Positioning Vinyl Lettering: Getting It Straight - I Made It at the TechShop

About: As a teenager, I asked my dad to show me how to use the power tools in his workshop. He replied that everyone he knew who used power tools was missing a finger. In art school, I had to creep quietly into the...

I made it at the TechShop! http://www/techshop.ws

On the first church sign I made, the vinyl letters went uphilll. Not good! Here's how I succeeded on the second try.

Start with a well-prepared board or other surface. The vinyl letters have been cut at the TechShop, weeded, and the transfer paper has been applied to the face of the letters. I'll call this sandwich the letter layer.

The other equipment you'll need: straight edge: cutter, masking tape, pen, burnisher.

Step 1:

Trim the letter layer close to the lettering at the top and along each side. Position the letter layer on the board. Cut paper strips the width of the side margins and apply them to the board with glue stick. Mark the position of the top margin on the paper strips.

Step 2:

Make sure the letters are exactly where you want them. Then with a long piece of masking tape, tape the letter layer to the board, creating a hinge.

Step 3:

Flip the letter layer up so the backing paper is exposed, then carefully peel off the backing paper.

Step 4:

Slowly roll the letter layer onto the board. If you have only two hands, slide a yard stick along the top of the letter layer, to help smooth the letters onto the board without gaps or wrinkles.

Step 5:

Burnish the letters though the transfer paper to be sure they're firmly stuck to the board. Then slowly remove the transfer paper.

Step 6:

Voila! A sign with the letters exactly where I wanted them.

Color was added by hand with artist's acrylic paint. Then the whole sign was sealed with several coats of clear finish.



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    5 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Very nice - I'm doing some individual letters but I like your 'hinge' technique to line them up!


    4 years ago

    Nothing beats a tape measure.