How to Fix a Warped Cutting Mat

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NSC Question

Help! My cutting mat is buckled up and warped on one side now when it got accidentally too close to some heat. I paid $50 for this mat. I laid some heavy old machines on it for days to see if it would force the mat to return to its original flat surface, but no go. What should I do?

Submitted by Anna

NSC Answer

Oh no! Not what you want to have happen to your expensive cutting mats! But I think there is a solution here – this might seem counter-intuitive but one way to get a mat to lay flat again is to add back a little heat. This will soften it down and then you can try setting something heavy on it to get it to retain its flat surface. I’m not sure where you live, but if you are in a sunny area you can lay the mat out on a porch or deck to warm for an afternoon and then stack something heavy on it to get it to lay flat again.

Good luck!


Related links:

All About Cutting Mats

How to Care for Cutting Mats (links to our sister site, National Quilters Circle)

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9 Responses to “How to Fix a Warped Cutting Mat”
  1. Rosalyn Schultze

    You might also try submerging your mat in very hot water (in the bathtub). Leave it in the tub to soften, then take it out and place some bricks or very heavy books (wrapped in plastic) on it and let it cool. If you have a tile floor in your bathroom, place it there. Dry it off after it flattens. It may need more than one dunking in very hot water.

  2. Dora

    I looked online and found this: use your iron! Yes – your iron! Heat up the mat with a protective presscloth then lay it on a flat surface with books weighting it down. Leave it for at least 12 hours or so. It worked and my mat looks great.

  3. Cherie

    I tried that on mine – but it didn’t help – though maybe I didn’t heat it enough. Maybe putting it in very hot water might be safer than ironing over it again. It would be easier to control the heat I think. Fortunately I already had an extra mat that I found at a yard sale. ($4 !!!)

  4. Jo McBee

    I have also warped my mat and also tried to flatten it out no luck but thanku for advice to try heat again . Was wondering what I could do hope this will work as I don’t want to purchase new mat. Thanks again !

    • Customer Service


      A good way to try and fix a warped mat is to lay it out on a flat surface in the heat of the sun all day. This will cause to to slowly warm and the mat should then lay back flat. If it doesn’t do so on its own- once it is good and warm you can place heavy objects on it, like books, and leave them there until the mat has cooled.

      Hope this helps!

      • Sue

        Laying your mat on your blacktop driveway on a hot day worked for my very warped mat. I put heavy objects on it throughout the day. Little tip. Don’t iron on them!

  5. Susan

    I’ve been watching a lot of videos since I joined and I notice that when back stitching some stitch forward then back then forward again and some start 1/4 inch in and just backstitches and then goes forward. Which is the correct way?

    • Customer Service

      Hi, Susan. This is actually personal preference. Starting forwards a bit, then going backwards and then forwards is enough stitching to secure the beginning of a seam, however starting at the edge, going forward, backwards and then forwards again can feel more natural. I actually change up which method I use depending on the type of fabric I am stitching on. For cotton or anything medium- to heavy-weight I will start right at the edge of the fabric. However, for lighter weight fabric I will start in a bit. I find this helps eliminate the possibility of the fabric being pushed down into the throat plate, which can happen when starting at the edge.

  6. Lenora

    I have seen some wonderful NSC how-to videos which I would like to review again. However, when I try to find them via the search feature, I get connected to other internet connections completely unrelated to NSC. Do I have to scroll through every NSC video until I find the one I’m looking for, or is there a better way to get to my favorite ones? Thank you!