Intro: How to Save Vinyl When Using a Cutting Machine
If you already got a Cricut or a Cameo (or other cutting machine) you know that supplies can be expensive. If you are planning to buy one, don't hesitate, they are amazing, you'll save time and achieve profesional results that even the most experienced scissors expert will look amateur.
You already invested (or are about to invest) in a great equipment, save on the other supplies.
I've been using my Silhouette cutting machine form more than 6 years, and I've never used Silhouette brand vinyl. So I can say that using other brands of vinyl won't damage your precious machine.
Step 1: Replace Vinyl With Contact Paper
It's cheaper and more easy than even normal paper. There are tons of different colours, with patterns and even metallics (like the blue one). You just have to play with the settings (usually a low speed and the lowest depth) to make sure it cuts ok. Once you find the perfect setting write it down so next time you know.
When I first bought my machine, I didn't know how impatient I'll be cleaning the paper scraps from the mat. So now every time I want to make something with paper that then has to be glued, I use contact paper. And because I don't need to use a mat or apply glue it saves me a lot of time, and you won´t have to buy cutting mats regularly.
Step 2: Learn How to Arrange Your Designs to Double Up Your Creations
So this is a little trick to cut a design using only half of the material.
Just a couple of shapes added to your design and that's it, in the first example I added a circle around the shape. Now I have two stickers within the same inch of contact paper, one in positive and the other in negative.
In the second example I added an offset path to the shape I already had (the onesie). As you can see I used the contact paper stickers as a detail in paper bags. I like that this technique also adds variety.
Step 3: Use Tape to Transfer Your Vinyl
The companies say that you also need to buy transfer paper to place your vinyl. It is very helpful forwhen you have intricate designs, or something really big, but for most shapes and letters, use tape.
First stick it to your jeans so it becomes less sticky. You don't have to fully cover the desigh with tape. Just a little stripe in key places will be enough.
Step 4: Never Throw the Scraps
You never know when you'll need a little detail to complete the perfect card. So keep your scraps in a box and continue enjoying them. I even use the tiny stripes as described in the previous step (instead of tape).
Now go make something cute with vinyl or contact paper. And smile because your hobbie is now less expensive that before you read this instructable.
Step 5: Swap With Your Friends
The contact paper is usually available in a roll. So it is a good idea to keep half and exchange the other half. And only buying one roll you can have two different colours.
Now go make something cute with vinyl or contact paper. And smile because your hobbie is now less expensive than before you read this instructable.