In this DIY Guide we take a look at how to make a self-healing cutting mat for quilting. Self-healing mats to get started quilting can be a bit pricey. And y’all know I love a good budget-saving craft hack (#BSCH)! So, I give you my favorite way to make a self-healing cutting mat quickly and cheaply. Honestly, this little guy will get you up and running in no time until you can add a quality self-healing mat to your crafting kit.
Corrugated cardboard (I used a shipping box), it will need cut to the size of mat you want. 1” masking tape, that’s it. Told ya this would be cheap and easy.
For the masking tape, the amount needed depends on the size of the cutting mat you are looking to make. I did an 18″ x 18″ mat and used a bit over 2 rolls of masking tape. Below are some great colored masking tape you can purchase for the project.
Colored Masking Tape, Rainbow Color Painters Tape Labelling Tape for Kids Fun Arts DIY, Identification,Cording,Moving Boxes,Home Decoration, Office Supplies（7pack)）
Steps to Make A Self-Healing Cutting Mat
1. Cut the corrugated cardboard to the size of the cutting mat you want.
Honestly this is probably the most difficult part of this DIY project. We want to make sure we cut the cardboard to size and the sides are stright. The easiest way I have found to do this is with a rotary paper trimmer. If you do not already do paper crafts you may not have one and they are not inexpensive.
CARL Heavy Duty Rotary Paper Trimmer 18inch - 12238
If you find yourself in this situation, use your ruler to draft a straight line and carefully cut with scissors. Not as easy as the rotary cutter but still doable if you are patient and take a little time. Remember, measure twice, cut once.
2. Wrap the cut cardboard with our masking tape.
For this step, we will wrap the tape around the cardboard and let the tape overlap a bit on each pass. Once covered, turn the board 90 degrees and start over again to create the second layer. Continue these two patterns until you have 6 layers of tape on your board.
3. Done! Your self-healing cutting mat is ready to use. Good job
How to Use Your DIY Self-Healing Cutting Mat
When you are ready to cut your fabric, place it on top of the self-healing cutting mat and cut away. I like to use a rotary cutter for this. If you do not have a rotary cutter, below is one of my favorites.
The maximum sharpness / Made in Japan /OLFA 45 mm tungsten steel Ergonomic Rotary Cutter & 45mm Rotary Blade Refill, 1-Pack Value Set
To keep your fabric from moving around while you are cutting, use some weights or binder clips to secure it in place.
If you find that your cuts are not as precise as you would like or the fabric is moving on you, keep practicing, you will get the hang of it in no time.
The great thing about this little guy, is that if you make a mistake and cut through the mat, simply tape it back together and you are good to go. No need to waste your expensive self-healing mats.
So, there you have it. A quick, easy and cheap way to make your very own self-healing cutting mat. This is a great project to do with the kids or if you are just starting out in quilting and need a budget-friendly option until you can invest in a quality mat. I hope you found this helpful and as always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.
Wanting to skip the DIY and purchase a cutting mat. Make sure to read our Best Cutting Mats for Quilting.