Word Art

Pictures made up of words are all the rage now and I’m a huge fan.  I hope one day to be able to produce such things with my own calligraphy but for now, I’m happy to use my Cricut to create these works (or words!) of art.  I posted my latest project in the Cricut Facebook group and had a lot of comments asking how I did it, which prompted this blog post.  Apparently, there is a website or app you can use to arrange your words but personally, I think that takes all the fun and creativity out of the project.

First, I drew in a heart the size of my intended project in Cricut Design Space.  I then listed words that I wanted to include in the piece.  Then it was simply a job of changing the fonts, sizes and alignments and fitting the words into the heart shape.  Where there were gaps too big to leave blank but too small for words, I added little images like hearts, stars, paw prints, cats and aeroplanes.  Once I was happy with the layout, I then changed the words and images into 4 colours as I was using black, gold, silver and brushed metallic pink vinyl.

The key at this stage was to “Attach” the images by colours as this allows the Cricut to cut out that colour with the words in the correct position so you don’t have to be bothered trying to line them up on the canvas.  As is usual for me, I made my life more difficult by making my project lots bigger than my cutting mat so I had to divide my words into two mats for each colour.  After ‘hiding’ or deleting the heart shape (this needs doing to prevent the machine cutting out a vinyl heart too), the next task was to cut out each colour.  I cut out the sections of vinyl without any words to save for small projects.

The next job was to ‘weed’ the project.  I begin by removing the centres of the O, R, Ps etc.

And then removed the rest of the surrounding vinyl.

The vinyl needs mounting on transfer paper in order to remove the backing prior to sticking to the project.  I had some difficulty in doing this from above by placing the transfer paper onto the vinyl, so I placed transfer paper face down on my light pad and then positioned the vinyl into the correct spaces, using the Design Space for reference.

Once all the pieces were in place, I roughly cut the transfer paper into a heart shape to help with centralising on the canvas.

The transfer backing paper was in two halves which helped a lot for the final sticking into position.  I lined up the image, then held the top section onto the canvas whilst I peeled off the backing paper of the bottom section, sticking the bottom onto the canvas.  With the bottom secured, I then removed the top section of backing paper.

Despite burnishing the images really well, the vinyl preferred to stick to the transfer sheet rather than the canvas so a bit of work was required to encourage the letters off the transfer sheet.  Once they were all on the canvas, I burnished them well again to ensure they were properly adhered.  The only job left was to hang it on the wall.

I then made a similar canvas for my friend’s big birthday.  He is retired now but worked in the aviation industry so I used an aircraft silhouette as my shape to fill.  This was trickier as the font was smaller but each colour did fit on a single cutting mat so lining up was easier.

Things I learnt from these projects:

  • Don’t use fonts with really long, skinny parts to the letters.
  • Do a test cut of a small shape if using new vinyl; they don’t all cut the same.
  • Try out the transfer sheet on the project first. Mine was a bit too sticky and the vinyl stuck better to that than to the canvas.
  • The smaller the font, the trickier it is to weed and transfer.
  • Use “Unlock” to allow words to fill the spaces better otherwise they scale proportionally.

Finally, for a bit of fun, I pimped up our new robovac.  In honour of the Robocop being Jean-Claude Van Damme, we’ve named our robovac Jean.  I designed a logo for her and added a little slogan! Aside from the fun decals, the little vac is brilliant – in fact, Jean’s busy doing the vacuuming whilst I’m writing this post. Now that’s my idea of housework! 😊

 

 

2-for-1 Thank You Cards

Having had fun doing the ink ‘smooshing’ technique for last week’s blog post, I thought I’d try my hand at some watercolour backgrounds this week, although I used calligraphy ink rather than watercolour paint.  I’ve watched many, many YouTube tutorials on making water colour washes but it’s not quite as easy as it looks – well, not for me anyway!  Using the Stampin’ Up! Thank You die, I wanted to use the positive and negative spaces of the background to make 2 cards, hence the 2-for-1 title.  For an even speedier set of cards, use patterned paper instead of making a background.

I began by taking my piece of watercolour paper and wetting it thoroughly with clean water.  I then painted stripes of pink and yellow ink and let them blend together.  I then spritzed the piece with some Frost White Shimmer paint (mixed with isopropyl alcohol) for some shine, although the nozzle of the sprayer was a bit iffy so its more splotches than mist 😊

For my second sheet, I wet the paper and then just dropped in pools of blue, pink and yellow ink and sprayed with a little more water to get them to mix.  Again, I spritzed (splotched!) Frost White Shimmer Paint on and then left to dry.

As the water colour paper got very wet, it was a bit crinkly when it dried but I was planning to run it through the Big Shot so that flattened it out a bit.  I used the largest and third largest stitched rectangle dies to cut the background and a border and cut the Thank You from the central piece.

In the interests of using up as much of my inked background as possible and to give a co-ordinated look to the inside of the card, I cut the left over background ⅜” around the rectangular cut-out, cut this rectangle into 4 (2 tops and 2 sides) and then used these pieces to edge my card inner.

I adhered the negative piece onto my card base and then, whilst all the bits were still in the die, applied spray adhesive to the back and placed the die into the ‘hole’ on the card and pressed out the tiny pieces to make the words complete. This made card no.1.

Card no.2 was made by sticking the frame onto the card base and then adding the Thank You cut out to the centre.

These are the cards made with the second background using the same technique.

The sweet peas in the shot are called ‘Terry Wogan’ and are prolific flowerers.  They’re providing me with many gloriously scented vases of flowers around the house at the moment!

 

Images © 2019 Stampin’ Up!