Answering Your Most Burning Questions

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Working with iron-on vinyl can be a lot of fun – but also very frustrating! In this post, we cover your most common questions about vinyl irons for Cricut (and other machines can benefit too!).

Iron on vinyl next to light pressure

HTV bug fix

It’s no secret that I love iron-on projects.

You are probably what I do the most with my Cricut! Pretty much every vacation, occasion, or announcement we make makes me think, “Hey, I could do an ironing project for it.”

A while ago I wrote a post about using vinyl for iron-on transfers that is for sure one of our most popular posts.

It contains everything you need to know about cutting and applying iron-on vinyl. But today I want to talk more about some of the most common iron-on questions people have.

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Since I use (and highly recommend) an EasyPress 2 on all my iron-on projects, I’ll be answering some questions about the EasyPress 2 as well. I really think it is a must for all craftsmen.

While many of these questions relate to using a Cricut, even if you’re using a different machine, you will likely still find them helpful!

You can use code CC2021 for 10% off and free shipping of supplies and accessories on for orders of $ 50 or more.

Which side of HTV am I cutting?

Knowing which side to cut with your machine can be confusing. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve cut the wrong side – especially when I started.

For the most part, you’ll be cutting with that pretty side down. If you can’t determine what it is, you may have to examine a tiny corner of your material to find out which side the plastic liner is on. You cut with the plastic wrap to your mat.

What types of HTV are there?

different types of iron on vinyl

There are all sorts of colors and patterns, and different retailers sell different types.

I mainly use Cricut for ironing on and these are the different options they have:

Is there ironing material for sportswear?

iron on white sportflex

Yes! Cricut SportFlex is great for sportswear. I love using it on regular shirts too. Keep this in mind when using the EasyPress Interactive Guide.

For iron-on projects, you’ll need your iron-on design, something to wear, a source of heat to press on (i.e. an iron, EasyPress 2, or heat press), and weed control tools.

I also find the Cricut BrightPad to be very helpful with weeding. So this is something else to consider.

I admit I don’t use this a ton (mostly because I forget), but it helps to have it on hand. Basically, it’s a thin non-stick film that you put on your iron to protect your projects from too much heat and to give your project a more even pressure force.

The good news is that it is reusable and inexpensive. So if you want the best press possible, make sure to use it.

Buy on

How do you wash the iron on?

You should follow the directions for the material you pressed your iron on. I think it’s usually a good idea to wash the shirt (or bag, etc) inside out to protect the ironing as much as possible. However, the best protection is to prepare your shirts.

Do I have to use an iron-on transfer ribbon?


How do I not burn projects?

This is a question inspired by my friend who has burned a few projects with her iron.

burnt bag

I think a lot of people are concerned about burning their material and that is a legitimate concern. If you use an iron it is definitely a lot more common than with EasyPress.

I’ve also burned projects with my iron, but I’ve never burned anything with my EasyPress. I think it helps that the press is a little more even and I know exactly what temperature and time to do for the materials.

However, if you are not using an EasyPress, here are some steps you can take to prevent burning:

  • Run a test press with iron and supplies to ensure the correct temperature is reached
  • Start with less time on the iron than you think
  • Move your iron around frequently so it’s not just in one place for long periods of time

Why is my material not sticking?

There’s nothing more frustrating than your material not sticking, especially when you feel like you’ve been pinching it forever. This recently happened with the baby milestone blanket I made.

When this happens just take a step back and check the iron-on steps to make sure you are following them. I tried to bypass steps to save time on the above project. Sometimes that’s fine, but in this case it wasn’t.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • What material do you iron on? Is it actually appropriate to use it to iron on?
  • What type of iron-ons do you use? Different types require different temperatures.
  • Have you pre-washed your material?
  • Have you preheated your material? It only takes a few seconds, but it’s important.
  • Did you apply enough pressure?
  • Does the temperature hold? Sometimes it will drop the temperature with an EasyPress or iron if you turn it up and down a lot.
  • Did you leave it on long enough?
  • Are you trying to iron seams? You really need to make sure there aren’t any seams in the way to ensure even pressure.
  • Did you heat the back of the material? This is usually the culprit for me when something doesn’t stick properly. With the blanket, I just didn’t want to turn the blanket any further … but that’s why my material didn’t stick!

What is mirroring?

So important to remember to mirror! I wasted more ironing on forgetting to mirror than for any other reason.

Whenever you iron on any material you need to make sure that the design is upside down. This ensures that it doesn’t look back on the material.

In Cricut Design Space, you can easily flip by toggling the * Mirror * button – either in the Mesh Preview or in the Section Settings section.

How do I know what temperature to use for different materials / projects?

If you’re using EasyPress or EasyPress 2, Cricut created this super handy interactive heating guide that tells you exactly what you need to know. I also made a printable version of this which is available for sale in our Cricut Printable Reference Charts.

How do I know what temperature to use for different materials / projects?

When it comes to using an iron rather than an EasyPress, it can be a little more difficult to determine. I usually just set my iron to the material (i.e. cotton setting if it’s a 100% cotton T-shirt) and then I heat it up in 15 second increments.

However, this may not be the best method. So I’d recommend reading all of the instructions that came with your iron-on material and even Googling the “Iron Settings” for ** Material Type ** to find the best settings.

Why does my iron-on patch come off after just a few washes?

This is most likely because you didn’t follow the iron-on steps exactly. Make sure you always prewash, preheat, and then heat the back of the material.

What materials can I iron on?

There are so many possibilities! Here are a few options to consider:

And these are only a few possibilities!

Will I melt my material?

Unless it’s a material that is known to melt under heat, you probably shouldn’t be unless you’re using extremely high heat. However, it is more likely to burn than melt in this situation.

When I used a heat press I burned a shirt that appeared to have melted!

How long should i let it cool down?

It all depends on the material you are using. If you’re using EasyPress 2, check out the interactive guide to see if you’re going to use it cool peel, warm peel, or hot peel. It is very important to follow these instructions, especially if it is a cool scrub.

If something has been hot scrub and I’ve forgotten, I can usually pull it off later without too much trouble. However, if I peel something when it’s hot and it should be cold, it causes all kinds of problems.

Why is my iron-on vinyl wrinkled after ironing?

Sometimes you peel off your plastic back and find that your ironing material is wrinkled! This is not a funny sight.

When this happens, it is usually one of two reasons:

You peeled off the plastic backing too soon
You used too high a temperature

There’s not much you can do after it’s wrinkled, although I find that sometimes it calms down after a while.

Which mat should I use?

I usually use my standard green iron-on grip mat. However, I always have problems with patterned iron-ons and glues, so I usually use my purple mat with it.

What is the difference between different Cricut iron-on materials?

The main differences are the texture / feel of the iron-on, what materials they can use, and the colors or patterns.

Which Cricut machines can iron on?

All of them!

How can I lay my iron-on flat on the mat?

If you’re having trouble laying your iron flat and removing wrinkles, make sure your mat is tacky enough, then use a scraper to smooth it down.

How can I lay my iron-on flat on the mat?

If you’re having trouble laying your iron flat and removing wrinkles, make sure your mat is tacky enough, then use a scraper to smooth it down.

Can i iron on

You sure can! Not all iron-on materials are good for layering (e.g. patterned iron-ons), but other materials can work great as well.

This post will tell you all about how to put iron on vinyl.

How long does it take to iron on?

Much of it depends on how you put the iron-on, on the quality of the material

When you buy a “StrongBond Guarantee” ironing material with Cricut, you can be sure that you are getting a product that will last. This means that if you use the ironing device as directed, you are guaranteed to be completely satisfied with the results, or you will replace it for free!

Iron on vinyl projects

Here is a list of all the projects we have featured on our website!

Cricut tutorials

Here are some other Cricut tutorials you might like:

Cricut iron on vinyl

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