Wow! I thought I'd be back right away after the New Year, but my kids are struggling to recover from Christmas, Sugar and Dad returning to work after a whopping two whole weeks off! It was wonderful - but it's hard to get used to him gone.
I have SO many projects to share with you I'm honestly overwhelmed with where to begin. I have so much to sift through so we're going to start with some pictures I have downloaded already.
I've made several items now with Heat Transfer Vinyl using my Silhouette. I love it and look forward to playing around with it more. But I have to confess, I've had my fare share of battles with the stuff. This time around though, it was the biggest test of my patience when it came to my Christmas Projects.
I had Business Tees to make, and a Hoodie for my Brother-In-Law. I got the designs ready to cut and ordered the vinyl. That was my first mistake. I ordered from a company that is highly recommended by bloggers all over. It ended up being the cheapest, thinnest, most difficult Heat Transfer Vinyl I worked with. More on that later though.
The second mistake was to order a grey that I thought might be too light for the business logo. And it was, I just couldn't use it and feel good about it.
My third mistake had nothing to do with the quality of the vinyl. It's all about user error. I forgot to reverse the image (which was words) before I cut it. I fixed it and attempted a re-cut, but the machine cut . So then I had to order more black vinyl and wait for it to arrive. (I ordered from a different company and found a dark grey that I thought worked well.)
Of course, I finally got it all cut out, got it all right and I had to make one more mistake. As I ironed on the silver star I got distracted (at least that's what I'll say at this point) and ironed it upside down. Yes, that's right, straight on to my iron! Luckily, it wasn't too much of a mess.
Here's the finished Hoodie, for my Rockstar PUNCHED drinking Brother-in-law! The black star has the words "Runs on" repeated through it in order to make the statement "Runs on Rockstar Punched". (My husbands idea.)
You would think I learned the lesson about cutting in reverse with the Hoodie. BUT NO. I cut the blue and orange AND some of the grey vinyl before I realized that the entire logo would have to be ironed on backwards. It gets worse. I was almost done weeding it all! For 7 Tees! ACK! I nearly quit right then and there.
So I started over, counting my lucky stars to have enough vinyl after such a dumb mistake.
As I weeded the different vinyl colors I discovered some difference. The grey vinyl was on a sheet with much stronger adhesive, so the tiny letters rarely shifted or had problems. Round one to the new company I found.
When it came to ironing on the logo I was dismayed over the difference in quality between the orange and blue (from the first place I ordered) and grey that I found. They were so different. The blue and orange were thinner, slightly more glossy, and all over an inferior product. It was hard to iron on. One accidental touch with the iron actually pulled a few letters right off the shirt I had just ironed them on to. It also bubbled and puckered from the iron if it actually got touched. The grey, on the other hand, was thick, adhered quickly, and the extra adhesive on the backing wasn't a problem. Then when I accidentally touched it with my iron nothing happened. Yes, that's right, nothing. No peel back, no puckering or bubbling, or anything. It was amazing.
- If the vinyl you are cutting will have words, order extra (especially if it's something for Christmas).
- Don't forget to reverse the image if necessary (in the case of words or images that require left-to-right)
- Test the Heat Transfer Vinyl before actually using it. Just use a scrap of the fabric your using, or some old painting tee to see how well it works.
- If you have a deadline, order the vinyl weeks in advance, not days.
- Find a favorite and stick with it. ThermoFlex-Plus is by far my favorite Heat Transfer Vinyl. (37 Colors!) I ordered it here.