For my first DIY post, I have here a tutorial on how to make your own carrier sheets for the Craft Robo Die-Cutting Machine. Well, you might be wondering why the need to make one when you can just buy one from the craft store and use it straight away. No hassle, no procedures.
Well, unfortunately (for me, at least), I can't afford to buy a single carrier sheet since I am always tight on budget since I have a daughter and would rather spend for her necessities first before stuff for my crafts. So, I always strive to find alternative ways to save my hard-earned money, yet complete my projects. A carrier sheet, if bought here from the Philippines, costs Php 1,500 (that is more or less $40) for just 1 sheet. Well, it's cheaper in the US, costing around $20, and that's for two sheets!
So, now you know why I decide to improvise, instead. And I'd do anything in the name of crafts! Haha! To know how I do these DIY carrier sheets, keep reading.
- PVC Book Binding Covers or Acetate Sheets
- Spray Adhesive or Scotch Tape
Before proceeding with the tutorial, some of you who haven't used a digital die-cutting machine might wonder what a carrier sheet is. Basically, it's used for cutting out shapes that does not have a peel-off back layer. An example of media that has a back layer is sticker paper, heat transfer sheets, etc. Since regular cardstock or paper do not have a back layer, it needs to be attached to a carrier sheet so it can be cut out. Without a carrier sheet, your paper will just go crazy in your machine and would jam and ruin the machine. So, to make the long story short, a carrier sheet is required for media without back layers! (Sorry if I am a bit crappy explaining. I tried. Haha. If you still can't understand what a carrier sheet is, doing a simple Google search will do the trick. =P)
First, you need a material that looks like a carrier sheet. So, I find that this PVC book binding covers work great. Acetates also work great for this project, but there weren't any available. And I found these instead. I have read somewhere that some used those plastic place mats, and they'd cut it to fit the cutting machine. Anything 'plastic' that's thick enough will work, as long as they are not too thick. Below is a picture of what I got. It costs around Php 70 (a little less than $2) for 10 sheets. Just from that, you can tell how much I save when I do this instead of buying a carrier sheet!
These are normally used for ring bound books, which serves as a covering for both ends of the book. I bought these at National Bookstore, which means that it can be bought from your nearest book store or anywhere they sell office and school supplies.
Next thing you will need is a spray adhesive. I got the Elmer's Multi-Purpose Spray Adhesive, which costs roughly Php 350 (around $8.50). It can be used for permanent bonds, as well as for temporary bonds, which we will need for this project. You can use any repositionable spray adhesive you want. Anything works fine.
You can get these spray adhesives at any craft, DIY or hardware store. I found this can of spray adhesive at Ace Hardware at SM.
Procedure is very easy! And, it does not require you a lot of time to prep everything for your next die-cutting project. Simply spray the PVC book covers with your spray adhesive, 6-8 inches away. Then, as per instructions on the spray adhesive's can, wait 3-5 minutes before attaching your desired media to the sticky surface. That is to make sure the media does not permanently "bond" to your improvised carrier sheet. That way, you can easily take off your die-cuts as soon as your machine finishes cutting.
Use normally like a carrier sheet. Simply load to the machine and cut away!
Way too easy, right?! And waaaay cheap! It only takes you less than 10 minutes!
A rundown on the costs:
Php 70 for 10 carrier sheets
Php 350 for a can of spray adhesive (11 oz.)
Total: Php 420
That means that the price of a single carrier sheet if I were to order is equivalent to 30 improvised carrier sheets! Well, sounds pretty good to me!
- Optional: Instead of spray adhesive, you can adhere your media onto the carrier sheet with scotch tape on 4 corners. BUT, this will NOT work with really thin media such as plain bond paper or anything below 120gsm. It will ruin the cutting process and won't stay in place, especially for very intricate designs, as well as those being cut somewhere in the middle of the paper since it is not adhered. However, it may work for media which are thicker because they do not crumple and are heavier. However, I cannot assure that it would stay in place for intricate designs.
- If you are cutting a design one after another, spraying the sheet once will do. I did 2 cutting sessions, and I did not have to respray. However, if you find that the media does not stick to the improvised carrier sheet anymore, you may need to re-spray. But I think it would work for up to 5 cutting sessions.
Hope you enjoyed my tutorial and learned something. If you have any comments, feedbacks, suggestions, or confused with some steps, don't hesitate to leave me a comment below, or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Add it to your boards!