A quick look through the Repairs/Mods page of this website will show you a number of projects I’ve tackled to personalize my cars. I share that information to inspire you to try something different with your car.
Related Articles: Personalize Your Car With Graphics, Transforming the Family Truckster, Tailgate Customization
What I neglected to emphasize was how inexpensive and easy it is to create new graphics using vinyl wrap. With a little imagination and some patience, you can create a new look for your car. Better yet, vinyl wrap is easy to remove making this a modification you can change often.
Vinyl is a versatile material that you can use to add style and personality to your life–even beyond cars. Most vinyl wraps and films include just about any color, pattern and texture you can imagine.
When you hear the words “vinyl wrap,” do you conjure up thoughts of covering the whole car with vinyl (like the guy in the picture above)? That’s pretty typical, but it can also include the creation of smaller graphics that add detail or highlights. That’s what I’ve been doing to my cars over the past five years or so.
Many Changes Possible
When I bought my Subaru Outback last November, I generally liked the style and color of the vehicle. I wasn’t crazy about the wheels, so ordered a set of tires and wheels from TireRack.com. That helped a lot, but the body seemed lacking so I turned to my old standby–vinyl.
Shown below is the progression of changes made over the past eight months. You’ll notice I did not wrap the whole vehicle, but did focus a lot on the hood and front end:
The last picture is how the Outback looks today. The two different hood designs got old after a couple of months. I thought they were cool at first, but quickly got tired of them. That’s the beauty of vinyl–if you don’t like it, take a heat gun (or hair dryer) to warm up the vinyl. This softens the adhesive and makes for a clean and easy removal.
Inspiration Comes From Many Places
I wanted to try something different with the silver grill bar, so I came up with the hexagon pattern seen above. You never know when or where inspiration strikes. In my case, the hexagon pattern came from the flooring in my shower, and the speaker grills in the Outback doors have a hexagon pattern.
It seemed like the universe was talking to me!
One other thing about the shower tiles. I used one of them to trace the pattern on the vinyl. Yes, each one of those hexagons are hand cut and applied one at a time. It took me about three hours, but it turned out to be a therapeutic exercise as I pieced that puzzle together.
My Source For Vinyl Wrap
Now that you are inspired to try something new, take a look through the VVIVID VINYLS store on Amazon.com. That’s where I buy all of my vinyl.
None of my projects required much vinyl. VVIVID offers all of their colors and textures in 1 foot x 5 foot sections for around $10. That’s proven to be more than enough for my individual creations.
Also, their vinyl comes with “Air Release Technology,” which makes it easy to peel the vinyl off if you aren’t happy with its placement. Once it is down and in place for a few hours, the vinyl is on there for good (or until you heat it up and remove it).
I hope my crazy ideas inspire you to try something new. Let me know if one of my designs speaks to you, or if I missed the mark.
Vinyl graphics, can be cheap, easy and fun to do. If you can think it, you can do it!