Not Your Bubbe’s Hebrew {Font}!

Oh, I am so excited about this project I can hardly type!  So, as you may have all figured out by now, I am totally in love with my Silhouette Cameo.  It cuts paper and vinyl and fabric (though I haven’t tried that one yet) and best of all, it cuts any font!  I knew even before I ordered it that I one of the things I wanted to be able to do try with it was cut Hebrew letters.  Just think, the possibilities for Judaica projects or even every day projects with a jew-ish flare are endless!  Here’s a little preview:

Hebrew name on t shirt

Silhouette Studio is the software that comes with the Silhouette that you can use to create whatever you are cutting.  The tricky part is that it only supports English.  So, here’s how to get cool Hebrew letters into Silhouette Studio (using Windows, sorry Mac folks) and cut out:

First of all, you may not know it, but many fonts you already own often contain Hebrew letters but using them can be a bit tricky since you aren’t sure where to find them, etc.  So, my first recommendation is that you install the Hebrew keyboard in windows so that you can easily access the letters.  This is really easy – here is a guide to adding input languages.  I also recommend selecting that the language bar be docked in the taskbar so you can easily switch between languages when you are working.  If you really want to make things easier on yourself, you can order some of these hebrew keyboard labels to doctor up your keyboard.

Then, open up a document in Microsoft Word, switch to Hebrew on your language bar and start typing.  I am working on a gift for a friend who’s daughter’s Hebrew name is Morasha.  Here you can see how it looks in several different fonts in Word.  Remember, just like English, Hebrew comes in both block and script fonts.  The standard ones that you probably have already, like Times, are pretty traditional (think prayerbook) Hebrew letters but there are some beautiful scripts out there that are really modern and chic.  Here’s a good list.  Of course, with these you can do all sorts of fun stuff using Word or whatever program you like!

Once you have your word or sentiment typed in Word, you’ll want to copy the word and then paste it into a blank Silhouette Studio document.  When you first paste it, it will appear backwards like it is in this picture.

Pasting Hebrew Letters into Silhouette Studio

So, you’ll want to right-click and then select “Flip Horizontally” so that you can see what it looks like and play around with the fonts.  The Hebrew fonts will show up on your font list in  Silhouette Studio even though you can’t type in Hebrew in the program.  I just love this “Dybbuk” font so after the flipping my word, I then selected a different font, sized it a bit and viola!

Hebrew Font in Silhouette Studio

Now, since I am going to put this on a T-shirt, I will need to flip this again horizontally for cutting out of heat transfer so that it will be in the right direction when I iron it on.  Don’t forget this step – I did the first time and cut it out in the wrong direction for ironing so sadly wasted some heat transfer material.  For this project, I used the Silhouette grey flocked heat transfer.  It looked great on the pink T!

But it would have been too plain to just have her Hebrew name all by itself, I needed to add some bling.  So, using a combo of rhinestones from my Silhouette kit, I created a lovely rhinestone butterfly for Miss M!

Iron-on Rhinestone Butterfly

The final product – a totally personalized Hebrew name T!  Perhaps we’ll be lucky and Miss M will even model it for us!

Hebrew name tee with rhinestone butterfly

Now that I know I can cut out Hebrew letters, what else should I make??  Any ideas?  Ooh, so many possibilities…

Farmer Queen

Today is the beginning of a new chapter for my friend Andie  To celebrate her transition to full time farmerhood, I decided to make something befitting of her status as Queen Farmer; a woman who not only likes to dig in the dirt and hang with the animals, but do it with a little bling. You can read all about her adventures on Andie’s Farm.

Every good farmer needs to wear sun protection. So, I started with a nice simple cotton hat from Target. Then, I played with the layout I wanted in Silhouette Studio, keeping in mind the dimensions of the hat. I knew I wanted to overlay rhinestones over the word “farmer” so it took some fiddling around to get things laid out just right. Using flocked heat transfer, my first attempt with a different font choice (a version of Chevalier) was totally unsuccessful as the little stripes just came apart after I cut them with my Cameo. I ended up using a different font, the name of which is now totally escaping me. But remember when using heat transfer that you have to cut to the image in mirror so that when you iron it, it will read correctly.

As you can see, even this one proved a bit difficult with its delicate features but it ended up being easy to fix because the other thing I realized during this process is that laying a longer word across a curved hat is REALLY tricky. I ended up going with plan B and ironing it on one letter at a time (this also solved the problem of the “E” as all I had to do was re-cut a single “E”).

That worked much better!

Then it was time to figure out the rhinestones. I didn’t manage to photograph this process (probably because it was done in the midst of sick-toddler wrangling) but I used two different methods for the rhinestone designs. For the word “queen”, I used a rhinestone-specific font that came with the Rhinestone Starter Kit. For the tiara, I converted a standard graphic to a rhinestone design using the rhinestone tools feature (from the Silhouette Studio designer edition). A couple of the crown points were one stone off to me so I ended up adding a couple stones as I lay out all the rhinestones (pink ones for “queen” and clear for the tiara) onto the templates following the easy instructions in the starter kit. The final step was ironing them on the hat and ta-da: my one-of-a-kind “Queen Farmer” hat:

Happy farming Andie!