Monday, April 27, 2015

Centering your Vinyl Design On Glass

I have had some projects go really wrong when working with vinyl on glass.  I found a very helpful video explaining the wet method.  This video is from the Wallwritten Channel on Youtube, "How to Apply Vinyl Lettering Using the "Wet Method"".   The solution for the wet method is 1 drop of baby shampoo to about a half a cup of water.  You will need a fine spray mist bottle for applying to your    project's surface.

After watching this video I have started using the wet method, and by trial and error, I have learned a few tricks.

First you want to have a well identified marking system to mark the centers of your project and the surface you are planning to lay it on.  I have a few cutting mats laying around, and one I use strictly for my paper projects.  So I decided to take this mat and mark center points for my project.  It is hard to see, but I used a permanent marker on the mat to mark my project size and center points.  If you don't have a cutting mat, use a large piece of paper larger than your project.  The cutting mat allows me to tape my surface in place, so it doesn't shift when I am applying my vinyl image.

The "wet method" is great, but  there are a few drawbacks.  First off, if your design has a border, it is going to be more difficult to get the water out.  Therefore,  there is going to be a much longer drying time.   I had to leave one project outside in the sun all day and still had difficulty getting the vinyl to stick.   You may also get more sticky residue on your vinyl, probably because it is on the vinyl for a longer time.  Just use a little alcohol or Undu on a lint free cloth to clean it up.  Use is sparingly, you don't want to get it under the vinyl.   With these issues in mind,  use as little water solution as possible.

Next you will want to trim your image AFTER you have applied it to the transfer tape.  Trim it as close to the design as possible, about 1/2" is what I use.  Now, using the design and not the paper mark your center points with a pencil, you will be able to erase these marks if you reuse your transfer tape.

Another good idea, if you have a large project, is to cut your transfer tape backing in half and place it behind the image, this allows you to center your image without it sticking.  

Lay your image on the surface lining up all the center points.  

Apply painters tape along the  bottom or top of your project, holding it in place.  

Now you can flip the image over and remove the backing from half the image, do the side the tape is on first.  Now remove the second half of the transfer paper and lay the second half down.

Now you can start moving the water from under your image, don't apply too much pressure and be sure you don't move your image.  

Start from the center and use your squeegee to smooth the image and insure it is adhered to the surface. I used a scrap piece of craft felt and applied it to my squeegee with my ATG tape runner, and so far it is holding pretty good.  I use this to smooth out my vinyl after I remove the transfer tape, especially if using outdoor vinyl with that shiny finish.  Be sure to clean any sticky residue from the vinyl before using the felt squeegee.

The great thing about the wet method, for large projects you have a chance to pick it up and re-position it.  

This was an 8x10 frame and the image was all one piece.  If you are a Cricut Explore user, you can get the Regal fonts already split from the Facebook page "Let's Learn Cricut Explore " uploaded  by Debbie O'Neal. 

I made the box outline by slicing rectangles in Design Space. 
I hope this post helped you learn a little about using vinyl.

Till next time,

Happy Craftin!

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