Upcycled Vintage Checkerboard


Rusty Avocados - Upcycled Vintage CheckerboardThis was a super simple project that I made using my Cricut Explore. The hardest part was choosing what design to use.

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I began with this vintage wooden checkerboard. It is covered with lots of scratches and marks, but I love that about it. I wanted to display it, but it was begging for a bit of extra something. I thought about putting some kind of cute saying or monogram on it. I looked at some big intricate medallion style designs, but they all seemed to get overwhelmed by the bold checkerboard pattern.

So, I started thinking about the fact that it is a game board. And, it could be used for checkers or chess. And, that’s when I came up with the idea for a crown. I searched “crown” in the Cricut Design Space library and found this crown design. It’s from the Inspired Heart cartridge. The neat thing about Design Space is that I didn’t have to purchase the entire cartridge to get this image. I had a short term subscription this time so I was able to use the image at no cost, but if I hadn’t, it would have only cost me 99 cents to add it to my Cricut image library.

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I sized the image to 11.5 inches and let the Cricut do the work of cutting it out on a sheet of metallic gold Oracal 351 vinyl. I purchased my vinyl from CraftCutterSupply.com.

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Once it was all cut out, I had the fun job of “weeding” which just means removing the pieces of vinyl that I wasn’t going to stick down. I used Cricut’s weeding tool which looks like a dental tool. For more intricate designs, a straight pin works well.

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Once it was all weeded, I cut a piece of contact paper big enough to cover the entire image.

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I used clear contact paper that I picked up at WalMart. I peeled off the paper back and placed the contact paper sticky side down on the vinyl image. Then, I burnished or rubbed the contact paper so that it completely adhered to the vinyl. I keep a Pampered Chef scraper nearby for this purpose. A credit card will also work.

Once it was fully burnished, I slowly lifted the contact paper, checking to see if the vinyl was coming up with it. If not, I placed the contact paper back down and burnished some more. You want to gradually pull up the contact paper until you have removed the entire vinyl image from the backing paper.

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Since the contact paper is clear, it’s easy to see where you are placing your image on the game board. I carefully placed the image as I wanted it, and then burnished over the top of the contact paper again. This time, the goal was to make the vinyl adhere to the game board. It’s much easier to get the vinyl stuck to it’s final home, than to the contact paper! When the image was in place, I carefully pulled the contact paper off. Again, you want to watch to make sure the vinyl is sticking to the game board, and not coming up with the contact paper.

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So simple, but really striking, right? I love that I can get a vintage looking sign, by using a vintage piece that already has so much patina. This will probably be mounted above the mantel in my craft trailer.

Before I purchased my Cricut Explore Air, I had not worked with vinyl. All of my Cricut usage had been limited to paper. The Explore makes it so easy to use different materials, and vinyl is really fun and versatile. If you have the Explore and haven’t done anything with this medium, I would encourage you to give it a shot!




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