Finding New Life in Old Mats

When it comes to mats it can be crazy to see the amount of debris that you can see left behind by different paper and fabric products. Of course I can’t tell you how many mats I’ve destroyed by getting glitter on them. It never seems like my crafting area is big enough! Sometimes it seems like a balancing act just to complete a project with my limited amount of space. The best way to keep your mats tacky is by keeping them clean and following a few tricks that have always worked well for me!

It seems like my mats never last very long. What is the best way to restore my mats and help keep them tacky for longer periods of time?

Carolyn H. Havanah GA

Since my work space here at the office is so limited, it helps keep me a bit more organized so that things are easy to find and easier to store. That is one of the reasons I started hanging my mats on my wall. This was a great way to make sure that they weren’t bent or ruined while I was crafting. If the mats are sitting on the table as you’re working on your project it seems like they’re a magnet for dust, hair, spilled glitter, glue, paper and ribbon fibers. I started noticing that once the mats were out of the way of my crafting space that they seemed to last longer for me. I also started dedicating mats to specific projects. Glitter paper and chipboard are used for one mat and the more fine delicate papers were used for another. Since mats tackiness subsides with prolonged use I liked using some of the older mats for more delicate papers so that my cuts were easier to lift and remove from the mat. I even have mats that I’ve used to a point that nothing will stick to them but since I have to tape down my chipboard anyway this was a great way to utilize some of my retired cardstock mats. I reach for a new mat when my cuts are delicate or small. This ensures that the paper won’t shift or lift up on the corners when cutting some of those small intricate details in my images. Also, always make sure that your mats stay covered when storing them. I either keep the clear protective sheet on mine or keep them covered with a piece of paper. This helps to keep pet dander and other particles floating around in the air from taking up residence on my cutting mat. Since I’ve found a way to use my mats regardless of the condition they’re in I don’t feel like I’m always spending money on new mats. It’s also nice to know that regardless of the condition of my mats I always have a use for them, and I like the feeling of being resourceful and saving money!




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18 thoughts on “Finding New Life in Old Mats

  • Dorothy Engle

    This is good infomation. I wish there was information on preparing your mat for your first cuts. My mat was so sticky that my papers stuck to it and were ruined over and over again which in turn ruined the mat because the sticky was comming off with the papers. I’m on my second mat and have never had a cut immage I could use on a project. What am I doing wrong?

  • Tatum Clark Post author

    Hi Dorthy!
    New mats can be as equally frustrating. When starting out with a new mat you’ll want to cut materials that are firmer and thicker; such as a more heavy weight cardstocks. They’ll be easier to lift off of the mat and won’t cling to the mat like more delicate papers such as vellum will. You can also pat your hand across new mats and the oils from your hand will subside the amount of tackiness on your mat. Keep in mind that it’s important when using new mats to not press the paper so hard on to your mat. The mat is already tacky enough to hold the paper, you just simply need to place the paper down and gently glide your hand across the mat, but not press or rub it down.

  • Klo Oxford

    To ‘cure’ your mat and get it to last longer, take your hands and pat over the entire mat, then take a piece of CARDSTOCK and put it on, then pull it off the mat at least 10 times.
    This helps your mat last longer, because your glue doesn’t get pulled off with your cut projects and makes it easier to remove your projects.
    I have actually tested this at the shows and the ones that we ‘cure’ correctly, last so much longer than the other ones

  • Becky Jones

    thank for the “cure” I have gone thru so many mats i was being to not use may pazzle. i will try this an see if this helps.

  • Anet VanderMerwe

    Hi guys I can absolutely budge for Klo’s idea. As a new pazzles user I have ruined my first mat in a very short time as well and after doing what she advises on the second, I have perfect cuts. Thanks Klo you’re a star.

  • Kim Enslin

    Thanks for the advise. I have already gone through one mat and am now on the second mat. I will try the cure on the 2nd mat. I also like the idea of hanging them on the wall. As our home is undergoing renovations at present, I am struggeling to keep the dust off everything. The use of plastic tablecloths draped over everything seems to help. I was fortunate enough to have a dedicated hobby room and I even taped the door closed to see if that worked. It did to a degree, hence the use of tablecloths draped over everything.

  • Constance Trisler

    I am so happy to find out about “the cure” for my mat. I’d wasted ALOT of thin paper because my new mat was just too tacky. Thanks Klo!

  • Linda C Wilson

    I also try to use my mats for other projects to get them to last longer. I would like to pass on one other way of using the mats past their prime. I have given them to other people that do scrapbooking, crafts,hobbies as you can still use the other side for a cutting mat, gluing, children can work with clay on them or paint, great for when you need a flat surface.

  • Sandra Grant

    I have almost the opposite problem. My mat is so tacky that whenever I try to get a paper to release after I”ve cut it it either tears the paper (no matter how gently I try to lift it) or it pulls the adhesive off the mat!! I kid you not my mat is missing chunks of adhesive in areas… Any suggestions???

  • Janet Howerton

    I bought a sheet of plexiglass at the local home store and cut to fit my crafting table top. I store the mats under the plexiglass.

  • Karen Brewer

    I haven’t tried this, but I thought about laying a piece cotton fabric down and pulling it back up a couple of times to remove some of the tackiness. I also use baby wipes to clean the dust and particles of paper off them, and that helps extend the life a bit.

  • Christine

    Curing your mat by 1. Smoothing over the plastic cover (firmly) with a credit card or the chizzle tool to press the adhesive on to the mat and 2. Patting your hands over the uncovered mat surface, then 3. Placing on and pulling off a piece of smooth card stock – works whether you live in a dry or humid climate. Make it your routine and your mats will last longer.

  • mary neldner

    Thank you, first I thought it was me, glad to hear I’m not alone and this is a issue. I will try curing my current new mat, but hope it is not to late, I have chunks of the adhesive on the clear cover sheet. — I do hang mine on the inside of a cupboard door works great.

  • Colin Knox

    I use a Tack Spray available at fabric store to restore the stickiness to my mat. Just a quick one second spray makes it like new.

  • Irma Swindells

    Here’s some more tips on how to help your mats live longer. 1.On a brand new mat, before removing the clear cling cover, use a sharpie pen and write “this side up” on it. This is so you always replace the plastic protective sheet on the orgianl way. This helps the adhesive stay where it should. 2. I always put my name directly on the mat so if I’m cropping somewhere other than my home I won’t get it mixed up with others. 3. Date it. Then I know how long my mats last and which is the oldest. 4. Do the patty-cake techinque as described earlier – this is really important, it works great. 5.give mat an ocassional cleaning with a baby wipe to remove loose paper debris, etc. 6.For a realy used mat give it a wash! Wash your mats in warm soapy water, rinse, then let air dry. You will be surpised how this makes it tacky again. I have saved so many mats using these methods. 7. I was told not to put any additional kind of adhesive on the mats as this may clog up your machine and ruin them. It’s cheaper to buy a new mat, than a new machine. Love the idea of recycling the used mats for use with other crafts. Good idea, thanks.

  • Gloria Olmstead

    What I have done with old mats is to tape them to a turn table and then if you have something that just didn’t cut and you have to cut it you can use your cutting knife and turn the table as you go. This work really well also if you aren’t going to use the Pazzles, it will hold the paper where you want and you can cut away or it will hold the paper in place for all kinds of other applications.