Do you want to make a Cricut project larger than mat so that you can create stunning and large wall decals from Vinyl or even cardstock? If yes, then you are on the right page.
Everyone loves to decorate the walls of their homes. The same is the case with me. I used to paint them with decals and cover them with photos and posters to make them look beautiful. Now I have my cutting machine at my home, so it has become a lot easier to create my own wall decals using Vinyl. But the problem is that many people like me prefer to make the wall decals that are larger than the size of a 12″ x 12″ cutting mat. When you first think of doing it, then it may seem impossible to you. But, in reality, you can do it easily, and in this article, I will show you how you can make these larger than mat projects.
To make a start, you first have to assess the type of walls. If you plan to use large vinyl decals, you must need to know that they work best on the smooth walls. If you have textured walls in your place, then you will find it quite challenging to use large vinyl decals. You also need to ensure that your wall is clean and free from dust.
The next thing is the Vinyl! And it is essential to use removable Vinyl on your walls. It is due to the changing taste and nature of humans. If you don’t use removable Vinyl, you will face the trouble later when you remove the large vinyl decals from your walls after some years to replace them with the new ones. There are chances that you might accidentally take some drywall off with them. You can easily avoid all this trouble by using removable Vinyl. Cricut is removable for up to two years; it is because the breakdown occurs on adhesives over time. So, if you are a renter, you have to keep this in mind.
Now it’s time to think about the mat. You can use a standard 12”x12” mat if you want to give it a try. Things could get much easier if you can get your hands on a 12″x24″ mat. You will need to do less work then. In this tutorial, we will use two mats of 12″x24″ so that we can get the next mat ready while one is undercutting.
In the last, you have to think about your design. Your walls are not meant for every design. There are a lot of things to consider when you are choosing a design. It also includes your personal interest and preferences. You should keep in mind that your design should be in a high-quality SVG format. It is because other formats like PNG or JPEG will generate an image of low quality, and you won’t have the desired results. Another benefit of using a high-quality SVG file is that it won’t break the resolution when you resize your design. If your design’s size is too big to fit on a single mat, you can use separate it into pieces and then join them again once they are cut on the mat. There are plenty of websites online on which you can find high-quality designs and download them for free.
What Kind of Materials Do You Need For Large Vinyl Wall Decals?
If you want to create larger than mat Cricut projects, then you need to have the following items.
- Removable Vinyl. These are preferred in rolls, and you can use the rolls of multiple colors to make your design. They also come from a variety of brands, but we prefer the Cricut brand.
- You need to have a 24″ long cutting mat. If you don’t have one, then you can use a standard 12″ long mat, and you can cut your design in smaller sections.
- You must have a transfer tape.
- Painting Tape
- Scissors and Weeding tools. (Usually, they are included in the basic Cricut kit)
- X-acto knife, Cricut knife, and a craft knife.
- Something to cut your Vinyl. We are using Cricut here.
HOW TO CUT LARGER THAN MAT VINYL WALL DECALS?
If you want to create larger than mat Cricut projects, we have enlisted a step by step procedure by following which you can easily get the job done in no time.
Step 1: Choose A Design And Prepare It For Cutting
The first step is choosing a design. There are plenty of free resource libraries on the internet from where you can download the designs and then import them to your designing software to scale them up and prepare them for cutting. You can cut these designs easily by using a cutting machine like Cricut. As discussed earlier, your design should be in the SVG format.
If you are not sure how you can import an SVG file to Cricut design space, then you can search for it on Youtube and watch different tutorials regarding this. You can learn how to import an SVG file to Cricut design space in a very short time.
Step 2: PREPARE AND CUT YOUR VINYL
Your design decal will be imported in the size of 10” usually. So the first thing that you need to do is to resize your design so that it fits perfectly in the space that you have. If you have to resize the design to 31” high, you can use the W and H fields at the top of the Cricut Design Space window to resize your design.
If you try to cut 31” vinyl, you will get an error.
This error indicates that one or more layer of your design needs to be smaller. If you want the design of your desired size, you cannot reduce it. So, what you can do is, you can break the large layers into small mat sized pieces and then cut it. Once you are finished with cutting, you can join the Vinyl to make your design complete again. To make it happen, first, you have to ungroup all layers in your design and determine which is the larger one. Now click and drag the layer to the right so that you can view it on its own.
After that, you have to draw a mat sized rectangle. For this, first, click on the shapes and select square. Then, resize the square to 11″ x 22″ inches and move the rectangle on the separate layer’s top. Now right-click the rectangle and create two duplicates of the shape. Place them over the separated layer side by side and avoid overlapping. In this way, align all rectangles at the top.
Now, send all three rectangles to the pack so that your separated layer is visible to you in Cricut Design Space. Now select one rectangle with the layer that is too large, and click on the slice. Once you are done with slicing, there would be three new layers. One will be colored, and the other two will be black. Keep the colored layer and delete the black ones. The colored layer is now exactly the size of your mat, and you can cut it easily.
Repeat these steps until you have the complete too-large layer is divided into small mat sized pieces. The number of pieces depends upon the design. You may have more than three pieces for some designs, and for some designs, you may have less than three pieces. The main idea is to cut the large layers into small mat size pieces.
Once all your layers are divided into small mat sized pieces and perfectly fit into your mat, it is time to cut them. You can click the make it button to find out if they fit perfectly on your mat.
STEP 3: WEED YOUR VINYL FOR YOUR WALL DECAL
In the next step, you have to remove the extra Vinyl from your design and weed it carefully. For this purpose, you can use a weeding tool, a craft knife, and scissors. Sometimes it becomes difficult to get it off, so you can do the corner of the Vinyl and bend it so that you have a place to start. If you keep your Vinyl on a plain surface or tape it on any surface, then it will become a lot easier to weed it because it stays flat and still. You can use scissors where there is a need to cut larger pieces of Vinyl. Make sure that you have somewhere to put the Vinyl as you cut it so that it does not get attached to your weeded design again.
Step 4: ASSEMBLE AND LAYER YOUR DESIGN
Now you have to assemble the pieces of your Vinyl according to the design. You can refer to the design image and start arranging the layers according to it. There are two different ways to assemble the Vinyl according to your design.
The first option that you have is to go one by one putting each layer on the wall on the go. If you have plenty of layers, then you can go for the second option. You can layer them and assemble them first and then apply them on your wall as one design.
Put the design upside down on your table and start with the bottom layer. Pull one of the seam edges at least one inch away from the backing paper and fold it so that the Vinyl is visible. Now position the backing paper in such a way that every piece of Vinyl joins perfectly. You don’t want any overlaps between your design layers or any space showing between the pieces of your Vinyl.
Now turn the design to make it face down and unfold the backing paper. Tape it down once again and make the design to flip over so that you can take care of any wrinkles and bubbles that might appear on your design.
Step 5: Apply The Transfer Tape
Once you carefully weed and assemble your design, now it is time to apply the transfer tape. Cut the transfer tape and keep its size the same as your design. If your design is very large, then you have to use multiple pieces of transfer tape. The tip is to minimize the number of seams. So you can either go horizontally or vertically depending upon in which direction you will have the minimum seams.
Remove the backing from the transfer tape. Once the backing is removed, you have to stay careful, especially if you have a larger piece of tape. You have to prevent it from sticking to any other surface. Now, apply the transfer tape to your vinyl decal. Hole it in taco or U shape and put the taco’s bottom in the middle of your design. From the center, start smoothing the tape outwards. Repeat the similar steps for the second piece and overlap it for about half an inch on the first piece, and in this way, you will have one big piece of transfer tape.
When the transfer tape is in its place, use any hard and flat-edged item or a scrapper tool to stick the vinyl to the transfer tape. If you have a removable vinyl, then avoid burnishing it too hard because the design can move from its place. If you have a large design, you have to ensure that all your backing paper’s seams are taped together, and they are in one single piece.
Step 6: Putting Large Vinyl Decals on Your Wall
Now it’s time to take your large design to your wall. Position it correctly because you want your design to be centered and leveled. It is recommended to check the placement of your decal twice before you put it on your wall. You can use a ruler to ensure that your design is straight and centered.
Use painter’s tape to tape along the top edges of your transfer tape to ensure that your design stays in position. Flip your design to remove the backing paper, and once it is removed, flid the design again and start smoothening it from the top. You have to smooth the design outwards from the center and remove the painter’s tape from the top edges. Use a scraper to remove all the bubbles from your design and adhere it tightly to your wall.
Now remove the transfer tape gently and again use a scrapper to do smoothing outwards from the center to remove any bubbles. If a bubble is to hard to smooth, take a knife and punch a tiny hole in the bubble so that all of it’s air goes out, and then flatten the Vinyl.
Some Commonly Asked Questions About Large Vinyl Decals
Q. Is it essential to use removable Vinyl?
No, it is not necessary to use removable Vinyl. But they are recommended as you can easily remove them and replace them with the new ones without damaging your walls.
Q. Is it necessary to layer the design in advance, even if it is in two colors?
No, it is not essential to layer the design in advance. Although if your working is not comfortable, then you will consider layering it in advance on a table.
Q. Is it possible to do this project on paper?
Yes, you can create larger than mat Cricut projects using paper also.