Monday, March 17, 2014

Stencil Vinyl: Shirt and Mug

Or, shirt with a mug-face wearing it. ;)

Okay, so being real.  Here are a few projects I made this weekend using some of our Silhouette Stencil Vinyl.  Have fun.

Sharpie Mug

First, I'm sure you've seen the whole "write on ceramics with a Sharpie and bake it" craze that was all over Pinterest.  Well, I think it was a craze because it was 1: cheap, 2: easy, and 3: cute.  I have wanted to do it for a while, and finally decided to try it out.  But first, I read up some tips on it to be sure that it really worked and that I was doing it right.
I tried one method, but there are tons of different opinions and tips out there on it.  I found this post by Craftaholics Anonymous particularly helpful, as it was just a compilation of different people's tips, experiences, etc.  Worked for me.

So what you'll need is a ceramic mug or plate (I got mine at the dollar store--great), a sharpie marker (be aware that colored ones apparently change colors after you bake them) and some stencil vinyl.

I chose a yellow mug because it just says to me "good morning, sunshine."  And I like me some sunshine to help wake me up in the morning.  

Now, if you are anything like me, you don't love your own handwriting.  I get an image in my head of exactly what I want something to look like, and my imperfect hand can't always recreate that.  So I oped to not just free-write on my mug, but to use some stencil vinyl so that I could get the perfect kind of cursive-y font I was envisioning, and have it be consistent and straight.  

Note: That's one reason stencil vinyl is nice, because it is essentially see-through, so you can be sure exactly of your placement on your surface.  Okay, I'm done toting it's virtues. 

Pick a font you love and size it perfectly according to your piece's dimensions.
After you have your saying or image sized, cut out some Silhouette stencil vinyl  of roughly the same proportions, leaving a little bit of extra room on all the edges. Regular vinyl would work as well, but the see-through aspect of the actual stencil vinyl is helpful.

  Next, send it through your Silhouette (or Cricut--this is certainly transferable) to be cut. 

See all that perfectly fine lettering?  So fine and lovely.
Use your hook to weed out all the letters, being careful to keep the inner portions (say, the middle of the 'o', etc, in tact and in place.

Use the clear transfer tape that comes with your stencil vinyl and--after peeling it from it's backing--place the sticky side down across your cut vinyl and rub it on firmly, using your scrapper tool.  Once it is secure, slowly peel up the transfer tape, making sure that the vinyl stencil and any little pieces of it are now attached to the back of the tape.

Looking through the semi-clear transfer tape and stencil vinyl, with my vinyl attached correctly.
Next, clean your surface with some rubbing alcohol to get off any oils, and then be cautious when touching your surface after that.  This was one person's tip for helping be sure your design would properly "stick" (or not later wash off) from your mug.

Wash surface with rubbing alcohol.
Apply your stencil vinyl to your surface...(and try and rub out any bubbles near your design so that you don't go "outside the lines" when coloring. ;))

Color over your lettering or design with the Sharpie marker.  Be sure your vinyl is attached, and be careful not to push too hard with your marker, as you may move some pieces that aren't adhered firmly (you'll see I made this mistake with the "M").  

Then pull off your stencil, and use your hook to weed out the small pieces of vinyl left behind.

And now, my friends, you have a cup.  Or a mug.  Or...something made more lovely to drink out of.

St. Patty's Day Stenciled Shirt

Items Needed:
*Plain T-shirt
*Sponge Brush
*Piece of cardboard (or something thick to go in-between the shirt layers when you are painting)

This next one was also made using the stencil vinyl, and is more to what the original purpose of the stencil vinyl is--for clothing (thus why we have it listed with our other fabric accessories on our website).  

Knowing that St. Patricks Day was coming up, and knowing that I didn't have any good green shirt to wear to ward off the pinchers, I realized I had the makings to make my own sitting in my very room.  

So, first I created my design, using a shamrock picture I found online.  I saved the image to my computer, then opened it in Silhouette Studio.  I then used the trace window and function to get an outline of the shamrock.  (Open the window--in the upper right hand corner of the screen, click on "Select Trace Area", then drag and select the area around image you'd like to trace.  Then move your original image, and work with the traced outline you have left behind!)

My image's outline apparently had many lines that did not connect the way a normal image would, so I had to create my own cut lines there.  

Incidentally, I used "Harrington" font for my lettering, as I thought it looked appropriately Irish (for some reason).

Send your image through your silhouette, being sure to have it set to "silhouette vinyl" on your settings. (Don't also send through the transfer tape that comes with your stencil vinyl as a separate sheet. )

Weed out your stencil, again being sure to keep any small pieces inside your lettering that may be necessary.
Use your hook to weed out your image and lettering to create your stencil.
Apply the transfer tape to the vinyl, then carefully peel away.  Then apply your stencil/vinyl to your shirt.  Be sure to leave more spacing around the edge of your cut image from the edge of the vinyl than I did. This will make painting easier, and keep your image cleaner without excess ink going over the edge where you don't want it.

Before applying any ink/paint, place a piece of cardboard between the layers of your shirt so that the ink doesn't bleed onto the back of the shirt.  

Then, using a sponge brush, apply your Silhouette Fabric Ink, being sure to cover your entire image.

Now, from this project I learned that Silhouette wasn't lying when it said their fabric ink wasn't meant for covering large areas. When my ink finally dried I found that there were some places where it wasn't as dark as other places, and where it looked like I had missed.  I am not sure if it just bled through to the cardboard more in these places, or what, but it didn't look quite as clean cut as I would have liked it.  Still, the lettering turned out really clear and nice...

...and I still think the shirt was a win.  Now I've got something to wear! Woo-hoo!  So Happy St. Patrick's Day!  Go out and enjoy some of that green grass (I'm's all still yellow here.  But, hey, at least my shirt has green.  The end.)

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