Last updated on February 27th, 2018 at 10:49 am
Cricut Iron-On Vinyl is one of my favorite things! Here are step by step instructions on how to use it to make these adorable conversation heart pillow cases for Valentine’s Day! Includes free cut files, too!
This is the first in a series of tutorials on how to use the Cricut Explore. Part of this is completely selfish—instead of typing up the directions in each individual post I do, I can just link them and say, for example, “you can learn how to use Cricut Iron On Vinyl in my post here.”
But I also think it’s super helpful to learn the capabilities of your Cricut Explore, so you can make the most of your machine. When I first learned about the Cricut, I thought it was solely a scrapbooking tool. It’s so much more! I use mine all the time to make all sorts of projects, none of which end up in a scrapbook.
Today I’m going to show how to use Cricut iron on vinyl to turn a simple pillowcase into a Valentine’s Day treat—cute conversation hearts!
Cricut Iron-On Vinyl Tutorial Supplies
Cricut Iron-On Vinyl Tutorial Directions
Start by cutting out your hearts on your Cricut Explore. Download the file and open the Cricut Design Space. Click Upload Files on the right and select the conversation heart SVG file you downloaded. Click SAVE.
Then click on the file you just uploaded and click INSERT IMAGES.
The size of the file is about 10″ wide. I did this just in case you want to make a larger pillow. To resize the heart so it fits better on a 14″ pillowcase, click “edit” and change the height to 8″.
Then click the green Cricut GO at the top of the screen. The preview screen will open. Important: in this screen, click “Mirror Image (for iron-on)” so it flips your image. If you don’t do this, your image will be backward when you go to iron it on! Don’t ask me how much vinyl I’ve wasted because I forgot this step.
Then click GO.
In the next screen, you can set the material you are using. You do this on the actual Cricut Explore machine, using the dial.
Place your iron on vinyl plastic-side DOWN on your cutting mat. Insert the mat into the Cricut and press the arrow button on your Cricut. It should grip your cutting mat.
And press the blinking “C” button on your Cricut and it will cut your project for you!
Once it’s finished, press the arrow button on your Cricut and it will release your mat.
Cricut Tips and Tricks:
Now peel off the “negative” vinyl — basically anything that’s not part of your design. On the conversation heart, that’s the area outside the heart and the letters themselves. I keep it attached to my cutting mat for this — I find it’s easier. I also use the weeding tool, which makes it about a million percent faster.
Peel the plastic and vinyl from your cutting mat. When you flip it over, you’ll see that it’s facing the correct direction. Center the heart on your pillowcase.
The next step differs depending on who you talk to. Some people iron directly on the plastic, but I prefer to use a thin scrap of fabric on top of the plastic. I just don’t feel comfortable ironing plastic!
Set your iron to hot, but not steam. Press down the iron, holding firmly for 5 to 10 seconds, and then picking it up and moving it. Do not slide the iron around. This process will all take longer than you’d expect! It takes a lot of heat to get the vinyl to adhere properly.
Peel back the plastic over your image. The vinyl should stick. If you find it starts to pull up, put the plastic back down and apply more heat.
Once done, you can remove the plastic entirely. I often press again using a scrap of fabric between my iron and the vinyl, just for good measure. Allow it all to cool before moving your project so that the vinyl can set properly.
Tada! You’ve just mastered iron-on vinyl! Go make yourself some pillows, t-shirts, bags, or whatever else your mind can dream up!