Since 2016 I have stayed with theCraftNGo. I work, teach, demo and judge at events all over the EU and further, in public & in the face & body art and beauty industry, as well as at festivals, so have seen many variations of kit boxes over the years and think this is the best& toughest available just now for free-lance face-painters.
Makeup artists who face paint face different environments mostly so don’t bite my head off, I’ve just seen too many of the fancy makeup rolling stations suffer on rough ground and outside bookings to want one. And tough/ portable as the lovely Zuca bags are, at that price I don’t want to waste time pulling out lots of wee bags of paint to still then need a table and to have to set it all out.
I originally covered the inner grey metal base plates with sticky back black vinyl, which I have done with many kits, etc, as it looks smarter and stains less. I do a lot of clubs, adult events and corporate gigs, and they usually ask for a plain black setup.
However as the inner lid had had mirrors etc magnetized onto it, I had never covered it in vinyl, and after several years of constant use, it had stains that wouldn’t come off. The vinyl was a bit nicked and stained too, so I peeled it all off easily and got ready to start again.
I have loads of ‘nice’ craft vinyls I use in my Cricut for art projects and other bookings – my current fave is this stunning holographic pearl in all its shades which I often sell as a laptop decal (not this design, this was my test with a non-original pattern). But I know how easily that scratches and wanted tougher, cheaper, larger sheets for this.
I’ve still a large roll of the black gloss vinyl but fancied a change, so searched on ebay. LOADS of options! I went for a 3 for 2 offer on glitter gloss vinyl, 610 mm x1 meters each, which worked out at £10 a roll including some new squeegees. It is cheaper if you buy a big bulk roll as I did for the black gloss (still loads left and its done about 4 kits plus assorted signs) but I wanted to see these in real life first. You can get cheaper but I wanted it fast as I have bookings I need to use my kit at.
I went for black, silver and green holographic glitter, incase I went green as I mainly work for Paintopia when not on my own bookings and thats the Paintopia green.
I decided I liked the black for the base plates which see the most use, and the silver best in the lid as it would reflect light onto the paint, helpful in darker bookings even when I have my lights etc.
If you ever had to cover school books in clear sticky back plastic (aka Fablon) this is the same idea.
Sorry for the wibbly videos & lack of proper time-lapse, our builder stacked giant mirror sliding doors in front of my cupboard so I can’t get my tripod out atm.
And now for that a wee bit slower!
1 – Draw around each bit you want covered, leaving a 1 inch at least wider border when you cut it out. The back of the carrier sheet is usually gridded papery stuff so easy to cut out/ draw on.
2 – Make sure your metal plate is clean. You can either do this dry if you are used to it/ its an easy flat shape, or drip or spray a little water or weak soapy water onto the metal. This means you can slide the vinyl around a bit so it is easier.
3 – If you have it, put a spare non-stick surface under the metal sheet so the overhanging edges of what you are adding won’t stick to your table. (Makes it all more awkward). Place your cut bit vinyl side up over the metal plate, making sure it is centred.
4 – Starting at 1 corner or edge, peel a little of the backing off the vinyl to stick it to the metal. Hold that corner of metal & vinyl and make sure the peeled off backing is rolling off the other side. Start slowly, methodically, pushing at the ‘join’ where the rest of the sheet is meeting the metal. It sort of slowly peels/ forces itself off and unrolls onto the metal, hard to describe!
I used my hand, a soft cloth or a soft edged squeegee so as not to scratch the vinyl for this.
5 – Inspect. Even if you haven’t used the wet application method you can sometimes unstick and reposition the vinyl to get rid of any air bubbles, but squeegee as many out as you can. Or make a TINY prick in the middle of each bubble to release the air, and flatten.
6- Flip over to the back of your metal plate, you should have a nice edge border of sticky silvery vinyl showing. Cut 45 degree angles at any bends and then lots of strips around curves/ bends.
7 – Pulling towards the centre of the metal, pull the longer flatter flaps along straight edges tight to the edge and stick down. Repeat with all the wee corner strips.
8 – If, unlike me, you need both sides covered, cut another sheet of vinyl exactly to the size of the metal (or lightly smaller – the central strip that holds the metal plates in place will catch and push any open edges), and stick down on the ‘back’ using the same method. Glossy plain vinyl really shows any imperfections under it, so you may want to trip your stuck -over edges neatly if you do that.
The lid is harder so definitely wet application method! (I do all my car decals this way). Measure and cut a sheet of vinyl a good few inches larger than needed.
Spray the inside of the lid, peel and stick 1 corner or the top edge (leaving overlap where you started), and squeegee diagonally.
When happy with positioning, get rid of any bubbles (none this time, yay).
Push the vinyl as close into all edges and corner as you can, it will ‘frill’.
Using a sharp craft knife, make little cut in the frill down to the edge / corner of the inner lid. Sort of like the hospital corners on the boards wrapping. This will let the ‘frill’ relax so you can flatten it to the sides of the lid.
Using a sharp knife trim the flattened ‘frill’ neatly or even just cur around the inner lid board. I left a bit of an edge as theres glue etc caught in the seams I could see from earlier incarnations of my craft n go kit.
That is as far as I have got so far. I’m waiting on new clamshell paint holder inserts (I sold my old ones a few years back), and a flexible LED light strip and El-wire this time, as they are all much cheaper now.
My brushes are currently usually stuck onto the lid with magnets on their handles but I want to change that. I’ve tried brush stands, brush bars, foam , etc and not been completely happy with anything over the years. So I’m trialling the sticky pad brush holders from Real Techniques.
They have those ‘magic’ sticky pads, allegedly clinging to any smooth clean surface once left to cure for 24 hours. The long grey multi brush holder has held on full of brushes so far (will have to see if it can stand them being pulled on and off at a gig), but the hideous pink pocket one fell off with 2 brushes in it after a few hours so I’ll be complaining about that…
I have just had my annual trip up to sunny Skegness to train, refresh and enthuse their holiday entertainment staff in the art of face & bodypainting.
As usual the chalet I stayed overnight in – a flat really – was lovely, I have been in a different style/ zone each trip. (I also did the glitter weekend here for a Rave Weekender in the winter so have tried them all now).
This time we did our workshop in the rather luxurious spa which was cosy, warm and bright despite the changing weather. Although sea gulls fighting on the glass roof was a bit noisy and definitely odd to see from below!
On my advice they have added a large selection of stencils from Illusion Magazine Shop to their kits, as well as Cameleon petal brushes and some other professional essentials from the Paintopia Shop.
Their manager is impressed with how their skills have built since I started training with them so do pop in if you are there on holiday and let the ladies decorate you!