Water can ruin hours of designing, printing, and cutting when it comes to stickers. If you own a Cricut machine, and plan on exposing your vinyl materials to the outside world, you’ll want to confirm whether or not your sticker paper can stand up to water and the elements. That’s why we’ve put together this article.
Is Cricut sticker paper waterproof?
Cricut sticker paper (or vinyl) is water- and UV-resistant, but not necessarily waterproof. However, there are steps you can take to effectively waterproof your stickers. Common methods include machine lamination, polyurethane spray, and clear, self-adhesive laminate sheets.
Cricut Vinyl: Water-Resistant vs. Waterproof
Cricut offers a variety of vinyl types to choose from. Your basic vinyl acts like labels, while removable vinyl is low-adhesion to allow for easy removal. Permanent vinyl increases the adhesion levels and is often used for most stickers.
Cricut also offers the following types of vinyl:
- Dry erase
When it comes to reacting to water, Cricut vinyl is water-resistant, but not necessarily waterproof. The difference is that the vinyl itself will repel water when untreated. In order to be truly waterproof, however, the vinyl must be treated during the process. That said, untreated Cricut vinyl will last up to 3 years, but durability doesn’t always translate to waterproof capabilities.
Related: Learn about more Cricut material options here.
Increasing Waterproof Properties of Cricut Vinyl
The water-resistant properties of Cricut vinyl gain a boost with a few different methods. Some of the most common methods include laminating with a machine, using polyurethane spray, and applying clear, self-adhesive laminate sheets.
While it might be one of the most expensive ways to laminate your stickers, a laminating machine can make quick work of your outdoor projects. Laminating machines will need to come up to temperature in order to work properly, and many require you to laminate two pages, back-to-back.
However, laminating machines can be an efficient alternative if you produce a large number of stickers for outdoor applications. You won’t have to worry about ventilating your work space, as you would with the next method on our list.
Crafters and DIYers alike find plenty of uses for polyurethane spray. It’s a clear spray that creates a fine layer of durability on any surface. While it may not truly waterproof your stickers, polyurethane spray can definitely improve their water-resistant qualities.
If you do plan on using polyurethane spray, you’ll want at least two coats. Any more coats may turn your white areas a bit yellow, so be wary. You should also be working in a well-ventilated area and cover your workspace with a drop cloth to prevent any overspray from landing where you don’t want it.
Clear Laminate Sheets
As with machine laminating, you can also apply single sheets of laminate to your stickers. These sheets don’t have to be applied in tandem with another page of stickers, so they can be a great alternative in that sense. You’ll want to apply the laminate sheet after printing but before cutting, so the Cricut can cut through the laminate as well as the sticker itself.
If you don’t want to use the Cricut vinyl available to you, there are alternatives. Scotchal and 3M teamed up to create a high-quality adhesive vinyl that claims a life of up to five years. The ink you print with can also make a difference. A higher saturation and shorter drying time make for the best ink in waterproof vinyl applications.
Waterproofing Application Examples
One of the most common areas in which waterproof capabilities are desirable is utensils. This includes mugs, water bottles, glasses, etc. As with the iron-on and heat-transfer vinyl, you’ll want to hand wash any utensils rather than put them in the dishwasher. Doing so will increase the life expectancy of whatever you want to apply vinyl to.
Waterproofing can also lengthen the life of a bumper sticker. This particular vinyl application is definitely an instance where you want to give the sticker as much of a fighting chance as is possible. That goes for helmet stickers as well.
Waterproof Your Designs
We hope you’ve found this article useful on how to waterproof your Cricut vinyl stickers. While they may not be waterproof, they will resist a fair amount of liquid, especially if you use the included methods above. Cricut vinyl is water-resistant, not waterproof, but there are ways you can improve that capability to fit your individual situation.