I love my Cricut Explore Air 2. I love that it allows me to do paper crafts, cut fabric (yes, even with an Explore Air 2), and vinyl projects. Honestly, making my own shirts with iron-on vinyl is one of the best things ever!
This week I made a couple of t-shirts for my little guy–one to celebrate his favourite hobby (way of life?) and one in anticipation of our upcoming trip.
Once the vinyl is cut out (don’t forget to mirror the design!) and weeded, it’s time to adhere it to the t-shirts. I’m using 100% cotton shirts from Gildan. In the case of the Eat, Sleep… design, I trimmed up the carrier sheets so that I could layer everything together and adhere it all at once.
I just folded the shirts in half to find the centre and did the same with the vinyl. Then I laid the t-shirt on the EasyPress mat, lined up the vinyl and added heat and pressure with my EasyPress.
You know your vinyl has adhered if you can see the texture of the fabric in the vinyl. If you can’t, apply the EasyPress again (using a Teflon sheet if you have removed your carrier sheet). Once you can see the texture, flip the shirt over and apply heat from the back to be totally sure it has fully adhered.
When working with iron-on vinyl it is super important to know if your vinyl is hot or cool peel. Siser Easyweed can be peeled either hot or cold, Vinyl Frog and Cricut vinyl are both cool peel. If you peel them while still hot, it is likely you will pull them off the surface you’ve adhered them too. Take your time and read all the directions, especially when working with a new brand of vinyl.
The EasyPress makes it so simple to adhere the vinyl to the t-shirts. Cricut has figured out the time and temperature required, and the weight of the EasyPress (plus a bit of leaning on it) gives you the right weight too. The EasyPress mat provides a 12″x12″ surface for the 9″ square EasyPress. It is comprised of several layers that work together to reflect back heat and keep your craft desk safe.
I used a combination of Siser, Vinyl Frog, and CreativXP vinyl to make the shirts. I’m a huge fan of Siser vinyl because it is easy to weed and it adheres really, really well. But, I’m also always on the lookout for a deal, and the price was right for the Vinyl Frog and CreativXP vinyl (both available on Amazon.ca). You can get the Eat, Sleep, Game, Repeat SVG from LoveSVG for free, and the Disney vinyl is available through AMPStudio on Etsy. The EasyPress and EasyPress Mat are both available at most major craft stores and through Cricut’s website.