Thursday, March 6, 2014

Personalized Wooden Cars Sign

My cute little friend at church asked if I might be able to make a Cars sign for her son, but personalize it with his name.  I was originally thinking she wanted like Lightning McQueen with Brody's name on it or something like that.  I guess it just shows how long it has been since my little boy was all about the movie Cars. 
I was a little taken back by this symbol, but eventually figured it all out.

First stop was to make the printable.  It took a bit to get shadows and such with my measly little scrapbook program, but I was thrilled with how it turned out.  The original idea was to make the printable and just mod podge it to a wood cutout.  Once the printable was done, I started to think a wooden sign would be possible.

I grabbed a couple of handy panels of mdf and got cutting.  This sign is actually three pieces stacked together to give depth.  I used 1/2" mdf for the back piece, an outline of the whole sign.  It would be possible to just cut the v shape that is in the background, but it wouldn't be as sturdy or ...just nice, as it is when the back piece is solid.  

I then cut the whole grill front out of 1/4" mdf and then just the red name plate out of 1/4" mdf as well.  

I painted all the metal parts grey, and then with a sparkly metallic paint.  With those metallic paints you want a solid color base coat or they don't show up as well.  I painted the name plate red, then used a burnt umbery, brownish red to make the subtle chevron background.  The original image has stripes, but since the chevron is trending right now I went with chevron as the background.  Either way you go, it is really a nice touch to add that slight contrast in the background.  Having a pattern in the background softens it and adds texture and complexity to the project with little effort.  Those additions make things more exciting ;-}

I was going to cut the name out of wood, paint it and try to glue it on there, but let's face it.  I have been overcome with laziness with this long winter and I just didn't have it in me.  I ended up cutting the name three times out of vinyl.  I cut the black name above out of black vinyl and a medium grey vinyl, then I cut the grey name above out of a shiny metallic grey vinyl.  Once I had all the extra scraps of vinyl weeded off the backing sheet, I used my transfer tape as the tool to line everything up before placing on the board.  

I stuck the transfer tape to the shiny metal, bits and pieces Brody vinyl.  Once that was all attached to the transfer tape I pulled the transfer off the backing and then centered the attached shiny metal vinyl over the medium grey vinyl so they were right on top of each other.  After I had two of the three vinyl names stacked, I added the third by once again centering the transfer tape over the black, triple checking that everything lined up, and then placed the transfer tape on top of it so that the black was shadowing the grey.

Here is that picture again.  
Telling you what I did with the vinyl is way more complicated than actually doing it ;0}

I triple sprayed everything with Rustoleum 2x clear spray paint, glossy, to give it that shiny Cars shine, lightly sanded edges, then wood glued it altogether.  So fabulous!  Wow Lauren.  That was a totally fulfilling project.  I wasn't sure how I was going to do it at first, but the finished product made it all worth it.  Thanks for asking!

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