Sunday, January 11, 2015

Cricut Explore Tutorial - Vinyl Tutorial

Welcome to another tutorial on Cricut Explore. Now, you can you any machine to cut vinyl. These steps are all the same.

This one is on regular vinyl. There will be another on iron on.

There are many types of vinyl, but you will mainly be working with two kinds. Indoor (Oracal 631) and Permanent / Outdoor (Oracal 651). There are some more outdoor vinyl, like marine grade, but most of the time, you will only need those two.

I will not be showing how to choose designs in Design Space. Check out my {basic tutorial} and {how to upload your own images}. I am using #M3D31C from Artbooking Cartridge.

Make sure to change your setting to vinyl. If it is thicker, choose vinyl +. Some people have used washi setting in custom setting. Here is a tutorial on {custom settings}.
If it is a new vinyl that you have never cut before, do test cuts to see what setting you need to use. So many people have had a problem when they are doing a detailed image and it hasn't cut all the way through. You can see if it cut all the way through without ejecting the mat. If it hasn't, without removing the mat, you can have it recut by hitting the go button on the machine again and it will cut the same spot . If you remove the mat, it may not line up. Do not use the deep cut blade. Change the settings if it does not work right.  Also double check the blade to see if there is anything caught on it if it does not cut properly. I have a second blade just for vinyl. Not really needed, but I would rather have one. 

There are two sides of vinyl. The vinyl side and the backing. Place the backing on the mat, not the vinyl. When placing the vinyl on the mat, make sure there is no little bits stuck on the mat. This will make it not cut right. And the vinyl needs to be smooth. If there are any bubbles, it will not cut properly. You can remove the the vinyl from the backing and smooth out. 

When you cut the vinyl, you want it to kiss cut. Which means it will cut the vinyl, but leave the backing untouched. If it is cutting the backing, you need to lower the settings. This is important when you go to remove the vinyl. If you cut the backing, you will have the hardest time removing the backing from the vinyl, especially if it is very detailed. 
When you go to weed, cut it in sections (not part of the design, the excess)/. This will make it easier and makes sure the excess does not have the chance to attach to the rest. This is a pain to remove , once it touches the vinyl. This could ruin your whole design. Trust me, I have had it happen. Cutting the background into smaller pieces makes it seem better.

This is a weeding tool. This is so important. You need the right tool to weed.  A sharp pokey thingy will make sure to grab the vinyl and leave the design. Using your fingers makes things difficult.

Remove all the vinyl you do not need in the in the design, called weeding. If it is detailed, have a picture of the design next to you so you don't end up removing the wrong piece. Again, I have done it. It is very difficult to place a piece back where it needs to be. 

Use transfer tape to remove the vinyl from the backing and to place it on whatever you are placing the vinyl on. Burnish well to have the vinyl to adhere to the transfer tape. If it is a large image, leave the backing on and slowly remove as you apply. This will stop the vinyl from adhering uneven or sticking to itself.

Place on item. Burnish well. And burnish again. You can not burnish to much. you want it to stick more to the item and not to the transfer tape. In the Cricut tool kit, there is a scraper looking thing. This works wonders for burnishing. If not, use a credit card. Start from one corner and work down. This is the best way to not get bubbles.  If you do get bubbles, and have something you can us mild heat on, use a hair dryer and smooth out. Don't heat too much, it will melt.

When removing the transfer tape, start from one corner and pull down by gently rocking back and forth. If a piece stays on the transfer tape, burnish the spot again.

End product. This is my ipad case. After this, I had to remove the design on the spine because it was coming up every time I bent it. 

Here is another way to weed. It is called reverse weeding. This is good for small or detailed images. I am doing this on a very small word. The L is 1 inch. Very small.

It is hard to tell, but this is love cut out. Before the weeding.

Apply the whole piece to the transfer paper.

Remove the backing. 

Remove the vinyl that you don't want. The parts you want will stay attached to transfer paper. 

This is once everything is removed.

And the final piece.  I am sorry about these photos. Normally my phone takes amazing photos, but these just came out blurry. 

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial.  You can visit my {tutorial page} to see all the tutorials I have done. 

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