Introducing...(drum roll please)...
Don't want to pay full price for it? ...Yes.
Did you know that you can use contact paper to save money? ...Yes/NO.
People use contact paper as vinyl in their vinyl cutting machines all the time (it's cheaper).
What if you don't have a vinyl cutting machine?
Did you know you can use contact paper and cut your own vinyl (without a machine)?...No.
Yes!!!!! Yes you can!!!!!
I wanted our last name up on the wall in our living room. I wanted it large and beautiful...
but, as you know I don't want to pay full price. I knew that I could do it. I just needed to figure out how.
I don't have a vinyl cutter (so sad).
I love vinyl as much as the next person but just can't get myself to buy one.
So...I set out to do it on my own.
1. I bought clear contact paper (I wanted black contact paper but couldn't find any in my area). I didn't want to buy it online. If you know me, I won't buy something "special" if I can figure out how to make it myself. FYI-clear contact paper is cheaper than black.
Contact Paper = $1 (Dollar Tree)
I tested the contact paper using acrylic and spray paint.
I sanded to prep the surface (one sample for each type of paint) and the other I didn't.
One hour later I did a scratch test. They weren't fully dry so they scratched.
I left them to dry over night and scratch tested them again. They all held up well (no scratch marks).
I decided to use the NO PREP SPRAY PAINT method...the easiest method (of course).
2. I laid the contact paper out on newspaper and used tape and rocks to hold it open. I sprayed it using our good old trusty Walmart brand $1 spray paint. I did 2 light coats to prevent dripping, letting it dry overnight between each coat. I ran out of spray paint so I actually had to buy some:(
Spray Paint = $1 (Walmart)
4. I taped your basic computer printing paper together to match the size of the contact paper (to be used as my pattern).
5. I created a grid on the computer paper to match the grids on my font paper. This is a technique used by artists to take a smaller image and enlarge it. I'm sure you probably remember doing this back in school in art class.
Here you can see where I went back and made a grid on my font paper to make it easier to see the grids
(just for you...cuz I love ya).
6. I used the boxes on the font paper to help me enlarge the image. I copied the picture in each box from the font paper onto the larger paper (drawing it the same just bigger). When I was done copying the boxes I went back and smoothed out the image (connecting the lines smoother, checked spacing, etc.) When I liked what it looked like I colored it in with a marker to make it easier to see.
7. I trimmed the pattern and taped it onto the sprayed contact paper.
8. I cut out the pattern and the contact paper using a utility knife/exact knife/box cutter with a cardboard underneath (and it cuts right through)-which isn't necessarily a problem. I also cut part of it without a backing (cutting directly onto the cement). Each technique gives you different results.
Cardboard behind-cuts through the pattern, contact paper, and backing of the contact paper.
Nothing behind-cuts through the pattern and contact paper but not the backing of the contact paper.
But...of course all of this varies based on the amount of pressure you use when cutting. You may want to practice before doing a giant sized one (like me).
FYI-I didn't practice or try it out on anything.
I just did it...that's how I am.
I like to do it and learn along the way.
I think it's fun.
I got an estimate from someone in our community who does vinyl. It would cost about $22.
I saved $20.