Getting your first Cricut cutting machine is exciting! But it’s easy to become overwhelmed by all the different materials you can use with your machine. Vinyl is the most popular and easy-to-use material to help you create personalized or custom gifts, crafts, home decor, and more. If you are overwhelmed by the different kinds of vinyl, this guide will help you understand their features, recommend projects to make with each type, and provide basic application methods.
This post is sponsored by Cricut. All opinions of Cricut vinyl are my own.
What is vinyl?
Vinyl is a broad term for the material used to create a design that can be created on a temporary surface and then transferred to a permanent surface. When using a Cricut cutting machine, you cut a design into vinyl sheets and then transfer it via an adhesive or heat to another surface.
Vinyl comes in two primary forms: heat transfer vinyl and adhesive vinyl. Heat transfer vinyl needs heat for application. Adhesive vinyl is like a giant sticker with an adhesive backing that makes it “stick” for application.
Cricut vinyl is popular among crafters due to its quality, durability and ease of use. There are two main types of Cricut vinyl: Permanent Vinyl is an adhesive vinyl. Cricut Iron-on Vinyl is a heat transfer vinyl. The come in a variety of fun colors, style, snd finishes so you can easily create one of kind designs for any occasion.
The Ultimate Guide to Cricut Vinyl
Cricut Premium Vinyl
Cricut Premium vinyl is an adhesive vinyl available in permanent and removable forms in various colors and finishes. It comes in large rolls and sheets for the Explore and Maker machines and small rolls made specifically for the Joy.
Cricut Premium Vinyl – Permanent
Cricut Premium Vinyl – Permanent is designed for long-lasting use and can be applied to various surfaces, including wood, glass, metal, and plastic. Permanent Vinyl has a strong adhesive backing. It can withstand outdoor elements like rain and sunlight for up to 3 years. It’s ideal for creating decals, signs, and labels.
Types of Permanent Vinyl
Permanent Vinyl is available in various colors and specialty finishes like:
Some recommended projects include:
- Customizing water bottles or tumblers
- Decorating picture frames or mirrors
- Creating personalized car decals or license plate frames
- Making home decor, such as wall art or doormats
Application method: Cut your design with a Cricut cutting machine, weed the excess vinyl, and apply Cricut Transfer Tape to the design. Place the transfer tape on the surface and use a scraper tool to ensure the vinyl adheres.
Cricut Premium Vinyl is my go-to for adhesive vinyl. The Cricut vinyl cuts well and is easy to move from the white backing to the transfer tape onto the project I am creating. The variety of colors and textures available make for really fun projects.
Cricut Premium Removable Vinyl
Cricut Premium Removable Vinyl is designed for temporary use. It can be removed without leaving any residue. Cricut Removable Vinyl is ideal for projects that require repositioning or easy removal, such as wall decals, laptop stickers, or temporary signage. Crazy enough, it is removable for up to 2 years! Removable vinyl makes it so easy to change your mind and re-decorate or re-organize.
Some recommended projects for Removable Vinyl include:
- Customizing phone cases or laptop covers
- Creating holiday decorations that can be removed after the season
- Decorating walls with removable wall decals or quotes
- Making labels for organizing containers or school binders that can be removed and replaced
- Decorating a car for a Halloween Trunk-or-Treat
Application method: The application process is the same as permanent vinyl. To remove the vinyl, gently peel it off the surface. It will come off and leave no residue behind.
Cricut Iron-On Vinyl
Cricut Iron-On, or generically known as heat transfer vinyl (HTV), is designed primarily for fabrics but can be used on other surfaces. Iron-On vinyl is applied with heat, usually with a heat press or an iron. It is ideal for custom t-shirts, hats, tote bags, and other fabric items.
Cricut Iron-On Vinyl is available in solid colors and specialty finishes like:
It is really fun to create designs with the different types of fun Cricut Iron-On.
Some recommended projects include:
- Personalizing t-shirts for sports teams or events
- Creating baby onesies or bibs with custom designs
- Making tote bags or backpacks with slogans or logos
- Designing hats or visors with personalized designs
Application method: Cut your design with a Cricut cutting machine, weed the excess vinyl, and place the vinyl on the fabric with the carrier sheet facing up. Apply heat and pressure with a heat press or an iron, then remove the carrier sheet.
Cricut SmartVinyl and Smart Iron-On is made for Cricut Joy, Cricut Explore 3, and Cricut Maker 3, and it does not need to be on a mat for cutting. SmartVinyl is available in both permanent and removable adhesive vinyl and iron-on options in most of the same finishes as Cricut Premium and Iron-On vinyl.
SmartVinyl is convenient and easy to use since you don’t need a mat to cut it. I also find that it is easier to weed designs because the white backing is stiffer. SmartVinyl also cuts well. One of the reasons a cut can not go through the vinyl completely is because it isn’t adhered well to a mat. But with SmartVinyl, that is not an issue and cuts are more often sharp and clean.
Cricut vinyl is a versatile and easy-to-use material that can create a wide range of personalized items. Whether using Premium Permanent Vinyl, Premium Removable Vinyl, SmartVinyl, or Iron-on vinyl, you can be creative and make your designs come to life!