Who needs a Silhouette?

When you’ve got a light-box!

I’m sure the majority of you have seen the hundreds of silhouette/cameo/go baby/
what-have-you cutter tutorials that have sprung up over the past few months.

Fish bowl with glass etched name
They are super cool. Right?
You think all the projects that they can make are adorable. Yes?
You are terribly jealous that your blog isn’t popular enough to get a free one from the company. Absolutely!
You are planning to rush right out and buy one of these machines as soon as possible.
At least wrong for me.

Shilouette cameo and portrait

I don’t deny that I wish Santa had decided to stuff one of those machines into my stocking for Christmas, but I’m also pretty realistic about the budget around here. Especially since the birthday fairy brought me an awesome DSLR, we got a new car, and then the old car had major problems! I’m super thankful for all the neat goodies that I received over the past year. It just so happens, that a cameo wasn’t one of them.
I’m sure there are plenty of you out there who are in the same boat. For one reason or another we aren’t going to be included into the Amazing Cutter Club anytime soon, and will have to make due some other way. 

Pink snowflake pajamas

Freezer Paper Stencils
I could take precious time to make up a tutorial for this, but why bother when there is a
perfectly awesome one right over at I Am Momma – Hear Me Roar! (complete with a video!)
I just traced one of the snowflakes from the pants fabric and free hand painted on the dark pink.

But, let’s pretend that you have this great idea for a shirt design that it is WAY too complicated for your average exacto cut freezer paper stencil. This would be the perfect time to use some of that vinyl transfer stuff! Alas, we aren’t in “that club” remember. So here is what I decided to do instead. 

Step 1 – Draw or Print out the image you’d like to use.
(I printed out lots of snowflakes)

painted snowflakes

Step 2 – Remove the glass from an appropriate sized picture frame.
(Cover the corners with masking tape to prevent injuries to yourself and the fabric!)

Step 3 – Scotch tape the image to the glass.

Snowflakes on glass

Step 4 – Slide the glass between the layers of your shirt.
(Use a few tape donuts to keep it from shifting around.)
making a snowflake shirt

Step 5 – Set the glass on your light-box.
using a light box to make a printed shirt

Step 6 – Paint.
Puffy paint would obviously be the easiest,
but I used a brush for everything except the glitter.
(The glitter later turned out to be glue and not paint! It washed off,
but I only needed it for that one day, so Oh well : / )

snowflake tshirt

Unfortunately this process will only work with light colored fabrics. I’ll just have to stick
 to iron on transfer paper for darker things, but it’s better than nothing for right now.
Maybe I should just have invested in one of these iron transfer pencils though ; )
Sulky iron on pens
What about you?
Do you have any tricks to get around not having the “fancy” equipment?
Not necessarily a Silhouette, but any crafting goodies at all.

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