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I Taw a Putty Tat

October 25, 2013

Ahem.. I was saying… I Thought I Saw a Pussy Cat… but, actually, I did not…

A colleague got married few months ago . The happy couple asked, as a wedding present, a contribution for their honeymoon. In the office we raised some funds, but we wanted also to give something more “tangible”. so, we decided to get them two trolleys with a matching design. We thought it was easy… She loves Tweety, and we found a canary-yellow trolley with a Tweety design on it; however, when we inquired if there was also a Sylvester black trolley to make a couple, the answer was, sadly, no. Nor it could be possible to trace a Sylvester trolley anywhere… Not even a Sylvester sticker, a Sylvester decal, a Sylvester cardboard print, a Sylvester napkin, a Sylvester whatever.

sylvester_materials_small sylvester_baselayer_small sylvester_nose_small

So, after some planning, I decided to step in, and propose to buy a black trolley, and make a Sylvester sticker with stencils, adhesive plastic sheets and a lot of patience. So, I searched the web for a suitable image of Sylvester face, printed it on paper, and used it as a reference for tracing its contours. Stencil stickers are simple: you just have to divide the image you want to copy in layers, one for each color, cut shapes from the adhesive plastic stickers and layer them one on top of the other, until the image is reconstructed. In this case, since the base color of the trolley is black (as the cat), i could use this as the black layer for the body, but when cutting the white layer, I also had to add an outline for some of the black parts of the figure. On top of this large and complex shape, I added the white eye, the ears and the red nose. I had to cut _a lot_, using a sharp hobby knife.

By trial and error, I discovered that the easiest way to transfer the layers from the sheet to the object is by using paper tape. Since there are a lot of small details and islands in the design, having a way to keep all small parts in position is a great plus. So, after cutting, lay down some masking tape IN THE FRONT of the adhesive sheet; then reverse it and peel the backside protection. In this way, even an extremely fragmented design will be a single coherent sheet, easier to be placed and flattened on its final destination. After placing it down and pushed firmly on the target surface, the masking tape will peel off easily, leaving the stencil intact.

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After laying down all the layers, I added an additional transparent layer for protection. I know….With the way the trolleys are generally handled, the decoration will not last a lifetime (a cat may well have 9 lives, but its image does not).. however, it was a good present, and has been appreciated by the happy couple.

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