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Topic: Cutting mat  (Read 1509 times)
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daizyduke
« on: January 03, 2012 09:01:51 AM »

When cutting fabirc, how important is a cutting mat? They are really expensive.  Can I use something else like a piece of cardboard. I don't want to ruin my blade though. Thanks.  
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amalgam
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2012 11:00:44 AM »

I'm no expert, but I have made several quilts and a cutting mat is really handy for cutting fabric. Cardboard won't really work since you actually cut into the mat. If you're making a scrap quilt you can probably get away without a mat. Otherwise wait until there's a sale or you have a coupon for your local sewing supply store. Smiley
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« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2012 04:59:05 PM »

I agree with amalgam that a cutting mat is really handy unless you cut everything with scissors and then it's not necessary but that takes WAY longer.  It's worth it to save up for one or wait until one comes on sale.
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« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2012 06:07:38 PM »

Rotary cutters will carve up cardboard. . .  and the cardboard will dull your blades. . . and blades are also pretty expensive.  Are you in the US and are you near either a JoAnn's or Walmart?  Walmart's standard prices are probably better than JoAnn's, but JoAnn's gives out a lot of 40% off coupons, and an occasional 50% off coupon.
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anaximander
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2012 06:20:12 PM »

Also keep in mind that there are varying cutting mats - a fiskars is going to be less than some other brands, for example, and the size also plays into the cost.
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daizyduke
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2012 09:22:29 AM »

Does Ikea sell cutting mats? Thanks.
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« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2012 12:59:51 PM »

Buy your blades in bulk on eBay and to do a quickie sharpening of your blades and scissors, grab a piece of aluminum foil and cut that baby up.  I slice it in to tiny slices or chop with my shears.  It is not perfect, but you can certainly get more life out of them!
Besides, what were you gonna do with that left over foil, anyway?

I use my old blades for my paper projects.  Get one cutting mat now that is at least a square foot in size, if you are a beginner.  You'll find deals on others in the future.  I have several now and some are plastic and some are the coated Olfa ones.  I have found the Olfa one to be better, but my plastic one is HUGE.  Don't spend much now--get the feel for stuff and then buy only as you need stuff.  I promise you, you will have a giant collection of crap you don't use much before too long.

(I just used a rotary cutter with an old blade for making some cards since I don't have an official paper cutter.  Works like a charm!)
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« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2012 09:14:38 PM »

Smaller mats are cheaper but a huge pain in the booty if your cutting some major yardage. Start small at Wal-Mart you can get a fair sized one for under $20. I have a small and a large one. You don't have to replace them often especially if you get a self healing mat (which I do not have) but they are more expensive. It's worth the investment. I have had mine for over 5 years and they still work fine.


http://www.walmart.com/ip/Gridded-Cutting-Mat/17338144
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Eowynt
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« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2012 10:52:56 AM »

You don't have to replace them often especially if you get a self healing mat (which I do not have) but they are more expensive. It's worth the investment. I have had mine for over 5 years and they still work fine.
If you take care of your mats, they will last a long time.  I've had two of my cutting mats for 20 years now.  I dropped the larger one a few months ago, and one of the corners broke off. . .  but, hey, I've had it for 20 years - cannot complain.
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« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2012 05:03:43 AM »

Another trick to get some more life out of your blade is to flip it around. The other side will still be sharp Wink

A mat is definitely needed for a rotary cutter. They will slice through anything else.....cardboard, table tops, etc. I've had an olfa mat (green one) for many years and cut on it daily. As long as you store it flat it will last a really long time.
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