It started off innocently enough- we signed up to do a craft sale before Christmas, and I decided to make some Christmas themed wine glasses. I ended up with these:
I started down a rabbit hole of vinyl--- and I discovered HTV (heat transfer vinyl) and fell in love! That's a post for a different day....
Problem: I had absolutely no idea what the heck I was doing. So, I thought maybe I'll share some of my tips and tricks to help a fellow crafting "wannabe".
For cutting, I use either a Cricut Expression (with the cartridges) or a Pazzle Creative Cutter Pro. I love the Pro for designing my own creations, but it's ALL THE WAY down the driveway at my mom's house, and sometimes I am just so lazy I don't want to walk. The Dalek in the picture above (for those of you that don't do Dr Who, it's the blue thing) I actually cut by hand with an exacto knife. Not recommend, unless you're a fan of hand cramping.
The permanent vinyl I used for all of the above projects is Oracal 651 vinyl, found here. It's available in SO MANY colors. There is also a more removable type of Oracal vinyl, but I haven't found a reason I'd want to use that. Probably for walls, but I have textured walls at my house and things don't stick very well to those.
KEEP IN MIND- if you are making glasses, they need to STAY OUT OF THE DISHWASHER! From experience (not my experience), you will end up with a plain glass when the dishwasher cycle is finished. Not cool.
Using this vinyl is pretty straight forward. I set my Cricut to 6, stuck the vinyl down on the medium (green) mat, and let her go! To cut the vinyl on the Pazzle, I set the pressure at 100 and a couple of times I had to hit copy to give it another pass with the blade.
The first time I did it, I plucked out the image and stuck it on the glass. Dumb move. Don't do that.
Cut around your image (but be careful not to cut through your image accidentally- yes, I've also done that when I sampled some wine out of a glass I had created....) leaving a border. Remove the other stuff you don't want off the mat. You'll be left with a chunk of vinyl on the mat. Weed the design. This just means that you pull the unwanted parts off the backing. This includes the insides of letters. I have to get a lamp to do this in the future, because it's very hard to see all the little parts. Throw that stuff in the garbage. You should be left with the backing and your letters or image. Then, take the transfer tape (found here) and rub it over your design. Rub hard!
Peel up the transfer tape, and your image should be stuck to it. Then, stick it to your project. It's really that easy!!!
I got braver after doing several wine glasses and cut some with some pretty curly fonts. Those stunk and were very stressful. I would start out with block letters or easy to cut fonts and work your way up to the curly fonts. This one was especially bad, as those Js, Gs, and Ks were an absolute pain in the butt:
|Yes- this was a special order!|
HEAT TRANSFER VINYL- Oh my gosh!!! The possibilities are endless!