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The results are in! Thank you so much to those of you who completed my 2014 Reader Survey! I loved reading your comments and learning more about what you’re looking forward to seeing at Essentially Eclectic this coming year. Here’s what I learned:
- A couple different categories tied for first and second as your favorite type of posts at EE: DIY Body Care, Tutorials, Recipes, and Crafts. This brought a big smile to my face, since this happens to be 95% of what I blog about! It doesn’t seem to be broken, so I don’t suppose I’ll fix this one :)
- The category of posts you were by far most interested in seeing more of in the coming year was “Life Stuff” — think lifestyle-blog type posts that are a bit more personal than your standard project tutorial. Tied for second place was Silhouette projects and Freebies, which means today you’re in double luck…
…because Santa brought a Silhouette Cameo for Christmas!! :) I was a little nervous to tear into it because I was told there is a bit of a learning curve, but fortunately I have some amazing blog buddies who are Silhouette experts! A few tutorials later, and my first project was finished:
This project is the first of 12 Silhouette projects (maybe more??) I hope to do this year as a part of my pal Lauren’s Silhouette Challenge, which she completed last year and is doing again this year with big group of bloggers who have joined in! The theme for this month’s challenge is Organization, so I decided to go with a project that was simple (since this is, after all, my first go) but still practical: A menu board! I needed something with a dry-erase-type surface that was inexpensive, so I decided to pull out an old photo frame and some ivory colored card stock.
The design for this menu board was inspired by Lauren’s A Thousand Thanks stationary project. I was able to use her tutorial to figure out how to navigate the Silhouette Studio software (which isn’t super intuitive but super easy to use once you get the hang of things) and create a simple design that fit my frame, one that could double as a cute dinner party menu too! Assuming, of course, that you remove SMTWTF from the design ;)
Once I had my design built, I was ready to cut! Here are a couple things I learned about using a Silhouette machine:
A FEW CUTTING TIPS AND TRICKS FOR NEW SILHOUETTE USERS:
- If an animal and R2D2 had baby, and then that creature proceeded to die a slow painful death, the sound it makes when dying would approximate the sound a Silhouette makes when cutting. Your machine isn’t broken, and it’s okay to leave the room and just let it do it’s thing.
- Use quality card stock! Cheap card stock tends to be more fibrous and those fibers can get stuck in your blade, causing your paper to tear around sharp edges and corners while your machine cuts. American Crafts card stock has been recommended by several Silhouetters I know as a good brand to use.
- Always use the lowest blade setting possible when cutting to avoid prematurely dulling your blade.
- Intricate designs may require a slower cutting speed.
- Silhouette Studio has cutting recommendations for various media you may be working with, but these are just guidelines to start from. Your medium may require different settings!
All in all, I would say this project was a success! What do you think? If you would like to make your own dry erase photo frame menu board, I have included the FREE cut file for you!
Click HERE to download the FREE cut file.
(Please note this free file is for personal use only)
HUNGRY FOR MORE SILHOUETTE PROJECTS?
My Silhouette Challenge buddies and I are all sharing projects on our blogs today, so peruse the links below for a wealth of Silhouette inspiration!
- DIY Window Shutter Mail Organizer by Weekend Craft
- Kids’ Art Wall by Tried & True
- Organizing Silhouette and Craft Supplies by The Happier Homemaker
- Simple Recipe Organization by It’s Always Craft Time
- Put a Label on it! Herb Names for Plant Stakes by Get Silvered
- Super Simple Linen Closet Labels by Two Purple Couches
- Beware of the Animals Vinyl Toy Box by A Tossed Salad Life
- Child desk accessories by Architecture of a Mom
- Organizing & the Importance of Labels by The Turquoise Home
- Index Card Organizer for Easier Meal Planning by Chicken Scratch NY
- Create Craft Room Labels by Dragonfly & Lilypads
- Simple Storage Solution for your Christmas Ornaments by Vintage News Junkie
- Organize this: DIY Planner Covers, Tags & Dividers (made with Cereal Boxes) by Black and White Obsession
- How to Make a Cut File into a Print & Cut by Create & Babble
- Simple Chest Freezer Organizational Board by Nearly Handmade
- Vinyl Your Kitchen Canisters! by From Wine to Whine
- Nursery Closet Dividers & Silhouette Cut File by Creative Ramblings
- Make Custom Box Templates with a Silhouette for Drawer Organization by One Dog Woof
- Organizing the Craft Room by What’s Next Ma
- Vinyl Wall Calendar by Crafts Cakes and Cats
- Personalized Toy Storage Bins by Lil’ Mrs. Tori
- Personalized Routine Chart by Work in Progress
- Blog Planner Sheet Dividers + Free Cut Files by TitiCrafty by Camila
- Simple Project Calendar by Little Blue’s Room
- Dry Erase Photo Frame Menu Board + Free Cut File by Essentially Eclectic
- Receipt Organization with Free Cut File by The Thinking Closet
- Cute and Easy Labels by Life After Laundry
- “What’s For Dinner?” Menu Planning Board by unOriginal Mom
- Mixing Organization and Function: An Easy Conversion Chart by My Paper Craze
- Why do my cookies taste so bad? A lesson in baking. by The Life and Times of a TAP
- Custom Drawer Dividers by Please Excuse My Craftermath…
- The evolution of my labeling system by feto soap
- Ikea Drawer labels by McCall Manor
- Glass Etched Vinegar & Oil bottles by Terri Johnson Creates
- Organize It: Bathroom Closet by The House on Hillbrook
- Ombre Butterfly Magnet Board by Sowdering About
P.S. DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links, meaning I will receive a small commission on products purchased through these links at no extra cost to you. Please see my FAQs and disclosure policy for more information.