I got this light bulb drink cup at Walmart and am decorating it with lightbulbs! This is going to be a general tutorial for using permanent vinyl, which is what you need for putting vinyl on anything that will get wet. Like drink cups or dishes. This design may look familiar. It was in the Christmas presents in my December newsletter but I never did a tutorial, so here it is.
Permanant Vinyl (Oracle 451)
Permanent Vinyl stays where you put it and is waterproof. If you do need to pull it up though, it does come up. It is just harder to get off. This makes it perfect for dishes, outdoor signs and anything that will be exposed to weather or the dishwasher. Jennifer Maker did a wonderful video where she used small polka dots of every type of permanent vinyl on a cup and left it in her dishwasher for a few weeks. Watch her video here. (This video is great and why reinvent the wheel?)
Here are some of the other things I did with permanent vinyl. The designs are all available in my downloads. Look in the vinyl section for the tutorials here. I have washed them in the dishwasher a few dozen times and they are fine.
NOTE: Do not put permanent vinyl projects in the dishwasher for about a week.
Weeding your Lightbulb Drink Cup Design
These lightbulbs are easy to weed but I will go into detail on how to weed anyway. Weeding is the process of removing all the parts you don’t want. Some people love weeding, some people hate it. For more complex projects I always print or cut a paper copy of your design to help see where to weed. Then that paper copy can be used as an embellishment or a coloring page later.
You will also need a light source. I have a Brightpad by Cricut. (I got mine as a Christmas present.) They are expensive, I know, but you need some type of light source to put under the project. Before I got the Brightpad, I used a LED lamp , a bowl and a piece of glass. It wasn’t high tech but it worked. Any light pad will work. You can find them on Amazon for about $20.
Additionally, you will need a sharp pick. I have a set from Harbor Freight that cost 2 or 3 dollars. I also have just found a pinpen from 651 vinyl that works great too. While you are there look at the weeding ring. It is wonderful! I used to stick the weeded vinyl to my hand but my skin had a reaction to the sticky. The weeding ring solved that.
There really is no “trick” to weeding. You get better at it the more you do. And some projects go better than others. Some manufacturers make what they call easy weed. I haven’t noticed a difference.
I saw a neat idea on Facebook. Rub some baby powder on the vinyl before weeding. It makes the lines stand out so you can see them better but these lightbulbs are easy to weed. I tried it on another project and didn’t even need the Brightpad. Just be sure to wipe the baby powder off before you stick your vinyl to the transfer tape
Transferring Your Lightbulb Drink Cup Design
Once your project is weeded place the transfer tape over the design sticky side down. Rub it very well to attach the vinyl from the backing to the transfer medium. You may need several pieces of painter’s tape but luckily it sticks to itself. Squeegee the painter’s tape to the vinyl with a good deal of pressure with your finger. Then pull up the transfer tape slowly. If pieces don’t stick as you go, replace the transfer tape and rub with your fingernail. You definitely don’t want to go too fast.
Transferring off the transfer tape
Once the vinyl is on the painter’s tape, notice that the vinyl is sticky. Place it over your project. When you have it lined up correctly, squeegee the vinyl to your project with your finger. Pull off the painter’s tape (parallel to your project). Re-squeegee anything that doesn’t come off the transfer tape.
If the thing you are sticking the vinyl to is curved, like this project, slit the painter’s tape between the sections of vinyl, so that it is more flexible. Be careful not to cut the vinyl. It is a try and see type thing.
If you get bubbles, this trick works well. Take a hair drier and heat the vinyl then smooth it out with a squeegee. The heat makes the vinyl flexible and shrinks it a little.
And your Lightbulb Drink Cup is done!