There are many tips when using Cricut iron on vinyl and no matter how you choose to do it in the end, some steps are common and some rules are always great to follow. The more you practice, the more you realize that some things work and some don’t work for you or a specific project.
Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean you should be completely on your own out there when using Cricut iron on vinyl and it’s better to keep your creativity for the designs and not for this part 🙂 .
What you need
Obviously enough, you do need your Cricut machine (this is entirely up to you) and a Cricut mat.
Choose your current project, no matter if it’s a t-shirt, a pillow or anything else. Don’t forget about the weeding tool and…the iron or the heat press. After all, it’s all about how to use cricut iron on vinyl.
Step 1: Let your imagination flow!
Use the Cricut Design Space and create the design for your current project. If you’re new at this, it’s better to go with a thicker font and pictures that aren’t that sophisticated. They may look interesting and impressive, but you do need to succeed at this, not to end up all bumped from the failure.
Some like to use a lot the Canvas feature from the Design Space for this type of projects- with iron, which is. It includes many various options and you may get the right size from the beginning, visualizing your project easier.
Step 2: Choose the colors
It’s essential to have it all clear: are you gonna use the same color vinyl for your project or several colors?
If you decide that all the parts of your project are the same color, select each item and select “weld” in the layers menu.
When you go with the various colors on different elements, do it accordingly.
Step 3: Let’s begin
Press “Go” and go to the page that shows you the items before you actually cut them. When your elements aren’t welded together, you’re gonna see multiple cuts instead.
For iron-on, you should definitely select “mirror image”. This is essential as you do want your project the right way, and not written backwards or anything like it. Unless, this is what it was you were going for in the first place. Continue by pressing “GO” once again.
Step 4 and a bit of Step 5: Let’s cut!
It’s the time when you change the dial on your machine to “Iron On”. The trickiest part? Knowing which side to place down your project. For some it may come natural right from the beginning, but some do find it difficult to do it right.
When ironing on vinyl, it’s good to know there is a clear, smooth sheet on one side that should be face down on the mat.
Step 6: Get into it!
Place the mat in the machine and load it in. as it’s loaded in, press the flashing Cricut button on the machine and enjoy the show!
Step 7: Do some cleaning
When the machine is done cutting, carefully cut off the piece of the cut vinyl. Take time, a deep breath and smoothly weed out any small pieces from your current design. If your project includes some thin fonts, go even more carefully.
Pull the rest of the excess material up and see that there are no other small pieces left behind.
Step 8: Iron on!
You finally got to the most important part: ironing. Note to self: it’s always better to pre-wash the material you’re going to use for your project.
Begin by “preheating” the selected material and iron it for 15-20 seconds, just in the place where you’re going the add the vinyl to. For best results, it’s good to have the iron on the cotton/linen setting.
It’s essential to have the right heat temperature and the right pressure. Try to play it safe and don’t get tempted into cranking the heat up as high as it will go. Never go over the “wool” heat setting and remember that a too hot iron ruins your vinyl.
It’s also important to firmly press the iron on the cotton-covered vinyl. Try not to move the iron back and forth, as you do on regular basics. You should instead press the iron hard across the whole project, waiting for 30 seconds in between sections.
Yes, having a sore arm in the end, means you have been using the right pressure for ironing. Just like going to the gym 🙂
Keep in mind that the vinyl has to side down and place it onto your preheated zone, flipping over your shirt. When you’re ironing onto a pillow, for instance, you may place a piece of a thin fabric over the vinyl.
Carefully (it’s all about patience in this kind of projects) iron over the back of the shirt for no longer than 25 seconds.
You should let the vinyl cool for a bit, 20 seconds or so, before you continue by flipping it back over. Use your last pieces of patience and remove the plastic from the vinyl. It may be you find some pieces coming up. Don’t worry! Simply try to iron it once more.