Craftaholics Anonymous's 2013 Summer Gift Exchange

Posted by Sarah E. on Thursday, July 11, 2013. Filed under: ,

I love making crafty projects, but after awhile I run out of people to give them to.  Or, I just don't have anyone to give something to.  And while I love decorating my own home, since many of my rooms are "in a transitional phase" right now, I don't want to spend a lot of money creating something that I'll just have to re-do and/or donate once I finally get around to decorating that room.

Enter Linda, the fabulous mind behind Craftaholics Anonymous.  Twice a year, she totally rocks it out and sponsors a handmade gift exchange.  I wanted to participate during the one last winter, but I kind of lost track of time and missed the sign-up date.  Shame shame on me.  So, I've been (im)patiently waiting for the past 7 months for the summer exchange to roll around.  As soon as I got the e-mail in my inbox, I bounced on over to Elfster to sign up for this summer's exchange!

I was paired up with Melissa from California, and I immediately got excited when one of the items on her wishlist was a large vinyl wall decal of song lyrics.  I've had my Silhouette for about a year now (you can read about the search for it here, here, and here) and while I've used it for small basic tests and to cut out things from the Silhouette store, I'd yet to really create anything of my own.  I'm a member of a Silhouette group on Facebook and seeing all of the awesome projects that those ladies and gentlemen create really gave me a kick in the pants to start experimenting with the capabilities of this machine even more.  After all, that IS why I bought it, right?

So to start off, I opened up my Silhouette Studio software and kept an open Safari window next to it, so I could reference back to the original vinyl decal Melissa had included on her wishlist.  Then, it was just a matter of picking a font and re-creating what I saw!

It didn't occur to me until much later that a screenshot would have been much more effective than taking a picture of my computer monitor - sorry :(

I designed it using one consistent font since that's how the original was and despite my love of unique fonts, I actually used one of the stock Apple fonts on my computer.  I sized it to 12" x 36", loaded my vinyl in to my Cameo, and clicked cut.

Not gonna lie, while it was cutting I was freaking out a little bit since I'd only ever done vinyl designs that were about 4" x 6".  But hey, computers know what they're doing, right?  Most of the time?

But hey, any day you can see the cut lines is a good day, right?

Here's where I'm going to share the most common sense advice ever with you.  Do not attempt to weed black vinyl at 11:30 pm when you are tired in a poorly lit room.  You will lose letters and apostrophes, then go to bed feeling flustered.  Admission:  this photo from above is from the second time I cut the design, when I got smart and worked on this project around 10:30 am.  You know.  When it's light out.

So after my duh moment and using the second piece of vinyl that I was smart enough to buy in the length I needed (hope for success, plan for failure?) and about an hour of weeding, my decal was looking pretty awesome if I do say so myself!

So then I just popped some transfer tape over the top - I chose to put the transfer tape on right away to help prevent the letters from shifting during shipping.  I had to layer two pieces of transfer tape since I only had sheets that were 12" x 24", so I hope it worked out okay.

After that, still making use of my awesome Cameo, I decided to play around with the print and cut feature.  Using some sticker paper I had, I created a cute little shipping label.

Sorry for the blurring, but I'm pretty sure Melissa wouldn't appreciate me plastering her name and address all over the internet

And then I also used the print and cut feature to make up a little note.  You know, hey, hope you like your gift, how to attach vinyl to a wall, if you hate it or there's a problem e-mail me.  That kind of thing.  Nothing too special, but I thought they were cute and it was feature of the Cameo that I hadn't ever played with before.  Turns out I'm completely in love with it and want to make all sorts of stuff using it now.

It also turns out that I desperately need a pedicure.  Poor little toes.  

Anyway, thanks Linda for hosting the exchange!  And Melissa, I hope you like your gift!

If you'd like to see what some of the other "exchangers" made/received, check out the Handmade Gift Exchange Linky party here or go here for info about the exchanges and to sign up for an e-mail reminder for the next gift exchange!

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