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Cricut Mats- Best Ideas And Tips

Updated on September 24, 2016

How To Use And Care For Your Cricut Mats

The Cricut Bug has bitten me and I have been a fan for a few years now. There are lots of people who buy a cutting machine, only to have it sitting on the shelf. More than that, they don't get the full benefit of the Cricut Cutter because they don't know how to use everything that it has to offer.

One of the most important part of the unit is the cutting mat. Using your mats to their best advantage will save you lots of time and money. Here's how to get the most out of every mat !

Cricut Mat -Materials Guide

Cricut Light Grip Mat-Blue
Cricut Medium Grip Mat-Green
Purple Cricut Heavy Grip Mat-
Printer Paper
Vinyl
Heavy Cardstock
Light Cardstock
Printable Vinyl
Embossed Cardstock
Vellum
Window Cling
Iron Ons
Construction Paper
Patterened Paper
Glitter Cardstock
Vinyl
Cardstock
Magnet Material
Printable Vinyl
Printable Sticker Paper
Chipboard
Window Cling
Embossed Cardstock
Fabric With Stiffner
Cardstock
Iron Ons
Faux Leather
Sticker Paper
 
Felt
 
 
Poster Board

Cricut Cutting Mat Tips

  1. Use a lint roller top help clean any of your paper off your mat
  2. Use a baby wipe after every use They are economical. It really doesn't matter what brand they are. I keep a box of them in my craft room. You can also use them to help wipe up any glue or ink and to clean your stamps
  3. A plastic ruler can be used to scrap the mat to clean it It's an easy tool that you are going to use anyway.
  4. Buy the bigger mats the 12x12 and cut them in half once to give me two 6x12 mats.There are two 12x12's in a package yet they only cost $4 more than two 6x12's but you'll end up with 4 once they're cut!
  5. Try cleaning your mat with Windex wipes to extend thier use
  6. A spatua from the cake decorating area of your craft store, helps in lifting your cuts from the mat with ease.
  7. To clean and restore tacky surface I first use liquid dish soap undiluted. I just use my fingers, no cloth, to rub the soap over the whole surface. Then I start rinsing with warm to hot water and keep gently rubbing surface. You'll see all the lint and paper bits just rinse off. If I am in a hurry to use again I will dry the mat with a blow dryer. Works for me!
  8. Never put lighter weight paper on a new mat. I use it for heavier cardstock only for the first several cuts. Then, when it's not so sticky, I start to use if for the lighter paper.
  9. Cricut mats can be loaded from either leading end.
  10. Load mat aligning left side with flat edge of casing to allow the mat to load straighter.
  11. Roll a brayer over your paper and mat several times to help it stick better. You will not have to clean it as often.
  12. Date the back of your mats when you start using them so you know which one to get rid of first.
  13. When cutting a 3x3 piece of paper or smaller, use a newer or tackier mat.
  14. Many tools work to "scrape" the built up lint and paper fuzz off the mat including a spatula, putty knife, art palette knife, dummy credit card, Pampered Chef scraper, etc.
  15. NO LONGER STICKY MATTS - DON"T throw it away when it is no longer sticky. Just use a small piece of masking tape, and tape down the corners of whatever size paper you're using. (If its a 12 inch piece, I also put a small piece along the long edges to keep it tight. ) I've used the same mat since Thanksgiving, and although I've got a new one, don't see the need to break it open.

Applying And Cutting Mat Tips

Get the best cuts and projects by using these tips :

  1. Make sure to apply the paper or other materials correctly. To secure the paper. press down all edges and corners
  2. To prevent the blade from cutting through the mat, make sure to use the proper setting for cutting the material you are using
  3. Rotate the mat to use it evenly. Alternate the edge that you load in first

Date the back of the mat with a Sharpie when you start using it to help with mat rotation. Then you can use your older mats for things like vellum or pattern paper and the newer mats for cardstock and Bazzil.

Removing Your Projects From The Mats

Before you remove the cut project, remove all negative material from around the cut. Then lift the cut project off the mat with a Cricut spatula. Always remove the material from the mat usingan upward motion, rather than putting it back over the top to prevent curling

Cricut Tools And Tool Kits

The tools that you need for your Cricut are relatively few. But having them sure makes your life easier. Each of these tools make your cricut experience complete and are well worth the cost !

Cricut 7-Piece Tool Kit for Cricut Cutting Machines
Cricut 7-Piece Tool Kit for Cricut Cutting Machines

This set comes with everything you need to create easily with your Cricut cutter

 

Every now and then, move the Cricut blade to the CENTER of the mat so that portion of the mat gets used. Saves paper and the mat.

Mat Cleaning Ideas From Other Cricut Users - As Seen On The Internet

  • Baby Wipes seem very popular and the one cleaning tool that I use most often. I keep a container of them in my craft room
  • Basic cleaning is with warm water and let them dry. You can add a mild dish soap-but it will take a little of the stickiness away. Another suggestion was to soak the mat in dawn soap for24 hours Then use a scraper to scrap the stuff off the mat and dry Then take reposition tape runner all over mat. Wait 10 mins. Worth a try.
  • A product called "Goof Off" has been used by a lot of crafters. Many of them swear by it
  • A lint roller is another tool that I keep handy to keep off those bits of paper

How To Renew Your Mat

I have found this technique to be the best one to both clean and renew your mats

What You Need

Mr Clean Magic Eraser

Zig Two Way Glue -The Wide Side

  1. Wet your magic eraser and wash your mat. Use one side of the eraser to wash the mat, the other side to wipe over it. Make sure to get all the bits of paper off. If you need to clean more, use a baby wipe. Let mat dry completely
  2. Using the wide side of the Zig, two way pen, cover the mat completely with glue. You will be able to see the blue glue cover, so you can see where the glue is. Once the glue is dried completely you have a mat that is like new

Never Wash Your Cricut Mat !

I used to wash my mats in warm water with soap. Little did I know I was "washing" the stickiness right off the mat. Now I use baby wipes with each use. Then when the mat is dry, I replace the plastic mat cover

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