Monday, 4 July 2016

Wedding Clapperboard Photo Prop & Table Decoration

Janet here again,  trying out a new (to me) product, the Silhouette Chalkboard Vinyl, using the super 3d clapperboard box file by Studio Illustrado from the Silhouette Design Store (#121403). I made this one for an important upcoming wedding, but it could be used for a birthday or anniversary, or as the centre-piece for a BAFTA or OSCAR party. In fact, perfect to use at any event which is a 'production'!

BEST of all - because you can write on the vinyl in chalk (which rubs away without a trace) you can make this ONCE and use it for ALL of them!

Make the Clapperboard Box with Chalkboard Vinyl

Silhouette chalkboard vinyl
Black heavy-weight cardstock (12" x 12", or A3)
Silver metallic card (hinge)
Black gloss cardstock (Screw heads)
White medium-weight cardstock (hinge reinforcers and diagonal stripes)
Glossy permanent vinyl in white (grid and wording)
Washi, painter's or micropore tape
Fabric adhesive
Strong paper adhesive

The designer has helpfully provided a video tutorial on how to put the box together which can be accessed via the clapperboard's description in the store. I'll just show you my 'tweaks' and tips, with a little tutorial on how to make the custom grid and wording that I used.

Step 1: Preparing the file

To get a bigger box, and consequently have a bigger writing area, enlarge the design. To do this align the file (still grouped) with the largest piece over the cutting mat and drag a corner drag handle (bottom left) to as large as it will go yet still fit the biggest piece on the media (whilst holding down the shift key). My constraint was the black card size (A3).  The largest piece ended up at just under 12" square.
Tip: Add a little thumbnail picture of the finished design (top right), using a screen shot, to act as a guide.

Check all the pieces will fit (once I'd rotated the larger lid piece, it barely fit on A3, but was an easy fit on 12"x12"). You'll noticed I coloured the file pieces  according to the media (see materials used list), just to remind myself what I'm doing! I added hinge reinforcement pieces  in white and reversed 2 hinge pieces (one outer, one reinforcer) as my metallic card is only metallic on one side.

STEP 2: Preparing the media

Now it works out just fine that the large piece fits on a 12' square, because the width of the chalkboard vinyl is 12" and this piece is the only one that needs to have a chalkboard covering. If you are using A3 black card, cut it at 12" long (almost 12" square) and cover this sheet with chalkboard vinyl. To adhere the vinyl, just remove a little of the backing sheet, align it with the top edge of the card and then smooth it on, pulling off the backing as you go. Simple - not an air bubble in sight! Trim any extra vinyl and it's ready to be cut on the Cameo.

STEP 3: Cutting the media

Cut all the media at it's usual settings, remembering to test cut any media that you haven't cut before. Of course you will be unlikely to have cut cardstock covered in chalkboard vinyl before! The double layer is quite thick and so secure the edges in a few places with some tape (micropore tape is my latest discovery, but any removable tape works). I used my normal settings for heavy-weight card stock, but it didn't quite cut through, so (without removing the mat from the machine) adjust the blade as necessary and cut again.
Tip: Don't panic if it hasn't cut right through and you've already removed the mat! You have excellent guide lines for trimming with scissors or a knife.

Oh, and keep the vinyl covered cutting scraps; they are useful for practicing your chalk handwriting.

Chalkboard Vinyl mounted on Heavy-weight cardstock scrap for chalk writing practice. Janet Packer
Make, cut and adhere your vinyl grid, if you remember, before you assemble the box.  If you want use the grid provided skip to Step 5. However, in Step 5 I'll show you how to design your own grid, add wording and leave a little more room for your chalk hand lettering.

STEP 4: Preparing the Grid (step-by-step)

Move your pieces around to get an idea of how the box will look when finished. I've put the grid on one of the box faces (both faces are the same size) and positioned the lid by the amount it will overlap when in place.

This is the grid I designed. The layout is a little different from the original. The lines are a little thinner, and I've added the words that I didn't want to write in chalk. Oh ...  and I've rotated it.

It only takes a few minutes to design a new grid. Here's what to do...
Draw a rectangle to represent the boundaries of your vinyl grid (shown in blue).

Draw another rectangle the size of the required long lines for the grid. Make fine adjustments using the Scale window (with Lock Aspect un-ticked).
,br /s.

Make three more lines using the Replicate Window and 'Row of Four'.

Using the keyboard arrow keys, move the lowest rectangle to the bottom of the box, and the highest to the top. The blue box can be now deleted. Select all four rectangles and then space them evenly by opening the Align window and then click on Space Vertically.

To make the two vertical lines copy one of the horizontal lines (select one horizontal line, right click and select Duplicate). Move the duplicate away a little, select it and then open the Scale window. Deselect the Lock Aspect box and change the width to a little over an inch (I used 1.13"). 

Rotate the rectangle 90° (open Rotate Window, choose 90° either direction) between the bottom two lines. Duplicate it (Open Replicate window, choose Duplicate Right).  Move the lines around until you are happy with the placement. To make this part of the grid into just one piece, select the four pieces shown, open the Modify window and select Weld.

For the wording use a clean simple font (I used the pre-installed Ariel font) and type the larger words in about 35pt, stretching them a little taller. Type the smaller words in Ariel at 18pt bold.  Align both by eye.  To save losing tiny pieces of the small letters, when weeding and in use, weld them onto the grid. I used. Select all three of the small words, ungroup them (Object > Ungroup), then select the welded part of the grid as well and weld them together (open Modify window and select Weld).

Group everything together (select, Object > Group) and draw a box around them to assist with weeding. Now it's ready to be cut and weeded (removing the excess pieces). Cut two if you want to make your box double-sided.

STEP 5: Assembling the box

Apply the vinyl to the main box piece on the chalkboard face using transfer paper. Rub well with a flat edged item such as the Silhouette scraper before carefully removing the transfer paper.  Assemble this piece using a strong glue (I use fabric glue, paper glue may not be up to the task of sticking the vinyled chalkboard side).

Assemble the remaining pieces using strong paper glue. The designer has provided a useful assembly video (the link is in the Silhouette Store). 

Here is the completed box demonstrating the hinge on the upper part of the lid.

This is such a fun project that I hope you find an occasion where you can make and use one of these. Enjoy!

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  1. Looks so professional, great job Janet. Off to buy me some micro pore tape now!