…a temporary adhesive vinyl project
Posting has been less frequent of late because I’ve been working on (*gorgeous*) wedding projects that I can’t reveal until after the wedding, and also because it’s summer traveling time around here—ziplining & family & lake, oh, my! I hope y’all are having a terrific summer!
Despite limited writing time and internet access, here’s a project I squeezed in recently as birthday gifts for a couple of girls in my life: temporary vinyl decals for their bedroom walls.
This would make a darling baby shower gift, or last-minute birthday or “just because” gift for any age—the two above were for a 5-year-old and a 13-year-old. It works for girls you know well, and for those you don’t. Match it to the recipient’s bedroom colors (Mila loves purple) or cut from neutral black (I have no idea what color Finleigh’s room is these days. Hey, she’s 13. It changes. Often.).
Read on to find the free download file for the curly heart doodads, a link to the free font, and full instructions (V3 & V4) on how to create a decal with the name of your choice. I’m also sharing my written instructions as a download that you can print and include with a squeegee if your decal is a gift.
If you’re familiar with the Silhouette software, you’ll whiz right through this project. If you’re new to the Silhouette, I’ve got detailed instructions at each step of the way. You can do this!
This post includes affiliate links to help you find the products I used. Read my full disclosure here..
What you need…
- Oracal 631 temporary adhesive vinyl
- Blue 3m squeegee – I buy them in a pack of 5 and include one with each gift to make application easier.
- Transfer tape – if you make yours the same size I did, 6″ transfer tape is wide enough.
- 12″ x 24″ Silhouette mat – if your design is less than 24″
- Weeding tool
- Silhouette cutting machine (or another brand if you use the SVG file) – My Silhouette Cameo is powered by Silhouette Studio Designer Edition versions 3.3.638 (V3) and 4.0.837(V4). This tutorial contains instructions for V3 & V4..
- Free cut file ↓ ↓ ↓
Do not use permanent vinyl (Oracal 651 or equivalent) for this project. It’ll apply just fine and look great, but removal will be a pain in the you-know-what. You’ll likely end up with peeled paint, and possibly damaged drywall or plaster. When it comes to walls, temporary vinyl (sometimes called removable or repositionable) is the way to go. Oracal (631), General Formulations (Ritrama), Avery, 3M, and MacTac brands are all good.
What to do…
1. Create the name…
First, you need to download and install the oh-so-spiffy Lefina font on your computer. You can find the free personal use Lefina HERE, and if you plan to sell what you make, you can buy the commercial use Lefina HERE. Pssst…I got the commercial rights to this font as a Freebie of the Week (it’s now expired). To find such freebies, check out my list of Places to Find Commercial Use Font Freebies.
Open Silhouette Studio and create a textbox with your decal name in it. (To do that, click on the ‘Text’ icon in the left toolbar, then click on the mat and type in the name you want.)
Change the fill color to black and the line color to none. (To do that, click anywhere on the empty mat to get rid of the green textbox, then click on the name again to get a grey textbox. The grey box allows you to change the font characteristics.)
If you’re new to the Silhouette you’ll find line & fill color instructions HERE.
2. Change the font to Lefina…
In Silhouette Studio V3: The Text Style window should be open on the right. If it’s not, click on the ‘Open the Text Style Window’ icon(A) to open it. With the name selected (grey textbox), highlight or delete the font name in the top Font Style box(B) in the Text Style Window, type in Lefina, and hit return. The name is now in Lefina font.
In Silhouette Studio V4: With the name selected (grey textbox) click on the ‘Open the Text Style Panel'(AA), highlight or delete the font name in the top Text Style box(B), type in Lefina, and hit return. The name is now in Lefina font.
3. Resize the name…
For a short name, such as ‘Mila’ I resized to 480 pt, for a longer name, such as Finleigh, I resized to 415 pt. (To resize the font, select the text, highlight or delete the number in the ‘Text Size’ box(C), type in the size you want, and hit return.)
Don’t worry that the result is HUGE. Zoom out to see the whole name at once (the ‘Zoom Out’ icon is in the top toolbar).
4. Add the curly heart doodads…
STEP ONE: Add the free download file to the decal name. (To do that, click on the ‘File’ menu in the upper left corner, select ‘Merge’, navigate to where you saved the free download file, and select it. Two curly heart doodads should appear on the screen with your decal name.)
STEP TWO: Drag the name above the cutting mat so you can work on the rest of the design without the distraction of the mat edge lines.
STEP THREE: Position a curly doodad on either side of the name. If you want to change the size of the doodads, resize them both at the same time so their sizes match after resizing. (To do that, select both doodads (hold the shift key down while you select them both), then drag a corner to make the doodads larger or smaller.) I wanted to use 6″ transfer tape to apply the decal so I made sure the top of the doodads didn’t poke above the name.
STEP FOUR: As you can see above, the right curly doodad is slightly higher than the left. The doodads are whimsical, so if they’re not exactly lined up, it just adds more whimsy. If you’re happy with your eyeballed placement, go on to the next step. I preferred to line up the doodads, so I used the align tool to even them up.
In V4: Select both doodads, select the vertical align middle tool(F) and, poof, the doodads are aligned.
STEP FIVE: Look at the distance between each of the doodads and the name. If you want to change the spacing, now’s the time to do it. Select the doodad you want to move and use your keyboard arrow keys to move it left or right. Using the keys instead of the mouse will keep the alignment intact.
5. Check the decal size…
I wanted decals that would fit nicely at the head of a bed or over top a desk or dresser. In other words, not take up the whole wall. It’s really hard to know from looking at the computer screen if a wall decal will be the right size, so to make sure it’s properly proportioned, I printed off the design and taped it to a wall. Since my designs were longer than my printer paper, I printed them in chunks with a slight overlap, then taped the chunks together.
Hint: make sure ‘Show Print Border’ is checked so you can see where the design will cut off on each page. In V3, it’s located in the Design Page Settings Window (access from the top toolbar), and in V4 you can find it in the Page Setup Panel (access from the right side toolbar).
6. Rotate the design…
Rotate the design a quarter turn (so it will fit through the Silhouette the right way) and drag the design so it sits on the right side of the mat. To do that, select the design and then…
…in V3: Click on the ‘Open the Rotate Window’ icon(G), then select ’90° CW'(H)
…in V4: Click on the ‘Open the Transform Panel’ icon(L), then select the rotate icon(K), and then select the 90° turn(P).
7. Cut the design…
Change the mat size to “None” and the page size long enough that your design fits inside the red cut borders. If you need detailed instructions on how to do that, see my How to Cut Without a Mat tutorial. You’ll also find detailed instructions on cutting without a mat, along with lots of tips & tricks.
8. Apply the design…
Apply transfer tape to the design and burnish well with the squeegee. Now it’s all ready to apply.
If you’re applying the decal yourself, you can find application instructions in this tutorial on applying a large decal using the center hinge method (scroll down to the “Applying to the Wall” section). If the decal is a gift, wrap it up with a squeegee and application instructions. You can use mine, if you like. Download them HERE. The best way to wrap a large wall decal is to roll it loosely with the design on the outside and place it in a 4″ tube or a box.
And that’s it! Here are mine all ready to apply (oy-yoy, forgive the poor lighting…I’m not at home)
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Another Whatcha Workin’ On Wall Decal to check out:
5′ Creativity Wall Quote