Tuesday Tutorial: Iron-on Vinyl

My obsession with iron-on vinyl started when I needed sibling shirts for my boys.  I searched all over and couldn’t find what I wanted.  So once I saw that my favorite vinyl supplier, Expressions Vinyl, was carrying iron-on vinyl  I decided to give it a try!  {NOTE: they call it T-shirt vinyl}To be honest, I was VERY nervous the first time I cut the iron-on vinyl, but the Expression Vinyl website has a great video tutorial that make it almost impossible to mess up.

Iron-On Vinyl Tutorial

Supplies needed:

  • iron-on vinyl {See all the colors and sizes available here}
  • Cricut machine or Silouette
  • a plain t-shirt
  • an iron
  • multi-use paper sheets – a must if you are layering your vinyl creations!

 

Start by washing your t-shirt if possible.  Don’t use fabric softener!  I don’t always do this step but when I am making shirts for my boys I do just to make sure the vinyl adheres well.  You can cut the vinyl while the shirts are washing so you are ready to put it on once they are dry.

To cut the vinyl, begin by designing what you want to make.  I have a Gypsy that I hook up to my Cricut and it makes designing ANYTHING on my Cricut SO much easier!!!

If I am layering my design I make sure that I put my shadow and the layer on separate “pages” in my design file.

Once your design is complete and you are ready to cut there is one VERY IMPORTANT step left!  YOU  NEED TO FLIP THE IMAGE SO IT IS BACKWARDS! The reason for this is you are going to cut the design from the back of the vinyl.  The iron-on vinyl comes already adhered to the “transfer tape” that you iron directly on.

See the button on the right where my stylus is (above)

If you don’t have a Gypsy, you push this button to reverse the image.

To put the iron-on vinyl on your mat be sure to place the shiny side DOWN onto the mat.  Remember you are cutting the design from the back of the vinyl.

See how you can see what was cut through the clear “transfer tape” once it is cut.

That is why you put that side down and flip the image.

 

Load the mat into the Cricut and start cutting. Make sure to change your cut settings on your Cricut before cutting.

Cut settings:

  • blade depth: 2 (The Expression Vinyl site says 3, but I always put mine on 2)
  • pressure: medium
  • speed: high
 Once the cutting is done, it is time to weed the unnecessary vinyl away from the design.  The iron-on vinyl is VERY easy to weed if it has been cut on the correct settings. Be sure to heat up your iron before you weed so it is ready once you have finished weeding.

Place your shirt on a hard surface (not an ironing board but maybe a table with a towel on it).  Heat up the area on the shirt where you are going to adhere the vinyl.  Place your cut vinyl where you want it (it will stick to the shirt since the “transfer tape” that it comes on it sticky.  Put your iron over part of the design and press down firmly for 15 seconds.

Move the iron to another part of the design and continue ironing your design 15 seconds at a time until you have ironed all the vinyl down.

Once it is cooled for a few seconds, pull up the clear sheet that the vinyl was on.  If any part of the design isn’t ironed on well, just put the clear sheet (or a multi-use paper sheet) back over the design and iron it again.

At this point, if you are layering your iron-on vinyl then place your layer where you want it and iron again like before {When layering designs you NEED the multi-use paper sheets so that your don’t accidentally iron directly on the previous vinyl.}

I “try” to line up the layers so that I can just place one right on the other, but that doesn’t always work out. If it doesn’t line up right that just means that I have to cut each individual letter  apart and place it where I need it.

There you have it!  Now you know how to make your very own t-shirts!  You don’t have to use iron on vinyl on shirts only!  I have put it on my boys baseball bags (so I know whose is whose).  The possibilities are endless: backpacks, lunchboxes, fabric bins, fabric banners, tote bags, aprons!

What are you going to make first with iron-on vinyl???

Comments

  1. Thanks Allison! That was perfect – now I can’t wait for my vinyl to get here so I can make Lucy Kait’s shirt:) Hmm, and start thinking of what else to create…

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