Dress Your Tech with Printed Vinyl

Dress Your Tech with Printed VinylHi friends, I’m excited to share a fun little project I made recently. It’s one part art project and one part tech accessory. And 100% fun. 🙂 I think you’re gonna like it. It’s something I’ve been dreaming of ever since I made this shower curtain DIY. I think I’ve gotten a little vinyl obsessed.

I created this project in partnership with Canon USA. I used my PIXMA TS9020 to turn my art into vinyl decals. I used the scanner/copy function and I loved how vibrant the colors stayed in the color copy mode, and you can see the brush strokes. So pretty!

Dress Your Tech with Printed Vinyl Dress Your Tech with Printed Vinyl Also, one thing I REALLY loved about these project was that the “hardest” part is just creating the art you want to use. I don’t paint often, but every time I do I remember how seriously fun it is! For me, the process usually goes like this:

Excitement as I pick out paint colors at the store.
I start on my first piece and realize I have no idea what I should paint.
I start a few pieces, deciding I’ll up my chances of liking what I make if I just make more.
About 1/3 through, I hate every single piece and decide I’m terrible at painting.
After a break, or some drying time, I return and maybe discard one piece but keep going with a few others.
I start to really enjoy painting. (This is the best part <—-right here)
I end up with a few pieces I really like and although maybe I’m no Picasso, that was fun and I’m happy with what I made.

Is that anything like what you all go through? Why does it always seem like in the middle of making things it all seems to suck for a while, and then it turns out good (or not sometimes). Are those moments of self-loathing normal? Do most of us do that or is it just me? And why is that part of it? Maybe it’s a lesson in humility? I don’t know. But I will say, overall it’s SO fun to take a little time to paint or draw or just make something pretty now and again. So if for no other reason I’d recommend this project just for that alone. But also you’ll get a pretty phone or tablet (or laptop) out of the deal. 🙂

SuppliesSupplies:
-paper for painting (I used a heavier weight mixed media paper, but depending on what paint you use others may work better for you)
-paint
-brushes
-scrap notebook paper
-inkjet printer (I have this one)
-inkjet vinyl paper (I used this kind)
-scissors and X-Acto knife

First, the fun part.

Abstract paintingsStep One: Create your artwork. You can do something colorful and abstract like I did or really anything else your heart desires. One thing I would keep in mind though is how big it will be on your device. If you are creating this for your phone vs. a tablet, keep in mind how much the art will show and where certain elements might fall on the device’s features. Allow your work to fully dry.

Create a template of the deviceStep Two: Use some scrap notebook paper or copy paper (something thin helps so you can trace) to create a template for your device. Make sure to leave space for any buttons, speakers, or other elements that you don’t want to cover in the vinyl. I found that if the elements are on the edge it’s easier to simply cut small boxy areas around those instead of trying to remove small circles for buttons. One of the phones I used as an example here though had a button right in the center of it, so that I had to use an X-Acto for. But see what works best for your device.

Canon printerStep Three: Scan and color copy your artwork onto the vinyl paper. Using my PIXMA TS9020, I could easily do all of this from the touch screen on the front. It’s as simple as copy > standard copy > then double check that the paper setting is on “glossy” > start color. And that’s it!

Add the vinyl to your deviceStep Four: Use your template to cut out the vinyl decal. Then carefully adhere it to your device. It’s good to start with one corner and, in one (slow) motion, peel off the back while you also press the vinyl in place. You don’t want any air bubbles under your vinyl. It is possible to gently remove the vinyl and retry if you find that it was a little off on an edge. And don’t be discouraged if you need to print another one and give it another try. I needed to do this with the tablet as the larger the piece of vinyl, the easier it was to get a few air pockets under it as you added it to the device.

No residue on device Quick note for anyone worried about if the vinyl will damage or leave residue on your device. I tested a piece of this vinyl on the bottom of a laptop I have and left it on there for two months before removing. When I did, it easily peeled away and left no sticky residue. In general, vinyl is pretty good about this with most nonporous surfaces like glass and metal. With that being said, I haven’t tried this on every piece of technology out there, so it’s possible someone could experience something else. If you’re really worried, another idea is to add vinyl to the outside of a clear case instead.

DIY phone caseAlso, I covered my phone with a clear case after adding the vinyl because I am accident prone and drop my phone from time to time, so I wanted to make sure it had extra protection but it would still show off my little painting. 🙂 Thanks for letting me share and I can’t wait to see what some of you all create! If you make and share this project online, I WANT TO SEE IT, so please tag it with #ABMcrafty  xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions