Craft projects made of metal, wood, glass, wax, tile or pottery often require an interesting decal, design or some type of interesting motif. You can get this look with DIY vinyl printing. Traditional vinyl printing requires a large plotter and is very expensive. Often these plotter-printed vinyl pieces are large prints, too big for small crafting projects. You can make bumper-sticker sized prints, decorative wall stickers, furniture stickers or any type of decal as long as it fits on an 8 1/2-by-11-inch print format (the size of your home printer.)
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Digital imaging software
- Inkjet printer
- Printer paper
- Self-adhesive, waterproof inkjet vinyl paper
- Decal fixative
- Bowl of warm water
Select or choose an image you want to use as a decal. These can be colouring book images, clip art or anything you find in a book or magazine. Make sure the image has sharp outlines so you get crisper prints.
Scan the image into your digital imaging software. If you don't want to use a ready-made image, create your own using your digital imaging software. Adjust the size, colours and saturation using the tools in your digital imaging software.
Print a copy of your image on regular paper to see what the final print will look like. Make any further adjustments you need using your graphics software. Remember you'll need to have a slight additional space between each decal image to cut them from the vinyl adhesive paper.
Slide a sheet of the vinyl adhesive paper with the shiny side in the print position, based on the printer's directions. Refer to the vinyl adhesive paper package for further insertion instructions. Print your image out as you would normally.
Cut the vinyl decal out with sharp scissors. Spray the image with a decal fixative to keep the image in long-lasting condition. Peel off the backing and adhere it to the craft you want. If you are using a waterslide decal paper, place the decal in a bowl of warm water and allow the decal to curl up then straighten out again. The process takes a few minutes. Slide the decal off the paper backing and onto the craft item. Use a squeegee to remove air bubbles.
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