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Mastering the Art of Working with Glitter Cardstock and HTV Vinyl: 7 Tips for Homecoming Cutouts

Updated: Jun 5

Everyone loves adding homecoming cutouts but many are unsure where to start or get frustrated with the process or finding the right supplies. In this post we will focus on 7 tips to help you be successful in making homecoming mum & garter cutouts including time saving tips and our favorite glitter cardstock and HTV vinyl we have discovered over the years of making thousands of homecoming cutouts. Whether you are a DIY crafter or a homecoming mum business owner, we hope these 7 tips will improve your craft and help you love making homecoming cutouts!

If you would like to see many of these tips in action check our our Homecoming Cutout Tutorial Playlist along with our Let's Talk Glitter Cardstock video where we preview colors of cardstock against homecoming ribbon.

hocoming loops for diy with stapler
7 Tips for Using Glitter Cardstock for Homecoming Cutouts

We love homecoming cutouts because they allow us to add personalization to our mums & garters and all the glitter cardstock and HTV vinyl adds so much shimmer and sparkle! What we don't love about HOCO cutouts is the time it takes to create and the fact that they can be stressful to complete last minute.

Since HOCO cutouts take up a large amount of our creation time, every off-season we work on improving our processes and efficiencies. Many of these tips we learned from others and have adapted into our own business and some are just our preference and what works best for the types of homecoming mums & garters we design in our business. We use a Cricut Maker, Explore, and Joy in our business, however, these tips will be applicable for most cutting machines including both Cricut and Silhouette cutting machines.

This post and photos contains some Amazon or other affiliate links for your convenience. If you purchase something through any link, we may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you. Read our full disclosure policy here. We only recommend things we use and love.

Tip #1 - Use glitter cardstock as your bottom layer only

For the most part, we only use glitter cardstock on the bottom layer of our homecoming cutouts. The glitter cardstock provides that touch of sparkle while also creating a solid base to apply the remaining top layers of HTV vinyl. It also is the back surface we will use to apply our cutouts to either a homecoming mum or garter using hot glue. However - this is the only time you will need to use hot glue - no more attaching multiple layers of cutouts together using hot glue or spray adhesive. We give some tips for protecting your homecoming cutouts when using hot glue in our Finishing Touches video including our favorite hot glue guns.

Using Multiple Cutting Machinges in your HOCO Business

We have a couple reasons we only use glitter cardstock on our bottom layer and we will go into most of those in the tips below, however, one reason we have moved away from using as much glitter cardstock is we feel it creates more wear and tear on our machines and dulls our cutting blades faster. In fact, we don't use glitter cardstock at all in our Cricut Joy to keep it clean. We wish we would have thought about it sooner, but we suggest to other business owners if they are investing in a second machine to only use glitter cardstock in their current machine and keep the new one glitter free (well, as glitter free as a cutting machine in a homecoming mum craft room can be, right?)

We now only stock silver, black, gold and a slightly creamier white in glitter cardstock for our homecoming mum business. All our other colors come from glitter HTV vinyl as we discuss in Tip #3.

If you are buying a second machine for your business, think about only using glitter cardstock in your old machine to keep your new one clean and glitter-free
To see how this works plus a Cricut Design Space tutorial, check out Using Glitter Cardstock in your Cutting Machine video.

Tip #2 - Use HTV iron-on vinyl for top layers & intricate designs

Once we discovered that you can apply HTV vinyl to glitter cardstock, we changed our entire design process and we will never go back! It is a real game changer for making homecoming cutouts, especially for homecoming mum business owners but is a great pro tip for DIY crafters as well.

Three Layer Homecoming Mum & Garter Cutouts

The majority of our homecoming cutouts are three layers with the top two layers being HTV vinyl. We much prefer working with glitter HTV vinyl over glitter cardstock as it does not flake and for those more intricate designs it allows you to weed your HTV vinyl and apply it to the cardstock all at one time with no hot glue required. For the most part we use glitter HTV vinyl but we do have a favorite white HTV we use for our especially intriacte cuts - like those very thin script fonts where you tend to lose the dot on your I or little swirls or swishes in your svg designs.

We apply our HTV vinyl on the heat press we recommend to all homecoming mum business owners but any heat press will work. If you are a DIY crafter who is making a small quantity of homecoming mum cutouts a Cricut mini heat press or HTV Ront mini heat press is all you need.

We know they didn't, but it is like they made this heat press for HOCO cutouts
HTV is a must for HOCO cutout pre-season PREP. Take a quick peek at our HOCO cutout prep book here and watch the full video explaining our process here.

Tip #3 - Use older cutting mats for glitter cardstock

homecoming bling tips and tricks
Storing Glitter Cardstock Mats for Later Use

If you have worked very much with glitter cardstock you understand when we say it quickly destroys your cutting machine mats. A trick we learned from one of our fellow mum makers a couple years ago is to use old cutting mats that are still slightly sticky and apply your glitter cardstock using painters tape to secure it down (use a brayer to secure). Then, instead of removing the glitter cardstock when you are done simply leave it on the mat and the next time you need to cut a design you can move the design around in your cutting machine software to match up with an open spot on your mat. We go into full detail and show how we use this tip in our business here.

We always make sure to secure our painter's tape securly and remove any excess tape when changing out our cardstock to ensure nothing gets stuck in our machine when the mat is running through. We have never personally had an issue and our machines are no longer in warranty but if you have a newer machine check your warranty information and decide if this tip is for you.

Make sure to secure your painter's tape securly and remove any excess tape when changing your mat so it does not come off in your machine.

One of the perks of being a Cricut Access member is the ability to buy cutting mats in bulk. We buy in bulk and they last multiple seasons.

Using HTV Vinyl for Color Matching Versus Glitter Cardstock

Tip #4 - Use HTV iron-on as your go-to for color matching

Another reason we love glitter HTV vinyl over glitter cardstock is the abundant more amount of color matching choices. For example, you can find a bright white glitter HTV vinyl but even the best white glitter cardstocks we have found have a slight cream tint. Navy, red, and royal are also colors that are hard to match if working solely with glitter cardstock. We talk about it in more detail in our Using HTV Iron-On for Homecoming Cutouts video and preview our favorite white, navy, red, and royal glitter htv.

We now only use silver, black, and gold glitter cardstock in our bottom layer and all our other colors come from HTV glitter vinyl with one exception. We do sometimes use the slightly creamier white we mention above on only our gold homecoming mums and garters.

In our last two tips, we will list our favorite suppliers for both glitter cardstock and glitter HTV vinyl so if you are struggling to find a matching color those tips are for you!

Glitter HTV vinyl is your go-to for hard to match colors such as red, navy, royal & a true, bright white

Tip #5 - Do not leave your HOCO cutouts to the end

Even though this is more of a general, overall tip it is a very important one for both homecoming mum business owners and DIY crafters. Homcoming cutouts take time and can be very stressful if you are on a time crunch. Some of the most stressful times in our business over the years have come from making cutouts on the day we needed to finish a mum or garter, Inevitably, these are the times we have machine issues, our design software goes down or we lose internet (yes, all three have happended to us)!

For this reason, we make it a goal to finish cutouts early and prep and make in bulk the ones we can before the season starts. If you are a homecoming business owner, make sure to join our newsletter as we offer homecoming mum season preparation tips throughout the year. For DIY crafters, we suggest planning out your cutouts and making them towards the beginning process of creating your mum or garter.

Of course if you would prefer to create the mum yourself and order your cutouts, we suggest doing this early as well. We offer indivudual cutouts up to June 30th each year. If you are reading this post after this date we highly recommend another fellow mum maker on Etsy, Kozen Mum Designs. She was actually the one who gave us the great tip of using old cutting mats!

Did you know you can buy HOCO cut-outs individually? We sell them in limited quantities through June 30th and also highly recommend Kozen Mum Designs

Tip #6 - Our favorite glitter cardstock

As we mentioned in our video, we currently only use four colors of glitter cardstock: silver, black, gold, and a creamier white. Our all time favorite glitter cardstock is Cricut brand glitter cardstock because it cuts great and has much much less glitter flaking. We are sad that as of right now Cricut seems to be out of stock of the 12 packs of silver, black, and gold we usually buy and are not sure if they are phasing it out or just having stock issues. We have seen it go away for a while and come back so we are hoping that is the case and will keep you updated. On that note, if you see it make sure to stock up. You can use our code CRICUT10CP to get 10% off Cricut materials.

If we run out of our Cricut glitter cardstock stash, we will probably replenish with Celebation Warehouse black and silver glitter cardstock. They have great prices and we always love supporting other small businesses.

Gold cardstock is a little tricky depending on if you use regular gold or soft gold diamond dust and the color of gold ribbon you use in your HOCO mums & garters. Both are pretty and it is really a matter of preference but the most important thing with gold is to make sure the golds coordinate well together for an overall amazing finished look. If you use regular gold diamond dust and a more brassy gold in your mums, we would recommend Cricut's gold or Celebration Warehouse's gold.

Since we use soft gold in our homecoming mums & garters, we use this soft gold shimmer cardstock from Announcement Convertors. We buy it in bulk and even through we would prefer 12x12 sheets have found the 8.5x11 sheets to be more cost effective. Even though it is more expensive we like it better against soft gold diamond dust. One note, it doesn't take heat quite as well as other glitter cardstock (probably because it is a shimmer and a little thinner) so this is the one time we back cardstock to cardstock and we use the new white glitter cardstock from Celebration Warehouse or this one from Amazon. Both of these are white but more on the creamy side compared to bright white HTV (see pic) so for us, we only like the look of it on our gold mums but you can try it against silver and seee what you think for yourself.

When working with gold, it is important to make sure your different golds - ribbons, cardstock, and HTV complement each other well for an overall cohesive design

Speaking of white, while we use white HTV vinyl for our HOCO cutouts the majority of the time, if you are looking for a good white glitter cardstock alternative this glossy white paper from Announcment Converters is a cost effective alternative. While it does not have the shimmer of glitter cardstock, it is shiny and works well for a back layer of homecoming cutouts. It only comes in bulk sheets so go in with a mum friend or purchase yourself and it will last seasons! Again, we wish it came in 12x12 but work around the 8.5x11 size. In this picture the navy drill team use this glossy paper for the back layer.

If you are still looking for additional glitter cardstock colors, some of our mum friends have used this vendor on AliExpress and been happy with color and how it cuts on the machine.

Tip #7 - Our favorite HTV vinyl

We primarily get our bulk HTV vinyl from JoinUs (called SK in Houston). They have a Dallas, Houston, Katy and the Woodlands location. We use the WHITE not the RAINBOW WHITE for our favorite bright white HTV vinyl. The sheets and bulk vinyl are 20" so we cut our into 12x12 and 12x8 and store them in these 12x12 Kallax inserts from Stamp-n-Storage. You can see a picture and read more about it in our craft room blog. Here is a quick video of how we prep and store our HTV after cutting. We tried multiple larger paper ttimmers but ultimately made the investment in this one and love it!

This is the best 20" wide cutter we have found for cutting bulk vinyl into straight 12x12 and 12x8 efficiently

Here are some of our favorite places to buy glitter HTV vinyl online?


🎀Cricut (use our code CRICUT10CP for an additional 10% off materials & accessories)

🎀 MI Vinyl World (this pink looks amazig with McGinley soft pink)

🎀 Heat Press Nation (they also carry our favorite mint clamshell heat press we use for our non-homcoming cutout projects).

We buy white Cricut Smart Iron On in bulk and cut it down to use in our Cricut Joy. It works great in our HOCO prep book and is our all time favorite for intricate designs.

Bonus Tip - Our Favorite Places to find Homecoming SVG files

Now that you have all our supplies and are ready to create, check out our two favorite places for finding homecoming svgs files.

🎀 Creative Fabrica - access to over 6 million fonts and designs - commercial license included

🎀 Cricut Access - we like Cricut access because it also gives us discounts on materials. Use our code

Thanks for visiting our blog. If you have enjoyed these basic tips, join our newsletter and follow us on Pinterest and YouTube for more mum tips and tricks and take a tour of our craft room for more crafting tools and ribbon storage ideas.

Happy creating!

Rayanne & Sabrina


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