When I was a kid, we went outside in the rain, and we played in the puddles or took walks with friends under big umbrellas – and it was fun. We didn’t need the sun to be shining to have fun (because let’s face it, in Newfoundland, if you wait for the perfect weather, you’d only have fun about 5 days a year), and I really loved a good sunshower. I try to encourage my own kids to do the same, and they love sitting on the beach under a canopy or umbrella and watching a storm cross the river – seriously one of the most amazing sights you can see in nature!
So when I decided to fancy up my daughters plain black umbrella, I knew exactly what to do. I love the quote “Create your own sunshine”, and I used Cricut’s bright sunshine yellow iron-on vinyl to transfer the quote to her umbrella. (Make sure you keep reading after the project, so I can tell you about a great giveaway for a Cricut Explore One machine!)
Heat transfer is such an easy product to work with – it’s even easier than vinyl, because it comes with a built in transfer paper. This project literally took fifteen minutes, start to finish.
I used the new Cricut Design Space App for iPhone to start, because the inspiration hit me while I was waiting at soccer practice. I found an image of a sun on the app, and laid it out with the text, then saved it. I knew I wanted to use some fonts that I had on my computer, so when I got home, I pulled up the file and continued working on it. (The fonts I used were 5AM Gender and Mulberry.)
While we’re on the topic of fonts, let me make a little PSA. As you probably know, free fonts abound all over the internet. While you certainly may cut them with your Cricut machine, in my experience, premium fonts (those that you usually pay for) produce a better result. This has nothing to do with the machine, and everything to do with the quality of the font. They are usually produced by professional designers who create graphics for a living, and they know what words like kearning mean and the difference it makes in the final product. (For the record: kearning has to do with the spacing between letters.) I have more than my fair share of free fonts, but I do like to invest in a few quality fonts that I use when it really matters – like when I am asking my Cricut machine to cut razor thin pieces of script text. That font better have smooth edges! Mulberry, the script used here in this project, is one of my favourites, and you can purchase it, and other great fonts, at Creative Market. The paid fonts in Cricut Design Space have also been optimized for use with your machine, so they will produce great results as well!
Now, back to the regularly scheduled program. Once I had my fonts changed, I put my iron on sheet FACE DOWN on my mat (I’m using a firm mat because it’s old and losing it’s stickiness – a regular hold mat will do just fine) and hit the GO button. Don’t forget – whenever you are using iron on vinyl, click the little box that says “Mirror image”… that way it will cut a mirror image of your project.
When the Cricut is finished doing its work, cut the pieces apart, and use a weeding hook to take the excess off. I was a little worried because of the thin curves of the script font, but as mentioned, it was flawless. There wasn’t a single snag or missed spot. Would you believe me if I told you I am still using my original blade that came with my Explore in January 2014? When I was using a Cameo, I went through several blades a year.
Position the larger piece of text on one of the umbrella panels, and place the smaller piece on the umbrella cover. Iron according to the directions on the package – and you’re done. I was worried about the iron on adhering to the umbrella fabric, since it’s very different than cotton or other fabrics, but it adhered faster than any other fabric I have used. It was so easy! The bright sunshine yellow really pops against the black umbrella, and reminds us to find the sunshine, even in the rainy days.
If you’re loving this sunshine yellow color, you won’t want to miss all of the inspiration over in the Design Space right now. All of the yellow projects have been pushed to the top so you can find them easily – what a great way to brighten your day. You can find the yellow iron on here and yellow indoor vinyl in the Summer Brights Sampler Pack.
And there’s more sunshine goodness from Cricut – head over to their facebook page (use this link for mobile), where, if you click the Summer Love tab, you can enter their giveaway for a Cricut Explore One machine package*, full of goodies from my friends over at Cricut. If you post a photo of a Make it Now project on Instagram (one that you’ve created or would like to create) and use the hashtags #CricutSummer and #MakeItNow, you get an extra entry. Sweet, right?!
*Prize package: One winner will receive: One (1) Cricut Explore One™ Machine, a Brights Cricut® Vinyl Sampler Pack, Cricut® Transfer Tape, a Cricut® Tools Weeder, and a $100 gift card from Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores. (Approximate Retail Value: $377.96 USD) Winners will also receive a Cricut® Material Sampler Package (contents will vary; retail value will not exceed additional value of $50.00 USD).