Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Alternative to Cricut Vinyl--Contact Paper!

So I have to admit to some envy over here as I have salivated at the mouth and had pretty intense chest palpitations over the sheer gorgeousness of things created with the Cricut vinyl. I mean, I have a Cricut Expressions, but I never got around to making anything with the vinyl for several reasons, some of which I will list:

1. Cricut vinyl is way expensive. ($9.99 for a package containing two 12x24" sheets)
a. It never goes on sale.
b. You can't EVER use coupons on it. (All craft store coupons exempt Cricut products.)
2. You actually ALSO need to buy stabilizer in addition to the vinyl in order to do good wall layouts. I think this is so that you can apply the entire piece as one sticker, which helps with your layout.
3. I could never come up with an idea for using the vinyl. (Probably primarily due to concern number 1)

Enter the glorious online community, which came to my rescue. I wish I could remember who it was and where in the Cricut forum I saw a person who said she just used contact paper for her wall art. I wish I could credit her and douse her with kisses but, alas, I cannot. All I can do is share the tip!

Instead of using the Cricut vinyl for your wall art, I recommend contact paper! I got a roll of beautiful black faux leather contact paper at my local Home Depot for about $7.00. It's 18" wide and 15' long. I think it's a good investment!

The other cool thing I was unaware of is the fact that the back of the contact paper is marked with 1/2" grid lines so you can easily cut yourself a piece of 12x12" (or 6x12" or 12x24", depending on your mat size) to work with on your machine.

Using Contact Paper instead of Cricut Vinyl with your Machine

Contact paper (shown in the picture below)
Cricut Machine
Cricut Cartridge of choice
Cutting mat

1. Cut your contact paper to the desired size. Don't pull it away from the release paper. Stick it to your mat contact paper side down. You should be staring at the grid marks after sticking the piece to your mat.

2. Make sure your FLIP option is selected. Any text you cut MUST be flipped or it will come out backwards on your wall. Proceed to cut your shapes and text, always making sure you have the flip option on. If you're desiring to cut, say, a flower that's facing left in the cartridge book, and you want it facing right on your wall, cut it without the flip option on.

3. Peel off the individual shapes once everything is cut. Follow the directions you got with your paper for adhering it to things. (Mainly make sure your surface is clean before peeling the backs away and adhering the cut pieces.) Here are the names I did for my sons on their bedroom doors. I should have cleaned the bottoms of the doors before taking a picture. Funny how you only notice these things after you show a ton of people how dirty your house is.

4. I obviously didn't get them as straight as I could. (This is probably where that Cricut vinyl stabilizer stuff comes in handy.) If you were maybe NOT in a rush like I was to see if this would work, I'd recommend lightly penciling a line across where you'll be putting text or images. Make some sort of markings to get yourself centered and straight. (These letters were cut at 5.5", by the way.)

5. You could also cut small images. The letters above were cut with my Storybook Cartridge using the Tall option. They're 1.5". The swirlies you see were also cut using the Storybook Cartridge (shift 7), at 2.5".

As soon as I get more fun wall art finished, I'll be posting pics of it. ^_^ Hopefully someone out there can use this idea and have some fun! I can't wait to get some new colors, actually, so that I can do some layered designs.


  1. I've heard you can use painter's tape to align your letter and use it as a cheap transfer tape. I am just getting into cricut cutting so I am excited to find ideas and clear instructions like yours. Thanks!

  2. Do you have any advice on the settings? (as far as pressure?)
    Thanks for the tips!

  3. Just found you on Pinterest, thanks for the vinyl info.

  4. I forgot to add...I have gotten scrap pieces of vinyl from our local sign shop for free. I still need to make them some cookies and decorate the container with their free scraps.

  5. I am brand new to the Cricut World... So I am confused when you say Cartridge & Flip together... Are you using through your computer? Please Help! LOL
    I have cut a lot on card stock just using the cartridge.. But, If I want to use the contact paper, then that must mean I need to link up to my computer to "flip" the image, is that what I am understanding?

  6. I have made drink coasters using tiles from Lowe's for 19¢ a piece and contact paper and modge podge ....simple and cheap!

  7. I recently saw that you can use press and peel food wrap for the transfer paper, I tried it on a medium project and it worked.

    1. Use it all the time. So much cheaper than cricut transfer stuff

  8. but I never got around to making anything with the vinyl for several reasons, some of which I will list: vinyl cut lettering online