Monthly Archives

April 2017

In Cardmaking, DIY, Holidays, Silhouette on
April 30, 2017

Teacher Appreciation Card

 

Usually I like to create unique items but there are days where I have zero energy, zero ideas, or zero time. Luckily, I know I can rely on Silhouette Design Store for some super cute, ready-to-go designs that looks like I spent hours creating!

This adorable card (Design ID #65200 by Tanya Batrak) caught my eye because it features several elements I consider important in a handmade card. It uses layers, various materials, and little details that make a big visual difference!

Card-making Essentials:

  • Layers – This card is full of layers! #hearteyes There’s the card’s playful base layer, on which lies a double-scalloped pocket that holds another interesting layer, a notebook page. The last layer is the adorable apple cutout, which “pops” thanks to dimensional adhesive.
  • Materials – Other than pretty patterned paper, it’s fun to add other mediums to a handmade card because it makes the card visually interesting. The black baker’s twine coordinates nicely with the black “Thanks!” diecut pulling together a cohesive look.
  • Little Details, Big Impact – Another way to make your handmade card stand out is in the little details. This attention to details is when your recipient will think, “Oh wow! Some special thought was put into this!” In this card, the little detail is in the apple’s leaf. I love how it isn’t just a plain leaf cutout but that it includes little thin cutouts within it, thus giving the leaf a unique look. Also, I like how simply curling the leaf draws the eye to the apple. Lastly, although you cannot see it on my cards (but you can see it on Silhouette Design Store’s example), I thought the little folder tab piece is adorable! A simple addition but really adds flair and spunk to a school-themed card!
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In DIY, Holidays, Silhouette on
April 26, 2017

Teacher Appreciation Personalized Tote Bag

 

For those whose kids are in some form of school, this is your PSA…Teacher Appreciation Week is coming up on May 8-12, 2017! This year’s National Teacher Day will be celebrated on Tuesday, May 9. Last year, I was ill-prepared so I definitely wasn’t going to let that happen this year, especially considering how awesome my son’s preschool teacher is! He absolutely adores her! We have seen tremendous growth in vocabulary, understanding, and even confidence!

I love practical gifts and since I live in a plastic bag-free city, I thought it would be fun to create a tote bag recognizing the hard work of a teacher. You can never have too many totes, especially if it’s cute like this one!

Isn’t the colorblock tote so cute and totally summery? It’s made by Imagin8 and can be found with the summer items. I got it at my local Michaels craft store for a little under five bucks!

This project is super easy to pull together and won’t break your budget! Who are you going to make one or two or three for?

For this project, you will need:

  • Silhouette Design ID #145943
  • Smooth Heat Transfer Vinyl in whatever colors you would like. I used black, dark pink, and glitter gold.
  • Iron or Heat Press Machine
  • Thin hand towel or cloth napkin (if using iron)

After downloading Design ID #145943 and opening it in my Silhouette Studio, I ungrouped and separated the words to better fit my project space. I did this because the totebag had a wider/horizontal space versus a taller/vertical space. Doing this meant the words/design would be more legible from a distance.

The most important step when doing a DIY heat transfer vinyl (HTV) project is to mirror your design. It’s the worst feeling when you forget to mirror the design and your Silhouette machine is cutting away your only piece of HTV!

When you have all the pieces cut out and weeded, center them in the appropriate space on the tote. Double, triple-check the layout, alignment, etc to make sure all is correct before ironing/sealing the HTV to the tote bag.

When you’re ready, place the thin hand towel or cloth napkin over the design and iron/press with even pressure. Note: if you’re using an iron, I recommend not “pushing” the iron across but rather press downward and hold for 15 seconds. Lift and press down again at a different spot. This method avoids any chance of your HTV accidentally getting scrunched or stretched.

Once you are confident all the HTV has been “transferred” to the tote bag, pull off the clear backing. At this point, I put the thin hand towel back over the HTV and iron one last time. And finally Voila! You have made a super cute customized tote bag for your favorite well-deserving teacher!

My favorite part of this project is using a butterfly icon as the text separator which is fitting for the preschool class name! 🙂

 

In Birthday, Cardmaking, DIY, Silhouette on
April 22, 2017

Birthday Card + Sticker Combo

 

 

As an avid paper crafter, I love making handmade cards. Sure, there are stores and aisles filled with greeting cards but nothing beats a 100% personalized card. Now that my 4-year-old has his groups of friends, we have been invited to many birthday parties. But let’s be real, name a preschooler who keeps (and cares?!) about his birthday cards…it’s always about the gift under the wrapping paper!

So what is a crafty mama to do?! Other than wrapped presents, I know what else preschoolers love…stickers! So, I created these adorable cards with a built-in sticker that peels off!

With two birthday parties this month to attend, I created two cards to match the birthday party themes. Paw Patrol and construction…totally classic 4-year-old themes, right? I was even able to make the Paw Patrol one a little more fun by making the number 4 and bone pieces “pop” using dimensional adhesive.

Supplies used:

  • Cardstock for card backing
  • Silhouette White Sticker Paper
  • Dimensional adhesive
  • Silhouette Design ID # 59769 (for the construction-themed card)

 

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In DIY, Holidays, Silhouette on
April 18, 2017

Circus Animal Cupcake Wrappers

 

Today is National Animal Cracker Day! Super important stuff. #yourewelcome

So obviously it is only appropriate to celebrate this momentous day with some delectable treats! To this day, I prefer the frosted animal crackers…probably because it was super rare when I got to enjoy these sweet cookies…like only at birthday parties…someone else’s birthday party. But now that I’m a grown woman, there are days I channel Donna and Tom (from Parks and Recreation) and I think to myself, “Girl, it’s time to Treat. Yo. Self!”

I thought it would be fun to put the frosted animal crackers on top of a yummy cupcake (go big or go home right?!). To play along with the animal (cracker) theme, I created a unique cupcake wrapper that resembled a circus podium. For those planning a circus-themed party, these cupcake wrappers will really dress up your treats and make them stand out!

Here’s how you can make these easy cupcake wrappers:

  • Download the cupcake wrapper I created.
    • When you open the file, it includes one podium ring, ten triangle panels, and ten stars.
    • All of these shapes make one cupcake wrapper so duplicate as-needed.
    • Lastly, use scrapbooking adhesive or glue to adhere the pieces.
  • Download Miss Kate Cuttables’ Designs ID #42737 and #42738 from the Silhouette Design Store.
    • I made these cut files into a “Print and Cut” file because I wanted to use the animals as a cupcake topper, which is another fun way to dress up the treat.
    • In order to do this:
      • Ungroup and release any compound paths.
      • Keep the pieces you need to make the circus animal. You may need to overlap some pieces to create the full image. Delete everything else that is not used.
      • Open up the “Fill Color Window” and choose a color to “fill” your animal shape.
      • For most shapes’ lines, I chose “Transparent” in the “Line Color Window” except for the elephant because I wanted the elephant trunk and tusks to stand out.
      • To make this a “Print and Cut” file, we need to create an outer cut line for each animal.
        • Pick one animal and open the “Trace Window” and select Trace Area, from which you will adjust the High and Low Pass Filters to get a good outline of your animal.
        • Then, click “Trace Outer Edge”
      • Almost done…click on “Cut Settings” and make sure the outer line that you just created is the only one that has a cut line applied to it. In other words, this should be the only line in red.
      • This step is optional but I highly recommend it to keep your shapes in tact. Highlight and group the various pieces per animal. Re-size your grouped shape as necessary. You may want large or small cupcake toppers.
      • Lastly, open the “Registration Marks Window” and set your registration marks.
      • Send it off to your printer, then place your printed document on the cutting mat, and send to Silhouette. And that’s it!

 

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In DIY, Holidays, Silhouette on
April 17, 2017

Summertime Drink/Straw Umbrellas

 

Warm and sunny days here in SoCal have me thinking about summer and all the fun get-togethers with family and friends. Last year, we hosted a 4th of July BBQ potluck. It was our first party since Zoe was born. I’m pretty sure it was my idea but truly, I think all three of us (hubby, firstborn son, and me) were ready to have folks over for good food and fellowship! Prior to kids, we used to have friends over for hours, playing games after games after games, sometimes until 10/11pm. These days, we are asleep by that time. Young children have no mercy…it’s go time when the clock strikes 6am.

If we host another Independence Day party this year, I’m going to add some holiday pizzaz to the drinks with this drink/straw umbrella combo! The paper straw is a fantastic way to add color and/or incorporate the party theme. Adding the drink umbrella is not only fun but can also be practical! For narrow glassware like the milk bottle pictured, you can even push the umbrella down the straw and it can serve as a “drink lid,” keeping your beverage free of bugs or falling leaves. Nothing is going to ruin your holiday festivities!

Want to make some of your own? It’s incredibly easy! You need the following:

  • Silhouette Design ID#81181 (the Silhouette Design Store has several other designs as well)
  • Cardstock (for the base umbrella piece)
  • Patterned paper (for the decorative panels)
  • Scrapbooking adhesive or tape
  • Paper straws

In order to “thread” the straw through the drink umbrella, I modified the original drink umbrella cut file by adding a 0.25″ circle and centering it. See screenshot below. No need to do anything else…simply send it to your Silhouette machine to cut. Fold on the preforated lines and voila! It’s fancy drink time!

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In Birthday, Cardmaking, DIY, Silhouette on
April 14, 2017

Hamburger Birthday Card

 

Here’s a fun birthday card I made for my brother-in-law. I’m always looking to create something different and a little whimsy so I thought…why not swap out a typical birthday cake with a hamburger! A delicious-looking one in fact! Hamburger cut file is from Silhouette’s Design Store (Design ID #10634).

This easy project was a great way to use up paper scraps. Did you know you can put all your scraps on the cutting mat and have the design cut in one run? YES to time-saving tactics! Just place your scraps in various corners/sides of your cutting mat and make sure the design is approximately in the same spot in Silhouette Studio®.

Now, I’m off to get myself a burger!

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In DIY, Graphic Design, Holidays, Silhouette on
April 12, 2017

Father’s Day DIY Desk Calendar

 

I know I’m WAY ahead of myself here on holidays…Father’s Day is not until June 18 of this year (you better mark your calendar if you haven’t!) but this mama has a lot on her plate in June so I’m working backwards to make sure our Mr. Awesome Daddy has a special day and gift. As you will see on this blog, I am a BIG fan of the Silhouette machines, particularly the CAMEO®. Using this machine, I was able to design a personal and practical gift for my husband.

This desk calendar has two components: 4″x4″ picture frame on the left side and a mini 4″x4″ monthly calendar on the right side. The picture frame is great for those Instagram/square photos that can be so easily printed at Walgreens or another neighborhood print shop. I used Silhouette Design ID #42469 to create a little visual interest in the bottom right corner of the picture frame. The fun part of this gift is that my husband can swap out photos so it keeps the desk calendar exciting!

Want to make one for Father’s Day? Cut files and steps are listed below.

For the 4″x4″ Picture Frame:

  • Download the 4″x4″ picture frame cut file. Note: the dotted lines are perforated lines to help with folding. Another reason why the Silhouette CAMEO® machine is so awesome!
  • Download Lori Whitlock’s “The Best Dad Ever” Design from the Silhouette Design Store.
  • Open both designs on the same blank file in your Silhouette Studio® software. Take the “The Best Dad Ever” design and scale it down however much you want. I did 20%. Place this design so that it slightly overlaps the picture frame on the bottom and on the right. See picture below.

  • Click on the picture frame and select “Ungroup”
  • Click on the inner frame line and the “The Best Dad Ever” piece and select “Divide” under the Modify Window. See picture below.

  • Then click in a blank spot to de-select the pieces. Click on the “The Best Dad Ever” piece again and hit delete.
  • Zoom in the places where the design overlaps the picture frame and start deleting. See picture below. See how the “t” in “Best” is now connected to the frame?

  • Now you have a completed picture frame with a little fun detail in the corner!
  • Send to your Silhouette and assemble! Fold where preforated lines are.
  • Note: I used regular cardstock and used the Double Cut feature on my machine to make sure the cuts are clean.
  • Note: You may need to trim your square photos a tiny bit so that it fits within your frame.

 

For the 4″x4″ Desk Calendar: 

  • Download the calendar PDF and cut using a paper slicer or scissors. Note: This desk calendar file goes through the end of 2017.

 

For the 4.25″x8″ Backing:

  • Download the desk calendar backing cut file. Again, there are preforated lines to help with folding.
  • Send to Silhouette to cut! I recommend using thick cardstock material for the backing.
  • Once cut, I used scrapbook adhesive on the tabs and secured it to the back. Note: You can angle the main panel however much you want. See below where I placed my tabs.

 

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