i happen to love my cricut, but i did fight getting one for a long time. my mom bought a small one and when she decided she wanted a big one, she offered me hers, i declined. about a year later, my mother-in-law did the same thing. this time, i said sure. even after i got it, i still wasn't convinced i'd use it that much. i've always loved crafting and making things, but i kind of felt like it was cheating. silly, i know. i started out thinking i'd just use it for scrapbooking, but i love it so much, i've started making cards as well. heck, i even made art for the wall in our old bathroom to match our shower curtain. woodland creatures, of course :)
that being said, there are two things you should know about me: 1. i don't like waste and 2. i don't love spending money. so, two of the things i really like about the cricut are that i can always get my paper either on sale or with a coupon and that i can start anywhere on any scrap of paper, i don't have to use a new sheet every time. one of the things i wasn't too happy about was that once a cutting mat ran out of sticky, i'd have to buy a new one. that meant, i had to spend money and i had to throw away unrecyclable plastic. double boo! but, not any more. here's a step by step on how to wash and re-stickify your mats. it's easy, really. and you probably have some of the items already.
1. start with an old used mat
2. wash it off, but how? at first i tried regular old soap and water with a plastic scrubber. that was taking too long and wasn't getting off all of the old sticky stuff. i tried a corner with nail polish remover and found out that was a bad idea because it not only took off the sticky, it took off all the guides as well, oops.
i looked online and saw that you can use brake cleaner, but i thought, "hey, i have WD-40, let's give that a whirl." what do you know? it worked!
after i sprayed the WD-40 and let it sit for a few minutes, i started scraping it with a pallet knife. it came right off. see that line of yellowy, lumpy stuff? that's the sticky coming off. i started at the bottom and worked my way up. once i got it all off, i washed the mat with soap and water to get the residual WD-40 off and hung it out in the sun to dry. (i wouldn't suggest drying it with a towel, it will get fibers on it)
3. i masked off the edges with painter's tape so that when it runs through the machine it's not sticky under the wheels.
4. and lastly, i sprayed it with a low-tack spray adhesive. this particular brand is easy-tack by krylon. wait a few minutes, pull off the painter's tape and voila! good as new. now my conscience and my wallet are happy.