Getting Gifty With The Cricut Easy Press

 

The season of gifting is getting closer and closer already. My best friend in the whole world has been going on (what always feels like) insane adventures with my four tiny kiddos and I for a few years now. We have put this woman through THE WRINGER with all of the screaming, tantrums, poo-plosions and of course all of the wild giggling and exciting fun too. I am positive she took a nap immediately following our visits, every time. But this year I am so excited that she is expecting her first child! A precious little girl. So naturally when she began asking me to Cricut things for her and Cricut sent me the new Easy Press machine it started my wheels turning on what else I could toss in for her baby shower. Oh, little precious Marlena is going to be spoiled rotten in the coming years.

 

The Cricut Maker
{Pictured: The Cricut Maker Dye Cutting Machine}

Since this is my first Cricut post on DIBY I will start with the basics. Maybe you have no idea what or who Cricut is? Cricut is a company that manufactures a variety of crafting machines and supplies to use with them. I personally have two of the Cricut family dye cutting machines. The Cricut Explore Air 2 and the new addition to the family (and upgrade), the Cricut Maker. These machines can both draw on and cut a wide variety of materials from thin fabric to wood. The major difference in the Cricut Explore Air 2 and the Cricut Maker is that the Maker has a special rotary blade that allows it to cut un-bonded fabric and also will soon have an exacto knife type of blade to cut through thicker materials easy. As far as projects go you can make pretty much anything that can lay flat and is broken up into pieces no larger than 12″ x 24″. I’m talking hats, vinyl, baby dresses, all things paper crafting, the list goes on and on.

 

The Cricut Easy Press
{The Cricut Easy Press}

Now to talk about the Cricut Easy Press. Up until now when you made at home vinyl t-shirts most people used their basic iron to adhere the iron-on vinyl. When browsing around online you may come across people complaining that their iron-on vinyl started to peel up after one wash cycle. Well, this can be for a few reasons but the main reason being the iron is oddly shaped (so you have to maneuver it around pressing in several places) and because of that you can’t really get even heat and pressure over your entire project. If you heat the same spot for too long you run the risk of melting your vinyl and ruining your entire project. So what was the answer? If you did enough iron-on vinyl you likely purchased a heat press. Heat presses do a wonderful job of creating perfectly adhered iron-on vinyl. BUT, these things are huge. They are VERY heavy. They are intended to be for industrial use. Heat presses just aren’t for everyone. If you don’t have the space and the strength to move it around all the time, it’s probably not worth it for you. So Cricut created the Easy Press. It is truly meant for an at home user. It’s small. It’s light weight. It delivers even, stable heat on a large enough surface to cover most projects. Follow along as I show you how to use it for two quick and easy gift projects. A bonded knit iron-on project and an iron-on vinyl project.

A Heat Press next to the Cricut Easy Press
{A Standard Heat Press Next to a Cricut Easy Press}

One of the gift projects that I made utilized bonded knit fabric. What is bonded fabric? Bonded fabric is simply fabric that has a dual sided adhesive attached to the wrong side. So let’s dive into this project together, step by step.

First things, first. Materials. What did I use?

  • Knit fabric. I picked out a few cute coordinating sets from Target that I knew my girlfriend could mix and match with. You know, because babies tend to get clothes dirty over and over again throughout a day. With mix and match sets I thought she could just change the pants or the top instead of the entire outfit every time the baby spits up. And now I keep wondering why this never dawned on me do during any of my kids’ four infancies? Ha! Whatever you do, be sure to get a piece of fabric big enough for your intended project.
  • Heat-n-Bond Ultra Hold. This is what you want if you don’t want to have to sew around the edges. They also have a Lite Hold product meant for sewing appliques if that is your thing. With baby items, I don’t recommend thinking that you are going to applique. It’s just too small.
  • A onsie or fabric surface to adhere your bonded fabric to.

Editor’s Note: Want to try iron-on vinyl? Try it on the Womens ABB Tee!


Tools necessary:

  • Dye Cutting Machine (such as a Cricut Explore or Maker) – You can also choose to manually cut out your letters.
  • Iron, Easy Press or Heat press
  • Bonded Fabric Blade if you are using a Cricut Machine (Explore or newer)
Cricut Bonded Fabric Blade
{Cricut Bonded Fabric Blade Available on the Cricut Website}

Now that you have your materials and tools, let’s begin.

First you want to create your design. If you own a Cricut, you will simply login to your Cricut account on their website and start writing or picking out images in Design Space. If you own illustrator software you can draw whatever you like and upload it to your Cricut Design Space canvas. I don’t recommend cursive lettering for tiny babies. I tried it and it just didn’t go over too well. The pieces became too thin in a lot of places and it fell apart. So I opted to go with a font that has basic block lettering. Be sure to weld your letters so that they cut correctly. Measure the garment you will be attaching your design to and size your image in design space appropriately.

Cricut Design Space Canvas
{My Cricut Design Space Canvas}

 

Now that you have your design ready to cut, let’s get your bonded fabric ready. Trim your fabric to a size big enough for your design. I like to cut extra in case I need to cut twice and to provide extra space for the Cricut machine. I chose to use one of the mix and match coordinating onsies to use as my lettering fabric.

Next cut out enough bonded fabric to cover the wrong side of your fabric piece. I suggest cutting a little smaller so that when you are adhering it, you don’t get any adhesive on your ironing board or iron.

Follow the directions on your adhesive packaging and adhere it to the wrong side of your fabric. I used the Easy press to do this. See my settings below.

 

Use the Cricut base material chart to choose a temperate that is appropriate for your fabric. You don’t want it to be too hot and then choose the time settings indicated on the back of adhesive package to make sure you don’t go too long. I chose this heat setting for interlock. To bond your adhesive to the wrong side of the fabric you will only heat it for 3 seconds. When you bond your lettering to your garment you will heat it for the full 8 seconds. Set your project on a firm, heat resistant surface and firmly press the Easy Press to the appropriate time indicated on the adhesive packaging.

 

Now that your fabric is bonded, remove the paper and place it onto your cutting mat. I have seen some people prefer to place their fabric adhesive side down onto their Cricut cutting mats. During my test run I found that with interlock knit it cut much cleaner to leave the bonded side up. When I had the fabric side up my knit frayed all over while the blade was cutting. Load the cutting mat into your Cricut dye cutting machine and let it go (or trace and cut out your letters by hand). Make sure that you turn MIRRORING on if you have your fabric, adhesive side up. Gently pull your letters off the mat.

 

Now you will lay the letters out on your chosen garment or fabric.

Set your Easy Press once again to the desired temperature and time settings. Firmly press your letters using your Easy Press without moving it side to side. Keep it still so that your letters do not shift.

Wallah! You’re all done! A no-sew, easy and custom baby shower gift.

 

 

Next I will show you how to use iron-on vinyl to create a simple custom garment. But first, a little backstory and why this gift was so appropriate for my girlfriend as a shower gift. There was this one time…

… all terrible but funny stories seem to start this way, right? … So this one time she was helping me drive all of my kids (who were all 3 or younger at the time) on a multi day drive from Washington all the way to Colorado. Somewhere along the way we were driving in the absolute MIDDLE OF NOWHERE on a highway at near dusk. Suddenly we smelt something foul and I realized we were going to have to pull over on the side of the freeway to take care of it before the sun completely disappeared as there was no city for miles. So as all mothers do, we had a moment. A messy one.

My toddler had soiled himself, his clothes, the carseat, everything. So my friend, being the best ever, jumped right in there, disgusted face and all, and started stripping my little one down on the side of the road while I stripped down his carseat, trying to do what I could with what I didn’t have so that we could make that last stretch home. I don’t believe she ever saw road tripping the same way after that and we still laugh about it to this day. So naturally, I absolutely had to make her a “Poo!” halloween onsie considering very soon she will have a little poo-plosion maker of her own. Haha!

I hope that wasn’t too much of an overshare. I’ll get back to the iron-on vinyl now. Ha!

So first let’s figure out what materials and tools you are going to need:

  • 1 roll of iron-on vinyl (Cricut sells this in many really great colors and textures – including glitter and holographic)
  • A design to cut, loaded into your Cricut Canvas or other cutting software
  • A garment with which to adhere the iron-on vinyl to
  • An iron, Easy Press or heat press

First, size your design in Design Space or whichever cutting software you are using. Then cut a piece of iron on vinyl big enough to accommodate the design. Lay it shiny side down on your green cutting mat.

Next, let your Cricut machine do the cutting for you (it’s super accurate and super fast). Make sure to MIRROR your design during the cut process so that your design doesn’t come out backwards. After it’s done being cut pull it off your mat and weed (remove) the excess vinyl that you don’t want sticking to your garment. Position your design onto your garment.

Turn on your Cricut Easy Press and set the appropriate heat for your iron-on vinyl. For the basic (non-glitter or foil) you will use 305 degrees for 30 seconds.

Next firmly press your easy press onto your garment. Press the Cricut “C” button to start the timer. Make sure you are doing this on a firm, heat resistant surface. A bath towel on the floor will suffice.

Once the Easy Press beeps at you, remove it and turn it off. Go ahead and peel off the plastic from your iron-on vinyl design.

You’re all done! It’s that easy to create custom gifts. I hope you all found this helpful!

 

And just because, I had to make one for Halloween for my littlest guy too. He is truly a cute little scary stinker!

 

 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

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3 thoughts on “Getting Gifty With The Cricut Easy Press”

  1. Loved your projects. I just opened my Easy Press and realize that I don’t have a good foundation mat. Do you use the Easy Press Mat or another product?
    I would love to learn from your experience. I’m fairly new to the heat press arena.
    Thanks for your input and I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
    Debra

    1. Hey Debra! We have just recently reviewed the EasyPress Mat on our Facebook Page. Feel free to check it out here » https://www.facebook.com/doitbetteryourself/videos/331083750631144/ If you don’t care to watch the whole demo, suffice it to say that we really like it! It’s nice and lightweight and easy to store and it worked fabulously! If you end up wanting to snag one, you can get it from our affiliate link here » http://shrsl.com/uuww So glad Kelly’s post was helpful for you! Let us know if you have any other questions!

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