Sunday, 17 December 2017

Introducing Glitter Sheets - Decorating Christmas Crackers




Hi, Janet here with an introduction to the NEW Silhouette® Glitter Sticker Sheets which are now available in the UK.

I've included a little festive project, using the glitter stickers to decorate some home-made Christmas crackers using the Oh Deer! heads by Lettering Delights from the Silhouette Store.




GLITTER STICKER SHEETS

There are 8 sheets in a pack, each sheet being 8.5in. x 11in., or 215 mm x 280 mm. The sheets are glittery with a slightly silvery colouration.  They can be printed with any pattern on a home printer. I used my regular inkjet printer and the colours were bright and clear. The sheets are adhesive-backed, so no additional adhesive is needed.

Recent versions of the Silhouette® Studio software have a recommended setting for the Glitter Sticker sheets under "Sticker Paper, Glitter" (Blade 1, Speed 5, Force 10 and a single pass). I found that this setting gave a  perfect 'kiss-cut' with my AutoBlade and a sticky mat.




However, I didn't find the whole Print & Cut process as straightforward as usual so thought I'd share my difficulties and some tips in case you have a similar experience.

I started off using the sheets to make a sheet of round stickers to use as gift seals and to add to gift tags, but was alarmed to find that on my first attempt the round sticker shape was distorted. Additionally, the circles were not aligned with the printed designs.


TIP 1: PAGE SETTINGS/TEST CUT - Set Page Settings to US Letter and then carry out a test on regular white card or paper. To eliminate any user error, do the first Print & Cut with media of the same size as the sheets (i.e., US Letter size). If you don't have letter sized card you can trim down a piece of 12" x 12".




TIP 2: PRINTER SETTINGS/PRINT & CUT GUIDE LINES - Ensure that your printer is also set to print to US Letter. I find it useful to check with the 'Show Print Border' and 'Show Cut Border' guides  tuned on in the Page Setup panel. 



If the grey (print) guide line is off the page on the virtual mat, then check the page setup and orientation and change the Print Page Setup if necessary (File > Print Page Setup).  


If you still have a problem with alignment, check that your printer settings are not set to 'borderless', that 're-size to fit' is off, and that scale is set at 100%.


Tip 3: GOOD LIGHT CONDITIONS - Carry out the Print & Cut process in good light. If the software fails to pick up the registration marks once the printed media is loaded into the Silhouette, it is most likely a problem with light. Low light, bright light and shadows can all cause problems. I had no success with the glitter sticker sheets until I used them in good daylight.


Tip 4: REGISTRATION MARKS - The Sticker Sheet instructions advise the use of default registration marks. To restore the defaults, in the Page Setup Panel select the correct Style of registration mark (usually Type 1) and click on 'Restore Defaults'. (optional) At this stage I increased the Thickness from 0.50 to 0.70 (regardless of the unit of measure).


Tip 5: WHITEN THE REGISTRATION AREA - The sticker sheets have a smooth area at the corners where the registration marks print. However, I found that I didn't have success with the sheets until I covered these with pieces of white sticker paper (this is a hack I use for any shiny or coloured Print & Cut media). Only 3 pieces are required as shown in the photo  below.




GLITTER STICKERS FOR CHRISTMAS CRACKERS

I used these same designs to decorate a set of home-made Christmas crackers (we really wanted some fun rose gold crackers this year). Here is a quick overview on making the decorations.

1. Open all the Oh Deer! files in one tab.

2. Arrange them as you want them to cut (they are already coloured).

3. Recolour the grey colour to match the copper/rose gold crackers. You can enter the RGB numbers shown, but you may need them to be a little different for your printer.


4. Move the facial features aside and make an offset of the heads. Release compound path and remove any tiny pieces. Print & Cut the heads from a glitter sheet.



5. To make the wrapper, use only the offsets, and weld each one with a rectangle which is long enough to go around a cracker with a small overlap.


6. Cut the wrappers from medium weight white card.



7. Cut the features from black and red vinyl (I made duplicates).


8. Adhere the stickers onto the wrappers and partially cut around the lower part of the head to allow it to stand proud from the cracker.



9. Transfer the vinyl features to the lower part of the wrapper.



10. Adhere the wrapper to the top part of the cracker. Add additional decorations and scraps of glitter sheet.




I'd love to see what you make with the sheets. You can share photos of your makes over on the Silhouette UK Facebook page.


Bye for now,


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Wednesday, 13 December 2017

DOTW - Special Delivery



Hello, hello - Karen here with another quick project made with this week's Design Of The Week, Special Delivery.
I had just bought a couple of gift cards as Christmas presents and thought it would be ideal to put on the front of a gift card holder.

I chose this gift card shape - I only used the outline and not the chevron tree.


 And  used my sketch pens to draw the sentiment.

I then added a 3D tree from this design to finish it off.






By the way Silhouette are giving away a free design for the next 12 days and this little cutie is the one for today.



Sunday, 10 December 2017

Stitched Star Tree: Using a Pen Holder



Hey there Silhouette fans, Niki here today with a hack to share with you. I found this very beautiful star tree file in the store and I immediately I wanted to stitch this as a full page in my December Daily album. So I opened it on screen...

BUT...it's a file that can be cut out as a whole, meaning it had double cut lines. That would be great if I wanted to cut it out, but I wanted to stitch each star with a single line rather than the two lines. I tried my absolute hardest to convert it to a single line but in the end I had to admit defeat and give up 😞😞😞

So instead, I used the Draw a Rectangle tool to draw a box around my tree. I wanted the box to be the exact page size of my December Daily pages (6x8") with the tree in the middle. I then set it to my Silhouette, but loaded a piece of copy paper onto my mat. I also set the tree itself to draw using a pencil in a pen holder, while the rectangle box was cut out. I was then left with a piece of paper, the correct size with the tree drawn on, centred perfectly.

I then was able to use this as a stitching template. I placed the copy paper with the drawn tree over a piece of white cardstock and pierced the wholes for the stitching - just on the points of the star. I then stitched using metallic gold thread and long stitches to make this very beautiful stitched star tree.

In case you dont quite get what I mean, I've made a short video of how I did this which you can view below.



So I guess that today's lesson, is never give up! If you can't get the software to do what you want it to do, then see if you can figure out a way around. I absolutely love the result of this and it looks even better in real life! It's the most stunning page in my December Daily album so far.

Happy scrapping xxx 


Find me on my own blog: Being Scrappy and on Instagram as @nikiclaire



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Saturday, 9 December 2017

Glittery Pyjama Bags


Hello,
Janet here with a tutorial on how to make these fun, Christmas-themed, pyjama bags. I took some blank drawer-string bags and transformed them by decorating them with jewel-like glitter heat transfer material and 'punny' wine and Christmas phrases from the Silhouette Design Store.

If you haven't used heat transfer material (aka HTV) before, why not try it for the first time on this simple project? For items that are used infrequently, and are almost never put through a washing machine, a heat press really isn't necessary. A domestic iron is perfectly adequate as long as the steam setting isn't used and there is no chance of water leaking. Dampness prevents the vinyl from sticking securely, so it is a good idea to dry iron your fabric bags to remove all moisture before adhering the vinyl.



These days I'm so fortunate to be able to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in the company of our grown up children.  For the last few years we've each opened a parcel on Christmas Eve containing a set of cosy PJs. Last year I hit on the idea of decorating reusable drawer-string bags and adding initial letter tags to indicate the recipient's name. The details for making the reusable tags (by adding a hanging loop to the font LW Splendid) are here.

I used Silhouette Glitter Heat Transfer Material in Mint, Hot Pink and Silver, with some Black Flock Heat Transfer too.


What You'll Need

Heat Transfer Material in a variety of colours
Blank Drawstring Bag
Iron or Heat Press
Non-Stick Sheet
Ruler
Hard Heatproof Surface


STEP 1: Prepare The Designs

Open your chosen design in the Silhouette software.  Draw a rectangle of the same dimensions as your bag, this will help to ascertain the correct size for your design pieces.

The quickest way to make a rectangle of the correct size is to open the Transform Panel and the Scale Tab and then to enter the dimensions and click apply.



NOTE: The dimensions are set to Inches for this project, to change to Centimetres or Millimetres, click on the cog icon in the bottom right of the screen and the Preferences Panel will pop up. Choose an alternative unit of measurement from the drop down box and click OK.

Move the design onto the 'bag' and align and resize as you'd like the finished bag to look.  (Optional) To plan your design (while making a simple mockup), fill the elements with colours to match your chosen colours for the design pieces. Ungroup (right mouse click, Ungroup) to arrange the pieces into the correct positions if necessary.



Move the design 'mockup' to the side and copy the design only onto the mat. Draw weeding boxes around the elements. There are two possibilities with regard to arranging the elements for cutting - (1) makes alignment easier, and (2) saves heat transfer material. Of course both are just temporary arrangements, immediately before cutting you'll need to move them to the correct start position (generally top left). You can save more vinyl by cutting a number of designs at once.

(1)

(2)

STEP 2: Reverse the Designs

Select the designs and flip them (right mouse click, Flip Horizontally), before sending to cut. The latest edition of the software has a little pop up reminder in the send tab, which is helpful if you forget.



STEP 3: Prepare The Media

The flock and glitter media can be cut without a mat, but a mat allows scraps and narrow width pieces to be cut. The media should be placed shiny, coloured side down to the mat. It may need a little assistance to prevent the media curling up at the edges (e.g. some washi or painter's tape at each corner).


STEP 4: Cutting  Heat Transfer 

You will have to adjust the cut settings to suit your machine, mat and blade, and it is always worthwhile carrying out a test cut first.  A successful cut only cuts to the backing, and not through it. It is easy to weed when the settings are correct and if the cut is not deep enough the edges of the vinyl will be ragged and may even tear when you weed it.


NOTE: With the AutoBlade I find the default settings are about right, but the force can usually be reduced by 3 to 6 clicks.


STEP 5: Weeding The Heat Transfer

Remove the excess vinyl by peeling it up from one corner. Then remove the interiors from the letters by bending the vinyl and pulling off the unwanted pieces with your fingers. Glitter and flock types are easy to weed in this way, smooth varieties will require the use of a pointed hook to remove.


STEP 6: Applying The Heat Transfer

Arrange the cut pieces, with the shiny side (carrier sheet) upward, onto a bag using your mockup design for reference.  Decided the order in which you are going to apply the pieces, ensuring any overlapping pieces are applied in the correct order.



With the iron on a medium heat, press the pieces firmly in one place for a few seconds, then lift the iron and press firmly with a downward pressure again until the piece has been pressed all over. It is useful to have a firm surface like a wooden chopping board on the floor that you can press down hard onto, rather than a regular iron board which generally has too much give in it.  Use a cloth or non-stick sheet between the iron and the vinyl and only press for as long as it takes for the media to just adhere. Peel off the backing once it has cooled slightly and iron again, with the design protected by the non-stick sheet until the design is firmly stuck. Turn the bag inside out and press again from the reverse side and your bag is ready to use.




Bye for now,




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