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Hello all and thanks for joining us on this fabulous Tuesday! And you guessed it, it’s time to take another look at some awesome product in your Silhouette Life Inspiration Box! Today we are revealing how to use Heat Transfer Vinyl with Siser Easyweed!
If you want to follow along with your own project, go ahead and unroll the Siser Easyweed roll from your box, and you’ll notice you have 2 full sheets of HTV: purple and black! Just remember when using the HTV today, you’ll want to save a small portion of it to use on our project for Friday as well. On Friday we will pair HTV with one of your other products (the wine bottle apron and hat set!) for another great HTV project!
Today we will cover using HTV, the cut settings in Silhouette Studio, actually cutting the HTV in your Cameo, tips and tricks for weeding, and of course where to buy more HTV! Because trust me, if you haven’t used HTV before, this is about to blow your mind! HTV is one of my favorite materials to use and it’s super-duper easy once you get the hang of it!
So let’s take a moment to talk about Heat Transfer Vinyl. Heat Transfer Vinyl is a super great product to add to your crafting skills if you haven’t already. HTV can go on a multitude of surfaces from clothing and hats to coffee mugs and picture frames! We use it constantly for personal and business, and it actually now takes over the majority of our boutique sales, if that is something that interests you! Custom shirts are definitely hot on the market, so this is need-to-know information!
The HTV we are using today is sponsored by Siser NA through Expressions Vinyl. Expressions Vinyl is a very well-known and reputable vinyl company for all Heat Transfer and Adhesive Vinyl products. They are definitely one of our go-to vendors and we love the wide range of products they offer! Today we are using SISER EASYWEED and it is a staple in any crafter’s arsenal! It’s great to use with a household iron if you haven’t yet invested in a heat press and is super easy to weed (get it, easyweed!). Siser Easyweed also works great with the preprogrammed HTV Smooth settings in Silhouette Studio, so that makes it even better for beginners so you don’t have to remember custom settings.
As for Expressions Vinyl, I absolutely recommend for you to jump on over and visit their website. They have great prices on not just HTV, so be sure to have a look around. It’s super-great to have a one-stop shop for all your vinyl needs! They also have some pretty amazing starter kits in case you aren’t sure what to order just yet! If you’re like me and you are an Amazon fanatic, Expressions Vinyl is also on Amazon (affiliate)! You can check out some of their great products and still get the same great Amazon Prime shipping!
So for today’s project, we already stated that we are using a small portion of the HTV. We will be using the black, but you are free to use whichever color you like. We also have our handy craft knife, our weeding tweezers, a pair of scissors and our heat press. We are pressing our design on a flour sack towel (affiliate), but feel free to grab any spare garment to try this out on. Think old shirts and extra pillow cases and you’ll be just fine! And along those lines, if you don’t have a teflon sheet, be sure you have an extra pillow case to use as a barrier between your heat press/iron and your HTV.
In fact, go ahead and plug in your iron to get it nice and hot. Turn your iron to the top setting, but make sure that you have the steam turned off. If you can’t turn the steam off, make sure to empty all the water from your iron. You definitely do not want to steam your HTV. You’ll also need a nice hard surface below waist level. I typically use my ceramic tile floor, but you can also use a kitchen counter top or other similar surface. You need to make sure that it can withstand the heat and is a hard, smooth surface.
The design we are using today is by Dawn Nicole. If you don’t follow her blog, be sure to do so today! I love her hand-lettered designs and she has a lot of great freebies! When you use designs like this one from Dawn Nicole, be sure to always check your licensing rights. This one today is free for personal use, as most freebies are, so be aware when you save it to your computer so that you will know for future reference and don’t accidentally sell by mistake. Click here to jump over to By Dawn Nicole and grab this freebie, or feel free to use one of your own.
Once you save a copy to your computer, you’re ready to import it into Silhouette Studio. Follow these quick steps to import the PDF: FILE > OPEN
Locate where you saved the PDF file and continue to import:
Once the file opens, click on your Cut Settings menu to make sure that the cut lines are turned on. The design should light up in bright red.
Now FLIP OR MIRROR your cut file, because we are cutting from Heat Transfer Vinyl. If you haven’t cut HTV before, this will make more sense in a minute. Place your cut file in the corner of the cutting area in preparation for cutting to minimize waste. On your Cut Settings menu, make sure you select Heat Transfer Material SMOOTH and manually adjust your blade to “2”. Don’t forget to do your TEST CUT.
Once your design is set up, go ahead and load the material into your Cameo. Remember that I cut without a mat, but if you are more comfortable with a mat, that is fine too. If you’re cutting WITHOUT a mat, make sure you select LOAD MEDIA. Remember to load the HTV shiny side down. The shiny side is actually the clear carrier sheet.
Once the design is cut, you can see the cut lines if you hold the HTV at an angle with the light. Don’t be surprised if they aren’t immediately apparent, it can take some time to recognize.
Using the tip of your weeding tweezers, go ahead and pierce the tip of your HTV. This will help you get the weeding process started.
Using your hands at first, go ahead and start pulling the HTV away from the carrier sheet. You might have to use a little force, so don’t be scared. You can’t really hurt HTV, it’s not sticky like adhesive vinyl. Once the outside is weeded, be sure to go back in and weed all the inside pieces of your letters. I know by now you’re thinking, “Why did you choose this design for a beginner?!?”. It’s great weeding practice. For me, weeding was one of the harder parts of learning HTV, so get all the practice in while you can.
So now your design is weeded and your iron is hot. Go ahead and spread out your flour sack towel on your hard surface and pre-iron the surface you will be pressing the HTV onto. The reason for choosing a hard surface below waist level is that pressure is key with HTV. Although the heat activates the adhesive, it’s the pressure that make sure that it will adhere to the garment. It’s not uncommon for people to apply their entire body weight to the iron as they are applying HTV, so keep that in mind. The more pressure, the better.
Once you design is aligned on your garment, do you see why we had to mirror it? This will be true for most HTV that you use, but it’s good to always check the manufacturer’s instructions when trying a new product. Place your teflon sheet (or other barrier like a pillow case) over your HTV design. When you begin ironing, you’ll want to use very firm pressure and slow, continual movement. I recommend at least 3 minutes using a household iron.
Once you’ve applied the heat and pressure, you can test if the design is ready by peeling back the clear carrier sheet. Be sure to be on the lookout for any signs of peeling, as it may not be ready yet. If it’s not ready, that’s okay, just replace the carrier sheet down on the design and come back with more heat and pressure. Using a household iron takes more time than a heat press and isn’t quite an exact science, but you’ll get the hang of it!
Another thing to check after you’ve pressed an HTV design is if you can see the garment impressions fibers through the HTV.
The true test will be when you wash the garment for the first time. If you experience peeling, you’ll know to apply more pressure the next time.
As promised, here’s the live video in case you want to see it first hand!