I had an uninspiring wall (of a plastic shed) facing in to the back garden. But then I took a class on vinyl cutting at the Tech Shop http://www.techshop.ws/
and had an idea.
For this first project, done all on my own, I decided to keep it simple. I chose flowers from Corel Draw. Some of the flowers are actually asterisks (*) in stylish fonts. All of them only one layer. I made a full page of them. I saved the file as an eps. file and emailed it to myself and also put it on a flash drive. At the Tech Shop I opened the file into their vinyl cutter program.
Next I set up the machine. The blade is tiny and needs to be loaded into the holder so that what sticks out is not apparent when you look at it.. I adjusted the speed to 20" and the force to 80. I ran a test. It took 3 tries to get the blade low enough in the holder so that it only cut the vinyl layer. I loaded in the vinyl and locked it into place.
Then I gave the 'send' command to get cutting.
I then cut around the flowers (and the centers) and peel away the unwanted vinyl
For the text I had clicked on the 'weeding' options of the program. This cuts a frame around letters and words making it easier to remove the unwanted vinyl around the letters ( which are far more 'delicate') before removing the large portion of unwanted vinyl.
I placed centers on the flowers - using those asterisks and swapping out others for a color change.
For those flowers which had spaces in the design and for the text I covered it over with application tape from a roll as wide as the vinyl. I used a squeegee - attaching the application tape to the top, keeping it taught and working from the center out and down towards me. This keeps the integrity of the spacing and makes the final application much easier.
Once I was back to the shed wall. I cleaned the surface thoroughly with an all purpose household cleaner.
I used blue tape to set the text. Then I peeled off the backing and holding the text out and taught began with a squeegee working from the center out and down.
I could have used blue tape to put up the flowers, but instead I just let whimsy have its way, and placed the flowers randomly. I found that having application tape kept the vinyl from stretching, and was so much easier to place. For those flowers that didn't have the tape overlay, I learned to place the flowers at their centers and smooth each petal from center to the tip.
From choosing the flowers in Corel to the final sigh was about ten hours of time. I was so thankful for the woman at the Tech Shop http://www.techshop.ws/
who kept coming to my rescue - answering questions and solving my problems, that I brought her flowers - real ones from my garden.
The cost of the materials was about $10. And now whenever I see that wall it's going to make me smile.