When you are just getting into the world of craft vinyl, it’s so easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of information out there. There are all the different types of vinyl and what surfaces they can be used on. Then there are all the tools and accessories that help make your life easier when creating projects.
In today’s blog, we are going to focus on the tools and accessories that are necessary for creating successful vinyl projects. Luckily, StyleTechCraft not only offers the best vinyl on the market, but they also offer some of the best tools and accessories on the market. Here’s a breakdown of what they all do and why they are so important!
StyleTechCraft Tool Kit
The StyleTechCraft Tool Kit includes five tools that have all been tried and tested in many vinyl projects!
Included in the kit are: scissors, spatula, scraper, weeder, and tweezers.
Scissors are pretty self-explanatory here….they will help with cutting vinyl.
The spatula helps lift vinyl off of a surface cleanly and easily.
The scraper is a multi-use tool. You can use it to help clean either your machine mat or any surface that you might be hoping to apply vinyl to. It will also work to help apply pressure when you are adhering your design to a surface (similar to a squeegee).
The weeder is one of the best tools in the entire tool kit. When you are trying to remove the excess vinyl from a design before applying it to a surface, the weeder is your best friend. It will help get all the pieces removed from the design. Such a lifesaver when you are working with an intricate design or small pieces!
The tweezers can help with weeding and also help when applying small designs to a surface.
StyleTechCraft Machine Mats
When using your cutting machine, you need a cutting mat. You will attach a sheet of vinyl to the cutting mat and the mat will feed through the machine as it plots the design you selected. Each cutting mat has some stickiness to it so that the vinyl doesn’t move around while in the machine. There are different levels of adhesive, ranging from strong to light. In addition to various adhesive options, machine mats are also available in several different sizes with the most common size is 12” x 12.” StyleTechCraft offers two sizes: 12”x12” and 12”x24” and will have a medium strength adhesive.
I have had several crafters tell me that once they discovered squeegees, their lives were so much easier when it came to working with vinyl. It seems like they are a hidden secret in the vinyl crafting world, but are commonplace in the professional sign industry. Squeegees help you firmly apply your design to whatever surface you are adhering your vinyl to. The squeegee helps apply enough pressure to help remove air bubbles, but not too much pressure that your vinyl design is destroyed. With the combination of squeegee and transfer tape (see next section), you should have no issues getting your vinyl from the liner to your final location!
Transfer tape does exactly what it sounds like: it allows you to easily transfer your plotted vinyl to another surface—all without damaging your design. If you are sticking one little heart onto a mug, that’s pretty easy, right? But, if you are trying to apply a really intricate design or a design that has multiple pieces, that’s a little more complicated.
One of the joys of using craft vinyl is that it is sticky but it is also flexible so it can adhere to a lot of different surfaces: curved wine glasses, water bottles, etc. But, that flexibility is also part of what can make vinyl so hard to work with: it’s easy to mess up when trying to place a large graphic unless you do it all at once. That’s where transfer tape makes your life easier! All of our transfer tape has a light adhesive that allows it to adhere to the vinyl, but not destroy it or stay stuck to the vinyl.
StyleTechCraft offers four different types of transfer tape: paper, clear, clear with a grid and clear with a grid liner.
Paper transfer tape is exactly what the name says: paper tape with an adhesive backing. It is very similar to masking tape. While it is more flexible and tends to be cheaper, the downside is that it is not transparent.
Clear tape obviously offers the transparency that paper tape lacks.
Clear with a grid is clear transfer tape but with a grid to help you keep things straight. This is great for when you are working with intricate designs that you need to be exactly right.
Clear with a grid liner is a clear transfer tape but the liner has a grid. This way you can cut and share sheets without the tape sticking to itself.
We are in the process of adding a new transfer tape that will be clear with a grid but also have a liner. This new film will be even clearer than our current clear film, which will make application even easier.