If you’re one of my regular readers you know I’ve been playing around with vinyl sticker art these past few weeks. There are two previous posts describing my Etsy purchases and application processes, Vinyl Sticker Art and Vinyl Update. I created a black & white silhouetted farm theme for my kitchen. This theme was based on cow spotted carpet squares from FLOR I had inherited from family during our apartment move.
Now, we’re focused on creating additional pieces to fill in the nooks and crannies of white wall space around the appliances. There is an unsightly electrical box that became visible after we removed a door that divided the dining room from the kitchen. After sitting around staring at the newly decorated farm animals (and never growing up near animals myself), I was taken back to my middle school days being introduced to George Orwell’s classic dystopian novel “Animal Farm.”
“Animal Farm” tells the allegorical story of Snowball and Napoleon, two pigs that lead a rebellion against the head farmer. They are fulfilling the wishes of Old Major, the eldest and most recently deceased boar of Old Manor Farm. As the animals flourish by managing themselves, Snowball and Napoleon develop a power struggle that ultimately sees Napoleon rising to leader and Snowball fronting a rebellion. Napoleon reacts by purging the farm of the revolutionaries and eventually taking on humanistic traits, walking on his hind legs, drinking whiskey, etc.
Orwell was a democratic socialist that often spoke out against Joseph Stalin and the Revolutionary era, paralleling them to dictatorship culture. In my very abridged summation, “Animal Farm” reflects the ideals of an author that spoke out against a government structure through direct experience and reflection.
Now, back to my kitchen. So as I reminisced about my 7th grade English class, I decided to pay homage to Mr. Orwell and add this quote from the novel to my design, “All Animals Are Equal, But Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others.”
Using canvas purchased from Aaron Brother’s (I love their buy one, get one for 1 cent sale!), I painted a white base to begin the project. Using vinyl sticker paper and our basic vinyl cutter, I created the quote using Garamond font and the cutting program, Sure Cuts A Lot 3: Pro.
Here are quick steps below for a super simple painted canvas design using stickers as templates.
- Using a vinyl plot cutter, vinyl sheet stickers, cutting software (mentioned above), and design software (CorelDraw, Illustrator, free online apps, or any vector-based design software) create a design and save.
- Print design and place transfer sheet on back of sticker sheets.
- Paint base color on canvas. (I used white acrylic paint)
- Place design on canvas. Using rulers, squares, or your own intuition space out your stickers, peel the transfer sheet off and adhere to the canvas.
- Using a hard sponge or squeegee, smooth out stickers.
- Because I wanted white lettering, I re-painted white around the sticker letter edges so that I filled any gaps that would create bleeding of other paint colors later. (In my case, my other color is black. Re-painting white again alleviates black bleed-through). Dry.
- Then paint the outline of the letters black. Dry. Add a second coat.
- Paint the entire canvas black. Dry. Add second coat.
- After drying for a few minutes, wait until the final coat is just “sticky.” Using an X-Acto knife, begin peeling the letters off. Don’t wait until it’s completely dry so that the stickers don’t peel off dry, cracked paint.
- Fully dry overnight and voila, you’ve made your own literary canvas art!
Behold my kitchen art addition and nod to middle school literature!