Custom Laptop Vinyl Decal
Thursday, August 14, 2014
Hi, my name is Emily, and my blog is called My Mom Made That. My blog focuses on recipes, crafts, a little DIY and a lot about my two sweet boys. Oh, and my friend, Portia, my lovely Silhouette Portrait. It is one of my most favorite tools.
Today I'm going to share with you a project made with Portia, and one of the greatest craft materials ever-- vinyl. On Thursday, I received an early Birthday present-- my new MacBook Pro. I have officially crossed over to the dark side, as this is my first Apple computer. I'm loving it, and I wanted to do something to make it my own. I decided to make my very own Lord of the Rings Laptop Decal. It's an snap with your Silhouette machine, and with all of the available free fonts based on popular movies and novels, you can really create an authentic looking decal.
Of course, the first thing I had to do to make this project is install the Silhouette Studio software for the Mac. If you are considering a Mac, and you care about using your Silhouette, don't worry, Silhouette has software for the Mac. That didn't take very long, and while the installation was occurring, I did a little searching for Lord of The Rings fonts. There are a wide variety of lovely fonts out there, but I found a couple that I liked, and installed both of them. The one that I liked the best for my decal was "Hobbiton Brushhand" available for free at Fontspace. However, a search of your favorite free font repositories will yield a number of beautiful Tolkien-inspired font selections. While I was at it, I downloaded a wizard's hat that reminded me of Gandalf.
Once I had my software up and running, I played around with my font to get it the size I wanted. (I also downloaded a few other Lord of the Rings fonts that I didn't like as well, but I had to test them out.) I had to do a couple of things to make the font just right. First, I needed to weld it, as some of the letters were touching, and I wanted to insure that I was only cutting the outside edges. Then I greatly enlarged the font so that I could see what it would look like when I actually cut it out. I discovered some small "holes" the the font, that I went through and removed. I really didn't want to worry about tiny pin prick-sized holds when I was transfers the vinyl. I actually even went through and removed all of the dots as well. I wasn't convinced that they would be secure enough on the laptop given their size. Here's an image of the spots that I am talking about:
You will also notice that I rotated the lettering. This allows me to cut something to nearly the length of my new laptop (13 inches) on my Silhouette Portrait, even though the largest size the machine will take is 9 inches. I also placed the wizard hat without worrying about where it was going to go in relation to the lettering. To conserve materials, I decided to transfer the lettering and the hat separately.
Now that I had a design that I loved, I needed to select the right type of vinyl. This is an important step, as I wanted a more durable vinyl. I knew that the location of the vinyl would mean that it would get touched and brushed up against more than some of my other vinyl projects. I selected Oracel 651 vinyl, as it's suitable for outdoor use, making it more durable. My experience has been that if I use a weaker strength vinyl on items that are used everyday, the vinyl easily wears off.
Once the vinyl was cut, I separated the lettering and the hat, and weeded both images. I cut out a long piece of transfer tape, making sure that I evenly cut on the gridlines. I have made the mistake of not utilizing the gridlines on the transfer tape before. They really do help if you use them-- it makes it so much easier to get everything lined up, just right. After I positioned the lettering, I prepped the hat, and played with it for a while to get it where I wanted.
To go along with this project, I have made a similar decal for my son's computer that I am sharing in a photo on my blog, My Mom Made That, today to let people know about this guest post. I'd love for you to stop by and check it out. If you want the Free Cut files for this project, please contact me, and I'm happy to email them to you.
Thanks for coming to class today at Silhouette School. If you like what you see, I'd love for you to pin it!