I am moving at a snail’s pace when it comes to finishing up our Master Bedroom Makeover. We’ve added trim to our windows and new paint to our walls, but the finishing touches of furnishings and artwork are proving to be the most challenging part! At least this month’s Silhouette Challenge lit a fire under me to finally make some artwork that’s been on my to-do list for a while—framed vinyl word art using lyrics from our wedding song, “At Last” by Etta James. (cue the awwws)
This was my first time working with vinyl. And I have to admit, it was quite frustrating. I basically ruined a huge swatch of vinyl before realizing that it would cut better if I used my cutting mat. Then I had to spend a painstaking amount of time scraping the adhesive backing off of a sticky-tastic new mat. Because my old mat has lost most of its stick and I didn’t want the vinyl to slide around while it was cutting. Cue the harumphs. Oh, and my blade only managed to cut through the vinyl layer and not the backing layer, so I had to sort of reverse-engineer the transfer process.
But enough with the frustrations and near #craftfails! I’m pretty happy with the results, and learned a few lessons that will serve me well before I tackle another vinyl project. 😉
I started by designing the words for my song lyric art in Silhouette Studio. This wasn’t too challenging, I just needed to find a font I liked! I wanted be sure the letters were substantial enough to show up on the glass. I decided on the font Gurmukhi MN, which came loaded in my software. I also took the length of my frame (~17″) and divided it by how many words I had (6 total, but I wanted the last two to be on the same line, so 5). 17 / 5 = 3.4, so my words couldn’t exceed 3.4″ in height. Really, they needed to be a little smaller to allow room for spacing between each word.
Once I had my words laid out, it was time to cut the vinyl. As I mentioned earlier, this process was frustrating. I sent the vinyl through without a cutting mat (as numerous sources said that would work fine), and here’s what I wound up with:
The letters were curling up as the machine was running back and forth, causing them to get crumpled up or even ripped off. Time to try the cutting mat.
This worked much, much better. Though for some reason, my blade only cut through the vinyl layer and not the vinyl and backing. So instead of removing the “negative space” around the letters I wanted to transfer, I left everything on the mat and carefully peeled the letters off using transfer paper.
Not ideal, but it worked.
I decided to place the words directly on the glass of my frame. I started from the bottom up to make sure I’d have enough room.
I wanted my words to be aligned to the right side. I just eyeballed this, but if you wanted to be precise, you could measure out a straight line with washi tape or painter’s tape.
Originally, I hadn’t wanted to back the frame with anything, but the kind of frame I bought doesn’t allow for that. I need a back in there so the glass won’t fall out! I should’ve thought of that before I bought my frame! But since these are lyrics to a song, why not put some greyed out sheet music back there!? Tom sort of saved the day on this one. We found sheet music of “At Last” online and he edited it in Gimp to get it to the right size for the frame. I printed it as an Engineer Print at Staples (only $2!), then trimmed off the excess edges to fit it to the frame.
Now I just need to decide where in our bedroom to hang it! I’m thinking I may put together a sort of mini gallery wall with photos from our wedding.
Want to Check Out More Silhouette Projects?
My Silhouette Challenge buddies and I are all sharing projects on our blogs today, so peruse the projects below for a wealth of Silhouette inspiration!
1. My Paper Craze // 2. The Stamp Doc // 3. Peanut Life Adventures // 4. Creative Ramblings // 5. Pitter and Glink // 6. The Thinking Closet // 7. Single Yet Married Mom // 8. unOriginalMom // 9. Sisters, What! // 10. Where The Smiles Have Been // 11. From Whine to Whine // 12. Adventures in All Things Food // 13. Practically Functional // 14. Patina Paradise // 15. Please Excuse My Craftermath… // 16. Weekend Craft // 17. Two Purple Couches // 18. Ribbons & Glue // 19. TitiCrafty // 20. Simply Kelly Designs // 21. Confessions of an Overworked Mom // 22. Get Silvered