Monday, August 26, 2013

From Drab to Fab

While shopping at Ross the other day, I came across this sign in the Clearance Section:

I wasn't thrilled with the wording on it, but for $2.99 I went ahead and bought it.  I knew I could turn it into something nice using my Silhouette Cameo and some vinyl.

I wasn't sure exactly what I wanted to put on my sign, so I searched around and came across Mandy's tutorial for a sign she did on her blog. I was going to make mine just like hers, but then changed my mind and decided just to put a simple saying on it. (I may still make one like hers for my nephew and his wife who just moved into their first home.)

I started by sanding all the paint off using my palm sander. Once it was paint free, I stained it with several coats of a natural wood stain and left it to dry overnight.

Next I had to decide what I wanted the sign to say and what font it should be in. I finally decided that I wanted it to say "Love Lives Here". I printed that out in brown vinyl using the font "Dancing Script." BTW, my board is 17 1/2 X 4.

I wanted to cut it as one long piece, but since it was 14 inches long, I couldn't use my cutting mat (Mandy was so nice and helped me figure out how to change my settings in the Silhouette - thanks again Mandy). Even though I slowed the speed way down, had my piece of vinyl underneath the rollers, and chose "load media" on my settings, the vinyl was still sliding around on me. I decided just to cut each word out individually and hope that I could get them on the board straight.

With the help of my trusty ruler and pencil, I marked where I wanted the words to go, then just erased the marks after I was done applying the vinyl.

Here is the finished sign hanging over my bakers rack:

For my first attempt, I think it turned out pretty good!

I still need to practice with printing out longer/larger pieces of vinyl without the cutting mat. If anyone has any suggestions/tips, I would love to hear them!

Now I'm off to Ross to buy up the rest of the boards they had :)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Don't Throw Out Those Jars!!

Especially if you have a Silhouette machine! Now that I have discovered the wonder that is my Silhouette Cameo, I have been going a little vinyl crazy.

I had stashed a bunch of jars thinking that someday they would come in handy for a craft project, and I was right. I made this the other day:

I just found a font I liked (Sunshine Poppy) and printed out the word "treats" and applied it to my jar. For the lid, I mod-podged some scrapbook paper to it and that was it (for a great tutorial on how to do that, go here.) It was so easy and quick. This would make a great last-minute gift idea for someone - after all, who doesn't love treats?? If you don't have scrapbook paper, you could also just spray paint the lid of your jar.

Speaking of jars, I made this the other day for a friend of mine who is going to Disneyland in a couple of months:

I love how this turned out! I saw something similar to this on Pinterest. Most of the ones I saw they spray-painted Mickey black - I liked how he looked just as is (got him at Dollar Tree) so I just used my E-6000 glue and attached him to the lid of the jar. I found the cute jar at either Marshalls or Ross, can't remember which, for $3. The lid was brown, so I just spray-painted it black. 

The black vinyl was made using a font called "Minnie" (and yes, there is also a font called "Mickey".) I think my friend is going to go crazy over this!

I've done more projects with my Silhouette, including using heat transfer vinyl, so stay tuned!

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Sunday, August 11, 2013

Vinyl Subway Art - A Silhouette Project

I am really loving playing around with my Silhouette Cameo. I made some Vinyl Subway Art for my nephew's two kids. I have seen this all over the place, and have always wanted to try it, so I decided to start small.

For his little boy, I made this for his cowboy-themed bedroom:

Up close shot:

I wanted to use fonts that looked cowboy or western. I went to and typed the word "cowboy" in the search box. It gave me all kinds of neat (free!) choices. Here are some of the ones I downloaded:
  • Let Me Ride
  • Western Swagger
  • Westerner
  • Helldorado
  • HFF Young Wanna Plain
  • Heffer
  • HFF Quick Draw
  • Cowboy Clips (for horsehoe)

In the Silhouette Studio program, I put in the measurements of my piece (10 X 10) and figured out where I wanted all the words to go. I cut each word out and used clear contact paper to transfer the vinyl onto my wood piece.  I then added 2 coats of Mod Podge on top to seal it. 

For his little girl, I took something her Mom put on Facebook the other day that she had said that I thought was so funny:

Too cute, right?

I used white vinyl, but I decided the white was too stark and plain, so I mixed up some brown and tan acrylic paint and lightly sponged it over the letters. You can see it better in this photo:

There, that's better!

Both of these projects started out as plain Canvas Panels that I found at Wal-mart for less than $5 each in the craft section.:

The other side looks like this:

You could use either side - I just chose to use the flat side (didn't have to do a hanger on the back this way).

I primed each panel first, then applied spray paint to each one. After the paint dried, I applied my vinyl, then my Mod Podge. So fast and easy!

One thing I have found out when printing words on vinyl in Silhouette is that you have to make sure you choose the "cut edge" option on the word before you cut it. If I don't do this, the vinyl seems to want to slide around on me and then not cut straight. 

To do this, simply click on the word and then click on the button at the top right that looks like a pair of scissors and then choose "cut edge."  I have also turned down the speed to about a "3" when I cut vinyl and that also seems to help make smoother cuts. 

I love how these came out. Think I will tackle a bigger subway art project next time. 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Gift Baskets Made Easy

I came across this idea on Pinterest (where else?) and knew I had to make one for a friend of mine who has been going through a rough time lately.

It's called a Box of Sunshine, and it looks like this:

Wouldn't you love to receive something like this? I know I would!

The original idea is to mail it to someone in a box, but since my friend lives here in town, I made up a basket instead. Since the theme is sunshine, I tried to find all yellow items to fill it up with. I did all of my shopping for this at Dollar Tree. 

I got lucky and found a yellow basket in the crafts aisle, and then went from there. Here are the things I added to my basket, just to give you some ideas:

  • Peanut M & Ms
  • Lemonheads
  • Swedish Fish
  • Dots
  • Wylers Light Lemonade packets
  • Juicy Fruit gum
  • Bath poufs in yellow and white
  • Lotion
  • Memo pad
  • Nail Care items 
I bought a bag of yellow shredded paper and put it in the bottom of the basket. I also cut out some sunbeam shapes with my Silhouette Cameo out of cardstock and scrapbook paper and used double-sided tape to stick them in the basket.  I wrapped the whole thing in cellophane, tied it with a sheer yellow ribbon, then added a card I made out of one of the printables included in Karrie's blog post.  I simply cut out the portion I didn't need, glued it to yellow cardstock, and added one more sunbeam.

I hope she enjoys this as much as I enjoyed making it up for her!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

While at Dollar Tree, I also picked up some items to make a gift basket for a friends' little boy who has been in the hospital.  I started with a blue plastic basket with handles that I first filled with blue shredded paper. I went with a Spiderman theme on this one.

Included are:

  • Ring Pops
  • Skittles
  • Spiderman Coloring Book
  • Crayons
  • Toy Cars
  • Bubbles
  • Small Water Bottle
Once again, I just wrapped it in cellophane and tied it with some blue ribbon I had in my stash. I'll probably make a card to add to it. 

These baskets are so much fun to make, and don't cost a lot of money. I hope you will consider making one for someone you know - it will surely brighten their day.