Nov 29, 2010

Customizing with Vinyl (DIY)

From the very start I wanted cute little colorful suitcases for me and my girls to have our pictures taken with. Just some fun little props for after the ceremony. So when I found little cardboard suitcases online, I knew all they needed was a couple little vinyl decals of our wedding monogram and they would be perfect. After I applied a little Meerkat know how here is what I got:

And as always I am going to spread the love and give you the step by step breakdown of how I did it. Not that your going to want to customize mini suitcases but there tons of other things you can do this with.

First thing was first. I needed to get our monogram cut out from vinyl with an adhesive back (like the kind pictured above). I could have ordered rolls of vinyl and used my cricut to cut them but I found it was just so much easier to have Bubba And Doodle on Etsy cut it for me. She was super quick and the vinyl perfectly cut.

Here is what they looked like when they arrived:

Look a bit odd? That is because a layer of WIDE masking tape is laid across the top of the vinyl. Probably seems like a weird thing to do but the mask will allow us to easily line up and transfer the image. I promise it will all make sense in a minute. :D

After I lined up the image where I wanted it, I used making tape to stick down one edge of the image to the suitcase. This will keep it from moving around while I was transferring it off the mask. (DO NOT remove any of the backing or mask from the cut vinyl at this step!)

Next I fliped the image over along the edge I taped down. The mask bends while keeping my vinyl in the exact position while I removed the backing. 

Feel free when your pulling the backing off to press down flat against the surface. The flatter you can keep it while pulling back, the easier the it will be to keep the vinyl on the mask.

Next I flip the image part way over. Basically I had it sticking straight up in the air because I didn't want it to touch the surface yet. Then I took a piece of cardboard (anything hard and flat will do) and while still holding the image straight up in the air used the card to slowly push the image down onto the surface.

See how I am still holding the image up in the air so only the part I pushed down with the cardboard was stuck to the suitcase. (Tip: Start from the edge you taped down and make smooth strokes from the middle to the outside working your way across the mask.)

Once you have it all applied it will look like this:

Now all you have to do is remove the mask.

I pulled it back slowly as sometimes very small things on the cutout will stick to the mask instead of the suitcase. When that happens I just use my finger nail to give it a little nudge off the mask before I pull it back any further.

Here is the final result:

Not to shabby for a few dollars in vinyl and some masking tape huh?  You can apply this type of vinyl to mugs, walls, picture frames or whatever you can think of.

Anyone interested in giving this a shot?