How To Use A Cricut Iron-On

While Cricut Iron Ons are an excellent material to use to express your creativity, it can also be very easy to do wrong or mess up if you don’t know how to use it properly.

A lot of times, beginners are too afraid to use this gadget for this reason. 

If you have received this gadget as a gift and don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place. 

How To Use A Cricut Iron-On

In this article, we are going to give you a simple and easy-to-follow step-by-step guide on how to use Cricut to apply iron-on vinyl to your t-shirts, pillowcases, hoodies, and anything else you can think of. 

Here is how to use the Cricut Iron-On the device.

How To Use The Cricut Iron-On 

While the Circuit can be used with a lot of different materials, working with vinyl is the easiest out of them all, making it a great place for beginners to start with.

Here is how to create the funky t-shirt design of your dreams with this device. 

You Will Need

Use the following list to get your items ready and make your project today! 

  • A device installed with Cricut Design Space – this is where you will get/make your designs
  • Your design ready to go- if you do not want to use the premade designs on Cricut Design Space or have already made your design somewhere else, then have that to hand ready
  • Cutting mat – To cut out your designs. 
  • Your Cricut device
  • Weeding hook- this handy little tool is perfect for lifting the corners of vinyl or for getting those tiny and hard to grab pieces
  • Your fabric that you are decorating- make sure that this fabric is clean, but that you have not used fabric softener when it was in the machine. It also must be completely dry before use
  • Circuit EasyPress, Heat Press, or iron- this is to push the decoration into the fabric.
  • A folded towel or Cricut EasyPress Matt

Method

Now that you have your items, let’s start! Follow our steps below to use a Cricut iron. 

Pick Your Design

To do this, you need to open Cricut Design Space. From here you have three options:

  • Choose one of the premade designs from the image library. There are free and paid designs available 
  • Upload your design into the space that you have found online. The files must be JPGs or SVGs
  • Create your design within Design Space using the many different fonts and shapes available

Tweak Design

Resize your design to fit your project’s dimensions. Within Design Space, you can preview your design on a t-shirt template to see how it would look.

To adjust the dimensions, select the whole design and use the top toolbar to adjust the size. A 9-inch-wide decal can easily fit on a standard t-shirt.

Then, on the upper right, choose Color Sync to guarantee that all of your design’s elements are cut in the same color.

Once your design is complete, click the “Make It” button in the top right to see the preview screen.

Mirror Design 

This is very important and a step that can easily be forgotten. If you started applying this design to your shirt now, it would look upside down or backward. 

To mirror the design, choose the “Mirror” option that can be found in the left panel. It will turn green when you have selected it so you can easily see that you have done it.

Then click the “Continue” button that’s found in the bottom right corner.

Choose Your Material

What you choose will depend on which Cricut product you are using. If you are using the Cricut Maker, choose the iron-on option from the menu. If you are using the Cricut Explore, then turn the dial on the machine to iron on. 

Put Vinyl On Cutting Board

Make sure that you are putting the vinyl on the board plastic side down. The shiny carrier sheet should also be facing downwards. Make sure that the vinyl is smooth on the mat. 

Put Mat Into The Machine And Begin Cutting 

Put the mat into the Cricut and press the arrow button so that the machine grabs onto the mat. Then, press the “C” button and the machine will begin to cut the vinyl. 

Weed Vinyl

When cutting is done, take the mat out of the machine. Now it is weeding time.

This is where you cut away any excess vinyl that you do not want in your final design. Start with the big pieces and work your way down to smaller pieces. 

Using tweezers to grab the small vinyl pieces makes everything easier. 

Transfer And Press The Design 

While this can be done with an iron, the easiest thing to use is the Cricut EasyPress.

The first thing you should do is heat this device, as you need to give it time to reach temperatures of 315 F (if you are using 1005 cotton material – here is a heat guide that Cricut made themselves). This step is split into 3. 

  • Pre-press – This step is used to flatten the material, remove any moisture, and warm up the fabric so that the vinyl can adhere to it.

    You can use either a folded towel or the EasyPress mat. Either way, you should get the device to heat up to 315F and hold the shirt under the heat for a maximum of 5 seconds
  • Press – put the vinyl shiny side up – the vinyl should be pressed against the shirt while the plastic back is facing upwards. One ironed on you cannot change it, so make sure the design is just the way you want it and in the right place. 

Put the EasyPress Onto the design, set the timer for 30 seconds, and press down with slight pressure.

It may not feel like you are pressing hard enough, but the heat is what is doing all of the work here. Just make sure that you are not moving the device around as this could ruin the design. 

Turn the shirt over and then repeat the process, pressing from the back this time. This only has to be done for 15 seconds. 

  • Peel – Allow the shirt to cool down, then very gently peel the plastic liner from the shirt and the vinyl. There is a chance that the vinyl has not completely adhered to the shirt and may begin to pull or peel away from the shirt.

    If this happens do not keep pulling. Instead, put the plastic liner back and press with heat again. Do 10 seconds of heat and pressure on the front and back of the shirt and then try again. 

And just like that, you have your very own unique design on whatever fabric you want!

Summary

Iron-on decals are a fun and creative way to show off your unique style and personality on almost any fabric you like. This is a hobby that both adults and kids will love, as it lets you design and create almost anything.

By following the simple guide above, you should easily be able to make anything you want.

Michael Moore

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