastly, you’ll select the Trace outer edge. Now there should be red lines around the OUTSIDE of your letters.
Getting the insides of each letter:
Next, you’ll move the PNG file below the outline, leaving ONLY the outlined letters. There will be NO inners for the letters so you’ll need to trace the original PNG again, following the same directions, but this time you need to click TRACE. Now the letters, as well as the insides of each letter should have red around it. Again, move the original PNG away from the trace lines.
- Right click on the new set of traced lines.
- Select Release Compound Path.
- Now you can select each individual little slither in the design. (I didn’t want to worry with taking out each of the tiny cuts so I left those in the second design, but I used copy and paste to bring the inner portions of the letters into the top design, which will be the one I cut. I also chose to adjust a few of the inner designs, adding the small boxes to the I in cookies. I also added the small star inside of the larger star so that it’d be cut out, but I left out the squiggly lines surrounding it.)
Now the file is ready for cutting, so SAVE! Now you can use it again for other projects!
Tip: Directions to trace an object, any graphic can be traced in essentially the same way, making minor adjustments to the sliders to perfect it!
As you can see in my design, I have also used the Candy Cane from the Sugarplum Dreams collection. I adjusted it by taking out the “Pink” pieces of the candy cane following the directions above to create a red and white candy cane on my plate.
Cutting the file:
For this one, I chose to use my smaller roll of contact paper. Lay the vinyl on your mat, mine was approximately 5 inches tall by 12 inches wide. When cutting vinyl you want a “KISS” cut. This means you want to cut the top portion of the vinyl, but not the back part of it. So you want to be able to peel away the extra vinyl, leaving the design still adhered to the backing paper.
On my machine I used the following settings:
Blade set on 2
Speed at 5
Thickness at 3
Tip: Write down whatever settings work for your machine so that you can use them later!
If you’re NOT using a mat, ensure that the Cutting Mat option is NOT checked, if you ARE using a mat, ensure that it IS checked.
Now click on the send to silhouette button.
Follow the steps to ensure you have everything correct.
Cut your file.
Once the file is cut you’ll want to peel away the excess vinyl. This is known as “weeding” the design. This is the toughest part of the entire project; you have to make sure you get out all of the tiny pieces between the letters. You can purchase a hook tool for this, but I have just been using a safety pin and it works GREAT!
Here’s another tip, instead of purchasing transfer tape, you can use contact paper, so that’s what I did. I just grabbed a piece of contact paper, from the same roll and cut a big enough piece to cover the design.
Place the sticky side on TOP of your design. Using an old credit card (or one that you’ve had in a drawer FOREVER and didn’t call and activate it! ;) like I did here!) press down on your design to make sure it’s all “STUCK” to the new contact paper.
Pull the original piece of contact paper away from the back of the new piece. Ensure that ALL of the letters (and the small pieces, dots of the i’s, periods, etc.) are also sticking to the new contact paper. This makes the design backwards when looking at it, but it gives you a way to transfer the design in tact without having to place it one letter at a time on your new surface
Adhereing it to the Plate:
Now take the piece of contact paper and place it where you want it on your decoration. Again, using your credit card, press down hard enough to ensure that the letters will come OFF the vinyl and go onto the decoration.
Begin peeling up the “transfer tape/contact paper”. This time the design should be adhering to your charger or plate. Make sure you are SLOWWWW in this process, ensuring that each piece is sticking. I had a little trouble only on the last bracket; it didn’t want to stick as well. I just used the credit card to pull it down on the plate and once it stuck, the whole piece stuck!
Now, do the same process to the candy cane, if you decided to add one!
And you’re finished; you’ve got a new beautiful decoration!! Just remember if you use contact paper, it will NOT be water proof, so no washing, and I’m not sure how long it’ll hold up, but I’m thinking if it’s just left on display it should last quite a while!
I plan to make a few of these using the monograms from the carousel monogramkit for friends and family!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this project! If you’ve got any questions feel free to post, I’ll try my best to help you out!! It is really an easy process once you get into it though. Check back in with us on Monday for another Layout of the Week! Enjoy your weekend!!