Office Mirror Art
My husband gave me a Silhouette for Christmas. I was dying to get started using it, and finally my vinyl arrived and I was able to do more than cut out pieces of paper! So this is my first official Silhouette project!
I started with some mirrors I had hanging in my office. If you look at my floorplan, my office window is huge, but unfortunately it’s not centered on my wall. So I added the mirrors on the larger side to fill up the space. I didn’t love them, but they were only $2.50 each at Old Time Pottery, and the price was hard to beat.
Well now that they are transformed, I love them! In case you didn’t know, I’m a graphic designer, and I run my business out of my office. I am frequently swamped with work (it’s a good thing really!) and I’ve been known to spend long days and nights here. My husband sometimes jokes that he’s going to stick a tray of food under the door like they do in prison. Anyway, I need to be creative here, so I thought that it would be cool to put some inspirational sayings on the mirrors. This way when I glance up I’m reminded to be creative and think differently than the rest of the world.
I opened up the Silhouette software and created a file the size of the mirror inside the frame. I then typed the phrase that I wanted to use. The three phrases were:
- Think outside the box.
- It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.
- Color outside the lines.
I chose a simple Helvetica font and just arranged the words to fit in the space.
FYI, I ordered my vinyl and mask from Amazon from someone who sells compatible vinyl in 12″ width rolls. It’s considerably cheaper than buying the Silhouette vinyl. I purchased a white roll and a black roll and they were 12″ x 20′, plus a vinyl transfer roll for the vinyl that was 12″ x 300′ and should last me, well, forever.
Next I sent the machine to cut the vinyl, and managed to load it wrong 3 times. So after a good 20 minutes of frustration and some ruined vinyl I finally managed to get the thing cut out. I think I must be Silhouette challenged or something!
Because of my issues in loading the vinyl, I ended up putting my design on a bigger piece of vinyl so that I had a one inch border all around. This way it didn’t go off the edge because of user error. This did add another step. I had to trim the vinyl down to fit inside the frame.
Next I rolled out some of the vinyl transfer tape and stuck my vinyl on it. It goes sticky side of the transfer tape to non-sticky side of the vinyl.
Then I peeled off the back of the vinyl and carefully positioned it on my freshly cleaned mirror. You can smooth out bubbles now, but from trial and error I found that it works better to wait till you take the top transfer tape layer off.
Please note: there is more than one way to do this. Depending on the application, you usually weed the vinyl while it’s still attached to the paper, before the masking tape is applied. This is mainly done because a lot of times you are sticking the vinyl on paper or something that would be damaged by trying to remove the extra vinyl. However this was going on a mirror and so I had the option of waiting to weed and it came off very easily this way.
After that I peeled off the background vinyl, leaving only the letters behind. At this point I could have hung it and called it done, but it was a little too blingy mirror for me.
I took the mirrors outside and spray painted them white.
After letting them dry, I came inside and started to peel the letters off. In a perfect world they would have come off cleanly, but I quickly learned that I needed to go around the edge of the vinyl with a utility knife and then it came off beautifully. Don’t worry about this being hard to do, or it being impossible to freehand. The vinyl provided enough of an edge that you can use it as a guide for your knife. No ruler or hand skill needed! Notice my spray painted hands that I didn’t bother to clean up for you! I did a lot of spray painting that day, and obviously not all of it was white.
As if my trials with the Silhouette loading were not enough, when I went to hang my artwork up, I realized I’d put them all on upside down and that the hanger was on the bottom! So I had to attach new picture hangers. But in the end it was all worth it. I love having just that little bit of shine of the mirror. Hopefully these phrases will inspire me not just professionally, but in my blog as well.
Thanks as always for visiting my blog. I’d love to hear what you think.
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