I try to help my son, YMGP, make cards to send to his grandparents and great-grandparents for various holidays. While walking through Hobby Lobby a few weeks ago, I came up with an idea for Valentines cards… and honestly had no idea whether or not it would work. Hello experiment.
I picked up a package of heart-shaped doilies, some rubber cement and some red finger paint. The idea was to use the doily as a reverse stencil, protecting a heart-shaped area from an onslaught of finger paint that would stand out once the doily was removed. I was hoping that the rubber cement would allow me to remove the doily after it was coated in finger paint. Hoping.
So I did a little experiment. I coated the back of a doily in rubber cement and stuck it to some card stock… or at least I tried. The back side of the doily is curly, and it just didn’t get enough contact with the card stock to stick. Fail. So I tried again, this time applying the rubber cement to the front. It stuck just fine, so I let it dry for a while and then painted over the top of it with finger paint (yeah, mama got to play too!). Then I tried peeling up the doily, but I had a tough time getting the doily back off. Fail. One more try, this time I finger painted over the doily while the rubber cement was still wet. Success! The doily came up no problem.
Before, I move on, lets talk for a second about rubber cement. Its nasty stuff. Don’t use it near fire. Don’t sniff it. Don’t eat it. Also, since ideally a little one will be doing the finger painting, please make these cards with them in a well-ventilated area. Okay PSA over.
I used a thin layer of rubber cement to stick two doilies at a time to card stock, added a dollop of finger paint to the middle and then encouraged, helped, prodded, and pushed YMGP into spreading it out over the heart. He is almost 2, and it showed during this little craft project. Oh well, these finger paint Valentines got done somehow.
I cut his “masterpieces” into rectangles and glued them to blank pre-made white cards, “signed” his name and these finger paint Valentines cards were ready to send off.
When assembling the cards, I looked over at my desk and had an “aha” moment. The Silhouette Cameo that I got for Christmas and had yet you play with was calling my name. I figured, if I could use a doily, I could turn any shape into a reverse stencil. All I needed was to design a shape and cut it out of card stock. You see, I had so many ideas for first projects with my Cameo that were so over-the-top ambitious that I was too overwhelmed to fire the thing up, but this was the perfect first project, simple, straightforward and superfluous. So I sat down to plug the thing in and figure it out. An hour or so later, I had four of these little hearts cut out of card stock…. and I fell in love with my new Cameo. Seriously, that thing is even cooler than I thought it would be.
I did run into a small problem with the cutouts from my Cameo. When I took them off the cutting mat, they curled up a bit. They had to spend a day under a pile of books before I did anything else with them. Anyone have any tricks to keep delicate shapes from curling?
Other than that, they worked perfectly as reverse stencils under finger paint. And I just love how the cards turned out.
If you want to cut out these little hearts with your Silhouette machine, you can download the free cut file here.
Now that I have broken in my Cameo, I am sure that I will be whipping up all sorts of things with it. I am so excited. But, right here and now, I promise that The Experimental Home will NOT become a blog that you need a Silhouette to attempt any of the projects.
YMGP’s finger paint Valentines cards are in the mail and should reach their destinations by Friday. I hope you have a great Valentines Day with the ones you love.