The Importance of Using the Proper Methods for Sticker Cutting
Have you ever struggled to peel a sticker off its backing? If so, you understand the importance of using the proper methods for sticker cutting.
Thankfully for hobbyists and smaller companies without access to expensive machinery, Slice(r) makes the perfect sticker cutting tool: the 00200 Safety Cutter. It is a micro-ceramic blade, so it won’t damage your stickers or cut your fingers.
Weeding is the process of removing excess vinyl from a design once it has been cut by a plotter or sticker cutting machine. It is a very delicate and time-consuming task that can be difficult when working with small details or curves. There are a variety of tools available to make the job easier, including dental picks, hooks, and tweezers. These are especially helpful when trying to work on tiny areas that would be difficult to reach with other tools, such as the corner of a door or window.
The best way to weed your stickers is to start with the smallest areas first and work your way outwards from the center. This will help prevent accidentally pulling up some of your small lettering or intricate designs from the sticky waste vinyl. It’s also a good idea to use something that will catch all the unwanted vinyl as you go, such as an empty baby wipe container or wet towel dispenser.
Another great tool to have is a weeding pen, which looks like a regular pen but has a small pin where you would usually write. This can be used to pop sticker cutting small air bubbles in your stickers before applying them to the surface, which helps them adhere properly. It can also be used to refine smaller areas of the design, such as small curves.
Whether you are plotting one little heart onto a Tervis or several different graphics and phrases to create your own custom vinyl wall art, you’ll eventually need some application tape to make the job go more smoothly. Also known as application or premask tape, transfer tape is used to help remove the paper backing from your vinyl decal and allows you to smooth out the vinyl graphic before applying it.
To use this technique, simply cut a piece of transfer tape slightly larger than your weeded vinyl graphic. Then, peel back just a corner of the tape backing. This will leave a sticky tab in the corner where you can stick it to your project or surface.
Once you’ve placed the tape on your project, line it up and start smoothing it down with a scraper or burnishing tool. Once it’s adhered and firmly smoothed out, you can peel off the tape backing, bringing your vinyl graphic with it.
Some crafters prefer to use a clear application tape as it allows them to see their project while they are working on it. This can be helpful for lining up projects like large windows or car graphics. It’s also useful for securing the graphics when using a squeegee or other smoothing tool on more difficult surfaces. There are also some specialty applications tapes that have features like gridded lines, which can help in the process of lining up complex graphics on difficult surfaces.
Whether you’re creating kiss cut or die cut stickers, applying them to your products, packaging or even your walls can sticker cutting be a fun way to enhance brand awareness. While every sticker type offers different creative potential, one thing they all have in common is that they need to be applied correctly to avoid creases and air bubbles.
While the most basic type of stickers, circle and rectangle vinyl decals, are incredibly versatile and popular with both small businesses and individuals, other types can be even more creative in how they’re used. For example, die cut stickers can be shaped to match the contour of a specific artwork design. This means they can be cut with curved corners, wavy edges or any shape imaginable, allowing you to create unique and eye-catching stickers that are sure to leave a lasting impression on your customers.
In order to produce custom-shaped stickers, your cutting machine (also known as a vinyl cutter or plotter) must be equipped with software that can import and manipulate your design file, giving it the precise shapes necessary to render a sticker. Most sticker designs are based on pixel information, and in order for them to be cut, these pixels must be converted into smooth, cuttable lines via a process called “Vectorizing”. Once this is done, your design will be ready to use.
A common tip that may seem obvious, but is worth remembering when applying stickers, is to make sure the surface is clean before applying. This prevents the sticker from adhering to itself or the surface, causing it to peel and fall off. It also allows you to smooth out bubbles before they get too big and becomes a problem during application.
We recommend pre-washing the area where you will be putting the sticker using either soap and water or a mixture of rubbing alcohol (70% isopropyl) and water (we suggest a 50 / 50 solution). This will remove any dirt or grease that may interfere with your sticker’s ability to cling effectively to your surface.
Once you have cleaned the area, rinse it thoroughly with water until no soap or residue remains. You may want to do this several times before you start applying your sticker to ensure it adheres well and does not come off easily.
Another trick that is often used to remove stubborn, sticky adhesive residue from surfaces before applying a new sticker, is to use a can of household mayonnaise. The high fat content in the mayonnaise helps to break down the adhesive and make it easy to peel off. You can also try a similar trick with other household products like WD40 or Goo Gone Sticker Lifter, as long as they are safe for the surface that you are trying to clean.