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How to Cut Heat Transfer Vinyl (HTV) with Cricut

Pretty much all designs on So Fontsy can be cut on Heat Transfer Vinyl or HTV. Heat Transfer Vinyl is often called HTV or T-shirt vinyl.

It is applied to clothing or other textiles with heat and pressure.  (If you are looking for a Cricut Design Space tutorial on how to cut adhesive vinyl for hard goods, check out this tutorial). Because heat transfer vinyl is on the carrier sheet with the adhesive side exposed it must be placed on the cutting mat with the shiny side down and cut in reversed. That means you need to take a few extra steps while preparing your design in Cricut Design Space.

Start with your design in Cricut Design Space. The design used below is the Sleigh Hair Don’t Care design.

Size appropriately for your surface. Be sure to highlight any layers that you don’t want to move when placing on the mat, right click, and click “attach”. Now you are ready to cut and can click “make it”.

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You should see your design on the mat with everything where it should be. If you don’t see this, go back and try the attach option again.

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For iron on, however, you want to mirror your design. Just toggle the mirror button on the left hand side to do this. Once everything is correct on your mat, you are ready to cut.

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This is great if your design is all one color, but how do you do a vinyl design, like this Don’t Hog the Nog design, which has multiple colors in order to layer it easily? The easiest way is to add small squares to your design along two outer corners. Use the shape tool to start adding squares. You will need two squares in every color of your design.

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Stack all of these squares up directly on top of one another in the corners with one color of each square in each corner.

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Then ungroup your design with the “ungroup” button if the pieces are grouped together.

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Then use the layers menu on the right to highlight each color individually. Hold down the control button on your computer while clicking to choose multiple layers. Then click “attach” at the bottom once all of one color has been chosen. Repeat for each color. You should see the attached layers grouped together in the right hand pane.

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Now when you click “make it” each color will be on a different mat and it will be oriented correctly for layering later.

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Scroll through each mat to ensure that your components are placed correctly. Click “cancel” at this point if you need to go back and make any adjustments. You will need to click each mat and toggle the mirror button for iron on vinyl.

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Once everything looks okay, click continue and you will need to choose your machine.

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Then your most recently used materials will pop up in the materials section. You can choose one of these or click “view all” to see more options.

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The view all button will pull up a list of hundreds of materials. To narrow your options, use the search bar. You can search for something like “iron” and see tons of material options. Pick the one that corresponds to the material you are using.

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The software will then tell you what blade to load in your housing. NOTE: There will be a warning to make sure you mirror your design when you choose any iron on product. This warning will stay there even if you have chosen mirror on your mat screen. From there just follow the prompts to make your cut.

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Apply each layer of heat transfer vinyl separately.  All layers, with the exception of the last, should be tacked for 1-3 seconds with a heat press (and the carrier sheet removed) to prevent shrinking.

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