When I am in party prep mode, the one item in my craft room that gets the most use is my die-cut machine (I’m currently using a Cricut Explore). I swear, for the past two weeks, that machine has been on and in cut mode around the clock! When I am cutting a lot of things (especially heavy paper), after a while, my cuts don’t end up so clean…and this becomes a familiar sight time after time…
Really bad, jagged, imprecise cuts usually mean either I need a new blade, my mat isn’t quite sticky enough to hold the paper in place, or both.
For those of you who don’t use a die-cut machine, the medium that you are cutting (fabric, paper, vinyl, etc) gets put onto sticky mats which then get loaded into the machine and cut. When the mats are brand new, they are so sticky you can’t get anything off of them. But after a while, the mats lose their stick due to pill, paper, glitter (and more) getting left behind from project after project.
My mats are almost three years old. Those “2s” that you can faintly see on the mat are from Henry’s second birthday party (he’s about to turn 4!!!). I have “re-glued” my mats in a variety of ways over the years, but I recently stumbled upon a really great trick that works so incredibly well!
Temporary spray adhesive! I buy this stuff for putting my quilts together. I’m not particularly fussy about brand, I typically just buy what is closest to the register or on sale at the fabric store! This spray adhesive can be sprayed onto fabrics when you are assembling a quilt or doing appliqué. It’s not permanent but strong enough to hold your fabrics in place while you work. It occurred to me that it was also likely strong enough to hold my paper in place on my mat, and wouldn’t you know….it sure does!
When my mats start to lose their stick, I simply spray the mat down lightly from end to end. There is no need to wait or let the glue set a bit (like with other re-stick methods); you can simply put your paper right on your mat and get back to work. I’ve found that once I spray the mat, it’s nice and sticky for quite a while before I have to spray it again.
In no time at all, I was back to getting nice clean cuts and pretty projects…all with little frustration or fuss!
For those of you with die-cut machines, give this trick a try! I’ve almost re-bought mats on several occasions but never wanted to deal with the frustration of “breaking them in!” I have been so pleasantly surprised by how simply I’ve been able to make my mats functional time and time again!
I’ve been loving sharing my little Crafting/DIY Tips and Tricks with you guys each month! In case you’ve missed previous installments in this series, check out my other pointers here:
I hope you all are having a wonderful week! I going to wrap up the end of the Sweet Pea projects on Friday before enjoying some time off! See you then!