Being stuck inside has gotten my creative juices flowing. In fact, I have used my Cricut machine more than ever before…and I have been producing some GOOD stuff! One of my new favourite type of projects is literally anything using Infusible Ink.
Infusible Ink is a game changer for crafting. There are so many reasons why I have fallen in love with this type of crafting! Today, I am going to show you how to make a simple tote, and how to layer transfer sheets!
What’s the big deal?
Well, to put it simply, Infusible Ink lasts a long time. There is no cracking, or peeling…the ink actually infuses right into the fabric. If we compare this to Cricut’s “everyday iron-on”, you will notice a clear difference in how the shirt actually feels. Whereas on “everyday iron-on” you can actually feel the vinyl and it doesn’t necessarily stretch with the fabric, “Infusible Ink” is infused and the ink stretches with the fabric. You won’t believe how crisp and professional your designs will look!
**WARNING: This post is text and picture HEAVY. I go into a lot of detail with this project because it is so intricate!!**
DIY Spring Tulip Tote
Here’s what you need:
- Cricut Explore Air 2 (Cricut.com / Amazon.ca) (or any other Cricut cutting machine)
- EasyPress 2 (Cricut.com / Amazon.ca)
- Infusible Ink™
- Butchers paper (included with your Infusible Ink™)
- A sheet of cardstock
- Cricut Weeding Tool
- Standard-grip cutting mat
- 1 tote bag (Cricut Blank)
I love tulips. They are my favourite flower, and one day, I would love to go to a tulip field and just frolic! I had this idea to make a tote that had tulips growing up from the bottom…why not, right? I tested the design out in a smaller version on a blank white t-shirt…and it was okay.
But I wanted to do something BIGGER and BETTER.
Which means, when you make your design, you can’t layer individual pieces on with multiple presses. So what does that mean? Well…I’m going to show you.
STEP 1: Create your design.
Creating your design is done in Cricut’s Design Space. I used tulip images right from Cricut’s Design Space library, and then assembled it the way I wanted it to. The great thing about most of these images, is that you can “ungroup” them and move the various pieces around the way you want!
When designing an “Infusible Ink” project, keep in mind that when you press it onto your blank, it must fit underneath your EasyPress. One thing that I learned quickly is that the crafting process using “Infusible Ink” is different than good ole’ iron-on vinyl. When you press your design onto your blank…you have one shot. That’s it. So make it a good one.
Or you can do what I did for this DIY project. I pressed pieces of my project on separately. That way, I was able to make my overall design BIGGER, but my design didn’t bleed and the colours weren’t affected!
Step 2: Load your mat, and cut your design out.
I used the Cricut Standard Grip cutting mat (green) and rolled out my transfer sheets. I pressed them down and made sure there were no bubbles. When you have your design ready, go ahead and hit that “Make It!” button. But hold on a minute…there are a few important steps that you need to consider when making an “Infusible Ink” project.
First of all, you want to make sure that all of your mats have “Mirror” turned ON. That is very important and no different than any other iron-on project.
Second of all, you need to make sure that you select which mat will house all of the pieces once they are all cut out. I call this the “home” transfer sheet. What I mean by that is, on one of the transfer sheets, you will need to layer the other colours on that transfer sheet so you are pressing it all at once.
How I do this is once all of my mats have “Mirror” turned ON, I pick my biggest piece of the puzzle. I rearrange the piece with space on it for those other pieces to be transferred on. One way to check that you have arranged them properly, is transferring the pieces on Design Space to that mat (to check spacing). Once you have the placement, transfer those pieces back to your original mat, and carry on with cutting your pieces out!
Like any other project, you are going to select your material – “Infusible Ink Transfer Sheet”, and set the pressure to “MORE”.
Sit back and watch the magic happen (I seriously never get tired of my little robot cutting things out).
Step 3: Assemble your pieces.
Once all of the pieces of your design have been cut out, start to weed. Weeding this type of project is a little different. I like to lay my “home” transfer sheet out on the standard grip mat (green) so that it lays flat properly. Weed the negative pieces out, so you just have the design left on the clear transfer sheet, AND you have space for your other pieces to be layered on top.
Add the other pieces to the “home” transfer sheet. It’s kind of like assembling a puzzle! Once everything is placed properly, you are ready to press!
Step 4: Preheat your EasyPress and prep your blank.
Set aside your design (sticky side up). You will want to use the Cricut Heating Guide to find out what temperature your EasyPress needs to be, and for how long you will press. With this specific project, I was using my EasyPress at a temp. of 385, and pressing in one shot for 40 seconds.
**This may change depending on the blank you are using so always use the heating guide.**
Unlike other iron-on projects, there are a few more steps you need to take to ensure a clean transfer of the ink to your blank. You must preheat the surface. While your EasyPress is warming up, run it over the desired press spot on your blank, heating the fabric up. This preps the area for when the ink is transfered on. I also use butcher paper (comes with each I.I. transfer sheet) between the fabric and the EasyPress. Just an added layer of protection so you don’t fry your material.
Finally, before you press…make sure you have a piece of cardstock inside the tote bag. This will prevent any ink from soaking through the fabric and bleeding onto the back of the bag!
Step 5: It’s time to press!!
Once the area is pre-heated, position your design. I always position it backwards (ink side up) before I actually flip it over and put the ink side to the fabric. This is because the area is already heated, and once the ink feels the heat…it begins to transfer. By positioning it backwards, it allows you to really know where you want everything, before beginning the transfer process.
When you have the placement where you want it, flip it over, put the butcher paper over top of the design, and then use your Easy Press on top! Don’t forget to hit the Cricut logo on the EasyPress and the timer will start!
Tip: Apply slight pressure to the EasyPress. It ensures that the entire design you are pressing is getting equal heat!
Step 6: Remove the EasyPress, the butcher paper, and let cool.
The Cricut Heating Guide will tell instruct you if your project is a “cool peel” or “warm peel”. If it is a warm peel, which this DIY is, then let the design cool without the butcher paper for about 30 seconds. Then peel back the transfer sheet. You will see the pieces of your design come with the transfer sheet…don’t be alarmed. They should peel off, and you should see all of the colour has disappeared.
Well…it actually hasn’t disappeared. That is the ink that has infused into your blank!! Cool, right?
So there you have it! You have yourself a gorgeous, unique and one-of-a-kind tote bag that is creative and totally cute! This was such a fun project to do, and now I have a matching tee + tote! What could be better?
MAJOR “BIG” DESIGN TIP: If you are making a large design, like this one, you will want to do multiple presses. The key to doing this is…
DON’T HAVE THE TRANSFER SHEET ON TOP OF PREVIOUSLY PRESSED DESIGNS.
With this tote, I pressed about four different designs of tulips. I decided that I wanted them to be big, but if I did it as one big design, then I would have needed a HUGE EasyPress. So what I did was I assembled and layered.
The key is to make sure that plastic transfer sheet, is not heat pressed over top of previously pressed designs…or else you are going to have a faded line. To avoid this, I cut a border around each of my designs so that the plastic did not overlap previously pressed designs!
It definitely takes some time…but it will be WORTH IT in the end!
For more Cricut DIYS, check out the “DIY” category on my blog.