Saturday, September 28, 2013

Vinyl Swirl Decor for Painted Pumpkin

Vinyl swirl and dotted tendril, spider and leaf pumpkin decorations
are now available in a single cut file design
from SnapDragon Snippets 
through the Silhouette America online store.
(This is the thumbnail filled line drawing  concept art.)

My finished pumpkin decor project. 

Follow the tutorial steps to see how this was created, step by step. The decorations are the pumpkin decor vinyl collection (design 49359 ) and happy halloweeen phrase (design 13140).

First obtain a pumpkin that you wish to decorate. Your may find a white one (or real one, etc.) that is just what you need. Mine began as a slightly damaged metal pumpkin. I began by spray painting white primer coats, then I base coated over the white with black (2 good thick coats of acrylic black). One thing I learned: if you are going to use black acrylic decorative paint in late September or October, be sure to buy it early. The shelves of several crafts stores had NO black in any of the 3 varieties of this kind of paint they normally sell.

My original pumpkin had a crackle finish, I wanted to reproduce that look, so the next coat is a good consistent coating of Crackle paint. It goes on glossy and smooth.   

The top coat is light ivory, one of my favorite "white" neutrals because it has some country flavor without much yellow. This coat should go on quite thick and smooth from the first stroke, because there will be no chance to add another coat. This layer will begin to crackle as it dries (within minutes, almost too quickly). So my black base coats will show through. I am also going to gloss black coat the stem, leaves and tendrils separately. After all the painting is completed, I like to apply a spray painted protective coat such as semi-gloss or matte varithane. 

Now, while my paint is final drying, I play with the Silhouette shapes. I opened my cut file, prepared the vinyl to feed into the Cameo, then selected the shapes I reasonably might use. I would NOT need the leaves as cut vinyl (my pumpkin has attached metal leaves - though I may cut double side adhesive and apply glitter). I have added a phrase design to cut as well as the focal point. I will position the swirls around the phrase.

Here I have cut the shapes that I could fit onto my vinyl sheet, and have weeded away the excess surrounding vinyl. 

You may find it advisable to cut the shapes apart BEFORE weeding, so you can weed and prepare them one by one.

Carefully lay the transfer sheet over the weeded vinyl shapes completely.

I cut up the shapes so that I could place them individually. You can see that shapes I am "auditioning" are the cut vinyl on the carrier paper with the transfer sticky paper over the top. I use masking tape to hold the shapes in place while I am visualizing and designing my finished pumpkin.

Once I am pleased with the arrangement, I "hinge" the shape upward while the placement tape holds its position, remove the carrier paper, re-position transfer/vinyl shape then apply pressure to smooth the vinyl onto the pumpkin and remove the transfer shape.

Roll the transfer layer back carefully, to watch to make sure that the circles attach completely. If they don't, roll it back into position and burnish (rub) over the shape the help it adhere. Or assist the lead edge that is pulling up with a finger nail or tool so that it can grab the surface and stick.

I have cut a duplicate shape of the sider from double sided adhesive paper, removed the backing, and then am placing it over the vinyl black spider.

With the protective top layer off, I carefully sprinkle on fine black glitter. Other shapes would be nice with some sparkle, too, like the "Happy Halloween", or some of the swirls, or a leaf or two.

To add even more dimension and detail, I will add extra self-stick black rhinestones to the top of some of the vinyl dots (the original design was sized to match these sizes fairly closely), and also may use some commercially available pearl flourishes.

I have selected a few prominent circle swirls where I am sticking on the rhinestones.

Finally, I have added a long plaid ribbon with 6-8 shorted lengths that are gathered over the knot before the bow is tied.

Here again is the finished project. Hope you have as much fun with your project as I have had with mine.

October On the Docket Kit Chart

October On the Docket Project Kit
for kits available at Quilts, Etc.,
in Sandy, Utah
Fall 2013

Please note the following "clarifications":
Black print no. 1 - has purple swirls
Black print no. 2 (labeled as no. 1 also in error) has gray swirls
Black solid for cat face is solid
Black print no. 3 has multiple gray swirls

Monday, September 23, 2013

Halloween Countdown Cascade Boxes Tutorial

Available soon for purchase and download
from SnapDragon Snippets through the
Silhouette America online store
is this cut file design for a
Halloween Countdown project.
Thirty-one small, on-piece, easy to assemble boxes
are labeled with the October day numbers.
A decorative finial on top carries the "31" number and holds box,
and a bottom finial holds the #1 box.
At the center top and bottom of each box is a threading hole
so that a cluster of decorative ribbons can be strung together,
then hung with the top look from a peg or hook.
Place a small treat, note, activity idea, etc. inside each box,
then have the youngsters in your family help open each as they
anxiously count off the days until Halloween.

Step 1. Cut the box pieces, finial pieces, numbers for the project as shown on the cut file screen when you download and open the file. Note that boxes for #1 and #31 are modified to have a narrower trap door to fit inside the finial front window. On the cutting mat here you can see the regular box shape on the left and the modified box on the right with it's "fangs" lower box front edges near the lower edge of the image. If using the Cameo and 12x12 cardstock, you can fit two boxes on a sheet.

Step 2. Fold the box shape on all the perforations as "mountain" folds. Also fold the box front flange and finger tab half circle shapes so that tab extends away from box front. In this image, the lower box front tab is on the far left, and the upper box front flap or flange is on the right end.

Step 3. Apply glue to the short tabs at the box center short side. Fold the tab behind the adjacent short box side edge, align tab perforations with box edge and hold in place until gluing is secure. Repeat for the opposite side tab.

Step 4. Apply glue to the lower side flanges (or flaps), then . . .

. . . slide flanges into upper box until bottom edges touch and stop at upper bottom surface. Then ....

. . . apply pressure by reaching fingers inside and applying pressure between fingers and thumbs, etc., on inside and outside of box.

Step 5. To close box, fold upper front flap downward into place . . .

. . . and fold and tuck tab into slot.

Step 6. Assemble the modified boxes for #1 and #31 in a similar fashion, except insert this extra step before closing the box:

Fold upper side "fangs" down into place on box front and glue to side flanges, then fold lower side "fangs" upward into place and glue over previously glued fangs.

To close box, fold trap door upward and tuck tab into slot.

Step 7. Assemble the top finial. Align, overlap and glue the ends (non-scalloped ends) to make one continuous finial strip.

Step 8. Position the reinforcing top double scalloped shape behind the front and back (at the ends of the continuous strip) scalloped sections, aligning scalloped edges. Apply glue thoroughly to the between surfaces, leaving tabs free of glue. Align and apply pressure and make adjustments as necessary until glue is secure. Complete one end first, then align and complete the other end.

Step 9. Fold finial front and back hole flanges over and glue in place at the top of the reinforcing shape.

Step 10. Assemble, glue decorative oval layers, numbers and halloween word shapes to finial front (above window cutout).

Step 11. Apply glue to the #31 box bottom and slide into place at the bottom of the finial. Box bottom should attach to inside finial surface. Make sure that box's trap door will open freely, make adjustments as necessary before glue sets.

Step 12. Fold side flanges inward, apply glue to under surface of top layer flange, overlap the two completely and exactly, and apply pressure until glue is secure. 

Your completed top finial should look something like this. Note that there is a space in between front and back of finial which will allow for ribbon cluster threading from box to top hole.

Step 13. Assemble the bottom finial by applying adhesive to edges that will touch, then wrapping the shape around the #1 box, with the scalloped flanges extending from the bottom of the box (remember that front trap door folds up to close with finger tab at the top). 

(Please note that this version of the bottom finial was changed for the final download version. The hole extension has been removed.)

Make sure the trap door will open, and make adjustments if needed so that it will.

 Step 14. Glue numbers in place on each box. If you have selected alternate colors for your boxes, take care to order them as you attach numbers.

Step 15. Prepare the ribbon cluster by aligning ends at the bottom and tying an overhand knot approx. 3-4" from the ends.
Ribbon lengths should be 54" long.

Step 16. Straighten the ribbons cluster to take out slack, the align top ends. Wrap a length of masking tape tightly around the ends to form a sort of "needle" of the ends. Make sure this is narrow enough to fit through end holes. 

 Step 17. Thread end through bottom finial box holes and pull the ribbon length through until the knot stops at the box surface.

 . . . then through successive boxes in order from bottom to top. Adjust and pull ribbons through one by one as necessary to make sure there is no slack between boxes. 

 After box #30, thread the end up through the top finial's box, then between the finial front and back and through the top finial hole. 
Step 18. Tie an overhand knot above the top finial edge. Then create a hanging loop by folding ribbon ends and tying an overhand knot with loop.

(Note, my ribbons were only 48" long, so I simply tied a second overhand knot without the loop, then separated the ribbons to form the hanging loop.)

FINISHING: The final step is to open the boxes 
and put in the treats, notes, activities, etc., then re-close. 
Hang it where it can be part of the daily October fun.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Origami Bat Kid-CraftTutorial

Available now from SnapDragon Snippets through the
Silhouette America online store is this pre-perforated,
one piece (plus optional contast glue-behind face panel)
Sized at approximately 7.75 inches wingspan, this scary cutie
folds quickly and can be sized, but take care for reducing too small
for eyes to show, or too large to exceed available 
copy paper size and mat capacity. 
Thread a string or fish line through the back holes 
(use the cut square version with the hanging holes on the back of wing)
then let him decorate the higher regions of your Halloween
home or party venue.

Step 1. Cut the origami bat shape using REGULAR WEIGHT printer style paper. (Multi-layer folding may not be gauged for the thickness of card stock.)

Take care when peeling it from your mat - especially if the mat is new and very sticky - because the ears cut out can easily tear.

If you want contast eyes for your finished bat (and I WOULD recommend it!), also cut out the face liner contrast triangle from your preferred eye color. I am using a green triangle.

Step 2. Turn your square over. Locate the triangle near the center than contains the eye circle cutouts. Apply glue to the area around the eyes - the face triangle, but NOT the ears - then position the slightly smaller contrast triangle in the area so that it is WITHIN the perforation lines.

Step 3. Fold (face out - YELLOW triangle will be enclosed) on BOTH diagonal lines from corner to corner as "moutain" folds. Crease along the perforation, then unfold.

Step 4. Fold center horizontal perforation as a "valley" fold, or with OUTWARD sides folding together so that COLORED eye openings are on the inside. Crease along the perforation, then unfold so that square is flat again.

Step 5. Push the center valley fold in toward the center as you re-fold BOTH diagonal folds as mountain folds (eye openings will be on OUTSIDE once again). Crease along perforations.

Step 6. Fold the front diagonal crease forward and inward to lay along the center perforation line, and crease along the diagonal perforation line there. Repeat for both sides. This is the bat's body.

Step 7. Locate the lower diagonal line, then fold back and under the body shape. Crease along the perforations. This shapes the body slightly to create the bat's leg. Repeat for both sides.

Step 8. Locate the last diagonal perforations near the points of each leg. Fold the tip toward the side along the perforation and crease. This forms the bat's foot. Repeat for both sides.

Step 9. Fold the top center tip (bat's nose) downward and toward the front. As you do so, the ears will remain flat and appear to extend upward. Crease along the perforation. 
 Step 10. To help the dimensional nose and feet to remain in the desired positions, apply a little clear glue underneath the nose/head area, and a dot at the crease of each foot (take care to use just a little here). Re-fold each of these parts and apply finger-tip pressure until glue is secure.
FINISHING: If you want to hang your bat so that he is in flight continuously, you will have chosen the bat cut design that includes the 1/16" cut circles pair on the back wings triangle. Cut a length of the string or clear fishing line or ribbon that you will use to hang, and thread it onto a blunt needle. Insert the needle down-up through the holes. (It may help to insert finger(s) behind wing layer to re-direct needle back out the second hole.) 

Draw string through to desired length, cut and tie ends. You may wish to put a dot or 2 or 3 on the inside between the bat wing layer and the front folds and assembly because of the pull-apart effect that the string may have.

And finally (but without too much fuss!)
your bat is complete.
You will want to make a whole swarm of bats, of course.
His wing tip span at original size is approx. 7 3/4".
Try reducing his size for a smaller bat, 
but not too small or his eyes will disappear.
A reduction at 65% will make a bat with a wing tip span of 5".