Making Chalkboard Art with your Silhouette

 

Tuesday morning was a very productive morning for me. I had all of my chores on my chore chart checked off my 7:30am! I didn’t have to be anywhere until 9 so I thought I’d bust out a last minute craft because I had some free time. I’m not sure what made me want to try out the fancy chalkboard art I always see on Pinterest but I did and I made this….

I love it!

I decided I needed to make another one. Maybe something Halloweeny? And then I decided I’d let y’all follow me along on the process.

First, start out with the file you want to cut and make sure it is sized to fit your chalkboard.

To make my stencil I used my ghetto, not super permanent, name brand vinyl. You need to be able to pull it back up in the end.

Cut out your design just like I told you how to do HERE.

Now this part is backwards. Instead of pulling off (weeding) all of the outside parts to leave your main design like you would a sticker you want to do the opposite leave you a stencil of your design.

Now slap a big ol’ piece of contact paper over it and pull it all up.

Carefully line it up on your chalkboard and stick it down making sure to rub harder on any smaller separate bits.

Pull off the contact paper and start coloring in the design. This is the fun part unless you’re cheap like me and you buy Rose Art chalk that is junk and sucks.

Once the whole thing is colored in you can pull off the vinyl. This will be a lot easier if it isn’t super permanent adhesive.

And voila!

DIY: Making and Applying Vinyl Stickers

Since Santa brought me my Silhouette for Christmas I’ve made a gazillion vinyl stickers. I know there are so many paper crafts and other things (fabric, sketching, rhinestones, oh my!) that can be done with this machine but vinyl has been my #1 love 🙂

A while back I made a post about how to create your own Silhouette cutting file from an image. You can check that out HERE 🙂

Layla and I went school shopping today and there are a few things I want to label for her. Figured it was a good chance to go over just how EASY it is to make stickers with this machine! Easy as it is I still had to Google my brains out trying to figure out just what to do and how to apply it. Now I’ll post it all here for someone else to learn.

First up you need to open up your Silhouette software. I just use the free Silhouette Studio that came with the machine. No fancy upgrades here. Since I’m making a word sticker I’ll be telling you how to do that.

On the left side of the screen click on the text tool (the big A). Type out whatever you want your sticker to say.

This next step only applies if you have any parts of your design that overlap. If you leave it as is it will cut every little line. Not just the edges like you want it to.

 

Move your design where you want it to cut on your cutting mat. Usually I keep everything in the top left corner but sometimes I have wacky shaped cuts of vinyl scrap that I’m using to cut something else from and have to scoot it over a few inches. Match the grid on the computer to the grid on your mat to know where it will cut out.

Click on the Cut Settings (the little pencil icon) and choose your cutting media. I chose vinyl and then bumped my speed and thickness down a bit. I don’t use Silhouette brand vinyl but either way you should always test cut your settings to make sure it works for the media you are using if you are’t totally sure of the settings you should use.

Press your vinyl down on your cutting mat and load it into your machine. Make sure if you use the mat you have the cutting mat box checked in your cut settings and that the machine itself says “load cutting mat”.

 

Double check your blade. Is it on the right setting as well? I’ve made the mistake of leaving it on a higher setting and not checking before. It’s no good.

 

Go back into your cut settings and click CUT! Watch your machine do all the work for you 🙂

 

When you unload the mat you will see your words have been cut through. Hopefully just through the vinyl and not the backing paper also (why you need to be sure of your settings before cutting the whole thing out!)

 

Cut out around your design and pull back the extra vinyl surrounding it and weed out any extra bits like insides of letters.

 

Now here is where I will save you millions of dollars. Ok, not millions, but enough. Here’s the secret…do NOT buy the brand name transfer tape. It’s expensive! Go to the store and buy some clear contact paper from the kitchen/bathroom section. Super cheap. Cut out a piece to fit your design. Pull it off the paper and stick it down right on top of your vinyl. Rub really hard all over your sticker so the contact paper can really grab it all. For fat words like this I just use my finger but for smaller more detailed designs I use an old giftcard to really get it all rubbed down.

**This is where you stop if you’re making the sticker for someone else or need to save it or take it anywhere before it gets stuck onto something**

 

Now pull off the contact paper slowly, bring your vinyl with it.

 

Stick it down onto whatever it is you’re sticking it onto. Rub really well again all over the vinyl parts. Pull contact paper back slowly leaving the actual vinyl to stick onto your item.

 

Voila! You just made and applied a vinyl sticker. Now go make 1000 more and label everything you own 😀 It’s seriously addicting.

Line it up and stick it down where ever you plan to put your sticker

One Yard Wonders

Have y’all heard of this book? I’ve been looking at it forever but haven’t actually taken the plunge to buy it for myself.

My Korea BFF has it! She let me borrow it. I’ve been feeling super motivated to actually sew something now. I haven’t in a long while.

I’m super lazy like that.

Anywho, I borrowed her book and now my other BFF Michelley Welly and I are planning to sew some projects together. Even though she’s in TX.

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We are starting out super easy peasy with the sewing machine cover. Sort of jogging my sewing memory.

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Right now my machine is just at the back of my desk where I do bloggy stuff and lots of vinyl stuff. Not much sewing going on there.

It’s a little dusty.

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Now we have our project! I need to choose a fabric.

😐

Do I bust into my chevron stash that I bought and never touched?

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Do I try to coordinate with the little storage bag I have on my other desk?

Not sure if I have a full yard of it. We’ll see.

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Or maybe these super cute bicycles that I luuuurve and don’t have a use for??

I just don’t know.

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And then there’s this. Bleh.

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NO idea.

DIY: Silhouette Cutting Files

I know I’ve said it before but…

Santa brought me a Silhouette Cameo for Christmas!

Super awesome. Except I had NO freakin idea what to do with it. Lots of plans…zero knowledge. I knew I had to download the cutting files from the Silhouette website. I REALLY wanted to make a “Home is where the Army sends us” wall. Of course I couldn’t find any of the map shapes I wanted from Silhouette.

So between some Google and Pinterest I figured out how to do it myself!

BAM.

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The first thing you need to do is find a good picture. I did a Google Image search to find a good map outline.

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Once I had one that I thought would be easy to transfer I saved it to my computer and opened it up in the Silhouette Studio software.

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Now, to get just the outline you want to cut you need to click on the little blue Trace button on the top right of the page. Once you do, on the right side bar click “Select Trace Area”, then make your little box around what you want to cut out.

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Your picture should be outlined in Yellow. Next, click on “Trace Outer Edge”. That should make your highlighted trace box go away. You can click on the picture to select it, drag it out of the way to make sure you have selected your original leaving a red outline in its place. Then just hit delete and get rid of that original picture.

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Voila! There is your fancy new cut file. Now, click on File and Save to Library.

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And that’s it! Before you close it will ask if you want to save. The picture is in your library but if you want to save the new .studio file to your computer then click yes.

When you are ready to use your new file go to File, My Library, and My Own Designs. There it is! Ready to use!

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