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Silhouette CAMEO

In DIY, Home Decor, Silhouette on
November 9, 2017

DIY Lightbox Letters

 

Halloween night was incredible! My 4.5yo and almost 2yo wanted to keep going and going and going, especially my littlest one. As you know with my month-long tribute to the spooktacular holiday, I love Halloween even more now as a parent. It’s such a joy watching my kids get into the spirit, trying to contain their excitement (or not!) and gazing with mesmerized eyes at all the festive decorations in our neighborhood.

Halloween kicks off “crazy season” for my family. I have been a little MIA lately because I threw a surprise birthday party for the hubs. I’ll blog about that party later. But I will share one cool craft I did in preparation for the party. My hubby was born in the 80s so the party had a little nod to that rad decade. Over the summer, I purchased a $10 light box from WalMart and have used it any chance I got. Unfortunately, the hard part is finding a phrase or saying that works. You see, the light box comes with two sets of each letter. So for instance, for Halloween, I couldn’t do “trick or treat” because I didn’t have enough of the letter T. So I just ended up with “Boo!” Haha, I know, super lame.

For the surprise party, I wanted to use the phrase “Totally Tubular Dude” and again, I was stuck with the same letter T problem. Well, enough is enough…I’m a maker and I’m going to make it work! If you find yourself in the same situation, here is a tutorial on how to make your own light box letters!

 

 

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In DIY, Holidays, Silhouette on
October 31, 2017

DIY Paw Patrol Chase and Skye Halloween Costumes

 

 

About the middle of summer is when I have a very important conversation with my son…Halloween costumes. We brainstorm all the possibilities and I let him stew on the options. Yup, I use food puns whenever I can.

Two years ago, I made my son a wearable firetruck costume out of a UPS shipping box. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of keeping the costume AND in plain sight (in the garage). So, of course he asked that this year’s costume be made the same way!

If you know any preschooler these days, it’s all about Paw Patrol. My son is obsessed with Chase the police pup while my daughter loves Skye, the Amelia Earhart of the crew. And voila, Halloween costume decision made!

So, knowing that my by-the-book firstborn son would be checking my work, I got started right away. I have no time to waste! I kid you not, he seriously checked my progress each day and said “yes, mommy, that is good. Yup…Mmm-hmm, that’s correct. Great job mommy.”😳

With my Silhouette cutting machine, I was able to replicate many of the designs on Chase’s vehicle, Skye’s pup pack, as well as their pup badge designs. If you ever wondered how much you can create custom work with the Silhouette for your project needs, this is 100% proof right here.

 

How I made the Chase costume:

  • Spray painted a UPS shipping box (12in x 12in x 20in) blue with multiple coats. Cut out a hole to fit my son in the middle and stapled elastic straps to make “suspenders” for a wearable costume.
  • Create custom pieces that were cut by my Silhouette machine, such as the head/tail lights, wheels, decals, front “winch” box, and badges.
  • Inserted submersible LED tealights into Container Store’s Amac colored boxes to create the back “flashers” as well as put two bike flashing lights on the front.
  • Sew hand-cut blue craft foam onto existing black baseball cap. Glued on yellow ribbon, hand-cut felt ears, and paper badge. He wears this everrrrrrrday.

 

How I made the Skye costume:

  • I already had a dark pink tutu dress (bought from Old Navy) from my daughter’s 1st birthday party. Surprisingly it still fit her…a little on the short side but we just add bottoms and it’s all good. I sewed the paper Skye badge over the glitter “one” HTV that was on the front of her dress. Hooray for this quick hack!
  • To make Skye’s pup pack, I wrapped a software box (no joke!) with pink craft felt and hot glued another paper badge on top. For the wings, I simply cut out cardboard from an Amazon shipping box, wrapped it with silver poster board, and added some pink trim. Lastly, I hot glued both the wings to the back of the pup pack as well as two elastic bands to form a backpack. I also stapled the elastic bands for extra security.
  • The last accessory was the headpiece. Luckily, I had a dark pink fabric headband from one of my daugher’s baby headbands (one of many she never really liked wearing 🙄…). I cut out the “googles” out of light pink felt as well as little pup ears out of light brown felt, and sew both of them onto the headband. That was easy and quick to pull together! Whew!

 

 

All in all, everyone’s happy. The kids are stoked and I couldn’t get my son to take off his hat or vest (even with the insane heat wave last week!). I’m pretty happy how both costumes turned out and I’m also pretty happy to be done working on them! Ha! Looking forward to seeing how these costumes hold up on tonight!

Hope you’ve enjoyed the month-long Halloween craft/DIY projects on the blog! Happy Halloween!! 🎃

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In DIY, Holidays, Silhouette on
October 26, 2017

Rice Krispie Treat (Horizontal) Toppers

 

I’m a total sugar junkie. My dentists (yes plural! I’ve seen a lot of dentists 🙈) would all agree too. So since I couldn’t wait until Halloween to sink my teeth into something sweet, I made rice krispie treats. Halloween-style of course.

After spreading the gooey rice krispie and marshmallow mixture onto a baking sheet, I added and pressed in Halloween sprinkles. Then, made rice krispie cutouts with my Halloween-themed cookie cutters. Annnnd in case you couldn’t tell I was excited about Halloween, I added some festive toppers!

I thought to myself…hmm, most of the treat toppers we see are upright ones. (You know, like the ones in cupcakes at birthday parties). But why stop there?? Let’s think outside of the box and do something fun…like horizontal toppers! *insert mind-blown meme*

I always like a good crafting challenge so I came up with a couple fun toppers, three of which uses designs from the Silhouette Design Store!

The pumpkin faces are by Hero Arts (Design ID#67247). With my Silhouette CAMEO machine, I cut out ovals out of a clear acetate sheet and the faces using black cardstock. Then, I used craft glue to stick the faces onto the ovals and hot glue gunned a trimmed toothpick to the back of the oval (behind a face piece to conceal the toothpick) to make it a topper.

 

The “boo!” speech bubble is Design ID#152644. A toothpick was glue to the back of the topper and inserted into the side of the rice krispie ghost cutout.

The other “boo” was my own design and the toothpick was placed behind the “b” so that it was hidden, giving the topper a floating look.

 

I think these horizontal toppers really add some visual pizzazz to the treats, which makes the eating more fun! 😊 Such a simple and playful way to dress up Halloween sweets!

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In Cardmaking, DIY on
August 28, 2017

Same but Different – One Statement Piece, Two Different Cards

 

Two of my closest friends were each celebrating their own special occasions…a 6-month anniversary and a birthday! So that meant it was card-making time!

I came across this adorable cut file by Lori Whitlock (Silhouette Design ID#62270) and this fun design by Megan Hardy Designs (Silhouette Design ID#195787) and knew I wanted to use them both for my friend’s anniversary card. Earlier this year, I  purchased the map patterned paper with no immediate plans for it. I just knew I had to have it. #craftersproblems but don’t you agree that the print is so dang adorable?! My friend and her hubby love to camp, explore, and ride bikes so it was a perfect background paper for their card. Even though the grey and olive green angled cardstock pieces were simple additions, not only did they pull in colors from the map print thus creating a cohesive look but they provided a framework for the remaining pieces. The “Love the Adventure” piece popped nicely against the grey and the bicycle was placed at an angle as if it was riding up an olive green hill. The heart balloons provided some counterbalance as well as color to the card.

Since I just adored the bicycle with heart balloons, I cut out those pieces again with my Silhouette CAMEO to see if I could create a different card…this time for my other friend’s birthday. This time I changed up the orientation and created the card to be upright. This allowed for space above (so I added more balloons) and below the bicycle (I added the sentiment ribbon) . The mint-colored scalloped circle plus two linear strips of pink washi tape reinforced the bicycle as the card’s focal point. Since there was a variety of color in this card already, I opted to embellish the card with a sparkly touch (gold sequin plus two tiny rhinestones on the “Happy Birthday” sentiment).

This was a fun card-making challenge! I learned that subtle differences in layout, layering, or embellishments can really create a different look in the cards even with the same statement piece (in this case, the bicycle with heart balloons). Although I did not intend to make two cards with the same statement piece, I’m so glad I did! Such a good exercise to expand one’s creativity. I wonder how many different cards I could have made with a bicycle and heart balloons?!

 

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In Parties on
August 22, 2017

For Baby Hank

One of my first friends in college who also was my lab partner in one of the hardest engineering classes everrrrr is having a baby! Hooray! 🙂 While I may not have aced that engineering class, I know I can get an A in creating some pretty cute baby shower decor.

She and her hubby love to travel so it was no brainer that lil Baby Hank’s nursery will be travel/adventure-themed. And because the party organizers and I are practical people, we carried that theme into the baby shower as well so that any fun decor can be reused to decorate the nursery. Making it as easy peasy for the parents-to-be!

In my experience, the best way to plan decor for an event is pretend you are a guest and do a mental walkthrough (or a physical one if it’s at your own home) of your party spaces.

So, come with me! Let’s attend Baby Hank’s baby shower virtually!

Next, a pseudo-chalkboard sign was placed near the front door so guests knew to enter the party through the front door versus the side yard which is the first thing you see after walking through the gates. You ready to learn about my secret weapon when it comes to large signs? Two words…engineering prints! This 18in x 24in “chalkboard” sign was created in Adobe InDesign and printed at Staples as a black and white “engineering print” and it cost just $2! You can print up to 36in x 48in and in color (although I was told by the guy at Staples that the color can only be about 25-30% of your design to be considered “engineering print”).

 

I think social parties like baby showers need a focal point so that’s where I spend the rest of my attention. The dining table was pushed against the wall and a 36in x 48in backdrop was hung to create the focal point. And yuuuup, that backdrop is also an engineering print and in color!! Next, I added dimension to the space with 3D hot air balloons that brought pops of color against the backdrop. An adorable hand-sewn circle+onesie garland also draped below the backdrop for some visual interest.

 

The hot air balloon icon can be seen again here on the cupcakes toppers. Personally, I like to repeat icons/patterns/colors/shapes throughout in the decor because it not only makes the entire event feel cohesive but it also reiterates the theme. These cupcake toppers were customized by using several different designs from the Silhouette Design Store. I tweaked Lori Whitlock’s Design ID#36441 to create the hot air balloon piece. The clouds are from Snapdragon Snippets’ Design ID#44219. The “oh boy” banner was created layering my own text on the banner shape in this design by Kolette Hall.

 

My favorite piece of this baby shower was the luggage favors. M&M fun size bags filled each kraft soap box, which was then wrapped with light grey/silver wrapping paper. To create the look of a suitcase, thin strips of dark grey cardstock were added on the sides and one on top to create a handle. I felt the front of the luggage looked bare so decided to add a little travel flair with a cute graphic printed on Silhouette’s clear labels. It was also an opportunity to acknowledge the favor is from Baby Hank’s baby shower. The finishing piece was the luggage tag that I created in Adobe Illustrator. The luggage tag listed some special numbers and letters. The numbers represented the baby’s due month and year. The 3-letter “airport code” is actually the baby’s initials. So fun sneaking in little things like that! Anyways, I imported this graphic into Silhouette Studio so that the tags could be individually cut by my Silhouette CAMEO. I love incorporating my graphic designs into Silhouette projects!

Welcome to the world Baby Hank!! 🙂

 

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In DIY, Silhouette on
August 6, 2017

Obligatory First Day of School “Chalkboard” Sign

 

School is just around the corner and I’ve got another great craft project to excite your kiddos about starting or returning to school…you know, the obligatory “first day of school” sign! This project created for Silhouette’s Blog is especially unique because it features Silhouette’s chalkboard vinyl. There are several GOOD reasons I chose this method versus using a standard chalkboard. Let’s break it down:

  1. Unless you’re an expert chalkboard artist, you will be spending a lot of time fitting your words, perfecting the look, erasing, starting lines over, etc.
  2. You can use chalk markers (I highly recommend Marvy Uchida Chalk Markers) for crisp white or colored lettering that makes your board look professional!
  3. The chalkboard vinyl is reusable so you can use the same chalkboard for many years to come and for multiple kids!

So you wanna make one now right? Click here to read the tutorial!

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In DIY, Silhouette on
July 25, 2017

Back to School Count Down

 

Alright mama bears, fess up…who’s counting down the days until school starts??

If you raised your hand, it’s your lucky day! I have teamed up with my friend Rachel Place of Sweet Elsie and we put our crafty and creative juices together and created a fun and simple project for you and your kiddos – a back to school count down!

This exclusive Silhouette design features a crayon box with numbered crayons that can be removed each day until the first day of school. You guys, you can even personalize it with your child’s grade! Make one for each kiddo…get everyone excited and playing along in the count down! 🙂

Before we start with the simple tutorial, let’s talk about Rachel…who is she?! She is a Silhouette Artist whom I met at Silhouette Summit earlier this year. Together, we braved the waves out to our submarine excursion but I’m pretty sure she handled it a lot better than I did! Here are some more fun facts about this graphic design extraordinaire!

Want to see more of Rachel’s designs? Check her out on Instagram at @rachel.place and @sweet_elsie

 

Oh Crate & Barrel….me and you both girl! 🙂 I could dream all day about re-decorating my home to look like it was straight out of a C&B catalog! BUT let’s get back to reality and how about we DO something instead?! Here’s how to make your own back to school countdown! 🙂

Supplies needed:

 

 

 

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In DIY, Silhouette on
July 16, 2017

I is for Ice Cream (and I’m celebrating it all week!)

Guess what today is??? National Ice Cream Day! 🙂

I mean, do I really need a day to remind me to enjoy one of the world’s greatest invention? Heck no!

So, I’m going to go a step further and make it an ice cream week here on the blog! I’ll “sprinkle” (har har, I love cheesy puns) in some tutorials and even a FREEBIE! Be sure to swing back in a couple days to see how to make your ice cream eating experience extra special.

Today’s tutorial showcases a simple DIY shirt made with heat transfer vinyl (HTV) for my littlest. Every time we walk into an ice cream or froyo shop, she makes a mad dash towards the sample cups and then another mad dash towards one particular flavor which she points at with all her might. My favorite part is watching her hold the sample cup with her tiny pudgy fingers while enjoying the sweet treat. It’s got Vitamin D and Calcium right? #secondchild

Want to make this shirt for your kiddo…or yourself?!

Supplies needed:

  • Shirt (I recommend washing your shirt first beforehand)
  • Heat transfer vinyl (remember to use promo code 10OFF. FYI, I used smooth/matte material in white)
  • Hook tool (promo code 10OFF)
  • Amy Robison’s Ice Cream Cone Design ID#133499
  • Thin fabric (like a plain dinner linen napkin)
  • Iron

 

Let’s begin!

I love modifying designs purchased from Silhouette’s Design Store to make them work for my project needs.  The Ice Cream Cone design by Amy Robison is so dang cute and I would totally use it as-is for any paper project. Side note: how awesome is it that when you open the file in Silhouette Studio, there is a little mockup in the top left corner?!?! SO incredibly helpful, am I right??

Here’s how I slightly modified the design for my daughter’s shirt:

  1. After you open the file in Silhouette Studio, right-click and ungroup.
  2. Delete everything but three pieces (pink ice cream scoop, black cross-hatched cone, and colorful sprinkles). Also, do not resize the remaining shapes. NOTE: No need to change the fill color of the remaining pieces since we are not printing.
  3. Drag the cross-hatched cone to fit under the pink ice cream scoop. Make sure there is some overlap between the two pieces.
  4. With both cone and scoop selected, choose Weld under the Modify Window. NOTE: Don’t worry if your welded shape fill color changes to black. Again, fill color doesn’t matter when it comes to HTV projects. We are only concerned with cut lines.
  5. Next, move the sprinkles piece on top of the ice cream scoop.
  6. Great! We have our ice cream design and now we can add text.
  7. Then, simply create one circle shape with a 6.50in diameter.
  8. Click on Text tool and type “I is for” in a space somewhere above the ice cream cone shape with whatever font you like.
  9. Click on the four-arrow symbol on the bottom left of your text box and drag it down the top of the circle so that the words are on top of your circle and centered by eye. NOTE: If your text box was below your ice cream cone design and you dragged up the text box to the top of your circle, your words would probably be upside down. For more information about the Text to Path technique, visit this post.
  10. Next, copy/paste the “I is for” text box, drag it down to the “inside” of the circle, and revise text to read “ICE CREAM” in caps with the same font that you chose earlier.
  11. We obviously don’t want the words to overlap the cone so we will use the vertical slider to “slide” the text outwardly. Slide as far as you can.
  12. Lastly, for both text boxes, right-click and choose “Convert to Path,” which will “unlink” its “Text to Path” relationship to the circle. The circle is now back to being a regular cut circle, which you can now delete.
  13. Adjust the text as needed until you are satisfied with your design.
  14. Group everything so that it’s one piece.
  15. Resize your design accordingly to fit your shirt.

Once you have your finished design, the last step is ironing it onto your shirt which is super easy to do. Just click this link and follow steps 3-14.

Now all that is left is to sport your new awesome shirt, grab a pint of your favorite ice cream, and ENJOY! 🙂

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In DIY, Silhouette on
July 10, 2017

The Silhouette CAMEO is Not Expensive

There, I said it and I’ll say it again…the Silhouette CAMEO® 3 is not expensive! Yes it retails for $300 but Silhouette is always running deals, one of which is the Silhouette Elite sale going on right now until July 15. You can purchase the Silhouette CAMEO® 3 plus the newly released Silhouette Handbook for $250. Simply go to this unique sale link, add the bundle to your cart, and use promo code [XTINE] to get the special discounted pricing!!

However, that is not why I am writing this post. I realize some of you may still have sticker shock but let me show you how the Silhouette CAMEO® 3 has been a cost-saving tool for me. Let it be known I own the Original CAMEO® and it still works amazingly (4 years and counting!). With proper care, these machines last so they’re worth every penny! Take a look at this pretty infographic I made for y’all! 🙂 So, are you now convinced you should get the Silhouette CAMEO® 3? Click on that link above…do iiiiittttt! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

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In Silhouette on
May 29, 2017

Meet Silhouette CAMEO

So, now that you know my five Ws…my W for you is Why Not get yourself a Silhouette CAMEO cutting machine?

With a small blade, this incredible machine can cut over 100 materials, including paper, cardstock, heat transfer and adhesive vinyl, as well as fabric up to 12 inches wide. For me, as a busy mama, the Silhouette CAMEO has saved me time and from getting calluses (goodbye cutting circular or intricate cupcake toppers by hand)!

These are some things I have made with my cutting machine:

  • Lots of handmade cards
  • Custom t-shirts for my kiddos and friends
  • Personalized teacher appreciation gifts
  • Personalized birthday favor labels and gift tags
  • Wedding and birthday cake script toppers
  • Wedding framed “guestbook”
  • Custom return address labels
  • Wall decals for my son’s big boy bedroom
  • Cutout Christmas photo cards

Got two minutes? Grab a bowl of popcorn, watch this video, and meet your newest best friend! 🙂

 

Mamas, stop cutting those cupcake toppers by hand…let Silhouette do it for you!

Teachers, use Silhouette for classroom decor and organization!

Brides, DIY your wedding to the max with Silhouette!

Fixer Upper enthusiasts, you can design your own farmhouse wood signs!

Dudes, you can make that cool decal for your car you’ve always wanted!

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