I made a decision after being stuck inside for a few weeks…to try new things, embrace different hobbies and throw myself into creativity so that I could make the MOST of this bad situation. Well, I am pleased to say that I have been crafting more than ever, and really challenging myself when it comes to my Cricut projects…especially with layered crafting Cricut projects.
I have been dabbling in Infusible Ink, iron-on transfers, and card making. Today, I want to show you how I utilized Cricut’s Iron-On Vinyl to layer and create an amazing dog-themed decal that used a multitude of different colours offered!
**WARNING: THIS POST IS TEXT AND PICTURE HEAVY. I GO INTO A LOT OF DETAIL WITH THIS PROJECT BECAUSE IT IS SO INTRICATE!!**
LAYERED IRON-ON SWEATSHIRT
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)
- Cricut Iron-On Vinyl (multiple colours)
- Cricut Weeding Tool
- Standard-grip cutting mat
- Blank Sweatshirt (similar on Amazon.ca) (or any 100% cotton/poly-blend piece)
My Mom loves dogs, and so with Mother’s Day coming up, I decided to create something special for her. I have been wanting to do a demonstration on layering with iron-on vinyl for a long time…but to be honest, I had never had the time, nor the energy to try it out.
Unlike Infusible Ink, you can layer iron-on on top of iron-on. However, I have learned quite a few tips and tricks when doing a big layered decal that will produce the best result!
STEP 1: CREATE YOUR DESIGN.
Using the Cricut Design Space, I decided to design my own decal, using the images that are included in Cricut’s library! There are so many cute options when it comes to images, but one of the things that I love about Design Space is that you can add your own images as well. Unfortunately, I didn’t come across a van that I had in my head for the sweatshirt…so I found an image of one on the internet, cut it out using the tools in Design Space and…voila!
STEP 2: LOAD YOUR MAT, AND CUT YOUR DESIGN OUT.
When using Iron-On vinyl, I often use both the Light Grip mat (blue) and the Standard Grip mat (green). It’s whatever I have clean and ready to go – with both, you must make sure the material is pressed on with zero air bubbles.
When pressing the vinyl onto your mat, make sure that you face the SHINY SIDE DOWN and that “Mirror” is turned ON.
When doing an iron-on project, all of your designs will need to be mirrored (mirror turned “on”) so that when you press it onto your fabric, it will come out the right way! I always turn each mat’s mirror on right at the beginning of the project, so that I don’t forget! Having one piece backwards screws up the whole design…and more importantly, wastes a ton of vinyl!
Before you cut your design pieces out, you will need to set your material to “Everyday Iron-On”. The setting is right on your Explore Air dial, however, you also can set it on Design Space.
**Everyday Iron-On and GLITTER Iron-On are two different materials, therefore require a different setting. If you are using GLITTER Iron-On Vinyl, make sure you use Design Space to set it to “Glitter Iron-On Vinyl” specifically.**
Once you are ready to go and your settings are set…load, press and watch it all happen! (My favourite part!)
STEP 3: ORGANIZE YOUR PIECES.
In the last project I did (Infusible Ink), the third step was to assemble your II pieces onto one “home” transfer sheet. Luckily, with Iron-On Vinyl, you don’t need to do that! What I do make sure to do when I have a lot of individual pieces to press on to my fabric, is I cut the plastic covering down to a minimum.
The more plastic that you trim off the easier it will be to press multiple layers at a time. For example, in this design, each of the dogs were wearing different coloured sunglasses. If I were to leave them on a giant transfer sheet, it would waste a lot of plastic/vinyl, but it would also inhibit me from placing all of the sunglasses on top of the fabric at the same time.
STEP 4: PREHEAT YOUR EASYPRESS AND PREP YOUR BLANK.
Once all of your pieces are organized and you know which ones you will press in which order, pull up the Cricut Heating Guide. You will need this to find out what temperature you need to set your EasyPress to. The Heading Guide will also tell you how long to press, based on the fabric and material you are using!
With this layered project, it all depended on what fabric I was pressing on to. My blank is not a Cricut blank. It is a cotton-poly blend, so I needed to know that to input to the guide so I could make sure my press would be successful! I pressed at 315 degrees for 30 seconds at a time.
With Infusible Ink, you have one shot to press. Which means, you need to place everything properly and get it right the first time. With Iron-On Vinyl…it’s not as serious. You can put your design down on the fabric, and you don’t have to worry about any marks being left before you put heat on it. However…once you put the heat on it…it starts the pressing process.
Make sure everything is centered, straight, etc. because there is no going back.
STEP 5: IT’S TIME TO PRESS!!
Pressing time! This is my favourite part (other than watching it get cut). Layering is really quite fun because you get to build on top and see it come to life.
Trimming excess plastic on each piece of your overall design is super important. When you press, the edge of plastic can leave an imprint on the already pressed pieces of your design. So if you have a giant, straight plastic edge that has no vinyl underneath it being pressed onto the fabric, you may end up with a crease or an imprint.
Step within a step: LET EACH PIECE COOL
When you are pressing multiple pieces, before pealing off that plastic cover, make sure you are doing a cool peel. You don’t want to take another layer with a layer when removing the plastic cover. Everything underneath that iron is HOT, and if it isn’t being covered by plastic, it is directly underneath the iron.
In other words…it will peel off if you aren’t careful.
I made that mistake when I started pressing this layered project. However, I corrected the situation by trimming my pieces further. What you can also do is take a bigger piece of plastic and place it over top – kind of like a double layer. This protects the layers that have already been placed, from the bare iron (EasyPress).
The number one tip for layering vinyl…make sure that there is nothing between the vinyl and the fabric when pressing. No plastic or else it will fuse to the plastic, and not the fabric.
TIP: APPLY SLIGHT PRESSURE TO THE EASYPRESS. IT ENSURES THAT THE ENTIRE DESIGN YOU ARE PRESSING IS GETTING EQUAL HEAT!
And there we go. It’s a time consuming, tedious project. However, we all have the time to try new skills and techniques right now…so why not give it a go?
There is an alternative to layered projects and that is ‘Printable Iron-On Vinyl’. In my experience, it is very difficult to find a quality material to print out compared to Iron-On. I would much rather layer iron-on and get those rich and vibrant colours, then the meek colours you may get from your printer.
For more Cricut DIYS, check out the “DIY” category on my blog.