- Item you would like to place your waterslide on.
- Printer. Both inkjet and laser printers can be used. I have a laser printer
- Water slide for the specific printer you have.
- Cricut to cut out your designs or you could cut them out with scissors
I bought water slides specific for my laser printer. The package I bought said it worked on wood, ceramic, candles, and even nails. So, I decided to first try it on ceramic, which is what I have seen it used on. If that goes well, then I will try it on my wood bunny cutout I made.
I decided to do a print then cut with my Cricut machine to cut out all of my water slide designs. You could also cut them out with scissors if you want. If you are doing the print then cut with a Cricut machine, then you will need to make sure all of your designs fit inside a 6.75” x 9.25” space. I like to make a rectangle this size to help insure all of my designs will fit inside, and that I do not waste any space.
To make the rectangle, I click on shapes on the left hand side, then click on the square. I then click the lock symbol next to the measurement of the box at the top of the page. This will then allow me to change my square into a rectangle, which I put the specific measurements into. I then place all of my designs I want to print then cut inside this rectangle. If some of your designs are going behind your rectangle, then you can click on the rectangle and then click arrangement, at the top of the page, then move to back. This will send your rectangle behind all of your designs, so you can see your designs.
When you upload designs into your Design Space, you can remove the background of the image. When you upload an image I always like to select complex. You do not need Cricut access to remove the background, but with Cricut access you do have more tools to work with. The simplest way to remove the background is to select the wand button that says select, then click on the background. Depending on the image you may also need to select on the eraser and erase a few extra pieces. I will go more in-depth on this in the future.
Once you have your designs uploaded and backgrounds removed if you want, you can fit your designs into your 6.75” x 9.25” rectangle. Once you have everything inside your rectangle, do not forget to hide or delete your rectangle before your click make it. You will also want to select all of your designs and hit attach so Cricut does not change the position of any of your designs. You also want to make sure you flatten your designs if need be. This will make your design one layer. If your design has multiple layers in it, then Cricut will try to cut out each individual layer, and thus cut up your design.
Now, click make it. If you have not calibrated your print then cut feature on your Cricut machine, then you will want to do that first. I forgot I never calibrated this Cricut machine, and all of my cuts were slightly off. For my pictures it worked out okay, and was not too noticeable. To calibrate your Cricut machine, you will first need to open Cricut Design Space. Then click on the 3 horizontal lines in the upper left corner of the screen. In the drop down menu select calibrate. It will then ask you which feature/tool you would like to calibrate. For this project we will want to select print then cut. I will go more in-depth with this next week.
At the time of me writing this, you can also calibrate the rotary blade and knife blade, which are tools only used for a Cricut Maker. It will then walk you through the next steps, you will want to load your printer and hit print. Make sure your printer is selected. The calibration sheet that will be printed will have a bunch of lines and number on it, as well as some squares.
Once the printing is completed you will place this paper on the top left corner of you Cricut mat, and click continue. Your Cricut machine will make several cut and then ask you which cuts you liked best. Do not unload your mat and answer the questions.
Once your machine is calibrated, it is time to do the print then cut. Place your water slide paper in your printer so it will print on the shiny side. I ran a normal sheet of paper through my printer with a small x for it to print in a corner to determine how to properly insert my paper into my printer.
Once your designs have been printed, you can cut them out by hand with scissors, or place them on your mat for your Cricut machine to cut out. Make sure to place your sheet in the upper left corner of your mat if you are having your Cricut machine do the cutting for you. If you are cutting your designs by hand, the background will be clear, thus making it okay to not cut exactly to the edges of your design, but this is up to you.
Now for the fun part. Place your design into a bowl of water. I used water from the sink, and just normal temperature water, not cold or hot. I recommend only doing one design at a time. When you place your design in the water it will curl up, and that is okay. My water slide said to leave the design in the water for 30 seconds. You will want to read and follow the directions on your water slide.
After the 30 seconds I removed my design. It started to slide off the backing easily. I applied a little water on my container before placing my design down, but I am not sure if this made much of a difference. I then carefully placed my design on my ceramic container and slid the backing out from under it. Just move slowly so you do not make a piece of your design fold under itself. Once your design is in place, carefully move it around to insure it is straight and free of wrinkles. You will be able to mess with it for a little while. I ended up messing with my letter Z a little too much and made some of the design come off.
Once my design was where I wanted it to be, and I was happy with it, I took my towel and lightly dried off my piece. This also helped remove any wrinkles still felt in my design. Then I set it aside to dry.
When working with round objects I recommend placing items on either side of your object to prevent it from rolling around on you. I used two paint containers to hold both of my ceramic utensil containers in place. I also left my pieces on their side and with items to prevent them from rolling around while they dried.
Since the ceramic containers seemed to work well, I decided to try my wood bunny cutout I made. You can find similar wood cutouts from your local craft store or Dollar Tree. I painted my wood cutout first and allowed the paint to dry before placing my water slide design.
The water slide worked well on the wood cutout. It worked just like it did for the ceramic containers. Once it was dry it seemed to stay well on the wood. I then added a few flowers to my bunny. I also glued a wood piece to the back of my bunny to help it stand on its own.
I had two different designs I thought about doing for my bunny, but in the end decided to go with the blue flowers so I could add additional blue flowers to give it more depth and texture. Which bunny design do like better?
This was a lot of fun to try out, and it was very easy to make and apply. I have heard water slides do not stick and hold up as well as regular stickers, but since I do not plan on runny these items through the dishwasher or leaving them outside, I think they will hold up just fine. Water slides have a transparent look to them, which is nice. It all depends on the look you are going for. I plan to make sticker in the future and compare these two techniques. Have you used water slides before?
After about two months the letter Z water slide now has a section missing from it. The flowers on the other utensil container still look great as does the flowers on the wood bunny. I will probably remove the letter Z and reprint this design on clear sticker paper.