Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Magnet Paper, Who Knew?

If you're like me (and just about every other girl, and frankly, guy that I know) then you are a fan of Disney's movie Tangled.  Almost every time I whip out a frying pan I think "Frying pans, who knew?"  So when I wanted to finally try out Silhouette's Printable Magnet paper, I thought, "why not?" and made a few Tangled magnets for my nieces to play with.  To be honest, what I really wanted to make was a new magnet for our dishwasher, so as to replace what we were (shamefully) currently using:

Ahem.  Yeah, embarrassing.  But I digress.  There was sadly a lack of many options for already created images in the Silhouette online store or just on the web, for that matter, so I made my own.  Rather than waste the rest of this lovely sheet of magnet paper, I came up with some other things I might want to make with it.  Enter-- college sports' team mascot and the Tangled characters.  

What a great way to use excess paper, or to use this paper in general!  Make your own fun magnets of your favorite team to give out at a "game-day" party or of your student's school to show support, create some with your business logo and contact info, make your own magnet of places that you've visited to get one looking just the way you want, "paper" dolls and clothes, or just make some of your favorite characters for the kids to play with on their magnet board.  Capturing images from online and then making them something you can cut on your silhouette is actually pretty easy using the trace and detach feature in the trace window in your Silhouette Studio.  After selecting your area to be traced uncheck the "High Pass Filter" and then play around with your threshold to get it so it has the image covered where you don't want it to cut.  For these images, I set my threshold at about 98% each time because I didn't want any of the inside portions cut.  Check out the following Tutorial on how to do this in more detail.  Note:  I didn't follow all that the author of this tutorial suggests doing, but the video was still helpful in getting showing me the basics of how to get it to cut my image.  

Once I had detached my image, I cut and pasted it onto a new page just so I didn't have to deal with all the white space stuff left behind.  Then I went to the "cut" window, and clicked "cut edge."  The great thing about looking at your design with the cut window open, is that it shows you exactly where your cuts are going to go.  Be sure that you look over your design to make sure nothing is being cut that you don't want to.  This is how you make your own print and cut designs.  I didn't want anything inside my dishwasher magnet to be cut out beyond the main outer edge, so I just selected each of the inside images and changed them to "No Cut".  

Be sure that you have your registration marks showing,  and that you check what part of your images are going to be cut.  Select "No Cut" for any image you dont' want cut.
 After that, I sent my page to the printer and set it to "photo paper" so that my printer would compensate for the slightly glossy feel of the printable side of the magnet paper.  Because I had everything just fine and dandy and within the lines of my registration marks, the Silhouette cut the paper PERFECTLY and out came some fun new magnets.  My niece will love these.

Magnet paper....who knew?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Spread the Love with Simple, Cute Valentines' Ideas

It's almost Valentine's day!  And we all know what that means:  chocolate.  ;)  Just kidding.  It also means a nice excuse to make fun cards and little gifts for friends or family.  Here are just a few simple ideas of some cheap valentines' gifts that I made for some friends.  

Use your Silhouette and some extra/scrap double-sided adhesive vinyl from a previous project to make a cute Valentines box!

First, I tried making a new cute box that I found in the Silhouette online store.  I liked this one because the flower petals on the top also looked liked hearts, so it seemed fitting for the season.  After cutting the paper, I cut a strip from some excess double sided adhesive that I had from a previous project (see Winter Branch Hanging post) and wrapped it around the box for an extra cute touch.  A little bit of silver glitter, and this lil' box sparkled. :)  Super simple, super cheap, and let's not forget...filled with chocolate, so super pleasurable for my friend.


Because there are all sorts of cute boxes and bags and such that you can make with either your Cricut or Silhouette, I decided to make some out of both.  My second box came from the FABulous Cricut cartridge: Tags, Bags, Boxes & More 2, which we've got on our website (along with most of this other stuff, in case you were wondering :) ).  This thing has LOADS of cute boxes and bags and just cute cute cute little gift boxes and tags and cards.  I am so sad I hadn't looked at this cartridge sooner.  It is now officially a staple of mine.  Anyways.  I wanted to start simple, so I picked an adorable little box that used a heart with a keyhole in it as its means of closure.  

The great thing about Tags, Bags, Boxes and More 2, is that is comes with a book that tells you just how to assemble, glue, or fold each box or item so that you aren't left guessing (as I was with my first box from the Silhouette).  This one had easy flaps to tuck in and you only had to glue a tab on one side.  This cartridge also comes with functions so that you can cut the whole piece out in one fell swoop, or you can do it in two parts to be glued together, in case you can't fit it all on one sheet of paper.  It also tells you suggested dial sizes and how big it will be once folded if you follow those recommended sizes.  I love how helpful it is. This thing even comes with a digital handbook, if you want it. Wow.  Check it out. They think of everything.  

Only thing you want to be sure of if you get this cartridge, is that you also will want to have the Cricut Scoring Blade, which helps score the card (gives partial little dotted cuts) where you will need to fold, making it easier to fold the shapes where needed and helping you get cleaner lines.  This is especially important for curved or intricate boxes that you might be making.  (They have some really fun ones--check them out!) (Can you tell I like this cartridge? haha)

Thanks to the handy book, I was able to see clearly beforehand how this box would fold once cut, so I knew that I would have to put my paper in with the back-side up, so that the patterned side would show once folded.  You won't have to do this for every box (I didn't for my first), so you'll just have to look at how the thing is going to fold up to decide if it's necessary.  
Be sure you can see all your registration marks before cutting.

I also saw a cute idea online about making a little treat bag with the gummy Swedish Fish candy.  I designed and made some stickers with my cute "catch" phrase (pun intended) on them, using some White Sticker Paper and the print and cut function on my Silhouette.  (Print on the sheet from your home printer, and then put it through your Silhouette to cut out the image.)  

Tip: Be sure that you click "show registration marks" in Silhouette Studio.  If any part of your image is overlapping the gray area, it will not print and cut correctly.  Also, it is wise to always test print your image on a regular sheet of paper first to be sure that the registation marks print correctly, and to test cut.  This is just a smart thing to do until you become familiar with the medium and print and cut functions.  Be sure that you can see ALL of the registration marks on your printed sheet (aka: the black square in the top left corner, and the black corner outlines in the top right and bottom left hand corners.)

After printing and cutting my stickers, I simply had to finish my bags....


Use a little blue and white construction paper for your background, then fill the bag with either combination of Swedish Fish and Goldfish crackers, depending on which one makes more sense for your Valentine or friend.  I alternated and did both:  "Of all the fish in the sea, you're the cheesiest." (one cheese flavored goldfish cracker, the rest Swedish Fish); or "Of all the fish in the sea, you're the sweetest."  (One sweet cherry Swedish Fish, the rest Goldfish Crackers.)  For my religious friends out there, my other bag's sticker said: "God's promises are sweet, and they last!"  Fill those bags with Dove Promises chocolates, or with other sweet candies.  

Hope your Valentine's Day is filled with chocolate... :) but mostly just full of love!  Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Personalized Wedding Gift? Armour Etch It

When a young couple gets married they are filled with big dreams and want to set their mark on the world-- to be able to say "we lived!  And we left this world a better place!"  And just how do they do this?  Well, with food, of course.  Making manicotti or pie for a neighbor or friend (especially if I'm that neighbor or friend beneficiary. ;) ).  What better way is there to say "we love you"?


Okay, so in reality there are obviously a lot of ways that a couple may choose to leave their mark on the world and/or show friendship from time to time, BUT, with this simple wedding gift idea, they are literally able to leave their mark where they go without losing their pie or casserole dish in the process. ;) And we all know that times come up when we will be bringing food to someone else's home, whether it be for a party, family get together, or just to bring to a neighbor who is sick.  Doing this with your clear glass baking dishes helps take a whole lot of guesswork out of "who's dish is who's?" at the end of the day.

For this project, I decided to etch my soon-be-married-friend's new last name onto a pie dish that she and her fiance has registered for.  I also added a lovely flourish design on the bottom, just to make it cute.  This way, whenever they bring this dish, brimming full of delicious food to a church activity or family gathering, they'll always know what dish was theirs when the night is over and all the dishes washed clean.

You will need: Armour Etch cream, which we sell on our website, www.makeitscrappin.com (didn't know we sold accessories like this, now did you?), a glass dish or item, some vinyl or a stencil, and a brush.  Gloves are also highly recommended for use while applying and rinsing the cream.  

Flip your words so that they appear correctly
when looking at the dish held normally
NoteWhen choosing your glass, be sure that you read the Armour Etch instructions carefully.  It does not work on all Pyrex, so you may want to test it on an inconspicuous area first.  Also, because of the nature of what the cream is actually doing to do the glass, you will likely want to do this on surface of the dish that will not be coming in contact with drink or food, as it may cause discoloration to the etched portion of the dish.  Thus, I put my image on the bottom of the dish I was etching (or on the outside of a cup, etc.).  I just had to reverse the name, which I will explain next.

After picking a thick enough font, I reversed the image so that their name could be clearly read through the dish (i.e. looking down on a clean dish).  In my Silhouette Studio I went to "Object, Transform, Flip Horizontally".  That easy.

Next, cut your image.  I prefer to cut my image on vinyl because it sticks to the surface I am etching without leaving room for any of the cream to really creep under my vinyl stencil and blur the edges of the design.  You can do this using a plastic stencil as well by taping the stencil to the surface of the glass to etch, but be sure your surface is flat and that it is taped very tightly.  Note: If using your Silhouette, be sure to save a little space around the edge of your image so that you have a little bit of "give" room to apply your etching cream over the stencil without it going over the edge.  (AKA, don't trim your vinyl as close to your cut image as you can so as to save it--give yourself a little room.  You don't really need much, but it's just a good way to play it safe.)

Now, to use your vinyl as a stencil, simply hook out the actual cut image, in this case, the letters themselves.  What you are left with is your own custom-made stencil! Good job.  Be sure to take account for the unattached pieces, such as the insides of letters or intricate designs.  You'll want to consider using transfer tape to apply your full stencil if you have a lot of these, or you can use your Silhouette Pick Me Up tool to "pick-up" and then carefully place those pieces back into place one you've applied the main stencil to your glass surface.  (We have all these supplies on our website, www.makeitscrappin.com, so check it out.)


Place the stencil on the bottom of your dish.  Be sure to press out all air-bubbles near your stencil before applying the cream (i.e. don't leave it like my 'n' featured above.  I had to press that out before I started application)
Next, put on plastic or rubber gloves if you have them, and apply a generous amount of the Armour Etch cream with a brush over the stenciled word/image.  Leave it on for 10-15 minutes, and then rinse clean! Voila.

Unfortunately, light etchings into glass are a bit hard to photograph with a simple point and shoot camera, so I don't have the best picture of the finished product, but you get the idea!  Super cute and easy, personalized wedding gift!