How to Iron-On Canvas with Your Cricut
Did you know that you can put heat transfer vinyl (aka…HTV) on canvas?! I am going to show you how to make this super cute “This is my Happy Place” sign using your Cricut and Cricut EasyPress to put HTV on canvas! This canvas is super easy to make and a great Cricut project for beginners!
If you are new to Cricut and looking for a fun beginner project then making a canvas sign with iron-on vinyl is a great place to start!
The materials for this project are inexpensive and it doesn’t have to be perfect to still be super cute!
I love how my “This is my Happy Place” canvas turned out. It looks awesome in my craft room which is of course my happy place!
You can grab my “This is my Happy Place” SVG cut file at the bottom of the page if you want to make your own canvas.
I created a quick video showing you how to do this or you can scroll down a bit more to grab the written instructions. I also have a list of the supplies I recommend for this project listed below.
Don’t forget to grab the “This is my Happy Place” SVG cut files at the bottom of the page so you can make this canvas!
BASIC SUPPLIES NEEDED TO MAKE A CANVAS SIGN WITH YOUR CRICUT
- Multiple Colors of Iron-On Vinyl (I used light purple, light teal, pink, and light green)
- 6×6 Cotton Canvas
- Cricut cutting machine
- Standard grip cutting mat
- Weeding tool
- Brayer tool (optional)
- Cricut EasyPress Mini or Cricut EasyPress
- Cricut EasyPress Mat
- Heat resistant tape
- Teflon protective sheet for Heat Press
- Measuring Tape
HOW TO IRON-ON CANVAS WITH YOUR CRICUT
How to Iron-On Canvas with Your Cricut
Today I am going to show you how to use iron on vinyl (also known as heat transfer vinyl) on canvas. We are going to make a super cute and super easy "This is my Happy Place Sign". I love how this turned out and can't wait to show you how easy it is to use heat transfer vinyl on canvas so let's get started!
Step 1: Create a new project in Cricut Design Space and Upload/Resize the SVG
The first thing we are going to do is get our project set up in Cricut Design Space. So let's start a new project and upload our design. The Design I am using for this project is available for free at the bottom of the page. If you need help uploading the SVG to Cricut Design Space, you can check out my video on how to do that here.
Once the design is open, we are going to resize the design to fit our canvas. I'm using a 6x6 canvas so I'm taking the design down to about 5 inches. If you are using a larger canvas, be sure to size the design accordingly.
Step 2: Prepare the design for cutting
Now that we have the design the size that we want, we need to get the design layers organized a bit differently before we are ready to cut.
If I just click make it, you will see that we have a lot of mats and some parts of the design can be attached to make the most efficient use of our material.
The first thing I am going to do is ungroup the design.
You will see that when I ungroup the design, it is now broken up by color.
The only part of my design that I want to keep together during the cut is the "this is my". Everything else is going to be cut individually so that I don't waste any material.
Right now, the purple part of the design is grouped, but to attach just the "this is my" words, I need to ungroup the purple part of the design. Select the purple group and click ungroup.
You can see now that each word and letter is separate for the purple part of the design.
But I want the "this is my" words to stay attached during the cut, you can do this by either holding down the shift key and selecting each word in the layer column and clicking attach, or you can hide all of the other parts of the design, click and drag to select all three words and then click attach.
Click "Make It" and you can now see that those words stay together.
Step 3: Move all design elements to one mat
Now we can start arranging our mats to cut. You can see each color is showing its own mat.
You could absolutely cut the design this way if you wanted to. You would just cut each color one at a time. What I like to do to save time is actually load up all of the design onto one mat so that I can cut all of the colors at once.
To do that, you will go to the mat you want to move, click on the design, and click the three little dots on the top of the design. Then you will select move object.
Now pick the mat you want to move it to.
Since this part of the design is going to be purple, I will select the other purple mat to move it to just to help keep track of the colors. Once it's on the new mat, move it over so that none of the cuts will overlap.
Then go to the next color you want to move over. I'm going to move over all of my pink cuts next.
When I move the next color over, I like to bring the letter down to the next whole number on the mat. This makes it super easy for me to line up my vinyl later on the mat to make sure I don't accidentally cut outside of the material.
Then we will do the same thing for the rest of the colors. Once the mat is ready, make sure you select mirror on the mat. Any time you use heat transfer vinyl you need to mirror your design.
Step 4: Place iron-on vinyl on a standard grip mat shiny side down
Now that we have the rest of the colors moved over and we have mirrored our design, we are ready to place the vinyl on our standard grip cutting mat.
Use the measurements on the mat in Cricut Design Space to determine what size you need to cut each color of HTV down to.
We are going to place the HTV on the mat shiny side down.
Starting at the top we will place the purple htv on the mat. Next is our pink layer.
The brand of HTV I am using is a little strange in that the back of some of the sheets are white. Normally both sides are the same color as you see with the purple vinyl here.
But no matter what brand of heat transfer vinyl you use, you always want to make sure the shiny side is down.
Then we will line up our blue vinyl and lastly the green. Make sure that you are placing the vinyl in the same spots on the mat as we set up in design space.
Before I make any cuts, I like to use a brayer tool to make sure that the vinyl is really stuck down on the mat.
Step 5: Select your material type
Ok, now we are ready to start cutting, turn on your machine, and click continue in design space so we can select our material type.
If you are using Cricut brand Heat Transfer Vinyl then be sure to select the specific kind as your material type (for example Everyday iron-on). I am using a non-Cricut brand HTV so I am going to set my material to Heat Transfer Vinyl (non-cricut).
If you are using an Explore machine, you will want to set the dial to Iron-On.
Step 6: Load your mat and start cutting
Once you select your material, the arrow button on your machine should start blinking meaning you are ready to load your mat.
Once the mat is loaded the Cricut button will start blinking and you are ready to start cutting.
Step 7: Unload your mat and remove the vinyl from the mat
When the machine is done cutting, the arrow button will start blinking again and you can unload the mat.
To take the HTV off of the mat, you will want to flip over the mat and gently peel the mat back from the HTV. Peeling the HTV right off of the mat can cause the material to curl which is not what we want.
Step 8: Weed the design
Now we are going to start weeding the design. I'm using a Cricut weeding tool for this part and I highly recommend you do as well. I've linked all of the materials I recommend for this project above.
When I am weeding, the first thing I do is get the bulk of the excess vinyl peeled off. When you are weeding, make sure you take your time with this part so you don't accidentally tear or weed the wrong parts of the design.
After I get the bulk of the excess vinyl off of the design I go back and get all of the smaller pieces in the letters and the rest of the design.
Make sure you look over your design a few times to double-check that there aren't any little pieces you missed when weeding. I can tell you from experience it is VERY frustrating to finish a project and realize you missed something when you were weeding and then it's too late to fix it.
Step 9: Cut the plastic sheet to separate the letters
For this project, since we used different colors for each of the letters, we are going to manually place all of the letters onto the canvas. To do that, we first need to cut the excess plastic backing off so we can place our letters close together on the canvas.
Step 10: Place the small hearts over the "i" letters
Now I'm going to add the tiny little pink hearts that we cut over the i's in the this is my part of the design. To do that you will just place them face down on the plastic sheet making sure not to cover any of the purple HTV.
Step 11: Set temperature and time on your heat-press
Now I am going to pull up Cricut's heat guide so I can figure out what temperature I need to set my Cricut EasyPress to. You can click here to access the Cricut Heat Guide.
For this project, I am selecting the EasyPress 2, then selecting Cricut Everyday Iron-on for the material because that is close enough to the type of HTV I am using.
Then I select what type of material I am applying the HTV to in this case, cotton canvas. I'm also going to be using the Cricut easy press mat so I select that option and click apply.
The heat guide says to set the temperature to 340 degrees and press for 30 seconds.
Step 12: Line up the design on the canvas
Next, we are ready to line up our design on the canvas. I'm using a measuring tape to get the top part of my design centered and then placing the rest of the letters where I want them.
I have the original design pulled up on my tablet so I can see what order to put the colored letters in.
You can see that the letters do not really stick on the canvas while I'm lining it up because there is so little of the plastic sheet left.
So once I get everything lined up, I am going to use a bit of heat-resistant tape to make sure that my design doesn't shift around while I'm heating it.
Step 13: Apply heat
Now, I learned a few things during this process. The first is that if you are using an EasyPress, you should absolutely use a protective sheet over the canvas when you are pressing. When I didn't do this, I ended up with black marks on the edges of my canvas.
The second thing I learned is that it's really difficult for the larger heat press to evenly apply pressure to a canvas.
This is because the frame that is used around the edges is not a flat surface and the center of the canvas doesn't have anything underneath it.
So there really isn't a great way to get even heat through the entire design on the canvas with the larger heat press.
So, what I did was used my large EasyPress with the protective sheet to get the majority of the design adhered. Then I went back through with my EasyPress mini on a few of the spots that weren't quite adhered.
If you are using a larger canvas, I recommend folding a small towel to place underneath the center of the canvas so that the center of the design can get more evenly heated.
Step 14: Peel off the plastic backing sheet
The type of HTV I am using is a warm peel meaning you have to peel the plastic sheet away from the design while it is warm. The type of vinyl you purchase will specify if it is a warm peel or cool peel heat transfer vinyl.
Once you start to peel the plastic sheet away, if you notice any parts of the design not adhering, just place the plastic sheet back down and go over that spot again until it sticks.
In the future, if I am doing a small canvas like this I will probably just use my easy press mini for the whole design. If I do a larger canvas I will probably use a combination of the two like I did for this project.
There you have it! I will definitely be making more canvas signs like this using iron-on vinyl.
It was a lot of fun and I love how this little sign turned out. I can't wait to hang it up in my craft room which of course is my happy place.
Don't forget to grab this free design at the bottom of the page!
To download the free This is my Happy Place SVG cut file, just fill out the form below and click “GET IT NOW!”
DOWNLOAD MY FREE “THIS IS MY HAPPY PLACE” SVG CUT FILES
HOW TO USE THESE CUT FILES:
You can use these files on your Cricut Maker, Cricut Explore, Cricut Joy, Silhouette Cameo, or other brands of electronic cutting machines that use these file types.
If you need help downloading the files and uploading them to Cricut Design Space, I have a quick tutorial on how to do that here: How to Download SVG Files and Upload them to Cricut Design Space
Please review the licensing information for these files by clicking the link below.
* Crafting A Lovely Life SVG File License Information
Don’t forget to save this project on Pinterest for later! Happy crafting!