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How to Use Heat Transfer Vinyl on Canvas – Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Iron-on vinyl isn’t just for t-shirts! Did you know you can also use heat transfer vinyl on canvas too? The Cricut Maker and EasyPress2 make this project a breeze. Use this week’s free file to create a Happy Valentine’s Day canvas.

Happy Friday! And you know what that means! It’s free file day! 

This week’s file is another Valentine’s Day themed design. I know, I know. There have been a lot of those lately. But this week I’m sharing a project that’s pretty cool.

Part of the fun of crafting is finding creative ways to use things in a way you hadn’t thought of before. For example, you might think that iron-on vinyl can only go on things like t-shirts and tote bags. Really, you can use it on a lot of different things – even wood! 

Today, I’m showing you how to use heat transfer vinyl on canvas to create a sweet little Valentine’s Day sign with a Cricut Maker and EasyPress2. You’ll be amazed at how easy it is!

To learn all about working with heat transfer vinyl, read my post How To Use Iron On Vinyl (and Grab a Cut File).

Materials Needed for Project

SVG File

This week’s SVG file will be free until February 19th. After that, it will still be available in the shop for purchase. Click below to download or add it to your cart if it’s after the 19th.

After you’ve downloaded the file, you’ll need to unzip it to your computer and then upload the SVG to Design Space since you can’t upload a zip file.

Types of Canvas

For this project, instead of a stretched canvas that has a wood frame beneath it, I’m using an artist’s canvas which is flat. It’s thin enough that I can put it in a nice frame to display on the wall or on a shelf.

Alternatively, you could use a stretched canvas and DIY a frame for it or display it as-is.

Artist's Canvas

Upload File to Design Space and Resize

If you need some help getting your file into Design Space, read How To Upload SVG Files to Cricut Design Space Like a Boss.

For this particular design, you’ll need to first attach everything so that it will cut exactly as the design is laid out. If you skip this step, Design Space will rearrange the layout of the elements to minimize the amount of material used. It’s MUCH easier to attach everything and work with it as one piece.

To attach – make sure everything on the canvas is selected and either right-click and choose Attach or click Attach at the bottom of the Layers panel in the lower right corner.

I’m using an 8×10 canvas so I’m going to resize the design to a little under 8″ in width and 7″ in height.  Make sure the lock icon is closed so the design resizes proportionally.

Resize to fit 8x10 canvas

Mirror the Design!

When you’re working with heat transfer vinyl, there is a clear plastic carrier sheet that covers the vinyl. The other side contains the adhesive which is only activated with heat (so it isn’t sticky to the touch when you’re working with it). If you don’t mirror the design, when you flip it over to apply to your surface it will be backward.

Just move the slider under Mirror to the right to flip the design.

Heat Transfer Vinyl Mirror the Design

Prepare Your Mat and Get Ready to Cut!

The shiny side with the carrier sheet goes face down on the mat and the machine cuts the other side where the adhesive is. 

Heat Transfer Vinyl goes shiny side down

Set your base material to Everyday Iron-On. Notice you’ll get another warning about turning Mirror on underneath the base material option. Double-check that the fine point blade is loaded, load your mat into the machine, and press the Go button.

Weed The Excess Vinyl and Line Up Your Design

Once the machine has finished cutting, weed the excess vinyl from the design. 

Before I apply the heat, I like to position my design so I can get the placement right.

Heat Transfer Vinyl on Canvas

Turn Up the Heat

Cricut EasyPress

If you’re using the Cricut EasyPress, you can visit the Cricut Heat Guide to get the right settings for your project. Select your machine, the type of heat transfer material you’re using, and the base material and hit Apply. You can also specify whether you’re using a towel or an EasyPress Mat underneath.

According to Cricut, the temperature should be set at 300° and firm pressure should be applied for 15 seconds. Flip the canvas, and apply heat from the other side for another 15 seconds.

Cricut also recommends a cool peel, which means you should wait a few minutes before you remove the carrier sheet. 

EasyPress Settings for Heat Transfer Vinyl on Canvas

Tips for Using an Iron

If you’re using an iron to apply heat, the number one rule is DON’T USE STEAM. Steam can affect the adhesive and ruin your design and your day.

As for temperature settings, it’s generally best to use highest temperature setting (cotton or linen).

The process for applying the heat is pretty much the same as if you were using the EasyPress. Use firm pressure for about 15 seconds, flip it over, and apply heat for another 15 seconds. Also, keep in mind that irons don’t have a consistent temperature over the whole surface. It’s usually concentrated in the center. You may need to make several passes over the entire design to get it to stick.

Easy Projects Make My Heart Happy

I just love easy projects like this and I have a definite thing for cute little signs. You could use heat transfer vinyl on canvas to make adorable art for a nursery, or a gallery wall, or to display on shelves. The options are endless!

Heat Transfer Vinyl on Canvas Complete

Happy Crafting!

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