Wednesday, February 15, 2012



My Silhouette is great… in theory.  I see so many wonderful things people have made on the web, and they always look amazing!  Well, when I tried to use it to make the vinyl letters for my ValentineMailbags… so many things went wrong!  It seems like I need a book or a lot more tutorials on how to use the thing.  So I thought I’d share a little bit that I learned from this particular episode. 

Cutting the vinyl:  I was using the vinyl on a roll.  I made basically one sheet full of the letters “mail” that filled the box on the screen.  I needed three and a half of those though, so I cut one sheet of letters, then cut the vinyl and fed it through to make another set.  BIG mistake!  I should have left the roll long until cutting the last sheet.  The vinyl was too short on the last set I cut and it twisted, ruining the last three sets of letters.  Fortunately, I had just enough to make one for everyone in the class, but I have three bags sitting here blank!  I’ll have to get more vinyl.

Ironing it on: I tried following the instructions on the box, it didn’t WORK!  I was completely baffled.  I would push the iron down on the vinyl very hard for a minute, and then try to peel off the plastic.  It kept sticking, so I’d try to iron it a little more, and it never seemed to help!  I’d pull at the plastic, and the vinyl would stretch and come loose, or I’d have to pick the plastic off bit by bit, also damaging the vinyl.  The fabric I was using was just a heavy cotton canvas, which I suppose could have been part of the problem.  The mystifying part was, occasionally it would peel right off with no problem! 

SO, what finally worked the best was leaving my iron on half of the word “mail”, and continuing to iron as I peeled.  I would pull up the plastic and as it uncovered a letter I’d move the iron slightly.  That worked perfectly, although I was at risk for burning myself on the iron.  But I went from taking ten minutes per bag to a minute and a half per bag, so I was happy at last. =)

I’m still having troubles programming the cutter, so if I figure anything out on that score I’ll share!  If anyone has any tips or tutorials about using the Silhouette I’d love to see them, I still feel lost!!

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