I don’t know about you, but I grew up with one of those names that never appeared on anything personalized—pencils, necklaces, mini bike license plates (oh, how I longed for one of those when I was 8 years old!) or anything—so one of the cool things about having a machine that cuts vinyl is that I can now personalize my things.
When the idea for these personalized coffee mugs came through on my Pinterest feed, I just HAD to make one for myself and a few of my coffee addict friends. And for that one tea drinker in the bunch, I modified the design to create a NOT COFFEE version. See below to download the free cut file, then how to personalize it, cut it, and weed it without losing the itty bitty mermaid bits…
Silhouette .studio3 Personalized Cup cut file HERE.
Silhouette Legacy v.2 Personalized Cup cut file HERE.
Personal use only.
This file was designed with the authentic Starbucks font, which is Gibson. To personalize the labels above, you must have the Gibson font installed on your computer. If you don’t have it, your computer will substitute another font instead and it won’t match COFFEE. You can download the Gibson font here if you need it.
For Cricut users: I’m sorry, but I cannot supply this file in an SVG format to use on a Cricut. If it were a typical image file, I could convert it to an svg format your Cricut could use, but unfortunately this file contains elements that are part of specific tool functions in Silhouette Studio so it wouldn’t translate well into any other format. Sorry. What you can do is download the Silhouette Studio software for free, open my Silhouette files, personalize as you want, save as a .studio3 file, and then use an online file converter to convert the .studio3 file into an SVG.
The free download file now contains options for TEA, MOCHA, LATTE, and STEAMER as well as COFFEE and NOT COFFEE.
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What you need…
- Black permanent adhesive vinyl
- Dark green permanent adhesive vinyl
- Stainless steel travel mug or this one or this one
- Isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol)
- Facial tissue – one
- Transfer tape
- Silhouette cutting machine – My Cameo is powered by Silhouette Studio Designer Edition version 3.3.451
Personalizing the design…
STEP ONE: Open the file in Silhouette Studio. Select either the outer ring you want to use (COFFEE, NOT COFFEE, TEA, MOCHA, or LATTE) and drag it onto the cutting mat.
STEP TWO: Double-click on one of the rows of letters to bring up the green text box around it. If the name you want on the cup is short, choose AAA; if your name is long, choose the smaller sized font row BBB. The smaller letters also match NOT COFFEE, so if you’re making the NOT COFFEE version, you may want to choose BBB even if you have a short name. (Note: I mixed up the font sizes in the photos. CHRIS’S should be larger font and REACE’S should be smaller font to match COFFEE and NOT COFFEE respectively…heh, it happens to all of us, dontchaknow)
STEP THREE: Highlight all of the letters from the left up to but not including the apostrophe. Type in the name you want in uppercase letters.STEP FOUR: While the text box is still green, click on the circle with the plus sign symbol (A) and holding down the mouse, drag the box above the red circle and then down until thesymbol touches the circle and the letters snap onto the circle. The circle will automatically change from red to grey and from ‘cut’ to ‘no cut’.
As long as the green box is visible, the text is editable, so now’s the time to adjust the character spacing (B), if you want it a little tighter or looser. As you can see, I changed my character spacing to 96 to smunch the letters a little closer together.
If you’re happy with the spacing, make sure the name is selected, either a bright green box as above or a grey one, right-click then select ‘Convert to Path’. This will separate the name from the circle. Go on to STEP SIX.
Check out the big space between the O and N and between the A and apostrophe, the little space between the N and A, and a medium amount of space between the F, I, and O. If you’re okay with that—some people are…no judgement here—make sure the name is selected, either a bright green box as above or a grey one, right-click then select ‘Convert to Path’. This will separate the name from the circle. Go on to STEP SIX.
Personally, the uneven spacing drives me nuts. I want consistent distance between letters―something close to the spacing between the N and A above―so I’m going to fix FIONA’S. Click HERE for instructions on how to fix uneven character spacing. If you’ve already converted the name to path (as in the beginning of STEP FIVE), then click ‘Undo’ in the top toolbar to reverse that command before following the link. When you’ve fixed the uneven letter spacing come on back and continue with STEP SIX.
STEP SIX: Once you’ve got the name looking the way you want it and have separated it from the ring (see STEP FIVE), drag the nameover top of the COFFEE outer ring (or whatever ring you chose) and center it floating in the upper ring area.STEP SEVEN: Hold the shift key down while you select the name and the outer ring. Release the shift key. Right-click then select ‘Make Compound Path’. The outer ring will turn red.
STEP EIGHT: Resize the rings to the size you’d like (I resized to 3″) To do that, click on the ‘Open the Scale Window’ icon (C), uncheck the ‘Lock Aspect’ box (D), and change the numbers in the Width window (E) and Height window (F) to 3.000 or whatever size you want. Then click ‘Apply’ (G).
You can find the mermaid on Wikipedia.
If you have the Silhouette Studio Designer Edition software
Click on the image and download the SVG file by clicking on the download symbol on the right near the bottom (that’s the bar with a downward arrow on top) and following the prompts. Merge (or copy & paste) it into the file with the rings. Drag it into the rings and resize it (drag the corner of the image) so it fits nicely inside the rings. Then turn on the cut lines by selecting the mermaid, clicking on the ‘Cut Settings’ icon in the upper right corner of the screen, and then in the ‘Cut Style’ section, select ‘Cut’.
If you have the Silhouette Studio Basic Edition software
Click on the “More Details” box in the lower right corner. This will take you to another image page. Right-click on the mermaid image and select ‘Save Image as’ to save the image as a .png file. Open this file in the rings window by using the ‘File’ dropdown menu in the upper left corner…select ‘Merge’ and then navigate to where the mermaid downloaded, and click to open. You’ll need to create cut lines by tracing. Here is a super-easy tracing method that will work well. Drag your tracing into the rings and resize it (drag the corner of the image) so it fits nicely inside the rings.
Cut the design in permanent vinyl (I used Oracal 651). Traditionally, the outer ring is green and the mermaid center is black, which is what I like to do. Of course, one of the beauties of personalizing is that you can choose whatever combo your heart desires, so go wild if the fancy strikes.
Now, have you ever had the cutting blade pull up the same bits of a design on every cut? Your blade and mat are relatively new and you’ve tried all the usual things—checked cut settings, and reduced speed & thickness—but the same pieces, usually tiny ones, keep getting dislodged in the cutting process? Next time this happens, try rotating the design 90º (select the image, click on the ‘Open the Rotate Window’ icon in the upper toolbar, and select ’90º CW). This will change how the blade interacts with the vinyl, and often that’s enough to keep the tiny pieces where they belong. Do this with the mermaid…it makes a world of difference.
In the Cut Settings window in the upper right tool bar, I used: Cut Mode: Standard, Cut Style: Cut, Material Type: Vinyl, Blade: 2, Speed 3 (I get into less trouble when I slow things down), Thickness: 4, (a lower number means less likelihood of the blade pulling up tiny vinyl bits) and Double Cut box checked.
The green outer ring is easy to weed using a hook tool or dental pick to remove the excess pieces of vinyl from around the design. The black mermaid, on the other hand, is almost impossible to weed the usual way without losing the nose and mouth. They’re so small they tend to move around and may even come off the backing altogether. Here’s how to get around that:
Weed the black mermaid except for her face (remove the background vinyl plus (H),(K),(M),(N)). Apply transfer tape to what’s left and peel off the white backing.In the above image, I’ve applied the transfer tape, but haven’t removed the backing yet. Place the mermaid on the Silhouette mat, transfer tape down, sticky vinyl up. Hold the transfer tape with one hand and, starting at the chin, use the hook tool to gently weed the main section of the face. It comes out in one piece, leaving the mouth, nose, and eyes behind. Now to weed the eyes. And oh, are they super tiny—see the speck on the end of the pin below?—too small for the hook tool or dental pick. In fact, I used a pin to pluck out the tiny eye bits. In the image below, the first eye is waiting to be weeded (P), and the second eye has already been weeded (Q).
Applying the vinyl…
Vinyl will stick better if you remove grease, fingerprints, and dirt from the surface before applying the vinyl, so, using a few drops of rubbing alcohol (isopropyl) and a facial tissue, clean where the design will go on the travel cup. Allow to dry. Apply the vinyl as usual, burnishing (rubbing) it really well with a squeegee before removing the transfer tape. I like to apply the mermaid first, and then the outer ring over top.
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Ever felt like throwing your Silhouette out the window? (…or maybe I’m the only one who was that frustrated in Week One! LOL) Well, don’t. Once you figure out how the software works and how to handle different materials in the machine, you and your Silhouette will become great friends for a long, long time.
The Ultimate Silhouette Guide will help you replace your frustration with confidence. This guide clearly explains the Silhouette Studio design features and how to use them, and goes over all the cut settings to get you up and running and figure it all out quickly. It’s like having a mountain guide on that steep hike up the learning curve. Click on the book image for more information.