Simplifying Spirit Pants with the Silhouette Cameo 3

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Jumping right in with the Silhouette Cameo 3

When you search online or Pinterest for Silhouette Cameo 3, you find many videos and articles about what should be your first project. But as much as I try to make things simple, I seem to jump in with both feet and figure it out as I go. So while my posts are generally about simplifying things, by using what I have, buying less to stay organized and so on. This was truly an impulse buy. Had I had more time to order it online I would have gotten a much better deal, I might have seen that the new Cameo 4 was being released shortly and I could have planned out where it was going to live (along with all the rolls of vinyl. (When I jump, I jump!)

Spirit Pants for Homecoming

What exactly are spirit pants? In different parts of the state, there are different Homecoming rituals. In our Minnesota town, it starts the week of the Homecoming Game with each school day a different theme, ending with Spirit Day. On that day girls from Elementary School through High school decorate pants, overalls etc. with glitter, bells, jingles, fringe, basically anything that will bling the pants and of course they are in our school colors. (The poor Janitors are cleaning glitter out of the carpets for weeks. No wonder we have Janitor Appreciation day so soon after).

Typically if you have an older sibling, the girls start decorating pants earlier, but Liam, was never really interested in sports or team spirit, so I figured that Rowan would maybe just forget and not ask for them.

No turning back now

I have dodged that bullet for 8 years. But this year in 7th grade, my luck ran out. Spirit Pants. Two simple words that have struck fear in my heart for many years. But this year, my luck ran out. What did I do? Why panic of course. Rowan wanted to paint her pants, but she likes to keep updating them and we were going to have to buy the correct fabric paints. Then when they dried and if she didn’t like them, we wouldn’t have time to start over. We talked it through and decided together to look for other options before we actually went the paint route.

I let out a big sigh, until I realized that my lovely daughter was relying on me to help her design her pants. A little insight into me, I am not creative. I have great ideas, I try new things and then, I move on. For instance, I have taught myself to crochet, knit, and embroider. Never to the point where I would really give things away. I even bought a loom, thinking I would make hats or something, maybe placemats.

But all of those crafts have ended up in my craft graveyard bin. Last year for Christmas I even bought some Chalk Couture, thinking that those projects were really simple. And they are, but I can only visualize what is shown to me. I need to have a cheat sheet to get it done. (My craftiness lives in my Pinterest pins, where I dream about being crafty…cue the dream music and clouds)

I looked at my Facebook friends to see what their daughters had done in the past and showed Rowan a variety of options, hoping to help direct her creative process towards something easier than painting on the pants.

The great shopping adventure

Our first stop was Michael’s. We thought that we were just going to be picking up some easy to find accessories to decorate the pants. But when your school has specific colors (Burgandy and Gold) it makes it hard to find the appropriate tassels and bling. Rowan started looking at things and then talking about how she would have to hack them to make them work. I stopped her there. We really don’t have time for hacking anything. We basically had that weekend to get them done so that any glue or paint would have time to set.

Now, like anyone else who has pinned things on Pinterest, you have probably seen a cute craft and realized it was for the Cricut or Silhoutte machines. I had done some research early on to see what they were and what I could do with them. I knew the basics that they would cut out shapes in vinyl, cardstock etc. but how to actually use one, no clue. All I knew was that I would be able to cut out letters, paw prints, and other shapes into Heat Vinyl Transfer, and then iron them on to the pants. Happy Dance!

So we found the appropriate color of Vinyl and a Cameo 3. But we still had to find the rest of the bling so off we went.

Opening up the Cameo 3

We finally got home and now it was time to give that Cameo 3 a whirl. When you take it out of the box, it is pretty simple, not a lot of pieces, but also not a lot of instructions. I was worried at that point. Here I was trying to start not only a new machine but learn a whole new craft! I loaded the software, found the images we wanted to use and the font, and away we went! (I am a bit disappointed, I still haven’t figured out how to do the Bluetooth connection and I was looking forward to using my phone or tablet, but the mobile software for Android doesn’t seem to be available anymore). 

First Cuts with the Cameo 3

With the text I thought I was beeing smart using the automatic mirroring when printing out. It works great when you have a full sheet of vinyl, however, when I was trying to use smaller pieces, my brain just couldn’t wrap around where the cutting would be. 

  • Lesson #1- Mirror each letter when laying it out. Then it aligns with the leftover vinyl pieces.

I kept running into issues with the cuts being off the mat. (I have some great designs in the cut mat). Took me forever before realizing 

  • Lesson #2- Make sure to use the LOAD feature. It lines everything up. Also, the edge of the whole mat lines up with the blue line on the left, not the edge of the tacky surface.
  • Lesson #3- Make sure to use the UNLOAD feature or your machine gets cranky.
  • Lesson #4- Using HVT and your home iron, even when following the instructions, takes a lot longer to get the vinyl adhered to the pants. So don’t be in a hurry and don’t worry if you have to go over it many times to get it to set.

Once I learned those lessons, things started to work great!

Starting off with the Cameo 3. Printing the letters and the paw prints

Spirit Pants- The final product!

So here are the pants in various stages of completion and close-ups of the extra bling that Rowan added. What was even better was that her pants were flashy, but without the glitter all over the place!

These pants took us about 4 hours, including the learning curve of the Cameo 3. All in all, much faster than the painting that Rowan wanted to do.

Finished homecoming spirit pants made with the cameo 2 and heat vinyl transfer.
She doesn’t look very happy, but it was early.

I may have simplified the pants, but I did add an extra layer of stuff. I now have this impressive machine that I haven’t even scratched the surface of its capabilities. With that I purchased of vinyl, both HVT, Permanent and Temporary, because if I want to use it I have to be prepared. But the biggest issue, was where the Cameo and supplies would be stored?

Trying out the Cameo 3 for Temporary Tattoos

I did buy some tattoo paper and made paw prints for her and her friends. I got 2 sheets to make tattoos, and the first one, I printed on the wrong side (MAKE SURE TO CHECK WHICH WAY YOUR PRINTER FEEDS FIRST!) and had a major issue with the adhesive layer (I had it sticking to everything other than the printed sheet). Thankfully I was able to print correctly on the paper, but I added a little more complexity and thought let’s do a tattoo with letters. This one actually needed to be mirrored, so only half that page could be used. 25% success rate on the Tattoos. YUCK!

Update

Homecoming was a week ago, the pants were a success, she forgot the paw print tattoos for the game and now I have rolls and sheets of vinyl sitting in my office on the ironing board. Right now the Cameo is unplugged on the floor and I have run out of room to move.

While I am happy that this project was a success, I realized that I have a habit of jumping right in into the new project without thinking about where things will go. (Dining Room table anyone?)

I love this amazing piece of craft magic and even I can feel crafty without too much trouble. But how do I simplify the rest of the crazy?

Bedroom into Multi-purpose office/craft room

My home office was an extra bedroom that had to quickly turn into my workplace. I still have the bed, leaning against the walls, and all the other stuff that extra bedrooms collected. If you want an idea, take a look at Rowan’s Room before pictures. Except instead of clothes, it is files, cameo supplies, books, games, suitcases, extra pillows, sewing machine, fabric, need I go on? 

So the first thing I need to do is to empty out the room, much like I did with Rowan’s room. I think that by taking everything out, I will be able to see what truly is in there and whether or not it belongs in there in the first place or if it needs to be moved somewhere else, sold or discarded. After that it is time to clean the room and then see what is left to bring in. We will have to see how long it takes before I can actually get to this project. 

What projects do you have that you haven’t been able to get to. Anything that would make me feel better about not getting to my office as quickly as I want, 🙂 How do you organize your Cameo or Cricut supplies? Do you have to have one of those really cool craft rooms in order to make everything look organized? Any help would be appreciated!

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