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Silhouette Troubleshooting Trick: Avoiding Torn Paper When Removing from Silhouette Cutting Mat

If you've ever been the victim of torn paper when removing it from the Silhouette cutting mat, you know how frustrating it can be.  The problem is the mat, not the paper (or vinyl).  Today I'm sharing a few tricks to avoiding the dreaded torn paper problem.

Silhouette Cameo, cutting mat, tear, paper tear, torn paper, Silhouette tutorial

Obviously the Silhouette cutting mat has to be sticky to keep materials in place while they're being cut by the Silhouette. When the cutting mat is new, however, it can be too sticky for certain material such as paper and paper-backed materials such as adhesive vinyl. The problem comes in when you go to remove the material - they often tear ruining the project.

Silhouette Cameo, cutting mat, tear, paper tear, torn paper, Silhouette tutorial

To avoid having your paper torn up as you remove it there are a few tricks you can do to lessen the stick of a new cutting mat.  First, de-stick your cutting mat slightly by blotting it with a clean, dry cotton shirt or pillow case before you use it for the first time. This will take away some of the stick...but not too much. 

When removing paper materials from the cutting mat, use the Silhouette spatula and carefully and slowly pull the material off the mat.  You may also want to pull the mat away from the paper as opposed to pulling the paper off the mat. This also helps stop the paper from curling as it's removed. Again, use the spatula for any stubborn spots.

Silhouette Cameo, cutting mat, tear, paper tear, torn paper, Silhouette tutorialSilhouette Cameo, cutting mat, tear, paper tear, torn paper, Silhouette tutorial

Finally, if you're a big paper crafter, you may want to invest in a Light Tack Silhouette Cutting Mat. The only problem with the light tack mats is they lose their stick faster than a regular mat, so if you're cutting materials other than paper they're probably not ideal.

Keep in mind, the more you use the cutting mat, the more it will lose it's stick on it's own. There's a fine line between a too sticky mat and a mat that's not sticky enough...and if you're anything like me you'll have a love/hate relationship with a new mat soon enough.  I love it because it holds everything perfectly, but I hate it because it doesn't want to let go! 

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing products through my links, I receive a small commission. That's what helps fund Silhouette School so I can keep buying new Silhouette-related products to show you how to get the most out of your machine!

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  1. I have found that pulling the mat off the paper rather than pulling the paper off the mat is a terrific tip. it absolutely minimizes paper curling and makes it much easier to use the spatula and keep paper from tearing.

  2. Ok good to know for future but now that I have a mess on a new mat how do I get it off without destroying the mat?

  3. I am a big paper crafter, so I have experimented with a lot of combinations of stick / no stick / de-sticking, new mat, old mat, spray it on myself and other brands of mats.

    I settled on another brand of mat, (1 because it works better and 2 its always on sale at Joanns!) their light grip version and it works like a charm, no de-sticking needed! I use a painter’s spatula, the kind that they spread paint onto canvases with, because it is extremely thin, and I can slide it under the paper and don’t have any issues.

  4. will try it out in future when i'm doing paper crafts again. I'm hopeful that it's not the paper problem as I've stop doing paper crafts as i'm destroying them than creating them.

  5. I keep my old mats and use a tiny piece of tape on each corner of the cardstock. Works great!


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