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. 

In the Mylar Design, you can see inside the h, v, e, and the bumblebee there are these connector bridges on the design and there's a reason for that. They 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 something 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 than mylar.


If you have a design for vinyl, it doesn't have any little connectors or bridges anywhere because the transfer tape moves all the little inside pieces from the vinyl backing to the wood surface you'll be stenciling on.  After the Cricut cuts the vinyl, the areas of vinyl that I want to actually use as my stencil to paint in get pulled up and that's called "weeding". Next, I use a transfer tape which transfers the weeded vinyl stencil from the backing to the wood surface.  

The big difference between a mylar design and a vinyl design is the mylar needs to have these connectors with all the little inside pieces that are just sort of floating on their own. You can watch me in action with a vinyl and mylar stencil in this video HERE

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! 


Reta Frekot


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