How to make an iron-on shirt with Cricut
Table of Continence
- Gather Supplies
- Find / Make Iron -on Design
- Upload Design to Cricut Design Space
- Resize Iron-on Design
- Cut Iron-on Design
- Weed Iron-on Design
- Applying Iron-on
- Any Cricut Machine will work. I currently have a Cricut Explore Air 2 and also a Cricut Maker. For an iron-on project there is no different between the two machines. You can also use a Cricut Joy but it might limit your design options given the machines small size.
Light Grip or Standard grip Cricut cutting mat
- Light grip and standard grip Cricut cutting mats will both work. If your mat is older and less sticky secure your iron-on (HTV) with masking tape along the mats edges.
- Iron-on and HTV are the exact same thing. HTV stands for heat transfer vinyl. There are a large variety of HTV types, for example everyday, glow in the dark, sport flex, glitter, flocked and many more.
- Always read the instruction on the packaging for temperatures and whether it is a cool or warm transfer.
Glitter Iron-on is my favorite!
Weeding Tool & Scissors
- Scissors are needed to cut off unused HTV to save for a future project. Your wedding tool will be used to remove unwanted pieces and negative space between letters and designs. More on weeding found below.
Cricut Easy Press or Household Iron
An Cricut Easy Press will give you the exact time and temperature needed depending on your material in the provided Heat Press Guide.
If using a household iron turn your iron to the highest setting which is typically cotton/linen.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Make sure steam setting is turned off.
Heat Mat or Ironing Board
- A heat mat or ironing board is need to protect your surface. A towel can also be used is heat mat or ironing board is unavailable.
- I recommend using a cotton t-shirt for all iron-on vinyl materials with the exception of the sport flex iron-on which works best with polyester and nylon.
Iron-On (HTV) Designs
Iron-on designs can be created in design software such as Adobe Photoshop, Inkscape and of course Cricut Design Space. You can also purchase per-made SVG designs on a variety of websites including Etsy.
Below are a few of my adorable SVG’s for shirts I found over on Etsy.
Click Image for SVG Valentine Design
Uploading Designs in Cricut Design Space
Uploading a design to Cricut Design Space is very simple.
- Log in to Design Space.
- Open a New Project
- Click Upload button on left side control panel
- Click Upload Image button.
- Click Browse and select SVG file or drag and drop SVG directly into dashed box.
The sizing of the iron-on design will depend on your own personal preference but I’ve included a printable sizing chart for general guidelines.
Print the iron-on sizing chart below to add to your Cricut Cheat Sheet collection.
CUTTING HEAT TRANSFER VINYL
One of the most important steps when creating a design using iron-on is to mirror the image.
When placing the iron-on vinyl onto your cutting mat be sure to place your vinyl shinny side down. The shinny side is the transfer sheet, we make sure we are cutting through the actual vinyl.
WEEDING HEAT TRANSFER VINYL
You’ll need to weed your project after your deign is finished cutting. Weeding is just carefully removing all of the unwanted pieces, such as the negative areas in A’s, O’s, and lower-case e’s, from your project. Think of weeding your design much like weeding a garden!
I started out by removing the largest pieces surround the cut design. I gently pulled the corners and unwanted vinyl away from the mat, leaving the design attached to the clear plastic.
Applying Iron-on Using a Household Iron
A household iron is a perfectly good option for applying iron-on.
Start by folding the shirt in half and lightly running the iron across the fold, creating a temporary seam. This creates a faint line down the middle of your shirt you can use to easily center your design.
Unfold the shirt and place down your design, ensuring the plastic side is facing up and the design is readable. Next, adjust your iron to the highest setting, typically linen, and start ironing the plastic backing.
Carefully pull back the plastic. If there are spots that haven’t attached to the shirt completely, just place the plastic back down and re-apply your iron for a few more seconds. To help reinforce the vinyl, I always flip the shirt over (with the vinyl print facing down) and iron the back for a few seconds.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Make sure the steam setting is set to OFF and empty the water basin off your iron to ensure water does not damage your iron-on material.
Applying Iron-on Using Cricut Easy Press
Depending on the type of iron-on material and the model of your Cricut Easy Press, the temperature, time and pressure will vary. Cricut has an amazing Heat Guide with the exact instructions for each material and Easy Press model.
I currently use my Cricut Easy Press Mini for all my iron-on projects but I hope to invest in a larger model soon.
Lastly, allow your shirt to cool and prepare to be hooked! My kids, their friends, and classmates now have custom shirts for all occasions. I seriously have an addiction.