Making Memorial Car Decals
Have you ever stopped at a red light and noticed the car in front of you has one of those awesome memorial decals on its window? I have! I’ve always wondered where they got it. Soon after I got my Cricut I realized how just how easy they are to make and thought I would share it with you.
You will need the following items
- Cricut Machine or Similar
- 12 x 12 sheet of Permanent Outdoor rated Vinyl in your color choice (I like to use white or lighter colors, but I have made some by request in black that turned out great also)
- SVG File or Image of your choosing
- Weeding Tools (I like to use an Exacto Knife to cut away excess vinyl)
- Transfer Tape (I always use clear for easier application)
- Instruction Sheet for Applying decal if you’re gifting or selling
When deciding on a design for the personalized memorial car decal I always try to think about the person that has passed on and what they enjoyed doing when they were here with us. There are a lot of options for customizing your decal, such as hunting, fishing, motorcycles, sports etc. If you’re having a hard time deciding, there are also a lot of generic ones that you can choose from. I found several that I liked on Creative Fabrica.
The one I chose to make honoring my brother in-law, I purchased from Etsy. He loved his motorcycle, and I knew it would have special meaning for my sister.
Once you decide on your design, download your file to Cricut Design and fill in the details such as name and dates. This is where you can add other things as well, such as Beloved Father, Husband etc. I decided to keep it simple with just his name and dates. Size your design according to how big you want it. For this one I really wanted to make a statement, so I went with approximately 10.9 wide and 9.4 for the height.
I did test it in the back window just to make sure it did not block the drivers view and found it worked fine for her car. That may not be the case for all cars so keep that in mind when deciding on what size to make. This one was on the large size.
Now you’re ready to cut your decal.
Make sure to Group and Attach before cutting. When cutting decals, I always choose Premium Outdoor Vinyl for my material setting and More for the pressure setting. A little tip I learned that I found extremely helpful is to cut it twice. When the first cut is finished, do not remove your mat, just push the Cricut button again. This will make weeding so much easier, and you will get those nice crisp lines. If you forget this step and removed the mat, you’ll just have to forget the second cut. It’s impossible to line it up again once you remove it.
Go ahead and weed your design. I prefer to leave the entire backing on or trim it uniformly, so it looks neat and professional. With this design I just left the entire 12×12 white backing on. After weeding away all the excess (this is where the exacto knife comes in handy) it’s time to apply your transfer tape. I prefer to use clear transfer tape for all my decals. It’s helpful if you can see the image through the transfer tape when trying to line it up or center it.
When I send out my personalized decals, I always include an Instruction card or sheet. There is nothing worse than having someone tell you the decal failed because it was not applied correctly.
Here is a sample of what I use.
- Make sure your surface is clean and free of dirt and oil. I recommend wiping down the area with Rubbing Alcohol.
- Do not use cleaners. They leave behind a residue that the decal does not like.
- Let your surface completely dry.
- When removing your white backing from the decal, lift at one corner and gently remove at an angle making sure that all the decal is sticking on the tape. If some areas are wanting to come up, lay the backing paper back down and with a card (a credit card works great) gently smooth over the surface, making sure to pay attention to the area that was not sticking and try again.
- Once you have removed the white backing paper your decal is ready to apply.
- Make sure you have figured out exactly where you are placing it. You will only get one try. Once any part of the decal touches the surface it will stick! Be careful!
- Before removing the tape from the decal take the card (credit card) starting from the center moving out to the corners smooth over the entire decal. Be sure to pay attention to any air bubbles. If you are having trouble removing all the bubbles you can use a pin and pop them.
- Once you have went over the entire decal with the card, it is time to remove the tape. Start at the corner and gently pull the tape off at an angle. If any of the decal is pulling up, lay the tape back over it and use the credit card to secure it back down to the window.
- You now have a beautiful decal that should last for many years!
I print it on colorful card stock and embellish it with decorative element from clip art. I can usually get 4 Instruction cards per sheet. You can use a regular printer or the Cricut if you want. When I send it out to someone who has paid me, I think its nice to include a Thank You at the bottom of the Instruction card.
There you have it! I hope you enjoy making decals and personalizing them for your friends and family.