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Proper Vinyl Weeding Techniques

Posted by Steven Grant - Indiana Location Manager on 10/14/2013

The process of making a vinyl sticker begins with taking a piece of vinyl material and running it through a plotter, which cuts out the design. Once the it is cut, the next step is to remove all of the vinyl you don't want for the sticker, a process known as "weeding." This process can be tedious, depending on the complexity of the design, but it is necessary to get a quality finished product.


 - Place your fingernail on the edge of the vinyl sticker, between the paper backing and the vinyl sticker material so you can grip the vinyl with your hand.

 - Peel back the outside layer of vinyl from the backing, pulling the vinyl at a sharp angle to the paper, and making sure the vinyl doesn't catch on any portions of the design you need to keep. Discard the old vinyl.

 - Stick the tip of the hobby knife into the vinyl in an area that won't be visible or used later, and pull it back against the design carefully. Work from right to left if working with lettering, as most letters are open on the right side, and this will make the weeding process easier. Hold down the design using a pair of tweezers should the vinyl catch on a section that wasn't completely cut out, that way the design stays on the paper backing material.

 - Insert the tip of the hobby knife into the centers of any designs that need to be removed, such as the middle of the letter O, or the triangle in the center of the letter A. Pull out the vinyl with the hobby knife, and use the tweezers if necessary. Continue until the design is all that's left on the paper backing.

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