Tuesday Tutorial: Bow Board

There is nothing I love more than organization.  So it will come to no shock to you that I LOVE giving little girls bow boards for baby shower and birthday gifts.  If I had a little girl, this would definitely be one of the first items I would make her.  First of all, who wouldn’t want to organize their hairbows to make them easier to grab as you are furiously running out the door late once again for wherever you are headed that day. And second, bows are either 1. time consuming to make yourself or 2. quite expensive to purchase, so who wouldn’t want to have a place to proudly show them off!

After 4 boys of my own and 3 nephews, I am finally going to have a niece!  This is one happy auntie!  So of course, what is a crafty Auntie going to do…  pin EVERYTHING girly on Pinterest so I can create adorable things for her.  {There could be a VERY good reason that God hasn’t given me a girl! LOL We would be broke!}

Since I was creating this bow board for her I decided I would type up a quick tutorial for you as well.  These are seriously easy to make and take you just a few minutes.   No craftiness required here folks!  So if you need a quick and simple, yet fabulous and homemade present for a little girl…  you have come to just the right place!

Bow Board Tutorial

Bow Board Tutorial

Bow Board Supplies

Materials Needed:

  • Canvas {pictured is a 16×20, but you can use any size you want}
  • fabric – I used a fat quarter that was $1.99 at JoAnn’s.  In the past I have always bought a 1/2 yard of fabric but this was a cheaper option AND I found just the color I was needing.
  • 1-1 1/2 inch spool of grosgrain ribbon
  • Staple gun

Bow Board: center canvas on the back of fabric

Iron the fabric to get out any creases from being folded or on the bolt.  Place fabric face down on a hard surface and then center the canvas on top. Using the fat quarter was PERFECT for my 16×20 canvas but if you are using a 1/2 yard of fabric off the bolt you will need to trim it down adding about 2 inches on each side of the canvas.

Bow Board: stapling the fabric on

Start at one end and staple the edge of the fabric down.  Next go to the opposite end and pull the fabric tight and staple in place.  Then staple the other sides the same way.  You want the fabric tight so that it doesn’t droop when it is hanging on the wall.

Bow Board: folding the corners

Here is a close up of how I make the corners look neat.  First fold the edge straight down.  Next bring the side (the left in the picture above) over to the right (making it even to the edge of the canvas).  Finally pull the bottom up and staple it into place.  It should look like the picture below when you are done.

Bow Board: corners done

Bow Board: Measuring the ribbon spacing

The next step is to measure the spacing for your ribbons that the bows will hang on.  My marks {for 7 vertical ribbons} were each 2 1/2 inches apart starting at 1 1/2 inches from the edge.  Mark both the top and the bottom to make sure your ribbons hang straight.

Bow Board: Marking where to put the ribbons

 Above are what my marks look like.  Just some small pencil marks will work.

Bow Board: Attaching the ribbon

Now you will attach the ribbons.  Center it on your mark and staple it down.  Pull the ribbon very tight across the front and then staple it on the opposite end.  Continue that all the way across until all your ribbons are stapled in place.  At this point I typically also weave a ribbon across the top just to add an extra little accent.

Bow Board: ribbons attached

Now fill it up with BOWS and hang it on the wall!

Bow Board Tutorial

Tutorial Tuesday: Cutting and Applying Vinyl

So last week I showed you how I made custom shirts with iron-on vinyl.  Vinyl seems to be one of those crafting products I have gotten lots of questions about.  So that is why this month I am featuring tutorials ALL about vinyl!

This week we turn to indoor vinyl which can be slapped on anything inside that is standing still long enough!  It is great for a quick and easy addition to any decor and can be put on walls, glass, wood, anything.  And an added bonus – its removable!  So it is perfect for children’s bedrooms since you might not want it up there for more than a couple years.

My first project with indoor vinyl was to cut a verse for the narrow wall above my kitchen cabinets.  I cut the vinyl and my wonderful husband put it up (he used a level and everything!) for me.  The constant reminder to continually offer PRAISE is necessary when the chaos gets to be too much around here.

kitchen verse

Here is another place in our home where wall vinyl hangs out.  This is right by our front door.

family verse

 Tutorial

Cutting and Applying Indoor Vinyl to the Wall

materials

Materials:

  • Cricut or Sillouette machine
  • cutting mat
  • indoor vinyl
  • transfer tape
  • Gypsy (optional but very helpful since you can SEE what you are designing)
Here is my design that I plan to put on the wall.  I saw this pin on Pinterest and knew it was just perfect for our laundry room .  After camping last weekend I KNOW this is a true statement!
If you don’t have a Circut but love the saying, you can download it from Tattered and Inked as a free printable if you want one of your very own! She even has it available in a few colors so you can pick one that is perfect for your home!

design

Put the blade depth on 3 and the pressure setting on medium.  You want to cut through the vinyl but not through the backing that it is on.  Blade depth - 3

pressure setting- medium

Vinyl after cutting

This might be very difficult to see but this is the vinyl after it is cut.  You can faintly see the lines where the machine created the design.

Now you begin what is called “weeding”, where you pull off the unwanted parts of the vinyl leaving only the design on the backing. Start in one corner and peel it back making sure that the vinyl doesn’t stick to what you have designed.  That could result in loosing some of your design since it is very difficult to peel them apart once they get stuck together.   Beginning the weeding process

weeding

Once you get the main vinyl weeded out, you will go back and pull all the vinyl you don’t want from the centers of the O’s or the E’s until just the design is left.

weeding inside design

design ready for transfer tape

Now that all the weeding is done, it’s time to apply the transfer tape. Think of vinyl as a really large sticker.  Right now it is sticking to the backing but that is the side you need to put on the wall for it to adhere.  Transfer tape will transfer the vinyl off the backing and onto the wall (or whatever you are applying it to) by sticking over the top of the vinyl.

This is my transfer tape.  You can buy it in sheets just like the vinyl (6×12, 12×12, or 12×24) or you can purchase a 100 yd. roll of it.  Since I knew I would be using it a LOT, I bought the roll.  I have had this about 2 years and there is still TONS left on the roll!  (side note: if you are careful with your transfer tape, you can reuse it for a few more applications.  Just move from project to project or stick it onto the empty backing from a design and save it for the next project!).

roll of transfer tape

transfer tape applied

rub design onto transfer tape

Using your finger or even an old gift card, rub the design so that it sticks to the transfer tape and pulls away easily from the backing.

Peeling back the backing

Slowly peel the backing paper off the transfer tape making sure the design is sticking to the transfer tape.  If it doesn’t, just lay the backing back down and rub over the design again until it sticks to the transfer tape.

Before applying the design to your wall, give it a quick wipe down to make sure all dust and dirt are off the surface.  This will make the vinyl adhere better (just give it some time to dry!).

position on wall

Now place the design on the wall where you want your design.  This is very forgiving so if you don’t like the look where it is or put it up crooked you can remove it and reapply it at this point.

Rub design onto wall

Rub the design firmly so that it transfers onto the wall. If your walls are textured like mine this might take a bit more work.

Peel off transfer tape

Slowly peel the transfer tape off the wall making sure the design stays on the wall.  In the picture above you can see the e didn’t get stuck all the way down.  I just rubbed on it to make it stick and then it was fine.  Many of my letters remained stuck to my transfer tape I I repeatedly had to lay the transfer tape back over those letters and apply pressure to them to get them to stick to the wall.  Just take your time and it will be fine!

Finished vinyl

So here is the finished project!  I am thinking I will maybe put some memorable “messy and dirty” pictures of my boys above and below the quote to make it even cuter! Plus I want to cut the boys initals to hang above their hooks (their dumping ground for bags and backpacks as we come in from the garage).

There you have it!  See it wasn’t too difficult at all!  Start to finish this only took me about 20 minutes.  I am hoping to redo the boys rooms here soon (minor redos, nothing huge) and I am searching for just the right things to cut in vinyl for decorations on their walls.  Check back for those posts in the future.

What are you going to make first with your indoor vinyl???

Tuesday Tutorial: Iron-on Vinyl

My obsession with iron-on vinyl started when I needed sibling shirts for my boys.  I searched all over and couldn’t find what I wanted.  So once I saw that my favorite vinyl supplier, Expressions Vinyl, was carrying iron-on vinyl  I decided to give it a try!  {NOTE: they call it T-shirt vinyl}To be honest, I was VERY nervous the first time I cut the iron-on vinyl, but the Expression Vinyl website has a great video tutorial that make it almost impossible to mess up.

Iron-On Vinyl Tutorial

Supplies needed:

  • iron-on vinyl {See all the colors and sizes available here}
  • Cricut machine or Silouette
  • a plain t-shirt
  • an iron
  • multi-use paper sheets – a must if you are layering your vinyl creations!

 

Start by washing your t-shirt if possible.  Don’t use fabric softener!  I don’t always do this step but when I am making shirts for my boys I do just to make sure the vinyl adheres well.  You can cut the vinyl while the shirts are washing so you are ready to put it on once they are dry.

To cut the vinyl, begin by designing what you want to make.  I have a Gypsy that I hook up to my Cricut and it makes designing ANYTHING on my Cricut SO much easier!!!

If I am layering my design I make sure that I put my shadow and the layer on separate “pages” in my design file.

Once your design is complete and you are ready to cut there is one VERY IMPORTANT step left!  YOU  NEED TO FLIP THE IMAGE SO IT IS BACKWARDS! The reason for this is you are going to cut the design from the back of the vinyl.  The iron-on vinyl comes already adhered to the “transfer tape” that you iron directly on.

See the button on the right where my stylus is (above)

If you don’t have a Gypsy, you push this button to reverse the image.

To put the iron-on vinyl on your mat be sure to place the shiny side DOWN onto the mat.  Remember you are cutting the design from the back of the vinyl.

See how you can see what was cut through the clear “transfer tape” once it is cut.

That is why you put that side down and flip the image.

 

Load the mat into the Cricut and start cutting. Make sure to change your cut settings on your Cricut before cutting.

Cut settings:

  • blade depth: 2 (The Expression Vinyl site says 3, but I always put mine on 2)
  • pressure: medium
  • speed: high
 Once the cutting is done, it is time to weed the unnecessary vinyl away from the design.  The iron-on vinyl is VERY easy to weed if it has been cut on the correct settings. Be sure to heat up your iron before you weed so it is ready once you have finished weeding.

Place your shirt on a hard surface (not an ironing board but maybe a table with a towel on it).  Heat up the area on the shirt where you are going to adhere the vinyl.  Place your cut vinyl where you want it (it will stick to the shirt since the “transfer tape” that it comes on it sticky.  Put your iron over part of the design and press down firmly for 15 seconds.

Move the iron to another part of the design and continue ironing your design 15 seconds at a time until you have ironed all the vinyl down.

Once it is cooled for a few seconds, pull up the clear sheet that the vinyl was on.  If any part of the design isn’t ironed on well, just put the clear sheet (or a multi-use paper sheet) back over the design and iron it again.

At this point, if you are layering your iron-on vinyl then place your layer where you want it and iron again like before {When layering designs you NEED the multi-use paper sheets so that your don’t accidentally iron directly on the previous vinyl.}

I “try” to line up the layers so that I can just place one right on the other, but that doesn’t always work out. If it doesn’t line up right that just means that I have to cut each individual letter  apart and place it where I need it.

There you have it!  Now you know how to make your very own t-shirts!  You don’t have to use iron on vinyl on shirts only!  I have put it on my boys baseball bags (so I know whose is whose).  The possibilities are endless: backpacks, lunchboxes, fabric bins, fabric banners, tote bags, aprons!

What are you going to make first with iron-on vinyl???