In a previous post, I showed you how to use a marker and your Cricut to make glass paintings (or plastic paintings). What if we used vinyl instead?
Seeing my last post, a friend asked me if it was possible to do the same thing with vinyl. As I am always ready to do tests, I decided to take up the challenge. And believe it or not, I think I prefer this technique to the previous one!
The advantage of using vinyl instead of a Sharpie
Using a Sharpie and the “draw” function of Design Space required a simple line drawing or at least something whose outline was not double.
Because, when you import an image (JPG, PNG) into Design Space and “clean” it leaving only the black drawing line, that line automatically doubles. You can see it in the image below. On the left, the image cleaned, specified to “cut” and on the right, the same image to “draw”.
Thus, cutting remains the simplest option if you want to use an image that has been cleaned leaving only the outline.
In addition, vinyl can be used for real glass. Indeed, to draw with the Sharpie, I had to use plastic craft since I couldn’t insert glass in the Cricut (too thick, a maximum of 2.4 mm is allowed).
It was my daughter who did the final step of painting and she told me she preferred the technique with vinyl since she found it acted as kind of a barrier for the paint
Materials and tools required
- Cutting machine (I have the Cricut Maker,but the Explore Air 2 or the Joy can also do)
- Premium Permanent Vinyl Black
- Transfer paper
- Weeding tools
- Plastic Grafix 0.020 (or a frame with plastic or glass!)
- Acrylic paint
- Brushes of different sizes
- Toothpick (optional)
- Metal rule and utility knife (to cut the craft plastic if required)
Finding your image
I’ve talked about it a lot lately: copyrights. You can read my post on the subject if you want to know more. Just know you need to be careful when using images from the Internet.
In my case, I chose (or rather my daughter chose!) an image of Shikamaru, a character from the Naruto series.
What to consider when choosing the image
To make it easier to clean the image in Design Space, here’s what you should look for:
- An image with a well-defined and clear black border (the pencil stroke).
- Good contrast between the background and the chosen design.
- A high-quality image (the smaller the number of pixels, the more difficult it will be)
You can see all my tricks in the video at the bottom of this post.
How to clean your image
The image will be cleaned using the advanced options of Design Space. You can also see this other post for more details on the use of the advanced “Reduce Colors” and “Color Tolerance” options.
I must confess that I did not follow my own advice when choosing my image. I had a hard time eliminating the background because it had a lot of shades of green, just like the character.
You can see the video at the bottom of this post to see exactly how I did it!
Cutting and laying the vinyl
Before you press the “Go” button on your Cricut, don’t forget to mirror it! Because paint and vinyl will go to the back of the craft plastic.
Also, to make it easier for me, I decided not to immediately cut my craft plastic and I strongly suggest you do the same!
Once the vinyl is cut by the Cricut, weed to remove the excess vinyl.
Then apply transfer paper to the vinyl and rub very hard with the scraper. (Trick: lay parchment paper on your work surface to prevent transfer paper from sticking everywhere!!)
Gently remove the backing of the vinyl, making sure all the pieces are on the transfer paper.
Then apply the transfer paper to the parchment paper, letting the bottom of the vinyl exceed just a little, like the image below.
This will allow you to easily position your image on the craft plastic. When it’s aligned, press firmly on the transfer paper that exceeds to make it stick on the plastic.
Lift the image from the parchment paper (being careful that the bottom edge remains stuck to the plastic) and remove the parchment paper.
Lay down the image by pressing with the scraper from bottom to top.
Again, scratch very hard to make the vinyl stick to the plastic and then remove the transfer paper.
Remember that you can keep your transfer paper by putting it back on its backing!
Finally, cut the craft plastic to the size of your design with a metal ruler and a utility knife. Then you only have to paint your drawing!
Make glass painting with Cricut and vinyl
I invite you to watch the video to discover several other tips and tricks. There are things that communicate much better visually than simply in writing. You’ll also know:
- How to filter images on the internet to find only large or medium images;
- How to make sure your vinyl is perfectly cut;
- What to do if you don’t have enough transfer paper;
- How to print your drawing to use as a guide while painting;
- And a lot of other tips.