Hello everyone! I am Corinne Blackstone and I am ready to teach you about waterslide paper! What is fun about waterslide paper is that you can use it with a cutting machine or just use scissors to cut out your designs.Waterslide paper comes in both clear and white so it is important to know what you want to place the decal on before you print it out.
For this blog, I am going to show you how to use clear waterslide paper for inkjet printers. We’ll be making a bookmark and a hanging fall decoration. We will be using Cricut Design Space for this project, using their print then cut feature.
The first thing we need to do is put a template in Cricut Design Space for our designs. The bookmark measures 2 inches wide and 5 inches high, and our circle is 4 inches. The circle is a thicker acrylic and the bookmark is a thin plastic but both will work great for this project.
Now when it comes to printing out your designs I recommend using a few settings to be sure you get a really good, vibrant print. I am using an Epson ET 2720 Inkjet printer but you will have similar settings with any printer. The first thing you want to do is make sure the bleed is turned on for Design Space. This pushes the color out a little past the edge of your design to make sure that if the design is cut a little off-center you don’t have blank areas around the edge. The next thing to do is to turn on your printer dialog, this will open some additional settings. Now from here press send to your printer and wait for your printer preferences box to open.
When your dialog box is open be sure to select the printer you are using and click on preferences. This will bring up even more settings we can use to create the perfect print. On the first page of this, you will see on the right side a couple of things you want to change. Set your paper type to premium presentation paper matte and then change the quality to high. The next thing you want to do is go to the top of the box and find the More Settings tab. Under that tab turn off HIGH SPEED PRINT. And then simply click ok and print.
For waterslide decals printed using an inkjet printer, it is important to seal your print. I like to use Rustoleum Clear spray. You want to spray at least three times in different directions. Allow to dry for about 20 minutes between coats to avoid any drips or runs. Be sure to do this in a well-ventilated area. I like to allow my print to dry for at least 4 hours after the last coat of the sealant spray before I put it into my Cricut machine to cut it out.
When you load the design into your Cricut machine make sure the image is facing the same way it is shown on Design Space. I cut my waterslide sheets on the medium card-stock setting because you want to cut through the backing, leaving a die-cut item.
Now is where the water in “waterslide” comes in! You want to use a bowl or dish large enough that your decal can lay flat. Fill the dish with lukewarm water, enough to fully cover your decal. Place one decal into the dish of water. It may curl up a little bit but don’t worry it will uncurl! You want to allow it to soak in the water long enough that the backing and the decal will start to slide apart. See why it's called waterslide now!? Once they begin to slide apart you want to put a bit of water on your blank, take your decal and slide it onto your blank. You will have a little bit of time to adjust where it is sitting. Get it lined up where you want it, remove any air bubbles with a wet finger or silicone brush/ squeegee. Set it off to the side to allow it to dry. I let mine dry for about 4 hours.
Because we are using acrylic and plastic, we cannot bake the waterslide to cure it, like you can if you are using ceramic or glass. Instead, we will be using the clear spray and UV resin to seal our decals onto our blanks!
For the bookmark, I sprayed it again three times with Rustoleum Clear sealant. I sprayed in different directions, allowing it to dry between coats just as I did for the decal. Allow the spray to dry overnight and then it's ready to hold your place in your favorite book!
On the acrylic round, I used UV resin which gives a much more rigid coating. You can add a light glitter to this if you want to. Coat your round being careful not to spill the UV resin over the sides. You can use a small popsicle stick or silicone brush to spread it. You will need to cure the UV resin with a UV light. You can use a UV Flashlight or a nail light works great too. Cure for about 120 seconds and then I allowed mine to sit overnight before handling. You can use this decoration to hang on a wreath, banners, or just around the house!
Waterslide is a fun way to make colorful designs to use with lots of different products! Be sure to try it out and have fun with it! I have made tumblers using epoxy, mugs, cups, even a really fun decorative plate and now I have added this bookmark and round decoration piece! I am excited to keep exploring more ways to use waterslide paper and I hope you are too!Written by Corinne Blackstone