Applying vinyl on curved surfaces can be a bit tricky to get properly lined up. Today we will be making punny planters with upcycled containers for succulents while using a few tips and tricks for vinyl on complex curved surfaces. Complex curvature occurs in the crafting world with shapes like wine glasses or spheres versus simple curved surfaces such as tumblers and pint glasses. This tutorial will work for wine glasses, too!
Step 1: Prepare Design with Warp Panel
The upcycled planters in today’s project were a thrifting find. They don’t have drainage like traditional planters, but they should suffice for succulents. The designs are from SoFontsy’s Funny Garden Puns bundle. I picked two designs that spoke to my lack of green thumbs. To help the designs convert from 2D to 3D, let’s utilize the Warp tool in Silhouette Studio’s Business Edition. If you don’t have business edition, skip this part of the step. Start by measuring your planter to decide the optimal size for the design. For this planter, an approximate 3×3″ design will work well. In the warp panel, use the conical warp tab. Next, you need to measure your container and input those dimensions in the menu.
Below is the final result with the original designs and warped designs for comparison. It isn’t a huge difference, but can really help with things that taper if the design you are using is wide enough to show distortion.
Step 2: Cut Vinyl & Apply Transfer Tape
After the design is prepped, send it to cut. This vinyl is Permanent Vinyl in glossy black. I used the “Vinyl, glossy” setting with a depth of 2. Weed the vinyl and apply transfer tape to the design. To help with application, trim the transfer as close to the design as you can and cut slits in the unused white space. Another tip: if you have a rice warmer, towel, etc, put your planter on that to keep it from rolling away on you while you’re applying the vinyl.
Step 3: Vinyl Application on Curved Surface
Peel the backing off and apply the vinyl starting in the center and work your way to the edges. Once satisfied with the placement, peel off the clear transfer tape. The planter is now complete and you just need to add soil and a succulent! If you’re using this method for vinyl on wine glasses, remember to allow the vinyl to cure for 24 hours before using or washing, just like we did for these tumblers. Aren’t these adorable? I hope the succulents survive….
In summary, here are handy tips for vinyl application on curved surfaces:
1. Use the Warp tool in Silhouette Studio.
2. Cut the transfer down as close to the design shape.
3. Add relief cuts in the open space in the design.
4. Use a rice heating pad, towel, or pillow to prevent the glass or container from rolling away.
5. Press down on the transfer tape from the center and work your way to the edges.
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