I pretty much taught myself how to do this out of frustration for the rip-off shipping costs of online sellers of decals. I am fortunate to live down the street from a plastics store (S&W Plastics on University Ave) that carries a huge selection of adhesive vinyl for sale by the foot or by the roll. They also have the transfer tape.
In this instructable I attempt a two-tone decal. It's just double steps and lining up the two parts properly and I even ended up with an extra sticker when I cut out the shading part!
List of ingredients:
- A design. Preferably two colors only with high contrast and not too much detail. Keep in mind; gradients are impossible to cut but photoshop filters can help. For starting off, the simpler the better... practice on line-art stuff then move up to more detailed work.
- An X-Acto knife or other suitable sharp cutting utensil.
- A cutting surface I use the poster board mailers my "other vinyl" comes in. This part totally depends on how much you care about your work station surface, although I still recommend something as you'll see explained in step 2.
- Scotch tape
- Adhesive-backed colored vinyl color choice is up to you.
- Tweezers I prefer a needle-nosed pair, really sharp points.
- Transfer tape specially made tape with the adhesive strength in between that of scotch tape and a post-it note.
- Patience and a penchant for the meticulous.
Once I save up for an electronic cutter I will laugh at my once archaic ways... but until then I like doing it this way.
Step 1: The design
After you have your design on paper and the size you want cut it with about a half-inch margin (you can use this as a template and hold it up to whatever you're sticking it to in order to make sure you have the right size and the placing looks good).
Since I did a multiple layer design I printed out two of the same image. I could have also printed each layer separately but I didn't feel like it. It's kinda like screen printing.
Note: Had I printed out each layer individually I would have been able to combine the two post-cutting onto the same backing with a tricky application of transfer tape. I preferred to combine the two on the actual surface itself because it is easier... but if you're making a multi-layered decal for someone else or don't yet have somewhere to stick it, you can do it that way.