Posts Tagged ‘vinyl’

Mailbox Makeover

Mailbox Makeover_Social

The mailbox that came with the house just looked kinda…meh. The gold numbers looked so out of the box blech. So time for a mailbox makeover. I took the mailbox off the wall and brought it in the house. The mailman refused to deliver my mail because I didn’t have a mailbox (which was the dumbest thing ever because I said he could just leave it on the floor).

Mailbox Makeover_01  Mailbox Makeover_02

So here’s what I used for my mailbox makeover:

  1. X-Acto Knife, or Rotary Cutter
  2. DIY Goo Gone (baking soda and canola oil) or Goo Gone
  3. Optional: Gloves
  4. Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
  5. Pliers
  6. Rubbing Alcohol and Cotton Balls
  7. White Vinyl
  8. Transfer Paper
  9. Optional: Silhouette Cameo

To start, I need removed the most annoying part of this stupid mailbox. There’s this center piece that lets you lock the mailbox but it just flaps open and shut and slams down on my fingers all the time. I opened up the box, exposed the hinge that the flap was attached with and pulled out the piece of metal that held it in.

Mailbox Makeover_03  Mailbox Makeover_04

Mailbox Makeover_05

Problem solved.

Next, I needed to remove the original number stickers on the mailbox. To do this, I used the blade of the rotary cutter and pushed it at an angle under the stickers to lift it off. Probably wasn’t the best idea to do it with a round blade, so use an X-acto knife if you have one.

Mailbox Makeover_06

I did this to the front and sides of the mailbox until I removed all the stickers.

Mailbox Makeover_07

I was left with gooey, sticky sticker goop. I swear I had a small bottle of goo gone laying around. Now that I actually needed to use it, I couldn’t find it. This always happens to me. I was at home and not really in the mood to drive anywhere to buy a new bottle so I Googled a DIY version that I found at DIYnCrafts. Its basically two parts baking soda and one part canola oil. The recipe says you can use any oil, but canola is what I had on hand. I mixed the stuff up in a plastic cup (1 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp canola oil), put on some gloves, and slathered it on the mailbox.

Mailbox Makeover_08  Mailbox Makeover_09

So, it didn’t really work all by itself. I was looking around for something else to use and found some Mr. Clean Magic Eraser sponges. I broke off a piece and started scrubbing away at it with the DIY Goo Gone mix. WIN. It totally worked and cleaned a bunch of nasty dirt off too.

Mailbox Makeover_11  Mailbox Makeover_12

After a bit of scrubbing with the sponge all the sticky stuff came off and I rinsed the mailbox in water and wiped the whole thing clean. To make extra sure it was clean and ready for some vinyl, I used some cotton balls dipped in rubbing alcohol to wipe the surface too.

Mailbox Makeover_13  Mailbox Makeover_14

Next, I designed my new numbers in my Silhouette Studio program. I did this based on some house numbers I bought for the front of the house. I put some circles around each number and added the stripes. Here’s the Studio and PDF files for the cut file I used. Just replace the numbers I used with your own.

I loaded the vinyl into my Silhouette Cameo and hit the cut button with the standard vinyl settings. If you don’t have a Silhouette Cameo, just trace the design onto the vinyl and cut with an X-acto knife, being sure to cut only through the vinyl and not through the paper backing.

Mailbox Makeover_15  Mailbox Makeover_16

Next, I peeled back the excess vinyl around the design. The thought of wasting all that vinyl killed me so I cut around the design and saved any large pieces I might be able to reuse later before peeling off the excess vinyl around the design. Waste makes me cringe.

Mailbox Makeover_17  Mailbox Makeover_18

Then, I took my transfer paper and applied it to the design. I had some scraps left over from another project that left me with pieces smaller than the design, but I just pieced the two together over the design.

Mailbox Makeover_19  Mailbox Makeover_20

Once I applied the transfer paper, I flipped it over and peeled away at the vinyl backing (light blue paper). I carefully scored the backing around the numbers design with an X-acto knife (being super super careful not to cut into the vinyl) so I could peel back just the backing for the numbers. I wanted to focus on applying the numbers correctly first before dealing with the decorative lines.

Mailbox Makeover_21

Next, I lined up the design where I wanted it on the mailbox and applied carefully to the mailbox. I started by placing the design down from the right side and smoothing the design down with my hand towards the left to make sure there were no air bubbles.

Mailbox Makeover_22  Mailbox Makeover_23

Once the numbers were placed, I peeled back the transfer paper, but only around the numbers. Since I hadn’t placed the decorative striping, I didn’t want to peel the transfer paper off the stripes quite yet. I peeled back the transfer paper super super carefully, making sure that none of the vinyl came up in the process.

Mailbox Makeover_24  Mailbox Makeover_25

To finish up, I had to place the striping detail. I removed the vinyl backing and used the transfer paper as a guide/tool to place the stripes. I held the transfer paper and moved it up and down, eyeballing the straightness of the lines and smoothed the vinyl stripes down with my finger (from the numbers design outward to prevent any gapping/bubbling). I wrapped the excess vinyl around the back of the mailbox so you can’t see any jagged edges from the front or sides.

Note: Since the mailbox tapers towards the bottom, there was some minor gapping around the corners as I applied the stripes around the corner, but since vinyl is slightly stretchy and forgiving, I very carefully pulled it a little to stretch it around the corner.

Mailbox Makeover_26  Mailbox Makeover_27

So…my problem with cutting out designs is that the negative stuff (what I cut out) is wasted. I just can’t bring myself to throw that stuff away. Instead, I saved it and stuck it to the inside of the box. Tah dah!

Mailbox Makeover_28

Now my mailman is EXTRA sure its the right address when he drops the mail into the box (even though its obviously on the front too).

Here’s what it looks like hung up on the wall.

Mailbox Makeover_Cover  Mailbox Makeover_29

I’m happy to report that the mail man was glad I put the mailbox back so he could properly deliver my mail. He also complimented me on the new numbers which made me do a little dance on the inside. Fixing up the house…one small thing at a time.

Monogrammed Coffee Mug

Monogrammed Mug_01

Seeing as how this my profile picture on all our social media, it would be a shame not to do a tutorial on this monogram coffee mug. I’ve seen this tutorial on a few blogs in various freehand versions on Pinterest. I’m a little too type A to freehand anything so permanent. Next best option: stenciling. So turned to my Silhouette Cameo and some leftover vinyl from another project to do my version of the monogrammed coffee mug and a cute little bonus (keep reading to find out!).

Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Coffee mug(s)
  2. Oil Based Sharpie Marker(s)
  3. Vinyl
  4. Vinyl transfer paper
  5. Scissors or rotary cutter and rotary cutting mat
  6. Rubbing alcohol
  7. Cotton balls
  8. Oven
  9. Optional: Small paint brush
  10. Optional: Nail polish remover

I got my coffee mugs from Ikea for $1.99 each. I bought 6 and will eventually monogram all 6, but since these mugs are always rotating in and out of the dishwasher, I can only do a few at a time. A girl needs her coffee. So here’s to hoping I get to all 6. One day.

Monogrammed Mug_02

Getting to the goal one mug at a time. I took my cotton ball, soaked some rubbing alcohol on it, and used it to wipe the surface of the cup to make sure the design area of the mug was extra squeaky clean.

Monogrammed Mug_03

Next, I pulled out my Silhouette Cameo and laptop to cut the monogram letter. I knew I wanted a fancyish font. I didn’t find any fonts that came installed on my laptop so I looked online for some free font options. I finally decided on Gresham in case you’re interested in using the same font. I typed the one letter and resized to to fit the height of the cup and was ready to cut. Since I used the Silhouette brand vinyl, I was able to directly feed it into the cut machine (no cutting mat required). I set the Media to Vinyl, Speed to 2, and Thickness to 9. If you do this without a Silhouette Cameo, you can draw/trace a monogram letter directly onto the vinyl and use an X-acto knife and/or scissors to cut out the vinyl.

Monogrammed Mug_04   Monogrammed Mug_05

Monogrammed Mug_06   Monogrammed Mug_07

I printed 5 so I’d have them ready when my other mugs were finally washed. Next, I took one cutout and peeled off the inside H. It felt like such a shame to throw it away, so I stuck it to a water bottle. I had one on mine from the first mug I made. Just make sure to clean the surface with rubbing alcohol before applying. BONUS DIY from an already awesome DIY. His and hers water bottles that match our cups!

Monogrammed Mug_08   Monogrammed Mug_09

Monogrammed Mug_11

Now, back to the coffee mug. Next, I cut a piece of vinyl transfer paper to the size of the H. I peeled the backing off the transfer paper and stuck it directly onto the vinyl. Then, I peeled the backing off the vinyl to stick onto the cup. Make extra, extra, extra sure you line this up correctly before you stick it on. This part doesn’t really lend itself to second tries unless you scrap the vinyl and do it all again. (I’ve done this.)

Monogrammed Mug_12   Monogrammed Mug_13

Monogrammed Mug_14   Monogrammed Mug_15

Next, I peeled off the transfer paper and pressed down on all the monogram detail, concentrating on corners and points to make sure no paints seeps underneath.

Monogrammed Mug_16  Monogrammed Mug_17

Now its coloring time AND you don’t have to worry about coloring inside the lines. I used an oil based gold sharpie pen. If its a new pen or you haven’t used it for awhile, you have to press down on the tip on scratch paper to get the ink flowing. Then just color it in!


  1. Try not to color over the same spot after the paint has dried. It starts to wipe off the previous coat and it gets kinda clumpy.
  2. Try to color in long strokes to minimize “brush strokes” unless that’s the look you’re going for.

Monogrammed Mug_18  Monogrammed Mug_19

Monogrammed Mug_20  Monogrammed Mug_21

Next, I pulled off the vinyl stencil and center lines and noticed some bleeding. It happens and its easy to fix. I took a small paint brush dipped lightly in some rubbing alcohol (acetone nail polish remover works too, and probably better) and cleaned it up.

Monogrammed Mug_22  Monogrammed Mug_23

Now its time to bake. I put the mugs in the oven FIRST, then set the oven to 425º F to preheat. Don’t mess this up. Mugs in oven FIRST and leave them in there while the oven preheats. This allows the mugs to heat up with the oven and prevent cracking (says my Googling). After the oven is done preheating, set the timer for 30 minutes and let the mugs bake. Once the timer goes off, turn off the oven, crack the door open and let the mugs cool INSIDE the oven. This lets the mugs slowly cool with the oven, preventing cracking and setting the paint (says my Googling). The first time, I basically sat impatiently on the floor next to the oven so I could see what was happening (nothing exciting) thinking “please work, please work, please work”.

Monogrammed Mug_24  Monogrammed Mug_25

And…IT WORKED! I’ve had my first mug for a few months and its in great condition. I’d like to think its because of all the extra Googling I did. I know there have been comments around the interwebs saying it washes off. I wash mine on the top shelf of my dishwasher and haven’t had any problems. Here they are in their home (when they’re not dirty).

Monogrammed Mug_26