Ever wonder how to perfectly place the mug wraps I sell? Here is a cliff note of the video!
1. Print out Mirrored design on 8 1/2 X 11 paper, perfectly centered at 8.75 X 4.25 for a 15 oz Mug.
2. Trim the bottom edge of the cup design as close to the design as possible trying NOT to leave any white.
3. Trim the top edge of the cup design close to the top. Not as important as step 2 because you can always trim with scissors later.
4. Trim 1/2 inch off the short edge or the left of the cup image
5. Trim 1/2 inch of the other edge or right side of the cup image. Leaving you with 10″ in length design.
6. Place one edge butted right up to the handle and the other edge will go around the cup and land right next to the other side of the handle!
I tell you, this was a hard decision for me. I have been watching this process for an awfully long time. Well last month I took the plunge, after researching for all that time on and off again and again and again.
My phone has rung off the hook of folks wanting to know what I purchased so here it is!
See what cute things you can do. No cutting. No weeding, just print and press. Ah, count me in for quick and simple crafts. So far I have made Luggage Tags and Coffee Cups. Clothing is next on my list!
I am going to just summarize this for you, instead of going into all that detail. When it came right down to the decision, all I wanted to know is what do I need. KISS concept!
Keep It Simple Sweetie!
A dedicated printer, used ONLY for sublimation printing.
Laser paper OR Special Sublimation Paper.
A Heat Press (if you are doing clothing, luggage tags, coasters OR you could use an Iron that heats up to 400 degrees
A Mug Press (Only if you are wanting to do mugs)
What did I buy? I am going to tell you, what and where and please know, I don’t get paid to recommend any of these products to you.
I choose to get a Cricut Mug Press ($199.00) instead of the attachment for the PowerPress (unless you are doing mugs you don’t need this)
I don’t like my PowerPress because it is so dang big. I call it the Monster. So I am testing the Cricut Easy Press 2 If all goes well, I am selling my PowerPress so my office will look human again without that monster sitting in it 🙂 The Easy Press was 149.00
So, without the PowerPress, Mug Press or Easy Press, about $315-ish.
If you made about 30 Coffee Cups and sold them for approx 20.00 each, you would pay for the printer and mug press.
Okay, bear with me on this one. It may seem like a very minor thing, but the right tools can really make or break a job. I’ve used tons of different tools from hooks to dental picks, lord knows how many tweezers, pins, you name it, I have tried it. I tried these and I am telling you, these tweezers are absolutely the best thing since post it notes. Honestly. Hands down, the only thing I weed with. I have had folks come over and help me weed, who have their own business and machines and they have their own tried and true tools….they go home with one of these.
The shipping is off on these, call into the office and they will ship out with a reasonable cost.
Craft Knife I gave you a hyperlink to a craft knife. I don’t have anyone that is my favorite, I just use one similar to this. We have several around the house and they all do the job. This is great for those times the vinyl did not cut all the way through and it just needs a snip.
OttLite LED Magnifier Lamp Another funny thing. Well, see, I am old. I work late into the night often. ESPECIALLY when I am weeding at night or weeding glitter this baby is turned on. I always use the magnifier with the light on along with my craft knife those times the machine just did not cut all the way through, rather than cut it again, I just grab my craft knife and turn on this lamp and look through the magnifier and all is well with that cut! I purchased just the desk lamp not the tall lamp. When looking for a hyperlink I could not find only the desk lamp. Hope they still sell them, as I sure would replace mine if something happened to it…I have had it a long time.
Tonic Studios Tim Holtz Snips I am so weird with scissors. These are my favorites. Tim has several sizes, but these are my favorites. I have one next to my rack (I purchase Vinyl & Transfer on rolls) so when I pull it off the roll, I cut with these. I have a pair right where I weed because I separate by images that way (I usually get anywhere from 9 to 15 to 20 images on one 12X12 sheet so I cut the vinyl with scissors first separating the images, then I weed them. I have another pair in my shipping station. My husband will tell you no one touches my scissors or craft knifes. I really don’t care if anyone uses them, but forgoodness stakes put them back where you found them or don’t touch them at all…. ah…TMI I know.
Xinart Cutting mat I know, I know I have a Pazzles Invue but I love LOVE the cricut mats. I purchased these; at the time they were 11.99 for 3 which made them 3.99 each! My favorite is the LightGrip for my vinyl. I just love it. No prep for the mat at all! And the price is right. They are smaller than the Pazzles mats. I just use a permanent marker and mark 1 14/16 down from the top of the mat and another line 10/16’s over from the left. How I came up with that is I just held the two brands together and marked the Cricut one accordingly.
It’s my understanding from other folks that the Silhouette users also love the Cricut mats, they must also move their mediums down 1/4 lower.
Heat Press – Powerpress This is one of the most common introductory heat presses that I see folks buying. Heat presses are a tough thing. If you don’t have the budget to buy a really nice press, the cheaper ones can be hit or miss.
I like my Powerpress, it’s a nice standard 15″ size and I can do shirts and whatnot easily, and it didn’t break the bank buying it (I think I paid around $200 for it but it can vary in price, it’s usually around $175). I’ve also owned it for about 4 years and while I don’t use it every day, that’s a LONG TIME to own a press and nothing has gone wrong.
I have owned an Electronic Die Cut Machine since 2012. I was an avid Card Maker. I did all things paper. I purchased my Cricut Expressions in 2012 and since then I have used my machines to:
Types of uses
Create Rhinestone Designs
Heat Transfer Vinyl
Make Rubber Stamps
Custom Vinyl Designs
I am sure, there are others I could add to the list, as I am sure I have forgotten all the different mediums I have ran through my machines.
I tell you this, because doing all those things has taught me quite a bit about cutting techniques, materials, and of course I learned some business things, as I started selling my creations right off the bat).
Here are some of the machines, manual and electronic that I have used.
I do not earn anything from any one I refer you to. It really irritates me to see all those adds when I am learning something from a blog. I vow to never do that. Not because I am better than anyone, but because at my age, I just don’t like the distractions. So know this, if I refer you to something or someone, it’s because I learned from them OR I love their products.
Cricut Cuttlebug I really don’t know when I purchased this. I know I had it in 2009 however I started card making in 2001. I know this is a manual machine, but I must tell you, when I see this little bug it makes my heart happy. It was a workhorse. To this day I still have embossing folders! I gave this little bug to my niece years ago and she is still using it. This little guy is the reason I fell in love with die cutting. There is SO MUCH you can do with a die cutter, manual or electronic!
Cricut Expressions 2010 My first introduction into Electronic Die Cutting. I purchased this so that I could save money from buying Dies. This machine had to use cartridges. This became as expensive although I could size the images!
Cricut Expressions 2. I loved this machine! I was into wall art and Vinyl by this time and I loved LOVED being able to use any font I could find on the internet to cut. Did I tell you, I loved that! Oh and did you notice that I bought the Cricut Expression 1 for paper….and now I am telling you I am only cutting vinyl? I to this day, hate to cut paper or anything other than Adhesive Vinyl or HTV on my machine…
If I am going to be cutting paper, I want my manual machines. There, I said it. The reason is, when I am cutting paper, I am cardmaking or paper crafting. It’s so relaxing to just grab scissors tape glue glitter punches dies and just use your invagination. The minute you introduce the computer, I quite enjoying that craft. I love the mess paper crafting creates. It’s so relaxing. But please don’t give me software or a computer…uh…no.
Well this machine was short lived because Cricut (ProvoCraft) shocked us all. They took away our ability to use any font or any image we could find on the internet or our computers….When that news was released, I put my machine on Ebay THAT DAY and sold it. Talk about control…
I liked the freedom I had in that machine, until Circut took it away with a update….and introduced Cricut Design Space.
I researched and researched and researched. I did not want that to happen to me again! TADA! I found the Pazzles Inspiration! Before I go farther, please pay attention to the machine itself….notice that it looks like the Cricut? Well that’s because Cricut purchased it from Pazzles.
I own a Pazzles to this day. Until this year 2021. I have been a faithful and loyal customer. That’s because Pazzles is family owned. It’s because their support is superior to anything out there. Example. I can pick up the phone or click on a link and have support immediately in all cases. I get designer support each month for one-on-one training. Oh and here is another thing. This machine outperforms the silhouette and the cricut in force along with other things. So if you are looking for an outstanding machine, this is it. No different machine to cut cookies or fondant or pie crust. I could go on and on. The software this machine was called Inspiration Pro. It was amazing. very few limitations. I also could use Make The Cut Software or Sure Cuts Alot Software. The company did not put limitations on you like Circuit did and does.
WOW what an update! Power and Easy! New Software update that was just awesome! Extremely user friendly. Would work with the Old Inspiration Pro Software along with Make the Cut and Sure Cuts Alot software. I currently have this machine. I love it. I purchased in 2014 and received one of the first shipped out.
My cutting strip wore out Christmas 2019. This machine lasted me 5 years using daily in my Etsy and Amazon Business.
I always have a brand-new machine, so I just opened it up. Could not order a strip…and I had purchased my “new backup in August of 2016. So, when I called for help Pazzles said hey you have two open the new one! It was Christmas time, and I was getting 70+ orders a day so, heck yes, I opened the new on and sometime after Christmas boxed up the old one. There it sat until my cousin visited from out of state. I sent it home with her November of 2020 along with a new cutting strip and she promptly opened her Etsy shop and is still using it today.
Now I only had one machine so I ordered my third machine November of 2018. My “new” 2016 machine mother board went bad Christmas of 2020 (yes notice how stuff breaks at Christmas time…) So I opened up my 2018 machine and I am using it now. I still have not put in the new mother board for my spare, just don’t have time.
So back to machines. The Pazzles machines are superior in quality, Force, Support and Training…..until now, sad to say. The last update they had in this marvelous new software was to many years ago to remember. The support they have for the machine and software is still awsome. Getting parts and pieces from the store is iffy. So I am sad to say, if I ever have to purchase another machine, it will not be a Pazzles. I will have to research at that time before buying. But as of today, I would not recommend a Pazzles purchase to anyone.
Now let me tell you something if you are purchasing a machine. I want you to think about software. Notice I went through 3 electronic machines and 3 different software packages.
If I could hold your chin and look in your eyes, I would want, you to understand this.
Learn one design software. The best software. The INDUSTRY STANDARD SOFTWARE, if you are designing your own designs. Why, you might ask? I learned my software inside and out. All three of them. What a waste of time energy and effort. Thats not counting Make the Cut and Sure Cuts Alot.
I now use Adobe Illustrator. This is the industry standard to create SVG files. It has been around since March 19th 1987. Yes that is NOT a typo, 1987!
Hours of learning cutting software could have been reduced to learning only one. All you need cutting software for it to import and cut. No need to learn all the quirkiness of priority software that the company and slowly quite updating.
If you are just a hobbyist, then don’t worry. However, if you find you are designing your own. STOP and pay attention. What you are learning won’t be there in a few years…but Adobe will.
As far as machines…the Cricut is almost identical to the Pazzles machines for obvious reasons. The Cricut Software is quirky but useable. The Silhouette Software is much better than Circuits Design Software. If you use one, you can use them all. They are so similar. Kinda like you can have a Jaguar or a Volkswagon. Most of us don’t own the Jaguar die cutting machines they are in the league of Silver Bullet Cutters, Black Cat Lynx/Cougar Graphtec are a few of the commercial lines. We are usually using the volkswagons Pazzles, Cricut, Sillhouete, Brother…I am sure I am missing some.
Are you getting the idea? You can spend a few bucks and buy used all the way up to about 4 grand….one thing is for certain….we all cut!
Spellbinders Grand Calibur I still own this machine. It’s an awesome addition to my Sizzix because of the large plates. The spellbinder was around when the Cuttlebug came about and the Sizzix. Sizzix was the one everyone owned at the time. It could take a 8 1/5 X 11 piece of cardstock! It also could use the cuttlebug and Sizzix dies! So this was a no brainer for me. I still have and use this machine!
Sizzix Big Shot This beauty came in 2013 to me. I loved being able to use thick dies. I moved to the Sizzix because of the thick dies. The thick dies allowed me to cut fabric and chipboard. Chipboard is not the same thing as cardboard. It’s very thick paper but not hollow like cardboard. (Chipboard is even used to make dynamite) Perfect for making box’s and all kinds of embellishments for cardmaking. I use to save cereral box’s for a thinner version of chipboard. Of course our Electronic Machines can cut chipboard….. I still use my Big Shot today anytime I want a die cut from paper, my goto is a manual die cut machine and this one is a beauty. I cut my burlap best with my BigShot. I love to make burlap roses and although I have run burlap through my Electronic Die cut machine, my manual machine does a better job.
Well all! I use to have a blog years ago. I made these ceramic tiles in 2015 and I still get requests for them in 2021.
Today, I am going to update that old blog here and share with you, how to make these wonderful gifts. I can’t begin to tell you how many I sold for Wedding or Anniversary gifts.
As you can see they were finished off professionally, or at least this old lady thinks it was professionally! The Tiles could either hang securely or stand. See how nicely the sides of the tile look?
At the time of this writing (4/28/15), I had to make 8 of these. First of all each tile takes a couple of days to make. Although beautiful, they are a labor of love.
Most all of the tiles I did for my customers were all about marriages. I truly enjoyed making them. It gave me an opportunity to pray for the couple as I made them.
I have tried several types of paint and tools to color the edges and have found my Copic to be my favorite method. I use the brush tip to cover all the edges, flip it over and color approximately a 1/4 to 1/5 frame around the outside of the tile.
Be aware….you WILL loose your beautiful brush tip. I have one sit aside for just this. And need to keep a supply of tips on hand. I have a refill on order, when it comes in, I might be able to use a brush with the ink, NOT using the marker.
This is my first, that is not a “Family Name” Tile. I have found some easy ways to do this. You know, that ol trial and error thing, we all have to go through. Hopefully, I will save you some of my frustrations I had to go through.
It will be my example, since I am in the middle of making it.
Well, first of all, I cut the adhesive vinyl in 2 passes (Oracal 631). Next, I clean the surface of the tile with alcohol, being careful to stay away from the edges because my Copic is a alcohol ink.
Weed your vinyl.
Then I put the clear transfer tape on top and squeegee it down. Now I have learned to let this sit over-night, IF, I want to make my life easy. If you take the time to let it sit, you will NOT fight picking up small pieces. It will actually separate from the transfer tape and stick to the tile easily, if you let it rest over night after you have squeegeed it down.
So just to be clear. Let the transfer tape sit on the Oracal 631 over night. Tomorrow you will place it on the tile.
After you have let the clear transfer tape sit for several hours (my choice is over night), Squeegee it again, and place on your tile.
By doing it this way, I can move the vinyl around the tile before making it permanent.
Now….Let it sit on the tile at least 1/2 hour, taking this step, lets me remove the transfer paper, without disturbing those small details.
As an example, the skinny frame on the outside, if I don’t wait, those will pull up when I remove the transfer tape, HOWEVER….it always goes very very smooth if I take that extra 1/2 hour letting the transfer tape settle on the vinyl and settle on the tile. Often, I will let this sit over-night. You know, the older you get the more patience you have. It will give you less gray hairs…
Remove your transfer tape. Now, if I am in a hurry, of course I can pull this off sooner. As an example, it’s only been about 1/2 hour and look at what I am dealing with.
I prayed for patience….and let this sit for a couple of hours. So much easier. I never have to fight it this way. I usually let this sit over night.
Love that scraper and those dentist tools OR my favorite is a Pazzles Tweezer. Best thing ever to weed with…I mean best thing EVER! Letting it sit for a few hours will stop that lifting from happening. So pretty. No bubbles just perfect!
Ok, ready to glue on my Easel backs. I am using a GE Clear Silicone and a doohickey husband grabbed from the garage. (doohickey is that device that dispenses the silicon) You can get little bottles, but buying them large is a bit of a savings. I get about 3 tiles out of one bottle of Silicone.
Notice the black “paint” around the back of the tile. Where the Red Arrow is on the right hand side of the photo above. This is Step 1 where I tell you to paint around the edges AND at least 1/2 inch on the back side of the tile with a black that matches your vinyl and your back. I do this, because I don’t like anything showing between the easel back and the tile.
Notice the black arrow at the top center of the tile? I do this, to make sure that when I put the easel back on, that I am putting the back on in the right direction. Hum sounds like I have done that before…
In the photo above I applied the silicone about 1/2 inch from the edge. Don’t get to close to the edge, or it will squeeze out onto the sides…and it’s near impossible to get off. I am just learning how to use that doohickey that the silicone goes into….so make sure, if you use one, you get someone to teach you how to use it. Hubby is still coming in and guiding me.
Ok, Silicone on and ready for the back. I match up the black arrow and the top of the easel back. I get my backs at www.bisoncoatings.com. Or Etsy Now, You WILL be excited to know how inexpensive these are, but hold that feeling, because it won’t last long when you see the shipping costs. I think I ordered 20, which adds under 4.00 costs to each tile. The shipping for these is horrible. Of course, if you had to ship one to a customer, It would problem be the same price, as the box would have to be at least 14 X 14.
Ok, I make sure the edges are are lined up and the top of the back is on the top of the tile. I place a towel under the tile, because if I scoot the tile (which I don’t want to do) I want to protect the vinyl side of the tile. Probably don’t need to do…but I just feel better doing this.
I then move my tile to a TV tray in the living room….because this can’t be touched or bumped for 24 hours. In my house that is the safest place. My craft room is small and I am like a bull in a china closet. I place a cloth under the vinyl side of the tile, place the tile that is now glued to it’s back and cover that with a towel. Now I need weight! I usually place a big heavy cast iron pot I have on top and put a 100 oz container of modge podge in the pot. But I have all these tiles ready for delivery, and that should be enough weight.
Easel Backs (This page also teaches you how to apply the Silicone) or Etsy
SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) Pronounced “Skew”. First of all, do I even need to know…
Well if you sell on Etsy, or Amazon or really, anywhere, you do need to know.
Let’s just talk about Etsy today. I reopened my Etsy shop in late July (2020, while in lockdown, another story.
Never in my wildest dreams would I have believe locating a particular item in my store would be hard. Today its February 11, 2021 only 211 days later or 6 months and 27 days.
I now have 132 designs in my store. Not so many. However I can’t tell you how many times I needed to know, which designs are selling in a list. Etsy does not provide this especially crossing from 1 year into another.
So as of yesterday, I decided to resolve this little problem. First of all I needed a spreadsheet. Not my thing so I purchased one from Emily, it’s her thing.
My downloads from Etsy populated the spreadsheet, but because I did not have SKU’s I still could not tell how many of what did I sell crossing years.
One message to Emily…and the answer was SKU’s.
Here is how I created mine.
In Etsy, we use Sections to categorize our items. You have seen this before.
I use the section name then a number then a description. So for the hearts as an example I used. SectionName |number |short description Which ended up being. IJS05_HeartBundle_12/27/2020
IJS = the name of the section “I’m Just Sayen” 05 = the fifth design in the section Heartbundle = short description 12/27/2020 = The date I listed this item….would you believe Esty does not give this to you either?
Just to go through 132 items, has taken hours. I probably will finish by Monday. Maybe 8 hours? Hey, I’m old it’s just taking that long.
The reward, I can now search here. This is in the upper right hand corner of your screen when you are on your listing tab.
Second reward I can now get meaningful reports!
Well break is over back to assigning SKU number and you can bet your bottom dollar every new listing will be done correct!
Praying I will save you some time, telling you about my mistakes.