Waste Not, Want Not. Stretching Your Vinyl Stash!


Tired of wasting vinyl when working on word signs that use multiple colors? You could ignore the format and cut each color to use the smallest piece possible but trying to get it correctly lined up can be a pain. So many of us just chalk up the waste as an unfortunate by-product of our craft. However, if you plan carefully you can minimize the waste and still get great alignment.

I made this logo sign for a friend to put in her vendor booth for a trade show. The logo is two colors, the bulk of the lettering is black and the word “Passion” and two small diamonds are purple.

By creating multiple weeding rectangles to surround each word instead of one big square, a large useable rectangle of vinyl was saved for another project. The purple portions of the vinyl sign did not need to be formatted so weeding rectangles fit to size were used and the words were easily placed on the leather after the black vinyl was heat pressed.


Leather for sign

Siser EasyWeed Extra heat transfer vinyl (for leather)

KNK Zing/Zing Air/Maxx Air Standard Material Detail Blade

Maxx Air Settings

Force = 43, Speed = 210, Blade Offset = .25, Passes = 1, Blade Height = 25

Process Details

Set up sign in cutting program separating the colors to different layers. Cut each color vinyl, reversing (mirror) for the heat transfer vinyl.

When weeding, preserve any large areas of un-used vinyl by cutting out and setting aside for future use.

Heat press to the leather one color at a time. I did the black letters first and then lined up the purple by eye and pressed. Press for the time and temperature recommended by the manufacturer.


Careful planning can create less waste and maximize your vinyl stash, so you can make more fun stuff!

I’m just not that kind of gal! (Free Rhinestone Bling File)

My DH and I aren’t overly affectionate or demonstrative, especially in public. But I always know how he feels ~ and when he’s trying to figure me out he gets it right most half of the time. And I also know that sometimes he likes me to subtly tell the (whole) world that I love him. So, this project is for you, dearest husband (and a little for me, since I love my glitz! nearly as much as I love you [giggle]).



  1. Silver Metal Flake Iron-on (red cap blade)
    1. Force = 58
    2. Speed = 10/10
    3. Passes = 1
  2. Purple Deco Sparkle Iron-on (blue cap blade)
    1. Force = 110
    2. Speed = 10/10
    3. Passes = 1
  3. Rhinestone Rubber Motif (blue cap blade)
    1. Force = 115
    2. Speed = 10/10
    3. Passes = 2
  4. Rhinestone Rock-it Flocking (blue cap blade)
    1. Force = 101
    2. Speed = 10/10
    3. Passes = 2
  • Heat Press or Iron – 300 degrees Fahrenheit or Cotton setting

Method: 1. I used Make-the-Cut to create my file. I was concerned about cutting the very fine lettering so I made the text on the ‘front’ design thicker with a light shadow layer, and then deleted the original. Screenshotfront However, on the ‘back’ design, I did a little more work. After selecting my font and creating the text, I decided to weld the 2 and the 5 together. Then I gave the text a shadow layer that was slightly thicker than 1/2 the size of my 10SS rhinestones. I used the shadow layer to create the outline of stones (versus fill), then deleted the shadow layer. Screenshot1 Next, I added a couple of circles to the design and adjusted the position of a few other circles – just to smooth the lines out. Screenshot2 2.  Cut the template material. Brush in the stones and use rhinestone transfer tape to pick up the designs. (Click here for more detailed rhinestone instructions) Set aside. 3.  Reverse (mirror) the text and cut the iron-on vinyl. Test cut, Test cut, Test cut! I can’t tell you how many times I had to test cut the metal flake. It was my first time using this material, and I started with normal iron-on vinyl settings. BUT… I found it was a lot tougher than your everyday iron-on and it needed a lot more force! And then, when I cut the holographic vinyl – wow that required even more force. I saved myself a lot of aggravation and wasted material throughout this project by testing cutting each material until I got a perfect cut. And what a stunning result! 4. Apply the vinyl – 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-15 seconds. For the Silver Metal Flake and the Deco Sparkle, wait for the material to cool before peeling off the transfer layer. Using a teflon sheet, I applied heat again for about 5-8 seconds. 5.  Apply the rhinestones – 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 seconds. Peel off the transfer paper. 6. Stand in the sun and shine (or is it sparkle?)! All I know is its lovely bling! Front Back Ta – da! Here it is outside (on me, not a hanger), near dusk but with the sun coming from the horizon. It literally put sparkles all over my face and the ground when the sun hit it! 20130913_170652 The sunrise rhinestone pattern on the front of the T-shirt could be used for an accent on any project. Please download the entire file for free here for a limited time. Thanks, and Enjoy! Michele

Deco Sparkle™ – Heat Transfer (Iron-on) Vinyl

Deco Sparkle™ is a holographic heat transfer vinyl that will add Pop and Shine to your projects! While it adheres to nearly any fabric except nylon, it is not recommended for applications where you need ‘stretch’.


Deco Sparkle, like most iron-on vinyl, is cut in reverse and the carrier is removed after application. This means you put the bright side down on your mat and cut on the dull side. You can use either a standard blade or a thick material blade – but this material will require higher pressure than a simple, one-color heat transfer vinyl. Make test cuts to ensure proper settings for blade exposure, speed and force.

Deco Sparkle should be applied with even pressure at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-12 seconds. Use a teflon sheet to prevent damage to the design. The carrier sheet is peeled off when its cooled. If the vinyl starts to come off with the carrier, simply increase pressure and reapply heat.


Deco Sparkle can be combined with other materials for additional eye-popping effects (See Team KNK post on 16 September 2013). However, it cannot be layered.

As with most heat transfer (iron-on) applications*, wash garments inside out in cool/cold water.

* Iron-on Flock is the exception


Decosparkle rainbow web

Auto-traced Fountain with rhinestones

My most favorite thing to do with my KNK Studio (and MTC) is to auto-trace. The image I used for this project I bought from www.canstockphoto.com, a photo site that has a lot of silhouettes. This one came from a page of garden things. It reminded me of a beautiful fountain I saw in Puerto Rico last year.
With Sandy’s help, I broke apart the image after tracing, so I had 3 different images: the fountain itself, the flamingo and the water. I used the “Segment Edit” to take out the parts I didn’t need in each image. For the fountain, I used the Ginsu knife to cut the imagine in half, copied the side I kept, reversed it and welded it together. For the flamingo, I edited it and then closed the path to make it whole.
For the water, I was able to delete the fountain and flamingo, so only the water was left. I then used the rhinestone feature to make my circles. It is important to make sure all images fit together before doing the rhinestone template. I ironed on the vinyl first, then added the rhinestones on top.

Since I always have to use a pattern in more than one project, I shrank the pattern, redid the rhinestone template and used it on black cardstock for a page in my cruise album with the pictures of the fountain:

Materials used:
black glitter iron on vinyl
pink glitter iron on vinyl
light aquamarine SS10 rhinestones
light blue SS10 rhinestones
black cardstock
gold wall vinyl
crystal SS10 rhinestones