Repairing a Self-Healing Cutting Mat Used to Replace a Plate in a Die Cutting Machine

A year ago, I replaced the bottom cutting plate for my Vagabond with a cutting mat from the sewing section of Hobby Lobby. The one I bought was small, 6 x 8″, and here’s a link to one.

Here’s a link to the original video showing how I cut it down to fit my Vagabond die cutting machine.

The thickness of your cutting mat is really important, and when I was done, my mat was slightly thinner than I needed it to be, so I added a chopping mat from Dollar Tree that I adhered with tear tape to the bottom, and have never needed to replace or re-glue in a year’s worth of serious usage. Link to chopping mat:

After a year’s worth of using the replacement “cutting plate” that I made, it was getting a lot of cuts and paper fibers caught inside, so I decided to “refresh” it. You’ll want to thoroughly clean your mat with a mild cleanser. I used a combination of baby shampoo 1 1/2 tsp. to a spray bottle of water. I use this to clean everything in my craft room, including my stamps. I had to use a scrub brush to really clean it, and to remove the paper fibers that were stuck in the mat surface. Link: After the mat was well cleaned, I covered it with a damp/wet towel that I laid over it and kept that way overnight. You don’t want to use hot water as cutting mats don’t like heat or sunlight, so also keep it out of sunlight. I made sure the towel was damp enough that it would stay wet overnight. In the morning, my mat had healed almost all of the cuts and after a year of using it, it was ready for another year.

NOTE: You can place your mat in a sink of room temperature water, but I was afraid if I did this, since I’d cut the original mat on the sides, and adhered the Dollar Tree chopping mat to the underside, that the water would seep into the sides that I cut, and would remove the chopping mat. My system worked just as well as putting it in the sink, and I didn’t have issues with it.

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