Fun Alternate Uses for Oracal Frosted and Etched Glass Window Films

Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall, who’s the most elegant & functional of them all?

Oracal 8510 (look of etched glass) and 8810 (frosted glass) are privacy films often found in corporate offices or restaurants to provide light-blocking and filtering opacity on glass surfaces as well as elegant understated cut vinyl graphics and lettering.

Chic and private glass coverings provide an elegant secluded ambiance.

Chic and private glass coverings provide an elegant secluded ambiance.

And while that might be the most common use for these films, it really is just the tip of the iceberg.

Corporate Branding (Courtesy of Orafol Americas)

Corporate Branding (Courtesy of Orafol Americas)

Privacy screen (Courtesy of Orafol Americas)

Privacy screen (Courtesy of Orafol Americas)

There are a host of other decorating and functional possibilities: imagine soft mint-green light slanting in through your kitchen skylight like stained glass, for example. Vinyl “Etched Glass” effects are temporary and removable, which is not the case with real glass-etching techniques that require permanent corrosive creams. Your vinyl installation can be as temporary or permanent as you need it to be.

Check out this blog from the Silhouette School which explains how to cut designs and apply the material, as well as shows amazing uses for it from temporary parental warnings to “BRUSH YOUR TEETH” on the bathroom mirror, to “Glitter” designs on phone cases and bracelets, which are all the rage in the garment heat-transfer-vinyl marketplace.

Photo courtesy of Melissa, http://www.silhouetteschoolblog.com/ .

Photo courtesy of Melissa, http://www.silhouetteschoolblog.com/ .

And here’s just one more crazy idea. It’s wedding season. For your clients or loved ones looking to save a little dough on classy elegant drinkware for their big day, consider a project like this. We applied different colors of 8810 (Frosted Glass) signature decals onto low-cost acrylic drinkware obtained at the local bed and bath superstore, resulting in a functional and elegant keepsake.

From cosmos...

From cosmos…

to Mimosas, Frosted Glass adds a touch of class and distinction to the bar at your upcoming wedding!

to Mimosas, Frosted Glass adds a touch of class and distinction to the bar at your upcoming wedding!

Try out all the 8810 colors at once in this exciting new bundle, and save over 30%!

 

 

 

 

 

Doing the Math for Expanding into Custom Cap and Dye-Sub Printed Mug Production

There are an array of products one can start making immediately with an enterprising mindset and the basic equipment for this business: a decent vinyl cutter and heat press.

Vinyl graphics and letters for signs and indoor walls, decals for shirts, etc. Not surprisingly, the stuff that’s easiest to do, with the lowest up-front investment in equipment, also presents the greatest barriers to successfully differentiating yourself in a crowded marketplace.

So what’s true for any business, is true for this one. To have success, one has to diversify one’s product offerings, and ideally specialize in a niche with plenty of room to grow. Two products you may not have considered to expand into yet are customized ballcaps and dye-sublimation printed mugs.

We’d like to present the business case here for expanding into both processes. Both processes require an investment in specialized equipment, but the following math will demonstrate you can break even on cap production with sales of only 40 caps, and you can buy all the equipment for dye-sublimation printing (with applications ranging from printed mugs, to photo panels, to shirts, and more) with sales of only about 180 mugs!

CUSTOM CAPS:

Decorate hats with the HTV of your choice, Chemica DuoFlex (pictured) or Siser EasyWeed.

Decorate hats with the HTV of your choice, Chemica DuoFlex (pictured) or Siser EasyWeed.

What you need…

A vinyl cutter, a Transforsa Digital Cap Heat Press, 15″ x 5yd Roll of Siser EasyWeed.

Specialized Cap Heat Press + Free Hats for only $264.99!

Specialized Cap Heat Press + Free Hats for only $264.99!

Assuming you cut a design 4 in wide x 2.5 in high, you can produce 180 heat transfer vinyl decals from a 5 yard roll of EasyWeed ($35.65). This works out to be about 20 cents/hat in vinyl.

The cost of blank hats is going to be your main expense. The cost of hat blanks and vinyl to produce 180 hats is $575.20. 1 hat costs about $3.20 to make. Let’s say you can sell that hat for $12.

Profit/hat = $8.80. The cost of your equipment ($264.99) + the necessary hats (36 more) = $372.90. Divide that by your profit/hat ($8.80), and you’ve almost completely paid for your equipment with sales of about 40 hats!

DYE-SUB PRINTED MUGS:

Put family photos or any image on a mug with vibrant dye-sublimation inks.

Put family photos or any image on a mug with vibrant dye-sublimation inks.

What you need…

A Sawgrass Dye-Sublimation Printer, a mug press or 5-in-1 multi-press, sublimation transfer paper, dye-sublimation inks, and cases of mugs.

The cost of the equipment in this bundle (SG400 printer + 5-in-1 heat press + mug paper) is only $799. It only costs about 10 cents in ink to print 1 5″x7″ mug design. The cost to decorate a case of 36 mugs would be $3.60 in ink, $3.24 in paper, and $56.99 for the cost of the mugs.

All the equipment and supplies you need to get started sublimating mugs for only $799.

All the equipment and supplies you need to get started sublimating mugs for only $799.

Total cost of supplies to decorate 36 mugs = $63.83 –> $1.77/mug. If you sell the mugs at $8/ea, that works out to be $6.23 profit/mug.

At that clip, paying for all the equipment and supplies (printer, heat press, ink, paper, and mugs) you needed to make 180 mugs would cost you about $1118. Divide this by our profit/mug, and with sales of about 180 mugs, you’ve just paid for all your equipment and supplies, and each additional mug sold is almost pure profit! And a dye-sub printer comes in handy for so much more, from shirts, to jerseys, to Wunderboard metal photo panels, to clear vinyl, and beyond!

Heat Transfer Paper Alternatives for Decorating Shirts and Other Fabrics

USCutter has recently completed testing on an array of heat transfer papers currently available for sale (or soon will be) on our website.

Paropy papers from Joto and products from Forever can be less expensive, less manual, and more accessible to the beginning user than other methods of custom shirt production including silkscreen, DTG, HTV, and sublimation/Chromablast. And the beautiful part is, all you need to get great results in many cases is just a home laser toner or inkjet printer and a decent quality swing-arm heat press.

Check out this webcast of a webinar recently presented here at USCutter for a detailed overview of all the technology involved, from equipment to media, and some of our findings during testing, including shots of our quality output.

Heat Transfer Papers are the way to go if you want to create great-quality shirts with a minimal upfront investment. If you’re interested in starting out, we’d recommend the following products as being the most accessible for a beginner with the easiest (and most forgiving) learning curve.

Forever Flex-Soft is a 2-paper system that transfers toner from a printed A-sheet directly onto a fabric after a coating has been applied from a B-sheet with heat and pressure. The A-sheet comes in 1 of 10 colors we currently have available, including metallics and neons. Get a 10-pack of sheets (A+B+matte/gloss finishing sheets) for only $24.95, and save about half of what you’d pay for comparable products from Siser or Color Theory.

Gold metallic look at half the cost of heat transfer vinyl.

Gold metallic look at half the cost of heat transfer vinyl.

And unlike HTV, with Flex-Soft you can do very intricate designs with tons of detail, and transfer them immediately with no weeding, just a simple peel!

Look at the fine details on the tassels. Throw away your weeding knife. Peels right off!

Look at the fine details on the tassels. Throw away your weeding knife. Peels right off!

Perhaps the nicest part about the whole process is that the less expensive the toner printer is, the better the finished product is going to look because consistent thick toner fill on the A-sheet, like that spewed by more wasteful printers, is going to transfer a more solid filled design to the fabric.

Paropy papers from Joto are another easy painless way to transfer full-color images and photos without the need for layering or other manual tasks like cutting and weeding (Note: cutting around an image on CL 135 or 140 is recommended with a scissors to eliminate transfer of the background, and contour cutting is recommended for certain products intended for dark garments).

Joto Paropy Trimfree Light peels right off with no background - no trimming necessary.

Joto Paropy Trimfree Light peels right off with no background – no trimming necessary.

Paropy CL 135 has a very easy peel with consistent results for production and is recommended for beginners.

Paropy CL 135 has a very easy peel with consistent results for production and is recommended for beginners.

USCutter has many products compatible with your everyday inkjet printer, CMYK toner printer, or even CMYWT printers like the OKI C711WT with new white toner ink technology for transferring white and light-colored graphics and lettering onto dark garments with results that you couldn’t achieve otherwise without outsourcing your production!

Print white for letters and graphics on dark shirts for full-color transfers and even photos!

Print white for letters and graphics on dark shirts for full-color transfers and even photos!

 

Forever Laser-Dark (coming soon) transfers full-color photos!

Forever Laser-Dark (coming soon) transfers full-color photos!