Word Art is one of my favorite ways to add whimsy, inspiration, color or some additional ‘cuteness’ in any space! I love the idea of decorating with subway art showing quotes, words of inspiration or some positivity. (Besides, the hubby and I only need so many pictures of ourselves displayed, but have way too much ‘blank space’ that need something on the wall!)
I love the look of word signs that are painted rather than vinyl, so this sounded like perfect first project for my newest tool—a Silhouette Cameo! I did some research and found this amazing tutorial for precisely what I wanted (with great step by step pictures!): http://paintedtherapy.blogspot.com/2012/09/subway-art-with-silhouette-cameo-and.html?m=1
This tutorial explained how to work in Silhouette, but I do most of my design work in Adobe Illustrator. Once designed, I converted my files to svg and uploaded it into Silhouette to begin printing them onto contact paper. Here are the settings: Media – vinyl; Speed – 8; Thickness – 3; Blade – 2. (On colored contact paper, found at Home Depot, that out to be .17/linear foot.)
After printing the lines, I cut them individually and peeled back the film to reveal the word designs. I then used my hook tool to get rid of any remaining contact paper that didn’t come off right away. Once all strips were cleaned up, I lined them up in order, playing with spacing until I had the layout I loved and the size board I needed.
I cut my board to size and painted it the base color. (Note the base color is the color you want the lettering to be!!!! Paint this color first!) 1-2 light coats should work; let them dry thoroughly before continuing.
Next, I lined up my lettering on clear contact paper (in place of transfer paper), applying a lot pressure for a firm seal. Once sealed to the clear contact paper, my lettering is ready to transfer!
Replicating my design layout, I lined up my strips in place and applied a lot of pressure to seal it to the painted board.
Tip: The best method to pulling the lettering off the transfer paper (clear contact paper), is to pull hard, but slowly, while pressing onto the seam of the contact paper with a credit card or similar tool. Put a lot of pressure onto the card/tool you’re using, and go slowly so you don’t miss any period’s or the dots on any i’s!
Use a ruler to check all measurements before and after each new strip.
Tip: For clean, crisp letters, PAINT OVER THE CONTACT PAPER LETTERS WITH YOUR BASE COLOR! This will help to further seal the edges to prevent the top paint color paint color from seeping under your lettering. A couple light coats will work.
After this layer of paint has thoroughly dried, add your top color. Again, a couple of light coats should be enough! After the top color paint layers have dried, it is finally time to take the letters off. Work slowly and precisely, then through the contact paper lettering away! (Thank goodness it wasn’t expensive vinyl being tossed to the wayside!)
You can leave this with the clean, crisp edges, or distress it for an extra effect. You can distress it with sandpaper, or even Vaseline! For a great tutorial for distressing paint with vaseline, visit: http://www.shanty-2-chic.com/2012/03/distress-paint-with-vaseline.html