Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Heat Transfer Monograms

I love to make things for people just as much as I love making things for my home.  My Silhouette Portrait has opened up so many possibilities for making gifts for people.  One great thing about the Silhouette is its ability to cut heat transfer vinyl.  In January my friend had a baby boy.  We were at lunch one day and she was talking about her son's nursery and how she would like to find some grey and white chevron curtains.  Since I have already made many curtains for my home I knew that I could easily make some for her.
I made them shorter than normal because of a baseboard heater on that wall.  I had also been wanting to try making a valence so I made one to surprise her with.  I used this tutorial from the Living Solutions Interior Design Blog.  I did not staple it to a piece of wood which is the traditional way to make a valence.  Instead I used a simple metal curtain rod like this one:
I made a little sleeve of fabric that I sewed velcro to and slid the rod in.  Then I sewed velcro at the top of the valence.  That way the valence is removable for washing if necessary.  I hope that makes sense since I didn't take any process photos.  I hope to make another one eventually and then I will do a full tutorial.  

After I finished the valence I knew that it needed a little something more so I decided to add a monogram with heat transfer vinyl.  I just used a monogram from the Silhouette online store.
It turned out so cute but for my next monogram project I knew that I wanted to step it up a little bit by making a custom monogram.  Last weekend I attended a wedding and I wanted to give the couple something handmade in addition to some items off of their registry.  I knew that monogrammed napkins would be the perfect thing.  I made napkins for my own home in this post.
So I chose some cute navy and white greek key fabric and decided that orange thread and an orange monogram would look sharp.  After googling images of monograms to get some ideas I opened up my Silhouette software and picked a font.
I chose Niagra Engraved.  A monogram for a married couple starts with the first name initial of the bride, then the last name initial of the groom, followed by the first name initial of the groom.  
I then changed the fill color to orange to help me better visualize what the monogram would look like on my napkins.
I found a flourish frame that I like in the Silhouette online store.  I knew that I needed to make a few modifications to get it the way I wanted it so I used the knife tool to separate the top from the bottom and deleted the bottom part.
The shape still had some extra edges so I double clicked on the shape so that I could edit the points.  I dragged and deleted points until the line was straight.

I then filled in the shape with orange, copied the shape, and flipped it 180 degrees and placed the shape above and below the monogram.
I then went to the object drop down menu and found the fill page command under the replicate menu to make a page of my monograms.
Finally I mirrored the image horizontally.  This is an essential step when using the heat transfer material otherwise you will have a backwards design on your finished project.  I loaded the heat transfer material into the Silhouette and sent the design to the Silhouette using the heat transfer settings.  Then I weeded out my design and followed the directions on the box to apply the monogram to my napkins.

So there you have it, a heat transfer monogram tutorial.  It is a really easy way to customize any fabric project.  And the heat transfer material comes in two finishes: smooth like I used in these projects and flocked which is fuzzy.  I hope you have an awesome day and feel free to leave me a comment below!

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