While walking at the mall just before Thanksgiving, one of the trendy stores was setting up a big holiday window design with snowflakes, and glitter, and big script words that said “Merry Everything”.
It was very cheery.
And then I looked harder, and saw all the mannequins wearing age inappropriate trashy clothing and the big price tags.
Sigh. Not so cheery.
I decided SuzerSpace could do that theme way better.
Hand lettering is all the rage these days (I’m on that bandwagon, practicing…practicing…practicing). Until I get good at it, the free font sites are full of good choices. I chose a print and script, and then set up my artboard as a 12 x 12 square, since that’s the largest mat I have for my Silhouette Cameo.
I played with the word stylings, trying to keep the letters large so they would be readable from the street, and not a total disaster when they were cut. I welded any overlapping letters together so that the little overlapped parts wouldn’t cut out later.
Once happy with my design, I exported it as a DXF, because I use Adobe Illustrator to set up my artwork and the basic version of Silhouette Studio can’t handle an AI or EPS or SVG file. But it can work with a DXF file, no problem.
In Silhouette Studio, I set up my Design page also as 12 x 12, cutting with a Cameo mat. I’m cutting this out of white Contact paper since it’s super cheap and it is a good mix of good adhesion but easy enough to remove when the season is over. I cut my roll of white Contact paper into a 12 x 12 square, and stuck that, carrier side down on my mat. Normally I cut vinyl without a mat, but my roll of Contact paper is really curly so the mat gives me more stability.
Because I want to put these letters on the inside of my glass storm door, I mirrored the design, and then sent it to cut. Once it was cut, I weeded out all the material that wasn’t part of the design, and cursed myself AGAIN for forgetting to add weeding lines. Weeding lines are where you add boxes around the main design to pick up non used pieces in parts instead of having to deal with the entire big piece of waste material. Here’s good post on the concept. I don’t actually use that technique to make them, but you get the idea.
I then pulled the sheet off of my mat, and set up to transfer it.
I’ve done a couple of projects with Contact paper, and one of the bummers of the removable adhesive backing is it can be really hard to get off of the transfer tape when you move it – the tape is stickier than the Contact paper. I had just read a post about painting wood signs with stencils with a great tip – that crafter used Clear Contact paper as the transfer tape instead of the stickier Silhouette version. So I cut a matching 12 x 12 piece from clear and used that as my transfer tape.
Big improvement! The rules of transfer tape still apply – going slow, rubbing the design carefully onto the clear paper, and peeling carefully, stopping to re-rub anything that isn’t lifting off the carrier sheet properly.
After cleaning the inside of the storm door (I guess every 15 years or so is a good time 😉 ) I applied the transfer papered image. You don’t get too many tries at this, so try and go slow and get it straight and centered the first time.
More rubbing with the scraper tool, and more patience as I pulled away the clear paper, stopping to rub down with either the back of my hook tool, the scraper or my finger to get all the letters onto the glass.
It’s a little tricky to photograph with the shadows, but it makes me super happy. I’ve added my favorite “Let it Snow” sign, and later this week I’ll add in my outdoor lights and I’ll be set for the holidays.
No trashy clothing or expensive price tags required!