Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Cutting Mat Maintenance

Cutting Mat Maintenance

If you are like me, you don't like spending money on supplies. Unless those supplies are cardstock and embellishments. So when my cutting mat becomes non sticky and the paper doesn't lay flat, or slides around it makes for a frustrating time. 

Last year I came across several sites that talked about re-sticking your mat. I tried several, several, and several products. Nothing worked for me. It either did not stick at all, or once you put your paper on it, they become a permanent part of the cutting mat. 

Here is what worked for me, and is my go to on a monthly basis.**

1. Wash your mat. It may seem strange to wash your mat, but sometimes that alone will get my 'stick' back. Fortunately for me I have a large kitchen sink, but I's guessing most will work. I lay my mat flat in my sink and use a few drops of dish washing liquid. I then fill up the sink with hot water just until it covers the mat. Sometimes I put something on top of the mat since it floats, and sometimes I flip the mat over so the sticky side is facing down. I let it soak 5-10 minutes. When I think it's been in there long enough I take something like a paper towel and scrub off the paper bits. I then let it air dry. After it is completely dry I feel it. After a while you can tell how much stick you need. If it feels lightly tacky I put back on the protective cover sheet and store. 

2.  But when the mat doesn't feel tacky. Here is my magic. With masking tape, I tape up the edges that are not supposed to be tacky as in the photo below. Once the edges are all taped up, I take off the lid to my Krylon Easy-Tack Repositionable Adhesive 7020. Which is the hardest part of this project. I have a hard time every single time trying to get off the cap. Once I do manage to remove the cap I take the mat and the can OUTSIDE and give a light mist spray all over. You want to GO EASY. A little goes a long way here. Remember you can always add more, but it is difficult to remove it. I then come back inside and let the mat dry. It depends on the time of year and weather. But normally it dries within a few minutes. I then do the feel test. If it's tacky then I move onto step 3. Once you get the feel I can be sure you will know how sticky the mat needs to be. 

3.  I almost always do this next step. I take a kitchen towel and dab the towel all over the mat. I know, here I spent all this time making the mat sticky and then I am going to de-stick it. Well I want to make sure it is not too sticky. I don't want my paper to stick permanently. For me this technique works all the time. I guess I could always spray less in step 2 and forgo this step but it is what works for me.   

This mat is over a year old and keeps on working really well for me. You can get a can of this at the craft store for about $10, even less if you have a coupon. A Silhouette Cameo Mat runs about the same price. So far I have gotten about 10 uses out of this can over the past year. Figure I bought 10 mat's. $10 vs $100.

**Disclaimer: I am only telling you what works for me. I cannot be held liable for any damages caused if you try this. The manufacturer doesn't recommend this. 


  1. Mike...a long time ago someone suggested I try Helmar V2 Vellum Adhesive. I have had that darn thing for several years and decided to try it the other day...it is the PERFECT amount of stick as it is for vellum! I am tickled. Not so tickled with the price as it was about $14. I bet yours is much more reasonable! If you get a chance and can find it-give the Helmar a chance.

  2. Thanks, Sue! I will have to keep an eye out for that adhesive and give it a try. Thanks for the suggestion!