How to Use Iron On Vinyl With the Cricut

Iron On Vinyl aka Heat Transfer Vinyl is such a fun, easy project! The Cricut makes working with HTV a breeze. This step-by-step guide for iron on vinyl is a must have for Cricut vinyl beginners! Includes free downloadable Love Made Me Cricut cut file. Repin now for later!

So I have a confession to make. I have a mild obsession with vinyl. Specifically iron on or heat transfer vinyl (HTV). I just love it and all the incredible possibilities it offers!

Luckily, Expressions Vinyl has fantastic prices (and quality!) that makes it a bit easier to stock up on lots of beautiful colors! (Plus, they are having a huge sitewide sale for the month of February. Ruuunnn and check it out!)

Today, I’m going to teach you how to create an adorable, super simple Easter shirt. Even the cutest little ones are somehow even cuter when wearing an adorable sweet outfit!

So let’s get started!

For your convenience, this post may contain affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure statement here.

Materials Needed:

Heat Transfer Vinyl in Pink (or Blue), Black and Silver or Glitter. (Siser Easyweed is my favorite! It is CPSIA approved aka safe to use on baby clothing and it adheres at lower temperatures, which makes it more user friendly when using a home iron).

Onesie or Shirt in Desired Size

Iron or Heat Press

Freezer Paper or Teflon Sheet

Cricut Machineย & Mat

(If you love this adorable design, but don’t have the tools or time to create it, check out Ellie’s Darling Designs. Beautiful, adorable baby clothing custom made for you!)

1.To get started, upload your design to the Cricut Design Space.

Iron On Vinyl aka Heat Transfer Vinyl is such a fun, easy project! The Cricut makes working with HTV a breeze. This step-by-step guide for iron on vinyl is a must have for Cricut vinyl beginners! Includes free downloadable Love Made Me Cricut cut file. Repin now for later!

 

2. Adjust the size of the design until you reach desired size. As a basic point of reference, start with the following sizes and adjust, as needed.

Iron On Vinyl aka Heat Transfer Vinyl is such a fun, easy project! The Cricut makes working with HTV a breeze. This step-by-step guide for iron on vinyl is a must have for Cricut vinyl beginners! Includes free downloadable Love Made Me Cricut cut file. Repin now for later!

Onesie – 3″x 3″

Toddler Shirt – 5″ x 5″

Youth Shirt – 7″ x 7″

To give you an idea, my design is roughly 4.9″x 4.6″ and is being placed on a size 3-month onesie.

 

Download your free Love Made Me cut file below – it includes both pink and blue versions!

Iron On Vinyl aka Heat Transfer Vinyl is such a fun, easy project! The Cricut makes working with HTV a breeze. This step-by-step guide for iron on vinyl is a must have for Cricut vinyl beginners! Includes free downloadable Love Made Me Cricut cut file. Repin now for later!

 

3. Prepare to cut your design.

Adjust settings to cut iron-on vinyl. If you have a Cricut Explore, set the dial to cut iron-on material.

After setting your Cricut machine up to cut HTV, there are 2 important details to remember when cutting a heat transfer vinyl design.

First, turn the mirror on. This is super important to remember or your design will be backwards.

Iron On Vinyl aka Heat Transfer Vinyl is such a fun, easy project! The Cricut makes working with HTV a breeze. This step-by-step guide for iron on vinyl is a must have for Cricut vinyl beginners! Includes free downloadable Love Made Me Cricut cut file. Repin now for later!

Second, place HTV on the mat SHINY SIDE DOWN.

If you have experience cutting regular vinyl, this will be strange for you. But it might single-handedly be the most important detail to remember. If the vinyl is placed incorrectly, it won’t cut through the carrier sheet, which means you’ll have to recut your design. No fun.

Once you have those things set, load your mat into your machine and cut out your design.

 

3. Once your design is cut, it’s time to weed the excess away.

There are all sorts of special tools for weeding (here’s the most common), I’m sure they work great.

I sew a lot and have a ton of sewing pins EVERYWHERE. When I first started working with vinyl, I used a sewing pin to help weed the design. It worked wonderfully, so I just continued doing so.

Use whatever makes you most comfortable, but don’t think you have to run out and get every tool/gadget they make to create a project with your cricut. There are a handful of basic must-haves (machine of course, mat, blade), but there are plenty of inexpensive workarounds for many of the traditional cricut tools.

So, to weed your design, you simply want to carefully peel away the excess vinyl. Use a weeding tool of your choice to remove the small pieces.

 

4. It’s time to press your design!

You can either use a heat press or an iron for this step. I use a heat press for items created in my etsy shop, Ellie’s Darling Designs. In my experience, the heat press offers a more even heat and pressure. This allows the design to adhere cleaner and last longer.

That being said, this can absolutely be done at home with an iron, it just requires a bit more patience and muscle.

You want to work on a hard surface. An ironing board alone will not provide enough support. Use a table with a towel/protective covering or even a scrap piece of wood (that’s what I use).

Iron On Vinyl aka Heat Transfer Vinyl is such a fun, easy project! The Cricut makes working with HTV a breeze. This step-by-step guide for iron on vinyl is a must have for Cricut vinyl beginners! Includes free downloadable Love Made Me Cricut cut file. Repin now for later!

To get started, set your iron to the cotton setting. Make sure your iron is empty of water. You want it to be completely dry with steam turned off. This is extremely important!

Iron your shirt completely first. This helps smooth wrinkles and gives a nice warm base for the HTV to adhere to.

Iron On Vinyl aka Heat Transfer Vinyl is such a fun, easy project! The Cricut makes working with HTV a breeze. This step-by-step guide for iron on vinyl is a must have for Cricut vinyl beginners! Includes free downloadable Love Made Me Cricut cut file. Repin now for later!

Center your vinyl design – the easiest way to do this is to fold your shirt in half lengthwise and iron the crease.

Fold your vinyl design in half and line up the folds.

Cover your project with a Teflon sheet or parchment paper. I’ve used both and they both work wonderfully. (Another item you don’t have to worry about purchasing, unless you plan to do A LOT of HTV work.)

I’m using a Teflon sheet for this project, but again, parchment works great as well!

Iron On Vinyl aka Heat Transfer Vinyl is such a fun, easy project! The Cricut makes working with HTV a breeze. This step-by-step guide for iron on vinyl is a must have for Cricut vinyl beginners! Includes free downloadable Love Made Me Cricut cut file. Repin now for later!

Working on your hard surface, press FIRMLY down with your iron in one spot for 10-15 seconds. Pick up your iron and move to the next spot for 10-15 seconds, pressing firmly each time until the entire design has been pressed.

Iron On Vinyl aka Heat Transfer Vinyl is such a fun, easy project! The Cricut makes working with HTV a breeze. This step-by-step guide for iron on vinyl is a must have for Cricut vinyl beginners! Includes free downloadable Love Made Me Cricut cut file. Repin now for later!ย Remove the carrier sheet. If you are using Siser Easyweed, it can be removed hot or cold, so I remove it right away. If you are using a different brand vinyl, be sure to double check the specific instructions.

Repress any sections that aren’t adhered properly. (Be sure to cover with parchment paper/teflon each time before pressing).

Iron On Vinyl aka Heat Transfer Vinyl is such a fun, easy project! The Cricut makes working with HTV a breeze. This step-by-step guide for iron on vinyl is a must have for Cricut vinyl beginners! Includes free downloadable Love Made Me Cricut cut file. Repin now for later!

You’ll know your vinyl is adhered properly when it almost melts into the shirt and looks something like this…

Iron On Vinyl aka Heat Transfer Vinyl is such a fun, easy project! The Cricut makes working with HTV a breeze. This step-by-step guide for iron on vinyl is a must have for Cricut vinyl beginners! Includes free downloadable Love Made Me Cricut cut file. Repin now for later!

That’s it! Step back and admire your work!

Iron On Vinyl aka Heat Transfer Vinyl is such a fun, easy project! The Cricut makes working with HTV a breeze. This step-by-step guide for iron on vinyl is a must have for Cricut vinyl beginners! Includes free downloadable Love Made Me Cricut cut file. Repin now for later! Iron On Vinyl aka Heat Transfer Vinyl is such a fun, easy project! The Cricut makes working with HTV a breeze. This step-by-step guide for iron on vinyl is a must have for Cricut vinyl beginners! Includes free downloadable Love Made Me Cricut cut file. Repin now for later!

Even the cutest little ones will look even cuter in their own custom onesie! Pair it with a cute headband or a pair of moccasins for an adorable baby gift!

 

Download your free Love Made Me cut file below – it includes both pink and blue versions!

Iron On Vinyl aka Heat Transfer Vinyl is such a fun, easy project! The Cricut makes working with HTV a breeze. This step-by-step guide for iron on vinyl is a must have for Cricut vinyl beginners! Includes free downloadable Love Made Me Cricut cut file. Repin now for later!

If you love this design, but don’t have the tools or time to create it, check out Ellie’s Darling Design. I’d love to create an adorable custom design for your little one!

 

 

 

6 thoughts on “How to Use Iron On Vinyl With the Cricut

    1. Hi Donna! Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment! ๐Ÿ™‚

      There are so many great heat press options! Personally, I use (and LOVE!) this Promo Heat Clamshell Press from Amazon (aff link) http://amzn.to/2CGmSMt .

      After a LONG search I decided on this one because…
      1. It’s reasonably priced for a press!
      2. It heats evenly – so huge! I tried a press before this one with terrible results – half would heat really hot and the other was barely lukewarm. Frustrating!
      3. It is a decent size – I can fit nearly any project on this press.
      4. It is super easy to use. Just a few buttons to quickly adjust the temperature, if needed.

      Good luck in your search! Let me know what press you decide on – I love to hear insight from others! ๐Ÿ™‚

      xo, Desiree

    1. Hi Christine!
      Thanks so much for stopping by my little blog and leaving a comment!
      So to use multiple colors of vinyl, I separate them into their own layers in the cutting software. I use a Cricut, so I use the design space that goes with it. I make sure to separate each color into its own layer- this can be done by changing the color of pieces of your design. Or, if you are starting with one multicolored later, ungroup the image and it will separate it into multiple layers.
      Once your layers are designated, simply cut as normal, unloading and reloading the cutting mat for each new color.
      Sorry this was wordy, if it isnโ€™t clear or if you have more questions, let me know! Iโ€™d be glad to help!
      Good luck and happy crafting.
      xo,
      Desiree

  1. Dear Stay at Home Mom: (what a wonderful name you have)

    I’m making a banner for a wedding and the perfect piece of material I’ve found is polyester. I read somewhere else that polyester does not work well. I’m in a time crunch but don’t want to use that material if the vinyl (which is cricut brand) won’t stick. ๐Ÿ™ What to do, what to do???

    Do you have experience with polyester and what was your experience?

    Thanks for your help.

    Lori

    1. Hi Lori!

      I am so sorry it has taken me several days to respond. I’m in the last few weeks of my 2nd pregnancy and haven’t been as diligent on the blog recently. ๐Ÿ™‚

      I have heard many people having issues with peeling vinyl or shirt discoloration when applying it to polyester. Personally, I have not experienced this myself.

      The few polyester projects that I’ve completed, I’ve used Siser’s Easyweed Stretch. In my experience, it is a bit thinner and more pliable. I haven’t tried applying the cricut brand vinyl to polyester, but I do know that brand of vinyl is a bit thicker so it may lead to some peeling.

      You mentioned the item was a banner for a wedding that, theoretically, will get hung and not messed with too much (the way a t-shirt would), so you might have better success!

      If you do decide to give it a try, let me know how it turns out for you! ๐Ÿ™‚

      xo,
      Desiree

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