Posts Tagged ‘vinyl’

I got an idea from Pinterest. It’s pretty ambitious, but when I get something in my head, I have to go for it.

I decided to make felt Lola ornaments for our tree (and one for Lola’s BFF Nancy in the leasing office, which I know will make her bawl like a baby).

I used an actual photo of her to make the design, and I’m planning to make it out of basic craft felt — if I can get the damn stuff to cooperate! — using my Silhouette Curio to cut the shapes out.

So, Attempt 1: I tried just putting the felt right on the adhesive cutting mat and doing a straightforward cut. That resulted in a whole lot of nothing. The felt got pulled around by the blade and didn’t cut so much as floof.

Attempt 2: I have some fusible interfacing I bought for just such a purpose. I got my iron fired up and did just a few pieces to test.* Felt on interfacing on mat, same result: nada.

*Pro tip: Don’t get your iron too hot. It will obliterate your interfacing and deform or outright melt your acrylic felt. Trust me on this. I used the polyester setting (medium heat) on my iron, with no steam.

Attempt 3: I read you can use freezer paper in the same way, so I tried felt on freezer paper on the mat AND freezer paper on felt on the mat. Nope on both counts.

Attempt 4: Put the felt on vinyl (I used adhesive contact paper) on the mat and cut. The cuts partially went through the vinyl (which was on the bottom, wut??) and just floofed the felt a bit more. There was maybe a tiny little cut made when the blade first started, but again, no result.

Attempt 5: Felt on vinyl on the mat, but with clear packing tape on top of the felt to make the surface more steady (similar to the freezer paper on felt on the mat in Attempt 3). That really just meant that the blade pulled the partially-cut tape around with the felt, and still no dice.

So.

Damn.

Frustrating.

My next attempt will be with stiffened felt. I’ve seen recommendations from flour-and-water to specialty fabric stiffening products. I’ve seen people lauding a 1:1 mixture of white glue and water, but since I seem to have every single type of adhesive OTHER than white glue, I’m using matte Mod Podge. I measured a few tablespoons of Mod Podge and added 3 to 4 cups of water, mixing it well.

I submerged the felt in the mixture, squeezing it to make sure it was saturated. Then I squeezed again to get the excess moisture out without stretching the felt and laid it out to dry. I just ironed the first piece (again, polyester setting) to get it nice and flat. Heating it with the iron felt like it removed some of the stiffness, and it freaked me out because I’m just so ready to get on with this project, but as the felt cooled it stiffened again.

Tomorrow I’ll try cutting again (since today has been horribly exhausting and the bed needs me). Updates then!

I know, I know…it’s been way too long. I thought it was way past time I update you on the fun stuff from the last several months, plus make a promise to be better about posting as events unfold.

 

April 28: I started a noodle binder! I knit little i-cords for all of the yarns I had and filled out pages for each brand.

Update: I have sooo muuuch yaaarn. The noodle binder is so far behind. I look at it every time I walk by, fully intending to get everything caught up but… /sigh Keep reading »

I’ve always loved making wreaths, and over the last few years I’ve loved displaying them as well. We’re not just talking the ubiquitous Christmas wreath; I mean wreaths for many holidays and every season.

I’ve started going bigger and bolder with my wreath designs, and this has caused unforeseen strife in our household: The wreaths obscure our apartment number on the door.

In a toss-up between decorating our front door and receiving deliveries in a timely fashion, the wreaths lost. As you can see, our spring wreath started out in a lovely position on the door:

Spring/Summer 2015 Wreath

…And as you can also see, our “E” is almost completely hidden. After only a day or two, Peter rotated it nearly 180° and shifted it upward so the “E” was visible again, but the symmetry of the design was lost in that position. Sigh!

Our exterior doors are metal, so when I wasn’t using the upside-down Command hook trick or a proper wreath hanger, I used a heavy-duty magnetic hook. That set off a light bulb in my brain.

Our doors are metal! Why not make a magnetic replacement letter?!

Using my Silhouette Portrait, some Silhouette magnet paper, and a bit of Silhouette matte gold adhesive vinyl, I set to work.

For the first attempt, I found a nice (readable!) script font that attaches each letter — Armonioso — and a serif “E.” I cut the magnet paper and the vinyl separately, then removed the backing paper from both cutouts and did my best to line them up. It wasn’t perfect, but I figured it was good enough:

Close enough!

The “Apartment” text was 6″ wide, and the “E” was a bit more than 2″ tall. Here’s how it looked on the door:

Take 1: Meh.

Meh.

Now that I knew what I was doing (and what I was doing WRONG), I took another stab at it.

First, I tweaked my design in the Silhouette software and made a note of the final cut dimensions. I shortened “Apartment” to “Apt” and made the “E” bigger and bolder and italic-er. I cut a piece of magnet paper and a piece of adhesive vinyl to fit.

Second, I adhered the magnet paper and the vinyl to each other BEFORE sticking them to the cutting mat and running them through the Portrait. (No more mismatched cutouts! That was driving me bonkers!)

By your powers combined... So pretty!!

Here’s the finished product on the door:

Shiny!

Lessons learned:

  • Pre-adhering the magnet paper and vinyl is definitely the way to go. Trying to line two very sticky things up after they’re cut is beyond tedious, and it’s highly unlikely you’ll get a perfect match.
  • The default cut settings for the Silhouette magnet paper are Blade 6, Speed 1 (lowest), Thickness 33 (highest), Double Cut on. I recommend bumping the blade up to 7 or 8. The magnet paper is very soft and will easily tear if you haven’t cut deep enough and aren’t careful while weeding. I used the default settings and was just able to very delicately extract the cut shapes.
  • When editing your text in the Silhouette software, make sure to Modify > Weld to make your script letters all one word shape, and Modify > Crop to make sure your cut dimensions aren’t including any buffer areas around the letters. This will also ensure a more accurate measurement when resizing your shapes.

Before Crop After Crop

This was a fun project, and hopefully it will help save others’ sanity when it comes to holiday — or everyday — decorating. 🙂