New Life for Old Blades and Mats

New Life for Old Blades and Mats




Oct 1, 2014 By OLFA Creates
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New Life for Old Blades and Mats

Oct 1, 2014 By OLFA Creates

Project after project, your rotary blade and mat are the loyal sidekicks you rely on to reach perfection. But over time, your blade may begin to dull and your mat will become worn. Instead of tossing them in the trash, consider a few renewed ways to put your trusty tools to good use.

BLADES: GIVE ’EM A NEW JOB

When your blades no longer cut fabrics as precisely as they once did, you have a couple of options. You can try to sharpen them, but it’s likely you’ll find that the blade does not return to its original sharpness. The better bet is to designate dull blades for other uses or dispose of them properly.

  • Cut paper, cardboard, photographs, vellum and template plastic.
  • Put them in a spare rotary handle and mark with a “P” for paper. Just as you keep your scissors for paper and fabric separate, keep these rotary blades separate as well.
  • When you’re ready to say good-bye to your blade, always have a sharp one ready to go. This makes it easy to dispose of the old blade in the container or packaging of the new blade. And remember to store your new blades in a cool, dry place.

MATS: INCREASE THE LIFESPAN

To avoid excessive wear, don’t cut repeatedly in the exact same spot.

  • When your mat becomes nicked and worn in the area you use for cutting, flip it around and use the opposite side or end.
  • Using a clean, unmarked surface will double the life of your mat AND your blades. You can also use the back of your mat.
  • Clean your rotary mat with an art gum eraser found at your local artists supply store. It will pull the fibers out of the mat without gumming it up or leaving residue.
  • Don’t leave your mat sitting in the hot sun or a hot car, or put it near a heating source. Your mat will become warped and will be useless and dangerous for cutting.
  • Always store your mat flat to prevent a warp from developing over time.

 

RECYCLE MATS INTO NEW TOOLS

If you’re not crazy about the idea of your old or worn mats sitting in a landfill, here are few ways you can recycle them.

  • Create templates from old mats. Cut them into squares for pillows, rectangles for borders, triangles for piecing—whatever template you need. Trace the shape you want with a pen or permanent marker, cut on the lines and you’ve got a reusable template.
  • Use old mats to create stiff bottom stabilizers for the inside of purses and bags. Just cut to fit, dull the edges with a bit of sandpaper and encase in fabric matching the lining of the bag.
  • Looking for more ideas for worn mats? Blogger and quilter Mary Wilbourn has converted them into coasters and uses them under houseplants. She also shares more techniques for extending the life of her mats, blades and rulers!

New Life for Old Blades and Mats

Oct 1, 2014 By OLFA Creates