Posts tagged ‘pens’
I’ve been playing around with drawing on fabric for a while, but haven’t been able to pull it together into a project until now. Pretty excited about how this turned out and about the potential here. The rough texture of the canvas really makes this piece work.
Here’s how it’s done (measurements are for an 11 x 14 canvas):
- Cut and iron a piece of canvas fabric (cotton duck) at least 13 x 16 inches.
- Cut a slightly larger piece of freezer paper and iron it wax side to wrong side of canvas.
-Trim neatly to 13 x 16 inches (rotary cutter preferred). The leading edge should be especially clean and straight, other edges not as critical.
- Load fabric pen into pen holder. I am using the Marvy Ball and Brush pen with the ball end. I used the new style Silhouette pen holder because this particular pen fits at the proper depth. You can also use the Chomas marker holder.
- Set rollers at 12 inches apart. This is the slot second from the right.
- Load 13 inch edge of prepared fabric into Cameo centered on rollers (1/2 inch fabric extending outboard of each roller)
- Load pen holder into Cameo.
- Open sketch file in Silhouette Studio.
- From the Cut Setting Panel choose settings for Sketch Pen.
- Press Cut.
(You can see in the photo below that I used 12 inch wide fabric in my sample. It worked but was too nerve-racking so that’s why I specify 13 inch wide.)
The most complicated part of this project is finding a suitable sketch file. At small sizes you can get away with a standard trace of a line art, but at 11 x 14 a true sketch file with open path strokes is going to be needed.
Here’s a comparison of what a normal trace versus a proper sketch file looks like in Silhouette Studio to show you what I mean. Click to enlarge.
Here’s how I went about creating the file (not for the faint-hearted … Adobe Illustrator, intermediate graphic design skills and lot of patience required):
- I selected a vintage image of an anchor. I have zero artistic ability so I needed something with just enough detail that I could handle.
- I printed it out at full page size.
- I taped a piece of tracing paper on top and hand traced it with an ultra fine pen. The idea here is to recreate the drawing with pen strokes that do not touch each other.
- I scanned my hand trace into Adobe Illustrator.
- In AI, I performed a center line trace (unlike the normal trace that finds both edges of a line, this attempts to find the center of the line and returns it as an open path.)
- I then point edited to clean up messy areas like this where the strokes overlap and can’t be traced as intended. This was the most tedious part.
- Saved as SVG. (You can export to DXF if you don’t have DE.)
- Merged the SVG into a blank 12 x 16, no mat page in Silhouette Studio Designer Edition.
- Applied sketch effects to the anchor SVG to give it a little more natural look. This step was optional, and the effect was subtle, but I recommend it if you have DE.
- Added text (I used Always Here font and added 1 internal offset at 0.010 as fill)
- Arranged layout and centered in 11 x 14 rectangle. (In my original I did not draw the rectangle, but in the future I will as it would help for final trimming of the canvas to fit the frame).
I found creating the sketch file to be a long and tedious process and I don’t recommend it unless you are very determined. No worries, though, because I’m sharing my file with you. Personal use only, and please share the link to this post, not the file itself, and whatever you do don’t try to cut this file with a blade, it’s for sketching only. Click here for the .studio file and here for the SVG. Thank you.
Now in case you are wondering why the sudden inspiration to complete a project, I am participating in a challenge. If you’d like to see more great fabric-related (our theme this month) projects, take a look below.
- No-Sew Valentine’s Day Pillows by A Tossed Salad Life
- No-Sew Interchangeable Fabric Bunting by unOriginal Mom
- Monogrammed Burlap Garden Flag by The Turquoise Home
- Crawl, Walk, Bike by It’s Always Craft Time
- Freezer Paper Stenciled Tote Bags by Weekend Craft
- DIY Bleach Spray Shirt by Practically Functional
- Stenciling Sherlock by Please Excuse My Craftermath…
- Felt Star Wands by Cutesy Crafts
- Yoda Kid’s T-Shirt by Architecture of a Mom
- Mark Your Territory- Dog Flags by Black and White Obsession
- Nautical Pillows by Lil’ Mrs. Tori
- Big Sister Gift & Silhouette Cut File by Creative Ramblings
- Nerdy Baby Onesies + Free Cut File by Essentially Eclectic
- Easy Easter Bunny Onesie – Silhouette Cameo Craft by Adventures in All Things Food & Family
- Fabric Envelopes for LEARNING LETTERS! (& cut file) by From Wine to Whine
- “Good Morning, Sunshine!” Memo Board by Tried & True
- Hearts-A-Lot Burlap Pillow Cover by My Paper Craze
- Baby Quilt by Dragonfly & Lily Pads
- Surprise Holiday Banner by Whats Next Ma
- “Team Betty” Tote Bag by The Thinking Closet
- DIY Sock Minion by Create it. Go!
- Pretty Up Some Organza Bags by Getsilvered
- Easy Heart Appliqued Onsies by Create & Babble
- Bleach Pen Gel & Freezer Paper Stencils Made with the Silhouette Machine by Bringing Creativity 2 Life
- Valentines Baby Onesie & Boy’s Shirt + Free Cut Files by The Frill of Life
- Valentine’s OWL Always Love You T-shirt by My Favorite Finds
- DIY Screen Printed Curtains by Chicken Scratch NY
- Fabric Painted Quilted Wall Hanging by Terri Johnson Creates
- Glitter Iron-On Top by Simply Kelly Designs
- DIY Monogrammed T-shirts with Silhouette Heat Transfer Material by Pitter and Glink
- Birthday Challenge by Fadville
- Machine Applique with SIlhouette Cameo by The Sensory Emporium
- Fabric Applique Valentine’s Day T-Shirt by DailyDwelling
- “Cute as Cupid” shirt by crafts, cakes, and cats
- Sew Cute Applique by Life After Laundry
- Rhino Onesie by It Happens in a Blink
- Upcycled Birchbox Cameo Accesory Organizer by Cupcakes&Crowbars
- Customizing textiles with Heat Transfer Vinyl (working title) by feto soap
- Easy Fabric Art by McCall Manor
- Lady Bug Tote Bag with Silhouette Rhinestones by Ginger Snap Crafts
- Mommy and Em’s Coordinated Aprons by TitiCrafty
- Canvas sketch project and a share by Clever Someday
- Foxy Lady Pajamas by Mabey She Made It
- Teddy Bear by Work in Progress
Now that the Silhouette SD has restored my faith in gel pen drawing with a digital diecutter, I’ve been testing various fonts for that single line look. To recap, many fonts will give a single line look at very small sizes (say a tenth of an inch high or less) but ones that look single line when drawn larger are harder to find. MTC has a cool feature to thin out regular fonts for a single line look but an algorithm is never going to match the aesthetics built in by a skilled typographer so the search continues.
I tested the fonts below with Staples mini gel pens, which have a very fine tip, in the Chomas Creations holder. You’ll get better results at smaller sizes and with broader tip pens such as metallic gel pens, for instance. A sample of my results are shown below. Click the image to enlarge it.
OK at ~ <1 inch tall
OK at ~ <.75 inches tall
OK at ~<.5 inches tall
OK at ~<.3 inches tall
OK at ~ <.25 inches tall
All of these are available at fontspace.com. As with the last post, each is rendered at the largest size that will still appear filled in. I’m only printing a few letters of each now for these samples so as to save time and preserve ink.
Another batch of pre-filled fonts for your gel pen enjoyment. Be sure to test a letter or two with the font, size and pen you want before committing to the long drawing process. Take this from someone who has run out one gel pen in the process so far. When you look at the regular printed version of the font, you will see how very different they look rendered with gel pens, and this will help you learn to spot good candidates yourself.
I had a prior post where I gave a rather contorted procedure for filling in the fonts that you draw with Cricut markers, gel pens, etc. Today I had a better idea. Find fonts that already have a “fill” that works with the Cricut. So I tested a bunch of fonts with my gel pens and when one seemed promising, I reduced the size until the fill looked solid. Some look really nice with the crosshatch showing, as well. All of these are freebies from either fonts101.com or dafont.com.
Keep in mind that these take a long time to draw, so plan ahead. If you want to use markers instead of gel pens, there are many more options, or you can use the fonts above at even at larger sizes. Also see this previous post about single line fonts.
Looks like between Chomas Creations (Custom Crops and/or Staples pens) and Cri-Kits we have the gel pen holder conquered. Both holders and the pens that accompany them will do a fine job on small images cut directly from a cartridge as shown in the image below, drawn at 3/4 inches high.
There remains a significant problem when cutting from a computer however. I compared a Provocraft cartridge image with a similar, node optimized, SVG in SCAL and MTC. As you can see, all of the computer-driven versions have significant “jiggle” compared to the direct cartridge image. (Click on the picture to see the enlarged image, also drawn at 3/4 inches high.)
The Chomas holder with Staples pens seems to do a slightly better job with the computer-driven drawing than the Cri-Kits pen/holder (at least with the dark blue pens I tested) but the results at small sizes are still not very impressive with either. (For reference, the top upper case ABC is 1/4 inch tall)
It helps some to increase the size of your images. Here is the same node-optimized letter at about 1-1/2 inches high using 3 different pens. As you can see, the ballpoint Silhouette Sketch pens do not show the jiggling quite as much. It makes sense that the more free-flowing the ink, the more pronounced the jiggle is.
I also tested various speeds and pressures but could not see any improvement. I also tried optimized images (minimum nodes/control points) and polyline images (many nodes/control points) and the results were still unimpressive. My guess is that the disparity has to do with the coordinate systems for cartridge cutting (perfectly matched) versus computer-driven cutting (imperfect conversion). I am further convinced that this is a machine limitation because I’m told that the same files draw smoothly with a Silhouette cutter, and because no one else has been able to show me an SVG that cuts as smooth on a Cricut as a cartridge.
I also tested the Staples ink tube/tip in the Cri-Kits pen shell and vice-versa. You can enjoy using the inexpensive Staples pen innards as refills in your Cri-Kit holder, just turn up the pressure until you have contact with the paper. Unfortunately, the Cri-Kits ink tubes do not work in the Staples pen barrel, because the exposed tip is too long, even at minimum pressure.
BTW, there are lots of great gel pen ideas hitting the blogs right now like this post from my good friend PapaSue , this one from Denise at PaperPastime, this one from Shelly at Paper Flowers and this one from Samantha the Scrapmaster.