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Down-Size My Cutting Mat?

user-130184 | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

Hi All – I’m re-organizing my sewing studio (again) and, in order to recapture some floor space, I’ll be dropping the leaf on my cutting table and only putting the leaf up when I need to cut something out. (I have a cutting tables purchased years ago from Joann’s – it has a narrow surface in the middle and 2 leaves that drop on each side.)

Consequently, my full size self-healing mat (40×72) won’t fit on the down-sized table. Ideally, I’d like to salvage my existing mat and clip the smaller piece back on whenever I put the drop leaf up to extend the table to full-size (40×73).

Has anyone had any luck (or disasters) cutting their mats? Any idea on what tools I need to do this?

Thanks for any insight you can share . . .



  1. Ckbklady | | #1


    I hope that if anyone disagrees with me they'll speak up, but I must say that I found there to be absolutely no magic to cutting up a self-healing mat. I just used a pair of heavy scissors and cut on the lines. My mat had warped and rippled, so I set aside he warped quarter of it and cut the rest into three lap-sized pieces for bringing to sewing classes and for stashing in my knitting bag for lap use when I lose count of stitches and use the flat surface to "read' the stitches more clearly. I even flattened out the warped bit well enough and cut it into rectangular pieces to stabilize the bottom of my grocery tote bags. Hate to waste it! Those mats are expensive! Turning them into something else is a great idea.

    :) Mary

    Edited 3/13/2009 1:50 pm by Ckbklady

  2. Cityoflostsouls | | #2

    I wish they would make a drop-leaf mat.  Mine is fine when the leaves are down but I long for a full sized one.  I guess I'll have to get one and stand it by the wall.  I don't know how you would cut it but they're too expensive to ruin.  Can you trade it with a sewing friend?  My table was too expensive to scratch up. 

    1. gailete | | #6

      Not sure if I read you wrong, but those cutting mats shouldn't be stored standing up as they can warp especially if they are near heat.

      I wish I knew someone that needed one. When my hubby made my cutting table I got a really large cutting mat and now have 3 of the smaller (but big) mats that I don't use that I'm storing in a closet. I know eventually when the huge mat gets worn out I'll be going back to them, but seems a waste of them just sitting there.


      1. byf | | #7

        I'd like to add my warning on getting cutting mats hot. I positioned a gooseneck lamp over my cutting mat one evening in order to see better and was alarmed to see that the plastic under the light was starting to deform. Luckily for me, it had just started to warp and I was able to flatten it back down by putting a weight on it, but do be forewarned!

  3. ohiostar | | #3

    I glued the large green mats to the large sides of the table, and for the center section I glued 2 12 x 18 inche green mats. They just fit. I can drop the sides if I need to. However, when you are rotary cutting between mats, you will have a thread or two skip at the joining but I just use a small pair of snips and clip those threads.

    1. user-130184 | | #4

      Thanks to all of you for sharing your experience with me. For now, I think I will try using my mat as is (what a relieve!) with the knowledge that I should get good results cutting it with scissors if I need to in the future.Thanks again!Karen

      1. User avater
        JunkQueen | | #5

        This really doesn't relate to the conversation re cutting a mat, but I thought I'd toss this in just for information. I'm guessing many sewers do this, but for those who haven't yet thought of it, I used to store my cutting mat on the floor under my bed before I had a dedicated cutting table. It's out of the way and lays flat so that it doesn't get warped. Collects a few dust bunnies, doncha know, but other than that, it's great.

        1. MaryinColorado | | #8

          I hang my large mat on  a dedicated screw on the wall, but it's not the full table size, I wish it was! 

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