Thanksgiving Chalkboard Sign

Thanksgiving Chalkboard Sign by Annie Williams - Main

So, I finally got around to playing with that Silhouette Curio I bought several months ago (you know, before I had a newborn to take care of…) and I’m pretty happy to report that I love the results I’ve gotten so far!  When I bought my CAMEO years ago, it was really just to create stencils for some of my wood projects (which led to much more obviously)…so when I saw that the Curio could accommodate thicker materials, I knew I had to see if it could eliminate some of the steps in those types of projects.

Thanksgiving Chalkboard Sign by Annie Williams - Curio Setup

Apologies for some terrible photos in this post…my studio is very poorly lit at night in the areas where I have my machines, but I have done my best to let you see some of the process rather than just describe it.  For this project, I used a white Oil-Based Fine Point Sharpie Paint Marker to paint a Thanksgiving greeting directly onto a thin wooden chalkboard sign I purchased at Michaels.

Since my sign was just slightly larger than 8.5″ x 12″, I had to use the large base kit for the Curio (an additional purchase, but now available).  I really just did some good guessing for the next part…I compared the thickness of my sign to the maximum sandwich of platforms, subtracted a “platform 2” and a “platform 1” from the stack (which pretty much matched the thickness of my sign), and stuck the sign down exactly centered on top of my cutting mat.

Thanksgiving Chalkboard Sign by Annie Williams - Curio Page Settings

When you first plug the Curio in to your computer, it should detect the machine and automatically download the proper drivers.  Once you are in Silhouette Studio, open the Design Page Settings Window (arrow 1) and change the cutting mat to Curio (arrow 3).  I also had to change the mat height to 12″ for my large base (arrow 2).

Thanksgiving Chalkboard Sign by Annie Williams - Open Design

Open the Thanksgiving greeting (design #101432 from the Silhouette Design Store) onto your workspace.

Thanksgiving Chalkboard Sign by Annie Williams - Resize and Center

I resized the design to approximately 5″ x 7″ to allow plenty of room for other embellishment.  Then I centered the phrase on the page by opening the Align Menu (arrow 1) and clicking on “Center on Page” (arrow 2).

Thanksgiving Chalkboard Sign by Annie Williams - Cut Settings

Open the Cut Settings Menu (arrow 1) and begin by selecting “Cut” (to sketch the outline of the phrase) and the appropriate “tool” (arrow 2).  I have a blade in the Tool 1 carriage, so used the Tool 2 carriage for the Silhouette Pen Holder.

Thanksgiving Chalkboard Sign by Annie Williams - Cut Settings 2

Scroll down in the Cut Settings Window and change your blade to a Sketch Pen (arrow 1).  Arrow 2 shows the part of the software that tells you exactly how many platforms to use as a sandwich on your Curio base.  If you are using a traditional medium like cardstock, this would be the way to determine the best setup for your project.

Thanksgiving Chalkboard Sign by Annie Williams - Paint Marker

Here is a closeup of the interior of the Curio machine.  I’ve inserted my base according to the instructions provided and placed my paint marker in the Tool 2 carriage using the Pen Holder.  Notice the nice holders on either side for your additional tools…I actually love this simple but great feature!  (My embossing tools are on the left and the Deep Cut Blade and Stippling Tool are on the right…more projects with them later!)

Thanksgiving Chalkboard Sign by Annie Williams - Painted Sign

After sending the job to my machine from the software, the sign looked like this.  I really didn’t know how it would turn out since it was my first time working with the paint marker, but I loved the results.  I liked the look of the outlined words, but ended up deciding to paint the open spaces in by hand…had I decided to beforehand, I could have found a way for the software to fill the words in for me, but that’s a lesson for another day.

Thanksgiving Chalkboard Sign by Annie Williams - Full

Once filled in, the chalkboard sign looked almost as nice as if I had carefully stenciled it.  There were a few uneven spots where the marker had released a little more paint than I would have liked (what I call “blooping”), but it would have looked near perfect if I hadn’t been lazy and used a paint brush to fill in the spaces instead.

Thanksgiving Chalkboard Sign by Annie Williams - Cut Leaves

The leaves I embellished my sign with were cut using my CAMEO from some heavy watercolor paper using the settings for “Coverstock” in the Studio software and two sets of leaf designs in the Silhouette Design Store (design #20959 and #49017).  You can cut with the Curio as well, but I could use my 12″ x 12″ pieces of watercolor paper more efficiently if I cut them with my CAMEO.

Thanksgiving Chalkboard Sign by Annie Williams - Watercolored Leaves

Once cut, I spritzed my leaves liberally with water and applied a few “shots” of several different colors of Ken Oliver Color Burst powders.  When dry the paper remained a little curled, which I thought made them look even more realistic.

Thanksgiving Chalkboard Sign by Annie Williams - Detail

The leaves were easy to adhere to the sign with a little blob of hot glue.  Burlap rosettes (purchased at Michaels) covered up the stems nicely.  Since I had removed the original ribbon for hanging so that I could safely paint the sign, I just added back a length of jute rope to coordinate with the other embellishments.

Thanksgiving Chalkboard Sign by Annie Williams - Side

Overall, I’m pretty satisfied with how quickly and easily the Curio painted the sign for me.  And since this is a chalkboard sign, you could actually “paint” different phrases in chalk marker and erase them as different holidays approach.  You are limited in the thickness of the wood that you use with the Curio, but I still think this leaves enough options for me.

Next up – I think I’ll try one of the metal functions (either stippling or etching)…and report back of course!  Or maybe it’s time to break out that Mint I bought a while back too?  Thanks for stopping by today and I’d love to hear your comments!


13 Comment

  1. Wow!!!! This is gorgeous sign! I cannot believe everything is done with Curio!

    1. Annie Wills says:

      Thank you Helen! Honestly, it really turned out much better than I thought it would…the best kind of surprise!

  2. It turned out gorgeous, Annie! I do like the filled-in lettering slightly better. 🙂

    1. Annie Wills says:

      Thanks Kelly! I do too…and next time I’ll know better and just have the machine fill it in for me!

      1. Claudia says:

        How do you get the machine to fill it in for you?

        1. Annie Wills says:

          Hi Claudia! You can either use the Sketch Menu to fill in text (many different options there) or apply several internal offsets until you achieve the desired look. I’ll be sure to post a tutorial on this soon because it’s a popular question, but I hope that helps!

  3. Kristin says:

    LOVE this! What marker did you use? I’m having a heck of a time- my chalk pens bleed and the felt marker isn’t sticking!

    1. Annie Wills says:

      Thanks Kristin! I used a white Oil-Based Fine Point Sharpie Paint Marker. I bought mine at Michaels, but I’ve seen them in office supply stores or big box stores like Walmart as well. Hope that helps!

      1. Kristin says:

        Excellent! I’ll go grab one. Thanks!!

  4. Emily says:

    I got a curio for Christmas and have been looking for inspiration projects! This is very inspiring, thanks for sharing your lovely project!

    1. Annie Wills says:

      Thank you so much Emily! You’re going to love your new Curio and I hope to post more projects using it soon!

  5. Brooke Linso says:

    Do you think other colors of the sharpie paint markers would show up ?

    1. Annie Wills says:

      I haven’t tried other colors, but the paint markers are pretty opaque, so I bet they would work just fine. I think I’ve seen other bloggers use gold paint markers successfully since this post went live…so it’s definitely worth a try!

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