Special thanks to Ottlite for sending me an awesome lamp!
Today we are going to talk WEEDING! and if you know me…you know it isn’t about gardening. I kill fake plants. We are talking weeding VINYL! I have worked with vinyl for about 6 years and have picked up some super fun tips and tricks over the years! I wanted to share to make your life is easier! This works for both Adhesive and Heat transfer vinyl! (I buy all my vinyl at Expressions Vinyl)
Here’s what I made just so I could write this post (bloggers got a hard life –wink wink)
I wanted to pick something super tricky and intricate–because
I don’t value my time I wanted to show you real tricks and tips!
(I got this fun coloring heart HERE )
I have made a video (make sure to follow along on youtube to see more great videos) (AND all the info is down below if you are at work and can’t blast the sound.)
Are you ready for AWESOME tip number 1?
It’s an OTTLITE LAMP! For some reason I associated these lamps with sewing. They are right by the sewing stuff at Joann Stores and I thought they were for embroidery and hand stitching and stuff of that nature.
But I’m a night time crafter. My kids get in bed and I like to create! And that also means–DARK! And when I was trying to weed an intricate design I thought, I really need a light like right above my head. LIGHTBULB. (get it..? lightbulb?) Enter the Ottlite lamp. It’s perfection!
Ottlite actually has a bunch of different kinds of awesome lamps (read about them HERE). The one I got is awesome. It actually can be a floor lamp or a table lamp-
(oh…and check out this one!)
(I have mine set up as floor lamp.) and I love that the base can be tucked under the couch–makes it perfect to get the light right above your project)
It has a light overhead, a magnifier with light that you adjust exactly where you want it–You can see those cut lines so easily! I’m kind of mad I haven’t had this all along!
…and it has a clip. (What sold me!)
and brings me to TIP number 2!
When cutting something that has a lot going on…it totally helps to print out the design. I clip it up and then I can see what needs to be weeded and what is part of the design! Sometimes when there are lots of swirls and stuff it’s hard to remember what is what!
Tip number 3. WASTE. As you are weeding, you have lots of little vinyl pieces. And when you are working with adhesive vinyl–it will stick to everything and anything. (My husband ” helped me” weed…and I still have red vinyl stuck all over my rug!) So it’s nice to have a place to put them! I love using an old kleenex box! You just wipe those vinyl pieces into the hole and you can throw it away as soon as you are done! You can see the kleenex box just hanging out next to me!
I also saw this super fun tip on the Expressions vinyl facebook page You take a piece of scrap sticky vinyl and use it to stick your other pieces too!
and Last–tip number 4–
TOOLS of the trade. Each person has a way to weed that works for them. There is no right or wrong! Here are the 4 tools that I’ve seen people use!
- tweezers! makes it great for grabbing vinyl. They even have some with magnifiers on it!
- utility knife or Xacto knife. Great for weeding..but sharp edge. Helpful to have if vinyl isn’t cut all the way through.
- A straight pin inexpensive and easy to replace! Tiny little point to get tiny pieces of vinyl!
- weeding tool from Expressions It’s the size of a pen and a little more heavy duty and has a curved point that makes it easy to get up the vinyl. (my personal favorite)
Okay…once you have it all weeded…time to apply. This was heat transfer vinyl (Heat transfer comes with a plastic sheet over it–called a carrier sheet) and you can just iron right on top. Pressing for 15 seconds at a medium heat!
Then peel up the carrier sheet.
It’s so cute that you will forget how much time you had to spend weeding all the vinyl!
You could easily do this in black vinyl and attach it to a white tote bag so they could color it in! kind of like this one I made:
Well..it’s late…so I need to go craft! good night!
Joelle Lefebvre says
Hi Kimbo, been a reader for a while but never commented. I just have a question for you about tip #2. I have never used vinyl, but am interested. I don’t like throwing anything away though. Would it not be possible to place your decent sized cut-out pieces onto waxed or parchment paper so that you can use them later in another project?
You totally can–it takes a lot of work and as long as the design is pretty simple! I have actually saved the backing of my vinyl and then I can place the projects there!