Using HTV

I made these sweatshirts for my mom and her boyfriend this past week using heat transfer vinyl, or HTV. This is simple design and it took me maybe 30 minutes to make both shirts. It was a quick, simple, easy gift that they loved. Heres how I did it!

I made both designs on the same mat, so in DesignSpace, I arranged the text so I would have enough room to lay down different colored strips of vinyl on the mat. In this case I used the mat that was 24 inches long, so that I only had to load my Cricut machine one time. This is what my mat looked liked.

I used a paper cutter to cut out four inch strips of vinyl, to match the dimensions displayed in DesignSpace. Then I laid them on the mat in the order I wanted the colors to be. Once the vinyl was on the mat I used the scraper tool and rubbed the vinyl onto the mat to make sure it was secure, and that there were no air bubbles. In the picture above you can see that I initially missed an air bubble in the purple vinyl. I just went back with the scraper tool and used a downward wiping motion a couple times and the vinyl was flat.

Once I had my vinyl ready, I hit the green continue button in the bottom right corner to continue to the next group of settings. Here, I change the mirror setting, and the setting to make sure I have the correct sized mat selected. You want to make sure the mirror setting is turned on when using htv. It’s an easy thing to forget. I actually almost forgot on this project. Once your settings are correct hit continue in the bottom right corner again.

Now you need to select the correct material to cut. I was using both two different materials, Glitter HTV and Cricut’s Everyday Iron On. I chose Glitter HTV as my material as that was the thicker of the two materials. Once you have your material selected, you are ready to cut. I usually load my mat into the machine here, then press the flashing button with the Cricut logo on it, and your machine will begin cutting!

Once the machine is done cutting you can unload the mat from the machine and begin weeding your material. Weeding is when remove the excess vinyl from the material backing your design. Cricut has a set of weeding tools that I typically use to aid me in this process, though for this project it was relatively easy.

While I am weeding my design, I like to preheat my heat press. For my design I had the temp set to 325 degrees. Before I added my design to the sweatshirts, I lint rolled both shirts. This just ensures that there isn’t anything left in the shirt that could keep the design from sticking and coming off later on. I also slipped a heat resistant mat inside the shirt to protect my table and to make sure heat is distributed evenly while I am applying heat.

Now, I like to lay my design out and line things up the way I like them. All of the vinyl I cut earlier on was 12 inches long by four inches wide. It made centering my letters easier for this project to leave everything on those 12 inch sections. I simply lined up the sticky plastic backing at the corners and my design was centered! I did use a ruler to make sure the lines were one inch apart. Then I positioned the decal on the shirt. In this case I used the point the hood made as a centering device.

Before I apply heat the the decal, I remove it from the shirt so that I can preheat the fabric. Preheating the fabric helps to get any wrinkles out that may be there, and helps the vinyl stick. I like to apply heat for about 15 to 30 seconds once my heat press is ready. Then I apply my design the way it was laid out before hand, and apply more heat. When heating your design, make sure you apply pressure. For glitter HTV I apply pressure for 30 seconds. Then remove the heat and let it sit for a minute. With glitter HTV, it works better to remove the plastic backing once it has cooled off. If you pull of the backing while it’s hot, the vinyl likes to come off too.

This image was right after I removed the plastic backing from my freshly completed gift. The Glitter HTV is some of my favorite vinyl. The glitter does not come off, or spread to the rest of the shirt. It doesn’t wash off, it stays beautifully glittery for a long time.

Thank you so much for spending crafting time with me!

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