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???

Father’s Day is almost here!

I have been busy lately working on Father’s Day gifts for my hubby. A while ago I saw an adorable shirt and onesie combo that was probably made for a new daddy. Immediately I knew I just had to craft up something similar for my husband and boys.

So with my Gypsy in hand I began to design up shirts of my very own. I made the front say “I make ADORABLE boys” and then each of the boys had a matching shirt that just says “ADORABLE boy”. For the backs I wanted them to look something like a jersey so I put daddy and the boys names across the back with numbers on the back (1-4 for the boys and 00 for Daddy). The Cricut font cartridges I used were Varsity letter and Cutting Up. For the word adorable I made a layer to make it stand out and cut that in gold. Father's Day shirts teaser

Here is a sneak peek!  What do you think???  Be sure to check back for the after shots with all my boys in their matching shirts!

Also I will have another quick and simple Father’s Day present available for you tomorrow (It’s my present for my dad and for my hubby – from the boys).  It is super easy to throw together yet is always a hit!

Thing 1 and Thing 2 Shirts

For Ethan’s upcoming birthday, I of course wanted us all in Dr. Seuss attire.  I got very lucky when I found 3 Cat in the Hat shirts for my older boys to wear at Target on clearance for $2.74!  Unfortunately they had nothing for the birthday boy, for my husband or myself.  So back to Pinterest I went in search of ideas for party attire.  I found this shirt for my hubby and this shirt for me, but in the end didn’t want to have to wait for it to be shipped and really didn’t want to spend $26 just on shirts.

So one day while I was using my Cricut and some iron on vinyl (to label the boys baseball bags), I decided to attempt to design the shirts myself on my Gypsy. {For those that aren’t familiar with the Gypsy it is a handheld device that works with the Cricut that allows you to load all your cartridges onto it and then design with them from anywhere.  It is amazing and I could not use my Cricut so effectively without it.  You can actually see everything you are designing and place it where you want it to cut on the mat!}

Want to make your own?  Well here is how I did it.  You can adjust it depending on which Cricut cartridges you have!

Thing 1 and Thing 2

Supplies Needed:

- red shirts

- black iron-on vinyl (I get mine from Expressions Vinyl)

- white iron on vinyl

- Cricut

- Gypsy

- All Mixed Up cartridge

- Any cartridge with a circle shape – I used Plantin Schoolbook

- Cutting Up cartridge

 I started with an O from the All Mixed Up cartridge.  The black outline behind the white circles on Thing 1 and Thing 2 aren’t perfect circles so this O was the perfect shape.  It outlined the white circle perfectly.

O - All Mixed Up

 In order to make it a solid back circle instead of an O, I hid the inside of the letter by selecting the hide icon and and then the inner circle.  This makes it NOT cut so you will have a solid black circle.

Letter O - All Mixed Up cartridge Next I selected a circle from the Plantin Schoolbook cartridge.  This would be the white circle layer that will be placed on top of the black circle.

Circle

Once the circle is added, I made it just a little bit smaller than the O so that the black would show just a bit behind the white circle.

white circle

Next I used the Cutting Up cartridge for the lettering.  To me it was the most “Dr. Seuss” looking font.  I typed in THING in all caps.  To get the letters to bend in an arc shape, you adjust the angle.  In the advanced tab, you move the angle up or down.  I did that for each letter until I got the arc shape I wanted.

adjusting the lettering

Once the arc was set, I moved the letters onto the white circle.  This way when it is cut out and weeded (unwanted vinyl removed) the black from underneath the white circle would show through. THING lettering

Now add in the number 1.  ONERepeat for the THING 2 shirt.
TWO

The last step (which I forgot to take a picture of) is to flip the wording, in this case you don’t need to flip the circles since it won’t matter which side is which.  You are cutting from the back of iron on vinyl since the film on the front gets placed face DOWN on your mat.  So basically you are cutting from the back of the film.

Now you are ready to cut. I placed a 6″x12″ sheet of black on the left of my mat and white on the right.  Be sure to place the side with the film DOWN on the mat when you cut and that you have flipped your image.

To cut the iron-on vinyl you adjust the blade depth to a 2 and the pressure to a 3.

Once it is cut, weed out all the vinyl you don’t want and then cut the circles apart so you have only 1 to iron onto the shirt.

completed shirt

Here is the finished product!

Brothers

Before my newest addition was born I made the boys brother shirts.  I had searched Etsy for just the right shirt but couldn’t find any that said just what I wanted.  So I went ahead and made my own!  I used iron-on vinyl in the boys colors (yes, this type A mama has colors for each boy.  It keeps me organized and helps the boys tell whose things are what!)

Here is the front-
Here is the back
When Ethan was big enough to fit into his my friends at All Yours Photography took the boys pictures.  Jessica did a great job photoshopping all the boys into one collage (I know you didn’t think they all were smiling, happy, and looking at the camera all in the same frame!)
I cut some extra vinyl for Ethan so that he can still have a brother shirt when he got bigger.  It is about time to get him a shirt and put them all in them again.  Can’t wait to line them up and photograph the backs!

I wish I had a daughter…

Pinterest strikes again! When I saw these ruffle butt onesies I just had to make them for someone. Luckily, my sweet friend Chelsey was just about to have her second little girl. I knew instantly what she would be getting at her baby shower. She already mentioned wanting Big Sister and Little Sister shirts her daughters could wear at the hospital. Thanks to some iron-on vinyl and pink onesies from Walmart. But they are so boring on their own.

So this is what I did to the back. This is about 5 or 6 layers of ruffles!  {SQUEAL} They turned out ADORABLE!!!  I must say, as tedious and time consuming as it was to cut the strips, overlock the edges to help with fraying, ruffle the strips, and then sew them all on, they turned out great & I can’t wait to make more. Just need more little girls in my life!

A Sweet & Sexy Shower

 

 My sister-in-law Kim recently asked me to help her with her best friend, Amanda’s personal shower. She did a great job with all the planning and just needed a bit of help with the tags and such. I was thrilled to get to help with Amanda’s special day!  We played the game where each guest brings a pair of panties that describes their personality. Upon arriving each person put the panties they brought in the vase and then we strung them up like a banner and had Amanda guess who they were from.
Below are just some of the shots of the things we made. It was a success and lots of people commented on how cute everything was. Kim did a great job and I was happy to be able to help her.
 Water bottle wraps
Tags for the wine to go with the theme:
white was sweet, red was sexy and the blush was blush
(it is a lingerie shower after all!)
Tags for the glasses with each of the ladies names printed on them
Special glass for the guest of honor!
The yummy sweets table
(I once again forgot to take a picture once we had ALL the food set out)
Sweet and Sexy banner

Sweets Themed Baby Shower

My sweet sister-in-law, Kim is expecting her first baby mid-March. She LOVES candy and so when deciding on a theme for her baby shower, a candy theme immediately caught her eye!  It was so much fun planning the invites, candy bar, centerpieces, and wall decorations!

 Candy Bar – all Kim’s favorite kinds of candies in various glass containers.
Guests took home bags of their own candy mix!  It was a hit!
 Centerpieces – Diaper cake, paper plate lollipops, and washcloth lollipops
 Favors – a little lollipop with tags we made
 LOVE the Dum Dum topiary!
It was super simple to make and looked adorable!
Basket for books for Josiah
Nice jar for raffle tickets for those that brought diapers and wipes

End of the Year Gifts

My oldest son just finished his second and final year of preschool. It is both exciting and sad at the same time. Exciting because that mean we are heading into school years and I will be embarking on the roller coaster that is homeschooling. Will it be challenging, yes. But will the rewards outweigh the challenges, definitely. I can do all things in Christ. He has led us to the decision to homeschool our children, and He will equip me (yes, a credentialed teacher needs to be equipped! Teaching YOUR OWN kid is VERY different from teaching a room of 35 sixth graders).

Above is the adorable card I made using my Cricut (have I told you lately how much I LOVE that little machine!). CB (my oldest son) was certainly blessed with TWO #1 teachers this year! What a blessing they were.
For the gift, I had saved this one for just this occasion! As some of you know I have a large list of blogs that I read on a regular basis. When I see an idea that I love I save it in my Delicious list (an online bookmarking list, so your bookmarks are available anywhere that has Internet.) Anyway, a few months ago while I was peeking at Nap Time Crafts I saw this beautiful idea! You can’t get much more simple than that: crayons, some Tacky glue, and a shadow box frame.
I cut out each teacher’s first initial in a very large font so I would have a guide for where to place the crayons. I backed that paper with black so the letters would stand out. I love the All Mixed Up font cartridge! Such a cute font!!!
They loved them!!! I was so happy with how they turned out and even the wrapping was super cute. I had found bags that were covered in apples in the Dollar Spot at Target a LONG time ago and had put them away for teacher gifts. When I started planning on making these, I thought the bags would be too small since I was going to get 12×12 shadow boxes. However, when I was at Michael’s I didn’t see any I liked so I grabbed these 8×10 frames. They fit just right in the bags!!! With the addition of a bit of yellow and green tissue paper and a cute bow, they were the perfect way to say thank you for all CB’s teachers had done this year!

Cowboy Party Decorations

Howdy folks! For my son’s 3rd bday, he wanted a cowboy party. I was thrilled this was his pick since I had a few Cricut cartridges with adorable cowboy themed designs! For the sign on the front door, I used the Old West cartridge to cut out a large sherrif badge and then the Howdy shadow and word. First, I was going to just put it on a solid background, but I found that to be too plain. As I was working on the banner (see below) I had some scrap patterned paper so I used that to create a “patchwork” quilt look behind the sherrif badge. I LOVE the way it turned out. (NOTE: please excuse the bubbling of the Mod Podge! I was in a BIG hurry trying to get all the decorations done so there was some bubbling and lifting)
This is my favorite banner I have created so far. I used 2 shades of brown and cut out (using the Old West cartrdge) a rustic, western poster. Then found several papers that looked western to add some color. The font is also from the Old West cartridge. On the ends, I took a left over barn and sun and cowboy from the invitations to embellish the banner a bit more.
At Michael’s they have wooden unfinished frames for $1. I purchased two and created menus for the food and drink. These can be reused for a Old West BBQ by just changing out the paper in the frame.
For goodie bags, each child had a brown lunch sack with their initial on a sherrif badge. I tied it with some rustic rope and that was it! So simple. Inside was a water gun, a foam sherrif badge the kids made when they arrived, and some gummie worms. The children also received a bandana (red for boy and pink for girls) as they entered so they looked the part! So easy and yet so wonderful!