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Teacher Tee

I wanted to make an inspirational message shirt for my niece in her new position as a 4th grade teacher.  I used a good quality Hanes Tee and some of my favorite Gold Glitter Heat Transfer Vinyl (HTV for short).  The white lettering is in another of my favorite products: StripFlock HTV. The StripFlock comes out like a soft velvet, with a bit more body than regular HTV. It is conveniently available from Expressions Vinyl.  Reminder for crafters: The carrier sheet for StripFlock is cold peel and for Glitter HTV is HOT peel.

I wanted to bring the gold glittery feel of the titles into the Black bars and lettering. After some experimenting I made a black not so glittery vinyl with some glitter sparsely sprinkled on top of the Black HTV.

I used the Silhouette Cameo to cut he letters, and a Heat press from Pro World to press the HTV to the shirt.


Back to School should be fun!




Oak Signs

People have asked me about the picture on my sidebar.

This is a home made device for creating wood carvings, especially signs. It is a beefed up Pantograph.

I used it to make these two signs for my daughter and son in law. As teachers, they display them in their classrooms.

I create templates for each letter on scrap particle board. The letters are printed out with grid marks and affixed to the wood blocks, and cut out with a scroll saw.

The letter blocks are double size, and the pantograph shrinks them by 50% and this makes any slight defects in the letters imperceptible.

The pantograph is also 3D, so depth is also variable, and a conical follower can be used with a conical router bit to create sharp corners. Almost impossible to do with a round router bit.


Eyelet Reinforcments

The theater company had ten vests which laced up the front.  They were made with 1/4 inch eyelets. Over time and use, the eyelets became loose and began to fall out.  The costumer asked me if there was a way to repair the vests.

Then I had an idea. Remember when your 3 ring school notebook paper tore out?   You got these little sticky ring reinforcements to fix the hole.

notebook paper


Memorial Day

It is memorial day.

I am starting a project for an acquaintance of mine for whom this is a special day, with mixed emotions of pride and sorrow.
I am dedicating this post and project to Army 1st Lt. David T. Wright II, and his parents Tim and Michele.

The project is a custom turned Pepper Mill. I have a design in my head, but it will likely change as the wood speaks to me.   I am putting up a preliminary post and will update it as the project progresses. The temperature here is over 100 degrees today in the shop, so work has been intermittent!



Building a simple kite

Many people love the idea of building their own kites.

  • Pros:
    When you make your own kite, you control the size, shape, and quality of the build.
    The kite is sure to bring you many years of enjoyment.
    You can customize the color, design, and flight characteristics of the kite.
  • Cons:
    You can buy a cheaply made kite for a few dollars.
    You can fly it for a day or two, and if it gets caught in a tree, you are not out the expense of the well built kite.


You will need a supply house which can provide quality materials for your kites. You can make kites out of paper, Garbage bags, Tyvec or other fabrics.  I make my kites out of Rip Stop Nylon. It is easy to work with, resists tearing, often includes UV protection to avoid color fading, and is very light. Most quality kites are made out of Rip Stop Nylon. Many artistic kites are made of paper.

I can recommend a good place to start your shopping. Goodwinds in Mount Vernon, Washington State, has many of the supplies you will need. I have no affiliation with this company, I have used them to obtain many items I use in kite construction. I have found their products to be top notch.

You will first need to determine the size of your kite. Remember, bigger kites pull harder, and require more strength to handle. For children, a smaller kite may be better. We can use an example of a simple diamond kite, called an Eddy.

An Eddy kite can fly with no tail, but one can be added if desired.

The basic design is 36″ tall and 36″ wide.   The two wooden or graphite spars cross at right angles.   You can make the kite 100cm x 100cm, if you would like your kite a bit bigger, or size it down to 30 inches x 30 inches for children.  For 36 inch or 1 meter kites, use 5/16″ ramen dowel, for 30 inch kites, you may use 1/4 inch dowel spars. I have shown the 30 inch kite below, with optional 36″ or 1 meter dimensions in parentheses.



Make a Wish!

A wishing well to dress up an ugly swimming pool pump motor.  We have a little stone waterfall which runs by a re-circulation pump. I wanted to make something to match the mood of the pond like area.  I started using some rough cut redwood fencing panels. I planed them smooth.



Pepper Mill

I love fresh ground pepper. Especially from a home made pepper mill. We decided to make a pepper mill from cherry and walnut woods. The design is achieved by layering alternating planks of light and dark wood, then cutting them on a slant.



Badge-A-Minit with Silhouette Cameo

I have a closet full of Badge A Minit parts and a couple of presses. I don’t make many because I dislike cutting out the little circles. I have one of their circle cutters. It is inaccurate, cuts up the designs, and sometimes my fingers. So I was thinking, they sell a cutting machine for $229 that only cuts circles. Ah Ha! My Silhouette Cameo will print and cut the circles a sheet at a time! And it costs about the same, but does so much more!


Don’t get me wrong, Making the badges and buttons is fun. But watching the Cameo make the designs is over the top!
And the Badge A Minit starter kit is very reasonable.




What if you fly?

This is such a powerful verse. The author is Erin Hanson from Brisbane Australia. I bought the cut file from The Hungry JPEG. as part of their Craftalicious bundle Vol.2.  I made this shirt for my daughter for teacher’s day 2016. I would have preferred midnight blue on the powder blue, but alas, I only had black.



Video Tutorial, Owl cut design.

Watch this video which takes you step by step to create a cute owl Print and Cut design. The video is about 12 minutes.  Because you make it, you have all rights and use privileges. Use it for personal or commercial purposes.  Use this technique to make other designs. For some reason, YouTube rendered the first 10 seconds a little fuzzy, but then it gets clear. My original was clear throughout.