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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The workshop » » Decorating a tube? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Regular user
Portsmouth, VA
151 Posts

Profile of tank5030
I am currently working on making a strat-o-sphere type of effect and am at the point where I need to decorate the outside tube. It is a cardboard tube. I am simply looking to give it a nice covering, not any fancy decals or anything. I considered using cantact paper, but the only designs they had at wal-mart were "old fashioned" looking designs. They didn't even have any solid colors. Is contact paper the way to go or does anyone have another suggestion? Thanks in advance.
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Regular user
Portsmouth, VA
151 Posts

Profile of tank5030
I might have found an answer to my own question. I saw a post on sign vinyl and might give this a try.
Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
11161 Posts

Profile of Michael Baker
Most stores only carry the colors and designs that will be used to line kitchen shelves. I have found and used solid color contact papers at an Ace Hardware before, but it has been a long time. I did a quick search on Google and found a number of sources that may have something that appeals to you.

I've seen people use those decorative book covers, too. Depends on the look you want.

Just a thought, but you might want to call one of those places that make the vinyl lettering and signs often put on vehicles. They use a sheet of the stuff that is generally cut to the desired pattern, and then applied to the surface and the waste peeled away.

Another technique that I have used for years is fabric covering.

You can cover it with fabric. Find something non-stretchy with a fairly smooth surface. Brush a coat of elmer's glue on the tube and wrap the fabric around it. Just a small overlap is necessary. Trim the edges when dry and then coat with more glue. Use something as a scraper (flat thin metal or similar). Use this to drag across the surface. It will embed the fabric with glue, while scraping away the excess. Allow it to dry and it will give you a nice finished surface. I think this is called scrimming.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
George Ledo
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Magic Café Columnist
SF Bay Area
2876 Posts

Profile of George Ledo
If you give the tube a good couple of coats of primer and sand it very smooth, you can use spray paint. There are lots of colors and textures available. A final coat of clear urethane (flat, satin, or gloss -- your choice) will protect the finish.

If you go with this, remember that the secret to spray paint is to lay on several thin coats, building up the surface as you go. If you try to put on a heavy coat, it'll run like mad.
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Inner circle
The Holy City of East Orange, NJ
6438 Posts

Profile of Spellbinder
The Dollar Store often has large gift bags decorated with holographic designs if you like flashy and shiney. The bags are made of light cardboard and make good tube or box covers - you can see a photo of how it looks in Jim Gerrish's Hardboard and Duct Tape Book 1 (Production Tubes) or Book 2 (Genii Tube Revisited) both on my site. You can often find flashy book covers in the same store, or gift wrapping paper.
Professor Spellbinder

Professor Emeritus at the Turkey Buzzard Academy of Magik, Witchcraft and Wizardry

Publisher of The Wizards' Journals
Dr. Solar
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Special user
Citrus Heights, Ca.
526 Posts

Profile of Dr. Solar
If you have a TAP PLASTIC store near by, you can get pressure sensitive holographic designed mylar sheeting to wrap it. Very good stuff. I then got some colored electrical tape and trimmed the top and bottom.

Have fun...
Dr. Solar
"look for me in all things forgotten"
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Regular user
Portsmouth, VA
151 Posts

Profile of tank5030
Alright. I finally got some more time to work on my project and I finally got it it funtioning perfectly (well as close as it gets anyways). All I Have to do is decorate the outside tube so it looks good and I'll be complete! A nice parlor size stratosphere for about $20(and a few hours of work). I am headed to a local sign shop to pic up some sign vinal to cover the outside. Thanks for all your input!
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Veteran user
315 Posts

Profile of Zazz
Michaels craft store sells a large variety of printed paper for scrapbooking. We have decorated a tube with this paper and then wrapped the paper with a clear plastic sheet (found in the same store) giving it a glossy look.

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