So often I’m working on a project and I have just enough material (vinyl or HTV) to complete it. The pressure is on because if I make any mistakes, I’m going to have to run to the craft store and buy more material to finish! That may be every crafter’s nightmare! So to help, I came up with a list to run through BEFORE I send my design to be cut.
1. Flip Horizontally
If you are working with heat transfer vinyl (HTV) or iron on, you want to make sure your design is flipped horizontally. When you iron on to your material, you will flip the HTV cut side down. If you do not flip horizontally your design will be mirrored.
To flip the design, you can right click on the design and click Flip Horizontally. Or in the top menu bar go to Object > Mirror > Flip Horizontally.
I can’t tell you how many times I would measure a shirt and cut the HTV only to find the design is too small for my liking. If I’m honest I think one of the major problems of newbies is making the design too small. I love when designs are large and in charge! You worked hard for that shirt, show it off!
TIP: Before you cut, print out the design (in light gray so you won’t waste too much ink) and place it on the shirt or whatever you are working on! This way you can make sure the size works for your project!
Welding is when you want to fuse multiple elements of your design that are overlapping, creating one fluid design. This is really important for fonts that intersect (for example decorative, cursive or script fonts). You’ll want to weld them together so your machine won’t cut each letter individually. That will become more of an issue when you are weeding the design because it is possible to accidentally pick up parts that overlap leaving the design looking choppy.
To weld your design, you can highlight all parts of the design that overlap then on the right side, find the Modify Panel (the icon looks like a Rectangle and Circle intersecting), and in the pop-up window click Weld. Or you can right click on the design when it is highlighted and click Weld.
If you want to learn more about welding check out my post Grouping Vs Welding.
4. Cut depth/settings
Always make sure your cut settings are correct! Many times I will work on a project with cardstock then move to vinyl and I have to make sure the settings are changed.
TIP: Take advantage of the TEST button under the Send tab. This will allow you to cut a little square to see if the settings are correct for the material you are using. I like to utilize TEST with vinyl and HTV because sometimes it doesn’t cut all the way through, so I will put on double cut and test that setting to make sure if doesn’t cut too deep.
5. Correctness & Clarity of Design
Looking over your design maybe one of the most important things to check! You want to be sure all spelling is correct (I can look at the simplest word long enough it looks wrong so I never take for granted that my spelling is accurate).
You also want to make sure the font is readable. I recently saw someone working on a project for Valentine’s Day and asking peoples opinion they had DAD in a font with hearts at the beginning of each letter. The overwhelming consensus was it looked like it said DEAD… which is not the design you want for Valentine’s Day. My advice would be to take a fresh look and make sure it all looks cohesive and correct. You can always show someone else the design to get their opinion.
I hope these 5 things help you save material and your sanity! Do you have a checklist you go through before you cut your design? Please comment and share below!