I recently helped my creative genius sister—yes, She-Who-Should-Have-a-Silhouette-But-For-Some-Strange-Reason-Doesn’t—with some wedding decorations. We haven’t had a wedding in the family in ages, so I jumped at the chance to create something wedding-y—namely table numbers and banner signs—for her dear friend, Olivia, whom we’ve seen grow from a toddler into a talented young woman.
With super-sparkly glitter vinyl on cardstock, silver on blue, the table numbers were lovely (the photos just don’t do them justice!), adding just the right classy bling to Olivia’s already classy theme. It was an interesting process. I learned a thing or two about buying cardstock and working with stubborn vinyl. You’ll find all of my tips and tricks here.
This blog post is all about the table numbers. For the lowdown on the matching banners check out Wedding (Part 2).
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What you need…
- Glitter Adhesive Vinyl – I used Cricut brand, which is super glittery, slightly textured, and doesn’t shed. Michaels’ Recollection brand has a similar one. (had? I couldn’t find it again)
- Cardstock – I used 65lb navy blue
- 12″ x 24″ Silhouette mat (you can use a 12×12 mat, but it will take way more time and cardstock)
- Strong Grip Transfer Tape – The Cricut vinyl came with a piece large enough to reuse to transfer the whole roll.
- Silhouette cutting machine (or other brand if you use the SVG file)
- Free cut file ↓ ↓ ↓
The free file includes numbers one to fifteen, along with a double-pointed pennant with two holes to attach the pennant to a stick.
The Shape – The double-pointed banner shape has a subtle nautical feel to it, which fit in with the wedding theme. It also had a larger usable area than a triangle pennant, which meant we could use larger numbers. Woohoo! All the better to see you with, my dear.
The Font – The table numbers are in Nouradilla (one of my all-time faves). Its swirly goodness is a perfect counterpoint to the angular Rennie Mackintosh, the other font used in the wedding. Nouradilla is an uneven font. That’s part of its friendly charm. It also means you’ve got a little wiggle room when applying it to the pennant—even if it’s a little off center, it won’t look it.
The Size – To determine the font size, I took the longest number (14) and sized it until it was as large as possible and still looked good on the pennant—about 210 pt. It’ll cut fine at that size—no need to thicken it with an offset. The pennants are 11″ x 5″. Yeah, I know…that means you can cut only one from an 8½x11 piece of cardstock, leaving quite a hunk leftover, but we wanted the pennants to be visible from a distance and nicely proportioned, so used the full 11″ for the width and chose a good-looking height. Using a height of 4¼” (the maximum to be able to cut two from a single cardstock sheet) looked too skimpy. Sometimes you just have to go with design over efficiency, ya know?
The Cardstock – Now here’s where it gets interesting. Instead of cutting the pennants from regular 8½x11 or 12×12 cardstock, my sister poked around her local art supply store. It turns out they carry colors we couldn’t find anywhere else—such as our perfect midnight navy blue—and they had larger sizes, too, that we could buy by the sheet, so we were able to buy exactly what what we needed (with a little extra to give us some fudge&error room). We ended up using 19½”x 25½” sheets, which, thanks to the 24″ Silhouette mat, resulted in very little waste. It also made the cutting go faster since I could cut five at a time instead of three by loading a single long piece instead of several short ones. Before buying the cardstock, I created mockups in the Silhouette software to find an efficient way to cut everything and know how many sheets to buy (I cut the pennants and banner signs at the same time: the blue pennants on the left are for table numbers, the ones on the right for the banner signs).
Cut the numbers from the glitter adhesive vinyl. To use the vinyl as efficiently as possible and make weeding easier, I nested mine together with weeding lines in between on a 12″ x 24″ mat. I’ve included that layout in the download file, so you can just open the file and cut. but if you use a different arrangement, you can create your own weeding lines by using the Draw a Polygon tool. Our table numbers were double sided, so I cut two sets of numbers.
Cut enough pennants from your choice of cardstock. If you need cut settings, check out this blog post on how to get clean cardstock cuts.
When using the 24″ mat, remember to adjust the page & mat size in the Silhouette software.
Weed out the non-design parts of the vinyl.
So sparkly, so pretty. I wish the photos could capture it all.
The easiest way to weed the cardstock is to weed and remove the mat at the same time. To do that, simply flip the mat over (cardstock side down) and curl the mat back onto itself. The pieces, with a little help from your fingers, will release from the mat and fall to the work surface.
Applying the numbers to the cardstock…
I’m not going to lie to you. This part was a struggle and took way longer than I thought it would. The first clue, now that I look back, should have been that the glitter vinyl came with a “strong grip” transfer tape to use with it. “Strong grip”…like anything else I had on hand wasn’t going to be sufficient. And yo, it wasn’t. But even with the strong grip tape, it took a lot of burnishing and pressure and coaxing to get the glitter vinyl to stick to the the transfer tape. And, of course, because it was “strong grip”, it was also a challenge to release the vinyl from the tape onto the cardstock.
Tips & Technique:
- Cut the backing paper between the numbers so you have individual numbers, each on its own backing paper.
- Apply a piece of transfer tape to a number. With a squeegee, burnish (rub) with firm solid pressure. Really…push hard, give it a good going over. Flip it over and burnish it from the back, too.
- Peel the transfer tape+vinyl from the backing, using your fingers (or a small craft spatula) to help the vinyl adhere to the transfer tape. The letter edges are the trickiest, but once you’ve got the edge on the tape, the rest of the letter will follow. I found it sometimes worked better to flip it backing-side-up and peel the backing from the vinyl+transfer tape.
- Place the transfer tape+vinyl where you want it on a pennant. I just eyeballed it. When applying the vinyl, try to keep the transfer tape off the pennant (the strong grip tape may rip the cardstock). Burnish the letters really, really well, while keeping the transfer tape off the cardstock. It’s a bit of a finger dance, but you’ll soon find a rhythm.
- Peel off the transfer tape, leaving the vinyl on the pennant. Go slow. Again, some coaxing may be required.
- Re-use the transfer tape to repeat the process on the next number. You can reuse the same piece a half dozen times or more.
- When applying the second number to the other side, be sure you apply it the right way up. You don’t want one of the sides to be upside down!
Given the hassle it was to apply the vinyl, there were several times during the process where I swore I would never use Cricut glitter vinyl ever again. But then, when all the numbers were applied, and I saw how gorgeous they were (seriously, the photos just don’t capture it), I *knew* that I would use it again. The effect was worth the extra effort.
For matching banner signs and photos of the venue all set up, see Wedding (Part 2).