I’ve had a few questions about what to do with those old Cricut cutting mats that have lost their sticky and won’t hold onto your paper while cutting. Do I just throw them out and go buy new ones? If you are like me, and consider your Cricut an essential part of your crafting and creativity, then you know how expensive that can become!! My good friend, Chris, and I, were discussing this not long ago. She mentioned that she had read an article about refreshing these mats so that they can be used over and over again. Anything that will save money – COUNT ME IN!!! I tried it out, and it worked! So: if you don’t mind a little elbow grease, this may be the solution for you too. I have refreshed and reused my mats three times now, and they are still working great.
What you will need to refresh your mats:
1. mat(s) to be refreshed
2. 3 or 4 baby wipes
3. a roll of masking or painters tape
4. a can of re-positionable adhesive spray
Just a few tips before we begin:
1. Make sure you do all the spraying in a WELL VENTILATED AREA.
2. Do not leave the tape on your mat for too long. The longer you leave it, the more difficult it will be to remove.
3. Any type of aerosol spray will leave an over-spray (spray which covers the area immediately surrounding your intended target). Take care that you are spraying in an area that will not be affected by contact with the adhesive spray. I always take the box out onto the driveway before I start spraying.
4. As with any new mat, your refreshed mat will be very sticky for the first 3 or 4 uses, so don’t plan on using it for any intricate designs or fussy fonts, as you will have trouble removing the finished cuts from the mat!!
STEPS TO REFRESHING YOUR MATS
1. Using at least 2 baby wipes at one time, and holding your mat firmly in place with your free hand, begin vigorously scrubbing the green, sticky part of the mat in one corner. Alternate your motion between circles and back and forth, to make sure that you covering the entire area. Move across or down the mat as you see the area on which you are working is clean and free of debris. You can turn the baby wipe, or use a new one, as you see it becoming dirty or full of bits.
2. Now that the surface is clean and free of debris, you can begin taping off around the outside of the cutting area. Using your masking or painting tape, and taking care not to cover any of the darker, sticky cutting area, run a strip of tape along one side, completely covering the outside area. Turn the mat 45°, repeat the taping of side two. Repeat this step two more times, until all four outside edges of the mat or completely covered with tape.
3. Now you are ready to spray the cutting surface. I use a large cardboard box that has the flaps removed. I place the mat, right side up, in the bottom of the box. Shake the can of re-positionable spray. Holding the can about 6″ from the cutting surface, and beginning in one corner, spray the cutting surface using a slow but steady sweeping motion, right across to the other side. Once you reach the other side, lower the can the width of the spray surface and repeat. Continue this sweeping/spraying motion until you reach the opposite corner of the cutting surface, and you have “swept” over the entire surface.
4. Next, being careful not to touch the cutting surface, turn the mat 45°, and repeat Step 3. This will ensure that you have not missed any spots, and that you have a good coating of adhesive.
5. Leave the mat in the box for about 10 minutes, to give the adhesive time to set.
6. Remove from the box, and carefully remove the tape.
7. You’re done and ready to start cutting again!!!
I hope this explanation has been helpful. Leave me a comment and let me know how it went for you!!