Iron-on vinyl and your cricut are made for each other
Estimated reading time: 8 minutes
Iron-on vinyl written tutorial.
When it comes to Cricut vinyl crafts, iron-on vinyl is a natural progression from permanent vinyl.
Iron-on vinyl is similar in appearance to permanent vinyl.
You weed iron-on vinyl the same way you do with permanent vinyl.
The main difference is that permanent vinyl has to be applied using a separate transfer tape, while iron-on vinyl is attached to the heat-resistant transfer tape.
You won’t be after you watch the video for this iron-on vinyl tutorial.
Cricut design space has thousands of images to choose from
Working with Cricut Design Space you’ll find over 100,000 images to choose from.
Alternatively, search through the Projects section as I did, and find a design someone has already created for you to use.
As this iron-on vinyl written tutorial is part of The Beginner’s Guide to Cricut I’ve kept it really simple.
I chose a project for use on a pillow cover. The design has clover leaves. There’s one sparkly four-leaf clover, and I like the idea of a lucky pillow, so that is the design I use for my tutorial.
Feel free to use any design you like.
Becoming familiar with, and enjoying creating crafts using iron-on vinyl is the focus of this tutorial.
As you browse the projects section of Cricut Design Space, you’ll get lots of inspiration. You may decide to try your hand at embellishing a t-shirt or tote bag.
It’s really up to you.
The method of applying your iron-on vinyl stays the same regardless of the item you place your design on to.
i made my pillow cover
Having a pillow that needed a new cover, I made a simple slipcover from plain fabric as my starting point.
If you’re thinking of starting with a pillow cover too, but you don’t have a plain cover to use, see the step-by-step guide to making a simple slipcover here.
Now you have your cover or other item to add a design to
You have your pillow cover (or t-shirt) ready to decorate.
iron-on vinyl written tutorial
Video isn’t for everyone. I get that.
Sometimes it helps to read through the steps of the process to get your head around it.
If you want to head back to the video tutorial use this link.
Step-by-step Iron-on vinyl tutorial
Step 1 – Open Cricut Design Space
Open Cricut Design Space> New> Projects.
Using the search bar at the top of the page, look for projects that will work on your pillow, t-shirt or another item of your choosing.
Ideally, the design should be something without a name or personalisation so you can use it unchanged.
Step 2 – Choose your project design
Click on any project design you like the look of. When you’re happy with your choice, click either Customise or Make It.
‘Customise’ allows you to move things around, resize the design and so on. ‘Make It’ takes you right to the mat view of the project.
In the tutorial video, I chose Customise and resized the image to match my pillow cover’s measurements.
Step 3 – Go to ‘Make it’
At this point, you need to check the vinyl size that Cricut defaults.
In the tutorial video I use a non-Cricut brand iron-on vinyl that is 10″ wide, not 12″.
If the setting is left at 12″ by 12″ my Cricut will carry on cutting regardless of the material on the mat being 2″ narrower than the setting.
That’s one way to damage a cutting mat. And a waste of vinyl as I would have to redo the cut.
To change the material size from the default setting, select the size box, shown above in the left-hand picture, and choose the size that matches your vinyl sheet. Repeat that for all mats.
Step 4 – Choose your cutting material
Using the Browse All Materials menu, select ‘Iron-on’ and the material that best matches the brand and type of iron-on vinyl you are using. There are a lot of iron-on vinyl types such as glitter, glitter mesh or holographic.
All those types are great food for thought when dreaming up new crafting ideas.
Note: On the Explore Air use the dial to select materials.
While you are setting the size of the material, there is one other setting to change.
Click on the ‘Edit’ button beneath the thumbnail of each mat.
There is a button at the foot of the image of your cutting mat for ‘Mirror’. Set that to ‘on’ and repeat the step for all your mats and click ‘Done’ for each mat.
This is an essential step when using iron-on vinyl as explained in Step 5.
Step 5 – Prepare your Cricut blade and cutting mat
Cricut Design Space will tell you to place the fine-point blade in clamp B.
Prepare your cutting mat – the standard-grip mat is my usual choice – and place your iron-on vinyl shiny side down on your mat.
The reason you place the vinyl shiny side down is this; the shiny side is the transfer layer. Placing the vinyl transfer side down ensures that the transfer layer is uppermost when you apply your heat press to the vinyl.
This is why you mirror the CDS image to ensure your design is the right way round on your finished pillow.
Step 6 – Cut your vinyl
Follow the instructions on CDS and your Cricut.
Step 7 – weed your design
Weeding iron-on vinyl is just the same as weeding permanent vinyl. In fact, I find iron-on easier to weed as the vinyl isn’t sticky like permanent vinyl.
Step 8 – find your heat-press settings
I have a Cricut Heat Press. Any heat press model will do really, and I have seen people use an iron for this although I haven’t so I can’t vouch for the effectiveness.
Regardless of the heat press you use, find your heat-press settings at www.cricut.com/heatguide.
You will be asked to choose the Cricut heat press device you are using. If you’re not using a Cricut device, choose the heat-press 2.
Using the drop-down menus, select the type of iron-on vinyl you are using and the material you will transfer the vinyl on to. Click the green Apply button.
You will be shown the temperature to set for your heat-press. The length of time to apply the heat, the pressure to use and recommendation on preparing the fabric to take the vinyl.
Note: As mentioned above, there are lots of heat press devices available such as this one on Amazon that is great for sublimation. Sublimation is the process used for infusible ink – stay in touch with me to see my videos on infusible ink over the coming months.
For that reason it doesn’t matter if you don’t own a Cricut Heat Press. As I said above, I’m currently researching larger presses that will fit in my little workspace but have a larger plate than the Cricut heat press.
Whatever device I choose, I will still use the heat guide to set my press to the right temperature.
Step 9 – Put your design on your pillow (or t-shirt etc.)
Placing your iron-on vinyl on the pillow with the transfer tape uppermost, use your heat-press device as per the instructions on the Cricut heat guide.
Allow the transfer tape to cool completely before you remove it.
Your new design will stay put
Cricut say that your new design will stay in place as long as you follow the Cricut heat guide page’s instructions. However, I would anticipate that the results will vary dependent on the materials and equipment used.
It’s that easy and enjoyable to use iron-on vinyl in your designs.
You’ll soon be searching for other items all over the house to add designs to.
And remember, iron-on gives so many options for consideration when you’re gifting.
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