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Stencils for a keyboard

Hey all. Does anyone know of anywhere to get a good stencil for a keyboard? I have searched google and only find the sticker ones which won't work for the project I am working on. I have tried to cut out some with an exacto but it has not been very effective for that size of letters and is a rather daunting task on an already HUGE time sink of a project (over 100 man hours in already). I have been to a large local Micheals and the stencils they have are all to large for the keys. I tried hand painting them but this is being painted onto glass AND it is spherical to boot AND the paint I have for the glass is not very consistant and streaks unevenly on the stroke often especially when doing curved letters so that is out. The only thing I think would work is a decent vinyl stencil (or some other material which will flex to the curvature and adhere to the glass). If anyone knows of a place to get this or some technique that I have yet not thought of I would absolutely LOVE to hear it.

Thanks.

caitlinsdad2 years ago

Is there a way to pry off the glass piece and then you can embed a printed image under the glass keytop, assuming it is clear or transluscent? Maybe if you get a set of rubber alphabet stamps that you can at least get the rough image transferred and then go back in to outline with a permanent fine tip ink or paint marker. You might try to convince the craft shop to use their cricut or silhouette cutting machine to get you a set of custom vinyl stick on letters. Good luck.

jason.burr.946 (author)  caitlinsdad2 years ago

Thanks for the response. If I had it to do over or if I did this project again I would do exactly that. I routed the back of the glass (keys) though with dimples to push the key posts in so it is not actually transparent. I did some of the keys differently and that approach would have worked fantastic and I planned on adding that to the instructable. I will post a pic with this so you can see what I am working with. The first two are the drilled out versions. The third image you can see I actually didn't get all the original key text off before I glued it on and that would have been perfect (along the lines of your suggestion) hind sight and all ;) The other reason I didn't go for that was I intended to grind the tops down to be flat. I decided against that though as this is a piece for my daughter and so smooth glass looks better and since she is too young to type well and is just starting to learn her letters it didn't seem necessary as it would be for an adult.

I like the idea about the cutting machine though I don't know much about those do you think they will be accurate enough to cut letters that small? If so I guess a call to a friend that used to do signs.

Thanks again for the response.

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They do have rub on lettering, probably only find them at higher end art, architectural, modeling, or office supply shops. They can be applied to curved surfaces but you are limited to the stoic business fonts.

Those vinyl sticker cutting machines work pretty well and would do a nice small solid font.