We all know the drawer that is home to scrap vinyl. Every color, shape, and size imaginable just waiting for that, “One day, I’ll need it” moment. The problem is usually coming up with a way to utilize the scraps.
Well, whether a crafter, adding inventory for a craft fair, or a small business making custom items, it only takes a few supplies and that scrap FDC vinyl will come to good use.
In this video, I make a monogramed trivet out of a large cork disk with a wood burner and a Silhouette cutter. (If you’re wondering what a trivet is, it’s like a hot plate for pots.) If you’ve never used a burning tool, or soldering tool, it’s pretty simple to use. If you’ve done glass etching in the past, this is kind of like that, by creating a template to put on an item.
This is what you’ll need:
- Wood or cork (I used a 9” cork disk)
- Scrap FDC Vinyl (measure it to know how big a design you can create)
- Application Tape
- Scissors and tweezers
- A burning Tool (I got mine from a hobby store)
- Chalk (or a wood pencil that can be washed or rubbed off)
In the video, I used a standard TRW True-Type Font Nautical Wheel monogram that can be downloaded here. Be sure to draw your box around your design, since you’ll be reverse weeding the design (if using the Silhouette Studio software. TRW Design Wizard has the Magic Template function that does it for you in CorelDRAW.) You don’t have to mirror the image because we’re turning it into a decal, basically.
For Silhouette, go to cut settings for FDC vinyl and apply your vinyl scrap to the cutting mat. Select Load Cut Mat, not Load Media.
Once it’s finished cutting, remove the vinyl from the mat. Weed the excess vinyl from around the stencil box. Next, reverse weed the design – which basically means to remove the part that looks like the picture. I removed the wheel and left the outside box and monogram letter. This negative space inside the design will be burned with the burning tool.
Okay, the project is half way done, at this point. Cut a piece of Application Tape that covers your stencil. Rub it pretty firmly to get the edges of the designs secure, then peel off the vinyl carrier backing. Now, you can place it in the center of your cork disk.
Again, rub the vinyl thoroughly onto the cork. FDC doesn’t like to stick too well to cork, so as you peel away the tape, pay attention to the small pieces of the design so they stay put. Give the vinyl one final rub, then color in the negative space of the design with chalk. You can also use a pencil or whatever will wash away easily.
Vinyl will melt, so now you can take your tweezers and remove the vinyl from the cork before beginning to burn the design. Once you’ve gone over the design a time or two, you can rinse away the chalk. I just run it quickly under some water and dry it well. Touch-up any spot that didn’t burn dark enough. The longer and the slower you move the burning tool, the darker and deeper the burn. For cork, go smooth and quick. For wood, be careful of the grain or grooves.
Tip: Don’t burn yourself! The soldering end is hot, the wood or cork may be hot. Be careful.
And just like that, you’re done. You have a cute decoration or useful trivet just by using some excess vinyl and a burning tool.
You can add quotes to plane wooden picture frames, designs to coasters, monograms or letters to wood cooking utensils for a gift, and more. This is also a good idea for craft fair inventory. Buy some coasters in bulk and set up your monograms or designs, and get started. Unfortunately, you do need some time and patience working with a burning tool. Cork burns faster, so the process can go a little quicker for producing more items with just a simple design.
Click here to see other wood burning projects and tutorials