I absolutely love my portrait craft cutter. But I hate when my mat gets all gunky and can't be used anymore. There are things you can do like wash them lightly with your finger covered with dawn and carefully picking at the stuff on it. But eventually you will have to buy a new mat. I just had to do that recently, I paid 12.99 for a new one and then had to wait for it to arrive. That's not including shipping and handling.
I didn't like this at all so I came up with my own solution.
Step 1: Office Depot to the Rescue! or Your Favorite Print Shop.
I went down to my local office depot with my brand new mat in hand and got them to do some high quality copies of it. Don't be worried about this step as long as you don't remove the sticky cover. They will put in the copier with the guide line right side up. Make sure that you use a good heavy card-stock paper for the copies. You don't want a bunch of thin paper.
For 5 bucks I got 20 copies.
Step 2: Get the Scissors.
Now just cut out your new mat from your paper.
Step 3: 3M With You We Can All Stick Together.
So I found this really fantastic stuff called "Super 75" from 3M. This is a re-positionable glue. It sprays on easy and can be retacked for a long time. In all seriousness this stuff has yet to set for any appreciable amount of time. It's just like the glue on post it notes and works great.
Take this stuff outside, it is a sprayable glue, so unless you want to stick very lightly onto stuff wherever you go, go where there is lots of space. Also the msds states that it has acetone. This acetone bleeds off to allow the glue to set, unless you want to start thinking funny it's best to go outside. Spray lightly and evenly across the whole surface. Don't hold in one area as it gathers quickly.
Remember we are not painting here we are lightly dusting. Only 2 or 3 short blasts was all it took for me.
Step 4: I Am Stuck on You Like Glue.
As you can see here this page still looks completely ordinary. But to the feel, it's tacky and sticky. I put a piece of ordinary paper on it and it stuck very well. Using my spudger tool I was easily able to pull up the paper and reposition it very easily. In fact it had just as much tension, "to my feel" as the portrait mat I bought.
It also sticks without any residue adhering to the paper. once I ran it through my machine it performed perfectly. The only thing is that I know this mat will not have the durability of the thick plastic that the portrait one has. This is no longer a problem as I have plenty of replacements and with the small amount of glue that I used one can of spray a lot of mats.
So now that you have this knowledge you can make as many mats as you want and not have pay out the nose for it. I hope you enjoy this instructable. Just as an addendum I'm part of H3 El Paso,s hackerspace. I usethis one a lot but we do a lot of projects together on the portrait. So u it sees a lot of use. If you like to see us go to www.h3laboratories.com