What's the Difference Between a Vinyl (one time use) and a Mylar (multi-use) Stencil Design?

Uncategorized Mar 16, 2023

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a design for a vinyl (one time use) stencil vs. a mylar (multi-use) stencil?  

Whether you are using a Cricut or another type of cutting machine, those two materials are different and they require different types of designs in order for them to be cut and used successfully for your gorgeous DIY signs! (Sign up HERE for the "Hive Sweet Hive Sign Challenge where I'll walk you through step by step how to create this sign before doors close!)

I'll keep it super simple and so you know how to spot a vinyl stencil design versus a mylar material stencil design from a mile away and won't ever feel unsure again.  

Mylar- plastic type material that is a reusable material that does not stick to the surface and requires no transfer tape. I like the five mil thickness because it's easier to cut especially for beginners if you're just starting out with your Cricut that would be my recommendation. And if you take a look above, there's connectors in any of the insides of my lettering.

In the Mylar Design, you can see inside the HCV the E and the bumblebee there are these connector bridges on the design and there's a reason for that. They kind of hold those pieces onto the main body of the mylar. So when you go to pull your mylar off the mat, you're not leaving behind all those little pieces because they have nothing to hold on to.

Vinyl- is a one time use material, requires some prep and transfer tape but creates a terrific seal and better results. 


If you have a design like this, and it doesn't have any  little connectors or bridges anywhere,  this design is for a vinyl stencil. I'm going to put it through the machine it's going to cut on my design. And then I'm just going to pull up all the areas of vinyl that I want to actually use as my stencil to paint in, that's called "weeding". Next, I use a transfer tape which transfers the weeded vinyl stencil from the backing to the woods surface we're working on so we don't need all those little bridges.

The big difference between your mylar design and your vinyl design is it needs to have these connectors with all these little inside pieces that are just sort of floating on their own.  This inside of the E if it didn't have these little bridges would just be floating in the middle of the "e" so when I go to pull up my material that would be left behind.

I hope this was super helpful and I hope to see you guys soon inside my $10 Hive Sweet Hive Sign Challenge. Doors open 3/12 and the challenge kicks off on 3/27, and you have access to all of the tutorials and resources for 1 year! 

Buzz on in and join the fun HERE


Reta Frekot


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