Tuesday, April 7

Bring the Sticky Back - Renew Cutting Mats with Tack-It Over & Over

Fancy cutting machines are so much fun to have. They are also expensive. You have the upfront cost of the machine and the supplies... cutting mats, blades, etc. And buying new cutting mats frequently gets old pretty fast. Good news though! You can extend the life of your Silhouette mat or Cricut mat and I'm going to show you how. Think about those dollar signs 'cause you're about to save some cash.

For this project you will need:
Makeup sponge or sponge brush
Masking tape

This mat that you are looking at cost me $10.50 and guess what? It's only about a week and a half old. And guess what else? It's not sticky anymore. A run in double sided adhesive sheets wound up not working out so well. It stuck to the mat like nobody's business. A lot of methods were used to get the mat back into shape, but the stickiness wasn't there anymore. This is the FIRST time I had used this mat and it was already dead. Was I going to toss it and buy another? Heck to the no.

We're going to bring the sticky back to cutting mats and watch those dollar signs add up. You will need to buy new mats now and again. Sometimes you'll cut through the mat or it will just wear down from tons and tons of cuts. But if it's intact and just not sticky there's no reason to toss it.

To start you need to tape off the sides of the mat that weren't sticky to begin with all around the thing. It's also a good idea to let the tape run over onto your work surface. Once this thing gets tacky it's going to want to move around on you and this makes things SO much easier.

Grab your Aleene's Tack-It Over & Over and put little daubs in all corners and again in the center.
A makeup sponge seems to work the best for this but a sponge brush worked ok. I get my makeup sponges at the dollar store for a good dozen or so.

Spread the adhesive very thinly. If there is too much in an area keep wiping it to the sides and off of the mat. If you leave too much on it's going to be way too sticky. You just need a trace.

Now here is what happened to me... I was all - hey I'm awesome. I can totally do this and talk on the phone at the same time. It turned out that I really couldn't.

I somehow let the glue really pool up in the center. You can even see how thick it is because it's whiter on the mat. After I saw this when the mat had dried I knew I was in for a problem. And that up above is the kind of problem using too much will do.

Now this is some really, really good stuff so it is going to be a bit too sticky for most papers. You'll just shred them or lose the backside of cardstock and all of that not so good stuff.

A good way to get them to the right level of sticky is to bounce a tee shirt all over the surface. I just moved left to right and then right to left to make sure I covered everywhere. 

Oh, and this is the shirt I used. I love this shirt because my father hates it. I've worn it since my freshman year in college. It is old but it is awesome :) The glitter has worn away and it's no longer glittery at all, but good news is I know of some really awesome fashion glitter I can use to spruce it up!

Every time you make a pass with the tee shirt stick your hand to all areas of the mat in a similar fashion as you used with the tee. Identify any overly sticky areas


When your mat is the perfect stickiness it's time to remove the tape. Oh, and can you see how some areas of the mat look a bit blue and others don't? The blue areas are blue because they picked up more loose fibers from the tee shirt because they were too sticky. Really don't skip the step with the tee shirt or you're going to be spending ages cleaning your first project off of the mat when it hardcore sticks.

Boom! My Silhouette cutting mat is now perfect and ready to use! This sticky is going to stay that way for a while so you're going to get quite a bit more use for your time. A much better investment than another $12 if you ask me! 

This will work equally well on Cricut cutting mats (I have several of those, too).Even though Cricut mats are much cheaper to purchase, the savings will still add up if you bring the sticky back.


Marilu Latham said...

wonderful idea for my shirts!!!!!
I invite you to visit my etsy shop at:


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