Crafters everywhere are excited about the popular, game-changing die cutting tool that everyone can't stop talking about: The Magic Mat from Scrapbook.com. This amazing tool is running through die cutting machines all across the globe and inspiring true creativity. We want to make sure your magical mats are always in tip-top shape whenever die cutting inspiration strikes.
In this article you'll learn:
- Why the Magic Mat is made of self-healing material & what that means
- The best techniques for cleaning & maintaining your Magic Mat
- How to straighten out your Magic Mat if it warps or bows
Why Are There Cut Marks On My Magic Mat?
Those aren't cut marks - they are just past impressions from die cutting & creativity. If you run your fingers over those impressions you won't be able to feel them - unlike your plastic cutting plates. Keep in mind that the Magic Mat is made of self-healing material so your dies didn't damage the material of the mat, just separated the tightly-packed fibers that make up the mat. They also may appear deeper due to bits of paper pulp getting trapped between the fibers (especially white cardstock!).
What Is A Self-Healing Cutting Mat?
Self-healing mats are made from thousands of separate tiny pieces of material which are tightly packed together creating a seemlingly solid surface to cut on. But it's actually not solid! When you use a cutting instrument or bladed thin metal dies on the mat, the blade will go between the mat fibers, separating them rather than cutting or damaging them.
How Do I Remove Paper Scraps From The Magic Mat?
The Magic Mat works by allowing the edges of your dies to penetrate the compacted fibers and allow for a clean cut on your paper as it rolls through your die cutting machine. Due to the self-healing composition of the Magic Mat, paper scraps and threads can find themselves wedged inside the mat. Don't worry - that's completely normal!
Head on over to your sink with a little bit of warm water and mild dish soap and you'll soon see those bits disappear. You can use a stiff-bristled brush, an old toothbrush, or even a vegetable brush to dislodge some of those deeper paper bits. The Magic Mat is more durable than you'd think so don't be afraid to give it a good scrub.
How Do I Fix a Warped Magic Mat?
A little bit of warping is normal with the Magic Mat. But unlike your plastic cutting plates that are warped until you replace them, the Magic Mat's warping can be easily reversed.
First thing's first - if your Magic Mat is warped, running it through your machine again and again may just make the warp more prominent. So let's get your new favorite tool flattened out.
To unwarp your Magic Mat and return it to its original form, all you need is a little bit of heat. Get out your heat tool (or even your hair dryer!) and apply even heat throughout the mat. Keep your heat source roughly 1/2 an inch to an inch away and heat things up!
You can also use an iron set on low heat with a towel between your Magic Mat and iron (just like applying iron-on vinyl).
The heat will cause the mat fibers to loosen up just long enough to straighten out to its original form. Allow the mat to fully cool - take care not to burn yourself - and your Magic Mat is ready for more die cutting action!
You can also get two care & cleaning jobs done at once when you rinse your Magic Mat in very hot water in the sink. Not only will it remove paper threads but the heat from the water will unwarp your mat. Done & done!
Why Is My Magic Mat Warping?
Excessive pressure through your manual or electric die cutting machine may cause your Magic Mat to warp quickly or more prominently.
There are dozens, if not hundreds of die cutting machines on the market, all made differently with platforms, adapters, plastic shims, metal shims, magnetic shims, base plates, and more. We recommend checking your die cutting sandwich often and experimenting to find the right thickness.
If you are using shims of any kind - metal, plastic, cardboard, laminated paper, or even just paper - try removing your thinnest shim before you use the Magic Mat again.
Remember: Never force a sandwich that's too thick into your manual hand-crank machine or electric machine's rollers.
How Long Will My Magic Mat Last?
The Magic Mat was designed to last longer than standard plastic cutting plates and through extended use in your die cutting machine. While it won't last forever, it certainly has the capability of being your go-to die cutting tool for many years.
- Use the right pressure: Ensure you are using just enough pressure within your die cutting machine. Too much pressure will cause unnecessarily deep impressions in your Magic Mat that could cause it to wear out quicker.
- Rotate often: Turn it around and flip it upside-down all the time when passing it through your machine.
- Pick different spots: Every inch of your Magic Mat is designed to be used so make sure you're not placing your dies in the exact same spot with every cut.
- Keep it clean: Like all your favorite tools, this one should be cleaned often to ensure it's always in tip-top shape
Do you have more questions about the Magic Mat? Let us answer them for you right here.
And if you have a great Magic Mat tip or trick to share with your fellow crafters, leave a comment below!