This small project is basically a homemade Letraset pack, for which you will need vinyl tape, clear packing tape, scissors, a knife and a design that you would like made in vinyl. It's a simple project, and it's as easy to redo as it is to screw up. There are two types, digital and analogue variants of the same idea.
Step 1: Preparations
First off, clear the area that you are stickering. If it is, for example, a refrigerator, then you may skip this step. I did a bike, so my first step was scraping existing stickers off with a knife, then scouring the remaining adhesive with WD-40 and steel wool, then towelling it off to remove residue. Measure the area that you're working with. Even if it goes against your reckless nature.
Step 2: Design
Slightly more exciting is the design phase, and here's how it works. Whether you're doing lettering or a logo, it basically must meet the same requirements as a stencil, with solid lines and all that. If you wanna do it the easy way, whip up a design on the computer, flip the image and print it out. slightly more difficult is what I did, where the letters are hand-designed with a pencil and ruler, then bolded with a pen.
now, if you've made a computer design, slap a layer of clear tape on the opposite side of your image. If you've drawn it out, put the tape overtop the image.
Step 3: Cut and Paste
On top of the clear tape, carefully put a strip of vinyl in your desired colour. I did two sides of the bike, so I put two strips of tape. Then carefully cut the letters (or image) out, using the lines that are either visible through the paper or printed backwards on it.
carefully remove the vinyl tape from the clear tape using a knife, and put them where you want them.
Step 4: Extra-curricular
There's a couple of things else you can do. I sprayed my stickers with a clear enamel to hold them on better, unfortunately i picked a fairly poor one that's not sealing them down very nicely. acrylic has also failed me, but I bet someone out there has a solution. On flat surfaces you can use a layer of clear tape on top, but it tends to shred and dis-adhere over time.
larger images can be created by placing parallel strips of vinyl to cover whatever area the image is. Man, is there anything electrical tape can't do? well yes.
My next sticker will go on my guitar, and I'll put up some photos when it's done.