I make floating Christmas ornaments to sell in craft shows and through a local shop. To make the inside, I adhere a vinyl design to a piece of acetate (overhead transparency). I decided it would be fun to make a greeting card using the same process. This time though, I used 3 sheets of transparency and placed portions of the design on each. By creating it in this way, it gave it a 3D effect.
- Intermediate Vinyl
- Mylar, acetate, or other transparent plastic sheet
- White Cardstock
- Scrapbook Tape
- 3M (or similar) foam tape
- Red Capped Blade
- Zing Orbit
Machine Settings for Zing Orbit and Scal:
- Cutting Card stock: Pressure – 56, Speed – 12, Multi-Cut – 2
- Cutting Vinyl – Pressure – 50, Speed – 16, Multi-Cut – Off
- Cutting Transparency – I cut this on my original Zing with MTC: Force 120, Speed 11, Multi-cut – 3
- If you want to have something printed on the card, do that first. If you plan to use PNC, make sure to print your registration marks. Of course, it would be fine to simply cut by hand as well.
- Cut the card stock window panes. For this I first cut a 5″ X 7″ rectangle, then 4 smaller rectangles from that.
- Cut 3 pieces of transparency. You’ll need them to be just a little smaller than your card size, but big enough so the edges will be under the window frame. Leave enough room along the edge for scrapbook tape to stick to the edges. (See
- Cut out the vinyl for your design. Decide which portions need to be in the background, and which in the foreground.
- Adhere vinyl to transparencies. Stack them carefully on the card, and on each other, as you build your design so that you are lining things up properly.
- Use small pieces of foam tape between transparencies, hidden under the vinyl, to build up the design and hold it together.
- Stick the double-sided tape to the backside outer edges of the window frame. Carefully adhere to your card, being sure to line up carefully. If you have cut your transparencies small enough, this should hold all pieces together.
I am pretty happy with how this turned out. It might be easier next time to cut the window panes out of the front of the card. This way I could place the transparencies behind the cut-out. I would then need to line the card (or just the back side of the card front) to enclose the layers.
Our little town does not have much to offer visitors. So when I saw that our local fish market had expanded and started selling items highlighting our area, I asked them if they’d like me to make up a few things for them to offer. I had made this file into a shirt for my husband last year using an inkjet transfer. I decided it would do well on a flour sack towel with a few changes. This time I used Heat Transfer Vinyl.
I recently purchased a KNK Zing Orbit and am now using Sure Cuts Alot. Being accustomed to Make The Cut, there has been a small learning curve, but for basic cutting I was able to get right at it with no problems.
- ThermoFlex Plus
- Flour sack Towel (I purchased mine at Walmart)
- Red-Capped Blade
- Iron or Heatpress
Settings on Zing Orbit with SCAL:
- Pressure: 50
- Speed: 15
- Overcut: 1mm
- Multi-cut: Off
- Open or import file in SCAL
- Reverse design
- Cut design and weed
- Set heat press at 335 degrees and press for 17 minutes (for hand iron, refer to manufacturer’s instructions)
- Fold towel in half and crease mid-point using iron or heat press
- Lay towel flat and use crease to place center HTV
- Press vinyl onto towel (Use teflon sheet or towel between iron and vinyl)
- Remove clear backing and repeat
I am having fun getting to know my Zing Orbit. So far, one of my favorite features on the Orbit is the ability to adjust the pinch wheels. The ability to move them close enough to cut small pieces of vinyl without using a mat saves me a lot of time, and I find myself using the feature a lot.
Completed Print and Cut Locket
These little magnetic lockets are so fun and there are so many things you can do with them. I created this Print and Cut Locket using my KNK Zing and an illustration I drew. You could also use a photo, and charms can be inserted as well. I used permanent vinyl to add the word “Michigan” to the exterior glass.
- Magnetic Locket (Can be found at most craft stores)
- High quality paper or printable vinyl
- Make the Cut, or similar software
- Red Capped Blade
- KNK Zing (or other KNK cutter)
- Scrap of vinyl
- Low Adhesive Cutting Mat
Settings for KNK Zing:
- Force – 40
- Multicut – 1 or 2
- Speed – 10
- Trace your design.
- Draw a Circle and place it on the layer below your design. Make the circle the exact size you need to fit inside the locket.
- Size the design so that the portion you want to show fits within the circle.
- Marquee select the two and join (ctrl j).
- Keep selected and break apart (ctrl b).
- Drag the original design away and delete, or move to another layer and turn off/lock.
- Duplicate if you want the same design on the front and back sides of the locket.
- Print out your design for a print and cut. Make sure you print the registration marks. ( I used paper for mine, but a printable vinyl would work better if you want to be able to put items in the locket without scratching the design.)
- Now you are ready to complete your print and cut. Adhere to a not-too-sticky mat and complete the cut.
- Carefully remove the cut circles from the mat and gently push into locket.
- If desired, cut text for outside of locket.
Here is the other side of the locket. I actually prefer the side without the gems, but perhaps I’ll turn it if I want to wear it with a dressy outfit sometime.
My husband and I love to fish. But when it comes time to haul in the big one, we seem to always be fumbling around for something to measure him with. So, a permanent fish ruler attached to the interior of the boat is just what we need.
- Outdoor permanent vinyl
- Clear Transfer Tape
- Red Capped Blade
Settings for KNK Zing:
- Force – 18
- Speed – 10
- Multicut – 1
- Design the fish ruler in MTC or other software. (If you import or copy and paste into your cutting software, MAKE SURE the dimensions stay correct. I learned this the hard way.)
- Cut and weed.
- Apply transfer tape.
- Clean area where fish ruler will be applied to boat, and let dry.
- Apply decal.
- Get the boat out of the garage and go fishing!
I love glitter heat transfer vinyl, such as GlitterFlex Ultra. It cuts great and looks beautiful on garments. And, it weeds great …as long as you are not cutting and weeding small pieces.
However, I often use GlitterFlex Ultra on baby bodysuits, (or even doll shirts… talk about teeny tiny pieces) which sometimes requires weeding very small areas. And, this is when I don’t love it quite so much!
GlitterFlex Ultra on Doll Shirt
It is difficult to see the cut lines on this vinyl. Additionally, it can be a bit “stretchy” when I am weeding around tiny pieces and sometimes pieces get stretched out of shape or accidentally broken off.
I love GlitterFlex Ultra too much to quit using it. But I’d also like to keep my sanity. So, I’ve done a little research and a lot of practice to figure out some tricks to make weeding easier. It’s not perfection, but certainly has made things less frustrating.
- I like to check my file to see if it needs any node editing, welding, etc. (I am not too fond of Make The Cut’s node editing feature, so I do most of that in Inkscape. However I do re-check and make final adjustments in MTC if needed.) Typically, I change the number and/or position of nodes before cutting, especially when working with fonts.
- Below is an example of something that can be easily adjusted. The “c” almost touches the “h”, but not quite. It will be easier to weed if they are welded. I could slightly shadow this and that would probably take care of it. Or, letters could be moved horizontally. But, since the other letters are already touching, I’d prefer to simply use the “handle” of the node to take the “end” of the “c” and stretch it into the “h” before welding the letters together.
- I have learned to take time to add weed lines. If I have an intricate design or text, I like to make a box or rectangle around it first. It works well to make the lines on or just outside of the bounding box.
- Next, I add more weed lines closer in. That way, if I’m having trouble seeing where lines are, at least I can weed out the outer portion, just inside the bounding box weed lines first. That gets me close to my design without having to worry about accidentally weeding out something that I didn’t intend to. Then I can really take my time and weed carefully as I work closer to the design. (I use an Xacto knife for weeding so I can always use that to make a few more weed lines manually while I’m actually doing the weeding.)
- It’s important to make sure settings are correct. Don’t give in to the temptation of giving too much blade exposure. GlitterFlex Ultra seems thicker than regular ThermoFlex Plus, for example. But I find that I can keep my exposure the same or very slightly increased. Too much blade has a tendency to lift tiny pieces on fonts. The font in the illustration above has a slight little curl on the top of the “C”, and it will lift up if the blade is out too much. Actually, that is usually my first clue that my blade exposure is excessive.
These are the settings that work best with my KNK Zing:
- Force – 50 – 60 (The manual says 30 – 40, but I found the higher force to be helpful. You will have to find what works best for you.)
- Speed – 10
- Multicut – 2
- Blade Height – About the same as used for regular vinyl, or very slightly more exposure. The manual suggests a height of 25 Post-It notes as a starting point.
- Blade – I use the blue blade. The manual suggests the red blade.
- Some have suggested rubbing baby powder over the cut lines to make them show up better. I didn’t have any baby powder so I tried corn starch, which did help a little bit.
- Another suggestion is to put the vinyl in the freezer for a bit after cutting. The cold causes the vinyl to shrink slightly, thereby making the cut lines more visible. This does help, but the trouble is that the vinyl warms back up very, very quickly. Especially so if there is a lamp illuminating the work area.
- Which brings me to…. by all means, if you don’t have good lighting and a magnifying glass, you must invest in both of those. Here is my set-up:
After trying all of these suggestions… and more. Here is what I found works for me.
- I put my vinyl in the freezer after cutting. How long? I think a half hour is about right. I actually left it for a couple of hours while we went to dinner. It was VERY stiff… too stiff. But, it was just fine in a few minutes anyway.
- Next, I use corn starch on it. It seems to help a little, especially after the vinyl has shrunk a bit in the freezer. It can be kind of messy. I sprinkle a little on a piece of paper and then dip my finger in it and rub it on the vinyl.
- The final piece of the puzzle that seems to make everything work is keeping the surface below the vinyl cold so that it doesn’t warm up too quickly. You can see in the photo above that I have a square piece of quartz countertop that I use as a surface when weeding. (It’s a sample from a cabinet shop.) I found if I put this in the refrigerator or freezer, it stays cold and keeps the vinyl cool while weeding. If I let it get super cold, it sweats as it warms up. But I didn’t find it to be a problem. I just wiped it off a couple of times. I believe a ceramic tile would work in place of the quartz.
With all of these steps in place, I must say that GlitterFlex Ultra still does not weed as easily as regular HTV, such as ThermoFlex Plus. But, it has made some of my projects go from being nearly impossible, to manageable. And since a couple of these are projects I do over and over, it has certainly made the experience much more enjoyable!