Saturday, September 22, 2012

Pellon Vinyl Fuse - lessons learned :D

A while ago I pinned a project that used an iron-on vinyl coating on candy bags to make zipper bags.  Loved the idea, and despite many Buffalo Joanns employees telling me they don't carry iron-on vinyl, they do, and I bought some (60% off of the $10 price - YAY!) :) Today I got around to trying the bag.  Lessons were learned, and I *will* try again, because I think it's a darn cute project - so much fun for a bag for kids!  (Sorry about the glare in my photos - the photos were taken in the basement)

Here's mine - DON'T LAUGH! 
Lessons learned:

1.  Pellon thoughtfully TAPES the roll of vinyl closed in the box.  That allowed me to rip a hole in it when trying to remove the tape.  Thanks, Pellon, for not using - oh - say - an elastic that wouldn't LEAVE HOLES!  Lesson learned - either spend 25 minutes carefully removing a small slice of invisible to the eye clear tape from clear vinyl, or expect to lose several inches of vinyl.

2.  Don't use high heat when ironing this.  I always use the cotton setting and that's what my iron was set at when I did the first press - this is the result, LOL.  Definitely my fault, not Pellons.  Medium heat worked perfectly!

3.  Don't trim down your "good" piece (whatever it is you're covering) before vinyling it.  It's easier to rough cut the outside and the vinyl and then after ironing, trim down to size.  Cut the vinyl about an inch bigger than the piece you're covering (i.e. 7x9 outer fabric, 8x10 vinyl, trim to 6.5 X 8.5 after vinyl is applied).  Yes, this creates a bit of waste, but it makes life easier not to have to finagle.

4.  The vinyl is actually very easy to handle after you remove the paper backing - I had been worried it would be difficult to use, but it wasn't.

5.  Don't use clear plastic for your outer piece - I didn't think that through and didn't realize that the innards of my bag would be totally visible (and hideous) from the outside, LOL.  You can see the wrong side of the lining fabric - YIKES!

6.  Don't use a crochet hook to try to poke out the sides of the bag to make them nice and straight.  You'll poke a hole in the vinyl.  Ask me how I know this :D  Use your fingers or be VERY gentle - it's not possible, I don't think, to get perfect straight edges and pokeouts, but do your best and then don't worry.

7.  Don't use a piece of the backing paper to cover your ironing board to protect it from the vinyl - it'll stick to the project and will NEVER COME OFF.   Ask me how I learned THAT as well!!  :D

The hardest part of this project was turning the bag right sides out after all the seams were stitched - that just about made me crazy!  Persevere, and all will come out in the end.  It'll be a bit rumpled, but it'll work :)  Make sure you poke out the sides/corners as best you can, before stitching the opening in the lining closed.   You'd think I would know that, but no, I had to rip out a few inches to do the last poking *insert wry grimace here* :D 

Do a trial run and learn how the product works - it's really not that difficult to work with (despite my many faux pas') and done properly, should give you a cute project.  I don't think the outside can look crisp and 100% perfect, but it'll still be cute.

I need to find some pretty candy wrappers now - do you think my kids would mind helping with that? LOL!


  1. I'll help with candy wrappers! Always willing to eat a few chocolate bars for a worthy cause.

  2. He he he, I'm proud of you for persevering Sandra! Looking forward to seeing lots of wrapper projects.

  3. It's cool that you are trying out so many of your pins.

  4. I was told they didn't carry as well and finally found it recently! I was having an issue with it being a bit too sticky in spots so thanks for the tips on using a lower setting. I was trying to make a reusable lunch tote and now want to make a diaper pad for my brother as a gift and wanted to make sure it turned out as perfect as can be. Again thanks for the tips and wish me luck!

    1. Hi, Sara - if I can make one suggestion - do a trial run first on a project that isn't important, or doesn't use fancy/special fabrics - maybe you do that anyways (I do) but if not, you may find it helpful :D Good luck with your projects!

  5. Argh...I had done a trial run on the lunch tote. And the diaper changing mat was going beautifully until the very last step where I was going to sew a top stitch around the edges to give it that finished look. Well, the stitches is making the vinyl break at the seams. I guess I just assumed it would fuse enough so that would not happen. My mistake. I think I can salvage the mat but I am going to walk away from it at the moment. grumble...grumble... :)

    1. When things start to go wrong sometimes the ONLY thing you can do is step away, because if you don't, things just get WORSE, lol. Take a break and your mind may come up with a workaround or a solution :D Were you able to get the mat fixed?


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