Sunday, September 11, 2011

DIY A new twist on Vinyl Wall Art - Framed!!!

It is a great day in the world of crafting!  (Okay, that may be a little TOO hyper for the situation, but I have been so excited to share this next craft with you!)  I saw this project (on a much smaller scale) at a friend's house, and decided I loved it!  Here is the "palette" I was working with:  a very empty wall in an otherwise well-decorated master bedroom! You can probably tell I do not like blank walls...

I am a huge Disney and fairy-tale fan, and so I really wanted something that captured the whimsicality of Disney but was still adult enough to have in a married couple's bedroom.  My husband is certainly not the fan I am, and I wanted to respect that.  There are a multitude of awesome sayings out there that could have gone above the bed, but my favorite (and his) was "Real love stories never have endings".  While I could have just placed the vinyl saying straight on the wall, I decided that I wanted to do something a little more elegant and with a little more depth.  This tutorial will coach you through making a framed vinyl art piece for your wall.

Materials Needed:

1 Vinyl Wall Saying or other vinyl decoration.  Read the size specifications on the box, as this will tell you what size frame you need.  However, you can also tailor that by placing the vinyl on in your own way.  For instance, my carton said that the saying was 11"x26" and I decided to get a frame that was 18"x24".

1 Frame in the size of your choosing.  If you are choosing to go smaller on either dimension, you will want to be very careful, as you will have to do some creative placement with your words to make them fit.  In my case, I simply made the words overlap for effect.  Also, try to make sure the mounting hardware is on the actual frame as opposed to the wood/cardboard backing.  This will prevent you from having to install mounting hardware on your frame, though that is not very difficult.  It just requires that you buy the hardware (Walmart has individual sets for about $0.97), and have a screwdriver at home.

Needle-nose pliers and a hot glue gun.  You do not need the best hot glue gun in the world :-).  My hot glue gun was the cheap one from Walmart, and it has served me well through many projects.  I always suggest the high heat hot glue gun, as I have found it works much better and provides better holding power, but if you like your low heat, feel free to use that.

Heat up your glue gun.

First thing you will need to do is plug in your hot glue gun, so that it can warm up.  I generally keep my hot glue gun in a shoebox, which keeps it from accidentally getting touched by people who do not realize it is on, and means I don't have to worry about the glue seeping out and ruining something while it heats up.  I have found it works great, and I worry a lot less.  

Prepare the frame.

Next step is to remove the packaging from your frame.  Take off all of the cardboard, and remove the back pieces.  Remove any papers inside, and, VERY CAREFULLY, remove your glass.  Set your glass off to the side where it is safe, and other people are safe from it :-).  Take your needle-nose pliers, and, if necessary, remove the tabs that are meant to hold the back in place.  Some frames will not have this.

Clean your glass.

Once you have removed all of the extra stuff from the frame (excepting the mounting hardware), you can set the frame aside and move on to the glass.  First thing you will want to do is to thoroughly clean your glass.  Once you have done that, place your words/art on the glass, and get a feeling for the spacing and set up that you want.  When you are satisfied, follow the manufacturer's instructions to place the words on the glass.  If your frame is shaped weirdly, you will want to be certain that you are putting your artwork on the front side of the glass, the side that would be facing out if the frame were hung as normal.  This is also a good idea to pay attention to even with a rectangular frame, as some manufacturing defects can mean that the glass fits in better one way than the other.

Glue the glass in place.

Depending on the size of your frame, there are two ways to do this.  For a smaller frame (4x6, 5x7, 8x10), you can put a bead of glue around the inside of the frame, just inside the lip, almost straight in that inner corner (not right on the lower lip, but not quite on the side wall), and then place your glass in, with the front side (the side with the vinyl lettering on it) down (so that it will read correctly/face properly when you are looking at the frame).  The reason you do not want to place it on the lower lip is that, once the weight of the glass is placed on top of it, it will seep out and show on your glass.  You want to avoid placing it too far on the side wall, because then it will not even hold your glass in place.  The perfect place is to put it right in the corner between the lip and the side wall.  Also, be very careful about how much glue you are using.  You need enough that there is a small bead, but too much will seep out as well. Once your glass is in and seated well, you can place another bead around the glass, explained below.

For a larger frame, you want to place your glass in first, and then, very carefully, place a bead of glue around the whole edge.  In some spots, your glass may not come near the side wall:  in those cases, use a little more glue to bridge the gap.  If the glass fits really well, you will not need a large amount, but still use enough to hold the glass in place.  The reason you do not put a bead down first is that, by the time you have made it around the whole frame, much of the first glue laid will have solidified, and your glass will not fit in nicely.  (I know from experience!)  Once this glue is dry (for me, it was once I had made it around the frame), you can place a second layer and better fill in any gaps that may have formed as the glue conformed to the frame and glass.

The last step I took (and this is because I had a large frame and was particularly worried about making sure the glass was not moving!), was to reinforce the corners.  I put just a little bit of extra glue and the corners, where I still saw gaps, at all times being careful not to put so much that it would get on the part of the glass that would be seen from the front.

Waiting, Wiping, and Hanging.

Once you are done with the glue, wait for it to dry/harden completely.  Then, clean your frame once more, getting all of the fingerprints and dust off.  Now you are ready to hang your project!  Enjoy!

Yours in Beauty and Love,

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