I received free product from Expressions Vinyl to use for this post. All opinions are my own, and any love confessed is true and real.
In the midst of all my Cricut madness, I wanted to take a step away this morning to show you the tutorial for the leather notepad holder I customized for Earl’s birthday! If you follow me on instagram or Facebook, you’ve already seen the teaser. Today I’m going to show you how to make it! It’s a rather simple project, since we’re just doing some customization. And that’s not all! I’ll be even be giving away a gift certificate to Expressions Vinyl at the end of the post!
Of course, I must first start with the inspiration! The design that you see on the leather is actually Earl’s name in Galifreyan. You may have heard me talk about Dr. Who before. The Oncoming Hope has a really good article on which episodes you should watch if you have never seen it before. Or you can just start at the beginning of the 2005 reboot. What I love about Galifreyan script is the geometric simplicity of the designs. It’s just stunning to me. And for a work piece, the geekery is understated enough that it won’t set off alarm bells unless the viewer knows what they are looking at. Just perfect. Ok, let’s get started on learning how to make this!
Indoor Vinyl (I choose red from Expressions Vinyl , since it was a color that set off well from the leather)
A leather notepad holder to customize. (Mine is from Saddleback Leather.)
Lumiere Rusted Metal Leather paint.
I also used my Silhouette Cameo and the Galifreyan translator from Sherman’s Planet.
Step 1: Create your translation.
First you need to download and unzip the translator program to your desktop. Double click on Gallifreyan.jar to run the program. Then type in your name or phrase into the top of the screen. I’ll do Earl the favor of not putting his full name here, so you can see what my blog name looks like in the app. You need to make sure to replace any “C”s with a K or an S.
Hitting tab will save the image to the folder where the program resides as a .png. You can hit enter to move the lines around, but if you see something you like, save it! You won’t likely see it again.
Step 2: Create your cut file in Silhouette Studio
I’ve switched to working with Earl’s name again, so you’ll notice the pattern looks different. To add it to your workspace, drag and drop the image from the folder and onto the Silhouette Studio workspace. It will load into the program.
Now go to trace and drag your trace area around the pattern. For single color traces like this, I turn off the high pass filter and set the threshold to a point where the whole pattern is highlighted. Then trace the pattern.
Once the pattern is traced, you can delete imported image. I filled the shape with black. Next, I measured how much space I could take up with the image. To re-size, go to Object – Transform – Scale Options. You can lock the aspect ratio and scale up the object in the scale panel.
I also wrote out his name in the Jane Austin font and sized that appropriately.
Step 3: Cut and weed your vinyl
Now, I’ll admit, even though there are presets in the Studio settings, I always like to double check my vinyl settings. And here’s something I love about Expressions Vinyl: they have a chart for you to find your cut settings at! I find myself starting with their number and doing a test cut every time now, and they are almost always spot on. It’s my little security blanket. The vinyl cut like a charm.
Once your vinyl cuts, weed out all the parts you don’t want. Since we’re using the vinyl as as stencil, this means that you’ll be removing all the lines and dots from the pattern.
Step 4: Placement
Oh, I’m so excited. This is where the magic starts. First you’ll want to place the transfer tape on top of your vinyl.
Peel the backing off of your vinyl, and place the piece on the leather.
The indoor vinyl is perfect for this project! It has just enough stick to stay put, but not too much to gunk up the leather.
For the larger piece, first I figured out where I wanted it to go. To apply the vinyl, I found it worked better to have the transfer paper partially on it’s backing and partially on the vinyl. It almost felt like I was rolling it off.
To apply it to the leather, I peeled off half of the vinyl backing, placed the notepad holder on the unpeeled part, and gently pressed the vinyl where I wanted it.
And I just followed the same procedure for the other side, removing the transfer tape when I was done.
Step 5: Paint
You all remember the pouncing from my Stencling Sherlock post, right?
Of course you do. How could you forget? Well, that’s the same motion you’ll be doing here. Make sure not to lay it on too thick, or else it will stick to your vinyl when you go to remove it. The A below is a bit too thick. And even though it may look like it needs a heavier coat, it probably doesn’t. Of course, you can always add a second coat. You may find that the rounded part of the exterior doesn’t want to stay perfectly put. That’s ok, just do the best you can. You can’t even notice where mine was being fussy.
Then, just peel the vinyl away… and voila!
You’re left with an elegant, customized piece you would be proud to tote anywhere. All courtesy of a bit of vinyl. And I’ll be honest here, I’ve racked my mind about how I would do this without the vinyl stencil, and I just can’t think of another way to get such clean lines. It really is the vinyl and the transfer tape that made this project such a success in my mind.
Wanna try your hand it it? Why not enter the giveaway below! You could win a $25 gift card to Expressions Vinyl!
Can’t wait to get started? Head on over to Expressions Vinyl to pick out your material and use the code KGDCRAFTERMATH to get yourself a 10% discount! The code is valid until April 7th, so go get buying and creating! I’ve been very impressed with their shipping, if you were to buy it today I wouldn’t be surprised if you had it in time to use this very weekend!
Good luck! And don’t forget to comment on this post with what you would make with your Expressions Vinyl to earn an extra entry!
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All opinions expressed on this blog are always my own.