For the last year I have thoroughly enjoyed being a Brand Ambassador for Expressions Vinyl. There are so many things that can be made with all of the different types of vinyl available! I get so excited coming up with fun new projects and ways to use it. As we enter another year, they have issued a challenged to all of their Ambassadors to create a home decor project using only adhesive vinyl. Today I am sharing mine, and, if you like it, I do hope you will go vote for it on the Expressions Vinyl blog!
A few years ago I began a campaign within our home to “take back the fireplace mantel.” It was where our television resided in our living room. Blech! It made it so hard to decorate for the holidays. It also made it appear as though the television was the main feature of the room. That is definitely something I did not want. So I petitioned for a “built in” media center and a little over a year ago I got my wish!
Ever since then I’ve been debating with myself whether or not to add my own touch to it. And of course I had to, right?? I applied adhesive vinyl to the backing on the shelves, and I am so in love with how it all turned out!
I want to state that my husband, though doubtful of his own skills, is a great DIYer and can build just about anything I ask of him if I give him plans for it. However, he had heavy doubts about this project so, for the sake of our marriage, we sought an outside source to custom build our media center. We designed it, and our guy built it for us. And my husband and I lived happily ever after!
My main concern for the media center was that it offer plenty of storage. We had practically zero of that in this room before. It definitely delivered! Then I went a little crazy collecting knickknacks for the shelves. I am no interior designer so they are just placed haphazardly on the shelves. And the entire thing felt a little unfinished. Don’t you think all that white is just begging for something to be done to it?
I downloaded the image “large fancy gate” from the Silhouette library to use as my backer. It is a square image so I simply attached two more side by side to make a rectangular pattern. Before welding the images together to get one long cut file, I ungrouped each square then welded only the large background file and not all of the little images inside the larger image. Then it was simply a matter of resizing the image to match the size of the backing on the media center shelves.
I removed part of the image so I could cut it in a contrasting vinyl color.
I chose 12″ x 24″ clear transfer tape sheets to work with because, 1) a sheet would be easier to work with that a roll (I didn’t want to worry about curling), and 2) I want to be able to see exactly what I was doing so the clear tape was a must.
I used small pieces of the transfer tape to place the yellow vinyl on the blue by eyeballing each image in place.
Since I wanted the transfer tape to match up exactly with the pattern (I won’t have a lot of flexibility working in the shelves for excess tape), I overlaid the tape on the pattern and traced the edges and cut off the excess. You can use this excess to apply the yellow images!
To apply the tape to the pattern, start at one short end. Apply a couple of inches of the tape to the pattern then slowly add the remaining tape by simultaneously removing the backing and sliding a ruler over the exposed tape. Once done, rub tape firmly with a vinyl applicator tool.
Working one shelf at a time, I added the vinyl. The clear transfer tape is VERY sticky so it was a slow process to get it removed, but it was totally worth the extra effort to be able to SEE that I had each pattern perfectly lined up in place. You can see the cut pattern is slightly smaller than the shelf backing. I did this to be sure that I would be able to get to each corner easily. From a distant you do not even notice the extra space.
And then something magical happened…
I also added some storage in plain sight. Those basket at the top center? They hold our family’s collection of Christmas LEGOS. That wood drawer under the tv? It’s a great place to stash remotes when company is over.
I would love for you to hop over to the Expression’s Vinyl blog and vote for my home decor project!