Vinyl makes it super easy to add curb appeal to your home. I've done many vinyl projects outside - remember my front door welcome wreath and my faux carriage garage doors? My latest exterior project - making a custom mailbox decal - took me 15 minutes start to finish and that included creating the design from scratch. Today I'm going to share with you some tips so you, too, can make easily design a custom mailbox decal.
The first thing you want to do is measure your mailbox's surface area. Mine had a very obvious spot for a decal which measured 13 x 4.5". You most likely want the decal on both sides, but take into consideration the flag. I have a flag that slides back into a pocket. The pocket kind of sticks out so I needed to make sure my decal was able to go 'around' that area. This is why making custom decals is so cool - you can make it perfect for your space!
With my measurements in hand I set to work in Silhouette Studio. Our mailbox already has our street number on it, so I did decide to go with just a single letter monogram. Other design options may including:
Monogram and full last name
Street Number and last name
The Smiths (Last name only)
or any combination of the above!
When I have a confined area in which I'm working, like I did my 13x4.5" mailbox, I always start by drawing out a box in those dimensions.
I also added the pocket area so I could design around it. And if you prefer, you can even fill in the design with the correct colors! This is really helpful if you're a visual person so you can see what your final outcome will look like before you actually cut the material.
Now I'm ready to start designing. Since I just wanted our single letter monogram I started with a circle and added a .150 offset to it. I selected both circles > right click > compound path. We are going to weld into this circle a few steps form here and to do that our circle needs to be a compound path as I explained in detailed here.
From the text tool I added my text, sized it and moved it into position. Had my mailbox not already had our street number on it, I would have probably added the number here instead of the monogram.
Now is where the fun part comes in...adding the swirls and designs around your focal point. The absolute easiest way, that I have found, is to use a dingbat font. I used the font: Nymphette. My swirls are the lowercase z with an offset.
Bergamot Ornaments is another great one for these types of design elements.
Once I settled on design I put it into position, sized it and decided to go with an offset to make it a little more substantial. Then I mirrored the image to the right so I could get an identical copy for the other side of the circle.
To get the designs exactly even, I used the align tool. Select both the designs, from the align window > align top (or bottom).
Finally, I selected the two designs flanking the circle and the circle and welded them all together so they cut as one solid piece. If you are having trouble welding, it's probably because your circle/offset was NOT made a compound path.
I felt like my mailbox decal was missing something so I added a very small design (another dingbat) right under the circle. If you wanted to add your name or street name, this is a perfect spot for that, too.
Now you're all set to cut your design. Don't forget to cut two copies of your DIY mailbox decal, one for each side of your mailbox. Permanent outdoor adhesive vinyl - 651 - is recommended.
This tutorial combines the following tutorials:
- Adding New Fonts to Silhouette Studio
- Using Dingbat Fonts as FREE Designs in Silhouette Studio
- Welding 101
- Welding Into a Frame (Compound Paths Explained)
- Vinyl for Beginners
What outdoor projects have you tackled with the help of your Silhouette? Leave a comment below.
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Thanks for coming to class today at Silhouette School. If you like what you see, I'd love for you to pin it!