Saturday, December 31, 2011

University of Floirda Gator Silhouette File

We are HUGE University of Florida Gator fans!! All four of us nearly bleed orange and blue. My youngest could wear a Gator shirt every day of every week and be very happy about it! So of course I needed to make them more!

I took the football helmet from the Silhouette store, and the Gator script down below (that I traced and cleaned up) and put them together as one file. I then cut it out of heat transfer vinyl (I like the Sisser Easy Weed brand) and ironed it on a shirt. Needless to say my kids were THRILLED! I hope your Gator fans will be too!

Download the Silhouette .studio file HERE

Monday, December 26, 2011

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Gymnastics Shirts Using Heat Transfer Vinyl

My kids love it when I make them stuff. But between being a busy mom, a shop owner, and trying to run a household, I don't exactly have time. So I am LOVING my new Silhouette Cameo and heat transfer vinyl.

I used blank t-shirts I picked up at JoAnn's craft store (on sale of course) and some Silhouette brand heat transfer vinyl. I used images I bought from the Silhouette online store and put the kids names on them before cutting out the vinyl.

I am not a big fan of this brand of vinyl so I will be trying others (it was a pain to iron on and while the directions said 45 seconds it took way longer than that).

However the kids LOVED them!!!! Like OMG loved them! They now have personalized gymnastics shirts to wear for each of their classes. My son is already requesting more .... a boy on the rings.... on the p-bars... on the floor.... on the rope... etc

UPDATE: these were such a big hit at gymnastics that the mom of a little girl in my daughter's class requested one... how could I say no?! ;-)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Alligator Silhouette Studio File

Download the Silhouette .studio file of the Alligator HERE

Tutorial: Chanukah Paintings - A Craft Kids Can Help With

Continuing with my theme to jazz up my home for the holiday but still make something I could use year after year, something that the kids could help with, and something that could be a keepsake as the kids grow up......

Chanukah Paintings. Simple, easy, fun and most of all, fairly cheap! For this craft we used:

  • Two 8x8 Stretched Canvas (found at JoAnn's for 50% off)
  • Various shades of blue acrylic craft paint
  • Various shades of pink acrylic craft paint
  • Various shades of purple acrylic craft paint
  • One bottle of white acrylic craft paint
  • One bottle of black acrylic craft paint
  • Removable Vinyl (you can also use contact paper) and transfer paper
  • Silhouette Cameo Die Cut Machine (you can use an exacto knife)
  • And a few paint brushes of various sizes

You'll want to lay out the colors by family.... all the blues in one box, all the pinks in another, etc. For this project I choose blues/pinks/purples/white as they will blend together nicely and not get all muddy brown looking.

Step 1: Cut your design from vinyl or contact paper using the Silhouette Die Cut Machine (or a die cutting machine of your choice. Or you can use a scissor and exact knife instead (tracing your picture onto the contact paper).

For the two pictures above, I used shapes that I purchased at the Silhouette online store and resized them in Silhouette Studio to make sure they fit my canvas.

Step 2: Using the transfer paper (or a wing and a prayer if you don't have any) transfer your vinyl on to the unpainted canvas. It won't stick great but it's enough for what you need to do. Remove your transfer paper so the design in vinyl is all that you see on the canvas.

Step 3: Assemble kids and make sure they are geared up with smocks, brushes, etc.

Now painting with kids isn't for the faint of heart and it can make your heart race if you are not fast enough to catch them as they run off through your house with paint still on their hands as they touch everything in site. So I highly suggest laying our a large sheet of plastic (I like the tacky and cheap table cloths that you find that has plastic on one side and fabric on the other).

Step 4: Give each child some of each paint and let them know their goal is to cover the ENTIRE canvas in paint... making sure they paint over the vinyl design.

Once it is completely covered, let the canvas dry and clean everything up.

Step 5: When the picture is dry, you can now peel off the vinyl design leaving the negative spaced unpainted. This will now show your design. You can use the black paint to write in the child's name/date and maybe even a title.

Step 6: Display on a table top easel or use some pretty craft ribbon to hang!

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tutorial: Alphabet Block Menorah

For the past few years I have been on the hunt for a new Chanukah menorah. I want it to be simple, pretty, and fairly inexpensive. But year after year I come up short. Now I have two kids and while we have a few menorahs, none really thrill me. So this year I gave up my hunt for a simple and pretty one and decided to make one for each of us.

We have dear friends who have a menorah for each person in their house and regardless of age, they get to each light their own. I thought that sounded like a great idea but knowing my kids that would turn into eight nights of fights over who gets to light which menorah. So what better way to make sure there is no fighting than to make everyone and identical name menorah.

This was an easy craft that was just the slightest bit time consuming. But it was worth it in the end!

To make this I used:

  • Chanukah Menorah Candle Cups (you need 9 for each menorah) and you can buy them HERE
  • Alphabet Blocks by Melissa and Doug found HERE
  • Nine 1/2" screws to screw the Candle Cups to the Blocks (I just took a block and a candle cup onto a local hardware store and asked one of the employees for the correct size)
  • Craft or Wood Glue (to glue the blocks together and to glue them down to the board)
  • A wooden board at least 11" long (I think mine was 12")
  • OPTIONAL: a clear varnish, sandpaper, mineral spirits, a brush, cheese cloth - if you want the block and wood to have a clear coating on them

Now some nice person on Amazon reviewed the alphabet blocks and was a dear to tell which block had which letter on each side. Of the 50 in the set, 38 are letter blocks. There is a different letter on both sides: the "A" block has "N" on the bottom, etc. Of the 38 there are:

5 A/N blocks
4 B/O blocks
2 C/P blocks
2 D/Q blocks
5 E/R blocks
3 F/S blocks
3 G/T blocks
2 H/U blocks
4 I/V blocks
2 J/W blocks
2 K/X blocks
2 L/Y blocks
and 2 M/Z blocks.

Step 1: Lay out your blocks to make the letters of the person's name. If the name is less than 9 letters, you can use the picture blocks to fill in as shown below. Since a menorah has a shamash candle, the helper, that has to be higher than the rest, you'll want to make sure to put a block on a second row to raise the shamash up. Using your craft glue, glue the letter together and let it dry.

OPTIONAL STEP: if you decided, as I did, that you want your wood and blocks to be protected, you'll want to paint them with a clear coat of varnish. To do this you'll want to sand your wood base a bit with some fine sandpaper. Then dust it with a clean rag that is damp with mineral spirits. Using some cheese cloth and moving in one direction, you'll want to apply the varnish by placing some on the cheese cloth and rubbing it over the wood board (in the same direction). You can do this all over the name blocks too. Let them dry. Then sand the board again (lightly) dust and reapply. Repeat this over and over again until you get just the right amount of varnish. If I did this all over again I'm not sure I'd go through all this trouble to varnish it as it didn't really make any difference.

Step 2: Glue your name blocks to the wood board and let dry.

Step 3: Screw your candle cups to the wooden name blocks (you could glue them of course but I liked the security of wood).

And that's it! You're done! Grab yourself some candles and have a wonderful holiday (and we got our candles from HERE when we ordered the candle cups)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Friday, December 16, 2011

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Thursday, December 8, 2011

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