Chalkboard Subway Art

I have always been a big fan of chalkboard subway art. Especially now, with chalkboard art being very popular, I have recently been inspired to make my own. I am particularly a fan of the first birthday chalkboard signs. The only problem with these signs is that you need to know someone who is having a birthday. As it turns out, I know just the person to make this sign for!
For this first birthday sign I have decided to design it using Silhouette Studio. Now, if you don’t have Silhouette Studio software, you should definitely download it. You don’t even have to own a Silhouette cutting machine in order to be able to follow this tutorial.
The first step is deciding what kind of chalkboard theme you want to make. You aren’t limited to just designing a sign for a first birthday. You could make a chalkboard to mark any age birthday, an anniversary, a graduation, a year in school or any milestone in life. The possibilities are endless!
Once you have picked out a chalkboard theme, open up Silhouette Studio and navigate to Page Design Settings. Change your page size to the desired height and width. I choose 24” x 36”. Notice how your page will expand over the cutting mat size- this is how is it supposed to look.

Mat Size View.png
From here, choose a chalkboard background (I used one from the Silhouette Design Store). Under the Scale tab, adjust the chalkboard to fit the entire mat background. You will need to uncheck the “lock aspect” box and enter your desired dimensions. If you have Silhouette Designer edition, use the Layers Menu option to lock your background. Also note, a yellow caution size has appeared to warn me of low resolution. However, the background did not appear to be fuzzy or blurry once it was printed if you choose to use this same chalkboard design from the Silhouette Design Store.
Chalkboard Background View.png
Now the fun part…time to design. I have seen numerous chalkboard subway art that I have fallen in love with. Have fun and design to your liking. You can add picture elements and word elements. I used the following fonts for my word elements:

KG Broken Vessel Sketch | Daydreamer | Rolande | Wide Latin | ITC Woodland | Bromello   Photographs | KG Blank Space Sketch | Creta | KG Miss Kindergarten | KG Miss Kindy

Subway Art Complete View.png

Once you are finished designing, it’s time to print your design. I made sure to group my whole design together so none of the elements would move. In order to print your design, you will need to save the file as a PDF. In Silhouette Design Studio, there is not an option to save as a PDF. Instead, you can “print” your design as a PDF using a PDF printer. There are many different options for this…Bullzip, CutePDF or PrimoPDF. Once you have one of these PDF printers installed on your computer, go into the settings and change the size of the page to whatever size your final design is. For mine, I changed the size to 24″ x 36″. All you’ll do now is hit print and it will produce a PDF file. Use this file to bring to Staples and print your over-sized design.

Printer View.png
To save some money, I decided to print my project as a color engineering print. An engineering print usually have lower visual and paper quality than traditional prints. This was a great option for my subway art because it kept the cost low. When I want to print at Staples, I typically just go through their website. You can find black & white, as well as color engineering prints on their website. Select the size you wish to print, upload your subway art and ta-da, you’re finished! Staples will notify you once your print is ready to pick up.
The final step is layering your engineering print on a background. I purchased some black foam board from Hobby Lobby and cut it down to the correct size. Take some spray adhesive and slowly layer the engineering print onto the foam board. Use a credit card or Silhouette scraper to smooth out any bubbles. Good news- even if you do have some small bubbles that can’t be released, the chalkboard background does a good job at covering up those mistakes.

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Fall Pallet Sign

Fall is finally in the air and the leaves are beginning to change ever slightly. This calls for only one thing…more fall decor. What better to fill my house with than a rustic pallet sign? This was my first time making a pallet sign and I fell in love. I will definitely be making another sign soon. I have already been scoping out more pallet wood.

If you are interested in making a pallet sign too, now is the time!

Directions:

  1. Honestly, the hardest part for me was finding a good, clean pallet that I could use for this sign. I happened to get lucky one day when we drove past a dumpster near our neighborhood that had a stack of pallets laying outside. I immediately made my husband stop the car and grab as many pallets as we could fit into our tiny car. So your first job…go find some pallet wood.
  2. Once you have disassembled the pallet wood (shout out to my hubby for doing this part), figure out what size you would like your finished sign to be. My sign completed sign was 18” wide x 15” tall. Measure and cut each board according to those measurements. You will also need to cut supporting boards to hold the sign together. If you have any smaller boards from the pallet, this would be a great use for them. My supporting boards measured 2.5” wide x 14.5” tall.1-cut-boards
  3.  Sand all your boards so they are smooth and all the splinters are removed. Although this isn’t the most fun step of the project, consider it your arm workout! Once you have finished sanding, take a damp cloth and wipe off all of the sawdust so you are left with clean boards.2-sand-boards
  4. Decide if you want to stain or paint your pallet. I decided to stain my boards using Minwax Wood Finish. I feel like the stain gives the sign a nice look for fall. But, if stain isn’t your thing, you could easily substitute the stain for some paint. If you are staining, take an old white t-shirt or rag and dip a small part of it into the stain. Once you have applied the stain to the board, take a different rag and wipe off the stain you just applied. This ensures that you will not end up with too much stain that will take days to dry. Continue with this process until you achieve your desired color. The more stain you add, the darker your boards will become.3-stain-boards
  5. Once your stain is completely dry (I would allow your boards to dry at least a full 24 hours), you can begin to assemble your sign. You’ll need to buy flat-head wood screws depending on the depth of your pallet boards. To find the correct screw length, measure the front boards and the supporting boards. You will want the screw to go all the way through the supporting boards and halfway through the front boards. My screws were ¾” and were the perfect depth. Go ahead and drill your screws in a way that best supports your boards. Because pallet boards are not always perfectly flat, you might have to drill your screws in randomly, so they will hold the front boards. As you can see from the picture, my screws are not lined up perfectly…and that’s okay because my pallet board is well supported and nobody is even going to see the back!                                       dsc02384
  6. Now for my favorite part- designing the front! I am using a design by Kolette Hall from the Silhouette store. Open up the design in your Silhouette Studio and ‘ungroup’ the design. Now, you will be working with the colored design. Again, ‘ungroup’ the colored sign so that each phrase is its own layer.Grab the top two lines and size them according to the height of your pallet board. I made each pair 3.52” tall. For me, it didn’t matter how long the words were because I had plenty of extra room length wise. Continue sizing each pair of lines until they are all the appropriate size.
  7. After you have sized all of the design, decide what color vinyl you would like to use for each line or phrase. I decided to go with a similar color scheme as the original design. Here is a breakdown of the vinyl colors I used:
  1. Grab your Silhouette mat and begin by cutting out a small strip of vinyl for each color needed for your paired design phrase. You can see below that I used three different colors of vinyl for this phrase.dsc02454
  2. Weed all of your designs and add transfer tape on top of them.dsc02457
  3. Finally, go ahead and apply the vinyl to your pallet sign.dsc02463  dsc02469  dsc02473
    I would love to see your fall crafting. Share your pictures with me!

Halloween Trick-or-Treat Bag

Even though it’s only the middle of September, I have been itching to start Halloween projects. When I came across this Aztec pumpkin design a couple years ago, I wasn’t sure how I wanted to use it. I really like this design because it a more grown up version of a Halloween pumpkin.

After a little bit of creative exploration, I decided to use the design for a trick-or-treat bag. As my two younger sisters are getting older, I figured they should have a trick-or-treat bag that wasn’t for “little kids.” Having a pumpkin on a trick-or-treat bags makes it reusable from year to year, instead of having to change the bag with every costume. Even better, this bag was super simple to whip up!

Directions:

  1. Find an Aztec pumpkin design that you like. I couldn’t find the exact one that I downloaded from a couple years ago, but there are a few similar styles here, here and here.silhouette-studio-display
  2. Design your monogram. I would suggest going with a simple monogram since the aztec pattern is very busy. I used the Monogram It! app. After I designed my monogram, I saved the picture and emailed it to myself. From there, drag the picture into Silhouette Studio and trace the monogram. Open the Trace tab and click “select trace area.” Highlight the area you want to trace and adjust the high pass filter until the entire design is completely highlighted. Click the trace button under the “apply trace method.”
  3. ALWAYS remember to mirror your design before you cut it. This will ensure that the design is correct when you flip and iron it onto your bag.silhouette-studio-mirror-display
  4. Face the shiney side of your HTV (heat transfer vinyl) down onto your cutting mat and load it into the Silhouette machine. I had my blade set on 4, but remember to do a test cut before cutting your final design. Depending on how old your blade is, you might have to adjust it.
  5. Weed your pumpkin. I found it helpful to look at the picture on my computer screen, since it is such an intricate design to weed. I actually just read a tip on the Silhouette Cameo Creations Facebook page to help with HTV weeding. One of the ladies suggested dusting just a tiny amount of baby powder over your cut vinyl. This will make the lines stand out better so it is easier to weed. I didn’t have baby powder at home, but this is a trick that I am definitely going to try soon!aztec-pumpkin-htv-weeding-2
  6. Heat your iron to the maximum setting. Expressions Vinyl recommends 305 degrees, but my iron doesn’t get that hot unless it is on maximum setting. While this is heating, center your design on your canvas bag.
    aztec-pumpkin-htv-measure
  7. Now, this step takes some time and patience. Begin by laying a piece of parchment paper over the HTV. Iron on the design applying hard pressure for 30-45 seconds. Continue until you have pressed the whole design.aztec-pumpkin-htv-iron

I seriously am in love with this design and I’m trying to figure out what else I could make with it. Maybe a cute Halloween shirt? Let me know if you have any suggestions!

aztec-pumpkin-trick-or-treat-bag

aztec-pumpkin-bags

Happy {Halloween} Crafting!

-Jessica-

 

Washi Tape Greeting Cards

Anybody else realize they need a card to go with their gift an hour before a birthday party? Wish you could send a quick “thinking about you” note to a friend but don’t have any cute stationery on hand? Today’s post is all about quick, easy cards with washi tape.

Washi Display.jpg

Now, if anybody else is like me, you see a cute package of washi tape and buy it, even if you don’t know what to use it on. I have found a solution to our problem.  The washi tape I will be featuring today is from Hobby Lobby. It’s retail value is $12.99. But let’s be honest, nobody pays full price for an item at Hobby Lobby when they know they can use a 40% off coupon.

Now let’s put that washi to use!

washi-three-layer-simple

thinking-of-you

This first card is very simple. Take your 3 favorite coordinating washi tape patterns and stack them on top of each other. This will create a sleek detail on the front of the card. On the inside, create this same stacked effect on one corner of the card. If you wish to add a sentiment, you can use stickers or vinyl. I used the font Kristen ITC with white vinyl.

celebrate-red-white-blue

My next U.S.A. inspired creation uses 2 coordinating washi tape patterns. Alternate directions as you apply the washi on the front of the card. Then, cut out a simple shape from a complementing color. Obviously I had to use a white star to go along with my red and blue washi. Finally, I topped the card off with a simple one-word sentiment with the font Bromello. I use this font all the time! It is definitely one to add to your collection.

happy-birthday-card

Finally, my personal favorite, helped me out in crunch time when I needed that quick birthday card. The best part is, nobody will guess you made this card in under 10 minutes! Find some cute colored embroidery thread or bakers twine. Add some washi flag pennants to the thread. You could make different shaped pennants, depending what you want the end result to look like. Once the thread is filled up with pennants, poke a small hole on each side of the card to tie the edges to. To finish the card, I added “Happy Birthday” using lime green vinyl and Watermelon Script font.

If you recreate any of these cards, be sure to tag me on social media. I would love to see how you are able to change up these simple designs! Happy crafting!

Fall Planner Stickers (Free Printable)

Now that it’s September, I can officially begin to fill my life with everything fall- pumpkin spice, fall decorations, pumpkin muffins, bonfires, apple pie, football, pumpkin pecan waffle candles AND fall planner stickers.

My planner is definitely a necessity in my life, which is why I love to create planner stickers. Why not be able to stare at a cute planner all day? Plus, it will motivate me to be more productive!

Planner Stickers-Display 1.JPG

Want to use these fall inspired stickers in your planner too? Download here. All you’ll have to do is upload the file to your Silhouette Design Studio and print the image on white sticker paper. Load your stickers into your Silhouette Cameo or Portrait and set ‘material type’ under the Cut Settings tab as ‘white sticker paper’.

Planner Stickers-Cut and Print.JPG

Don’t have a Silhouette Cameo? I’ve also designed a sticker sheet for users without a cutting machine. You can download your file here and cut your stickers out by hand with scissors.

Now go…decorate your planners!

– Jessica –

Welcome!

Welcome to My Creative Colorful Life! As an avid blog reader, I have always wanted to begin my own blog as a way to share my creations. Most of my free time is spent crafting, baking, decorating, organizing or planning my next project. I am looking forward to filling this blog with lots colorful and fun DIY projects. In the meantime, I would love to share some of my recent creations.

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Enjoy!