Jan 27, 2020

12 Tips for DIYing Valentines Day Shirts with Iron On Vinyl

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.


12 tips to help you become comfortable with DIYing shirts using iron on vinyl.
I haven't made a shirt with iron on vinyl in YEARS!  AND when I did I didn't design it and cut it out myself.  However, I set a goal that I was going to do it.  Guess what?!  I did it and honestly it was SO SIMPLE!

I DIYed Valentines Day shirts for me and my girls using the Cricut Explore Air 2, Cricut EasyPress, and Cricut's Everyday Iron On and Patterned Iron On.  I am thrilled with how they turned out and I want to share some tips that I learned.

First off, I am going to share these files with you so you can make these exact shirts if you wanted too.  However, if you feel like you want to try to design something yourself then jump into Cricut design space and start designing.  There are so many things you can do!

12 Tips for DIYing Valentines Day Shirts with Iron On Vinyl

12 Tips for DIYing Valentines Day Shirts with Iron On Vinyl

12 Tips for DIYing Valentines Day Shirts with Iron On Vinyl


One thing I want to mention is you might want to watch this tutorial on how to use HTV Iron On for the first time.  It isn't the shortest video (I really try to make them short, but I feel like if you have NEVER done HTV then this is the least you can do to make sure you know the ins and the outs.

12 tips to help you become comfortable with DIYing shirts using iron on vinyl.

Next, I want to share with you 12 tips to help make Iron On vinyl easier.  These are things I have learned along the way.


1.  My number one tip is to let the vinyl cool for a bit.  If it is a warm peel (next tip will explain this) then make sure to let it cool a bit before trying to peel off the "backing".  I made this mistake and luckily I was able to save it but it could have been a disaster!  I say to let it cool for 20 seconds.

2. When you buy the EasyPress 2 you will get a booklet in the box that gives a website to help guide you when it comes to deciding what temperature to set the EasyPress on and also how long to set the timer for.  It will also tell you if you should peel it when its warm or cool.  It is very interactive.  You get to choose what kind vinyl are you using as well as what type of material you are adhering it to.  You can pull up that website here.

12 Tips for DIYing Valentines Day Shirts with Iron On Vinyl

3.  For an easy way to know what size to make your designs refer to these guidelines:

Adult:Around 11x11
Fitted adult: 9x9
Youth: 7x7
Toddler: 5x5
Onesie: 3x3

4.  When you get ready to cut out the vinyl the program lets you know that it needs to be mirrored and which side to lay down on the mat.  So just make sure to pay attention and you will get all the guidance that you need.  (For example, the way I am laying down the vinyl in the picture below is wrong, but thankfully the program corrected me and I fixed it which is the second picture.)
12 Tips for DIYing Valentines Day Shirts with Iron On Vinyl

12 Tips for DIYing Valentines Day Shirts with Iron On Vinyl

5.  To make it easier to find the center of the shirt then fold the shirt in half (pictured below) and run the EasyPress over it to create a crease.  

12 Tips for DIYing Valentines Day Shirts with Iron On Vinyl

6.  Make sure to preheat your material.  There will also be a suggested amount of time to preheat it in the heat guide that I mentioned above.

12 Tips for DIYing Valentines Day Shirts with Iron On Vinyl

7.  If you are wanting to do multiple colors (like what is seen in the shirts above, then make sure to use everyday iron on.  Glitter should be a top layer.

8.  Layers should be done separately.  As long as the protective sheet is not touching any other protective sheet then you can put as many "layers" on each time you apply the heat.  I felt like this tutorial showed this really well.

12 Tips for DIYing Valentines Day Shirts with Iron On Vinyl

9.  The first layers should be 10-20 seconds less because you don't want to overheat them.  This is also explained the the video tutorial above.

10.  One great way to not actually layer the iron on vinyl on top of each other is to use the slice method.  I did this on the unicorn and plaid shirt above.  It basically slices out the layered pieces so that all the vinyl is adhering to the fabric not to the vinyl underneath.  If you look at the picture below you can see that the hearts right under the horn are not layered on anything.  Before I did the slicing method the hearts were layered on the hair and the horn.  This video tutorial shows it what I am talking about and how to do it.

12 Tips for DIYing Valentines Day Shirts with Iron On Vinyl

11.  Never put the EasyPress directly on the Iron On material.  So make sure to save the plastic protectors and place them on top of the exposed vinyl each time you heat a new layer. 

12 Tips for DIYing Valentines Day Shirts with Iron On Vinyl

12.  Last tip is to just hold the EasyPress still, don't move it around.  This is prevent you from accidentally moving your vinyl.


Now one thing I want to mention, this isn't a tip, but something you want to be aware of.  You do NOT need TRANSFER TAPE.  It is already on the vinyl.



Lastly, I want to mention tools that will either make your life so much easier if you have!  I don't recommend anything unless I truly feel like you will benefit from it.

1.  Essential Tool Set:  This set will give you all the tools you need to slice, weed, and trim the Iron On materials.  It comes with a lot more tools to help do many more things with your machines as well.
12 Tips for DIYing Valentines Day Shirts with Iron On Vinyl

12 Tips for DIYing Valentines Day Shirts with Iron On Vinyl

12 Tips for DIYing Valentines Day Shirts with Iron On Vinyl

2.  EasyPress Mat:  You can use a folded up towel, but the way this mat is designed it helps eliminate moisture and directs heat right to your design.

3.  BrightPad: I have the BrightPad, but for these designs I didn't need it.  If you are working when it is dark it might help you.  Or if you are weeding a more intricate design then the BrightPad will help so much!


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