Monday, August 30, 2021

Crafter's Square vinyl at Dollar Tree!


I was shopping at one of my area Dollar Trees the other day and saw a shelf full of Crafter's Square vinyl!  So, I bought one of each color, which at that store was black, white, red, blue, yellow and green and in glitter vinyl there was silver, gold and rose gold.  If you follow my facebook page you would have seen a live review I did using both the regular and glitter vinyl.  Be sure to check out the Facebook page to see that review.

The book I put the vinyl on was handed off to my granddaughter.  So far, with the exception of some picking attempts, the vinyl is holding up.  Would I use this on a tumbler or mug that I wanted to last more than a few weeks?  No.  But if you are making a shadow box and placing vinyl on the glass, this would work.  Or if you are wanting to put vinyl on birthday treat bags.  12" wide by 48" long is a lot of material for $1.  Well worth it, I would say.

See, making beautiful things can be affordable!

 

Monday, August 9, 2021

Giving Sublimation Another Try

 When I found out that you could convert an Epson ecotank printer into a sublimation printer, I ran out and bought myself a ecotank 2720.  I already own a 2720 and a 4760.  The savings in ink is unbeatable.  But when I started trying to make things, the excitement didn't last.  Even though I had purchased a highly recommended ink, I wasn't getting the results I wanted, or saw others getting.  Before long I was listing that printer for sale on marketplace.  


I had found a new love.  Direct to film.  But, I had already invested money into a mug press and sublimation paper.  And there were still a few projects I really wanted to try.  So, while converting wide format printers over for dtf, I realized I could convert one of these into a sublimation printer.  I already had the refillable cartridges and a printer, so I just needed the 6 color inks.  I decided on Printer Jacks.  The difference in the outcome is amazing!  I'm looking for things to sublimate again!   Peek a boo shirts, mugs, and even some custom fabrics.  The printer I chose to convert is an Epson Stylus Photo 1400.  The colors that it's producing are vibrant and wonderful.

It makes me excited for sublimation again.  Not the all over shirt designs that you can find online, but the projects, that are more my skill level.  The all over shirts take a great deal of skill.  

So, if you tried sublimation with an ecotank, and it fell flat for you too, you might want to consider an Epson Workforce printer or a wide format cartridge based printer.  You need to be sure there are refillable, chipless cartridges available on the market, or it won't work.  

This week on my facebook page, I'll be giving away mugs, sublimated with the winners design.  So if you have ever wanted a personalized mug, be sure to go to the Crafting On A Buget facebook page and enter!

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Peek A Boo Shirts

 This week on my Facebook live giveaway, I did a tutorial on how to create a Peek A Boo shirt.   The next giveaway will be for a kit to make your own Peek A Boo shirt.  Winners will be able to choose from the sublimation designs you can find here.  Giveaway is open to everyone.

The sublimation kit will include the fabric inset with the design of the winners choice and the Heat Bond tape to secure the inset onto a shirt that you already have.  

This is the perfect way to upcycle something and give it some new life.

So be sure to visit Crafting On A Budget facebook page and comment and share for 2 chances to win.  Then tune in for the live giveaway to be announced.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Giveaways On Facebook!

 Every week I try to give something away on Facebook.  Here are images of some of the items I have given out.

ICT potholders/2 sets

3D printer slipper for mouse ears

3D printed carriage for mouse ears



Workbooks for kids preschool to 5th grade

More 3D prints for mouse ears in child size

So be sure to go to our facebook page, like and share for your chance to win!

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Ways To Craft On A Budget.

So, a company in Utah released some new machines recently, and of couple of people that I started following during the pandemic because of the mask patterns they had, are influencers of their products.  And I'm sure thousands of people rushed to own the latest and greatest new machines on the market.  I don't promote that company or use their cutting machines.  I do own the first easy press and a Your Story machine.  That being said, you may be wondering, "what does this have to do with crafting on a budget?"  A lot!

Using what you have is crafting on a budget.  I have the Sizzix elcips 2. It has been around since 2014.  I bought a Silhouette Cameo 3 a few years ago when they were on sale and right before they released the Cameo 4.  I've used it a few times, but I mostly have it for a backup.  My eclips 2 will eventully die.  So I don't need a new cutting machine.  I did get swept up in the world of sublimation and bought a mug press, but not from the company in Utah.  Mine allows for 4 sizes of mugs.  I bought a printer for sublimating, because sublimation takes a special ink, but I recently sold it.  I'm planning on converting an older 6 channel, wide format printer over to handle my sublimation needs.  I bought it on ebay.  Basically what I'm trying to say is, you can create without the latest and greatest stuff out there.  It's very hard not to want those new machines when they show you some new techinque that it can perform.  But I have to ask myself, is that really something I want to do?  I remember when the foiling pens were released.  It looks so beautiful.  I found them on sale at Joann's for $40.  They retailed for $100.  Bought myself some foil.  It has to be the We Are Memory Keepers foil, can't use the stuff that goes on shirts.  I was sure I would find so many applications for it.  Turns out, you have to have single line fonts, or designs and getting the foil to lay on the project is a real challenge.  I ruined several sheets of the foil before I got an acceptable result.  This has caused me to not use the foil pen as much as I thought I would.  So, it's in my craftroom, along with the Your Story machine (that I still haven't used) and all my cardstock, vinyl and filament.  

So my mission for the next few months is to NOT purchase any additional crafting supplies, until I have used up what I have.  So any paper projects I might undertake, will have to be made out of my existing collection of cardstock and papers.  Any further 3D printing will need to be done with the filament I have, and any sewing needs to be done with fabics I've already purchased.  I have plenty of "stuff" to make beautiful things affordably!

What Is A Makers Christmas?

  Last Christmas, due to the circumstances of the global pandemic, I decided I would make most of the gifts I was giving out.  My 3D printers and my sewing maching were very busy.  Lithophanes and pj's or gowns were gifted and received well.  As this year has flown along, I have been pondering what I should do for this upcoming gift-giving time.  Because if I'm going to do another makers christmas, I need to start working out my plans now.  There is some buying involved to complete gifts.  I've decided I have enough ideas and material on hand that I will be making gifts again this year.  I thought I might share with anyone who has never done this, some of my thoughts.

What is a makers Christmas?  It's giving gifts they you have handmade.  Whether sewn, forged, cut and glued,  crocheted, knitted or 3D printed, painted or drawn or stirred and baked or canned...anything you have created with your hands.  

Why a makers Christmas?  You won't necessarily save any money.  Some items a person might make could require very costly materials.  I have a lot of materrials on hand and in an effort to be less of a consumcr and more of a creative, I am going to attempt to use what I already have. So I guess to cut down on waste is one reason why.  It gives the recipient something to enjoy, that you have made special, just for them.  I will agree there are  people in the world who would not find a handmade gift special and would probably look down upon it.  Luckily, if I have anyone in my life that feels that way, they don't express it to me.  Also, I'm getting older and there will be a time I'm no longer here with my family.  I would like to leave behind a few things that they can look at and remember me fondly.  

My final thought on this, is the brutal consumerism that occurs during the months of November and December.  I am choosing to spend the time I would normally spend in crowded stores, at home either finishing the last of my gifts or relaxing and spending time with family.  

Although December is still a few months away, a good plan and a headstart will make this holiday season more fun and relaxing.  

If you plan on doing a Makers Christmas, leave a comment!  I would love to hear about it!

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Let's Talk About Temp, Time and Pressure. How To Heat Apply DTF.

With every new thing, comes new challenges.  DTF is my new thing.  Finding information on how to heat apply was a toss-up for awhile.  Here is what I found online.  Your results may vary depending on your heat press.  

Do a pre-press on the garment you are apply the DTF transfer too.  Heat apply the transfer at 325° on medium to firm pressure for 10 seconds.  No cover sheet is required.


However, if you find that your transfer becomes dull after using this method, then try doing these things,

Lower the heat to 275° and press for 6 seconds on medium to firm pressure.  Allow the transfer to cool for a few seconds before trying to remove the carrier.  If the corner starts to lift, let it cool for a few more seconds.  

I was using too much heat and leaving the print under the heat for too long.  This is a by-product of sublimation, where the temps and times are very high and long.  Think of DTF being more like vinyl.  It is sometimes recommended to do a second press.  I have been doing the second press, but I do use a cover sheet whether it's teflon or butcher paper.  

Do you have a DTF tip to share?  Leave it in the comments!  Maybe you have a question.  Be sure to ask. 

Monday, July 12, 2021

Finding Inspiration and Failing

 Where do you find your inspiration for projects?  Are you a Pinner?  Do you scroll through Facebook for ideas?  Do you like to thumb through magazines?  

I belong to a couple of crafty groups on Facebook and I follow a few people on YouTube.  I need lots of visual inspiration.  I personally have a hard time pairing colors and just being creative on my own.  I can have a vivid idea in my head, but when it comes time to make it a reality, I'm often disappointed.  That's why I like to find budget friendly ways to create.  That way, if I totally fail at the project, the loss is mostly my time.  Example, I had found some child size red and blue ball caps at the Dollar Tree, that I thought would make cute July 4th hats for the grandkids.  I printed out my DTF design and went to heat apply them to the hats.  Unfortunately, I did a poor job measuring the area that could take a design and made my design too big.  But I still tried that design on each hat.  The design split and the hats were ruined.  But instead of $20 or $30 down the toilet, I only lost $6 in material and my time.  

Practicing on budget friendly finds is a great way to improve your skills and gain confidence in what you're doing.  I like to walk thru the Dollar Tree and look for items to create with.  They have a great crafting section that carries felt, canvases, paints, brushes, sometimes fabric square, yarn and so much more.  Be sure to check there when you have a project in mind.  You might be suprised at the selection of crafty items to keep you on a budget!



Wednesday, July 7, 2021

New Giveaway Winners and Life

 


First let me congratulate the winners for this weeks giveaway!  The two lucky winners will receive ICT potholders!  All they had to do was comment and share the giveaway post!  How easy is that!  Be sure to visit Crafting On A Budget's facebook page often for your chance to win.  Why not just follow and sign up for notification?

I have declared July as Craft Your Stash month and with that, I decided I would dig out some crafting equipment I have purchased in the past to utilize, instead of looking for new things to buy.  One of those items is the Provocraft Your Story laminating and book binding machine.  I bought it, but I have never "fired" it up.  One reason was the binders that went with it were very expensive.  And if I'm being honest, I was a little intimidated by it.  I was hoping to get it out this weekend and make something with it.  But life got in the way.  It was a holiday weekend and getting ready to celebrate with family took up the time I was hoping to have for crafting.  But it is still the next thing on my list to do.  I suppose if I had an actual project in mind, I would feel more excitement and urgency.  So today, I'll troll the internet and youtube to see if I can find some inspiration, and then I'll share that with you.

So, stayed tuned for some project on the Your Story and be sure to check the facebook page for the next giveaway!

Remember, Crafting on a budget means making beautiful things affordably!

But, What About Sublimation?

Six months ago, sublimation was all the craze.  Once people found out you could convert an Epson ecotank printer into a sublimation printer, you couldn't get your hands on one.  I know, I was part of the craze!  But what about sublimation now?  How do I feel about it?  I'm not going to lie, it isn't one of my favorite things.  Why?  Limitations.  The only sure way to get an excellent result is if you are sublimating on white 100% polyester.  Hey, guess what?  Not everyone is a fan of polyester.  And finding white polyester shirts has become as difficult as finding an Epson printer.  But you can sublimate on other things.  Mugs, tumblers, glitter vinyl and special heat transfer papers made for sublimation.  But buyer beware, there have been many reports of people getting mugs and tumblers on Amazon, that were not for sublimation.  To sublimate on any surface, there needs to be a poly coat applied to it first.  So the mugs you can buy at the hobby stores, next to the mug press by a company in Utah, have been specially treated to accept the sublimation ink, when heated to the correct temperature, under the correct pressure.  


Of course there are many companies that have blank substrates, like keychains, koozies, shot glasses, yard flags and even graduation stoles.  You can also buy phone cases and lighters to sublimate.  But that might not be an affordable option if you're trying to sell.  Shipping or minimum orders might make the price tag too high.  So what else can a person sublimate on?  A YouTube search will pull up quite a variety of things that people have sublimated and places to find cheap blanks.  One of my favorite stores for all things crafty is the Dollar Tree.  And I happen to be lucky enough to have 6 stores within a very close distance.  

One hack, that I have not tried yet, is to adhere a laminate sheet to a painters canvas, then sublimate on that to create a vibrant portrait or wall art.  This is something I plan on doing in the near future, to test.  I'll be sure to share the results here.  

Over the course of the next few weeks, I'll be looking for more ways to utilize my sublimation printer and to find more crafty ways to create.  Be sure to check back for updates!

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Making A Plan For A Make-it Christmas


 2020 was something else.  As the pandemic raged on, I decided to make most of the gifts I was going to give for Christmas.  It was a well recieved idea.  I did some sewing, and some 3D printing, and I was able to give some thougtful, handmade gifts.  I started printing the 3D projects in September, because I knew they would take a long time to make.  I printed lithophane lightboxes for all the younger grandkids, and a couple for some adults.  I also sewed the younger grandkids a set of pajamas, or a gown. 

 This year,  I want to continue what I hope will become a yearly tradition, and again have a Make-it Christmas.  So, now is the time to start planning what a Make-it Christmas will look like.  My first step is to take inventory of all that I have and utilize as much of it as I can.  This is also a good time to stock up on items that aren't in high demand, like flannel and fleece.  For 3D printing, knowing how much filament you might need for your projects could save you time and money now.  Starting in October, the demand for lithophanes will become very high, and good quality, white filament will be hard to source.  


A lot of paper crafters start making their Christmas cards now and several of the more popular SVG sites will put out a bundle for them.  As of this writing, there are 177 days until Christmas.  That's 25 weeks or 6 months.  For those of us who are chronic procrastinators, this seems like an eternity.  But, as one who usually falls short on a dozen different projects I was going to get done for Christmas, that isn't enough time!  

What's my plan?  I'm going to make out my gift list, (get the link here) and start planning what I want to give to each person.  Then I'm going to plan to make one gift each week for the next 25 weeks.  That should give me plenty of time to find all the supplies I already purchased, but don't remember where I put them.  I might even have time to actually make a few cards this year!  Wish me luck!  I'll make a blog post each time I complete a Christmas gift. (but I won't be able to post picture)  Hopefully, this won't be the last post!  🤣

Let's Make July Craft Your Stash Month!


 I have a bad habit.  I like to hoard craft supplies.  I also like collecting craft tools, like die cutting machines, and embossers and laminators.  Not to mention printers.  I have regular color printers, sublimation printers, DTF printers, and 3D printers.  And of course all the supplies that go with them.  I can bind books with a glue spine or with a ring binder.   I have too much stuff.  But I need every single thing I have.  When the new mug press came out, it was another thing I really thought I needed to have to make great gifts and to sell as a side hustle.  I opted to get a regular mug press that would press 4 different sizes of mugs.  I did make a few great gifts with it.   As I was cleaning and organizing my craftroom a few weeks ago, I decided to start using what I already had, instead of going out a purchasing more.   At least until I had run out of something, I wouldn't buy more of it.  I also made a personal commitment to do something in my craftroom every day.  So far I have only missed one or two days since making that personal pledge.  It has encouraged me to learn more about designing things in Tinkercad and Photoshop.  I have printed and mailed out stickers for my grandkids.  I have 3D printed toys on demand for a grandkid.  By engaging in all these activities, it helps me be more creative.  I see new projects that I can complete.  So I decided that I will make July a Craft Your Stash Month.  No new purchases.  I can only use what I already have.  During this month I am even going to get out and use the Provocraft YourStory that I have never, ever used!  (I hope it works)


So follow along as I journey into the world of forgotten craft supplies and see if you can draw inspiration to Craft Your Stash this month.

First episode Provocraft YourStory, Monday July 5.

DTF vs. HTV Which is right for you?

If you are an avid crafter or a shirt decorator, you have probably stumbled across a post or video about DTF printing. 

What is DTF printing?  DTGPro explains it like this..."DTF is also referred to as Direct Transfer Film, and it works by printing transfers that are heat pressed to a variety of garments (and other substrates). There are many compatible fabrics including cotton, nylon, leather, polyester, and 50/50 blends. This is unlike DTG technology which only works on cotton fabrics. This therefore means that this printer works on a much wider substrate, making it the most versatile digital printer in the market. DTF printers work on both white and dark garments and can get the job done without requiring you to press on costly A+B paper, as is the case with the white toner printers.

Direct Transfer Film printers also combine reliability, unmatched quality and high productivity. They can handle large production volumes, which is essential in this fast-growing industry. Unlike DTG technology, DTF printers are preferred by most people because they are affordable and require no pre-treatment. For quality results, you will need DTF powder and DTF sheets to print transfer film, and of course, DTF Ink.

Another advantage of DTF printing over traditional printing is that it is highly sustainable. There is no question that the fashion industry is increasingly focusing on sustainability."

But...Is DTF right for you?  Let's take a look at what it takes to get into DTF printing.
Supplies
  • Printer that has been or can be converted for DTF printing.  (list of printers)
  • Rip software for printing.  (for more info, google rip software)
  • DTF Ink
  • Refillable ink cartridges and syringes
  • PET film to print on
  • Adhesive powder 
  • Heat source to cure adhesive powder
  • Heatpress to press finished transfer onto garment.
To help you understand the cost, I'm going to share what I paid, which is the very low end of the cost to start DTF printing.
*Printer...I purchased an Epson Artisan 1430 on ebay for $193.50 with shipping.
*RIP software....I purchased AcroRIP 9.  It's an older version, but newer printers will need the newer version of AcroRIP 10.  I paid $99.  You can purchase it for $85 from McLaud Technology. (And the computer to load the software onto, which I am assuming you already have)
*DTF inks, film and powder....I purchased the starter bundle from DTFsuperstore for $225 with shipping.
*Refillable cartridges for the DTF ink...I purchased 2 sets of 6 from ebay for $47.90.  I also bought 6 syringes with long needles from Amazon for $6.99
*Heat source for curing...I tried the hover method on my heatpress, but it didn't work for me.  My heatpress is cheap and has cold spots.  I spent $21.25 at Walmart.com for a Wagner Furno 300 Heat Tool.  It has worked very nicely.
*Heatpress...I have had my heatpress for several years.  I bought it on ebay for about $180 I think.  New ones are selling for around that price now.  The smallest you really want to go is 15x15.
So...for the grand total of $773.64($593.64 if you already have a heatpress), I have a printer and the needed software and supplies to print full color DTF transfers.  No matter the size, the color or the quanity, I have what I need.  No weeding and no additional inventory. However, keep in mind, I went the cheapest route I could.  Your costs may be higher based on availablity of products due to increasing demand.
What are the drawbacks?   Well, the Artisan 1430 is very big.  Any printer you find that will print large format is going to be big.  You are taking a chance when you convert that it's not going to work.  My printer is older and used.  Who knows how long it will last.  Once you introduce non-oem ink into the printer, you void the warranty.  There are modification that need to be made to the printer to avoid "pizza cutter" lines through your prints.  Once you convert to DTF, there may be no going back to regular printing.
What are the positives?  Well, as I mentioned above, no additional inventory, like heat transfer vinyl.  There is no substate limitation.  What does that mean?  You can press it on practically any material.  Cotton?  Yes.  Canvas?  Yes.  Polyester?  Yes.  Blends?  Yes.  Did I mention no weeding?!?!  Which allows for some very small designs!  Check out these shoes I did!

The emblem on the back of the shoe is 1.5" tall and very detailed.  Imagine trying to layer that?  I know it can be done, but the time it takes to weed and layer has just been cut down by at least 75%.  
Finally, durability.  I have done a few practice shirts, that I continue to toss into the washer and dryer with each new load.  After at least 10 full cycles, I have not seen any deterioration of the transfers so far.  I have not been turning the shirts inside out as recommended and I am putting them in the dryer on low heat, which is my normal.  Hang drying is suggested.

So, what is the conclusion?  Well, you'll have to decide for yourself if DTF is the future for you.  Maybe you would like to try it out before you go all in!  If that's the case, contact me for a great deal on a DTF transfer to try!  





Current Giveaway on Facebook!

Facebook Giveaway Fun!

                Congratulations to our first giveaway winners!  



On June 28, 2021 I did a Facebook Live and drew 3 names for the above prizes.  These are 3D printed, ready to decorate mouse ears!  It was fun doing my first live and I plan on doing more.

There is another giveaway going on right now at https://www.facebook.com/ictcheapcrafts.  Don't miss out!

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Spring Is Here


These lovely birdhouses are just a couple of the many 3d svg designs you'll find at Dreaming Tree.  With a few fun touches, like little birds and moss from the Dollar Tree and even a few of the silk flowers they have, you can have a beautiful gift for a friend or neighbor, or put a touch of sping in your home decor.


 

Mother's Day/Wedding Gift

Dollar Tree potholders and white vinyl from Stahls.  Split monogram from Caluya Designs on Etsy. Pressed with Cricut Easypress.


 

Crafter's Square vinyl at Dollar Tree!

I was shopping at one of my area Dollar Trees the other day and saw a shelf full of Crafter's Square vinyl!  So, I bought one of each co...