Organizing Your Craft Files

Ready – Set – DOWNLOAD!

Are you ready to Marie Kondo your craft files? Okay, so while I won’t be telling you to hold everything in your hands to see if it sparks joy or not, it is important to keep your digital files organized. Why you might ask? Well, let me set the scene for you. You are finally ready to sit down and craft using that one really cool skull with the flowers that you bought at that last Dollar Event (AFL link). You have your vinyl, your heat press on, and your Cricut Machine ready to roll. You go to upload the design and you search through your downloads folder – nothing. You search in your files – nothing. You search your desktop – nothing. You summon the computer fairy to search through your pc and still nothing. You start questioning yourself, did you download it? Did you delete it? Did you name it wrong? What did the designer name it? How much time have you wasted trying to search for something? By organizing your files, we can prevent the 30 minutes of search panic and get you to crafting even faster!

What is the best way to organize your files though? Year – Month – Category? Do we group by the size, the site, the price? While there are probably HUNDREDS of way to categorize them, I am going to show you the way that I do it which has worked for my craft business (although disclaimer – I still have more than I would like to admit on my desktop and downloads – we are working on that).

Downloading first starts with the actual act of downloading your files. Your PC should prompt you and ask where you want to save your folder, but if it doesn’t you should check under “Downloads”. If you want a spreadsheet to help you keep track of your digital purchases check out this link here.

So first it should be noted that the most popular downloads are

  1. Craft Files (these are you SVG, DXF, PNG, EPS)
  2. Fonts (OTF, TTF)
  3. Mockups
  4. Social Media Templates
  5. Sublimation Designs
  6. Stickers

Knowing this information, it’s only right that we include a folder for each one. Now if you don’t do a lot of social media templates or stickers, feel free to omit those from your folder structure. This is about making a system that will be best for YOU and only you know what that is. These 6 categories might seem specific and rightly so, however, after the 3rd Dollar Event and Freebie Friday, we could end up looking at hundreds of files inside these! Let’s be honest, starting inside of your closet can get a little crazy so we can’t expect our minds to be able to process that vast folder mess. We can go a little more specific with the craft files by creating categories like

  1. Adults (alcohol, recreational, not safe for work *wink* / dirty quotes)
  2. Family
  3. Holidays (because come on, there are so many!)
  4. Home Decor (kitchen, bathroom, doormats, etc)
  5. Occupational Designs
  6. Pets
  7. Quotes
  8. School Designs (pre-k all the way to college)
  9. Sports or Hobbies
  10. Seasonal

From there you can dive even further with specifics like Holiday SVG / Easter, St. Patrick Day, Valentines Day, etc., or Seasonal SVG – spring SVG, summer SVG, winter, fall SVG, and so on and so forth. Again this is a system structure that will best help YOU! Omit what you don’t need or go further. Some categories may overlap like a spring home decor sign. You can choose to copy and paste in both spots or pick the most relevant folder (I would choose spring). Repeat the process for each major category and have fun with it. You can even take it a step further and notate 2021 designs vs 2020 designs if you are good at keeping track of when you make a purchase. You can download the FREE folder system by clicking this link here

We are organized, now what?

File Types

Now that you can kind of get a feel for what we are going for, let’s talk about what files to keep and what you can toss. Most craft files will come with a few files inside of a zip folder. If you don’t know how to unzip the folder, be sure to check out this link here. Inside of those zip files, you will find files with extensions like SVG, PNG, DXF, EPS, PDF to name a few. SVG files stand for Scalable Vector Graphic – meaning that you can increase and decrease the size about 100 times and it will not lose its quality. These file types are used inside Cricut Design Space (and upgraded versions of Silhouette Studio) A PNG stands for Portable Network Graphics and is an image that has a transparent background. You can use these for print and cuts, stickers, and sublimation designs if the quality is high enough. A DXF file is Drawing Exchange Format. Similar to an SVG file, it’s a vector graphic that you can use inside Silhouette Studio. An EPS file is an Encapsulated PostScript – or another vector file. You can use these to open up certain editing properties inside of Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw, or Inkscape.

So what does all of that mean for you? Well if you are a Cricut crafter, chances are you can delete the DXF file. Cameo users, unless you have the upgraded version of Studio, you can delete the SVG files. If you download a Google Chrome extension, you can preview the images without having to keep the PNG image (unless you want to of course – you can still do amazing things with a PNG file). Unless you are looking to edit a file inside of a robust vector program like Inkscape or Illustrator, you can probably delete the EPS file as well.

When it comes to fonts, more often than not, you will end up with 2 different file type extensions – TTF and OTF. TTF means TruType Font. This is your most basic font options – a real “what you see if what you get” type of font. OTF or OpenType font is the more complex of the two font types. They unlock alternative glyphs, characters, and more. Think about the pretty font that transforms when there are two T’s together. THIS is that OTF at work! So if you are purchasing a pretty font you will want to make sure that you install the OTF file. While you don’t have to keep either format after it’s installed on your computer, having a backup is never a bad idea! If you need to get rid of one though, it would be the TTF.

Mockups are a weakness of mine – I have SO many beautiful photos that I adore! If you are using a program like Canva to create your mockup images (and if you aren’t what are you waiting for?) changes are you can delete the PSD file that may come with your mockup purchase. Unless you are using a stand-alone program like Photoshop or something similar a PSD file is just taking up valuable space on your computer.

*Bonus if you are not a MAC user, you are more than welcome to delete any of the contents inside of the _MACOSX folder systems.

Renaming Files

You can rename any file by right clicking and going towards the bottom of the popup menu under rename. Pick a naming system that will help you – especially if you end up having to search for something. “Cool SVG” will only get you so far with your computer – even with the folder structure. Try going for a name like “SVG – Sir Hops A Lot” or “Sir Hops A Lot – Easter” . When you search for that file, you can type in key terms like “Easter” and your pc will search for that term.

Don’t forget that you can still download the FREE folder system by clicking this link here .

Organizing your digital downloads

Using The DIY T-Shirt Placement Ruler

Hi besties! By now I am sure that you have spotted the DIY t-shirt placement ruler either on Tik-Tok, Instagram, or Facebook. I wanted to create this post to hopefully answer some questions on how to use the ruler in Cricut Design Space. You can purchase the t-shirt placement ruler SVG using the link here. Follow these few steps and you will have your very own ruler. The best part about this SVG file is that you can use materials that YOU have on hand which makes it convenient and affordable for any budget. Besties have tagged me in videos where they show themselves using poster boards, dollar tree cutting mats, and even cardboard! The possibilities are endless.

Without further delay – Let’s get crafting!

It’s important to note a few things – one being that this is a zip file. You will need to extract the contents of the zip in order to access the SVG, DXF, and EPS files. A have a brief overview here in this post, but a more detailed walkthrough can be found here. It is highly recommended that you open this file within one of the popular cutting software like Cricut Design Space or Silhouette Studio. Once again a brief walk-through is shown here, but a more detailed step by step can be found here for Cricut users and here for Silhouette users. One more thing is this is an already scaled 18-inch ruler. The preview will look weird! That is okay. Once uploaded you will see the FULL design.

Now down to the nitty-gritty!

  1. Purchse the SVG file.
  2. Download the file.
  3. Unzip the file (right-click/extract)
  4. Open extracted folder
  5. Located the SVG File
  6. Upload the SVG file into DS.
  7. Ungroup the SVG file.
  8. Locate the “DRAW” layer and change line type to “draw”
  9. You can delete or hide the “DRAW LAYER” and “CUT LAYER” text to make it a seamless file.
  10. Select draw layer and right-click and attach the design.
  11. Make it 🙂 

A photo screen shot of Changing the Line Type 

image.png

A photo screen shot of Deleting the “DRAW” and “CUT LAYER” text 

image.png

Now when I say you can use ANYTHING To make it work for you, I mean it! Check out some of the photos below of besties who have used the SVG file to create their own t-shirt guides

As you can see this SVG t-shirt guide can be used with wood, poster boards, clear dollar tree mats, paper, and more. I encourage you to explore any material that fits within your budget and your needs.

Have an awesome day besties!

What the swatch?! The one thing you need today for your business.

Some of the best things in life are really the simple ones – the smell of fresh laundry, the first leaf falling in autumn, your kids sleeping in on the weekend – some are naturally more reasonable than others. What if I told you that I know something super simple that has been a lifesaver for me in business and it happens to be a book. Okay, not a “book book” but more of a fold-out pamphlet. It’s a color swatch book for not only for my vinyl but also for my shirts.

Even if you don’t plan on selling your products and creating a business (but I mean why wouldn’t you? Get paid to do what you love doing anyway!) you will still benefit from getting these swatch books. I have a vinyl book for Oracal 651 and 631 as well as Siser HTV. These nifty little books come with every vinyl they offer along with a small color swatch, name, and my Siser book even comes with temperature settings. I also contacted my favorite shirt brands (Bella + Canvas, Anvil, and Next Level) directly and requested a copy of their shirt catalogs with a color swatch book as well. Want to know where I get my supplies? Check out this blog post!

Now, why would you need these books? Let me tell you! Set the scene if you will, you are in the middle of creating a project and run out of green vinyl. *gasp* You check your stash and you can’t find any that matches it. You search frantically through your scrap bin – nothing. Now what? Do you remember the name of that vinyl? NOPE! Oracal won’t even give you a hint by putting the name of the color on the back either (seriously, why is this not a thing?) You can use this color swatch book to match EXACTLY what color you used and get that ordered.

If that example wasn’t enough for you, let me paint this scene. Your whole sale shirt provider ran out of Bellas in a size XL and you need TEN more! If you had swatch books, you can compare the Bellas with the Anvil and find that Anvil has a color very close that you can substitute for. (If you are selling these, make sure that you get the okay from your customer of course, but I digress).

Okay, so I have you convienced and now you are asking “Ashley – WHERE do I find these things?” I got you covered! Disclaimer! The links below will navigate you away from the site. Nothing wrong with that, just letting you know!

My Viynl Swatch Library

  1. Oracal 651
  2. Oracal 631
  3. 2020 Siser HTV
  4. The entire Oracal Line Up (I don’t have this, but still pretty cool)

How To Get The Shirt Books

  1. You can download Anvils marketing tools here. If you want a physical book, you request a copy by clicking here.
  2. For Bella and Canvas, visit their site and check out digital copies for all of their catalogs and color swatches. There are several things under the download section that you can grab, I felt like it was best for you to be able to check them all out. If you want the direct link click here.
  3. At Next Level you can get digital copies as well, but if you want to have a physical copy, all you have to do is ask.

What Do I Say?

I really tried to find exactly what I said the first time around, however, I could not find it, so this next bit is a “What would I say today” message. Feel free to copy and paste if needed.

“Hello there! My name is (insert your name here). I own a small business where I sell appareal (insert your business name here). I am writing to you today to see what I would need to do in order to get physical copies of your catalog and your color guides. I am putting together a binder with the designs that I have to offer along with my favorite brand suggustions and I would love to include you in this binder for my customers to review. I noticed that I could download the digital copies, but as I am sure know, there is nothing like seeing the physical real life color of an item. Please let me know at your earliest convience, if needed you can call me or email me at (insert your contact information). Thank you so much and have a wonderful day. “

Just to show you I’m not that crazy, I do really have them lol

Well, that’s all she wrote folks! I hope that you found this helpful. If you did, make sure you share it with your other crafting friends. If you want to hang out with me and other like-minded besties, be sure to join the group. You won’t regret it. We do awesome giveaways and you can stay up to date on new freebies (check out this post for my favorite places)!

Installing Fonts on your iPad

So you have been collecting a rather large number of fonts and you are left wondering – “What’s next?”. If you work on an iPad it can be a little crazy to find an easy way to install fonts (TRUST ME I KNOW). So hopefully by the end of this article, you will be pro at installing fonts on your iPad.

If you don’t have any right now but are a sucker for freebies? Then you HAVE to check out Fontbundles.net they have a HUGE selection of freebies that rest forever in the freebie spot as well as a weekly freebie that lasts well 7 days (starting every Wednesday!). Disclaimer! I am an affiliate there. The links shown are affiliate links. What does that mean exactly? Well, when I refer you over there, if you make a purchase they give me a small portion of the sales. It’s not enough to buy a boat, but by golly, I can take an extra trip to the Dollar Tree at the end of the month!

*Some other great articles that you should probably check out if you are in love with freebies best places that you can visit right now and download 100% free fonts with commercial use. These sites offer the BEST quality and are totally trusted. As I mentioned in a previous blog ” Best Places For Free Files “, if you have a FAVORITE font designer, keep in mind that on Fridays, they often have a freebie available for a limited time! I also know an incredible designer that offers “$2 – Tuesday!” Although not free, her fonts are ah-mazing!

Please check each site for their own specific terms and conditions in regards to their files as some may have a limit on the number of products that you can make with each file.

What you need:

  1. iPad
  2. Font (link takes you to Font bundles for free fonts!)
  3. iFont (free app available to download)
  4. Program to use it in (this tutorial will use Procreate)

What you do:

  1. Download your font! Seriously have you checked out the Free font of the week over at FontBundles?
  2. Click on the Download button (down arrow next the URL) to show all of your downloads.
  3. Click on your recent download zip file. It will pop up a folder that contains your zip files.
  4. Tap your ZIP for it to automatically unzip your file.
  5. Open that new folder and tap on the .otf. Your font should shop up with A – Z and the standard “The quick brown fox….” text displayed.
  6. Tap the button in the top corner (looks like a box with an arrow pointing up).
  7. Select “Copy to iFont” and open the app if it didn’t already pop up.
  8. Tap “Install” on the left hand side.
  9. You will now want to open up your iPad settings, go to General, and then select Profile. You should see “downloaded profile” with your font right under it.
  10. Tap the font and then tap install.

A few photos to help you out 🙂

Font Bundles! My guilty pleasure. Find your fave font and donwload it.
Click the download button, and open up the download folder by tapping on the font zip.
Tap the ZIP folder and it will automatically unzip your folder. tap the unzipped folder.
Tap the OTF to pull this screen up. Tap the “upload” in the top right corner. Copy to “iFont”.
This if iFont! Tap “Install”. If anything pop ups, select “allow”, and done. We now move to your settings.
Go to General > Profiles. Tap the “downloaded profile” font and hit install. You can now use the font!

You are now SET! you can play with your new font in any program. If you know an easier way to install fonts, PLEASE tell me! This took a minute to figure out and I would love a short cut.

Installing Fonts on your iPad

FREE Mock-Ups to download NOW!

Diving into selling crafts, while fun, can cause your bank account to cry! Especially when you are unsure of what will take off in your particular market. Mock-ups are a great way to create a visual of a product that will give your customers a sense of what to expect. Mock-ups give you the freedom to test out products without having to sit on inventory which ultimately costs you money.

If you are just starting out and money is tight, you can use the mockups shown below to help build your arsenal! They come with commercial use meaning that you are allowed to use them in your business to help sell your product. Most mockups allow you to pull in a PNG image and place it over the mockup. At which point you can save it out and use it to showcase what you offer. If you are needing some additional freebies, be sure to also check out this post here that contains tons of sites where you can get FREE SVG files and fonts!

*Disclaimer, some of the following links may be affiliate links. They do not cost you anything extra, they give me a small portion of anything you buy as a thank you. I don’t make enough to drive a Lambo, BUT I can splurge at the dollar tree on an extra craft item.

FREE Stemless Wine Glass Mockup

free mock up stemless wine glasses
Click here to get this Stemless Wine Glass mock up

Burgess Family Craft has a WIDE variety of great mock-ups for all occasions. Their props and backgrounds always set them apart from the rest. I am including a few more of their freebies in this blog, but you can always browse their ENTIRE site by visiting this link here.

FREE Coffee Mug Mockup

free coffee cup mockups
You can grab this mockup by visiting the link here .

Cuddle Bunnie Studio not only handles mockups but be she also created that adorable (and overworked) caffeinated unicorn. She sells that clipart unicorn and moreover on her DB shop. Be sure to visit the link if you want to see more of her work.

FREE Coffee Bean Mockup

FREE coffee cup mockups
Grab this freebie using the link here

Didn’t I tell you that Burgess Family Craft has a lot of mocks! DB has a WIDE variety of them available including the one below in their freebie section, but you can always browse their ENTIRE site by visiting this link here.

FREE Kitchen Sign Mockup

FREE Mock Ups to download
Another awesome freebie from Burgess Family Craft.

FREE Sign Mockup

FREE sign mock ups to download
Perfect sign file for weddings or love quotes!

Really guys, I can not say enough good things about Burgess. They have offered us so many great freebies. Please take advantage of these offers and be sure to check out their DB shop and look at their amazing bundles!

FREE Shirt Mockup

free shirt mock up
You can download this heather grey t-shirt design by checking out this link here.

FREE Wall Art Mockup

FREE Mock Ups to download
If you are big into printable wall art, you won’t want to miss this freebie!

Keep in mind that many sites and artists offer freebies on Fridays. If you find a mockup creator that you LOVE to try and follow them on Facebook. It not only boosts their confidence but it also gives you behind the scenes are you can be the first to know when they have a deal! With that said, what was your favorite from this list? Leave it in the comments below!

Free mock ups for commercial use

Easy DIY Teacher Gift

Need a last-minute Holiday Gift for a special teacher? Have I got the easiest DIY project for you!

The school year has been rather crazy and as we near the Christmas holiday, the hours seem to FLY by like no one’s business. I feel like just yesterday I was making a game plan to eat the most food on Thanksgiving (spoiler alert, I executed it flawlessly!) With so many to purchase for kids, partners, parents, siblings, that aunt that you only see on Christmas, we oftentimes forget about those great people who willingly put up with our kids for hours on end – the teachers.

Now it can be hard to find something to gift them, I mean, what do they like? Do they enjoy cookies? Are they on a diet? What about coffee? Do they need wine? Is that inappropriate to send to school? The questions are INTENSE! *Breath* I have come up with the PERFECT gift that is budget-friendly and easy to make. BONUS points, it’s also useful! Are you ready to dive in with this Easy DIY teacher gift? Keep reading!

*This post contains affiliate links. They cost you nothing extra but I get a small portion of the sale. Not enough to make me rich, but I can get an extra foam board from the dollar tree!

What you need to buy:

  1. Dollar vase from Dollar Tree $1.00
  2. Pack of pencils (I got mine from Wal-Mart pack of 72 for $3.97. 

What you need that you probably already have:

  1. Adhesive permanent vinyl
  2. Cotton ball
  3. Alcohol

Bringing the total to just under 5 dollars! I went an extra step and picked up a cute bag for a few dollars to put the vase in as well. 

The first thing you want to do is find a super cute SVG file. Since it’s for a teacher, I chose “I’m sorry, was my teaching interrupting your talking?” and “I teach tiny humans, you can’t scare me!”. You can use whatever you want though. 

Once you decide on the colors you want, you cut out the design and layer any colors needed. 

Now is when it gets fun! Take a cotton ball and some alcohol and rub it over the surface of your vase. This will make sure that you are getting rid of any oils from your hands that might be on the glass. Once you have done that, allow the alcohol to air dry. Take your vinyl decal and place it on the cup. *Pro-tip, if you want to make it straight, fill the cup up with water and use the waterline as a good ruler!

Lastly, you will want to open your box of pencils and fill it up! I was able to fit around 65 in the vase comfortably. Put this present inside a tall gift bag and fill it up with some tissue paper, and you are good to go!

That’s it, guys! How cute is this easy DIY Teacher Gift Keep in mind creative, you don’t HAVE to put pencils in the cups! You can also put pens or dry erase markers, even paintbrushes would be perfect for an art teacher. Thinking outside of the box can yield some awesome results.

Easy DIY Teacher Gift

If you are interested in following me in 2020 and seeing more tutorials, craft files, and freebies, then be sure to check out my Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/AMCXStudio/ . Thanks for reading & be sure to post those finished projects! Love seeing what everyone creates. Happy crafting. 

Uploading Files Into Silhouette Studio

So you read my Design Space post for Cricut users but you have a Silhouette instead of a Cricut and you are not sure exactly what to do? No problem! I teamed up with my bestie who does have a Silhouette and she helped me create this awesome tutorial for you!

Uploading SVGs into your studio program is about as easy as it comes (no seriously! I promise!). In order for you to upload SVG files directly into your software, you must have an upgraded version of Silhouette Studio. You can get the Designer Edition for 49.99. I know they sometimes go on sale, so if you want to wait for those deals, you are more than welcome to! In this tutorial, Silhouette Business Edition is being used. This is the top tier program of all the studio editions. You can find a complete list of the comparison between the different studios on Silhouette’s website with this link.

Although free, Silhouette Basic Studio Edition will not upload an SVG file. However, the program will upload a DXF file and most designers will provide that file along with the SVG when you make your purchase. The upload process for an SVG is the exact same for a DXF.

4 Steps To Uploading into Silhouette Studio

  1. The first step, of course, would be to open your Silhouette Studio program.
  2. In the upper left corner select FILE > OPEN,  or use the shortcut CTRL+O for PC users.
  3. An explorer window will pop open and you can locate the file on your computer. When you have found your file, select the file and Click OK.
  4. Now you are done! I told you uploading SVGs was simple!
silhouette studio part 2

Now that you know all about uploading files into Silhouette Space, it’s time to get started on your big projects! You need to grab your choice of vinyl and your mats and get crafty! Eek! I am so excited for you. Get ready to experience the magic.

Uploading in Silhouette Studio

Trusted Suppliers

When you are starting a business or just doing this as a hobby, getting supplies is one of the beginning steps. However, if you are doing this as a hobby or a quick gift for a friend, getting the most BANG for your buck may not be on the top of your noggin. We all know about the popular craft stores like Micheals and Hobby Lobby, but they are not always wallet-friendly. With the convenience of online shopping combined with the already hectic schedules a lot of us have, we need to have those reliable suppliers that we can just simply place an order with and get our merchandise in the mail. With so many options though, who can you trust? It’s so important to find your trusted suppliers since anyone can make a site.

Once you start searching for things, you will notice that Facebook Adspops up various places and the first thing that runs through your mind “Is too good to be true?” (I see you FB! I am on to you!). Being in numerous groups for Etsy, Crafting, and Cricut I have seen my fair share of “Where can I buy” posts. Glancing over and reading the comments, taking mental notes, I have found that often times there can be bad businesses who over promise and under deliver. However, time and time again I have seen a number of businesses pop up as “So and So is LEGIT!”. So this post is going to show you those businesses – those TRUSTED SUPPLIERS!. Below you will find a compiled list of the “Too Legit To Quit” Businesses that can be trusted with your Crafting Needs.

As I find more great businesses, I will add them to the list. Comment below if you know a business that is amazing and needs to be added!

Vinyl Suppliers:

  • 651 Vinyl – Troy and his team at 651 Vinyl are located in KY and I have been buying from them for some time now. Their customer service is amazing and I love their “pin-pins” for weeding. Sales do not come often, so if you are lucky enough to catch one, go crazy! If you join their FB group, they also do grab boxes that are PACKED with vinyl but those go so quick. You can check out their site at 651vinyl.com (They give you candy in every order! Vinyl, blanks, and sweets like come on now!)
  • Craftables is another great spot. I have purchased a few times from as well. Their site offers FREE craft files that get updated often. You can shop with them at shopcraftables.com
  • Happy Crafters – Although I have not personally shopped with them, they do have some really nice deals and I have some besties who shop with them and they LOVE them. Check them out by visiting https://www.happycrafters.com/
  • JPI Blanks – They have a lot of sales but shipping can be slow during those sales so keep that in mind. Other than that, the family-owned business is really sweet. https://jpiblanks.com/
  • Heat Transfer Warehouse – Another great company who is located just north of me in FL. Their prices are good and they offer a large variety of materials and blanks. You can see more about their operation by check out the link here https://www.heattransferwarehouse.com/
  • Heat Transfer Source – A have a bestie who LOVES this place and I trust her with my crafting life! Since she says they should be add to our “Trusted Suppliers” lists, I have no choice but to believe her. They offer everything from vinyl to blanks to faux leather and more! If you join their FB group, you can enter to win a number of giveaways it’s insane! Visit their shop by clicking here https://www.heattransfersource.com/
  • CSDS Vinyl – I have purchased from them a few times for their amazing printed vinyl. Their products are of high quality and they have been quick to answer my questions when I had some. https://csdsvinyl.com/
  • Zindee Studios – Another site that offers some really incredible printed vinyl. Their acrylic blanks are absolutely adorable and make perfect keychains. You can see more of their merchandise by checking out the link here. https://zindee.com/

Bulk Blank Suppliers

  • www.JiffyShirts.com (My personal favorite bulk t-shirt buyer). There are so many greats styles. I personally use Bella + Canvas and Anvil for adults, but I have heard great things about Next Level as well. Don’t let the name “Jiffy Shirts” fool you though, they offer so much more than shirts! Everything from hoodies to bags to pants and hats – they are ah-mazing!
  • Oriental Trader – If you are shopping for bulk items for parties and quick DIY projects, you can score some seriously awesome items at the Trader. https://www.orientaltrading.com/
  • 24 HR Wrist Band – They offer A LOT of items and I mean A LOT! Although I have not personally purchased with them, I have seen people RAVE about their cozy prices so if you are headed to an event and want an easy DIY giveaway item that serves a purpose, it’s worth checking out. https://24hourwristbands.com/

Now that you know my top trusted suppliers, make sure you are getting the right vinyl by checking out this post where I go into detail about the different types of vinyl you can use.

Let’s Talk Vinyl!

It is no secret that I am vinyl crazy. I originally started out by just wanting to make SVG files for other crafters. However, when my BFF came over and told me about a sale at a local discount store, I found myself inside said store not knowing how I got there. (Just like when I visit Hobby Lobby or Micheals. I end up sitting in my car with piles of bags and a bill the size of myself, but let’s not tell my husband!). Thus the addiction to vinyl began. There are a lot of types of vinyl and if you are just starting out, it can be overwhelming. Let me help ease some of the fear of the unknown by breaking this down for you. Let’s talk about it the different kinds of vinyl!

What is vinyl?

So what is vinyl? When you type it in on google, you might find fencing, old records, or even a TV show. (Totally learned something new today). So what is the vinyl that we are going to talk about today? Craft Vinyl – Vinyl that can be used on cars, walls, and even shirts. Let’s dive in a bit.

Permanent Vinyl:

Permanent vinyl or as you may see it often referred to as “651” in crafting groups is a vinyl that was created to be well permanent. It’s supposed to stand up against the outdoor elements. This vinyl can be used on cars and fleet vehicles which makes it the perfect material for anything outdoor. Think business decals for windows, car decals of course, and even outdoor signs. Yes, those cute signs you see all over Pinterest, you can use it for those!

But wait, there’s more! (No really, there is) Crafters rejoice at the awesomeness of 651 in the DIY world we live in. You can use permanent vinyl as your go-to for cups, tumblers, laptops – think anything that is going to have to stand up the elements outside – or – the being used constantly. Your imagination is truly your only limit. Oracal 651 boasts being strong for up to 6 years! It has a nice glossy finish which really makes your great designs pop. Now Oracal is not the end all be all. There are PLENTY of other super cute and permanent solutions for vinyl.

Wall Vinyl:

Wall vinyl is considered a “temporary” indoor vinyl. This is often referred to as 631. It is a great way to instantly update the walls inside homes and businesses. 631 has a nice matte finish so there is no glare inside. Oracal boasts a product that can last nicely for 3 years with a clean removal for up to 2 years. This product makes it easy to change a space without the mess, fuss, and commitment of painting. It is the perfect solution for renters, college students, and even parent’s who children’s taste always change (Mom approved stamp – 2 kids 9 and 5).

Heat Transfer Vinyl:

Heat transfer vinyl (also referred to as HTV) is a vinyl that can be cut and used on a variety of products from shirts to bags, aprons, kitchen towels and well the list goes on and on. When heat is applied (can be a simple clothing iron, and easy press, or even an industrial heat press), it bonds to the fibers and can withstand daily use and washing. HTV makes for a strong and long use product! There are many different types of HTV including glitter and stretch for those more elastic fabrics. One of the more popular brands is Siser. Each type (and brand for that matter) comes with its own set of heating instructions so if you are a crafter, it is important to read the settings needed to help ensure that your products come out great.

I hope that this information has helped you get to know more about vinyl and the different types of that you can get for crafting. If you have any additional information to add, feel free to drop it in the comments below. To see a list of the places that I LOVE to shop for my own supplies, check out this post here.

*Disclaimer, there are affiliate links in this post. I have linked to some AWESOME deals on Amazon to help you get started on your journey. The links are for starter packs which is a great way to test out new avenues of crafting. If you make a purchase using one of my afl links, I get a small percentage of the sale. It isn’t enough to buy a car, but I can splurge on some dollar deals that will allow me to create tutorials and more for you.

vinyl 101, let's talk about vinyl.

Unzipping Your Files

If you have bought a crafting file or downloaded anything from the internet chances are you have ran into a .zip extension. If you haven’t, welcome to the world of crafting! .Zip files are a group of files that a designer “zipped” into a folder to compress them for an easy upload & download. If you don’t know how to unzip them, it can be intimating or even frustrating if you try and upload this file into Design Space. You may even feel like your file is broken. Take a minute to *breathe*. It’s not broken, we just have to unzip the file and your great design will be located inside.

Let’s first take a look at what we are looking at. When you download a zip, it should appear like the image below. See that zipper – windows is so clever.

To unzip the file, you will want to located the file. Whether it is located on your desktop, in your download files, or where ever, the next steps are all the same.

Windows

  1. By either “Double-click the ZIP folder” or “Right-Click and Hit Extract All”.
  2. You can select where you want the file to go by hitting “browse”. You can create a new file within that folder or allow it to pick the default. Once you have picked your desired location, continue by hitting extract. *Pro-tip – click “Show extracted files when complete” to save yourself the next step.
  3. You can now open that new file. It should look something like what is shown in the second photo below.
Extracting the Zipped Folder
Your New Extracted Folder

Mac

Now while I do not have a Mac, I did look up instructions on exactly how to unzip the folders and it appeared to be just as straight forward as Windows *Yippie!*

  1. The first thing you want to do is locate your zip file (of course).
  2. Double-click the ZIP folder. This will prompt the computer to extract immediately.
  3. Wait for the unzipped folder to open. Now that the ZIP folder is done extracting, the unzipped version of the folder will open to display the extracted contents.

What’s Next?

Now that your files are unzipped, you will want to check out this How to guide on uploading your files into Design Space. You can do that by clicking on this link here.

UnZippingFiles