Paying It Forward
About a month ago, a fellow crafter in one of my favorite Silhouette Facebook groups posted a picture of a toy stovetop she made with her Sil and some vinyl on the lid of a storage container. The container was filled with toy pots and pans, and play food. She said that she found the original idea on Pinterest, and made these containers last year to donate to a shelter for Christmas, and would be making them again this year.
Not only did I love this project idea (a toy with built-in storage is always a plus), I love that she donates them to families in need who cannot afford or don’t have space for a larger, fancy kitchen set. I was so inspired by this project and the spirit behind it that I got to work designing my own cut files with more realistic looking stove burners (Her stove was adorable, but the burners were simple circles). Here’s what I came up with:
If you’ve browsed my shop, you probably know that I’m a big fan of freebies and share free SVG cutting files on the site every week. Given the charitable nature of this project, I had to add these files as free cut files and also shared them with the Facebook group so all the crafty gals (and guys) who wanted to make their own Pack ‘N’ Go Kitchen could have some awesome burners to use! It took me a little while to shop around and get all the materials needed to actually make this project but I finally finished it!
UPDATE: Since this project has become so popular, I have added a Printable PDF version of the stove top design, so if you don’t have a cutting machine you can still join in the fun! Just print the design on sticker paper and cut by hand or with an X-Acto!
Read on to see what I used and how I made it!
Here’s What You’ll Need:
- Silhouette Cameo (this design includes free .studio cut files and SVG files. You’ll need Designer Edition to open the SVG files) or other craft cutting machine that accepts SVG files.
- Pack ‘n’ Go Kitchen Toy Stove Free SVG Cutting Files
- Paper trimmer, scissors / X-Acto knife
- Scraper (or credit card/old gift card, popsicle stick) for burnishing
- Ruler and pencil (for marking placements)
- Transfer paper – I prefer clear when layering multiple colors of vinyl
- Adhesive vinyl – I used Oracal 651 from Expressions Vinyl in the following colors:
- Ice Blue
- Brilliant Blue
- Storage Container – I used this Sterilite 16qt container with a flat lid, which at the time of this writing is $2.99 at Target, or $2.94 at Mills Fleet Farm (fleetfarm.com)
- Toy food – a bigger set like this could be split in half if you’re making multiple sets on a budget!
- Toy Cookware set – This Step 2 Lifestyle Dining Room Pots & Pans set is $13.38 on Amazon at the time of this writing, but I have also seen it on sale for $7.99 at Target, so shop around! I like it because it includes a pot and pan plus dishes, cups, and flatware – so cute!
- Standard Silhouette Ratchet blade set at: 2
- Speed: 8
- Thickness: 9
File Prep & Cutting Vinyl
For the 16qt storage container that I used, I kept all the shapes the same size they are in the file (finished burner size is about 4 ½”). I arranged the shapes like this to make the most use of my vinyl and to cut multiple colors simultaneously. If you are using a different size container and need to resize your shapes, make sure you have them all selected and resize them together so they are scaled proportionately.
I used a paper cutter to cut the vinyl just big enough for my shapes and then placed each color on the cutting mat corresponding with the shape placement on the grid in Studio. Using the scraper tool, I rubbed the vinyl to make sure it was smooth on the mat.
I loaded the mat (press Load Cutting Mat on the machine) in my Cameo and did a test cut using the following cut settings (you can also see my cut settings in the above screenshot):
My test cut gave me a perfect kiss cut (only the vinyl is cut, not the paper backing), so I reloaded the mat and hit the “Send to Silhouette” button.
Then I arranged the stove burners and knob accents like this and sent them to cut.
I removed the vinyl strips from the cutting mat and used my paper cutter and scissors to cut off the unused ends – save those small vinyl scraps for nail decals or other smaller designs!
Starting at a corner, I weeded the design (carefully pulling up the excess vinyl / negative space that isn’t part of the design). There aren’t many small cavities in this design, so I didn’t need a hook or the usual weeding tools.
I used scissors and my X-Acto knife to cut each shape to separate them from one another.
Since there were so many pieces, I cut a larger piece of transfer tape and laid it sticky side up on my table. Then I placed each stove shape with vinyl side down on the transfer paper and pressed them flat with my fingers and then rubbed with the scraper tool (you can also use a credit card, popsicle stick etc.).
Then I cut the transfer tape to separate the shapes from each other so now I had individual vinyl decals ready for application. (Since there were so many shapes, I left the vinyl paper backing on until I was ready to apply each shape.)
Prep your surface by cleaning with warm water and soap and then wipe down with rubbing alcohol – this removes any dirt, dust, or oils from the surface, which helps the vinyl stick better. Since I was trying to conserve vinyl, I had to freehand align and place each shape onto my surface. I used a ruler and pencil to measure and mark the center points for the placement of each stove burner.
If you aren’t too concerned with using up more vinyl and want to make things easier on yourself, you could use the registration mark method when prepping and cutting your files to more easily and accurately align the shapes when transferring and applying the vinyl.
Starting with the large black circles, I removed the vinyl paper backing and placed them over the center points I had marked. I folded the circle in half and aligned the middle of the circle with the center pencil mark to place it correctly.
Using the scraper, I rubbed the entire shape firmly to smooth and adhere the circle to the surface (this is called burnishing). Starting at a corner of the transfer tape, I carefully started peeling it back flat onto itself. If the vinyl starts coming up with the tape, you can carefully lay it back down and burnish some more. You can also use the scraper to press the vinyl to the surface while peeling off the transfer tape.
Once the transfer tape is removed, use the scraper to burnish again and smooth out any air bubbles. Tip: To work out any air bubbles in the vinyl, gently rub with your scraper and push the bubble to the edge of the shape. If the bubble is stubborn, you can also use a pin to poke a small hole in the center and then use the scraper to smooth it out! Repeat these steps to apply all the black circles. If your shapes lay over the bumpy “Sterilite” logo like mine did, just burnish it extra, it should stay down just fine! Now you can apply the dark blue flame shapes by layering them over the black circles. If you kept the scale of the shapes in proportion, the blue flame shape should align pretty easily within the black circle. Repeat the steps above to burnish and remove transfer tape. Next, apply the light blue flame shapes over the blue flames. They should also align pretty easily. Now you’re ready to apply the grey burner grate shapes. Carefully align the center circle over the light blue flame, burnish, and remove transfer tape. Finally, you can apply the knobs. I used the ruler and pencil again to mark placement. First apply the small black circles, and then place the grey knob accents – these were also easy to align. All done! Fill up your Pack ‘N’ Go Kitchen Stove with toy cookware and play food, and you’re ready to pay it forward to a child in need! Did you catch my 3-year-old daughter testing it out? I may need to make another to donate if I can’t get this one away from her! Someone in the Facebook group mentioned that a version with a racetrack would be fun for toy cars, so I went ahead and made a cut file for that too – and a little town SVG set to boot!
I hope this project helps and inspires you! If you like it, go ahead and hit one of the Share buttons below! And if you make one of these, please post them on our Facebook page, or email them to me – I would love to see what everyone creates with these!
Affiliate Disclosure: I may be an affiliate for some products recommended in this post. This means that if you purchase items through my links I will earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products that I have personally used and enjoy and when you order through my link, it helps me continue to offer you lots of free SVG files, digital papers, scrapbook sketches, tutorials, and other freebies. Thank you in advance for your support!