Tuesday, August 6, 2013

On My Desk. Which is a mess.

Ah, yes. 
My desk.
My messy, messy, wonderful desk.
Here is my take on the Versa-Tool and cutting my own stencils.

This baby heats up really, really fast. It also has a temperature regulator which is also good, as it gets just a little bit hot where you hold it.

The temperature regulator, however makes the whole thing top heavy and it falls off it's little stand, so taping it down is necessary.

It also comes with lots of cool tips. 
One other recommendation. Don't use any of this to carve a stamp out of a rubber eraser. Not really a good idea.

My friend, Lori, recommended I use a sheet of glass under the Quilter's Template Plastic-genius!
I had an old frame and I used the glass from that.
You build it like a sandwich:

I also used a piece of wood on top of my table, as I didn't want to burn through anything. Just in case.
Wood, on top of the wood, your design.
On top of your design, the piece of glass.
On top of the glass, the Quilter's Plastic.

You are ready to create. 
Easy Peasy.
I used one of Brenna's sheets that she colors.
I love the repetitive patterns.
Using this, I realized that really fine lines are hard to do. Not impossible, but you really need to be able to settle down and just let everything go out of your mind to concentrate.

You also need to not be tired, because your eyes will fall out of your head after ten minutes.
Just saying.

The most important part I learned (besides not using it to carve rubber erasers), is that slooooooow and steady is key. Otherwise, your tool will skitter across the plastic and not cut in. I found this tool helpful in the area of getting myself to focus. I wonder if they also market it as a yoga tool or something?

I played around with different shapes, finding that the wider the shape, the better it will take spray.
Otherwise, paint on a dry paint brush works well.
You can see that it's not the cleanest line, the plastic tends to melt and ball up. I'm not sure how to get rid of this, but it didn't seem to interfere with the paint process.
Any tips on this?

 The chevron pattern I cut out with an exact-o knife, the anchor was done with the Versa-tool.

I also can use the cut out piece of anchor...kind of a plus!

Here's a page I did with the arrows, I used paint for this- the spray didn't quite work as the lines were a little too thin. (see photo above.)

I will definitely be trying more shapes and styles!
How about you? Have you tried the Versa-tool?


  1. I totally recognized Brenna's doodles! she drew those hearts and little window like squares ALL the time! Tell her I miss her!! :)

    I love your work!!!


  2. I just love her work! I am telling you, I see a book in her future :)

    I bought a versa tool about 10 years ago and cursed everyday of using it.
    They didn't have a heat adjust knob then.
    I don't know what I bought it for originally but I used it to carve foam pumpkins back in the day. It works great for that, but stinky.
    Have fun cutting and trying new things!

  3. I can think of a million wonderful uses for this.

    OK, maybe a little gross hyperbole, but I do think it's really cool.

  4. What a cool tool to have. I have never tried one but now I want one.

    Hope you are having a happy week my friend.


  5. Never tried it. I need to get busy experimenting a little more. School goes back in a week and I'm hoping for a little me-time!!!