Gerber Onesies: Mustache, Aviators, Succulents and Chanel

Idea:

I’m visiting my friend Dina and 1 month old Sofie today! Insert swoon face emoji here. My mom always said never visit someone’s home empty handed. Though my mom has never said it, I know she prefers to give a practical gift that will be used and abused over a pretty something. Each passing year has shown that I am my mother’s daughter.

I’ve been told by many mommies that their babies lived in their Onesies for a good part of their first few months. I couldn’t find a Onesies with the design and price I liked enough to give to the minimalist Dina so I assigned myself project.

Inspiration:

Last year I hand-printed shirts for Dina’s Bachelorette Party. Using the same ink and technique, I designed prints that were close to my heart and quick to produce (I only came up with the idea late eyesterday evening).

Ingredients:

  1. Tulip Soft Fabric Paint Metallic Gold
  2. Reynolds Freezer Paper
  3. Silhouette SD
  4. Iron
  5. Cardboard /  Something to line the back incase the fabric paint bleeds

Instructions:

  1. Prepare your design in Silhouette Studio.  Keep in mind the negative cuttings space will be used as the stencil.  Leave an 1″ + border of blank space around your design.  This will help avoid accidentally bleeding the paint to the outside of the design while painting.  I recommend that grouping of cuts be kept to a minimum.  For this project I grouped the mustache with the succulent and the chanel with the aviator sunglasses.  Freezer paper has a tendency to lift off the most tacky cutting mats once cuts are made.  Paper that lifts off the cutting mat can get caught and possibly damage your Silhouette machine.
  2. Place freezer paper wax side down on the cutting mat.  I recommend flattening your freezer paper if it came in a roll and ensuring the entire paper adheres to the cutting mat.  Rolled paper on an un-tacky mat will always lift from the cutting mat.
  3. Cut.  If you are using the latest Silhouette Ratchet-Style Blade, use a Material Type that calls for a blade setting of 2.  I selected ‘Heat Transfer Material – Smooth’.  Because my freezer paper was 15″ long, I cut the mustache and succulent on the top 6″, flipped the cutting mat upside down and cut the chanel and aviator sunglasses on the bottom 6″. Note that both designs were placed at the top 6″ of the mat.
  4. Place the onesie on an iron-safe surface.
  5. Place the cut stencil wax / shiny side down on the onesie.  If you want the design centered to the babies chest, draw an imaginary straight line from the armpits of the onesie using a ruler. Place the top of the design no more than 1″ over the ruler and center to the ruler.  If you have small pieces to iron, I recommend using tweezers and also placing the positive cut down as well. to keep the small negative pieces from shifting.
  6. Set your iron to the 2nd lowest setting with no steam.  On my Sunbeam iron, the setting is ‘Silk’.
  7. Remove the ruler and carefully iron until the was adheres to the onesie.  If you’re ironing to a synthetic fabric, be careful not to burn the shirt by ironing over the freezer paper only.  If the freezer paper is not adhering you can increase the heat setting on your iron but do so carefully.  If you’re ironing small negative pieces, using the edge of the iron, press down on the small piece.  If need be, also press down on the positive piece as it can be easily removed after ironed.
  8. If you placed the positive cut piece, now is the time to remove it.
  9. Place cardboard inside the onesie under the stencil area to prevent paint from seeping to the backside of the shirt.
  10. Paint!  I recommend painting from stencil into the middle of the design.  Painting from inside to the stencil runs the potential of ink bleeding under the stencil.
  11. Peel the stencil off slowly to avoid lifting any wet paint.

Images:

 

Save the Date: Letterpress Coasters Etc Part 1 – Prototype

Instructions:
Previous large scale projects have taught me the importance of prototyping an entire design. I made sure this project for 75 Save the Dates had iterations of design and prototype before we procured the supplies and production.

After final digital designs and several protptypes the Letterpress Coaster Save the Date Project comprised of the following:

– 5×5 kraft envelopes
– White envelope liners
– 4.75″ circles with double-sided printing
– 4″ circle double-sided letterpress coasters
– kraft paper anchor cutouts
– twine

Interesting Points:

– Weight: Thick cardstock and coasters make great statements but one thing we forget to take into consideration during design is the weight of the entire package. 80lb stock vs 120lb stock could mean a difference of $1 per mailing. At 75 mailings, you can save or spend $75 based on your paper stock choice. We took the prototype to the post office to determine if the weight was within our budget.

– Mailable Envelopes: Our visit to the post office proved to be more valuable than expected. Our earlier design was a 4×4 envelope with 3.5″ coasters which turns out to be non-mailable. 5×5″ is the minimum square-sized envelope the USPS will deliver.

– Cohesiveness: The prototyping phase gives the bride a great opportunity to see the package come to life. Yes, your wedding is really happening because we have the papers to prove it! Now that the digital design has passed the brides approval, most of the critique during this phase will be on color, font and packaging. A change in paper/envelope color, adding an image, tying the package in twine or changing the font can make all the difference. We had the challenge of having a 5×5″ envelope USPS limitation and 4″ circle being the largest coaster size. To keep the coaster from rolling around haphazardly in the envelope, we decided to tie it to another piece of paper that would include the accommodation information and a map of the wedding venue’s surrounding area.

– Proof Read: A detriment of designing into the night is the increased likelihood of making spelling mistakes. Words like ‘Accomodations’ and ‘Benajamin Franklyn’ slip through. A second set of eyes or reviewing the printed prototype after a good night sleep can nip the embarrassing error before they become 75 embarrassing errors.

– Content-driven wedding planning: There will always be pieces of information that you or the bride will include in the design but may not have 100% ready. With the blessing from the bride this kind of information can be omitted from the save the dates or placeholder text can be temporarily added for the sake of prototyping. Interestingly, even if the bride is super organized, I’ve been able to help her get a few more to-do items on her list. Examples are creating the wedding websites and securing discounted rates with the hotels.

– Double-Sided Alignment: It took several tries to get the print alignment for the 4.75″ round information page right. All I can say to this is keep trying until you succeed. Adjustments can be made in many places other than the digital file (I.e. Printers paper feeder, size of paper)

Image:

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Signage: Bridal Shower Banner in Script

Idea:
I wanted to make a simple yet classy Bridal Shower Banner for my dear friend. Most banners I see on the Internet are bunting banners with bold font or rectangular signs and both didn’t fit my criteria.

Inspiration:
I’ve made plenty of cards with cut out calligraphy words so why not a larger version to hang as a banner?

Images:
iphone pics 1201

Interesting Points:

    • Calligraphy font meant thin lines. With that being said, after merging the font letters, I needed to thicken the lines to at least 1/4 inch. On top of that, I chose thick card stock paper to ensure stiffness of the letters.
    • A few calligraphy letters didn’t connect (especially with the first capital letter to the next lower case letter). I used very thin strips of packaging tape to connect these letters.
    • Placement of the connecting and hanging strings proved to be crucial. Connecting from a flimsier part (and a lot times the furthest most letter of the word) caused the lettering to warp when hung. By trial and error, I identified points in the word that were strongest and would allow the word to sit cohesively with the next word.

Wedding Invitation: Bigshot Letterpress Part 3 – Print

Idea & Inspiration – final recap:

Congratulations to my dear friend, D.  I hope you and J love your wedding invitations as much as I loved creating them.  Thank you for giving me this opportunity to flex my creative muscles.

Instructions:

I can go on and on with the details of each production step.  But, I won’t yap about it because I won’t do it justice.  Instead I’ve provided the link to my reads at the end of this post.  In summary, the steps are:

  1. Cut paper (make this the last step if you can)
  2. Mix ink color(s)
  3. Set gages on press plate
  4. Set print plate
  5. Print
  6. Repeat steps 3-5 above for each color or blind deboss

Images:

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Internet Read:

L Letterpress techniques by Boxcar Press