Craft Room Update and Vinyl Transfer How-To

Today’s post is more of an update on my craft room progress as well as being a how-to. There’s a lot of photos in this one because I wanted to make sure that I could explain my process well.

I wasn’t really happy with how my current white board looked in my craft room. I wanted something that looked cleaner and more bold than my crummy handwriting. It really doesn’t help that I don’t know how to write straight, whatsoever.

20171001_044203.jpg

Those of you who follow me on Instagram or Facebook may remember when I made a very large vinyl decal for a customer. Her plan was to install it on an upcycled window to use as an outdoor display. It turned out really great!!

 

I decided to challenge myself to make a good decal to run across the top of my white board, which would make it an even longer decal than the welcome one I had made before.

Now, you’ll probably be looking through all of this and find yourself thinking “Why didn’t she just remove the board from the wall?”. That is a great question. I didn’t think of that. Luckily I’m pretty tall so I didn’t have to worry about over-extending my arms to reach anything.

I measured out the total length of the board (46.5 inches) and then decided on how tall I wanted my decal to be. I decided that five inches tall would be adequate to make a statement. I didn’t really care how long the design was; as long as it was more than half the length of the board. If the design wasn’t long enough, it would look stunted.

After taking measurements, I had to find a font that would look good. I wanted something clean and legible with a handwritten look. Once I had my font and design done, I welded the shapes together in Silhouette Studio and sent it to the Cameo to be cut. I chose teal outdoor vinyl (Oracal 651) since I wasn’t really sure that the indoor vinyl would adhere to the weird white board surface texture.

Could I have tested this? Yes. But I didn’t because I don’t have a great color selection of indoor vinyl right now.

Untitled.png

Luckily, since this design was so big, it was really easy to weed out the excess vinyl. Once I had the excess removed, I carefully applied my transfer tape. I use the masking tape method for tape application.

20171001_044207.jpg

Using masking tape in the center of the design, I carefully peeled back the transfer tape from its backing. Once I reached the masking tape in the middle, I cut off the backing and used my super awesome squeegee to press down the tape onto my decal.

20171001_044324.jpg

To do the other half, I move the masking tape over just to the left of the remaining backing and repeat the previous process. I then thoroughly burnish the decal to the transfer tape using my scraper tool. I like this method because it’s essentially fool-proof!

Next, I needed to clean off my white board. Using an eraser isn’t enough, though; there was still a lot of particles and ink residue on the board.

20171001_044533.jpg

This is where our good friend IPA, or Rubbing Alcohol, comes in. Using a paper towel and some of the cheap stuff you find in the first aid department, I went over all areas twice and then once with a less damp cloth to make sure there was no residue remaining.

20171001_044525.jpg

Once I was satisfied with my board’s state, I went in for the alignment. Originally, I placed my decal where I thought the middle was, but couldn’t get it just so. I took the difference between the length of the design and the length of the board, divided it by two and put a mark at that measurement on one side. Then I aligned one side of my decal with the line at the height I wanted.

20171001_045222.jpg20171001_045227.jpg

After that, I followed the masking tape method for application, which is exactly the same as it was for the transfer tape placement.

20171001_045344.jpg20171001_045402.jpg20171001_045429.jpg

Before I did the second side, though, I noticed I missed a tiny piece when I was weeding the excess. Luckily this is easier to fix if you catch it before you apply the vinyl to your surface.

In the loop of my lowercase “r” was a little bit of leftover. I just used my hook tool to carefully pull it from the transfer tape. Once that was done I finished the placement and removed my masking tape.

20171001_045653.jpg

I burnished the design really well using a scraper to adhere it well to the surface, then removed the transfer tape.

It looks so much better (and more professional) now! I finally feel like things are coming together and that my personality is coming through!

20171001_050615.jpg

I still cannot write on vertical surfaces in a straight line, however. Maybe I should work on that next?

 

If you’re looking for someone to make you a super awesome decal such as this, you can either send me a request using the form on my Contact Me page, or request a custom order on my etsy shop.

Mother’s Day and Paint

This past month was really busy for me since Mother’s Day was the holiday of the month. I had to figure out what to get (or make) for the mothers in my life! My mom has been wanting to pick up crochet again, so I got her a set of hooks and a great book on crocheting to get her back up and running; all she needs is yarn! I really hope that it helps her remember how to use a skill that she can take anywhere with her; she hasn’t crocheted in a LONG TIME.

My mother-in-law had mentioned wanting a couple of signs made, but I decided to make them presents instead of commissions.

17239697_1861700324118482_5514272357137282559_o

Which would be all the time. 🙂

The last one I made for her was this one, which is one of her favorite quotes (Sweet Home Alabama). I personalized it with her and her husband’s name and wedding day for an added sentimental value. She seemed to really like it! I loved being able to mess with different colors for this one. If I were to make it again, I’d probably change the font of their names and wedding date to something a bit more bold.

She also wanted one for her front porch/door. My MIL lives in Hawaii (I’m very envious of paradise 24/7, by the way) and everyone there wears flip-flops (thongs, if you’re anything like my grandmother!). Well, in Hawaii, they call them “rubbah slippahs” or just “slippahs” and, yes, it is spelled just like that. You don’t walk around inside the house with these slippahs on, though!

dsc_1514

Have you seen those cute “Home is Where You Park Your Flip-Flops” signs on Pinterest?

I decided to make this sign! Her main home colors are teal and white. Since I have made a white sign for her before, I decided to make this one a distressed teal instead, using very pale gray vinyl for the lettering. The cute flipflop picture makes this piece complete! If it was for her room, I’d have made them hot pink, instead, but decided to go with her decor.

Don’t worry, she got some hot pink flipflops on a separate decal for her car!

I also found a few cute ideas for cards online. I decided to try making them myself with the material I had on hand. I found this scoring board at Joann’s website for half price and pounced on it! I’ve always wanted to get one and didn’t realize there was a mini version that is sized just right for card making. Bonus: It has an envelope guide on the back to make your own envelopes!!

16487053_1845597495728765_4457480063199060004_o

The lumber yard is my new happy place!

I found that I was picking my projects really carefully because I had only one size of wood in my garage! So I decided to head over to Home Depot and get some other sizes, too! Now I have six 11″ x 12″, six 9″ x 12″ and six 5″ x 12″. I think I might make some premade signs to test the waters on the Etsy/Facebook marketplace next. Something simple, but universally usable.

I really ought to just buy a rotary saw, but I have no room in the garage…eventually! I should organize and finally have that garage sale so I can actually think while I’m working in there. Working graveyard has its limitations!

Vinyl Beginnings

20170508_185923_perfectlyclear-1.jpg

My baaaaby! ❤

When Brett bought me a Silhouette for my birthday, I was ecstatic! I had been wanting one for so long. A previous acquaintance had a Cricut when I lived in California and I thought it was so amazing that you could cut out anything that you wanted. To think that this was before I knew you could make decals with them!

I had done the research and decided that the Silhouette interface was the one I wanted to go with and so far, I have loved (almost) every second!

So, I have to admit, when I first got it set up, I didn’t really read the instructions entirely. So when my machine would not stick with one thickness of cut, I panicked! Why is this not cutting all the way through here, but cutting into the mat here?! My first mat was nearly destroyed after a day because I didn’t read the instructions.

Make sure you push your blade into the holder until it clicks!

I thought I had installed it correctly, but there was one tiny little click left after I had installed it. As long as you do that, you’re already in a lot better shape than I was (and hopefully won’t need to buy another cutting mat so soon).

15326339_1817302735224908_3794665451747619253_n

CAN’T NERF THE KITCHENAID BAHAHA

My first project was a D.VA decal for my Kitchenaid mixer. I had seen some other cool designs that people had done and just wanted something to reflect my personality. I even added her ultimate voice line for maximum cringe-worthy, eye-roll-inducing nerdiness.

AND, since I kept such good care of the inner vinyl, I used the leftovers to decorate my Cameo 3. Why waste a good cut?

_Jqlk3tVStjp0s7GBnHwfdyH6WpaNX-yEIhiWPHAThQpX92IB

Since then, I’ve managed to even get into making some home-y signs for my friends, mostly as gifts. I didn’t want to try selling any until I really knew what I was doing (which took a while).

IMG_20170407_210105_475.jpg

They all signed it after I made it and gave it to her.

I’ve made quite a few different signs, now, using a mix of techniques. I finally found a method that works well for me. This “Be Safe; we love you” sign was my very first commissioned sign! We worked on a design together for my customer’s police officer niece. I really love the bold text!

I want to try making stencils to hand paint my designs, instead. I ordered some Oramask online for a decent price, I’m just waiting for the right opportunity to try it out.

15822667_1828177237470791_1540242022015671125_n

Jenny and me…

I have tried the technique where you trace the design onto your sign to kind of emboss it, and then fill in the insides of the letters, but would like a more efficient way. This Forrest Gump inspired sign is the only one I have done using this method. While it turned out really well (my mother loved it so much!), my neck was out of whack for a while because of the care I had to put into not messing up the design! With the Oramask, I’ll be able to lay down a stencil and (mostly) haphazardly fill it in with paint. I won’t have to worry too much about the smaller details.

Vinyl cutting has opened an entirely new set of doors for me when it comes to crafting! If you’re looking at getting into vinyl designs, I wish you the best of luck!

 

P.S.

You’ll be fine as long as you read the instructions.

 

Cosplay Progress: McCrEevee

When I first decided that I would start cosplaying, I collected hundreds of pins for tutorials and tips for crafting a first-time cosplay. Honestly, I’ve thrown most of them out of my cosplay Pinterest board, but the one that has consistently stuck around from the beginning is one that involves creating a furry, fluffy tail out of yarn.

Yes. Yarn.

DSC_1459

Everything you need! I like listening to podcasts while I work.

I was skeptical, too, even after reading all of the steps and seeing their photos in progress.

However, I can honestly say that it is probably one of the most realistic, swishy tails I have seen. Sure, you could buy a bunch of faux fur and sew it together, then turn it right-side-out, but I feel like this offers a more customizable version. This is great for fox or wolf tails!

The tutorial is available here, if you’d like to take a look.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Instead of using any acrylic yarn, though, I decided to go for a super bulky variety, more specifically, the Lion Brand Hometown USA kind. It’s just the right amount of bulk and it comes in a large quantity of colors. I went a little overkill on how many I thought I’d need…I’m halfway done with the tail and have only used a roll and a half!

DSC_1470

Here’s my current progress!

Keep in mind that the more yarn present, the more yarn that will become unusable. I’ve stuffed 2 plastic shopping bags full of the fallout as of this moment. Believe me, you want to keep it in one contained area, otherwise you’ll wake up sneezing from yarn bits in your nose. Not that I have experienced that or anything.

I also received my 3D printed prop pieces! It was actually pretty fun to assemble. The gun fits well in my hand and I totally feel like a BAMF.

I learned a few things from this process, including:

  1. If you can’t sand the ridges enough, fill with bondo!
  2. Spray PlastiDip outside, even if you have a ventilated area and spray booth!
  3. Prime each piece separately before assembly!
  4. Paint each piece separately before assembly!
  5. Seal each piece separately before assembly!
  6. DID I MENTION YOU SHOULD DO EVERY STEP FOR EACH PIECE COMPLETELY SEPARATELY?!
20170417_020128

Primed with PlastiDip and ready to paint!

If I had the money, I would do my Peacekeeper all over again. I feel like I really messed up and the final result won’t reflect the quality that I want it to. Brett says it still looks good, so maybe I’m just being a little hard on myself (usually the case).

I’m nearly done with the paint job, then I’ll be able to seal everything and glue the last few pieces together!

I have the fabric for the chaps and the fur part of the serape, so we will see if I can manage a pattern or two on my own…