So you just joined the crafting world by purchasing a cricut, silhouette or other type of vinyl cutter.. YAY!! Welcome to the world of endless crafting possibilities!! But youve unboxed your cutter and probably feeling a bit overwhelmed and confused on where to start.. thats where we come in! Weve put together a little list of product explanations to help you get started and understand the vinyl "lingo".
Weeding- is the process of removing the unnecessary vinyl around your design after cutting before applying your transfer tape.
Transfer tape- a product much like a giant piece of tape. Adhesive on one side used for lifting your weeded design from the paper backing to then apply to your product.
Oracal- is a brand name for adhesive vinyls. Oracal 651 is a permanent adhesive vinyl typically used for mugs, decals, signs, tumblers. (Or almost anything else you can think of to apply your design to)
Oracal 631 is a similar vinyl but removable, used in places that you dont want it to stay forever.
Squeegee- used for applying your transfer tape to your weeded design, and then your design to your product. When you apply your decals you have to rub the vinyl to activate the adhesive and a squeegee helps make this process easy, it also helps getting rid of those pesky air bubbles!
HTV- Heat Transfer Vinyl. This is the product you iron on. You can use a home iron (no steam setting) or heat press for most HTVs. Works best for tshirts, bags, hats etc.
Stencil Film- a less adhesive thin vinyl used for making one time stencils for painting your design. Easily removed after painting.
I know, you want it all! But heres a list of things when starting out that you NEED.
A cutting mat, tools, vinyl, squeegee, transfer tape, and an iron or heat press.
Youtube will be your best friend when it comes to how tos and tutorials. A few things Ive learned since owning my cricut are:
- Be patient, it will take time to get into the swing of things and you will make mistakes again and again. When I started out I wasted a TON of HTV because I would forget to mirror the image or place the HTV shiny side down. Not all types have to be used this way check your product specs first.
- ALWAYS measure your design area and set your design within those measurements. Nothing worse than cutting and weeding your design to find out it doesnt fit!
- Trim the access off your design, its much easier to work with a smaller outer edge when weeding. Not to mention you WILL use your scraps, get every penny out of that 12x12 square.
- When peeling your transfer tape and decal up off the paper backing, take it slow and use your squeegee to help as you go.
- When working with a new product I recommend doing a small test cut to be sure your settings will work with this product.
-If youre applying HTV with an iron I do not recommend using an folding ironing board. To apply HTV it needs pressure, instead try using a sturdy table or wooden cutting board for your surface.
- Make sure your irons steam setting is turned off. HTV will not apply if using moisture.
- DO NOT resell a product with a trademark or logo on it. Respect copywrite laws because companies DO look into these things.
- A light pad for weeding will be a HUGE help or make sure you have a bright working area so you dont miss those tiny spots!
-Allow your HTV to cure on the product for at least 24 hrs before washing.
We could go on and on with tips and trick but we dont want to overwhelm you. You always have youtube for tutorials and how tos.. or we are here to help! You can send any and all questions to us via our facebook page or email
Now get CRAFTING! Remember you cant use up creativity, the more you use the more you have <3