a pen and a notebook on a table

Shield Your Craft Table: Must-Have Craft Mats for Every Crafter

a pen and a notebook on a table

Shield Your Craft Table: Must-Have Craft Mats for Every Crafter

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Protech Your Craft Surface!

Crafting is a cherished pastime for many, offering a world of creative possibilities. While we are immersed in the joys of cutting, gluing, and painting, we often forget the importance of protecting our crafting surfaces. A versatile product that not only protects our surfaces but can withstand all our crafting tools, such as heat guns, glues, and other crafting mediums, is a must-have for any crafter. That’s where crafting mats come in – essential tools that safeguard your crafting surface and enhance your experience, giving you a little peace of mind that your surfaces are protected. In this post, we’ll explore the world of crafting mats, delving into the three main types that every crafter should have: self-healing mats, silicone mats, and glass mats. These mats not only protect your crafting surface but also enhance your crafting experience by providing a stable and non-slip surface for your materials.Later in the series I will provide an in-depth product review of the  mats that I currently use in my craft room.

The Magic of Self-Healing Craft Mats


Self-healing mats are a crafter’s best friend when it comes to precision cutting and measuring. These mats are designed to endure countless cuts and nicks, thanks to their remarkable ability to “heal” and seal the marks left by sharp blades. You can find various self-healing mats on the market, with some popular options being the Altenew Crafters Essential Cutting and Alignment Mat. This one being one of the two I have on my crafting surfaces, the other being Sew-Ology that I purchased at Hobby Lobby. The benefits of using a self-healing mat extend beyond durability. They provide a smooth, non-slip surface that ensures your materials stay put, minimizing the risk of accidents and inaccurate cuts. These mats are an indispensable tool for paper crafting, quilting, and any project requiring precise measurements.  Below are links to a couple of alternative mats that are available from amazon. I would like to note that the dollar stores, such as the Dollar Tree that I shop at, have small self healing mats in their crafting section. Perfect for the little projects you have.
Self-Healing Cutting Mat
  • Mat size: 18 x 12inches, Grid size: 16 x 10inches, thickness 3MM. Perfect for small, medium and large craft and sewing projects
  • ACCURATE CUTTING double side with inch grids and different angles 30°45°and 60° that will greatly help the cutting process
  • PERFECT GIFT for CRAFTERS and HOBBYISTS. Highly RECOMMENDED by crafters, quilters, and hobbyists
  • FAST CUSTOMER SERVICE and LIFETIME WARRANTY: Any inquiries you have, will be responded within the same day. UNCONDITIONAL 100% life time warranty
Altenew Crafter's Essential Cutting and Alignment Mat (22
  • Type: Durable Double-Sided Reversible Cutting and Alignment Mat
  • Color: White and Gray
  • Size: 22" x 15"
  • Usage: This handy two-sided cutting mat provides an ideal surface for your crafting and cutting needs. It features an easy-to-read grid with inch measurements on the black-colored side and centimeters on the gray-colored side. With this cutting mat, you can align your crafting projects easily! We have included guides for standard cards (A2 - 4.25" x 5.5") and scrapbook pages (12" x 12"). This will make it easy for you to line up and center elements on your projects.
  • Additional Features: Don’t worry about ruining your crafting tools. The durable self-healing mat will protect your craft knives, rotary cutters, and work surface, and will leave you with longer-lasting crafting supplies.

Versatile Silicone Craft Mats

For us crafters who dabble in heat embossing, hot glue, and other projects that involve high temperatures or messy materials, silicone mats are the ideal choice. These mats are heat-resistant and offer a non-stick surface, making them perfect for projects where melted wax, adhesive, or embossing powder comes into play. I have 2 different types of silicon mats in my craft studio. They are very handy and come in so many sizes that you could have one for every occasion and craft. They are inexpensive enough that if they get stained I don’t mind and since I keep a couple I have them color-coded for different crafts, such as painting, hot glue, etc.

Silicone mats are easy to clean, making post-project tidying a breeze, and their flexibility allows for easy storage. The craft company Waffle Flower has silicone mats that are specific to such things as stenciling to help keep your cardstock and stencils in place, as well as their water media matt. I have seen one similar at Hobby Lobby, and this is handling for watercoloring or if you are using the mini ink cubes and doing ink blending.

TDHDIKE 3 Pack Large Silicone Sheets for Crafts
  • Quality Material: Made of High-Quality Silicone, Heat-Resistant, Durable, and Stable, not easy to deform or tear up.
  • Perfect Size and Colors: The package includes 3 Large Silicone Sheets, 15.7” x 11.8”(30cm x 40cm), The Colors(Black & Gray & Beige) are Graceful.
  • Easy to Clean and store: The Silicone Sheets are Washable, Flexible, and Clean with Cloth and Warm Soapy Water Wipe. Flexible and Lightweight, Easy to Fold or Roll Up, Takes up Minimal Space, Convenient to Store and Carry on.
  • Multipurpose Mats: Great for Resin Molds Crafts, Jewelry, Casting Molds, and Other DIY Tools and Materials, As Well As Pot Holder, Coasters, Dish Mats, Tableware, Trivet, Heat Insulated Pads, Also the Indispensable Tool For Dining Tables, Kitchens, or Bedrooms.
  • Temperature Resistance: -20℉~446℉(-30℃~230℃) Can Be Used in Oven, Microwave Oven, and Refrigerator.

The Importance of Glass Craft Mats

Glass mats cater to artists and crafters who revel in painting, inking, and other creative pursuits that require a smooth, non-porous surface. Glass mats provide an easy-to-clean workspace, and their transparency allows for precise positioning of stencils and templates. I’m fairly new to using a glass mat, and honestly I often forget to get it out when I’m doing painting and inking, I know that is very crafter of me, ha! My favorite is the Tim Holtz Glass Cutting Mat. That is the one I have and it can be found on amazon, or sometimes I have spotted it at Hobby Lobby. 

The glass surface of these mats is also excellent for mixing paints, as it won’t absorb or stain from the materials used. This makes them a top choice for a wide range of crafts, from acrylic pouring to card making. 

Tim Holtz Glass Cutting Mat - Large Work Surface with 12x14 Measuring Grid and Palette for Paint, Ink, and Mixed Media - Art and Craft Supplies
  • Large grid for accurate measurements
  • WORK SURFACE FOR MIXED MEDIA - Multipurpose tool for any arts and crafts space. Measuring grid makes a wonderful cutting mat for scrapbook paper, clay, and fabric, while the glass surface is ideal for paints, alcohol inks, markers, hot glue, and wax.
  • EASY TO READ GLASS CUTTING MAT - Gridded measuring board is printed on the back of glass and won’t wear off over time. Ruler measurements are designed along all four sides, and the white markings are easy to see against the black background.
  • INTEGRATED PALETTE FOR WET MEDIUMS - The work surface is the best spot to blend inks and paints or prepare wet mediums. The stark white background makes it easy to see the true color when stamping or mixing media.
  • PRODUCT FEATURES - Scratch-resistant tempered glass with rounded edges. Craft mat is easy to wipe clean with soft cloth and water if needed. Non-slip rubber feet on bottom keep surface level so that liquid mediums do not run to center of mat.
  • SPECS & DIMENSIONS - 12x14 measuring mat features imperial and metric measurements. White glass palette measures 7.5x11 inches and comes with removable non-stick mixing mat. Large cutting mat measures 14x23 inches overall.

A Little Comparison and Contrast

To determine which mat is best for your crafting needs, it’s important to compare and contrast their characteristics. Self-healing mats excel in durability and precision, silicone mats shine when it comes to resisting heat and mess, while glass mats offer a smooth, easy-to-clean surface. Each mat type has its unique strengths and is tailored to specific crafting activities.

Let’s consider a practical scenario: a crafter who loves both quilting (requiring precision cuts) and hot glue projects (requiring a non-stick surface) would benefit from having both a self-healing mat and a silicone mat in their crafting arsenal. The variety of mats ensures that you have the right tool for each creative endeavor.

One thing to consider when deciding which type of mats you want to invest in, would be to keep in mind what type of project you do the most of. Are you a hot glue crafter primarily? Do you make wreaths and various other hot glue projects? Maybe starting with a silicone mat would be the best bet? Do you do a lot of cutting? Self-healing mats would benefit. Do you like inking and painting, then glass mat is your go too for the smooth surface. Like I mentioned I have at least one of each type to fit whatever type of craft I want to do. I tend to flip between a lot of different crafting. 

 

Conclusion

In the world of crafting, protecting your workspace is just as important as the craft itself. Crafting mats, whether self-healing, silicone, or glass, offer a shield for your surfaces while enhancing your creative output. By investing in these essential tools, you not only prolong the life of your crafting area but also empower yourself to tackle a diverse array of projects with confidence.

I recommend having a selection of these mats at your disposal, however if your budget and crafting space can only cater to one, that is perfecting fine as well. I know that us crafters love to have all the crafty things! Whether you’re a seasoned crafter or a novice, crafting mats are the unsung heroes that make your creative journey smoother, safer, and more enjoyable.

In your crafting adventures, don’t forget to follow proper care and maintenance instructions for your mats to ensure their longevity. With the right crafting mats by your side, your creative possibilities are limitless, and your crafting surface remains protected.

Happy crafting!

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