I don’t know why I just can’t go for simple stuff BUT if I did I would not be me right? I had no clue how to use my new Silhouette Cameo die cut machine but I watched the video that came with it and a couple of Youtube videos and I was on my way! Let me preface this by saying that I have not been paid nor given anything for free by any body mentioned on this page. Supplies used:
- Silhouette Cameo electronic cutting tool
- 12″ x 12″cutting mat
- 12″ x 24″ Cutting Mat
- Application Tool
- 12″x24″ Transfer Tape Sheets
- Con-Tact 24′ x 18 Almond Drawer/Shelf Liner (letters)
- Magic Cover shelf Liner in Granite sand (face)
- Forte font
- Ms Image Composer (If you have an old version of MS Office it came with the suite and I would definitely dig out the disk and install the program NOW and then look for a tutorial on the net on how to use it…it is, Hands down, the easiest photo manipulating software out there, which is why MS no longer gives it out for free)
This project is an overview of putting a daily affirmation on my bathroom wall.
I love this photo of myself and I used it as my author photo on my books. I decided to use it as the author photo on my house renovation. In the bathroom. With an affirmation. LOL you will either think that is pretty clever or pretty vain. My walls, my prerogative. I thought it was clever.
I used MS Image composer to manipulate the photo. I am not getting too specific because everyone has their own favorite photo manipulating program but basically what I did was
Step 1-Cut out the background
Step 2- Change the photo to black and white
Step 3- Apply a halftone filter
Step 4- Apply a stamp filter
Next I went to the software that came with my Silhouette and on my mat added an oval then I dragged the photo into the oval and it made it fit (I was amazed by this LOL). Last step was to go to Object/Trace, I highlighted the photo, then hit trace on the right. I got this
I purchased one roll of contact paper from the dollar store. I set my blade setting on 2 and fed the paper in the machine with no backing. Only thing I had to do is feed a little extra in the beginning because the paper is so thin. After cutting out the design I had to keep looking at the photo above to guide me on what to throw out and what to keep. I was taking away all the black areas. I had to do it twice because the first time I let the paper get away from me when weeding the photo and it folded onto it self and I messed it all up and had to cut another one. That ticked me off but it made me take my time the second time.
Next I had to type in my affirmation. I measured my wall area which turned out to be 36″ and I cut my wall paper into strips 36 x 12. I set my area in the software to 12″h x 36″w Font: Forte font size 110pt character spacing 100% and line spacing 100%.
There were two things that got on my nerve with the Silhouette software:
1-I was not able to cut and paste from a word document into my Silhouette text box and
2-there was no spell check. hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…aggravating
I searched for days for fonts from http://www.dafont.com. They are free fonts. I sat here and downloaded at least 100 fonts on my computer. Not only for wall stuff but for anything, including word documents. If you decide to get some fonts from there before you start you do need to have an unzip program on your computer. I use a free one called jzip so make sure you have it before trying to download fonts
Once you find a font you like it has to be installed. You do this by clicking on the little download button next to the font. A pop up box will open and I click on open with jzip and then hit okay
Another window will pop up with a list of files
Double click on any file name that ends with .ttf In this screen shot there is only one but some fonts have different variations and they will be in different files.
When the new window opens it shows you what the font looks like in different sizes. At the top there is a button that says install. click it and it puts the file where it needs to be on your computer without any further intervention on your part. The install button should be grayed out when you are finished. These are instructions for windows, not sure how to do this same operation for Apple computers but Apple users are usually pretty techy so I am sure you will figure it out.
How do you know it installed successfully? Open a word document (or any program that uses fonts) and in the change the font drop down box you should see the font listed there! If you don’t see it make sure you close all windows in the program and then reopen it.
Okay moving right along…
The Vinyl. Yes it is true that the dedicated die-cut vinyl is expensive but it is thick and easy to work with. I like using the real deal vinyl BUT on big projects I just can’t afford it. Regrettably so. Its too expensive for me and God forbid I mess something up and I have to recut it…which does happen to me!! I went out looking for plain contact paper but there was a very small selection available since everyone is promoting grip shelf liner vs adhesive paper. Plain was very hard to find but wood tone and muted patterns were available in Family Dollar ($3.95), Dollar Tree ($1), and Walmart. I wound up going to Home Depot (7.95). $7.95 might sound like a lot compared to the others but the others are 1.5 yards (that’s 4-5′) while the roll from Home Depot is 15′ long. Big difference.
I noticed when I was feeding the paper in the machine it was slipping and sliding. I am assuming because the paper is so thin. With the real deal vinyl you don’t have to use the mat but with the contact paper you do. This posed a bit of a problem because the strip was 36″ while the mat was 24″ but thanks to the package deal I got when purchasing my Cameo I have two mats, one 24″ and the other 12″ so I pieced them on the back of my contact paper and commenced to cutting.
Now it was time to put it up on the wall. I used the transfer paper and even though I had to piece it all together it went well. The whole while I was installing my affirmation on the wall I was worrying about whether this vinyl will peel off the wall when I take a shower. I will let you know. The reason I am worried is because the con-tact paper I am using says it is repositionable. It was not that easy to keep on the wall. The Magic Paper, which was cheaper, that I used for my face did not give me any problems and I doubt if it will come off…also it went up pretty easily.
I don’t usually buy extra stuff but using the application tool came in handy. In the past I used a plaster scraper, and it worked well but I really did like using the application tool better. It was thicker and had less damaging potential.
I forgot to mention before I applied my words on the wall I marked a straight line using my level. This is important because if you are not standing back looking at the wall what seems straight when you are up close is far from it once you back up. It still looks a little off but I am not sweating it.
Okay so I repeat I have not been paid or rewarded in any way for saying anything in this posting but I would like to say that I found the cheapest vinyl at Expressions Vinyl which is the same place I purchased my machine. You can get vinyl and other specialty products that can be used with any die cut machine.
Well that’s all for now. I have more work to do in the bathroom. What do you think so far?