Wednesday, March 16, 2011

DIY Vinyl Decals

It's another cloudy, raining off and on kind of day in Portland so I am once again opting for indoor crafting on my days off. Today I decided to spruce up my Expedit bookshelves from the good old IKEA with a new vinyl decal! These are super easy to make, and also super cheap. All you need is some contact paper in any color or pattern you like, a surface for cutting on and an X-acto knife or mat knife/box cutter. Oh, and I guess it wouldn't hurt to have an image in mind for your decal (you can draw your own, or find something from a photograph, book, the internet, etc.). As you can see, I chose a paper airplane, which was extra easy to do because of the straight lines. You can certainly do more organic shapes, just keep in mind your own skills with an X-acto knife and whether you are up to the challenge. I have seen some people make some VERY intricate decals.

Make sure your blade is sharp to get the best results, as you may be able to see from this detail, mine was a tad dull on the inside tip cut of my paper airplane, so it's a tiny bit ragged. Since this is a temporary and very changeable detail to add to a permanent piece of furniture in my home, however, I wasn't too upset about the tiny imperfection. I got my roll of contact paper from a dollar store so I can probably make enough decals off that one dollar to last me a whole year if I update the look once or twice a month, depending on the size of the decal.

If you were wanting to make your decal a more permanent part of your furniture/wall/etc. you could certainly use this technique and paint over your decal, then make sure to gently score around the decal with a sharp blade before peeling the decal off (to avoid jagged paint edges and peeling) and leave behind the decal image on your finished piece. It would be like using a much more intricate painter's tape that comes in a large sheet rather than strips. I'm thinking about making some of these for the little nieces. It would even be great to make them some personalized stickers, since the contact paper peels off of surfaces much better than traditional adhesive stickers. I'm sure my brother would appreciate that.

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