I’m excited today because not only is this a Silhouette baby project—something I’ve never done before—but it’s part of a virtual baby shower blog hop in honor of the amazing Lauren, fellow blogger at The Thinking Closet. Lauren’s expecting her first bundle of joy in a few months (it’s a girl!), so a bunch of us bloggers got together to throw her a virtual baby shower today. At the end of this post, you’ll find links to projects for baby shower food, baby shower decor, baby shower games, and baby shower gifts. Yup, it’s all about the baby shower. Congratulations, Lauren!
Because Lauren lives near the water and has decorated parts of her home in a nautical theme, I thought it might be fun to contribute some ocean decor to baby’s room with this framed saying:
We love you more than all the starfish in the sea.
After playing with fonts and sizes for the saying, I superimposed a starfish on a pinkish digital paper for the background, and created a stencil to etch starfish on the picture frame glass to give a cool 3D effect.
If you’d like to make one, I’ve got the background and Silhouette cut files for the saying and etching stencil in a free download below.
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What you need…
Don’t be daunted by how long this list is. The framed saying has a few parts (the mat, background, saying, and etched glass), but they’re not complicated—all made with common materials and tools. You might have all of these items in your craft supplies already.
- Frame — I used an Ikea Virserum frame about 10¼”x 12¼” with a mat opening of 4¾”x 6¾”
- Cardstock — White on which to print the background, and navy blue for the saying. I used Michaels Recollections brand 65lb cardstock.
- Drywall mesh — to transfer the cardstock saying
- Glue — to attach the cardstock saying to the background. I used a Zip 2-Way Glue Pen.
- Acrylic craft paint & paint brush — if you wish to paint the mat a new color
- Vinyl etching stencil material — I used temporary wall vinyl (Oracal 631 equivalent), but permanent adhesive vinyl (651) will work well, too.
- Transfer tape — to transfer the vinyl stencil to the glass
- Squeegee — (aka scraper) to adhere the transfer tape & vinyl.
- Blue painters tape
- Regular masking tape
- Rubbing alcohol (isopropyl)
- 3-4 Facial tissues
- Armour Etch etching cream & 1″ foam craft brush
- Newspaper or other paper — to protect the work surface from etching cream
- Rubber Gloves
- Small spatula — Mine happens to be Cricut brand, but Silhouette makes one, too.
- Small craft knife – an old paring knife works well
- Stainless steel or plastic sink with running water – not porcelain!
- Silhouette cutting machine – My Cameo is powered by Silhouette Studio Designer Edition version 3.3.638
- Computer printer
- Free background and cut files (download above)
I started with a white Ikea “Virserum” frame like this:
It measures about 10¼”x 12¼” with a mat opening of about 4¾”x 6¾”. Feel free to go larger (remember to resize everything accordingly), but I wouldn’t go much smaller than that mat opening. Smaller is harder to work with and it won’t take much reduction before the lettering becomes too small to cut properly.
Painting the mat…
…if you wish. I decided to go pink. If, like me, you’re generally not a “pink person” and you find you don’t have pink paint in your collection, a little ‘Santa Red’ in white paint makes a lovely pink.
And paint strokes. I don’t like ’em on my painted mats. So, while the paint was still wet, I dabbed all over with a small wall paint brush to get a kind of stippled effect that I like much better.
Print the background onto white cardstock and cut off the white border.Position the background where you want it in the mat, and tape it in place with blue painters tape in a few places. This is temporary…we’ll tape it more thoroughly later.
The fonts are all commercial use freebies:
Gab (expired freebie), Karmina Bold, and Sophia. I downloaded free SVG files for the starfish from openclipart.org:
Starfish 1, Starfish 2, and Starfish 3. The first two were ready to go, but Starfish 3 had a bunch of extra lines, so I traced it using this tracing method but choosing ‘Trace Outer Edge’ instead of ‘Trace’. For the others, I used public domain photos as models and drew my own outlines with the ‘Draw a Curve Shape’ tool in the left toolbar of Silhouette Studio.
Cut the saying from navy blue cardstock and weed it, leaving the saying stuck to the mat. If you’re using the right cut settings, you’ll get a good clean cut. The non-design pieces (the ones you weed out) should pull away easily without any snags. My cardstock sweet spot settings are:
Material: Cardstock (plain), Blade: 3, Speed: 3, Thickness: 12, Double cut checked, Line Segment Overcut: On (0.1mm for Start and End)
Machines vary a little, and cardstock settings will range depending on the brand, but if you don’t already have cardstock settings that work, the above is a good starting point. Use the test cut feature and adjust accordingly. If your non-design pieces are still attached in spots, increase the thickness. If the blade is cutting through but is pulling up the cardstock in the corners and ruining the design, decrease the thickness.
Regular transfer tape is too sticky for cardstock and will more than likely damage it, but there’s no way I was going to glue all those letters one at a time. Just no. Instead, I used drywall mesh tape to transfer everything at once to the background. Drywall tape has a super-low tack to it—enough to stick to the cardstock and transfer it, and yet remove easily without ripping. It’s also reusable.
Because the mesh is much narrower than the cardstock design, it takes three strips of mesh to cover all the cardstock bits. Apply the strips one at a time to the cardstock on the mat, slightly overlapping each one with the strip next to it.
To keep the drywall mesh from separating when removing the mat, cover the mesh strips with a layer of transfer tape and burnish (rub) it well with a squeegee. You want the transfer tape to stick well to the mesh, and the mesh to stick well to the cardstock.
So now, from top to bottom, you have four layers: transfer tape, yellow drywall mesh, blue cardstock lettering, and the Silhouette mat.
Turn the mat over (so it’s facing up and the transfer tape is next to the work surface) and slowly curl the mat back on itself to peel the letters off the mat and onto the mesh tape. A tight curl works best. I used a tiny craft spatula to separate any stubborn letters from the mat and tamp them down on the mesh. Go slowly…some of the letters are pretty small. If you start with one of the corners near the first piece of mesh, the other strips will be held in place by the strip before and stay stuck to the transfer tape.
Apply glue to the cardstock. Look for a quick drying paper glue that doesn’t wrinkle the paper. My fave is the Zig 2-Way Glue Pen. Apply a row of dots along the skinny bits, with a few swirls on the thicker parts. I find that`s enough for the cardstock to stick well, but not so much that glue seeps out from under the letters when applied.
Burnish it well, and wait as long as you need to for your adhesive to dry. For my Zig pen glue, that’s only a few seconds. Then, starting in a corner, carefully peel back the transfer tape & mesh, leaving the cardstock lettering stuck to the background.
The glass etching…
STEP ONE: Remove the glass from the frame. Set the frame aside. Clean the glass with a few drops of rubbing alcohol (isopropyl) and facial tissue to remove grease & fingerprints.
STEP TWO: If your glass is smaller than 8″x 10″, ungroup the stencil (select it, right-click then select ‘Ungroup’) and reduce the rectangle until it’s slightly smaller than your glass. The exact amount isn’t important (I go for somewhere between 1/8″ to 1/4″ on all sides). This will leave a thin strip of glass around the stencil, making it really easy to center it on the glass—when the glass strips are the same width on all sides, it’s centered. And because the strips are narrow, it’s obvious when they aren’t equal, so eyeballing works beautifully; no measuring needed.
If you do adjust the rectangle size, remember to re-center the saying inside by selecting them both, clicking on the ‘Open the Align Window’ icon (upper toolbar, right side), and selecting ‘Center’.
STEP THREE: Mirror the stencil design (select it, right-click then select ‘Flip Horizontally’). The design is etched on the *back* of the picture frame glass, which means you’ll be seeing the reverse image through the glass. If you don’t mirror, the etched starfish will end up overlapping the saying instead of the blank corners.
STEP FOUR: Cut the starfish etching stencil from vinyl. For my temporary wall vinyl, I used these cut settings: Material: Vinyl (Silhouette Brand), Blade: 1, Speed: 3, Thickness: 10. Because there were no pointy corners, I left the Line Segment Overcut turned off.
STEP FIVE: Weed the strips on the outside of the rectangle, but not the starfish quite yet. Some of those starfish pieces are teeny tiny, and stand a good chance of going AWOL if you try to apply transfer tape to the weeded design. Instead, apply transfer tape to the unweeded stencil, burnish well, and leave the starfish weeding until the stencil is applied to the glass. That way, the parts you would normally weed out will keep the tiny bits in place until they’re securely attached to the glass.
STEP SIX: Trim the transfer tape and backing paper to the stencil, then apply the stencil to the glass using the center hinge method HERE (scroll down to ‘The Stencil…’ section…lots of pics to show how it’s done). Burnish really well, then remove the transfer tape and weed the starfish bits you don’t need. Go slowly around the dots and stripes on the starfish, as some of them will want to pull up with the weeded vinyl. Use a small craft spatula, if necessary, to get them to stick to the glass.
STEP SEVEN: Cover the design with the used backing paper and burnish well again, paying particular attention to the edges, dots & stripes. You want them to be good and stuck to the glass. Any gaps from bubbles, creases, or incomplete ‘sticking’ will allow etching cream to leak underneath, resulting in a sloppy etch.
STEP EIGHT: Etch the starfish design onto the picture frame glass using the etching method HERE (scroll down to “The Etching…” section…again, lots of pics to show how it’s done).
And now for the rest of the baby shower goodies…
No baby shower is complete without a few games, some yummy treats, baby-themed decor, and of course, thoughtful gifts. Check out the blog posts below for all of that baby shower goodness. Enjoy!
- Chai Latte Cupcakes with Cupcake Toppers by Two Purple Couches
2. Guacamole Shrimp Bites from Katie’s Cucina
- Customizable Baby Shower Invites by Tried & True
2. Baby Nursery Art by One Artsy Mama
3. “It’s a Girl!” Printable Bunting Banner by Just a Girl and Her Blog
4. Baby Shower Decoration Ideas by Southern Couture
- Onesie Making Station by unOriginal Mom
2. Free Printable Baby Shower Game – Alphabet Cards by Cutesy Crafts
3. Printable Baby Word Search by Simply Kelly Designs
4. Name That Rockin’ Lullaby Baby Shower Game + Free Printable by Where the Smiles Have Been
- Emergency Diaper Kit with Free Printable by From Wine to Whine
2. DIY No-Sew Baby Headband by Practically Functional
3. Personalized Onesie Tutorial by Ginger Snap Crafts
4. Personalized Onesie Dress by Create & Babble
5. Crochet Scalloped Earflap Hat and Flower by Repeat Crafter Me
6. Starfish Nursery “Love You” in Etched Glass Frame by Whatcha Workin’ On?
7. Knit Bow Baby Headband by It Happens in a Blink
8. Super Sweet Month by Month Baby Stickers by Tori Grant Designs
9. Fearfully and Wonderfully Made Onesie by Sew Woodsy
Congratulations, Lauren & Mark! We wish you much love and laughter on the wild ride that is parenthood. Let the adventure begin!
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