Did you know that you can layer glow-in-the-dark fabric ink over any of the other inks to create a custom piece that’s colorful during the day and still visible at night? I thought I would share this fun trick with you today while not-so-subtly proclaiming who this household’s favorite superhero is on a fun pillow. (My friend Spot there prefers Catwoman, but she doesn’t pay the bills). Because of the simplicity of the design, this project is perfect for a beginner who has never tried fabric ink or heat transfer material with their Silhouette machine before.
Supplies needed for this project:
- Glow-in-the-dark fabric ink
- Yellow fabric ink
- Black flocked heat transfer material
- Stencil Vinyl
- Hook tool
- Scraper tool
- Foam Brush
- Silhouette CAMEO®
- Silhouette Studio®
Step One: Prepare the Design
(1) Open up the Batman logo design in your Silhouette Studio® workspace.
Since stencil vinyl is only nine inches wide and can be cut without a mat, I also adjusted my page settings at this time.
To adjust page settings:
(1) Click on the icon indicated by arrow 1 to open the “Design Page Settings” men.
(2) Adjust the “Page Size” (arrow 2), and change the “Cutting Mat” option to none (arrow 3).
(3) Adjust the size of the design to fit your specific pillow.
(4) Open the “Scale” menu (arrow 1), adjust the height of the design to 6 in. (arrow 2), and click “Apply.”
You will need to create both a stencil to use with fabric ink as well as an overlay from heat transfer material.
To create two stencils:
(1) Duplicate the design using the “Replicate” menu.
(2) “Ungroup” one of the copies of the design by clicking the icon indicated by the arrow.
NOTE: You may need to click “Ungroup” a few times to separate all of the parts of the design.
(3) Delete all of the parts in the ungrouped design except for the inner oval.
The simple oval shape will serve as the stencil for the fabric ink and the full design will be used for the flocked heat transfer material overlay. Since the design is symmetrical, there is no need to mirror the image like you would for more complex projects using heat transfer materials. (I told you this would be simple!)
Step Two: Cut the Design
To adjust the right-hand roller in your Silhouette CAMEO®:
(1) Lower the lever, twisting the white roller loose from its track, and sliding it to the position shown.
(2) Raise the blue lever back to its original position and insert the stencil vinyl into the machine directly from the roll.
To adjust the cut settings for the stencil vinyl:
(1) Open the “Cut Settings” menu (arrow 1).
(2) Change the “Material Type” to “Vinyl” (arrow 2).
(3) Click on “Send to Silhouette” (arrow 3) once you have adjusted your blade to the setting shown in the software.
When the stencil has finished cutting, remove the vinyl from the machine. If you are using 12 in. flocked heat transfer material, you will need to adjust the rollers again. Repeat the process mentioned above to re-adjust the rollers.
To adjust the cut settings for the heat transfer material:
(1) Open the “Cut Settings” menu.
(2) Change the “Material Type” to “Heat Transfer Material – Flocked.”
(3) Click on “Send to Silhouette” once you have adjusted your blade to the setting shown in the software.
Step Three: Apply Fabric Ink
Because the stencil is just a simple oval shape, I did not use transfer tape to place it on my pillowcase (but a more intricate design would require this, so keep that in mind!).
TIP: Once the stencil was applied, I used the scraper tool to burnish the edge of my stencil into the fabric well to prevent seepage of the fabric ink.
Here’s where the fabric ink comes into it:
(1) Insert a piece of cardboard or several sheets of paper under the area you are stenciling to prevent any possibly inking of the other side of the pillowcase.
(2) Apply yellow fabric ink in an even coat using a foam brush.
Avoid pushing the ink out towards the edge of the stencil; rather, pull the ink inward from the vinyl and onto the fabric. This will help to prevent ink from seeping under the stencil.
Once the yellow ink has completely dried, repeat the application with an even coat of glow-in-the-dark fabric ink right on top of the same stencil.
You may notice that the ink turns a very pale yellow—this will not affect the final result and is likely just a bit of the yellow ink being removed from the surface of the vinyl. Try to eliminate any obvious brush strokes in this step. Although glow-in-the-dark ink dries transparent and may look normal in daylight, brush strokes and uneven spots tend to be emphasized in the dark. Allow to dry completely.
Step Four: Apply Heat Transfer Material
(1) Weed the heat transfer material using the hook tool.
Flocked heat transfer material is easy to pull off of its transfer film, so it is a good material for beginners to practice with.
(2) Flip the heat transfer material over and carefully line up the edges of the oval with the inked design below.
(3) Using a pressing cloth, iron over the entire design.
NOTE: Applying heat transfer material over fabric ink may require a slightly longer pressing time.
(4) Press firmly for about a minute in each area using the appropriate setting for your iron (I use the “cotton” setting).
(5) Carefully peel back the transfer film from the design to remove and discard.
Admire your new custom superhero pillow. Be sure to leave it out for all of your Superman®-loving friends to admire as well.
And if those friends are staying the night, place it in the guest room without them knowing. 🙂
Better yet, be a good host and make them their own pillow with a glow-in-the-dark Superman® logo on it.