I’m working with tiny cut-out dictionary words and phrases, which are so tiny that gluing is messy/impractical and the bits themselves are prone to static cling and getting lost. I’ve been looking for a better way to manage and affix them. Some of you all got me thinking about a Xyron sticker machine, but I really wanted to work from stash.
I stewed for a couple weeks, and then the solution hit me (inspired partially by DIY washi tape tutorials that are out on the web):
The short version:
- Put a strip of double-sided tape on wax paper, freezer paper, or used vinyl/sticker-backing paper.
- Put your paper-bits in the middle of the tape.
- Cover with clear carton tape (fully covering the double-sided tape).
- Cut out the size you need and peel off the wax paper when you’re ready to use your sticker.
Details and meh photos:
First, dust/sweep/vacuum your crafting space… Which I didn’t do, and thus dirt, hairs and miscellaneous fuzz were drawn to the tape.
Second, the materials I used are not acid-free, so I’m not recommending for special/important projects.
I didn’t buy anything; I had saved the backing from a roll of Contact Paper (adhesive vinyl) I’d used, which is kind of like freezer paper.
I put double-sided tape down on the slippery side of the paper backing, about 2.5 inches, to accommodate the widest of my paper-bits. Then I carefully placed the completed found phrases in the middle of the tape, with open sticky space around each side.
The next step is laminating and sealing the paper-bits in place by putting a bigger strip of clear tape on top of the double-sided tape. Packing/carton tape is my go-to for many things. I put two sets of phrases (each on a separate strip of double-digit tape) close together so there would be less packing tape wasted in the end.
Careful not to get an air bubble in there when putting the packing tape down.
So if the packing tape covers everything, is the double-sided tape necessary? For tiny paper-bits, it helps a lot. It is easier to position them initially there, while working with just a strip of packing tape can be unwieldy (static cling, etc). Plus, having the two layers of tape gives you full lamination, and helps larger paper-bit stickers to adhere.
Now you can cut the stickers down to whatever size you fancy; probably no less than a 1/8th-inch margin of tape around each paper-bit. More margin if the stickers are going on a surface that isn’t very clingy, like construction paper.
These can sit in your stash until the cows come home (or the right project comes along). And possibly the best part is, they don’t have to be cut at all until you use them; storing a whole sheet of them instead of all the little pieces makes them easier to keep track of. When you’re ready to use them, just peel off the wax paper backing. I tried out my first ones on an ATC, and they’re sticking well so far! One way of dealing with the shiny+not-shiny surface is to seal the finished work with a coat of gloss medium, to even out and better blend the shininess.
Across from the acorn I can see a little of the tape edge around the word “know”, but that’s because I didn’t give it a good enough furnishing yet.
True, a sticker machine would be easy and look more professional, plus there are some models that are very affordable. But since I’m not a sticker person in general, this meets my needs!