Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Neighborhood Mailbox Project - Part Two
It is great to get a community together to achieve a common goal. We all had a lot of fun despite the hard work and the neighbors who were unable to help on Saturday have been surprised and happy to see the results. The final finishing touches to the mailbox house restoration were added on Sunday and Monday.
At the end of the day Saturday, the difference was dramatic. It's funny how you get so used to something looking run down that you stop noticing the problem. I think we all will be more aware of the condition of this area and more likely to keep it maintained.
The flower boxes on the sides needed some repairs so my husband brought them home Saturday and fixed them. Once he put them back on Sunday, Michelle filled them with flowers. With hot summer weather coming, we opted for artificial flowers so no one has to water and tend them constantly.
I thought it would be nice to add a welcome sign to the top of the structure, so on Monday I cut some dark brown vinyl to match the color of the flower boxes and finished the project.
I used the Martha Stewart Crafts Elegant Cakes Cricut cartridge and set up the cut with my Gypsy. I thought about using my Cameo with a standard true type font but I have read reports of people clogging their Cameo blades when cutting vinyl. I have used the Cricut a lot for vinyl so I decided to stick with it to finish this project.
I arranged all of the words together to conserve the amount of vinyl I needed. I used the 24 inch mat and set the blade at three and the speed and pressure at three for a perfect "kiss cut" (the vinyl is cut but the backing remains intact). Then I "weeded" the vinyl, removing the excess external pieces in sections. It helps to use scissors to cut the excess as you go along. Then all I had to do was remove the trapped center pieces. The little hook tool works very well for this job.
Here are my final letters. I decided not to weld the letters because I thought it would be easier to read.
Next, I applied transfer tape to each word. I burnished the tape to the letters and then lifted each word and returned the tape to the backing material until I could take it to the mailbox.
Here are all of the words with the transfer tape applied. Since there were only four words I didn't think it would be too difficult to line them up. In hindsight, it might have been simpler to do a long row so the spacing would be totally consistent.
I measured the distance from each side and put the words up with a few pieces of regular tape to check the placement. Then I marked pencil dots at the start and finish of each word so I could remove the transfer tape backing and put the words into position.
I've never put up vinyl outside and the breeze and sun made it a little tricky to get everything perfect. The brown vinyl was Cricut brand (Oracal 631 vinyl). Even though it is indoor vinyl, I think it will be fine here. The area is protected and I wanted the matte finish so it would look like it was painted on. I find this vinyl to be a bit thinner and prone to static which makes it a little harder to work with than the Wall Pops vinyl. The "Partridge" section stuck to itself after the backing was removed and a few letters tore a little as I pulled it apart. I decided to realign then and burnish everything down and it worked. If I decided to fine tune the spacing, I can always cut another set. I think I'll wait until these show signs of age...
We are due to get some very hot weather - in the 90's - this week and I hope that the bench in the shady spot will give someone a place to rest when they walk to get the mail.
My Dad will most likely be discharged from the hospital today and I am going to Pennsylvania to see him. I might not be able to do much to help but I haven't been there since Easter. Thanks for all of the kind comments. I will try to keep up with the blog but I'll just have to see how things go...
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