I know that it’s back-to-school time for many of you already, but I’m not willing to call an end to my summer yet! So, if you’re like me and still want to squeeze out every last bit of sunshine before the season ends, I prepared this quick little vinyl project to keep you in the tropical mood. Truth be told, now is a great time for late summer projects because you can pick up items like this cute turquoise serving tray on sale as stores start to bring in their fall merchandise. I decided to personalize my new tray and knew I already had other serving pieces getting dusty in my kitchen cabinet at home that I could customize to match.
I normally feed my vinyl directly into my CAMEO since it can be easier that way, but some of my serving pieces would only need small designs so this was the perfect opportunity to use up some of my scraps with my cutting mat. Using the mat also allows for more usable cutting space, so you waste less material or can cut larger designs from the same 9″ or 12″ wide piece of vinyl. I actually left my vinyl adhered to the mat while I weeded the material too…it was very easy to pick out the tiny details of my designs when I didn’t have to deal with any curling of the backing paper (for larger designs that I can’t use my mat for, I normally use washi tape to adhere the material to my workbench while I weed).
- I used gold vinyl to cut my large coral reef one-layer design for the serving tray. Turquoise and gold just screamed “beach” to me.
- My clear pitcher and stemware would need two layers to match the tray properly, so I cut a detail layer out of gold that I would superimpose over a blue mat/shadow layer. Above you can see the seahorse, starfish, crab, and shell designs I chose for my stemware. (There was a tragic weeding accident with my gold crab layer that forced me to cut him a second time…I didn’t realize he was gone until it was too late!)
Once weeded, the coral reef design easily transferred to my tray using the scraper tool and transfer paper.
- Depending on the cut file you choose, there may be a couple of different ways to create a mat for your design. I wanted my mat to be the exact same size as my overlay, so that it only peeked out slightly from under my detailed image.
- You can use the Offset Tool for this purpose and just set the distance to zero, but for a hole-y design like the fish image above, this really only creates a duplicate copy of your design.
- You may also be able to just create a copy of the design and Ungroup one of them to delete all of the inside bits…but since that didn’t work for my fish design, I wanted to show the few easy steps I had to take in case you’re a beginner and come across a design that requires a little special handling.
- After you’ve made a copy of your design, you’ll need to select one of the copies.
- Open the Object Menu or right-click on the copy, and then click on “Release Compound Path”.
- Grab just the outline of the copied design and pull it off to the side. This will be a a perfectly-sized base layer for your detail image.
- Delete any other cut lines that remain.
- Now that you have your vinyl layers cut out, press the blue layer onto the piece first. TIP: For curvy pieces like these, don’t make your vinyl designs too large unless you are willing to figure out how to offset the curvature in your original cut file. (That’s a tutorial for another time!) My designs were sized so that there was no warping of the image and they laid smoothly on each piece.
- With clear pieces, it is easy to position the second layer by just holding the object up to the light. I wasn’t looking for perfect alignment on these because the designs were sketchy to begin with, but if you want it to be exact, you can try using the “Crosshair Method” from my double-layer stenciling tutorial posted here on the blog last winter.
- Personally, I preferred when a little more turquoise peeked out in some areas to highlight my designs.
- If you look at the original design, you’ll notice I removed some of the tiniest details from the crab. Your Silhouette will cut these tiny details easily, but I didn’t want the hassle of weeding them.
- When you’re finished, invite some friends over to enjoy the sun and your fancy beverage service!
- TIP: Sure, you can make all of the stemware match, but with different designs on each, there’s no question over whose drink is whose…
And what’s great is that if I ever tire of this design or need a different look for a party fast, I can remove the vinyl and replace it with something else. I’m thinking white snowflakes for Christmas…how about you?