Halloween moon over my mantel from Nikki In Stitches - Silhouette CAMEO large scale wall decal Halloween Moon Over My Mantel Decal

Many of you know that we just moved into our new home a few months ago and this space above my mantel has been empty since the very first day. Yes, I have plans to one day put a large mirror here, but I’m still on the hunt for the perfect one. So, with Halloween approaching, I thought it would be fun to fill the space with a spooky decal!

Just a few quick notes here before we get to the crafty fun!

1. Yes, I cut it with my Silhouette CAMEO. You could use a Portrait, you’ll just cut a few more pieces!

2. Speaking of pieces, there were almost 60! But (and this is important!) I try to always cut WITH a mat! Cutting without a mat NEVER goes well for me and I end up wasting more vinyl than I’d be saving. If, however, you do cut without a mat successfully, it will still be 60 pieces, but a lot less runs through your machine!

3. I did draw one vertical line down the center of my wall. From there I just VERY carefully lined everything up. I decided against using registration marks for this one, even though I know I usually tell you to always use them! I just knew I was already eating through a ton of vinyl!

4. Even though I drew that line, my design was still off-center. (Around piece #3 I remember that center line was the center of the large piece of the moon…NOT the center of the actual design!) I added a few bats to the right to balance things out…no one except for me (and now all of you!) will ever know!

So, now for the software details!

The moon and crows is a design from the Silhouette store. You can find it here.

The bats I added at the end are also from the Silhouette store. (The set comes with four designs…I just used one!) You can find them here.

Once I opened the design in my Silhouette software I did have to edit one piece. This is meant to be layered, so the “crescent” part of the moon wasn’t actually included. With a bit of point editing, I got it! Then I just resized the entire thing so that it fit on a 48″ square workspace. (PS…I also always merge an image of the finished design into the cut file for reference!)

After that I created a whole lotta’ 11.5″ squares and used them to create a grid over my moon. (NOTE: I actually did this to all the pieces, but just showing it once should give you the idea!)

Then I very simply just used my knife tool to slice right on those grid marks! When you’re done, delete away those 11.5″ squares. These are the exact “puzzle” piece you’ll put together on your wall! (Now do you see why I used 11.5″ squares rather than 12″? This way I have a little bit of wiggle room when using my knife tool and know that my pieces will definitely fit on my mat!)

I repeated this process for all of my pieces. This design was pretty easy to work with…there are only five colors…so it wasn’t too hard!

(You can see that sometimes the pieces were smaller than 11.5″ square. Especially with the branches, I just tried to find easy places to split them!)

Then I weeded all of them…in front of the TV with a glass of wine!

I also numbered them so that the next day when I went to put them up, I had a good idea of what order to move in.

And then the fun! You can see in the video below how I put up *almost* every piece. (*My video camera was NOT on its best behavior yesterday!) 

And you’ll also see that yes, there were a few pieces that went up, and then came back down! Everyone makes mistakes! But all in all, it was so fun, A LOT easier than I thought it would be, and this is absolutely my new favorite Halloween decoration in my house!

And PS…I know many of you are thinking what happens after Halloween?!?!?! And this year, unfortunately, this is coming down. This one IS NOT reusable. I do, however, have a few ideas for I’m going to make my Christmas decal last for years to come! Stay tuned!

 

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3 Tips for Cutting Fabric With Your Silhouette Cutting System - Nikki In Stitches 3 Tips For Cutting Fabric With Your Silhouette Cutting System


It seems like vinyl and paper really steal the show when it comes to what Silhouette cutting systems can do. So much so that one of the most popular questions people ask me is “Can I really cut fabric with this machine?” The answer is a resounding “YES!!!” and I have a few tricks to help make cutting fabric really quite simple.

Below you’ll find my three best tips for cutting fabric with your Silhouette cutting system, as well as a promo code for a Silhouette Portrait cutting system bundled with all the goodies required to cut fabric…pretty much everything you would need to cut all the pieces for your next applique quilt. Yup! Cutting applique shapes has never been easier…take a peek!

3 TIPS FOR CUTTING FABRIC WITH YOUR SILHOUETTE CUTTING SYSTEM

1. Keep a separate blade!

Yes, you’ve probably seen this before. But yes, I’m going to say it again. It is REALLY important to keep a separate blade just for fabric. Think about scissors around your house. You probably have one pair in your kitchen. You may have one pair set aside for working in your garden. You certainly have multiple pairs in your craft room! And why? Because different scissors serve different purposes. And by keeping them separate, THEY ALL tend to last longer! The same exact thing goes for your Silhouette blades. Keep one for paper. Keep one for fabric. BOTH will last longer!

2. DO NOT use a brand new mat!

As many of know, a brand new mat is VERY sticky. Sometimes it is too sticky depending on what material you are cutting, and fabric would be one of those materials. If you’re fabric sticks too much to your mat it could stretch and/or the edges could fray. Many of you have heard me talk about keeping different mats in different “stages of stickiness” for this exact reason. If I’m going to cut fabric, I pull out a slightly older mat that is less sticky. Save that super sticky mat for a more appropriate material!

3. Keep a small (and I mean VERY small!) pair of scissors close by!

You’ll notice after your machine has cut your fabric that there may be a few threads still connecting your pieces to your fabric. Keep a teeny, tiny pair of scissors close by so that you can just quickly give them a little clip before you pull your piece all the way off of your mat. Clip them one by one as you go. Again, this will lower your chances of stretching your fabric and your pieces will be less likely to fray!

See? Three VERY simple tricks can make a huge difference when cutting fabric with your Silhouette cutting system! If you have any questions about cutting fabric with your cutting system, you know where to find me! Nikki@NikkiInStitches.com

And now for the sale details!

The Silhouette Portrait Bundle includes:

  • Silhouette Portrait machine
  • Sewable Fabric Interfacing
  • Clean cut Fabric Interfacing
  • Fabric Blade
    Sale Price: $149.99
    That’s over $100 in savings!

Ready to start shopping?

Head over to the Silhouette site and get going!

And be sure to use promo code STITCHES to get your discount!

This offer is only good from 9/15/14 to 9/30/14!

And PS…for my paper lovers! I’ve got a little goodie for you, too!

40% off all Adhesive Cardstock!

This sale runs from 9/15/14 to 9/22/14.

The same promo code can be applied: STITCHES.

Just click here to pick some up!

 

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Outdoor Sofa and Drop Cloth Pillow from Nikki In Stitches and Ana White DIY Outdoor Sofa and Drop Cloth Pillow Case Tutorial

Yes, the dog days of summer are sadly coming to an end, but if you’re anything like me, those summer nights are just getting started. My family and I will enjoy dinners outside and nights spent by the (outdoor) fire for as long as we can, so making our new (and much larger!) outdoor living space as comfortable as possible was high on the priority list of projects after the move.

And in all honestly, any project that involves power tools (I actually ask for new tools every year for Christmas. Preferably pink power tools, but I’ll take whatever Santa brings me!) and my husband joining in the fun (his love for DIY is not nearly as strong as mine!) gets quickly moved to the very top of the list!

I can’t take credit for this entire project. I spotted the sofa base on AnaWhite.com here, and instantly fell in love.

Her designs are very on trend and her instructions are usually very easy to follow. In fact, I already have a few more of her projects in mind for other spots around the house, so you’ll be seeing more of them very soon! This project, in particular, is such a great one for those of you just stepping into the world of power tools. Which, by the way, I promise will change your life! (HaHa! Can you tell I love cutting things up and putting the pieces back together? Whether it be fabric or 2×4′s!) My husband and I put two of these together in just a few hours, and that includes taking breaks to feed three children, keep them entertained, and put the baby down for a nap!

The foundation pillows Ana used were a bit out of my price range, so I did find a substitute. They were surprisingly comfortable for being so much less expensive, but they certainly didn’t have the same look. So, I added a few handmade (and painted!) throw pillows, and instantly fell back in love with our outdoor sofas.

The how-to for the pillows is below. All six are made from one piece of drop cloth I purchased at my local home improvement store in the paint section. The cost of that piece of drop cloth? I think $17! Combine that with some craft paint and masking tape I had in my stash, and catching a sale at my craft store on the pillow inserts (they were 40% off!) and I call that a great deal!

Enjoy!

Nikki, In Stitches

Materials:

  • Drop cloth
  • Pillow Inserts
  • Sewing machine and basic sewing supplies
  • Ruler and marker
  • Scissors
  • Paint and paint brushes
  • Masking tape (Or a stencil if you’d like to create a pillow similar to the flower design I used!)

Directions:
1.Determine what size piece of fabric you will need to cut to cover your pillow insert and draw that on your drop cloth. My insert was 16″ square, so I needed my fabric 17.5″ square. That gave me some pretty snug pillow cases, but that’s what I was looking for! You can adjust the size a bit if you’d like. You’ll need two pieces of fabric (one for the front of your pillow and one for the back!) so draw a 17.5″ square on two pieces of drop cloth.

NOTE: You’ll want your stencil or design to extend all the way to the edge of your fabric, so cut your pieces a bit bigger than your desired size. We’ll trim them down later in the project.

2. Cover your 17.5″ square with masking tape.

A few tips here!

  • Rip your pieces of tape longer than 17.5″ so that they extend out of the square on each side.
  • Do not leave any space between the rows of tape.
  • Do not overlap the tape at all.

3. Remove every other piece of tape.

4. Paint your blank spaces and let your fabric dry.

5. Remove the remaining pieces of tape!

6. Now trim down your fabric to exactly 17.5″ square (or whatever your desired size is!) by cutting on your drawn lines.

7. With right sides together, sew *almost* all the way around your pillow. Leave a gap on one side that is about 10″ – 12″ wide. (You can see in my picture, I use the blue pins to help me remember when to stop sewing!)

8. Clip your corners. (This will remove some of the bulk from your pillow case!)

9. Turn your pillow case right side out and press. NOTE: Be sure to fold in any raw edges along the open gap, too! 

10. Insert your pillow form and hand sew the gap in the case closed!

 

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DIY Back to school tumblers from nikki in stitches - vinyl embellished water bottles “Back To School” Silhouette Specialty Media Sale!

It happens every year!

Summer flies by and before we know it the kiddos are headed back to school!

And moms are stuck in the weird place of happy and sad at the same time: Sad to see the days of fun come to an end, but happy to be able to enjoy a cup of coffee, while it’s still hot…without having to warm it in the microwave four times.

I have a fun project to “reshare” today from last summer…the “Back To School” tumblers you see above. Instead of sending you to last year’s post, I just copied the full how-to below. I’ve also updated the tutorial for the V3 version of the software, but the directions are exactly the same if you’re still working in V2.

If you are just starting out with your Silhouette cutting system, these are a great beginner project! Just a note: Last summer I found the tumbler cups on Pick Your Plum, but since then I’ve seen similar water bottles at my local craft store!

I also wanted to share the details of the latest Silhouette sale. I know many of you have reached out recently about wanting to buy a cutting system, and the bundles offered this month are such great places to start. With your machine, you would also get some of my favorite Silhouette products to work with, so you can get creating right away!

The details of the sale and the “Back To School” tumbler cup tutorial are below. If anyone has questions about Silhouette cutting systems, which one may be right for you, etc. please feel free to email me directly (Nikki@NikkiInStitches.com) or just comment below!

Enjoy,

Nikki, In Stitches

1. Silhouette’s “Back To School” Specialty Media Sale

As you can see, with each bundle you get A TON of goodies to start playing with right away!

In the Portrait Bundle you get:

  • Silhouette Portrait
  • 1 pack of Chipboard
  • 1 pack of Printable Silver Foil
  • 1 pack of Printable Gold Foil
  • 1 pack of Printable White Sticker Paper
  • 1 pack of Printable Clear Sticker Paper
  • 1 pack of Printable Cotton Canvas
  • 1 pack of Adhesive Washi Sheets
  • 1 pack of Basic Sketch Pens
    MSRP: $260.91 
    SALE PRICE: $149.99

In the CAMEO Bundle you get:

  • Silhouette CAMEO
  • 1 pack of Chipboard
  • 1 pack of Printable Silver Foil
  • 1 pack of Printable Gold Foil
  • 1 pack of Printable White Sticker Paper
  • 1 pack of Printable Clear Sticker Paper
  • 1 pack of Printable Cotton Canvas
  • 1 pack of Adhesive Washi Sheets
  • 1 pack of  Basic Sketch Pens
    MSRP: $380.91
    SALE PRICE: $269.99

Ready to start shopping?

Head over to the Silhouette site and get going!

And be sure to use promo code STITCHES to get your discount!

This offer is only good from 8/13/14 to 8/31/14!

2. “Back To School” Tumbler Cup Tutorial

Your little one is going to LOVE finding this in their lunch box the first day of school!

First, measure the circumference of your tumbler. For me, it was about 8 1/2″…that’s with a little bit of overlap. We’ll work off of that number for this post, but you can adjust it to fit your tumbler or water bottle accordingly.

Note: The part of my tumblers that I am adhering the vinyl to is straight up and down. This how-to will not work if your cups or tumblers are slanted, i.e. larger at the top than at the bottom. You would need to curve your text, and that’s something we’ll save for another post! However, if you can’t find tumblers like these, don’t stress! This same design would look adorable on a thermos (often straight up and down like these tumblers!) or even a lunch box or plastic pencil case!

In your Silhouette software, click on the “Draw A Line” button and draw three horizontal lines, each your desired length. (Again, for me, it’s 8 1/2″.)

Now click on the “Open The Line Style Window” at the top right of your software.

Be sure your top line is selected. Keep your line solid, but adjust the line thickness to 3.8. You’ll also want to be sure that you’ve selected “Corner” for your “Corner Style” and “Flat” for your “End Cap Style.” Take a look at the screenshot below to see exactly how I have my line adjusted. Make these same adjustments to your bottom line as well!

Now select your center line. You will adjust this line the exact same way, except you’d like this one to be dashed. I used the fourth option down in the “Line Style” options box.

Click the “Open The Cut Settings” button from the top right of your Silhouette software. In the right sidebar, be sure “Standard Cut Mode” is selected.One at a time, select each of your lines, and then select “Cut Edge” from the “Cut Style” options.

Now we’ve got our lines…let’s add some text!

I used a free font I found called Learning Curve. Using that font, or any other you’d like, type the name you’re going to put on your tumbler.

As you can see, this font is a little on the thin side, which is fine, but just not for cutting vinyl. So I fattened it up a bit using the “Offset” feature of the Silhouette software.

To do so, be sure your name is selected. Then go to the top right of your screen and click then “Open the Offset Window” button.

With a little bit of playing around, I found that if I adjust the offset distance to .02 (yes, I know that’s tiny!) it gave me almost an exact replica of the name, just thicker!

Delete out the original text, so you are just left with “thickened” name, and enlarge it to your desired size. For me, I wanted my finished name to be about 1 1/2″ high.

Click and drag each of your horizontal lines to adjust the distance between them to fit your text!

From here it’s just a matter of cutting and transferring your vinyl. Cut your lines first from white (or whatever color you’d like) and use transfer paper to adhere them to your tumbler. Then cut your name (again, from whatever color you’d like…in my case, black) and transfer it to your tumbler! Super easy!

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Nikki In Stitches - McGonigal Home from Jen T Designs Welcome Home

Hey, Stranger.

It’s been while. Too long, to say the least.

This summer has kicked my behind.

From packing the entire house and family up for a move, to unpacking the entire house and family in our new home, to two of our three kids being down for the count for a short time after some medical issues, and finally to planning a first birthday party for our not-so-little-anymore little one, the past three months have been grueling. It’s one of those times when you feel behind on everything…being a mom, being a wife, working, crafting, getting out of your pajamas, taking a shower…pretty much life in general.

They say it takes a village to raise a family, and my husband and I have pretty much proven that it took a small army to keep this household running. Our thanks and gratitude go out to everyone that offered to help, took one or more of our children for a short time so we could try to catch up, and/or brought us over a much needed housewarming bottle of wine.

The McGonigal house is slowly but surely becoming a handmade home, and I’m excited to invite all of you inside to see its transformation. Over the next few months I’ll be sharing all of the DIY projects and tutorials that I’ve used to put our personal touch on our little corner of the earth. Some are my own ideas. Some are Pinterest finds that I fell in love with at first sight. And some are treasures like the watercolor painting you see above…a special gift from my dear friend Jen (Jen should look VERY familiar to all of you. Not only is she the talent behind Jen T by Design, but she was also my partner on Craft Wars. We started off by randomly sharing a cab three years ago in New York City, and now travel around the country with our husbands…and sometimes children…in tow to see each other as often as is possible being that we are a five hour drive apart.) With the secret help of a few family members, Jen commissioned this piece from Kori Clark and I instantly fell in love with it. Somehow through a series of snapshots taken from a moving car, Jen and Kori were able to perfectly capture the charm of our new home.

So welcome back to Nikki, In Stitches.

Or should I say welcome home?

How about this…

Welcome to my new home…it’s good to be back!

Nikki, In Stitches

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silhouette portrait may giveaway Good News And Even Better News: I’m Giving Away A Silhouette Portrait!

The Good News:

The Silhouette specialty media promo is still going strong AND many of you have emailed asking if it’s ok to ask questions.

OF COURSE!

Ask away! I’ll tell you my favorite must-have’s. I’ll give you a few tips for working with each. I’ll direct you to projects here on the site that use the product you’re considering. You ask it, I’ll answer it! Nikki@NikkiInStitches.com

And remember, use the code STITCHES here to get your 25% discount!

The Better News:

I have a Silhouette Portrait to giveaway! Woo Hoo!

I’m also adding in my Intro To Your CAMEO Class (which works for Portrait users as well!) and one month free inside the Crafting With Your Silhouette program in The Nikki,  In Stitches Craft Academy.

Entry is super easy. Scroll down to the Rafflecopter box below. (If you don’t see the Rafflecopter box below because you are reading this in your email inbox, just click here to be taken right to the Nikki, In Stitches site!)

GOOD LUCK!

Nikki, In Stitches

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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More than just a painted pot! - Silhouette Specialy Media Promo More Than Just A Painted Pot! {Paint, Sand, And Stick!}

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it here yet, but this party of five and one energy filled yellow lab is moving. You know…it’s one of those “we’re only moving to the other side of town” kind of moves, which is code for “just far enough to need to rent a truck and be a serious move” kind of things. So, the projects and posts over the next few weeks will be short and sweet. Once we get to the new house and settle in, I have LOTS of great home decor projects and DIY’s planned, but obviously those will have to wait until we are actually IN the house!

So, keeping with the short and sweet…

Today’s post is this month’s Silhouette post. They have goodies (i.e. specialty media) (i.e. many of your favorite goodies like double sided adhesive, sticker papers, foil papers, chipboard, vellum, and washi sheets!) and machines on sale, and all the details are below. I also have a super quick tutorial for both painting and aging a regular old clay pot with chalk paints, and one for using Silhouette’s clear sticker paper to add a little something extra to it. Scroll down to take a peek!

Enjoy,

Nikki, In Stitches

1. Specialty Media Sale Details

  • All Specialty Media Products are 25% off (Again, these are some of your favorites like double sided adhesive, stencil material, washi sheets, temporary tattoo paper, printable sticker papers and foil papers, kraft paper and chipboard…you get the idea!) Just click here to start shopping and use promo code STITCHES to get your discount!
  • CAMEO Bundle
    Silhouette CAMEO
    1 Printable Cotton Canvas
    1 Vellum
    1 Adhesive Washi Sheets
    1 Printable Adhesive Kraft Paper
    1 Stencil Material
    MSRP: $340.94
    Sale Price: $269.99
  • Portrait Bundle
    Silhouette Portrait
    1 Printable Cotton Canvas
    1 Vellum
    1 Adhesive Washi Sheets
    1 Printable Adhesive Kraft Paper
    1 Stencil Material
    MSRP: $220.94
    Sale Price: $139.99

As always, just use promo code STITCHES to get your discount. To get more information on the cutting system bundles just click here.

This sale runs from 5/21/14 through 5/31/14.

2. How To More Than Just Paint A Pot

Below you’ll find two super simple tutorials, again one for just painting and aging the pot using chalk paints, and one for creating the sticker to embellish it. And the clear sticker paper I used to create it (which falls into the category of specialty media items on sale right now!) makes things so much easier. Let your project behind the sticker do a lot of the work for you!

Basic steps to painting and aging your pot:

First let me just start by saying the supplies here are super simple: a pot, two colors of paint and a paintbrush, sand paper. I use Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, but you certainly do not need to. Any chalk paint will do.

1. Paint your base color first and let it dry.

2. Then paint your top color and let it dry. (You can see my paint can here is very well loved! I use this color for everything!)

3. Sand away! (Sand as much or as little as you’d like to “age” your pot!)

See what I mean? Couldn’t be easier, right? And many of you may want to leave your pot just like this! (NOTE: This simple process of painting a base color, painting a top color, and sanding away is one of my “go-to” methods of painting furniture as well…but we’ll get more into that again when I’m actually in the new house!)

How to add the sticker:

I used a bee design from the Silhouette store that you can find here, but you can use anything you’d like. (A monogram would work really well!) I adjusted the color to match the paints I used on my pot.

1. Open your design in your Silhouette software and size it appropriately to fit on your pot. You can see I’ve also prepped this to be a Print & Cut project so my registration marks are visible.

2. This design came with cut lines around every piece which for this project isn’t necessary. Instead we’ll create an offset and cut that. In the Offset window, adjust your offset distance to 0.03 and click apply.

3. Open the Line Color window and adjust your offset lines to be black.

4. In the Cut Setting window deselect the red cut lines. We do not want to cut these! Adjust the media type for the black lines to be Clear Sticker Paper.

5. Now complete the typical Print & Cut process. Apply your sticker to your pot. And then, if you’d like, actually sand your sticker some, too, to match the aging of your pot!

Again, so simple and a great way to add that perfect little something extra to your more than just painted pot!

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Blue-Goose-Boutique-opening-celebration-facebook-social-media-graphic Lauren McKinsey’s Blue Goose Boutique Grand Opening Giveaway!

I am so excited to share not only a fun giveaway with you today, but also the work of a very talented friend!

Many Craft Academy students know Lauren McKinsey’s designs because she so graciously gives them to us to use in our “Crafting With Your Silhouette” lessons, and I’ve raved about her talents on Facebook on more than one occasion. So when she asked if I’d share the launch of her newest line of products, I jumped at the chance to share all of them with you!

Blue Goose Boutique, Lauren McKinsey’s newest shop, is open for business!

This means that you will now start to see her cute designs offered in her printable shop appearing on things such a notepads! Currently, you will find seven notepad designs in her boutique. And she is CELEBRATING the grand opening of the shop with a wonderful giveaway!

The GRAND PRIZE winner will receive: {total value of $194}

  • $50 gift certificate to Blue Goose Boutique
  • One year CUTE CLUB membership to Lauren McKinsey {value $89}
  • Hand painted {signed and numbered} blue goose magnet {value $15}
  • Mongramed tumber from She’s Kinda Crafty {value $15}
  • $25 gift certificate to Paper + Pop {a printing & cutting service for printables}

The SECOND place winner will receive: {total value of $65}

  • $25 gift certificate to Blue Goose Boutique
  • One month CUTE CLUB membership to Lauren McKinsey {value $12.99}
  • Hand painted {signed and numbered} blue goose magnet {value $15}
  • One set of 3 monogram decals from She’s Kinda Crafty {value $12}

The THRID place winner will receive: {total value of $43}

  • Choice of 1 notepad set from Blue Goose Boutique {value $18}
  • Hand painted {signed and numbered} blue goose magnet {value $15}
  • Sheet of 20 monogram return address stickers from She’s Kinda Crafty {value $10}

Lauren’s notepads make the perfect gifts for:

  • teachers
  • moms AND dads
  • birthday gifts
  • graduations
  • holidays
  • and just FOR YOU!
Just a little note here: Lauren’s CUTE CLUB Membership gets you ALL (YES! Every. Single. One!) of her printables for the entire year. If you are a Silhouette owner, these make some of THE BEST designs to use in your projects! This is one of my favorite parts of the giveaway!

Entry to the giveaway is super easy. Just scroll down to the Rafflecopter box at the very bottom of this post. (NOTE: If you are reading this post through your inbox and can’t see the entry form, just click here to be taken right to the Nikki, In Stitches site to enter!)

And take a peek along the way at just a few of her adorable designs!

Good luck!

Nikki, In Stitches 

PS…Lauren also has a promo code for all of you to use if you’d like to get shopping right away. Not only is it good on her newly launched notepads, but also on her CUTE CLUB membership! Just use GiveAway-10 at checkout to save 1o%!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Nikki In Stitches 3 Tips for Applying HTV Heat Transfer Vinyl 3 Tips For Applying Heat Transfer Vinyl

Either I was a very good girl last year or Santa keeps a close eye on me here and on Facebook because I got spoiled with a heat press at Christmas. It took me a bit to break it in, work out the kinks, and feel confident cranking out custom t-shirts…hence this post coming four months AFTER Christmas! But still, I thought I’d pass along my top three tips for working with HTV.

(These can be used when applying HTV with an iron, too…not just a heat press. But I can tell you this: I used to be someone that swore I could do anything with my iron that you could do with your heat press. And yes, I could. But I now realize it’s about ten times easier and ten times faster with a press! If you ever have the opportunity to use one, or better yet buy one, I think you, too, will quickly come to that same conclusion!)

It also is perfect timing that Silhouette’s featured product this month is HTV. If you’re looking to stock up, scroll down to the bottom of this post for sale details! Also, if you’re interested in purchasing either a CAMEO or Portrait, those are on sale, too!

PS…I whipped up this cute little onesie so you could see some of the tips below in action. The adorable little pirate octopus can be found in the Silhouette store here!

Enjoy,

Nikki, In Stitches

1. Picture In Picture!

(I use this trick all the time…not just for HTV designs!) Before I set to work on a file, editing it, filling it, layering it, etc., I take a screen shot of the finished design, crop it if necessary, and open it right up INSIDE THE FILE in my Silhouette Studio software. I save the file right then and there, and now every time I open it, I not only have all the design pieces, but I have a picture handy to use for placement, color, etc.

2. Light It Up!

The number one complaint I here about HTV is that the cut lines are so hard to see, which means weeding can be difficult. And if you’re anything like me…blind as a bat…it’s even more frustrating! Lucky for us there is an easy fix! Place your cut HTV on a light box and then weed it! Your cut lines will be so much easier to see! Don’t have a light box? No worries! Grab a flashlight and a Pyrex pan from your kitchen and you’ve got yourself a homemade light box that will work just as well!

3. Stick To The Edges!

The number two complaint I hear? “UGH! This HTV has so much static…it’s stuck to my fingertips, my hands, my arms. It’s everywhere!” Again, this is an easy fix! The first thing to weed away is the very outside of your design. This will leave a border of the plastic backing (which is very sticky!) behind. As you weed the rest of your design, press those annoying pieces of HTV that are sticking to you right to it! When you’re finished weeding, trim off some of the border, cutting away all those sticky bits with it!

Want to give HTV a try? Need to stock up?

Here are the Silhouette sale details I mentioned before!

All Heat Transfer materials are 30% off!

Just click here to head over to the Silhouette site and use promo code STITCHES to get your discount!

If you’re looking for a complete cutting system, you can get one on sale, too, bundled with HTV supplies!

CAMEO Bundle includes:

1 Silhouette CAMEO
1 Heat Transfer Starter Kit
1 Printable Heat Transfer Material for Dark Fabrics
1 Printable Heat Transfer Material for Light Fabrics
$269.99 (MSRP: $364.96)

Portrait Bundle includes:

1 Silhouette Portrait
1 Heat Transfer Starter Kit
1 Printable Heat Transfer Material for Dark Fabrics
1 Printable Heat Transfer Material for Light Fabrics
$139.99 (MSRP: $244.96)

Again, just click here to go right to the Silhouette site and use promo code STITCHES.

The sale runs from April 21st to April 30th…while supplies last!

Happy Shopping!

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100 Days Smarter Homemade Tattoos from Nikki In Stitches and Silhouette Homemade Temporary Tattoos For Your Little Ones {And A Silhouette Portrait™ Giveaway!}


These little “100th Day Of School” tattoos were a big hit when I posted them on Instagram and Facebook a few weeks ago, so when Silhouette said their specialty media products were being featured this month, I was so excited to share a few tricks for making them. They really are simple, and a HUGE hit with the kiddos!

Below you’ll find my tips for using Silhouette’s temporary tattoo paper, PLUS details on the specialty media sale. (As always, if you don’t have a machine, you can find one bundled with lots of goodies below! And if you do have a machine, you can just stock up on your favorite goodies! If you just can’t wait to start shopping, click here, and use promo code STITCHES to get your 30% off discount!)

AND I’m giving away a Silhouette Portrait! YAY!!

Scroll down for all the details!

Enjoy,

Nikki, In Stitches

1. Tattoo Tips and Tricks

The temporary tattoo paper comes with really good instructions, but there are still a few insider tips I can share. This is technically a print & cut project, so I’m sharing a few tricks for that, too!

1. Don’t forget to mirror your image! I like to create my tattoo completely, group it together, and then mirror the entire thing. From there, replicate it as much as you need to in order to fill the page!

2. Get creative with the designs you use! I found the apple for these tattoos here in the Silhouette shop. It comes with a few other “school” themed designs that I may or may not use, but the apple was so perfect, that’s ok! And that’s a big tip I give people when they ask how I select what designs to buy from the Silhouette store. I don’t just look at the entire thing. I look at the individual pieces, too! For example at the holidays, I picked up a few pretty intricate designs, just because I liked the snowflake that was part of it. Once you get comfortable inside the Silhouette software, it gets much easier to take bits and pieces of multiple designs and put them together to create a project of your own!

3. Adjust your registration mark settings! As with ALL print & cut projects, I always make the same adjustments to my page set up. In the “Registration Marks” window, I always increase my margins to 1″ all the way around. And I always increase the registration mark size and thickness to their max. It just makes it so much easier for your machine to detect them! The picture below highlights those changes for you!

4. Turn all the lights on in your craft room! I know this may sound silly, but it really does help your machine find those registration marks!

5. Check and double check your cut lines! As you create your tattoo (or any print & cut design!) almost everything comes with cut lines, and you ONLY want to cut the perimeter of your tattoo. Before you click cut, BE SURE to select all of the “inside” if your tattoo and select “No Cut” from the “Cut Style” window. The only thing that should be cut is the very perimeter of your tattoo! Again, I have a picture below that will help you see exactly what I mean!

2. Sale Details!

  • All specialty media products are 30% off! That includes your favorites like double-sided adhesive, magnet paper, printable foil, and printable sticker paper…just to name a few! Hurry! This sale is while supplies last! Click here to start shopping and use promo code STITCHES to get your discount!
  • The CAMEO bundle:

1 Silhouette CAMEO® plus the following print & cut related items:

  • 1 package of temporary tattoo paper
  •  1 package of printable adhesive kraft paper
  • 1 package of printable adhesive gold foil
  • 1 package of printable adhesive silver foil
  • 1 package of printable white sticker paper
  • 1 package of printable clear sticker paper
  • 1 package of printable adhesive cotton canvas for $269.99 (MSRP $357.92)
  • The Portrait bundle:

1 Silhouette Portrait™ plus the following print & cut related items:

  • 1 package of temporary tattoo paper
  •  1 package of printable adhesive kraft paper
  • 1 package of printable adhesive gold foil
  • 1 package of printable adhesive silver foil
  • 1 package of printable white sticker paper
  • 1 package of printable clear sticker paper
  • 1 package of printable adhesive cotton canvas for $129.99 ($237.92 MSRP)
If you’re interested in one of the bundles, click here to head over to the Silhouette site and get shopping!

And be sure to use promo code STITCHES to get your discount!

(This offer is only good from 3/20/14 to 3/31/14!)

PS…Did you notice all the goodies that come bundled with the machines? I’m so excited for those of you just jumping into crafting with a CAMEO or Portrait!

PPS…If you’d like a peek at some of these products in action, Silhouette has a cute little video demonstrating each of them here!

3. The GIVEAWAY!!

As always, I’m keeping things simple! There’s a Rafflecopter entry form below with a few different ways to enter. You can enter as many ways as you’d like! (If you’re reading this in your email inbox and can’t see the Rafflecopter entry form, click here to be taken right to the Nikki, In Stitches site!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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