Thursday, June 12, 2014

Custom Soap Dispensers with Monograms

When you have a die cutting machine, you can make all sorts of custom projects very easily.  I like to take simple items and make them a little more special by adding personalization.

Last Christmas, I dressed up some liquid soap bottles for my husband's parents to use in their new condo.  Their powder room sink has a narrow spot for a soap container and the fancy one that we bought was too large to fit the space.  I found some slender liquid soap bottles, removed the store labels and printed some holiday designs to fit the sides of the bottles.  You can find the post with all of the details on this project HERE.

Christmas is long past and it was time to redo these dispensers with a more neutral design.  I decided that a monogram would work nicely since it could be used all year long.  I wanted to have some ornamentation around the initial so I started looking through my fonts.

The font I decided to use is called "Apex Lake."  I like the swirls around the letters but I didn't have room to use the frames and I didn't want the long thin pieces in the center of the letters.   I have had this font for a while - you can find it on the dafont website HERE.

If you are using the Cricut Explore  and the Design Space program, you will find that it is not possible to use the hide contour feature on a font.  A warning bar appears across the top of the page.  You need to take one simple step to make it possible to use the contour function.  Simply ungroup the letter or line of text, hide the lines you don't want to cut and then regroup the word.  Once you do this, you will no longer be able to edit the text with the text functions.

When the letter is ungrouped, click on the "contour" icon at the top of the layers panel or right click and choose "hide contour" from the drop down menu.  The image of the letter will dim and as you hover your mouse over a line in will turn bright.  Click on the selected line and then click elsewhere on the mat or click the "contour" icon again.  The line that you selected will be hidden and will not cut.  If you accidentally hide the wrong line just click it again to make it visible as a cut line.

I wanted to alter one of the monograms by removing the center line and then adding in a few of the petal shapes.  I could do this with Design Space by hiding all of the lines of the letter except those three (and doing that two times to get two clusters of petals), however, I found it easier to use the Silhouette software which allows you to release all of the lines in an image and choose the ones you want, group them and delete the rest of the image.  I am hoping that more editing functions will be added to the Design Space program to make it possible to edit individual lines in the same way.

For the two smaller bottles, I used the letter and just the swirls on the left side.  This fit just neatly on the flat front of the bottle.

The larger bottle hadn't been decorated for Christmas.  This style of bottle was from a Stonewall Kitchen soap.  A word of warning - the labels on the Stonewall Kitchen bottles are very difficult to remove.  I used a lot of "goo gone" and it took several hours of soaking and peeling and soaking and peeling to get the label removed completely.  I do like the size and shape, so I guess it was worth it - the Dial soap bottle labels came off much more easily.

I used transfer tape to apply the vinyl to the bottles since there were so many small pieces that needed to stay aligned.  If you are doing a label similar to the one I did for the holiday bottles, you probably won't need any transfer tape.  The lavender soap looks very pretty with must the monogram on the bottle.

We put the larger bottle by the kitchen sink with a ocean scented blue soap.  I might have chosen a lighter color of vinyl to show up more distinctly but I bought the soap after I did the vinyl.  It would be a good idea to choose both and the same time to get a better contrast but I do like the subtle tone-on-tone effect this gives.

I just used regular indoor vinyl for these bottles.  I burnished it down very carefully but it is likely to get wet and could eventually peel.  I think the vinyl will hold up for quite a while and if it loosens eventually it will be easy to just cut a few new monograms.

Cricut deals this week...
(affiliate links)

The free Cricut images that you can cut this week (Jun 11-18,2014) are these pretty shells.  You can see them HERE along with instructions on how to find them in Design Space and Cricut Craftroom. Wouldn't they look nice on a soap dispenser?

There are also sales on some great font cartridges for $19.99 (Everyday Fonts, Lyrical Letters, Fontopia, Library Fonts, Chalkboard Fonts, and Extreme Fonts) - you can find them HERE.

A number of re-released cartridges are available now starting at $19.99 including two of my favorites, When it's Cold Outside and Lacy Labels.  Click HERE to see all that are available.

Cuttlebug folders in the clearance section (HERE) are 50% off.

 Finally, the June Mystery Box is available.  This time it contains items for crafting with kids including two cartridges (I wonder which ones?!).  The box costs $29.99 for a $93 value and these boxes sometimes sell out.

Don't forget, there is free standard shipping on all US orders over $35 - just use the code FREESHIP35 at checkout.

I have been sorting out some of my files and working on getting them ready for my new store - I hope to have at least a few of them available starting this weekend.
What projects are you working on?  Are you ready for Father's Day?

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  1. Very pretty! I pinned this for future reference, thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks Debby - I am glad you liked it! They are pretty easy to do once you decide on the style. Have fun with them!

  2. You have such great ideas and tutorials. I always learn something new. Love my cricut explore. Just wished they would make that smiley card cartridge available to everyone...I don't have a gypsy. Seems like you might have a direct line into could you put the "bug" in their ear LOL.

    1. Thanks for the compliment! Isn't the Explore fun to use? I don't know if the Smiley Card cartridge will be released. I think it was a special perk just for Gypsy owners at the time. But never say never - I'll see if I can find out anything for you.

  3. Diane this is such a wonderful idea! I get so tired of the liquid soap labels and this really dresses it up! Great idea and tutorial. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    1. Thanks Kristie! It really isn't hard to do and there are endless possibilities. It all started because we couldn't find a refillable one that would fit neatly on the side of the sink. I think these are lots more fun than any commercial style - I love to personalize things!


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