15 Jun 2017

Embellish Card with Flocked Heat Transfer

I love adding a little something extra to my cards, especially those for very special occasions. I've found that using flocked heat transfer material gives fantastic fuzzy texture to select elements and is very easy to do.

On the Silhouette UK Blog today I've combined the use of the heat transfer with a new style of card; the new Insta-cube card by Lori Whitlock. They are small folded cards powered by a rubber band. When you pull a card from its decorated sleeve it pops up to form a cube. I know a couple who are expecting their first baby later in the year, so I selected the baby version and think it will make a lovely keepsake.

I gave some of the elements (the giraffe, the heart and the 'B' in baby) a fluffy texture to make the card and sleeve extra tactile. Although I used flocked heat transfer vinyl, felt or speciality flocked paper could be used instead.

Medium-weight card for the base

Printable Cardstock

Coloured or patterned card/paper

Rubber band (about 2.75"/ 70 mm)

Strong double-sided adhesive tape

Yellow Flocked Heat Transfer (HTV)

Baby Insta-Cube Card file by Lori Whitlock #198865

Iron or Heat Press


How to Use Heat Transfer Material

1. Select the pieces that you are going to cut from heat transfer. Remember that heat transfer elements need to be flipped.  

2. Place heat transfer material shiny side to the mat and cut the pieces and then weed (remove the bits you don't need).

3. Separate the elements and then activate the adhesive on the HTV by pressing the designs into place. Use an iron, or heat press on a lower heat setting than normal and allow to cool before carefully peeling off the backing (warning: it does get very hot).

I used heat setting 6 on my Hobby Jack heat press (which I believe is around 120ºC, so a good bit cooler than you'd use for garments). You can use an iron (non-steam) with a similar temperature, but if you move the iron around, the design may shift too. Press initially for 8 seconds, and allowed it to cool and then re-press for a few more seconds if it hasn't stuck.  Ensure you use a protective layer between the HTV and the hot platen. For ease I use a silicon sheet fixed to the upper platen of my press.
4. Check carefully by lifting a corner of the backing sheet. You may need to encourage the flock to separate from the backing with a flat tool, and hold down the part that has separated against the card (don't pull it straight up from the card). A heat press isn't necessary, but it does a better job of applying heat evenly so that your base card doesn't scorch.

This is a such a fun card design, and there are a number of other designs to choose from.

I think that the fuzzy elements make this card extra special. Do let me know if you have a go at using heat transfer on your cards technique in the comments below.

11 Jun 2017

NEWS : Now on the Simply Crafty SVgs Design Team


I'm thrilled to announce that I've joined the first ever Simply Crafty SVGs Design Team.  You can read the introduction and team member's bios on the Simply Crafty SVG Blog.

The Simply Crafty SVGs Shop has lots of great card and 3D designs in SVG format - great for cutting machines such as the Silhouette Cameo, Sizzix eclips  and Cricut Explore. Each file comes with a PDF document with full assembly instructions. Pop over to the store and checkout Sandy's fabulous designs.

If you have a Silhouette machine you'll need to have the Designer Edition, Designer Edition Plus, or Business Edition to easily import and work with the files.

I'll be sharing my favourite monthly project here on this blog. Look out my first post later this month.
I'm excited to be sharing it with you!

6 Jun 2017

Cut and decorate your own Leatherette Bookmarks

Make your own bookmarks with Silhouette Leatherette and a FREE file from the SilhouetteUK Blog. Designed by Janet Packer (CraftingQuine) for the Silhouette UK Blog.

Hiya, today I have a new post over on the Silhouette UK Blog on using Silhouette Leatherette Sheets. Yes, the leatherette sheets can be cut very successfully on any of the Silhouette machines (not the Mint, of course).

Not only does the post contain a tutorial on cutting the leatherette it includes how to cut and decorate bookmark AND a  free cutting file for the bookmark.  You can only download the file from the Silhouette Blog, so you'll need to pop over there if you want (or go ahead as design your own).

I decorated the bookmarks with heat transfer vinyl (HTV) using the beautiful Many Flowers Border file by Nic Squirrell (#177994).

I think they turned out nicely and look very professional.  Do you prefer the smooth or flocked finish?

Oh ... and bonus points if you can tell me the title of the book in the photos!

29 May 2017

A Mouse Ice cream Cart and Hints on Using Scraps

Hiya, Over to the Silhouette UK Blog today I have a post all about using scraps, making your media go further, and using substitutes if you don't seem to have just what you need. To illustrate these tips I made this cute little Mouse Ice Cream Cart by Samantha Walker.

Here are some close-up pics of my favourite tweaks.

Cork ice-cream cones

A tiny silver tray in the cool box (great for a secret message).

A birthday message on the custom chalkboard

I hope like this fun little project and that the post gives you some ideas for using up your bits and pieces.

If you have tips of your own I'd love to hear about them in the comments. Do share!

19 May 2017

Chalkboard Labels for Homemade Preserves


I don't have a big garden, but I love growing things to eat. Rhubarb grows a little too successfully, and its big leaves shade the lawn, causing it to die off if we don't pick it regularly. To use up an extra large harvest, I recently made a hot and spicy chutney with our rhubarb and shop-bought fresh root ginger.  I wanted to 'prettyfy' the jars to give some as gifts. and made custom chalkboard labels.

Over on the  Silhouette UK Blog today I show how I made the labels with my Silhouette® CAMEO 3, Chalkboard Cardstock and a favourite gel pen in the Silhouette Pen Holder. I used a few of these lovely circular frames designed by Lori Whitlock and a Sketch font called Sisters, designed by Riva Wilkins. I used a white gel pen to draw the frames and write the labels, a draw and cut technique.

I also added some tiny mini labels just for fun and some black and white baker's twine to finish.

Do you make preserves?  If not, these labels would look equally pretty on store-bought preserves. Why not pop over to the blog and see how it's done?

11 May 2017

Make Your Own Cork Stickers

Hiya,  I've a new post over on the Silhouette UK Blog today.  I've been working with adhesive cork sheets a lot recently.  I haven't shared all my projects yet because some of them are for future publication, but I will share when I can.

Last month I wrote in general about how to use the cork sheets. I used the cork sheets to cover MDF shapes, and the designs I cut were quite large. As promised I've returned to the Silhouette Cork Sheets to make sticker embellishments for my cards.

I've discovered that you can paint and stencil onto cork. I've painted through a stencil with acrylic paint and with pigment ink.  The pigment ink gave the neater effect, but not all colours worked equally well.  I like the look I achieved with one of the Tim Holtz Distress Oxides. This was using Broken China. The results were quite crisp with just a cardboard stencil.

However, I like the neater and more detailed results achievable using Silhouette Heat Transfer Material. This involves pressing heat transfer vinyl onto the cork sheets with an iron or heat press.

Here are some beach huts I designed in the Silhouette Studio software. Better still, the adhesive backing on the cork stays sticky, so are easy to apply to projects - no additional adhesive required. I did find it a little time consuming to apply the vinyl colours to one cork piece at a time though and looked for a better way to decorate a whole sheet of stickers at once.

For my Silhouette post I made a selection of sweet themed stickers using some of the simpler elements from designs purchased from the Silhouette Design Store:
  • Gingerbread Peppermint & Candy Cane by Kristen Magee #35782
  • Valentine Choc Rack Tall Card by Snapdragon Snippets #73620
  • Filofax Planner Donut Bookmark Clip by PPbN Designs #76883  

The post tells you how I made and cut the cork stickers and then decorated them with two layers of HTV one whole sheet of stickers at a time. Yes, with this method I decorated 15 stickers in just two pressings - a huge time-saving!

It also gives cut settings for both Cameo and Curio, and details on how to press the designs.

To use the stickers, its simply a matter of peeling off the backing paper. They can be used on cards, scrap layouts and other papercrafting projects.  I made a few into planner clips. The cork sticks really well when a pair are used back-to-back, securing the clip in between.

I hope you'll experiment too. I'd love to know how you get on and what you make. You could share pics on my NEW Facebook page Janet Packer CraftingQuine.

7 May 2017

Stained Glass Butterfly Card

Stained Glass Butterfly Card by Janet Packer (CraftingQuine.blogspot.co.uk)

Hello, I've been wanting to make one of these stained glass cards for a while. This one is made from black card and pearlescent vellum coloured with alcohol ink.

Stained Glass Butterfly Card by Janet Packer (CraftingQuine.blogspot.co.uk)

The card base was cut from heavy-weight cardstock on my Silhouette Cameo, and then 2 further frames cut from adhesive cardstock. Once the vellum (coloured with two colours of alcohol ink) was dry, I stuck one of the frames on to it, and trimmed around it, sandwiched the vellum with the other frame then mounted the whole butterfly onto the card base.

I made a separate body in the Silhouette software, cut two, and adhered them on on top with the top most one decorated with glitter flock.

The sentiment is a stamp from Lawn Fawn and was stamped in blue Distress Oxide ink and heat embossed with clear embossing powder.

Items Used:
Butterfly Card cut file by StudioIlustrado
Silhouette® Cameo 3
Pearlescent Vellum
Adirondack Alcohol Ink in Aqua
Adirondack Alcohol Ink in Sailboat Blue
Black Heavyweight Cardstock
Black Adhesive Cardstock
Glitter Flock Powder
Lawn Fawn Scripty Sayings
Distress Oxide Ink in Broken China  

The colours and butterfly subject inspiration came straight form the images the Daring Cardmakers May Elemental Challenge. The third element was the texture of the fluffy, kitten on the butterfly's body.

Daring Cardmakers have such great challenges!

1 May 2017

Shaker Maze Card

I recently made a birthday card for a friend who is an a-MAZE-ing baker, and today I've shared it over on the Silhouette UK Blog. Its one of my favourite shaker cards, this time with a maze incorporated.

I used the Heart Maze file by Tanya Batrak because it has an open space in the centre for a more detailed decorative element. I enlarged the space and built up the layers so that the beads could move around the maze. I also added indentations to the central picture for the beads to rest, turning the card into a little game.

These are the files I used for the Silhouette Design Store:

Heart Maze file by Tanya Batrak (#172861)

Cupcake file by PattyYoung Designs (#34751)

Yellow Daisy font by Rivka Wilkins (#106927)

Over on the blog I've included a tutorial on how to put this card together. Its not a quick make, but has a truly fun result. I speeded up the whole process by cutting the pieces from adhesive card stock.

You might like the other Shaker card tutorials I have over on the Silhouette UK Blog:
Making Shaker Cards - Pt 1 The Basics
Making Shaker Cards Pt 2 The Cards, and
Anchored Shaker Elements.

I hope my friend enjoys her birthday card.

28 Apr 2017

Lion head Card and Stand

Hiya, Today I have a post over on the Silhouette UK blog showing how to make a stand to add to a card to transform it into an item of home décor. I've included a file of the stand shape and it's free to download too. Just pop over to the Silhouette UK blog to download it in DXF format.

I just love, love , LOVE the Lion Head file that I used to demonstrate the stand, designed by one of my favourite designers in the Silhouette Design Store - Nik Squirrell -  AND she's from the UK too (Kent)! So, as well as the lion silhouette (no pun intended) I couldn't resist making a card too.

I made the background by blending pigment inks using the yellow and orange colours from a Clearsnap ColorBox Pigment Inkpad (Primaries).  They blend so much more easily than dye inks - I must remember to use them more often.

The lion head silhouette was cut from Canvas Corps Chalkstock card.  I'm not sure if it is available in the UK, but its worth seeking out as its really smooth and cuts beautifully with the Silhouette Cameo.

I mounted the Lion head onto an easel card and added a sentiment in gold vinyl. The name 'Lisa' is a cut-out with more blended card showing through from below. If you're wondering why the scissors, it was a card for my hairdresser, lion, mane, get it?

16 Apr 2017

Mama Bear Wood Veneer Picture

Today I have a new post on the Silhouette UK blog about another NEW product - Silhouette Wood Sheets. I wanted to try these out since I first heard that the Silhouette family of machines could cut wood in this form.  These are a super-thin wood veneer and are self adhesive with a protective paper backing. On the blog I describe how I used the product and how to best cut it.

I made a little framed wall art using the sweet Mama Bear design by Sweet Afton.

It looks great on my gallery wall.  I love the natural, rustic feel.

I can't wait to use it for card embellishments too.

14 Apr 2017

Using SVGs to Create in Silhouette Studio Designer Edition

Fancy Cat designs in a varity of media by Janet Packer (Crafting Quine). Original design by Sanqunetti Design.

Hiya, this week I had the opportunity to try out the new Fancy Cat Cutting File from Sanqunetti Design. I used the designer edition of the Silhouette Studio software, but the variety of file types included allow the design to be used with most cutting machines (SVG, DXF, PDF & JPG). Note, the DXF format can be used with the basic edition of the Silhouette Studio software too.

I wasn't sure if the design would be better suited to card, vinyl or something else. It turned out it that the image suited EVERYTHING and so I made it up in all the media I had readily available (heat transfer vinyl, caper/card and sticker paper).


I made up a little pyjama bag using a variation of the phrase "the cat's pyjamas" - perfect to use with this image. I used soft, velvety, flocked vinyl for the black parts, sparkly gold glitter vinyl for the heart and glasses, and regular smooth vinyl for the remainder.

Fancy Cat designs in a varity of media by Janet Packer (Crafting Quine). Original design by Sanqunetti Design.

CARDSTOCK (Greeting card)

For the card I designed a semi-shaped card using an offset of the cat's head and a patterned rectangle. The background piece was made using the Silhouette's Print & Cut function, with most of the pieces being cut from textured cardstock.  The glasses and heart are made with card with a glitter heat transfer veneer (yes, you can iron heat transfer on to card). The heart is finished with the recipient's  initial cut from regular sign vinyl. Of course, a monogram or small name could be added as an alternative.

Fancy Cat designs in a varity of media by Janet Packer (Crafting Quine). Original design by Sanqunetti Design.

STICKER PAPER (Custom Stickers)

Using the Print & Cut function again, I made a sheet of personalised stickers using the included JPEG image.

Fancy Cat designs in a varity of media by Janet Packer (Crafting Quine). Original design by Sanqunetti Design.

What a lovely extra surprise to include a sheet of stickers with a child's greeting card?

Fancy Cat designs in a varity of media by Janet Packer (Crafting Quine). Original design by Sanqunetti Design.


I had intended to made a decal for a cat treat jar with some custom text. However, I'd used all my pink sign vinyl, so that is a project for another day.


The files allow for all manner of variations and customisations. The diagram shows some possible options for the bow.

For vinyl, I chose to make the black flock more prominent than the grey, and used the lower of the two vinyl variations with the loose 'shadow' pieces, omitting the 'knot' piece.

For the card, I decided I'd prefer to have fewer loose pieces and so made the bow and shadow pieces a compound path, and again omitted the 'knot'.

A even simpler solution would be to just use the bow outline - the choice is your's!

Fancy Cat designs in a varity of media by Janet Packer (Crafting Quine). Original design by Sanqunetti Design.

I hope you find this demonstration of the versatility of these cutting files useful.  Let me know  (in the comments section below) if you have any further suggestions. I love hearing from you.

11 Apr 2017

Welcome Spring Card - April Elemental Challenge at Daring Cardmakers

Packer (Crafting Quine) for the Daring Cardmakers April 2017 Elemental Challenge

Hiya, I have something new for you today. I've been loving the challenges over at Daring Cardmakers, but find the weekly deadline a little tight to fit in with my other crafting commitments. However, I was so taken with the April Elemental Challenge that I dropped everything to make this card. It will also double as an Easter card for my Mum, so I didn't feel in the least guilty.

These are the photos from the Elemental Challenge. I love the colour and image selection, just right for Spring and Easter cards.

I firstly selected to make some daisies from Vellum with added pink tips. I used the 'Print & Cut' facility to make these from a digital file on my Silhouette Cameo (Lori Whitlock's 12-Petal Flowers). Daisy was my Gran's first name, so they hold a special place in my heart.

Welcome Spring vellum daisy card. Designed by Janet Packer (Crafting Quine) for the Daring Cardmakers April 2017 Elemental Challenge.

I added some centres cut from yellow felt - they reflect the colour and fluffiness of the duckling.

Packer (Crafting Quine) for the Daring Cardmakers April 2017 Elemental Challenge

Then it was out with the distress inks and a bit of smooshing and flicking to make the double watercolour background. I'd forgotten how much I enjoy using wet colour (and also how stained my fingers get too).

Packer (Crafting Quine) for the Daring Cardmakers April 2017 Elemental Challenge

I hand cut the stems and then adhered them to the card, and added a tiny bow of twine (another element from the inspiration).

Finally I added a sentiment in teal metallic vinyl (a free file from the Silhouette Design Store from a few week's ago). I just removed some of the bits that I didn't want by ungrouping and releasing its compound path.

Packer (Crafting Quine) for the Daring Cardmakers April 2017 Elemental Challenge

I hope you like the card, I certainly enjoyed making it, and enjoyed the Daring Cardmakers challenge too.

5 Apr 2017

Print & Cut with A3 Card and Paper

Hello, today I intended to use this week's FREE file from the Silhouette Store to make some wrapping paper, although it turns out I neither made wrapping paper, nor even used paper. However, I did use the free file and discovered that I could use A3 media and the large cutting mat (12 in. x 24 in. ) with the Silhouette Cameo's Print & Cut technology.

Instead of using it as a cut design I decided to use it as a printed element, and instead of using it filled, as in the picture, I used the outline.

This is so easy to do in the Silhouette Studio software; simply choose a suitable colour and change the line thickness.

Now, my first thought was that this would make a great repeated element for wrapping paper and I could print it in A3 and wrap just about any gift.  So I changed my mat to 12 in. x 24 in. and my virtual paper to A3 and off I went, rotating, aligning and duplicating until I had a A3 page of lovely bunnies.

Then disaster struck -  I realised that I didn't have any A3 paper, only cardstock! 260gsm would never work as wrapping paper.

However,  if print & cut would work with my A3 mat, then I could choose a project and fill the project shapes with my new paper. I'd never tried it, but thought if the registration marks will display, then there was a chance it would work.

I chose to make a 3D Tissue Box file, that wouldn't need wrapping and opened Lori Whitlock's Tissue Box file in the same work space. Then I had another Eureka moment - I could delete the bunnies that I didn't need and save on printer ink.

The result? The registration marks and the box pieces printed perfectly. The Cameo read the registration marks first time and cut the pieces beautifully.

There was very little ink wasted (the excess pink shown below was a bleed/printing margin rather than any cutting inaccuracy.)

I was then able to quickly assemble the box and even made a tag with the excess pieces from the top centre of the box.

To summarise then, YES, Print & Cut works with A3 media. Result!

In case it isn't evident, I've just treated myself to an A3 Printer, and I'm exploring ways to use it with my Silhouette, and with crafting generally. If you have an idea you'd like to share, or you'd like me to explore, please add it to the comments below.

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