One of the most significant investments you can make for your art and craft passion is a cutting machine. It is quite pricey, but considering the number of projects it will allow you to make, it will be worth every buck. To make the investment worth it, why not turn your little craft passion into an actual business?
Here are some projects you can make with a cutting machine that you can also sell.
1. Waterproof Stickers and Labels
There is nothing more you need for this business than your trusty printer, a cutting machine, and some design skills. You don’t even have to be a pro at photoshop or drawing. There are tools and software available online that will let you design basic logos and labels.
Your primary target market is small business owners. You can print the little thank you sticker notes for them at a low price. The capital is relatively low since you already have a printer and a cutting machine. If your printer uses dye ink, then that is much better.
Dye inks are the cheapest in the market. The only problem is that dye ink fades quickly and is not waterproof. It is recommended to use pigment ink for making waterproof designs. Still, you can make waterproof stickers without changing inks or having to buy a brand-new printer.
To make waterproof stickers using dye ink, you can change the paper that you will use. Opt for vinyl waterproof sticker papers instead of regular ones. You can also apply a plastic laminate to make the stickers scratch-free.
The use of a cutting machine will come in when the customers need round stickers. You can’t cut perfect circles using plain scissors no matter how dexterous you are with your hand skills. Let the cutting machine do the work of making ideal round cuts.
You can also sell cute stickers to journaling enthusiasts. Sell them in sets in an online shop. Just make sure to sell your own design to avoid possible copyright issues.
2. Engraved Souvenirs
Cutting machines have a wide range of materials that they can cut. Just change the settings of the blade you will use, together with the force and speed of cutting. This feature is perfect for a business if you have unique engraved gift ideas in mind.
Most cutting machines just come with cutting blades that are not suitable for engraving. You can purchase a set of etching blades from an online craft store. Just know that this comes with its own risks since you are using unauthorized tools. This can void your one-year warranty on the cutting machine.
If your machine is out of warranty already and you are confident about your project, go ahead. The etching tools usually come with blank metals you can practice with. Once you perfect the craft, you can then start selling engraved souvenirs like dog tags and key chains.
3. Shirt Printing
As for the stickers, you also need a printer, cutting machine, and design skills. But for this one, you need to add one more piece of equipment—a heat press. You also need to use a special kind of ink. Regular dye inks don’t work with heat transfer. It would help if you used sublimation ink to transfer the design you cut to the garment.
You can earn well from T-shirt printing if you can get commissioned for big events. The process basically goes like this: you work on the design, print it on the special transfer paper, then cut the design. Prepare your chosen fabric, then use the heat press to transfer the design from the paper to the cloth.
It takes some practice to perfect this process. Be careful of printing the wring words on the cloth materials. You may only notice that you’ve spelled out a word incorrectly after transferring the design to about fifty shirts. That would be a big disaster. Make it a habit to always double-check and keep your workspace organized.
4. Custom Invitation Cards
Have you seen a wedding invitation where if you pull the paper insert, the cutout of the groom will move closer to the cutout of the bride? Those kinds of invitations are doable using your cutting machine. Intricate designs have nothing on these small but powerful tools.
You can even make pastry boxes using food-grade cardboard boxes. You can also create custom envelopes. Basically, anything that requires precise cuts can be done using a cutting machine.
All you need here is a printer, your cutting machine, and tons of patience. You will be weeding out the tiny parts of the cutout that need to be removed. The speed of your cutting machine also needs to be slow to cut small details. The waiting game is on once you start with these kinds of projects. Practice with templates first to get the hang of it.
There are more arts and crafts that you can make with a cutting machine. Give yourself enough time to explore, and soon enough, you can sell your own designs. You can use the earnings to get back the money that you used to buy the machine. Or you can use it to expand your craft business even further.