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Halloween Treat Bags

Words by Tim Prentiss
Photos by Brent Collamer

witchbanner.png

The Quad recently acquired a few new colors of heat-press vinyl intended especially for Halloween projects, including orange, purple, and a reflective silver we had never used before. To test it out in advance of offering a special project with it, I created some simply Halloween themed designs to put on some of our tote bags.

The silver reflective material immediately made me think of the moon, so I decided to create a design that would include a large disk of the material with some kind of silhouette cut out of it. Online I found an image of a witch on a broomstick (labelled for reuse, of course) which I put it into Canva, a very user-friendly online graphic design program, for some tweaking.

First I decided to give the witch a familiar. So I added a silhouette of a cat to the front of the broomstick. Then I decided to give the cat a hat like her master's. Finally I added a circle for the moon.

 

 WitchSteps.png

It's a very simple but effective design, and it's easy to imagine dozens of possible variations--bats, a howling wolf, a cat arching its back. Just put any animal or monster you'd like in front of a circle and you have a dark, spooky silhouette in front of a shimmering full moon.

For my second design I started with a simple jack-o-lantern image I found online (literally the first result of a Google image search for “pumpkin clipart black and white” labeled for reuse.)

In Microsoft Paint, I added a few lines to make the image look a little less flat:

jackolanternsteps.png

The finished versions of both the witch and the jack-o-lantern image files were imported into our CutStudio software and sized 9 by 9 inches (which I think is about the ideal image size for our 13 by 18 inch bags).

Here's what the witch looked like after it was cut using the Roland vinyl cutter and I removed the negative space: 

weeded witch

For the jack-o-lantern, I decided to use orange vinyl on a black background, with the reflective silver as a secondary color. Since the silver would only be used for the features, I made a second file in which the outline was removed, in order to conserve vinyl.

pumpkin first layer

Using two colors of vinyl made pressing the jack-o-latern slightly (but only slightly) more complicated than usual. We put on the orange vinyl, pressed it for four seconds then removed the plastic backing. Then we put on the silver, pressed it for three seconds. Then removed the plastic backing from the silver vinyl and pressed the bag again for 10 more seconds, using a teflon sheet to prevent the vinyl from sticking to the press. 

heat press 

And below is what we ended up with. The picture of the witch bag will give you some idea of the reflective properties of the silver vinyl, though the bag is really meant to be seen in the dark. Though I initially thought the jack-o-lantern design was not particularly inspired, I was impressed with the finished product. The small addition of the silver highlights gave the image some much needed depth. 

 Finished witch bag      Finished jack-o-lantern bag

Nothing left to do now but fill them with candy.

 

 

Join us on October 17, 24, or 31 and make your own bag.

 

 

 

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