Here is a complete guide on making custom cute T-shirts and any other crafts involving iron on vinyl. Learn about tips and tricks for making iron adhere to vinyl, and find answers to all common questions about ironing vinyl here. It's time for a step-by-step tutorial!
#1 What is iron on vinyl
There are two main types of vinyl: adhesive vinyl and iron on vinyl (also called heat transfer vinyl, HTV or t-shirt vinyl). It is a special type of vinyl that can be adhered to fabric. It has a heat-sensitive adhesive and can be used for fabrics and other materials (such as wood, paper or metal!). This is different from adhesive vinyl sheets and rolls, which are sticky from the start. The adhesive on the vinyl will be heated. This kind of vinyl comes in sheet, roll and package. When you receive the vinyl, it will be on the front and back. The front side is the shiny side-the gloss layer is the carrier plate, which can be peeled off after ironing the item. The back is the matte side, which is the side that will be cut when creating the design. It is also a face with heat activated adhesive. All Htvront iron on vinyl are compatible with Cricut. Below is the answer on how to use Cricut iron on vinyl. If you use glitter vinyl, click here to learn how to use glitter iron on vinyl.
#2 How to cut iron on vinyl
First open the Cricut design space and choose your design. When designing a project, be sure to measure the area you want to design and keep that size in mind. Click on the picture in the left design panel.
After placing them on the canvas, use the "Edit Toolbar" at the top to adjust their size. You can also use templates in Cricut design space to help you size adjustments.
Then click "Make" at the top of the "Canvas". The preview screen will open.
Important: In this screen, click "Mirror" in the sidebar to flip the image. If you don't do this, the image will be backward when ironing!
Then click Continue.
In the final "Manufacturing" screen, connect to your Cricut machine. Then choose iron on the material. Depending on the type of iron on vinyl you are using and the machine you are using, the cutting settings will be different.
Place the iron on the cutting mat with the vinyl side down. Make sure the vinyl is shiny down on the mat.
Insert the mat into Cricut and press the arrow button on Cricut. It should grab your cutting mat and bring it into the machine. Then press the flashing "C" button on Cricut and it will cut the project for you!
After the design is finished cutting, press "Unload" on the machine. Remove the vinyl from the mat.
When the cut is complete, weed the image.
#3 How to weed Cricut iron on vinyl
Now it's time to weed your design. Weeding is the process of removing everything that is not part of your design. First, dig the tip of the weeding tool into a vinyl that is not your design, and then gently pull it up. Usually, once I get a lot of things, I pull up the vinyl with my fingers and then use the weeding tool to get the more difficult parts, including the inside of the letters. Please take some time and make sure to unplug all unnecessary vinyls.
#4 How to iron on vinyl
If using a household iron, please use the "cotton/linen" setting (usually the highest temperature setting). Make sure that the steam setting is off. Preheat the application area of the substrate for 10-15 seconds. Place the weed image (liner facing up) on the preheated material. Press the iron, hold it firmly for 15 to 30 seconds, then pick it up and move it if the image is larger than the iron. Do not slide the iron.
Tear off the plastic carrier sheet from the image. The vinyl should stick. If you find it starts to pull up, put the plastic back in place and apply more heat.
Tear off the plastic carrier sheet from the image.
Use a rag between the iron and the vinyl to press again for 10 seconds, then turn the item over and press from the back for 15 seconds. When you are done, you can completely remove the plastic.
If you use a heat press, click here to learn how to use a heat press with iron on vinyl.
Some Common Questions
What if I don’t want to make vinyl crafts on the cloth?
If you are looking for a vinyl that can stick to glass, plastic, walls, and other objects, check the adhesive vinyl. This is a simple guide to using adhesive vinyl: Adhesive Vinyl - The Ultimate Beginner's guide.
What items can you iron?
You can solder the iron on anything that will not melt! For starters, custom T-shirts, blankets, pillow cases, tote bags, dish towels, endless possibilities! Iron on vinyl is most suitable for cotton, polyester or cotton/polyester blends. Other synthetic fabrics (such as acrylic fibers) will not work properly because they will melt under the heat of the iron. For more advanced craftsmen, you can apply iron on vinyl to cups, baseball caps, footballs and even wood!
After several washing, what is the retention of vinyl on the fabric?
Depending on the type of heat transfer vinyl material you are using, iron on vinyl will last longer than the T-shirt itself!