March 27, 2012

Dirty-Clean Dishwasher Sign

You know how you always wonder if the dishes in the dishwasher are still dirty or already clean? Our solution was to stick the corresponding post-it note on the door of the dishwasher. We had a "Clean Na" (clean already) and a "Dirty Pa" (still dirty) post-it that stays on the bulletin board until needed.

I got tired of managing and replacing the post-it note that sometimes fell on the floor (if not behind the water cooler), and got all crumpled, nasty, and unsticky. I thought I'd get creative and make a decent and real sign.

Because the front panel of our dishwasher from the 80s is plastic, a magnetic sign was out of the question. I had to design one that uses velcro as a fastener. And it has to be reversible and sturdy enough to withstand the constant reversing action. One side would be "CLEAN" and the other side "DIRTY".

I headed for my polymer clay workstation. Bluish grayish colors would work for the Dirty side, and bright whitish colors would be good for the Clean side. I cut an aluminum plate to serve as the backing and covered it with a thin layer of neutral brownish beige blended clay.

The letters had to be large and easy to read (and easy to make), so, arial-looking font was my default. Gray for Dirty, white for Clean.

I baked the letters and the backing first.

To make the sign more interesting, I designed sad and happy faces, and borders. I baked those elements next. Then I super-glued all the elements onto the backing, including the corner posts where the velcro-loop pieces would be attached.

And there it is. A reversible sign that snaps onto the velcro-hook pads I attached to the dishwasher. I threw away the post-it notes for the last time.

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