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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After a lot of going back and forth the other day I was at JSI in Atlanta and they were doing some rhinestone designs. I watched them cut the sticky flock and then make a few designs. They had a nice big piece of sticky flock (pink) under their stencils on the table and then stuck the gray flock to it. Of course they were selling winpcSIGN too but I didn't have the money for that. So I decided on doing a simple necklace design.

I just got enough to try out. I got 4 colors with 10gross each. 10 feet of 18" sticky flock. and 90 feet of acrylic transfer tape.

I started with my design and like I say it is simple... just a necklace with a cross. I did it all in Illustrator (because I already own it and can't afford anything else at the time). I started with 3.194mm holes. Manually placed them to make the design. I got the brush to work around the design I wanted, but never figured out the filling part. I know I've seen the tutorial here for AI as well as CD, but of course I couldn't find it when I needed it last night. But for this simple design I just placed manually.

I cut my design with a 60degree blade and needed more force than I thought I would like 230-240gf. The design weeded fairly well and is ok since it's a one time thing with the template. Of course I don't have any trays or anything so I picked a large cookie sheet (raised sides) and stuck the Sticky flock to it. Then dumped a lot of stones (more the merrier!) in it and proceeded to try and get them to align. Here's when everything started going south. First I didn't get the Sure Line brush but an ACE hardware brand. Not sure if that mattered or not.

So there I am at 1am trying desperately to get my first design done. The stones didn't want to drop into the holes consistently. I'm thinking that I didn't give them enough room. 3mm stones probably need more than 3.194mm holes. So I got my embroidery tweezers and manually wrangled about half of them that didn't want to go or align right. Then I cut my transfer tape and separated it. WOW, WHAT STATIC! Hmmm... MEXICAN JUMPING STONES! I have now read about static guard and dryer sheets. I think I can get that somewhat under control hopefully. I ended up having to manually place and flip some stones even after the 3rd try of trying to get all the static out. I'm thinking that my stones aren't sitting flat on the sheet pan because I didn't make my holes large enough.

ANY HELP OR INSIGHT WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED!

1. Can anyone find the link to the way to fill using AI? It's like you make a bunch of lines so far apart and then blend using your hole size.

2. Did I make my holes too small? Is bigger better in regards to hole size?

3. Will I be able to keep the static under control enough to not make these suckers flip and go nuts using static guard or dryer sheets?

4. I know I need better software, but right now I just can't afford it (that goes for Corel Draw too).

5. I'm using a GX24 with a 60degree blade and a .4 offset. What are you guys using with your 60?

Again... THANKS. I hope to try and reuse this tape again because if it's like the ones I've pressed before it just gets stickier.
 

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I don't use AI, I have the stone stencil system and HIGHLY recommend it!

as for the hole sizes. Every stone mfg has different size stones. I have a master hole chart that I cut in lines, for 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 mm stones. going from .1 up to .9. So that when I order a new batch of stones, I use my master to see which hole they gone into easiest.

I have a GCC puma cutter, and honestly, I don't know how I have it set up, I purchased it with my system and I think it was already set to the proper settings.

with the heat tape, yes, I reuse mine over and over. and even when I think it's not sticky enough, it still works, ( and has less static too ) Spray the opposite ( non sticky) side with static guard before going anywhere near the stones and you won't have mexican jumping beans, and don't be slow about it either, hover high, then splatter that sheet down fast LOL, then push and make sure you catch all the stones.

One thing I've learned with the Rhinestones, is it gets easier the more you do. As with anything, you learn from your mistakes. And it's not as easy as it looks to create a design, no matter what program you have, until you have played with it, made mistakes, and made masterpieces. It just takes practice, watching tutorials, more practice, more tutorials, and even more practice :)

Good Luck!

OH, and btw, I'm in atlanta also ;)
 

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Ann, so does that mean you recut stencils to match the stones? If you have stock lettering stencils from one supplier and switch stones is that a problem?

I have SS16 stones from three different suppliers and all three are different sizes. We are going through the "growing pains" with this also. A LOT of trial and error, more error than I'd like...
 

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Ann, so does that mean you recut stencils to match the stones? If you have stock lettering stencils from one supplier and switch stones is that a problem?

I have SS16 stones from three different suppliers and all three are different sizes. We are going through the "growing pains" with this also. A LOT of trial and error, more error than I'd like...

I feel your pains, as I too am going thru them. I have decided to find a supplier that I think has resonable prices, good quality, dependabilty, and stick with them for stones to eliminate the problem of having to recut the stencils ( makes me cry to think how much of that stencil material I have wasted! ) I just purchased some sticky flock, but haven't cut any letters with it yet.

so to answer your question, if you purchased stones from a different supplier, you "may" have to recut the stencil or place each stone by hand as they may not fall into place :(
 

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1. Can anyone find the link to the way to fill using AI? It's like you make a bunch of lines so far apart and then blend using your hole size.


4. I know I need better software, but right now I just can't afford it (that goes for Corel Draw too).

quote]


I am also an Adobe Illustrator user and have been searching for software or a plug-in that would allow for a simpler rhinestone design ability. If anyone knows of such a plug in I would love to hear about it!!

Like you, I have also created the designs manually, creating two different size cirlces, one for the stone and one for the spacer. Once created you can add them to your symbol library and name them according to the stone size/manufacturer. You can manually place the circles, eyeballing the placement, or you can use lines/curves as guides.

The problem is not that you need better software, as AI is a very powerful vector art program. We just need to find a plug in or rhinestone software that is compatible. All the focus seems to be on CorelDraw, but there are alot of AI users out there too!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well I tried again and made my holes 3.4mm and they brushed right in... night and day difference. Still have a static problem that the used dryer sheet didn't fix, but will look for the static guard today.

On AI, I've got no problem with Corel Draw, I just happened to know Adobe better when I was buying and I figured that since I knew Photoshop so good that Illustrator would be an easy crossover (it wasn't). Now I'm getting ok at illustrator and I don't think I'm to the point where I want to learn anything more for a little while. That's even if I could afford to have both. Had I been on here before I purchased I probably would have gone for the Corel. One of these days I'll break down and just get the winpcsign, but I still can't afford it until I recoup some of my money. Right now that's slow.
 
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