In my last post I tried out printable vinyl for the first time, using a spray acrylic sealer for waterproofing. The results were OK, but I wanted to try another method.
After a bit of searching, I found this great starter kit from Expressions Vinyl. It includes 7 sheets of printable vinyl (8.5 x 11) and four 12×12 sheets of vinyl laminate. Vinyl laminate is a clear film that can be applied over printed vinyl to waterproof and protect the vinyl from fading.
For my patterns, I used some more watercolor backgrounds and scanned in some of my patterned cardstock. Note, my printer won’t print larger than 8.5″ x 11″, but there are plenty of good, reasonably-priced photo printers that can print larger. You can buy printable vinyl in 12″ x 12″ format as well.
The vinyl printed nicely and I noticed less curling compared to the Cricut brand printable vinyl. I let it sit for about 30 minutes and then got to work.
I recently purchase these gorgeous mandala patterns from a designer on Etsy and was anxious to get to try them out.
I decided to start with the watercolor sheet. I cut out about a fourth of the printed sheet. I cut a piece of vinyl laminate to fit and carefully applied it to the vinyl. On this step, be careful to avoid it folding or bubbling. It worked for me to start applying on one end and gradually lay more laminate down. Having a credit card handy to smooth the laminate out is certainly helpful.
After laminated, it was time to cut. The printed vinyl with the laminate is definitely a bit thicker than regular vinyl. After some searching online, I found some very helpful guidelines for cut settings – here. It may be because my blade is getting a bit dull, but I set my blade to 4 instead of 3. The settings otherwise were perfect and my first design cut perfectly! I was so excited to try this out, I used my favorite of the four patterns as my first cut. In retrospect, always go with your *least* favorite. I got lucky this time :).
The vinyl also weeded well. Again, its a bit thicker with the laminate on, but no issues weeding and the laminate did not pull away from the vinyl.
Here are my final designs cut and weeded:
I’m DEFINITELY a fan of using a vinyl laminate vs. the acrylic spray. No mess, way less fuss. Using the laminate is a bit more expensive of course, but overall worth the investment.
Happy crafting and HAPPY FRIDAY!