There are two types of print and cut HTV (heat transfer vinyl) you can buy for this project, dark colored shirts and light colored shirts. Depending on the type you buy will depend on how you cut, weed, and iron on your design. So, make sure you follow the correct one for your material.
From the research I have done individuals seem to get the best results from the dark colored shirt HTV, even if they use it on a light colored shirt. I have a laser printer, which made my choice of print then cut HTV very limited. Most print then cut HTV works only with ink jet printers (normal printers). Laser printers require heat to work, and since this paper uses heat to activate, it is difficult to find print then cut HTV that will not activate when my printer is printing on it, and thus ruin my printer. So, my only option was a print and cut HTV for light colored shirts.
When I received my print then cut HTV it was very damaged. The packaging was opened and all the pages got wet and dirty. I did return it, but I did not have time to buy new print then cut HTV and wait for the shipping. So, I used one of the damaged sheets for this project. This may have been why I had some issues during this project.
I used a 100% polyester baby onesie for this project. Cotton will also work well. If you use a material with cotton it is recommended to pre wash it beforehand, because cotton can shrink. I tested out an actual picture and an image with the print then cut HTV. I then did my words in iron on vinyl.
For print then cut the Cricut can only do designs that are 6.75 by 9.25 inches at this time. If your design is larger than this, then you will get an error message when you go to make it. Most of the time it is good to turn on the bleed function, when you do a print then cut, especially for pictures. It is not recommended for images like my bunny however. I printed an example to show you what the bleed function will do for line images like my bunny. I did not notice a lot of difference in my car image. I have a few more tips and instructions for setting up your printer for a print then cut in my ultimate shirt guide, which you can buy here. This guide has all the instructions to make shirts with various types of vinyl and infusible ink, all in an easy to read table. It also has recommended design sizes depending on your shirt size.
When you cut the iron on vinyl you will need to mirror your design. I used the everyday iron on setting to cut out my design. You will also want to lay your iron on shinny side down on your mat. Once it is cut out you will weed out/remove any areas you do not want to show.
For the print then cut HTV you will want to remember to change your line setting to print then cut. This is located under operation in the upper left hand corner. For light colored shirt HTV you will want to mirror your design. For dark colored shirt HTV you do NOT mirror. For light colored shirt HTV I selected printable iron on, light. For the dark colored shirt HTV I selected printable iron on, dark. For both the dark and light colored HTV you will want to place your HTV design side up on your cutting mat. For the light colored shirt HTV you will remove/weed out the background. For the dark colored shirt HTV you will remove your design itself.
I used an infant shirt ruler I made to help me line up my design. You can see how I made it, by clicking here. If you are interested in purchasing my SVG file to make your own, then you can click here. When laying down the light colored shirt HTV you will want the design to face down. When laying down the dark colored shirt HTV you will want the design to face up. For the iron on vinyl you will want to lay the shinny side up/sticky adhesive side down.
For iron on vinyl, dark and light colored HTV you should pre heat your shirt for about 15 seconds. This helps remove any moisture that may be in the shirt. If you are using an easy press, then you should set it to 315 F with light pressure for 30 sec for the iron on vinyl on 100% cotton material. Settings may differ a little for the print then cut HTV. So, I recommend trying the settings that are recommended for the print then cut HTV you ordered. If no instructions were given, then try 300 F for 30 sec for dark colored and 90-120 sec for light colored. If you are using an iron, then medium to heavy pressure is recommended. My print then cut HTV only suggested holding for 30 sec., but it might have turned out better if I did the 90 sec. It is recommended to place some butcher paper over both types of print then cut HTV so the ink does not transfer onto your iron or easy press. You should also apply heat to the back of the shirt for about 15 sec. for the iron on vinyl. This is not needed for the print then cut HTV.
Iron on vinyl is a warm peel, which means you should remove the clear transfer sheet when your vinyl is still warm, not hot. You should remove the transfer sheet immediately for the light colored shirt HTV. The dark colored shirt HTV does not have anything to peel off when it is finished.
Make sure to wait at least 24 hrs. After you applied your vinyl before washing your shirt. You will want to turn your shirt inside out, and wash it on cold or warm water. Do not use bleach. Tumble dry on low or hang to dry. Your print then cut HTV should also provide you with care instructions for you to follow.
I had a lot of trouble with my print then cut HTV not wanting to peel properly. This may have been due to it getting wet and damaged in the mail. When I tried to remove the transfer sheet from my bunny the paper did not come off. I then had to hand pick all the pieces of paper off. It did come off and look okay, but it was not a fun task. The image of the car was not as clear as I would have liked. I wonder if I applied my pressure and heat for longer if it would have helped. I did try to reapply heat, but it did not make a difference. I was also a little worried of it sticking like it did for the bunny. When I tried to remove the background of my images the paper just stuck and tore. So, I ended up just cutting out my designs. The cricut did a nice job cutting my design, it was just the fault of the paper not peeling properly. Over all I am happy with my baby onesie. It is not perfect, but I think it still looks cute.
If you would like all this information and more in an easy to read table, so it is easier to find quickly when crafting, and to keep by your crafting area, then click here!