Are you excited about the new products showing up in the Silhouette Online Shop? I am! Among the first new and unique products, I tried are the cork sheets, and I’m here to show you how to use them.
What You Should Know About the Cork Sheets:
- Adhesive backed and ready to stick anywhere
- Size is 5 in. x 7 in. (eight sheets per package)
- Quite thin, so they are more like cork stickers than thick cork board
- My successful cork settings: Blade 10, Speed 1, Thickness 33, Double Cut
Out of all the options I could think of for using cork stickers, I decided to use them as embellishments on an existing cork bulletin board. It really adds some fun visual interest to an otherwise-boring board (no pun intended).
What You’ll Need For This Project:
- Cork Sheets
- Stencil Vinyl
- White paint or fabric ink and sponge applicator
- CAMEO, Portrait, or Curio
- Cork bulletin board (mine is 11 in. x 17 in.)
- Branch in Bloom (design ID #147869)
- MK Thick Type Font (design ID #57181)
STEP ONE: CREATE CORK DESIGN
I tested a range of designs and realized quickly that the soft cork is a little picky with how small it will cut. You will probably not have a lot of success cutting really intricate shapes like you can with other materials like vinyl, but you can easily cut thin designs and fonts that are simple.
I chose some flowers and a word to place on the cork bulletin board, but I also wanted to have a little outline so you could see some definition around the cutout layer.
- Draw a rectangle 15.375 in. wide x 9.375 in. high as a reference for the final bulletin board (measure the exposed portion of your bulletin board and use those measurements).
- Resize the branch in bloom design so it fits within the 7 in. x 5 in. cork sheet.
- I made two flowering branches (one mirrored horizontally from the other) and the word “create,” which will use three cork sheets.
- Arrange the flowers and words on the reference rectangle to make sure they will fit on the board and look appealing. Rotate and resize as necessary.
STEP TWO: CREATE STENCIL OFFSET
Once the flowers and words are correctly arranged and sized, it’s time to create an offset.
- Group the flowers together.
- With the flowers selected, create an offset with a distance of 0.066 in. in the Offset Window.
- Remove the centers of the offset and keep just the outer edge by releasing the compound path (Object>Release Compound Path).
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 for the word “create.”
- Draw a rectangle around the flower offset and another around the word, leaving about an inch minimum for the stencil to protect your surface from stray paint. (See image below.)
- Note: the rectangle must still fit within the 9 in. width of the stencil vinyl.
STEP THREE: CUT STENCIL AND CORK MATERIALS
- Cut the offsets and their outer rectangles from stencil vinyl using vinyl cut settings (I used blade 2, speed 8, thickness 9).
- Cut the flower designs and the word from cork sheets. (I used blade 10, speed 1, thickness 33, double cut.) It’s a good idea to do a test cut first in an area of the cork sheet that won’t be used.
- Hint: Set your page size to 7 in. x 5 in. in the Design Page Settings Window to match the cork sheet, or use your workspace grid (Right Click > Show Grid) as a reference to make sure your design stays within the cork sheet.
- To weed the cork material, I find it easiest to leave the main design on the cutting mat and pull away the outer edge of the cork sheet, then use a hook tool to weed away any inner pieces. You can see in my photo above I’ve weeded out all the excess cork and have started weeding out the sticker backing.
- Use a spatula tool to gently lift the finished design with its backing off the cutting mat.
STEP FOUR: APPLY PAINT AND CORK DESIGNS
- Use the stencil to apply a light coat of paint or fabric ink to the bulletin board, then remove the stencil.
- Once the paint is dry, peel away the cork’s sticker backing and use the painted offset as a guide for placing your cork stickers on the bulletin board.
- Note: The cork stickers are briefly removable while applied fresh with a light touch, but then stick permanently to the painted cork background after a few minutes or when pressed firmly.
Don’t you think the cork-on-cork look is fun?