Video: DIY Stencils with Silhouette Cameo

Happy New Year, everyone!! I hope 2015 has gotten off to a great start for you all.

To kick off the new year, I have a brand new Stencil Series, with the very first post today teaching you how to make DIY Stencils using your Silhouette Cameo.

To start off, I have a quick video here showing you some of the stencils I've made so far.

Here are the settings I set my Silhouette to:

Blade Depth: 6

Speed: 1

Double Cut (Most important setting!!)

Be prepared to wait a while for this to cut - at Speed 1 as well as Double Cut on, it'll take at least half an hour to cut a full sheet. But it's well worth the wait!!

As you saw in the video, I've cut some really intricate, beautiful stencils out of designs I found on the Silhouette America store. You just have to search "backgrounds" or "stencils" and there will be hundreds of results for you to look and choose from! The two specific designs I showed you are Lantern Double Daisies #51119 and Fishscale Brick #46006.

Here is the plastic material I used to make my stencils. You get 25 sheets, which will make you 50-100 stencils!!

By the way, if you ever have any leftover plastic material when cutting your stencils, like I did below, you can save this and use it for other uses in cardmaking - like making windows for shaker cards! :)

If you're interested in purchasing the SVG files I've designed with four basic backgrounds - a great collection to start you off with - that are perfect for stencils, you can do so here. They only cost a few bucks, so even after purchasing the plastic material, it still costs you less than half the price of buying two full price stencils!

And if you've never used SVG files with your Silhouette before and aren't sure how to do it, here's a tutorial that will help you out.

Thanks for your support, always, and see you soon with some cool, stenciled cards to continue the series!

Beep Boop

I've been a very happy girl lately. It's amazing how much good weather can change your mood. I mean, 75 degrees and sunny in Boston? That doesn't happen often, so if you don't enjoy it when it does, you are missing out big time ;)

Recent and future adventures include:
A picnic with my friend Sarah in front of the Museum of Fine Arts

Taking pictures on fire escapes

Seaside photo ops

Nighttime strolls in our beautiful neighborhood

Watching my plants grow :)

Hand lettering outside on campus

Lots of ice cream eating and more picnics to come!

Sorry, I got a little carried away there. I've clearly been taking LOTS of photos recently!!
My real reason for this post is that I wanted to share a card with some SUPER cute new products!!
Just check out that little robot stamp (Lawn Fawn - Beep Boop Birthday) and those teeny tiny flower sequins (from Simon Says Stamp)!! They seriously are the cutest things I've gotten in the mail in a looong time!! I especially love the robot stamps because they would be great for cards for guys, but obviously I made it a little girlier here by adding the flower sequins.
I gave this card to Sarah during our picnic, and I think she really liked it ;) After all, a handmade card during a summer picnic? What's not to love??

Easy Father's Day Card with SVG file

Hi all! Father's Day is only three days away!! It's crazy how these holidays always sneak up on me - it feels like it was just Mother's Day yesterday, doesn't it? If you haven't created a card for your dad yet, follow along with me today as I make a really easy and FUN card! :)



So, the first thing I did was cut out a file that I created on my Silhouette Cameo from some plain white cardstock - you can download the SVG file here. Then, simply write (Best Dad Ever) underneath so you have some personal handwriting on there!



Then, we're going to get started on our watercolor background that's going to go behind the negative space of the die cut.



Very important tip: When watercoloring, if you want to have maximum blending between colors (which is what I want for the ombre-like effect I'm trying to achieve), wet your paper FIRST before adding any color. The whole thing. Just slap it on generously. ;) You'll see a HUGE difference once you start putting on color - it will really start to blend itself. Just look at how easily the colors blend together when you do this!



So just keep going at it, using whatever colors you like. When you're all done with that, let it dry, or use a heat gun to speed up the process.



Now comes the even MORE fun part! We're going to add some more interest to this background, because the spaces under the "BDE" are quite large and we want to make it look cool behind. So we're going to do some watercolor paint splatters! :D Make sure to cover up your workspace under your card front if you care about mess. You can also practice splattering on a separate piece first if you want, but I mean, they're splatters, so they don't have to be perfect, haha.

Tip: When making paint splatters, a medium/large round tipped brush will create the best effects.
So what you're going to do is take a generous amount of water on your round brush and mix it in with the color you want to splatter with.



Flick your brush onto your paper, or hold it horizontally with one hand while tapping from the top with your other hand. If the paint isn't coming off, you can quickly dip your brush into your water and try again...



..And just keep splattering away until you like the result!



Once that's all dry, we just have to assemble the card and we're done! I decided to pop up the front die cut on foam squares because it really makes the negative space pop out. You can just adhere it flat if you don't want to deal with the backings of 20+ foam squares. ;) Then I added some wood veneer little stars to act as periods for the abbreviation of "BDE" - you can use enamel dots, sequins, or even just leave it blank. And here's another look at the final result - those paint splatter just look awesome behind the negative of the die cut!!!



Bonus: Go to Instagram (@michelleyuen_) to see the step-by-step photos in stop-motion form!!! (You'll have to be on a phone to see the video, I believe)

If you decide to recreate this card, let me know how it turns out, and leave a link/photo so I can check it out! Have fun :)

Best Envelopes for Cardmakers

It seems like I've been on the hunt for envelopes that are perfect for those of us who make handmade cards. Since I don't use card blanks that come with matching envelopes, I'm always in need of envelopes. Usually, handmade cards have more dimension and require a sturdier envelope than the ones you usually get in bulk. And, after you've spent so much time and effort for a card, don't you want a nice home for it??

I used to handmake envelopes out of my own cardstock, using a stencil, tracing, cutting, and gluing... but it wasn't long before I got sick and tired of this tedious method. Then I bought a pack of envelopes from Amazon, but was very disappointed by the flimsy quality. It seemed that wherever I looked online, most envelopes were the same thickness as printer paper, OR I had to pay an extreme premium for higher quality envelopes. Then, finally, I came across the website that had the perfect solution for me.


Here's a comparison of envelopes off of Amazon and those from CutCardstock.com. It's hard to show in photo, but you can see even from this picture that the top one looks much smoother and more opaque.

Oh, but I also must mention the BEST feature of this website - they send you THREE free samples of whatever you want!!! I tried three different envelopes and found that this one was my favorite, but you can sign up to try some others that look good to you! Isn't that awesome??? :)


The opacity is especially important for me, because I stamp my website on the back of cards I sell, and it just looks bad when you can see the black ink through the envelope!


I'll be using these envelopes from now on for all my handmade cards, whether it be ones I sell or ones that have lots of dimension!

Is there a kind of envelope that you've found to be great for handmade cards? Please share in the comments below - I'd love to check them out and compare! And if you found this post useful, make sure to pin it on Pinterest for future reference! (I know I always need to go back for exact links!)