Over the years, I have spent a whole lot of money buying Cricut mats. Alas, I have found a way to restick my existing mats, and also SAVE MONEY!
As far as adhesive goes, my tool of choice is a good ole tape runner. However, for thicker embellishments that I need to REALLY stick, I will grab my CTMH Broad Tip Glue Pen. I now love my glue pens even more because I can use them to "restick" my Cricut mats!
I'm going to experiment as I go and I will keep you posted. I wanted to make this as quick and easy as possible, so I just took my Cricut mat "as is". I chose not to scrape it off or anything. I have heard that some people use engine cleaner to "unstick" their mats first. Yikes! I couldn't imagine using that stuff anywhere near my kids, so I'm going to try this way first.
All you have to do is glide your glue pen inch by inch along the length of your mat. The glue is blue when wet, and clear when dry. It took only about 10 minutes for my mat to dry, then I replace to protective plastic that comes with your mat to keep it sticky. Voila! Here is what my mat looked like just after applying the layer of adhesive glue pen.
The glue pens are only $6.95 (you can purchase them here), and I can't even imagine how many mats you could "re-stick" with it. All I know is that I just saved myself $13 by using my glue pen to re-stick the mats I already have! New mats and it only used a small amount of my glue pen which I already love!
Taking it One Step Farther
After having such great (and quick) results, I thought I would take the time to do a little comparison and experimentation. I decided to try the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser method of removing the old adhesive from the mat first, before I added the new adhesive. Much better than engine cleaner! I took some lovely pictures of the whole process, unfortunately, I got over-excited and unplugged my camera before the pictures were completely transferred and corrupted them :(. This is the first time that has happened, but I will summarize with a few comments what we would have visually learned from the pics.
1. You will used an entire magic eraser removing the adhesive off of one mat - so factor that into your cost. I think it is because of the fact you are removing adhesive, but the eraser sort of crumbles apart (great picture would have been inserted here). As a result, you will most definitely make a mess, but super easy to clean up.
2. I "erased" the mat by doing a 3"x3" section at a time. This allowed me to scrub a little harder on a smaller space. By focusing on a smaller area, you are able to really see if you have removed the adhesive.
3. I "erased" the mat twice. This means that I went over the mat completely (3"x3" section at a time), and then I repeated the process. The first time over the mat seems to remove the old paper residue that is left behind. Then, when you go over it a second time, it removes the adhesive. You are then left with a completely smooth mat -- no adhesive - with the exception of cut marks.
4. Use lots of water on your magic eraser. It seems to make the eraser not crumble as much. It does not seem to affect your the mat, even though there are cut marks.
I was able to salvage pictures of the almost finished product after using the magic eraser. The first one is a shot of the reapplied adhesive when it is wet. The second one is the the dried result.
Finally, here is a shot of the two end-results side by side. It is quite obvious which is which. There is not doubt the mat I used the magic eraser on first is more pleasing to look at (especially if you use a lot of dark paper like I do)!
Honestly, each mat feels equally sticky. I believe it is better to use your elbow grease and the magic eraser to remove the old adhesive though, as it will probably last longer. I will be happy to test out each mat and keep you posted though! Stay tuned for an update. I also plan on video taping the next set of mats I do and adding that soon also!