Introduction: Great Vinyl Decals "step-by-step" : PUCI Decals Example

About: Based in San Francisco I strive to incorporate custom lettering in the art that I design, print, and make.
When making vinyl decals on a vinyl cutter it is important to do each step carefully to get the best end results. Based on previous experience if you are new to vinyl decals it is good to keep your sheet of vinyl decals to about 16-20 decals until you have created several sheets and not made any errors. A simple error while cutting decals can ruin an entire sheet.

Take your time and do a great job making amazing vinyl decals

I made it at Techshop
Submitted by SFlettering for the Instructables Sponsorship Program

Step 1: Print Vinyl Decals : PUCI Decals Example

Print out a full sheet of 16-20 vinyl decals from the vinyl cutter and make sure to enable printing to put in helper lines around each of the vinyl decals for easier weeding. the helper lines can be manually added for the vinyl cutter machine by making  a square around each decal or by using the print menu settings for easy weeding.

Step 2: Weed Vinyl Decals : PUCI Decals Example

when weeding decals it is easier based on experience to start from the right the right hand side and work toward the left. When working from right to left the weeding of the vinyl works a little bit better and lifts less of the vinyl that will remain in place.

Step 3: Add Contact Sheeting : PUCI Decals Example

Add a layer of contact paper (plastic sheeting with a sticky side) on top of the vinyl decals to make it possible to transfer the images to a final surface exactly as they were printed. 

Step 4: Squeegee It Well : PUCI Decals Example

A squeegee is an often skipped step that can create problems for the final decal that will not be noticed until you are ready to apply the decals to a surface. It is important to get full adhesion between the plastic sheeting and the vinyl decal at this stage to ensure that later when you apply the vinyl decal that the entire decal adheres evenly. 

During the process if you made any errors while weeding the vinyl it is important to smooth down those errors or pin-pricks on the vinyl decal at this stage rather than right before application to get the best vinyl product. 

When a long squeegee is not available be careful using a smaller squeegee on just a portion of the sheet of decals as the plastic sheeting can lift up and ruin the decals. 

Working carefully and methodically at this stage is essential for solid final results from your vinyl decals.

Step 5: Cut Decals With a Ruler : PUCI Decals Example

The final decals from the vinyl cutter should be cut out with BOTH a sharp knife and a ruler. The ruler will keep your lines even which is essential to make each decal the same size. Using a ruler will also keep the plastic sheeting from rising up while cutting. It is important to put pressure with your fingers on both side of the cuts toward the end when the decals are small to keep the plastic sheeting in place while cutting.