How to Put Vinyl on A Curved Surface - Take 2
I had this brightly colored flower pot that was just begging to have a fun quote put on it.
About this time last year I made another lovely little flower pot to show how to put vinyl on a curved surface. I found a great video on YouTube that showed how to put vinyl on a bike helmet really well. Unfortunately the video was removed from YouTube and it left many wondering just how to put things on a curved surface. I created this new pot to show the steps and share some more tips about working with vinyl!
If you haven’t checked out the previous tutorial on putting vinyl on a curved surface, I would recommend checking that out first. I prepped my vinyl the same way with this pot as I did previously.
For anyone curious, the font choices here are Noteworthy and KG Eyes Wide Open (both available for free download on dafont.com)
I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut out all my words and then I weeded my design using my Silhouette hook tool. I used the score lines on the backing sheet left by the Cameo blade to line up my accent words. This style turned out really cute last time so I went with it again!
Step 1 - Design
I tried to find a quote that would go really well with a sunny yellow pot, but I just wasn’t finding one that I liked. Then I watched the movie Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs with my kids and heard Leslie Gore’s song “Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows” song.
It’s been stuck in my head for about a week now…
I modified the refrain from the song a little bit (because space is limited on the pot), and I think it’s a perfect fit!
Step 2 - Weed
Once you weed your design, you’ll want to put on transfer paper. Transfer paper is a translucent sticky sheet that helps you move your vinyl from the vinyl backing sheet to your project surface. To put transfer paper on a larger design, you’ll want to work the backing sheet off as you apply the transfer paper to the vinyl. This is how I did it.
Just start on one side and then slide the transfer paper backing off as your work across the surface covering the vinyl.
Once you have the transfer paper over your vinyl, you’ll want to burnish the transfer paper onto the vinyl. Vinyl has a sticky backing and burnishing helps the vinyl stick to your transfer paper and release from the backing sheet. To burnish, you’ll want to use a tool of some sort to rub over your entire design. In this case, I used a paint stir stick, but a bone folder, scraper or even a credit card can be used instead.
At this point you’ll have a sandwich that includes: backing sheet | vinyl | transfer paper.
Step 3 - Notch backing sheet
Next flip your design over and then cut a little notch in the backing sheet. I went with about a half inch notch- but you might want to go bigger if you have bigger font.
Snip both the bottom and the top of your backing sheet at about the same spot
Next peel off the strip of backing sheet.
Your backing sheet might not come up in a perfect strip- that’s okay- we’re not going for perfection here. You’ll want to fold your backing sheet backwards on itself as you remove it from the vinyl and push down as you go so the vinyl sticks to the transfer sheet and you don’t take any letters with you as you remove the strip.
Once you have your strip taken off, you’ll be ready to transfer the vinyl to your pot.
Step 4 - Stabilize pot
One of the challenges with putting vinyl on a round or curved object, like this pot, is that the pot doesn’t want to sit still while you work with it! You’re likely to have it roll right off the table while trying to center your vinyl if you don’t stabilize it first. To make putting the vinyl on easier, I grabbed this rice bag that I made some time ago and nestled my pot on it. Don’t have a rice bag? You can use a bag of beans, or even balance your piece in your lap instead.
Once your pot is secure, take your quote and line up the top of the quote with the top of your pot. Press the exposed transfer paper strip to the middle of the pot.
Step 5 - Apply vinyl
The next part can get kind of tricky, but it’s very doable! We’ll work with just one side of the quote at a time here.
Fold over your quote and start removing the backing sheet from one side at a time. Press the transfer paper to the surface of the pot as your remove the backing sheet.
Once you have one side down, repeat the process on the other side:
Step 6 - Burnish vinyl
Now you should have a new sandwich: flower pot | vinyl | transfer paper.
Burnish your vinyl onto the pot by rubbing over it once again. The goal is to get the vinyl to come off the transfer paper and to stick to the pot.
Once you have burnished your vinyl, you can remove the transfer paper. To remove the transfer paper, start on one side and fold it over on itself. Peel it backwards and press down any letters that might not want to stick to the pot.
At this point I didn’t realize that the r from “together” was missing! I’m still not sure where it went… If this happens to you - no worries! I simply cut another r out of vinyl and eyeballed it to line it up.
Presto! You have successfully transferred vinyl onto a curved surface! Let your vinyl “cure” on the surface for at least 72 hours before you do much with it. This will allow the vinyl to really stick. I planted a little hen and chick plant in this pot. I don’t have the greenest of thumbs, so I am hopeful that it thrives in its new home!
I hope this helped explain the process better! If you have any questions or are having problems getting this technique to work- please let me know! I’m here to help!