May is the month for celebrations! There’s Mother’s Day, graduation, and end-of school activities (not to mention several birthdays in our family). And since my “baby” is graduating from college this month, we have that much more to celebrate!
Celebrations mean invitations, cards, and thank-you notes. Even when a card is store-bought, I love to add a personal touch such as a pretty envelope seal. But why settle for just any old sticker when you can create your own using the Foil Quill and your Silhouette machine?
To make an envelope seal, you could certainly use the Foil Quill on regular sticker paper, but I wanted to branch out a bit and try foiling on vinyl. The results were spectacular! In my opinion, there are some definite advantages to making envelope seals from adhesive vinyl:
- Comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns so you won’t have to use a lot of printer ink for colored seals.
- Choice of matte or glossy finish.
- Seals can be designed using regular cut/sketch actions. (No registration marks needed like that of a traditional Print & Cut design.)
- Great way to use up your vinyl scraps.
- It’s FUN!
Let me show you just how easy it is!
What You’ll Need:
- Silhouette Studio (To add fills, you will need Designer Edition or above or Version 4.2)
- Adhesive Vinyl (Oracal 631, 641, or 651. I used 651 for a glossy finish.)
- Foil (either heat-reactive or toner-reactive foil will work when foiling on vinyl)
- Foil Quill Placement Tape or Washi Tape
- Foil Quill in your choice of tip size (I used the standard tip.)
- Silhouette Cameo, Portrait, or Curio
Step 1: Decide on the size and shape of your seal
Envelope seals come in many shapes and sizes, from small circles to large squares and everything in between. For this project, I decided to use a 1.5-in circle and a 2-in x 1.5-in oval. Use the drawing tools in Silhouette Studio to create your desired shape.
If you’re using Silhouette Studio Version 4.2 (Designer Edition Plus or above), try using some of the Flexi-Shapes for even more variety.
Step 2: Choose your design
You’ll need a design that works well with the foil quill (such as a sketch design) or an image that you can add a fill to. Here are the designs I used:
- Graduation cap by Silhouette, Silhouette Design Store ID 261896
- Flourish by American Crafts, Silhouette Design Store ID 16313
- Tingler Print font (heart shape)
- Beautiful Morning Script Font (flower shape), Silhouette Design Store ID 234733
Once you have chosen your design, change the Line Color to blue and size it to fit within the shape of the seal. If the design is filled with color (such as the graduation cap), change the Fill Color to transparent.
Step 3 (optional): Add a fill to the design
There are many different ways to add fills to a design in Silhouette Studio. I chose to use the Sketch Fill function. Sketch fills are available in the Basic edition of Silhouette Studio Version 4.2, but you will need Designer Edition or above to access them in Version 4.1 or below.
- Click on the design to select it.
- Open the Transform Panel. Using the Scale tool, enlarge the design to 300%.
- Open the Sketch Panel. Click on the Advanced Sketch Menu tab and select the following settings:
Edge Effect: Plain
Fill Type: Zigzag
Spacing: 0.059 in
Fill Effect: Off
- Click back on the Basic Sketch Menu tab and select Release Sketch.
- Repeat Step 2, scaling the design to 33%. (The result will be slightly smaller than the size you started with but should be very close.)
Step 4: Align & Replicate
- Align the design in the center-middle of the seal shape.
- Group the shape and design together.
- Using either Copy and Paste or the Replicate tool, create as many copies of the seal as desired. Place the designs on the virtual mat to correspond with where you plan to place the vinyl on your cutting mat.
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For detailed instructions on how to use the Foil Quill with your Silhouette, click here.
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Step 5: Get ready to quill
- Screw adapter A onto the desired tip and allow the quill to heat for approximately 5 minutes.
- Place vinyl on the mat in an area that corresponds to the design on the screen in Silhouette Studio.
- Cover the vinyl with a piece of foil and hold in place using the tape that came with your quill or regular washi-tape.
- Once the tip is pre-heated, place it in the tool holder of your Silhouette. (I used the Tool 2 holder on my Cameo 3.)
Since I was foiling on vinyl, I decided to use some of the Minc foil I had on hand, which is a toner-reactive foil. (Because the vinyl is a plastic-based composition, toner-reactive foil will bind with it as well as heat-reactive foil.) It worked great! I even tested it by rubbing on it with a scrubber sponge, and none of it came off.
Step 6: Send the job from Silhouette Studio
- Click on the Send tab, then choose Action by: Line.
- Check the box for the color used for the design and use the following settings:
Tool Holder: 2 (to correspond to the tool holder where you’ve placed the Foil Quill)
Material: Vinyl, Glossy
Tool: Sketch Pen (If Sketch Pen is unavailable, choose Pen Holder)
Speed: change to 2
Force: change to 3
- Verify that only the areas you want to foil appear in bold, then click on Send.
Once the foiling is complete, DO NOT REMOVE YOUR MAT FROM THE MACHINE. Carefully remove the tape and the foil from the vinyl, then send the job to be cut by selecting the coordinating color for the cut lines and the proper cut settings. For my project, the settings were:
Tool Holder: 1
Material: Vinyl, Glossy
Once the cut job is finished, remove the excess vinyl and you have a set of envelope seals ready for use!
I had lots of fun experimenting with using the Foil Quill on vinyl and I hope I’ve inspired you to try it out as well. Don’t limit yourself to envelope seals because the same technique can be used to create vinyl decals, stickers, or even address labels.
If you have any questions or want to share a bit about what you’ve been working on using YOUR Silhouette, leave a comment below or visit me over on Facebook. It’s always great to hear from you!
Until next time,
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Lycia is a lifelong crafter whose goal is to help others find value, confidence, and joy in whatever they create. She geeks out on using technology to supercharge craft projects with Silhouette Studio, Design Space, Glowforge, sublimation, etc.! Lycia teaches these skills and more through online tutorials and videos as well as in-person classes at both the local and national levels.