Recycle & Trash Bin Vinyl Cut Outs | Week 5 | #52wonderfilledweeks

Good snowy morning! We woke up this morning to a beautiful blanket of snow and couldn't be more excited. Last week I teased that I made some pretty luxurious birthday presents and I would show them off this week but I misplaced the file with the photos so I will have to hold off on that until I can locate those. It was a really busy week with some community organizing and I was worried that here in week 5 I would drop the ball on this challenge of mine but last night I mustered the energy to do a project that had been in my mind since Christmas. In 2011 my Mom bought me a Cricut Expression for my birthday. I've always considered my self a "crafter" and "sewer" but had never explored much the paper craft side of things. With the Expression in my crafting arsenal I was hooked. I used the machine for everything from cards to gift tags, decorations for a baby shower I hosted and my favorite thing, to cut stencils from freezer paper. The one draw back at the time was that we couldn't draw and then cut our own designs. As side hustle graphic designers this was very disappointing. At the time there were several lawsuits regarding use of intellectual property so the die cutting companies just shut down that option. Fast forward several years later and they all have re-opened up that option and the possibilities are endless! I'm not sure what changed...maybe I will actually investigate that later but what's important to me is that we can now cut out anything we can think of! A week after Christmas the sales started and I decided to look into upgrading my current machine to one that would give us this new flexibility. I started out by reading a ton of reviews and then this blog by Katy McKinley. I was eventually sold on the new Silhouette Cameo 3 and I got a great deal thru Amazon. I also upgraded my software via Swing Design for about half the price...highly recommend checking them out. When I got my machine I was thinking of using it mainly for stencils but the box came with a free package of vinyl and my wheels started spinning....

Please excuse our dirty trash and recycling bin lids...but you can probably see where I am going with this already.  We are very committed to recycling and while we know which bin is for trash and which is for recyclables our guests did not.  During one visit from some family my husband used green painters tape to label the lids.  This worked great but looked...we like to say "janky". 


So when I saw the recycling blue and plain black vinyl in my free package I knew that it was screaming for me to finally jump on the vinyl wagon.

My paper crafting set up in my craft area.  The table slides under my long cutting table.  It's perfect for being compact yet accessible!

I started by finding the images I wanted online.  A quick google search gave me a ton of options to choose from.  I saved the images to my computer and opened them in the Silhouette Studio and after some fumbling around in the program I finally figured out how to get the images the size and shape that I wanted. After the machine does it's cutting magic you have to use "transfer tape" to adhere the front of the vinyl to and remove the paper backing off of what you just cut.  When you removed pieces that are not part of the finished "sticker" it is called weeding...this all sounds simple and can be if your design is simple.

The weeded recycle sign on transfer tape and in position on the bin lid.

Once you're vinyl and transfer tape are where you'd like it you burnish, or rub really hard and over and over the design.  You want to make sure there are no air holes or loose edges.  Laying vinyl over a curved surface can be tricky but since vinyl can technically stretch you just have to take your time and work the materials a bit.

Once it's all burnished you carefully pull back, at an angle is easier, the transfer tape! Wasn't that amazingly simple? I didn't buy my Silhouette with this type of project in mind but I am certainly looking forward to more projects like this in the future.  

Believe it or not the garabage one was easier because it was my second attempt and I made sure to burnish the vinyl onto the transfer tape really well and then subsequently onto the lid.  

 And now I'm not embarrassed to have folks see in our pantry anymore!


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