Craft Cutting Mats
Every DIY enthusiast should know that projects are more likely to succeed when using dedicated tools, materials and accessories. Craft cutting mats are crucial for scrapbooking, creating postcards, sewing and any other activities that need regular cutting. Obviously, you do not want to ruin your desk by cutting into it. With a classic green cutting mat, you no longer have to worry about it, as this provides a protective layer between the blade and the desk. Cutting mats provide other benefits as well, and getting to know them before purchasing is a smart idea.Cutting Mat Types
By and large, the cutting mats fall into two major categories: hard and soft. The cutting mats with a hard surface are more rigid and rugged, and your blade does not cut into it when doing any projects on it. The soft mats are in fact self-healing cutting mats, as the tiny scratches in the mat surface reclose afterwards, resulting in an almost new mat.Cutting Mat Sizes
The rule of thumb here is to always acquire as large a cutting mat as possible. If possible, try and cover the entire table or desk surface with the cutting mat for the best protection. When choosing the size, consider what you need to cut on it and whether it fits on the mat. However, if you only do scrapbooking and cut out small shapes, a simple A3 size mat might suffice, too. In terms of thickness, the self-healing mats are generally 2 or 3 mm thick, which is the typical size of a hobby mat.Mat Surface
The texture of your mat surface plays a significant role in its quality. If the mat is too smooth, the items on it tend to slip, and cutting becomes impossible. Look for a non-slip scrapbooking cutting mats if this has been an issue in the past. On the other hand, too much texture influences the consistency of your cut. Ideally, the mat would have a medium tooth. Another surface feature to look out for is glare. A too-shiny mat is bad for your eyes and affects your cutting.Measurements
Having measurements and hash lines all over the mat is a handy feature. The lines should be on all four sides and extend past the board as well. These lines allow you to line your material properly before cutting. If you need to cut out specific shapes, such as triangles or circles, look for a mat that has the shapes on it if you are using transparent or semitransparent materials and can see them. Some mats can have double sides and include useful features on the other side, such as measurements with different units.