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Make Your Own Decals

Shashank Nakate
Decals are decorative stickers or markers pasted on items of day-to-day use, accessories, vehicles, etc. You can make your own decals with the help of different tools.
There are different ways that you could use to create you own decals. Although decals are available in a large variety in the market, it is better to make your own decals at home so as to customize them.
Using your creativity in the preparation of customized decals can lead to better results. This way, you can have designs you prefer; this activity also helps in exercising your skills.


The decals, also known as 'transfers', are made of cloth, paper, plastic or ceramic substrate. The term 'decal' is the short form of the word 'decalcomania' Their surfaces possess an imprinted pattern, which could be transferred onto other surfaces by means of water or heat.
The water decals have many different types such as 'water-dip', 'water-slide' and the 'peel-and-stick'. The peel-and-stick ones are the custom vinyl decals. These vinyl decals are also referred to as 'vinyl-cut-decals'. Vinyl is basically a petroleum-based product.
Decals are mostly used for decorating the surface of vehicles like motorcycles, cars, trucks and even guitars among many other things.
Decals are not just used for decorative purpose. These designs can also be used for identifying Government vehicles. Nowadays, the design patterns for decals are made with the help of computer software.

Making Your Own Decals

Creating decals is a nice way to express yourselves and also to mark important things. A software program is one of the best tools that you could use in making decals. A software called 'Adobe Photoshop' is commonly used for making decals. Such type of photo-editing software products can be downloaded from the company website.
After one click on the 'download' link, installation gets completed in a matter of minutes. Once the given process is completed, you can head on to making decals.
When you open the software, you should proceed by clicking on the 'File' and 'New' buttons. Dimensions for the decals should then be selected. The commonly used decals have a length of 10 inches and they are 3 inches wide. The minimum resolution for decals need to be 300 DPI.
Background color for decals should be chosen from the available range of colors. You can choose from a variety of colors by clicking on the color button that is on the right side of the screen. The 'paint bucket' option helps in filling the desired color in the decal.
'T' option allows to customize the size, font and color of the text. Once the design is completed, it can be uploaded to a suitable website. With the help of such websites, decal design can be pasted on items of choice such as mugs, teddy bears, T-shirts, etc.
The rub-on decals are generally used by children for their craft projects. These decals can be designed with the help of software. Once the design is prepared, its mirror image is created.
At the time of printing, this mirror image would appear like the original design. The drying of ink used for printing takes about 15-20. The decals can be immediately used after drying.

Printing Decals at Home

For the activity of printing decals at home, you should have the following tools and materials: inkjet printer, decal paper, decal bonder, etc. The decal paper can be printed with the desired pattern or design by means of an inkjet printer. After the process gets completed, the paper is coated with a decal bonder.
The second coat is applied after a period of 20 minutes. The paper is allowed to cure for about 24 hours after applying the second coat. It is then cut with scissors to offer the desired shape.
The decal should be kept in warm water for about 30 seconds and then placed on the surface where it has to be pasted. The decal setting solution must be applied to the paper after it is properly positioned in the desired place. Multiple coats of this solution need to be applied if required. The solution should then be allowed to dry.
Along with information about making decals, you would also want to know how remove them. It is possible that after pasting a decal on a surface, you may change your mind and would want to remove it. Many different ways starting from heating to vinegar application are used for removing the decals.
Making your own decals is quite a fun-filled and enjoyable activity. You can display your creativity in the process of preparing nice and decorative decals. The basics of decal preparation that are presented here should be useful for readers.