Teacher Essentials, A Magnetic Teacher Availability Sign Board

Every teacher has a small amount of time per day that is meant for catching up on paperwork, meeting with students and lunch! To keep interruptions at a minimum, this magnetic teacher availability door sign lets students know if the teacher is available to see them.

My daughter is a high school theatre teacher, so I made this acting inspired magnetic availability board for her classroom door.


KNK Zing/Zing Air/Maxx Air Standard Material Detail Blade

KNK Zing/Zing Air/Maxx Air Thick Material Blade

Pressure sensitive vinyl – I used Oracal 651.

Vinyl Transfer Tape

Magnetic Dry Erase Board

Ink Jet printable Magnet Sheets

Maxx Air Settings

Vinyl – Force = 42, Speed = 300, Blade Height = 25, Passes = 1, Standard Material Blade (Red)

Magnet Sheet – Force = 190 Speed = 300, Passes = 1, Blade Height = 19, Thick Material Blade (Blue)

Process Details

Create your design by deciding on the number of reasons for “busy” and draw the appropriate number of rectangles to surround the words that will fit the space of your board. Choose other designs to reflect your favorite teacher’s subject or personality. Cut and weed vinyl, apply transfer tape.

I found applying the vinyl tricky as the lightweight board kept moving around on me. So, I created a makeshift jig by taping down some straight edges on my worktable to hold the board steady. To get the vinyl lined up evenly I then used a variety of tape to mark guidelines for spacing.

For the indicator arrows, I found a free arrow pdf and printed it on the magnet paper. Using a Print and Cut process in my software, I cut them out. (I also chose to laminate my printed sheet before cutting to make the arrows more durable).

I did not want to waste an entire sheet of magnet paper, so I printed as many as I could fit. This gives the teacher extras in case some get lost. To store them, I affixed plastic adhesive file label holders to the back of the board.

Hoping my daughter gets some peace and quiet for at least a few minutes each day utilizing the availability time board!

Fabric Flower Embellishments

It is Spring in Florida and the flowers are starting to bloom. If you are still dealing with old man winter, make some of these colorful fabric flower embellishments to brighten your world!

Fabric flowers can be used on headbands, attached to a pin for a fun brooch or added to a quilt for some 3D effects. Make a bunch attached to floral stems and put in a vase for a perky permanent bouquet.


  • Fabric scraps large enough for your chosen flower petals. Chose two colors for each petal. For my flowers the scraps were 5” square
  • Heat and Bond Ultra (heavy weight) fusible
  • Button or gem for flower center
  • Fabric glue
  • Flower SVG that has different size petals. You can download my Blooming Flowers for free here! Blooming Flowers

Maxx Air Settings

Force = 130, Speed = 200, Passes = 2, Blade Offset = .25, Blade Height = 25

Process Details

  • Cut out fabric squares large enough for your chosen petal size. You will need two squares for each petal. Mix up the colors for a fun funky look.
  • Cut one 5” square of the Heat and Bond Ultra for every petal.
  • Fuse the Heat and Bond Ultra to the wrong side of one fabric square per petal.
  • Peel off the paper backing and lay another fabric square over the first one wrong side down. Fuse. Your fabric square should have the right sides (the pretty sides) showing on each side.
  • Adhere to a very sticky mat, you don’t want the fabric to move around when cutting.
  • Insert your fabric blade and cut out the petals.
  • Stack up the petals, offsetting each one slightly to get a full look to your flower.
  • Sew a button in the center through all layers. Or just glue a gem in the center.
  • Cup the flower in your hand to curl up the petals to shape them. You can curl or scrunch up any petals to give the flower a more 3D appearance.
  • Glue the leaves to the back of the flower with fabric glue.


Now you have some pretty fabric flowers to use as a cute embellishment. Something bright and cheery to chase away any winter blues!



Deco FILM® Paint FX

Cool weather is finally arriving in Florida and I wanted to embellish a long sleeve t-shirt for Thanksgiving Day. Finding fall colors this time of year is nearly impossible, everything is already Christmas in the stores! I did snag a lovely purple top and wanted something shimmery but not too sparkly for my design. Deco FILM® Paint FX was perfect! This heat transfer vinyl comes in six beautiful metallic colors. The effect is a soft shimmer. And it is thinner than regular HTV molding to the fabric, so the designs look screen painted rather than laying on the surface. Wish it came in all the colors!


Deco FILM® Paint FX  I used the Champagne color.


Maxx Air Settings

KNK Zing/Zing Air/Maxx Air Standard Material Detail Blade

Force = 42, Speed = 200, Blade Offset = .25, Blade Height = 25

Process Details

This vinyl cuts just like every other heat transfer vinyl, minimal blade exposure, mirror the design, weed the negative and carrier side adhered to the mat. The weeding was super easy, comes up cleanly and with little effort.

Heat press with a firm pressure at 310°F – 330°F for 17 to 20 seconds. Then remove carrier sheet while warm, and with a Teflon® or parchment paper covering the design, repress for 2 seconds.

Deco FILM® Paint FX is a great alternative to the glitter metallic heat transfer vinyl products, for when you want a subtler shimmer and shine. Love it!

PNC Pop-Ups

I think Print and Cut (PNC) is a very fun technique that can be used for a lot of different applications.  For today’s post I’ve combined it with another fun technique – Pop-Up cards.

I wanted to make a get well card for a dear friend who had just had surgery and one for an upcoming birthday.  The theme “Poppin’ In” was stuck in my brain.  I searched the internet for free pictures of popcorn and also of jack-in-the-box toys.  When I found several of each that I liked, I saved them.  Then I took them into the Make the Cut software and pixel traced them using the Texturize and Blackout functions.  I chose two different pictures so I would have different views for the front and inside of the cards.  Both of the images for each of the cards fit on a 5″ x 7″ piece of photo paper.  This picture shows the Jack-in-the-Box images on photo paper with the registration marks.


This was loaded onto the mat, the mat inserted into my 15″ Maxx Air and the Print and Cut process was started.  As you can see in this next photo the position of the laser light needed to be adjusted so it was right on top of the registration mark.


Using the arrow keys on my keyboard I moved the mat so the laser light was covering the dot of the registration mark.  When I am looking at it with my eyes rather than through the camera as in the next photo, the laser light seems to be almost swallowed up when it is right over the black dot rather than the large red dot as in these two photos.


After cutting, the two pieces looked like this.


Now it was time to prepare the card itself.  I wanted to have writing that looked nice on the front and inside of the card.  I put a felt tip pen in my Pen Tool, selected a font that I liked, changed the Plotting Defaults in my KNK Studio software to indicate that I was using a Pen instead of a Drag Knife and also selected Sign Blank in the Cut box.  Then I selected my text and sent it to the machine just as I would have for a cutting design.  It is very important that when you are performing multiple operations (writing, scoring, and cutting) on the same piece of cardstock that you use the Sign Blank option in KNK Studio or the WYSIWYG option in MTC to keep everything in its correct position.  This is a photo of the pen tool in action.


Next I used my Embossing Tool – the smaller end – to score the fold lines for the Pop-Up mechanism on the inside piece of the card.  Finally, I inserted the blade holder with the blade, changed the Plotting Defaults/Tool to Drag Knife and cut the card pieces.

To cover up the hole created by the Pop-Up mechanism, a second piece of cardstock is used as the outside of the card.  On the portion that was to become the front of the card I used the Maxx to write more words on a separate piece of paper, used my sewing machine to attach that separate piece of paper to the cardstock and glued one of my PNC cutouts to the piece of paper.  When it was complete, the front of the card looked like this photo.


With the outer and inner parts of the card glued together, the Pop-Up mechanism looked like this.


You can see the hole that it created that needed to be covered up.  When gluing the inside and outside pieces together, take care to not get any glue on the Pop-Up mechanism.  This mechanism is offset from the center of the card due to the shape of the PNC piece that was attached to it.  The inside of the card when finished looked like this photo.


Since the little clown had his arms held out, I decided he could hold a sign for me.

The second card, the birthday card, was constructed in the same way.  The following two photos show the front and inside of the card.



The following settings were used in the making of these cards:

Cutting Cardstock:  KNK Studio Software, Plotting Defaults/Tool=Drag Knife, Plotting Defaults/Cut=Sign Blank, F=55, V=100, Red Blade, Blade Height=25 PIN

Cutting Photo Paper:  MTC Software, Cut Type= Print and Cut, Offset=0.75, F=98, V=55, Multi-Cut=2, Blue Blade, Blade Height=25 PIN

Writing with Pen:  KNK Studio Software, Plotting Defaults/Tool=Pen, Plotting Defaults/Cut=Sign Blank, F=3, V=175, Pen Tip- 1/8″ above paper

Scoring with Embossing Tool:  KNK Studio Software, Plotting Defaults/Tool=Pen, Plotting Defaults/Cut=Sign Blank, F=80, V=100, 2 Passes, Blade Height=25 PIN

Use the following link to download a basic Pop-Up card cutting file.

Pop-Up Card_JudyKay

To Dye For – Inkodye


KNKUSA recently introduced an exciting new product to their ever expanding line of Materials.  It is called Inkodye.  A liquid ink that is water based and develops it’s color permanently with exposure to sunlight.  You can read more about it and watch a video here.  At this time there are three colors – red, blue, and orange – plus a washing liquid available.  The supplier is working to expand the color range in the near future.  The colors can be mixed to create additional colors.

I have done a bit of experimenting with the ink using stencils made from various vinyls and a couple of rubber stamps on fabrics.  The vinyl I like using the most is the outdoor vinyl which you can get from KNKUSA. It has a “permanent aggressive” adhesive which means that it will stick to materials such as Tee shirts but it can be removed without damaging the shirt.

For today’s post I created a patriotic themed stencil, applied it to the shirt, painted on the Inkodye, exposed it to the sunlight, removed the stencil, and washed the shirt.  This is the result of that process.


I have always liked that phrase and decided it was just what I wanted for my shirt.

After deciding on the design, I created it in the Make The Cut software using the pixel trace feature and the Tekton Pro Ext font, and cut it as a stencil using the outdoor vinyl on my 15″ Maxx Air.  The line on the top of the eagle’s head was thickened by using a very small shadow layer which was then welded to the original image.

This is the completed stencil.  The vinyl was a light gray color.


I had previously washed my shirt, being careful not to use any fabric softener which might inhibit the absorption of the dye, and ironed it so it would be smooth.  To stabilize the shirt front for the application of the dye, I have an old metal kitchen countertop saver board that I have covered with a plastic garbage bag.  I inserted that into the shirt and then wrapped and taped the shirt to the back so I had a flat surface on which to apply the stencil.  You could use a large piece of cardboard or thin wood covered with plastic also.

Because some of the letters had interior pieces that could easily get displaced when the backing was removed from the vinyl, I put transfer tape on the vinyl to hold them in place just as if I were transferring the design to the wall.  However, in this case I used the parts of the vinyl that would normally get weeded out if I were putting the design on a wall.


I peeled the backing paper down from the top for about an inch and then starting applying the vinyl to the shirt, peeling the backing away and smoothing the vinyl onto the shirt from top to bottom.  Once the vinyl was in place and securely smoothed to the shirt – I used a brayer to help in that process – I removed the transfer tape and all of the pieces were in place.  To help protect the shirt in case of any splatters or other mishaps, I wrapped the exposed parts of the shirt in plastic and secured it to the edges of the vinyl stencil with wide blue painter’s tape.


Finally, I was ready to apply the ink.  The inks have a hint of color.  A couple of them are clear and one is milky but they work just the same.  I used a separate brush for each color and poured just a small amount of the inks into a small dish just before I was ready to use them.  Once the ink was applied, it looked like this.


Not much color at this point.  But once it was out in the sunlight it changed quite rapidly.

After one minute.

Time 2-04

After two minutes.

Time 2-05

It looked as if the red was going to end up being more pink than red and the blue was looking more like purple.  I decided that since it had only been exposed for a few minutes and the directions say 10 minutes or more, that I would just let it sit and see what happened.  Gradually the colors changed and became red and blue.  It took about 10 minutes and it wouldn’t have hurt to have left it longer except that I was anxious to see it finished.

I took it inside, un-taped and un-wrapped it being careful not to get ink from the stencil surface on the shirt, and washed it by hand according to the directions using the Inko Wash detergent.  I couldn’t resist taking a photo of it while it was still wet.


Once it was dry – okay, I admit, I hung it in front of a fan – I pressed it and took a close up photo of the completed design.


I am really happy with how it turned out.  The ink is easy to use and it took less than a tablespoon of each ink for this design.

As a result of my experiments, I have made some mistakes so you wouldn’t have to.  To that end, I offer the following suggestions:

Use separate brushes for each color.  Keep a small glass of water to immediately wash brushes after applying the ink.  Protect all exposed parts of your shirt or other article to keep stray bits of ink off.  Wear old clothing and a plastic apron.  Make sure your plastic covered board goes under just the layer of fabric where you want the ink – not behind the front and back of the shirt.  Wash and iron fabric before applying ink.  Work in an area that is not exposed to sunlight.  Work on a protected surface.  Read and follow the directions.

To cut the vinyl on my Maxx Air I used the following settings: Force = 8, Velocity = 135, a red capped blade, blade offset = .35, no mat, and blade holder with collar sitting on top of blade clamp.

The eagle image I used was from an internet site.  The file, which you can download below, has an eagle from the Gallery in Make The Cut (#5955).

Home of the Free Cutting Files_Judy_Kay

Thanks, Chad! for a great new product!