bicycle string art

Bicycle String Art (Version II)

I wasn’t crazy how the ‘love your journey’ text turned out in my previous  bicycle string art project so I decided to remove and redo it. I wanted some combination of positive words/text in there and began looking into ways to execute it. Again, I went to my very wise and resourceful husband and he suggested I try vinyl. There were two ways of getting it done: a) make a design and have someone print it on vinyl or b) borrow my sister-in law’s Circut and try DIYing the whole thing. I didn’t even know what a Cricut was but was willing to try it. And so, version two of the bicycle string art project began to take shape. 


P.S. One week later, after having used this A-MAY-ZING machine, I think I’m ready to buy one for myself! So many possibilities! The only downside is the amount of leftover waste it generates, which I’m not a fan of. But I’ve only used it with vinyl. I have a feeling other materials may be less wasteful. So, TBC…


Below are the steps for the vinyl text part… and how I redid the green wood stripe after removing the nails. For instructions on the bike, see the original post here. 

TOOLS AND MATERIALS:

  • pliers
  • pry bar or hammer
  • all purpose joint compound
  • putty knife/ spatula
  • sanding paper
  • rag
  • paint
  • brush
  • measuring tape/ruler
  • Cricut
  • vinyl
  • transfer tape (included with above vinyl)
  • X-acto knife
  • scissors
  • measuring tape
  • A4 paper

Difficulty: Medium

Duration: 5 hours

STEPS:

  • Remove the string around the nails. Then, using pliers, start pulling out the nails from the wood.
  • After the nails are out, sand that portion of the wood. When done, clean it out with a rag. 
  • Now it’s time to fill the nail holes with an all purpose joint compound. Using a putty knife (or spatula) apply the compound over the holes and smooth it out all across the surface you’re covering. Let it dry.
  • Once dried out, take the sanding paper again and sand over to remove any excess. Clean it out with a rag afterwards
  • Reapply a coat of the same colored paint using a brush. Let it dry. Looks like there was nothing there before!
  • Measure the surface you want to cover with the new text and set up a sheet in Word Doc with those dimensions.
  • Start creating your design, using various text fonts and sizes.
  • Print on a test paper and place it over the area it’s supposed to cover. Adjust as needed. Once the dimensions are okay, save it as a picture (I use SnipIt for that).
  • Now, the fun part! This was my first time using a Cricut machine so I had to watch a lot of videos on how to set it up. I suggest you do the same if you’re in that same situation because I’m just doing a high level overview below. I didn’t think ahead to record the steps to set up the machine and print the design, so I’m not able to include them here. Next time! 
  • First import the text picture over into your Cricut projects page. Adjust the dimensions and follow the steps to print on vinyl.
  • Place your vinyl sheet over the sticky mat and start the printing process.
  • When done, use the Xacto knife to cut the unused parts. Remove them from the mat. 
  • Using the weeding tool, slowly remove all the individual parts that are not going to be part of the final design and leave only the text as it’ll appear on the board
  • Slowly remove the text vinyl stripe from the mat.
  • Cut a piece of transfer tape that’s the same size as your vinyl stripe. Separate the sticky part from the backing.
  • Press the clear sticky part  over the vinyl stripe and make sure there are no creases or bubbles.
  • Slowly remove the white backing of the vinyl stripe so the letters/text is the only thing attached to the transfer tape. Go slowly and make sure everything is transferred over.
  • Place the transfer tape over the board in the exact place the design will be and press it on the wood. Use your finger over the text part to make sure it adheres well
  • Slowly start removing the transfer tape away from the wood board, making sure that the letters/characters are staying behind and are glued to the board.
  • And done! 

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