A spoonful of sugar


and she goes on to sing: …and every task you undertake, you’ll find a piece of cake.  A lark, a spree, its very clear to see that a spoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down… in the most delightful way.

Well, what was a simple task, cutting out the above phrase for an elementary school administrator was NOT a piece of cake.  Never mind, I kept chanting the mantra as I waded through many different pieces of paper before I finally got the final script layer in white cut out.  This is a lesson about paper types.

The shadow letters were easy, simple shapes cut from the poster board at the dollar store (2/$1 no less).  But poster board, regular paper, and card stock all bit the dust when it came to cutting out that fine script.  I know, I should have made life easy and used vinyl.  But I didn’t have any, and I hate rushing off to a craft store and paying nutty prices for it.  So back to the stash I went.  The issue was that the fine width of the cut pieces would break when weeded.  Vinyl would have eliminated this by using X-fer tape.  What I needed was a paper that was thick enough to hold the shape, but strong too.  I found it with heavy weight vellum.  The crisp paper, with high cotton content cut cleanly and was strong.  Even  though some parts of the letters are 1/64th of an inch wide (yes, you read that right, about the width of a thread) it held.

20 thoughts on “A spoonful of sugar

  1. This is fantastic!!!! I had a very similar problem when I tried to put lettering on wood to then be varnished. I wanted to use cardstock so it would accept the varnish like the wood… I ended up breaking down and using vinyl which did work.. I am definitely making note of the vellum!

  2. U done a great job and it looks fantastic. I too would have chosen vinyl but vellum on the other hand is a great choice. Let us know how it holds up over time. I really like what u done. Very nice.

  3. Wonderful job and a good mantra to boot!!
    Nothing like having the machine to be able to cut out those fine letters too! I love my MAXX for job! I’ve used transfer tape when using paper too. Just weed out the background and press the tape onto the letters and carefully lift with the aid of a spatula if needed. Weed and interior cuts, apply glue to the back while still on the tape and pop that puppy where it needs to be. The adhesive helps to get it off the mat in one piece, and releases the paper easily enough when placing it down…just like vinyl. 🙂

    • Great tips, and for the most part, they work. I’ve found that for many papers, however, the actual cutting of fine pieces causes problems, the paper starts to “break up” and disintegrate. This can’t be remedied by the transfer tape. My thought is that the actual way the paper is made makes a difference. High quality paper that has tight fibers will hold up much better than the more pulpy paper. Only cutting will tell! That’s why it pays to keep a record book of what we cut, as Sandy McCauley keeps reminding us.

  4. Well done, Elizabeth! And yes, there are some great paper products to cut and some challenging paper products to cut. It’s impossible to tell by just looking, too!

    • Omyra-
      I actually tried to cut the white out in fun foam and looked up your original post to find the settings. Couldn’t get it to cut. Perhaps because I was using foam sheets that I got at the local bargain store. Is fun foam a brand? If not, what brand do you use? Also tried to cut glitter foam (with the glitter side down) and it was also a disaster. The blade would not go through. Perhaps mine is too thick.

  5. Elizabeth, you are a marvel. I was wondering if you were finding the “fun in the job” by the time you were done! 🙂 You did an exceptional job of cutting those very fine letters. I am in awe. Thanks for sharing. Hope that principal appreciates your hard work.

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  7. Good job hanging in there until you found something to give you the results you wanted. The sign looks great!

  8. It looks fantastic, Elizabeth. I just finished working on a wedding and the script font was so very fine! Used frosted vinyl for stemware and it cut so beautifully on my Zing! Would not have thought to try vellum on this type of project. Thanks for the tip.

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