How to Use Cricut Heat Transfer Iron-Ons for Vinyl Projects

looking for a shirt image by Ramona smiers from

Things You'll Need

  • Cricut heat transfer vinyl
  • T-shirt or other material

Cricut personal cutting machines allow you to create a variety of designs without the use of a separate computer. Place the desired cartridge into the the machine with the material, often paper, to be cut. Cartridge images can be sized and include all types of shapes, such as fonts, swirls, animals and holiday designs. Cricut also produces heat transfer vinyl, sometimes referred to as iron-on vinyl with an adhesive backing, available in a variety of colors. Crafters often use the vinyl to create unique or group T-shirts, perfect for family reunions or sports teams.

Enter settings on your Cricut machine. Use the flip function so the design appears in reverse. Set the blade at "3," and use medium for both pressure and speed.

Place the vinyl glossy or shiny side down to run through the Cricut.

Pull away any excess vinyl.

Flip your design onto the T-shirt with the adhesive side down. You will be able to see the correct image.

Transfer the design using an iron set to the "cotton" setting. Cover it with a cloth or parchment paper and press firmly over the transfer for 10 to 15 seconds. Iron on a firm surface, such as an iron board or counter top. Test a corner to ensure that the design adheres properly. If it comes up, just iron it again.

Allow the transfer to cool and peel off the backing to enjoy your T-shirt.


  • Modify these instructions according to fabric, irons or materials. If your design is intricate or involves long words, practice first on a piece of paper to make sure it is set up properly. Layer vinyl colors to create different designs and to add interest and dimension to your project. Use a razor blade to separate the vinyl from the adhesive backing. Increase the pressure setting by one if needed for ease of removal. Wash and iron your T-shirt before adhering the design to remove sizing and wrinkles.