Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Chevron - A smarter, faster & more effective way!

Hello All!
After lots of searching on Pinterest for a "how to" on Chevron, I realized it could be done a lot easier than all the tutorials I found. I am certainly not saying any method doesn't take time and patience, but I think you'll see this way makes far more sense. I have included lots of pictures of my project to help illustrate the steps. Keep in mind, for any chevron project, measuring and being accurate are key to a great final product. Prepping correctly will save you time later. By using this method, you will also have a chevron template to use for any future projects, or to let a friend borrow for their project (You might want to barter something else from them for your time!)

Ready to make this?!


Materials:
1 - 24''x36'' blank canvas, or canvas size of your choice
1 Roll of Scotch Blue Painters Tape . Buy the width of tape you want your stripes to be. I used 1 1/2''.
Choice of main paint color
1 small container of touch up paint color (white)
1 foam paint brush
1 small detail paint brush, for touch ups
Xacto Knife
Cutting mat
Metal ruler(s)
1 metal "L" square if you have it (this really helps with accuracy)
Triangular ruler
1 standard poster board (28''x22")
Scissors
Mechanical Pencil
Covered painting surface, such as cardboard or newsprint

Creating the Template:

1)-Begin by cutting poster board in half horizontally. Tape edges together, board should now be 56'' wide x 11" high. This will become your chevron template.
-Using the triangular ruler, begin outlining the "bottom" of your first chevron. Align the bottom edge of the poster board (factory cut edge) with the bottom edge of the triangle, placing the center of the triangular ruler in the center of the poster board. (Where you taped the two pieces together).
-Trace the inside two lines of the triangle onto the poster board. Moving to either side, continue tracing the inside of the triangle. Always align the ruler with the bottom edge, this will assure your lines are at the exact same spot vertically as you create the design. Your pattern should like like the below picture.
- Continue this process across the whole bottom of the poster board.

Creating the "bottom" edge of the chevron on the template

2) Getting ready to create the "top" of the chevron: The width of the chevron should be the exact same width as your painters tape. ex: 1 1/2''. Assuming your ruler is less than 1 1/2'', and too make the marking simple, and perfectly accurate cut 1 strip of tape and place it on your ruler. Use another ruler to measure how wide 1 1/2'' is. Keep one free edge of the ruler, and the other edge should have a slight overlap of tape. (I used my triangle ruler for this and had about 1/4'' overlap.) Now, when you align your ruler with the "bottom" edges you will have the exact width you need! Align the tape edge of the ruler with the lines your just created and begin marking the "top" edge of the chevron. Erase any lines that extend "into" the chevron. Your design should begin looking like the below two image.

Creating the "top" edge of the chevron. Starting in the center of the poster board.



Beginning of the chevron design.


3) Checking alignment: Using an "L" square draw vertical lines straight up through the points in the chevron (see picture). Your line should go perfectly through both the "top" and "bottom" of the chevron. If it doesn't make slight adjustments to your line. I only had to adjust 1 or 2 of mine, and it was only by 1/8'' or so. The more accurate you can get this to be, the better your final design will be.

Cutting out the design


4) After you have adjusted any lines as necessary, being cutting out the chevron.

5) Your template is now created!

A Chevron template




6) Marking the board: Place template onto the canvas and align in the vertical center and horizontal center. Tape the template to the canvas using painters tape. Check the height is exactly the same in 3 spots (both sides and the center).  Mine was placed 22 cm up from the bottom (Sorry, patternmaking rulers use cm!) Adjust tape placement until all 3 spots have the exact same measurement.

Taping right side of template at 22 cm


Taping right side of template at 22 cm


Taping center of template at 22 cm


7) Ready to trace: Lightly trace along all edges of your placed chevron. (Sorry this one is a little hard to see, the lines are faint.)

A fully traced design



8) Keep tracing: move the template up and align all poster edges to the drawn edges of the first chevron (first picture below). Tape template in place. Trace outer edge.

Two things to note: 
1) Using this method you will not trace this design on the entire board all at once. By tracing, then taping it eliminates lots of pencil lines, which equates for less mess you will need to fix later!!!

2) Canvas edges - I choose to wrap my design to the sides, top and bottom. If you choose to do this, don't forget to trace the template onto those small side areas, also.

Placing the template above the first traced design


Again, sorry it is hard to see! Two traced chevrons

9) Getting ready to tape...After some brief trial and error on the best way to get the tape pieces the exact length I need, I came up with this highly effective method. By the way, scissors will not cut it for this part of the project, no pun intended. Get out the Xacto! The picture below shows how I effectively cut each piece of tape to the correct length. I first taped my "L" square to my cutting mat, aligning it with one of the top lines. Then I placed each piece of tape parallel to the "L" square. Next, square your other ruler to the "L" square to create a perfect 90 degree angle. Slice the tape on the line. My measure was 11 1/4 cm as you can see below. The tape is cut at perfect 90 degree angels on both sides.

Tape cutting assembly process


10) Determine your tape measurement: Depending on the width of the tape you selected, and that you are more than likely using an inches ruler, your number will be different. Measure the inside of one side of the chevron, this will be your new magic number.

11) Start cutting and taping away your first chevron. When placing the tape, place to the outside of the pencil line, this is really only like 1/36''... The pencil line will be covered up by paint. Keep this concept in mind as you tape out the rest of the board. Your tape pieces will overlap in the corners of each chevron.

First taped design 




12) After you have taped out the first chevron design, place your stencil above it. Align all edges, and center points, tape in place. Trace top edge.

Moving the template up to trace the next design



13) Continue with this method as you cover the entire canvas. Note how many less pencil lines you have than other methods :  )

Fully taped canvas




14) Seal edges: Press all tape edges down very firmly by hand. Repeat using a credit card. This is a very important step!

 15) Start Painting, Finally!! Use straight, even strokes to cover up the canvas. It works best if you work horizontally across the canvas. In each horizontal design I did up/ down/ up/ down (left to right) to create even paint lines.

Painting the canvas



16) Let first coat dry completely. Repeat with second, and third coats. I did 4 coats on mine because I wanted a very dark gold color. The coat number will depend on the type of paint and color you are using. Be sure paint dries between coats.

17) WAIT...Hardest part!! Wait 24 hours (or close to it) before removing the tape. The first one was scary, and then after I saw how cool it looked, really, really exciting!! Keep taking them off and have fun.

18) I saved my tape in "v" form, in hopes I can reuse them for another chevron. Stay tuned on that one... (my husband laughed, too).

19) Voila!!!

Finished canvas before touch ups

20) You will notice above if you look closely a few spots where the paint got through. No biggie, this may happen. Simply take a fine paintbrush and touch up the necessary spots.

21) Enjoy your artwork!!

Finished Project!!! YEAH!



Hopefully you find this method to be effective, and my tutorial helps you create a masterpiece of your own! Aren't you glad you don't have to go back and erase or cover up tons more pencil lines in the white area?! Me, too!




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