28 Jun 2017

School Owl Mini Album

The school year is almost over so I made this mini album with 'Back to School in mind.  It is made using a new SVG release from Sanqunetti Design - School Owl SVG and Silhouette chipboard.

Supplies Used

Silhouette Cameo®
Silhouette Chipboard 12"x 12" sheets
Silhouette Adhesive Cork
AC Textured Cardstock in various colours
Patterned Papers
1"/25mm Binder/Book Rings
Beacon 3-in-1 Adhesive
Dimensional adhesive pads

Aside from resizing the owl to about 5" wide, the owl pieces were cut without adjustment from textured and patterned papers. Some were duplicated to give more dimension. The feathers were subtracted from the owl body prior to cutting it from adhesive cork. 

To make the album pages, I made an offset of the owl base and released the compound path , removing the 'gap' around the glasses. A rounded rectangle with holes was welded on to give space and strength for the binding rings.

The pieces were sized so that four pages could be cut from a 12" x 12" sheet of chipboard. I cut eight in total, doubling up the front and back covers. This gave four pages for photos, journaling and notes, but there is room for at least four more using the 1" rings, and even more if a larger size is used. The same page pieces were cut in various plain and patterned pages adhered to cover the chipboard.

Then it is simply a matter of assembling the owl on the front cover and threading the pages onto the rings. 

The School Owl cutting file is available from the Sanqunetti Design website and at Judy's Etsy store.

I love how easy it is to make uniquely shaped albums based on almost any SVG design in the Silhouette Studio software.  I'm wondering, what album I should make next?

27 Jun 2017

Chalkboard Birdhouse

Hiya, Janet here with my first ever Design Team post for Simply Crafty SVGs. Today I have a fun little chalkboard birdhouse made by combining the Bird House Box and the Holiday Lamp Post. It's made almost entirely from black cardstock and decorated with white gel pen. I've included details on how you can make this 'hybrid'. I used a Silhouette Cameo® 3, but of course these svg files can be used with other desktop die cutting machines (details here).

Black AC Textured Cardstock
White Uni-ball Signo Gel Pen
Black & White Baker's Twine
Black & White Patterned Paper
(Shine Bright from Kaisercraft)
Black & White Paper Straw
Beacon 3-in-1 Glue
Silhouette Pen Holder
Silhouette Cameo

Adding a Perch

Prior to cutting add holes to the birdhouse file to allow a perch (paper straw) to pass through from front to back. Also added corresponding holes to the front and back panels. It is easy to match them up by measuring the diameter of the straw and drawing a circle in the software of the same size. Then temporarily position the panels in place on the main piece on the virtual cutting mat, and copy the hole to the correct position on all of the pieces.  Make it an integral part of the design by selecting each part and one copy of the hole, and then making each into a compound path.

Decorating the Birdhouse

The main birdhouse makes extensive use of the Silhouette Cameo's sketch facility to draw the decoration using the Silhouette Pen Holder and my favourite white gel pen with designs from the Silhouette Design Store (listed below).

The Cameo 3 has a dual carriage and so can use a pen to sketch in one holder with the AutoBlade in the other. I usually do the sketching first with a pause to let the pen dry before continuing to do the cut - no smudges that way!

Constructing the Birdhouse

The construction part is straightforward as Sandy includes a set of instructions in pdf format with each of her files.

I also recommend following Sandy's advice for crease lines, and use a shallow continuous cut instead of the dashed lines (these files are supplied with both). 

Using textured cardstock gives a variety of surfaces; use the rougher side facing out for the main parts, and the alternate with the smoother side for the sketch work on the panels.

Making the Stand

Use the pole and base pieces from the Holiday Lamp Post to make a stand for the birdhouse. A pinstripe line can be added to the pieces by using the polygon line drawing tool, adding a line just inside the outer faces. Then use the sketch function to sketch the lines before cutting out the pieces.

Once the pole and stand are constructed and attached to each other use the base from the lantern part to attach them to the birdhouse.  Simply use the knife tool to 'remove' the mounting base from the lantern.

Push the tabs at the top of the constructed pole piece through the hexagonal hole, bend them over and adhere them to the mounting base. When it is firmly stuck, adhere the new top to the underside of the birdhouse.

Adding the Bird

Save the waste circles cut from the birdhouse and adhere them to the ends of the trimmed straw. Then cut a slit in the straw with a serrated knife. Carefully trim the legs off the bird's body and push the bird into the slit. A blob of adhesive behind the bird ensures that the bird stays in place. Once dry push the perch through the holes in the assembled birdhouse and add more adhesive at the entry points to keep the perch in place and the bird upright.

Feather Embellishments

Sketch and cut two sets of feathers, one the mirror image of the other. Make an additional set with a slit at the quill end, so that the feathers can be layered back-to-back with a piece of twine entrapped between the layers.

Finally tie the feathers onto the perch to hang below the birdhouse ...

... and that completes the chalkboard birdhouse.

It's such fun to combine files to make something unique. I hope you'll try it.

Bye for now,
Janet, DT Member Simply Crafty SVGS

Blog: https://CraftingQuine.blogspot.co.uk
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/craftingquine

Simply Crafty SVG Files:
Bird House Box
Holiday Lamp Post

Additional Silhouette Files:
Leaf & Flower Border Set (Nic Squirrell) #87418
Late Summer Border (Nic Squirrell) #146669 
Monogram Circle frame (Lori Whitlock) #192922 
Patterned Bird (Nic Squirrell) #65418
Wild Bird Feathers (Nic Squirrell) #151820 

24 Jun 2017

Re-colour Print & Cut Designs

Have you tried printable vinyl yet?  My Facebook feed seems to be full of requests on where to buy various patterns and subjects.  You can now buy vinyl to print for yourself, so there really is no limit to your creativity. I used it to make vinyl decals to decorate a phone cover on the Silhouette UK Blog this week.  I chose a selection of designs and made a set of three sheets of decals to gift in a presentation box. I call it a DYP kit - a Decorate Your Phone kit!

I've done the entire kit in two posts. This one, Part One, shows how to make the decals. Part Two will show how to make cover inserts and the gift box with customised holders for the cover and decal sheets.


Silhouette Printable Vinyl

Clear Phone Cover

Various Designs from the Silhouette Store (listed in the Silhouette UK post)


The Post includes instructions on how to colour-match designs from different collections and designers to make a cohesive set of decals using the 'Color Picker' tool in the Silhouette Studio® software (love that tool)!

I hope you'll click over and visit the Silhouette UK Blog and look at some of the fantastic projects and tutorials there.

15 Jun 2017

Embellish Card with Flocked Heat Transfer

I love adding a little something extra to my cards, especially those for very special occasions. I've found that using flocked heat transfer material gives fantastic fuzzy texture to select elements and is very easy to do.

On the Silhouette UK Blog today I've combined the use of the heat transfer with a new style of card; the new Insta-cube card by Lori Whitlock. They are small folded cards powered by a rubber band. When you pull a card from its decorated sleeve it pops up to form a cube. I know a couple who are expecting their first baby later in the year, so I selected the baby version and think it will make a lovely keepsake.

I gave some of the elements (the giraffe, the heart and the 'B' in baby) a fluffy texture to make the card and sleeve extra tactile. Although I used flocked heat transfer vinyl, felt or speciality flocked paper could be used instead.

Medium-weight card for the base

Printable Cardstock

Coloured or patterned card/paper

Rubber band (about 2.75"/ 70 mm)

Strong double-sided adhesive tape

Yellow Flocked Heat Transfer (HTV)

Baby Insta-Cube Card file by Lori Whitlock #198865

Iron or Heat Press


How to Use Heat Transfer Material

1. Select the pieces that you are going to cut from heat transfer. Remember that heat transfer elements need to be flipped.  

2. Place heat transfer material shiny side to the mat and cut the pieces and then weed (remove the bits you don't need).

3. Separate the elements and then activate the adhesive on the HTV by pressing the designs into place. Use an iron, or heat press on a lower heat setting than normal and allow to cool before carefully peeling off the backing (warning: it does get very hot).

I used heat setting 6 on my Hobby Jack heat press (which I believe is around 120ºC, so a good bit cooler than you'd use for garments). You can use an iron (non-steam) with a similar temperature, but if you move the iron around, the design may shift too. Press initially for 8 seconds, and allowed it to cool and then re-press for a few more seconds if it hasn't stuck.  Ensure you use a protective layer between the HTV and the hot platen. For ease I use a silicon sheet fixed to the upper platen of my press.
4. Check carefully by lifting a corner of the backing sheet. You may need to encourage the flock to separate from the backing with a flat tool, and hold down the part that has separated against the card (don't pull it straight up from the card). A heat press isn't necessary, but it does a better job of applying heat evenly so that your base card doesn't scorch.

This is a such a fun card design, and there are a number of other designs to choose from.

I think that the fuzzy elements make this card extra special. Do let me know if you have a go at using heat transfer on your cards technique in the comments below.

11 Jun 2017

NEWS : Now on the Simply Crafty SVgs Design Team


I'm thrilled to announce that I've joined the first ever Simply Crafty SVGs Design Team.  You can read the introduction and team member's bios on the Simply Crafty SVG Blog.

The Simply Crafty SVGs Shop has lots of great card and 3D designs in SVG format - great for cutting machines such as the Silhouette Cameo, Sizzix eclips  and Cricut Explore. Each file comes with a PDF document with full assembly instructions. Pop over to the store and checkout Sandy's fabulous designs.

If you have a Silhouette machine you'll need to have the Designer Edition, Designer Edition Plus, or Business Edition to easily import and work with the files.

I'll be sharing my favourite monthly project here on this blog. Look out my first post later this month.
I'm excited to be sharing it with you!

6 Jun 2017

Cut and decorate your own Leatherette Bookmarks

Make your own bookmarks with Silhouette Leatherette and a FREE file from the SilhouetteUK Blog. Designed by Janet Packer (CraftingQuine) for the Silhouette UK Blog.

Hiya, today I have a new post over on the Silhouette UK Blog on using Silhouette Leatherette Sheets. Yes, the leatherette sheets can be cut very successfully on any of the Silhouette machines (not the Mint, of course).

Not only does the post contain a tutorial on cutting the leatherette it includes how to cut and decorate bookmark AND a  free cutting file for the bookmark.  You can only download the file from the Silhouette Blog, so you'll need to pop over there if you want (or go ahead as design your own).

I decorated the bookmarks with heat transfer vinyl (HTV) using the beautiful Many Flowers Border file by Nic Squirrell (#177994).

I think they turned out nicely and look very professional.  Do you prefer the smooth or flocked finish?

Oh ... and bonus points if you can tell me the title of the book in the photos!

29 May 2017

A Mouse Ice cream Cart and Hints on Using Scraps

Hiya, Over to the Silhouette UK Blog today I have a post all about using scraps, making your media go further, and using substitutes if you don't seem to have just what you need. To illustrate these tips I made this cute little Mouse Ice Cream Cart by Samantha Walker.

Here are some close-up pics of my favourite tweaks.

Cork ice-cream cones

A tiny silver tray in the cool box (great for a secret message).

A birthday message on the custom chalkboard

I hope like this fun little project and that the post gives you some ideas for using up your bits and pieces.

If you have tips of your own I'd love to hear about them in the comments. Do share!

19 May 2017

Chalkboard Labels for Homemade Preserves


I don't have a big garden, but I love growing things to eat. Rhubarb grows a little too successfully, and its big leaves shade the lawn, causing it to die off if we don't pick it regularly. To use up an extra large harvest, I recently made a hot and spicy chutney with our rhubarb and shop-bought fresh root ginger.  I wanted to 'prettyfy' the jars to give some as gifts. and made custom chalkboard labels.

Over on the  Silhouette UK Blog today I show how I made the labels with my Silhouette® CAMEO 3, Chalkboard Cardstock and a favourite gel pen in the Silhouette Pen Holder. I used a few of these lovely circular frames designed by Lori Whitlock and a Sketch font called Sisters, designed by Riva Wilkins. I used a white gel pen to draw the frames and write the labels, a draw and cut technique.

I also added some tiny mini labels just for fun and some black and white baker's twine to finish.

Do you make preserves?  If not, these labels would look equally pretty on store-bought preserves. Why not pop over to the blog and see how it's done?

11 May 2017

Make Your Own Cork Stickers

Hiya,  I've a new post over on the Silhouette UK Blog today.  I've been working with adhesive cork sheets a lot recently.  I haven't shared all my projects yet because some of them are for future publication, but I will share when I can.

Last month I wrote in general about how to use the cork sheets. I used the cork sheets to cover MDF shapes, and the designs I cut were quite large. As promised I've returned to the Silhouette Cork Sheets to make sticker embellishments for my cards.

I've discovered that you can paint and stencil onto cork. I've painted through a stencil with acrylic paint and with pigment ink.  The pigment ink gave the neater effect, but not all colours worked equally well.  I like the look I achieved with one of the Tim Holtz Distress Oxides. This was using Broken China. The results were quite crisp with just a cardboard stencil.

However, I like the neater and more detailed results achievable using Silhouette Heat Transfer Material. This involves pressing heat transfer vinyl onto the cork sheets with an iron or heat press.

Here are some beach huts I designed in the Silhouette Studio software. Better still, the adhesive backing on the cork stays sticky, so are easy to apply to projects - no additional adhesive required. I did find it a little time consuming to apply the vinyl colours to one cork piece at a time though and looked for a better way to decorate a whole sheet of stickers at once.

For my Silhouette post I made a selection of sweet themed stickers using some of the simpler elements from designs purchased from the Silhouette Design Store:
  • Gingerbread Peppermint & Candy Cane by Kristen Magee #35782
  • Valentine Choc Rack Tall Card by Snapdragon Snippets #73620
  • Filofax Planner Donut Bookmark Clip by PPbN Designs #76883  

The post tells you how I made and cut the cork stickers and then decorated them with two layers of HTV one whole sheet of stickers at a time. Yes, with this method I decorated 15 stickers in just two pressings - a huge time-saving!

It also gives cut settings for both Cameo and Curio, and details on how to press the designs.

To use the stickers, its simply a matter of peeling off the backing paper. They can be used on cards, scrap layouts and other papercrafting projects.  I made a few into planner clips. The cork sticks really well when a pair are used back-to-back, securing the clip in between.

I hope you'll experiment too. I'd love to know how you get on and what you make. You could share pics on my NEW Facebook page Janet Packer CraftingQuine.

7 May 2017

Stained Glass Butterfly Card

Stained Glass Butterfly Card by Janet Packer (CraftingQuine.blogspot.co.uk)

Hello, I've been wanting to make one of these stained glass cards for a while. This one is made from black card and pearlescent vellum coloured with alcohol ink.

Stained Glass Butterfly Card by Janet Packer (CraftingQuine.blogspot.co.uk)

The card base was cut from heavy-weight cardstock on my Silhouette Cameo, and then 2 further frames cut from adhesive cardstock. Once the vellum (coloured with two colours of alcohol ink) was dry, I stuck one of the frames on to it, and trimmed around it, sandwiched the vellum with the other frame then mounted the whole butterfly onto the card base.

I made a separate body in the Silhouette software, cut two, and adhered them on on top with the top most one decorated with glitter flock.

The sentiment is a stamp from Lawn Fawn and was stamped in blue Distress Oxide ink and heat embossed with clear embossing powder.

Items Used:
Butterfly Card cut file by StudioIlustrado
Silhouette® Cameo 3
Pearlescent Vellum
Adirondack Alcohol Ink in Aqua
Adirondack Alcohol Ink in Sailboat Blue
Black Heavyweight Cardstock
Black Adhesive Cardstock
Glitter Flock Powder
Lawn Fawn Scripty Sayings
Distress Oxide Ink in Broken China  

The colours and butterfly subject inspiration came straight form the images the Daring Cardmakers May Elemental Challenge. The third element was the texture of the fluffy, kitten on the butterfly's body.

Daring Cardmakers have such great challenges!

1 May 2017

Shaker Maze Card

I recently made a birthday card for a friend who is an a-MAZE-ing baker, and today I've shared it over on the Silhouette UK Blog. Its one of my favourite shaker cards, this time with a maze incorporated.

I used the Heart Maze file by Tanya Batrak because it has an open space in the centre for a more detailed decorative element. I enlarged the space and built up the layers so that the beads could move around the maze. I also added indentations to the central picture for the beads to rest, turning the card into a little game.

These are the files I used for the Silhouette Design Store:

Heart Maze file by Tanya Batrak (#172861)

Cupcake file by PattyYoung Designs (#34751)

Yellow Daisy font by Rivka Wilkins (#106927)

Over on the blog I've included a tutorial on how to put this card together. Its not a quick make, but has a truly fun result. I speeded up the whole process by cutting the pieces from adhesive card stock.

You might like the other Shaker card tutorials I have over on the Silhouette UK Blog:
Making Shaker Cards - Pt 1 The Basics
Making Shaker Cards Pt 2 The Cards, and
Anchored Shaker Elements.

I hope my friend enjoys her birthday card.

28 Apr 2017

Lion head Card and Stand

Hiya, Today I have a post over on the Silhouette UK blog showing how to make a stand to add to a card to transform it into an item of home décor. I've included a file of the stand shape and it's free to download too. Just pop over to the Silhouette UK blog to download it in DXF format.

I just love, love , LOVE the Lion Head file that I used to demonstrate the stand, designed by one of my favourite designers in the Silhouette Design Store - Nik Squirrell -  AND she's from the UK too (Kent)! So, as well as the lion silhouette (no pun intended) I couldn't resist making a card too.

I made the background by blending pigment inks using the yellow and orange colours from a Clearsnap ColorBox Pigment Inkpad (Primaries).  They blend so much more easily than dye inks - I must remember to use them more often.

The lion head silhouette was cut from Canvas Corps Chalkstock card.  I'm not sure if it is available in the UK, but its worth seeking out as its really smooth and cuts beautifully with the Silhouette Cameo.

I mounted the Lion head onto an easel card and added a sentiment in gold vinyl. The name 'Lisa' is a cut-out with more blended card showing through from below. If you're wondering why the scissors, it was a card for my hairdresser, lion, mane, get it?