Tuesday, August 27, 2013


I know you're not surprised that I didn't actually make my goal to post about my white board vinyl on Sunday.  All I have to say about that is I've been getting lots done, and I am super, super, pooped. 

I did promise you vinyl though, so here I am to share a little more of my madness with you.

A couple weeks ago I contacted the Vinyl Magician, Janae from Thoughts in Vinyl, and I asked her if she could cut some vinyl for me to make this grid set-up for my daily agenda. I knew I didn't want it all in one piece because a) it would have been a nightmare to put up, and b) I'm not an octopus.

Sad as I am about lacking those six extra arms, I'm a realist, so I asked Janae if she could cut me a bunch of strips of vinyl that I could piece together into a grid. Don't worry, I knew what I was getting myself into and I braced myself for the fun to come.

Half the battle is in the mental preparation. Like bracing myself for Monday on Sunday evening.

Once I mentally prepared myself for the process, step one, was to map everything out with measurements. It was pretty handy working with a white board because I just wrote my measurements and guideline grid lines right on the board. I used a wet erase marker for those lines so they wouldn't wipe off when I touched them.

Obviously my title went up first. When doing vinyl I always work from the top down. I don't know if that's the best way, it's just the way I do it. 

I used a level to drop my vertical lines, and I taped each of them a few inches at a time while alternately checking that they were still straight. 

Once the vinyl was completely taped on one side, I was comfortable enough to pull the backing off and apply the vinyl.

I did all my vertical lines first, and then I moved to the titles.

I took some pictures of the process for applying the lettering. I like to first tape my titles where I plan to apply them, making sure that they are level.

Next, I like to cut each large piece into manageable sized pieces to work with, making sure to use lots of tape so everything stays lined up. This is maybe not the best way to do it, but it works for me, a person who is mishap prone.

This picture shows how I've cut the vinyl title into two separate lines, and then taped them to the board. Notice I didn't tape at the bottom, and there's a reason for that. I leave the bottom unfettered so I can remove the sticker backing paper and apply the vinyl to the board.

Instead of applying the whole piece at once, I cut the word "ESSENTIALS" into three more pieces and applied each section individually, starting with pulling the vinyl and transfer tape away from the sticker backing paper. 

Once I separate the transfer tape and the vinyl from the sticker backing paper, I let the backing paper drop to the floor. I'm a messy worker and cleaning up after myself is for later. 

Next I smoothed the transfer tape with the vinyl back onto the board.

Now comes the fun part.

I pulled the transfer tape away from the white board S-L-O-W-L-Y, making sure the vinyl stayed on the white board and not on the transfer tape.

I kept going, getting more excited with each new section.

One down, three to go.

This is where I stopped on Thursday. Believe it or not, this took me about three hours to do.

I stopped here because I knew the next day was going to be TEDIOUS, yes, all caps, because I had a lot of long horizontal lines left to do.

I'm generally pretty anal about using a level when applying vinyl, especially for a project like this. If I would have measured from one line to the next for placement of the vinyl, if even one line were off just the smallest little bit, then subsequent lines would've only gotten progressively worse. By using a level for each line independent of the one before it, even if every line is off a tinsy little bit, the effect isn't cumulative because one line isn't dependent on the last.

Does that even make any sense?

It's cumulative chaos vs. controlled chaos.

That's what I'm talkin' about.

My lines aren't perfect, but you can't even tell unless you are right up on it, looking for the slip.

And you're not, are you?


  1. Seriously swooning over your board...I love it!

    1. Thanks Jenny. I love it it too, except on Monday when I have to write the whole week's schedule down. I should have maybe thought that one through a little better. :)

  2. Looks terrific-and I love your bad ass nails too!

    1. Why thank you. My nails are merely a distraction. Wink wink.

  3. From one OCD teacher to another it looks awesome. That's the kind of time and effort you will appreciate every time you look at your board. Totally worth it. And let's talk about your adorable nail polish. Love it!

  4. Looks great! What patience you have:-)

    1. No Ellie, it's a disease. Promise. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

  5. It looks GREAT! My Instructional Technology team all used to office together in a classroom with a big whiteboard. We put up 3 months of calendars on one board. This was before the era of vinyl cutter, so we went to an auto parts store and bought pin striping for the lines of the calendar. It comes in rolls like tape, so it was fairly easy to put up. Of course, measuring and getting the lines straight were quite challenging. If you ever need to do another grid, it might be a bit cheaper.

    1. Interesting that you would mention that, Cindy. I did contemplate going the auto pin striping route, but the vinyl allowed me to position it before I committed. Also, it has held up for more than a year now, and it still looks great.

  6. What grade/subject do you teach?