I haven’t had a lot of time/initiative for crafting lately. Things have been busy- first summer, then school and some big events happening for work. But then, just when all hope was lost, my new present to myself came in the mail and ever since I have been full-on #cutallthethings.
I’m very glad I didn’t hop on the Cricut bandwagon years ago because the Silhouette machine is definitely the way to go (though I saw recently Cricut did come out with a similar machine).
Not only does the Silhouette cut paper into any design or shape you want, but it cuts other things too like fabric, stickers, temporary tattoo paper, and my favorite- vinyl. Yes… HEAT TRANSFER VINYL. SO I CAN MAKE ANY T-SHIRT I WANT. I purchased the Silhouette Portrait, there is also the Cameo which has a larger cutting area. I didn’t realize when I made my purchase that buying things for the machines would be harder with the smaller size but overall so far I’m still really happy with it.
My first test involved a t-shirt with the word #vagangelist for an upcoming video I’m working on. Yes, you have that to look forward to.
Then it hit me that I had the perfect files ready to play with for my next custom vinyl cutting. Anyone remember those Golden Girls quotes (free to download if you follow that link) I made to print and hang in my Golden Girls Guest Room? I created each girl’s face myself…. and the style was ripe for a t-shirt.
After using the software that came with the Silhouette Portrait to trace the edges for the machine to know where to cut, and laying each lady’s head out on the sheet in a way that let me optimize the yellow flocked vinyl (I was also cutting a boy’s name to make a custom shirt for his birthday), then I started cutting. You can tell that each image needs to be reversed when you do heat transfer vinyl- when you iron them on they will appear normal.
I was nervous- I had already cut a larger, full sheet version of Rose and realized how delicate some of the features were (she and the other 3 girls are going on pillow shams for the Golden Girls Room bed. I worried that shrinking each head small enough to fit 4 across on a t-shirt would be impossible and the machine either wouldn’t make those cuts or the vinyl wouldn’t pull back properly and I’d lose half the details.
Miraculously… it worked! The machine handled the cuts beautifully and by being extremely careful when pulling away the areas I needed to (using the hook tool from Silhouette for vinyl) in order to only leave the design, I only lost Rose’s tiny cheek dimples and nose bridge and Dorothy’s mouth line. This experiment has blown me away when it comes to what this machine can accomplish. I’m really excited to play with it more.
This post may have you convinced that I am full-on obsessed with The Golden Girls but I’m just a big fan and have taken my love for them to a crafty level.