If you have recently come across Cricut infusible ink pens, you are probably already tantalized by the possibilities these amazing pens provide. Crafters everywhere love them because they open up a world of new, easy, fast crafts that can be done with minimal mess and to amazing effect.
Handmade mugs, personalized coasters, and your very own shirts are just a few sketches away with these incredible pens – so let’s learn more about them and how they work!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
How To Use Cricut Infusible Ink Pens
Let’s run through the list of items you will need before you start:
- White cardstock
- Laser copy paper
- Infusible ink pens/markers
- Butcher paper
- Lint roller
- Heat resistant tape
- A Cricut apparel blank (or another suitable blank, depending on what product you wish to create)
- Cricut Press Mat
- A LightGrip Machine Mat
- A Cricut Maker/a Cricut Explore cutting machine
- A Cricut EasyPress Mat
Step 1. Draw Your Design
If you are planning on drawing by hand, you can just set to work on the laser copy paper. If you are planning to draw using the machine, place a sheet of laser copy paper onto the LightGrip mat, and then load it into the machine.
Be aware that if you’re using the machine, you will need the Design Space software on a suitable device. You must make sure that whether you are drawing by hand or using a computer, you mirror the design, as otherwise, it will come out the wrong way on your finished product.
If you’re drawing by hand, make sure you have guides to keep you within the correct size. If you’re using the machine, you will need to set the design size for the apparel blank. On the machine, set the Linetype to “Draw” and choose the kind of pen and the color you’re going to use.
You then needed to hit “Browse” and select “Copy Paper.” You can then insert a pen into Clamp A and press “Go.” You will be prompted when you need to change the color, as long as you have specified this to the machine in advance.
You should then get a complete design. At this stage, you can unload the mat.
Step 2. Color
If you want to color in your design, now is the time to do so. Either color your hand-drawn design, or take your design out of the machine and color it in. You should make sure your hands are clean and dry before doing this.
Step 3. Apply Heat
You should now prepare your heat press. Refer to the guide for your heat press for instructions about the temperature and any other setup, and make sure it is hot enough before proceeding.
Next, put the apparel blank on top of the EasyPress Mat and slip a sheet of cardstock inside the fabric. If, for example, you are transferring your design to a shirt, slip the cardstock inside the shirt and smooth out the fabric on top so you have a flat, level surface to work on.
Use your lint roller to free the shirt (or other material) from fluff, dust, fibers, etc. This is absolutely crucial and should not be ignored. If loose fibers remain when you make the transfer, the overall quality will be significantly reduced and the final result may be patchy or marked.
Cut a sheet of butcher paper that is larger than your heat press and spread it on top of the fabric. You should then preheat this to get rid of any moisture or wrinkles, ensuring that you have a smooth surface to work on. You can do this by setting your heat press to 385° F and applying it to the shirt evenly and lightly.
Next, lift off the butcher paper and set it aside, and allow the material to totally cool. Cut out your design and place it face down on the material. The ink should be facing the blank in order for this to work.
Tape down the corners so that the design will remain in place, using the heat resistant tape. Set the butcher paper back across the design, and then use your heat press at the recommended setting. Only press lightly, applying even pressure across the design for forty seconds or longer if recommended.
You should not move the heat press while applying heat to the design. Make sure that the heat press can be applied evenly and there are no seams in the way. Do not try and move the heat press around to touch on different parts of the design; it should cover the design wholly and be pressed in a single application.
When the time is up, carefully lift the heat press off, turn it off, and leave the project to cool. When the apparel is completely cold, you can carefully remove the butcher paper, the tape, and the design.
Discard the butcher paper and the design (neither can be reused for future projects, sadly) and then enjoy your beautiful work! This material can now be washed with gentle detergent in cold water. You should avoid using fabric softener, bleach, or a tumble dryer on it.
A similar process can be followed for other designs and other materials. Make sure that you always have the appropriate blank. If you wish to print onto a mug, for example, you will need a mug that has been designed for this purpose. You cannot just print on any old mug you find.
The same goes for clothing and bags. The correct product must be chosen before you try an infusion, or it is unlikely to work.
So, now you know how to use Cricut infusible ink pens to make your designs come to life. Create your own shirts, bags, mugs, etc., and have all your friends marveling over your extraordinary skills. This is great fun, and you definitely don’t have to be a master crafter to make use of these products.
Cricut Infusible Ink Pens
|1. Cricut Infusible Ink Pen Set || ||Check Price|
|2. Cricut Ultimate Fine Point Pen Set || ||Check Price|
|3. Heat Resistant Tape || ||Check Price|
|4. Cricut Pen Set Metallic || ||Check Price|
|5. Cricut Explore Variety Pen Set || ||Check Price|
|6. Cricut Wisteria Fine Point Pen Set || ||Check Price|
There are quite a few ways to transfer designs to products and this isn’t new, so you might be wondering what all the fuss is about. Why do we care about infusible ink pens?
The answer is that most of the existing solutions for adding designs to 3D items are not super satisfactory. If you have ever used the HTV process or transferred vinyls to a shirt or bag, you’ll know that it involves adding a material on top of the existing material, rather than blending it with the material.
This is always going to be less satisfactory. It creates a join, often visible, and a weak point to the product that may, with age, wear, and washing, start to come away. The design may wrinkle, crack, crease, or flake. While they are doubtless a great thing in themselves, these transfers have problems that can’t be ignored.
Infusible ink, however, does not involve applying a secondary layer to the fabric you want to print on. It fuses with the material itself, and there is an increasing number of blanks available for you to apply these inks to ever more surfaces.
Cricut Infusible Ink Pen Projects
You might now be wondering what you should try first. There are many things you can do with Cricut markers, and as the technology expands, more products become available.
You might want to try making your own Christmas gifts for friends. If you aren’t very artistically gifted, try using the software to create designs (remember to always invert the design so it appears the right way when applied to your product) so you can get something professional and that you’ll feel proud of.
We’re going to cover some of the common items that Cricut infusible ink pens are used to decorate to give you some ideas for things you could try.
As you will have seen in the above section, shirts are a common target for Cricut infusible ink pens, and they are probably one of the easiest ones to start with. The blanks are readily available and not too expensive, so these are a great option for you to try.
You also have a reasonable amount of space to work with, since a shirt is a large blank canvas for the most part. Use your ink pens to create a bold design and then transfer it to the shirt without having to mess around with the seams or fiddly, tiny designs.
There are many cute baby bodysuits on the market, but it can’t get cuter than one you have designed and personalized yourself, and this makes a lovely, thoughtful gift for a baby shower.
If you are going to try a baby bodysuit, you should place the EasyPress Mat and the cardstock inside the suit, instead of beneath it. This will help to even out the seams and give you a better adherence between the inks and the material. You may need a small mat for this.
If you want to apply your designs to a mug, this is also possible provided you have the correct blank. However, you may need to invest in a Mug Press, because the mug is a very different shape from shirts or other clothing.
The press needs to be able to apply heat at an angle and on a curve, and therefore a normal heat press may not work very well.
We’d recommend trying mugs after you have already got a feel for using the infusion pens and made a few successful projects. This will let you know how you feel about the process and could save you from buying a mug press or making expensive mistakes.
An exciting addition to the product line, coasters are great fun. Like mugs, they are practical, but they aren’t as fiddly because you can still work on a flat surface if you decide to make one. You can also make matching sets or give every family member (or friend) a different, personalized coaster just for them.
The tiles are ceramic and you can buy round or square ones, so they feel high quality. Prior to infusible inks, there wasn’t a way to print images onto tile, so this is a particularly unusual and impressive way to show your friends you’re a dedicated crafter!
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Hopefully, you now know how to use Cricut infusible ink pens, and you have a few great ideas of what you might like to use them for. Cricut has produced a myriad of products, so make sure you check compatibility information before purchasing anything for your specific machines/tools, or you may find yourself disappointed.
Infusible ink pens, when used correctly, are a great way to apply lasting designs to almost any material (provided it has a high enough quantity of polyester to bind properly). You will find that products made this way don’t fade, flake, crease, or wear out, so they are a wonderful option for creating gifts that look professional and homemade simultaneously.
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