This project ranks right up there with Aslan and the Wardrobe as one of my very favorite design details in Narnia. And even more clearly than either of them, it speaks to the reason at the heart of our project: Why Narnia?
I discovered eBuySigns.com while searching online for vinyl wall words. Reviews on their website say they are lots cheaper than all their competitors. Their “wall lettering” page claims to provide “Wall lettering made easy” and “Free shipping over $25.” Believe me, IT’S ALL TRUE! Once I had designed my wall words in a few easy steps with the design tool, I went to half a dozen other sites and put in the same parameters. EBuySigns’ price (under $40) was less than every other competitors’ price of $100 -$200.
The design tool lets you choose your own font, the number of lines you want, the height and width of your final product and your font color, as well as highlights and borders to tweak the appearance of your lettering. You can see your final product on a background color similar to your own wall color.
One tip I would offer is this: If you have a long quote (as I did), it works better if you copy and paste your quote in line by line. I tried pasting my entire quote, and it appeared smushed and impossible to read. When I called the helpline, a friendly tech told me to break the quote into lines, and it instantly appeared the way I wanted it. Once that was done, I was able to play with arranging the lines in different ways, as well as making the sign higher or wider until I got it exactly right.
I ordered the sign, and a few days later it arrived, safely packaged in a sturdy cardboard tube.
Jenny and Jean-Marc were already here for Christmas, so I pressed them into service as Official Photographer and Assistant Sign Applicator. One question I had wondered about was whether the size indicated online would be the size of the sheet or the actual size of the letters. If you’re working with a limited space, this question becomes very important. The design tool seemed to indicate that there would be a border of paper around the letters, so I ordered accordingly. As you can see from the photo above, this was indeed the case.
Applying the sign was just as easy as the tech and the website claimed, and the instruction sheet that came with the sign was simple and easy to follow. This post will illustrate in detail the steps we went through, beginning with (1) Position the sign on the wall, making sure it is level. While Jean-Marc held the sign, I got on a ladder and measured so that Jean-Marc could level the sign as needed.
(2) Apply a piece of (masking) tape as a hinge across the top of the sign. (At this stage, we double-checked our measurements.) Once we were sure the sign was level, Jean-Marc removed the corner pieces of tape.
(3) Lift the sign, holding it in place by the tape-hinge, and begin to remove the backing paper. I began loosening the backing paper at the top left corner.
(4) Steadily pull the backing paper loose while holding the sign away from the wall.
(5) Completely remove the backing paper, still holding the sign away from the wall. That’s the easy part done! The next part was easy, too, but a little scary–made less so by eBuySign’s guaranteed application!
(6) Lower the sign against the wall and begin to adhere it at the top center. (The letters themselves are the only adhesive part of the sign. They are held in place by the cover paper while the adhesive is protected by the backing paper.)
(7) Using a credit card (maybe the one you paid with!), begin to press the sign firmly against the wall, working outwards and downwards to smooth away any air pockets.
(8) At this point we added another step: Using your fingers, apply firm pressure to any areas that appear more opaque (indicating a lack of adhesion to the wall). We found that fingers could exert more concentrated pressure than the edge of a credit card, while being gentle enough not to tear the paper.
You may note the crescent of blue wall that appears at the top of the sign (left of my hand). I inadvertently left out the right-hand parenthesis and was dismayed to see only the left-hand parenthesis on my sign–despite careful proof-reading. The solution was as simple as cutting out the offending parenthesis with a scissors before beginning installation of the sign!
Now comes the fun part!
(9) Begin removing the cover paper from the lettering by pulling away the tape along with the attached cover paper. Our hints for this step are to GO SLOWLY and to WATCH CAREFULLY where you are pulling. There were a few spots where the sticky lettering had not been adequately adhered to the wall, and I could see them actually pulling off on the cover paper. It was very easy to stop pulling and apply extra pressure at those spots to make sure the lettering was stuck to the wall before proceeding.
(10) Continue removing the paper, working across the top of the sign from left to right.
(11) Once the top of the sign is free of the cover paper, continue pulling steadily downwards to remove the paper.
(12) Hold your breath in anticipation as your sign is nearly revealed in all its beauty! (Just try to skip this step!)
(13) Turn and face the camera so your Official Photographer can catch the triumphant grins you have applied to your faces at the same time you applied your beautiful eBuySign to the wall!
(14) Be sure your Official Photographer zooms in for a close-up of your amazing sign …
(15) … and don’t forget to have her zoom out to get the full effect of your quote.
That’s all there is to it! I promise you, it took me twice as long to write this tutorial as it took to apply my sign, and it will take you longer to read the tutorial than it will take you to follow these steps to your own customized, unbeatably-priced, unique wall words.