We’ve been trying to get off the sugar crazy train in my house. And it’s been surprisingly… easy! Once we got over the initial shock, of course. Our new rules for clean eating are simple. Meals and snacks should 1. Be high in protein 2. […]
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I was recently gifted a bottle of spectacular mocha liqueur and had a moment of chocolate-covered inspiration.
“This stuff would be AMAZING in a Gingerbread Cake Pops recipe! Yaaasssss……”
These boozy gingerbread cake pops were seriously some of the best cake pops I’ve ever made. And although they (and the second batch, too) are LONG gone, I wrote down the recipe so I could share it with you for the holidays.
(Not much of a drinker? Feel free to omit the alcohol if you would like and the same amount of milk instead. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!)
Did you know there are magical fairies that create foods with basically no calories? That are actually nutritious and delicious? Like you would choose them over other things? It’s true. Meet Zucchini “Pasta.” When I first heard about zucchini pasta, it seemed like a mean […]
If you want to create a two (or more) color design, you will need to learn how to layer vinyl. Here are two EASY methods for layering vinyl – one for adhesive vinyl (any type,) and one that shows how to layer heat transfer vinyl (or […]
Supplies needed: vinyl decal that has been weeded and transfer taped, vinyl squeegee.
Here is how you apply your vinyl decal to make sure it looks PERFECT once it is stuck on.
- Check your alignment. Is the vinyl decal lined up with the lines on the transfer tape?
- Make sure the surface you are applying your vinyl decal to is very clean. It should be completely free of dust and oil (including from hands.) I usually wash it with a degreasing dish soap like Dawn, dry with a paper towel, and set it aside right before I am going to use it.
- Double check your vinyl works with your surface. There are two main types of adhesive vinyl used in vinyl cutting machines for home use; they are Permanent (also called glossy, outdoor, 651, or Series 51) or Semi-permanent (also called matte, indoor, or 631.) For most projects like plastic or glass drinking glasses, water bottles, or signs, you will want to choose the permanent (51) vinyl. The only time to use the Indoor/Semi-permanent is if you want to apply it to something and peel it off – stencils, indoor walls, etc.
If you are applying vinyl to something round, brace it so you can lay it flat and it won’t move while you are working. It is better to do this before you peel the back off in the next step…
To apply the vinyl decal, remove the backing from the transfer tape (your design will be stuck to the transfer tape) and grab both sides of the transfer tape to give you control of your placement.
Now, start by sticking down the center of your vinyl decal and smooth from the center towards the edges with your fingers. Avoid any wrinkles or bubbles in your design. Press the design onto the surface, taking care to rub all of the parts of the design (especially small parts) to make sure they adhere well to the surface.
Before you remove the tape, use your vinyl squeegee to further press the design down. Pull the squeegee from the center outward until you are sure all of the edges are stuck down as well as they can be.
Now you are ready to remove the tape! Let the vinyl set for at least 24 hours before trying to wash your finished piece. The solvent-based vinyl needs that time to develop a permanent bond.
For more information on applying your vinyl designs perfectly STRAIGHT every time, check out this awesome step-by-step guide on applying vinyl from my friend Melissa on the Silhouette School Blog.
You have your design cut in vinyl, now what?! You are ready to learn how to use transfer tape for vinyl lettering and designs to get that puppy on something! If you need help cutting and weeding your design, check out my previous tutorials about vinyl design and cutting […]
Want a cool vinyl design but think you don’t have the time or skills to create one? THIS is cool! You don’t need to be a designer to use Silhouette Studio and you don’t even need to buy pre-made graphics. Because Silhouette studio will let […]
An unavoidable part of the process of doing a project with vinyl and a vinyl cutter is WEEDING. If you are a beginner with your Cameo or Expression vinyl cutters, you might be like “How do I weed vinyl?” or even “Do I have to weed my vinyl?” Answers to all your vinyl weeding questions below!
What is weeding?
Weeding is the process of removing all the extra vinyl from around the image you have cut before applying it to the finished project. A vinyl cutter cuts along the lines of the design, but it doesn’t remove the extra vinyl. You need to do that as well as removing the little holes inside any designs or letters.
What you need to weed
I always have these tools on hand when weeding a vinyl project…call it my Essential Vinyl Work Kit
- a paper towel or scrap piece of vinyl for putting the little bits of vinyl I weed . Otherwise, I’d walk around covered in vinyl dots all day and not notice. 🙂
- A weeding hook
- Tweezers just for vinyl work
- A quilting pin
You should also plan to work in a brightly-lit area. If you don’t have enough light, it is VERY hard to see where the vinyl machine has made cuts. This means it is pretty much impossible to weed accurately. I work by a window and also often make use of those cute, portable Ott-lights…perfect bright, white light and so handy for detail work of any kind! Even if I have to hide in the closet from my kids to get my crafting done. haha
Weeding Tips and Tricks
Whether you are using heat transfer vinyl or adhesive vinyl, the process of weeding is pretty much the same. Here are some tricks I have picked up that make weeding so much easier.
Tools and Prep
Prep your crafting area and have all the supplies (above) you need at arms reach. And don’t forget about the light! It’s all about the light. 🙂 You also want to have very clean hands and skip the lotion…oils from your hands can mess with the vinyl adhesives. Another reason to use the tools instead of your hands when possible.
Weeding order: from inside to outside
Start by removing the dots inside any letters and small internal areas of designs FIRST. If you remove these small, internal pieces first, you’ll have fewer problems with your design sliding since it is braced by the outer part of the vinyl.
Next, start peeling the outer part of the vinyl off. I do this by kind of curling it up little-by-little so that the cut bits try to stay stuck to the backing. Some of the cut pieces will want to peel up as you go, but this is why you go extra slow and have your tools ready – you can use your tweezers, non-sharp part of the hook, or quilting needle gently push them down as you continue to peel. Take care not to puncture the vinyl with any of these tools. (TIP! If you are weeding a big piece, cut away 2 or 3 inch sections of the vinyl as you go. This makes it more manageable and prevents the extra sticky vinyl scraps from pulling other parts of the design off.)
Common vinyl weeding problems and how to fix them
Extra bits of vinyl sticking to the finished design. You will inevitably find a little dot of vinyl stuck somewhere it shouldn’t be – perhaps punctuation that didn’t adhere or the center or dot of another letter… This happens to me several times over the course of a typical vinyl weeding session. Take care of misplaced vinyl bits BEFORE you apply the vinyl design to the finished project. simply use your tweezers to remove the extra vinyl while holding the piece you want to keep in place with your other hand.
Pulling and Stretching/Design very difficult to weed. Also try to avoid pulling or stretching the vinyl to get it to come away from the outer piece. I promise at some point you will do this (we all have!) and you will be bummed that you have changed the shape of the piece. I’ve just stuck my misshapen pieces of anyway, trying to get them back into shape as best I could.
If you are having a VERY hard time weeding, with excessive stretching and pulling of the vinyl, you may need to check your settings on your vinyl cutting machine and re-cut. Did you choose the correct material in your Silhouette or Cricut settings? The culprit could also be a dull or dirty blade. The occasional piece that needs an extra tug is normal, but if you are having that trouble with every piece…that’s NOT normal. Re-cut and start over! Check out this wonderful post on extending the life of your vinyl cutting blade from Leslie, The Seasoned Homemaker.
I can’t see the cuts! Make sure you are using bright enough light. If you are and you still can’t see the cuts clearly, check your settings and your blade. If the machine wasn’t able to cut all the way through consistently, you will need to fix the problem and cut out your design again.
The letter slid off…what do I do now? Don’t panic! This can happen especially with small letters and designs. If one of your letters or designs has gone sliding around, simply use the point of your hook to nudge it into place. If the letter has completely slid off, use your hook to gently grab it on the adhesive side or use your tweezers. Put it back in it’s place like it never happened. 🙂 Here are more great tips on weeding small designs and letters.
People always suggest you should write what you know. And even better, write about the thing most people ask you about because THAT is what you are an expert in. Funny thing is, the #1 thing I am asked is “How do I get my […]