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The Best Way to Add Vinyl to Glass (And Making a Custom Whiteboard with Silhouette)

Sometimes you just have to add vinyl to glass. But it's not always best to put the vinyl on the front side of the glass.

vinyl on glass, vinyl glass picture frame silhouette cameo
Silhouette School monthly contributor Kati from  Houseful of Handmade is here today to show you how and why you should consider putting vinyl on the backside of the glass! And while she's adding she's sharing a really cool idea for using your Silhouette cutting machine to make a custom white board!

This month I finally got my very own office and craft room! I couldn't be more excited to create the perfect place to work on all my projects. But the first thing I needed was a way to help me keep all my ideas and projects organized. So I used my Silhouette Cameo to make a custom whiteboard.

This is such an easy project and thanks to the Silhouette, you can customize it anyway you want.
For my office I chose to keep the whiteboard simple. I need a lot of space to sketch out ideas and keep track of projects. However, I decided I needed a great quote to keep me motivated this year.

To start you will need a picture frame. I found this one at the thrift store. The frame is a little beat up and the picture has some water damage. But the important thing is that it has unbroken glass in it.

Take the picture and glass out of the frame. You can do whatever you want with the picture, but keep the backing to cushion the glass when you put it back into the frame. Clean the glass very well.

Now it's time to create your own custom whiteboard design. I found a quote that I loved and typed it into Silhouette Studio with some of my favorite fonts. Make sure to weld together any script fonts (or overlapping shapes/designs) so they become one element.

vinyl on picture frame, vinyl on glass, silhouette cameo tutorials

Before you cut out the design, you will need to mirror it by selecting the design > right click > flip horizontally.

Typically when you cut vinyl, you do not mirror it, but we will be applying it to the backside of the glass. That way when you clean the whiteboard, you don't have to worry about dry erase marker flakes getting caught in the edges of your vinyl. If you do not mirror it, it will be backwards when you put the glass back in your picture frame.
silhouette cameo tutorials, silhouette beginners, vinyl on glass, text tool in silhouette studio Because you are mirroring the vinyl you will actually be seeing the backside of the vinyl through the glass so you want to make sure your  vinyl is the same color on both sides. Some vinyl, such as adhesive glitter has a different color backing. 

Cut out the vinyl with the default vinyl settings in Silhouette Studio. Then weed out the excess vinyl and apply it to a piece of transfer paper (see how it looks normal on the transfer paper, this is what it will look like in your picture frame).

apply transfer tape to vinyl, vinyl transfer tape, silhouette cameo beginner

Line the design up on the back of your glass. My craft table has a cutting mat with a grid on it so I used this to help me keep things straight. Using a vinyl scraper, press the vinyl to the glass. Check the front of the glass to make sure you don't have any bubbles in your vinyl. If you do, apply a bit more pressure to make sure all the vinyl is flat on the glass. Once you have the vinyl secured to the glass, remove your transfer paper.

Silhouette CAMEO bubbles, silhouette vinyl bubbles, removing bubbles from vinyl

To create the whiteboard effect, cover the back of your glass with white spray paint (or any color paint you want). You will cover the back of your vinyl too, but don't worry, you will still see it on the front of the glass. It will take 2-3 thin coats to get even coverage.

Once the paint is dry, place the glass back in your picture frame. The painted/vinyl side of the glass will be the back of the glass. Place the cardboard backing back in and secure with the tabs that came with your frame. Now you can hang your new whiteboard.

Your dry erase markers will work on the glass surface, then easily wipe off when needed. Also, the glass surface is super easy to clean with your favorite glass cleaner and a paper towel. Much easier than a classic whiteboard that tends to build up marker residue over time and requires a special cleaner.

custom whiteboard, DIY whiteboard, spraypaint vinyl, spraypaint glass

I absolutely love my large custom whiteboard in my new office. Because I found this frame at the thrift store, it cost me less than $15 to make. And if you want to see how I easily made the frame look brand new and hung it securely on the wall with a french cleat, I shared those details on my blog here.

This technique is also great for many other uses. I made a whiteboard for our menu board a few years ago, we used it every week until I finally created our hallway command center last year and it still looks as new as the day I made it.

whiteboard, menu board, vinyl, thrift store flips, silhouette cameo vinyl projects

You can use this technique to create custom whiteboard calendars, to-do lists, idea boards, homeschool worksheets, and more. Now there are no more excuses to staying organized thanks to our Silhouettes!  

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing products through my links, I receive a small commission. That's what helps fund Silhouette School so I can keep buying new Silhouette-related products to show you how to get the most out of your machine!

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  1. I always apply vinyl to glass this way, but to get something lined up easily, I print the mirrored design out and tape it to my work surface and lay the glass on top of that, then place the vinyl using that as a guide. I made 7 identical signs and they all came out identically placed.

  2. Great project. Thanks so much Melissa. On my way to garage sales for picture frames...

  3. What a great idea to customize a DIY whiteboard! :)

  4. This is such a clever idea.


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