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25 Sanity Saving Craft Vinyl Hacks Every Cutting Machine Crafter Should Know

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12 mini photos in a three by four grid. Each thumbnail shows a different craft using vinyl, like stickers, cards, and ornaments. The eleventh photo is a purple circle with a white "25" in it. The graphic reads "Craft Vinyl Hacks Every Crafter Should Know."

Craft Vinyl Hacks and Help for Beginners

Most of us purchased our Cricut machines because we wanted to cut vinyl or iron-on vinyl (also known as heat transfer vinyl or HTV) at some point. Learning how to use vinyl with your Cricut is so fun, but it also can come with some challenges, like understanding how to layer vinyl. Today I will share with you 25 Sanity Saving Craft Vinyl Hacks Every Cutting Machine Crafter Should Know!

After ten-plus years of crafting with my Cricut, I have picked up a few tricks and troubleshooting tips to help you in your journey. From Cricut vinyl storage ideas to weeding tricks, using transfer tape, layering vinyl, adding vinyl to a curved surface, and more, you will feel 100% more confident after following this guide.

Let’s start with weeding tips and some common issues I see with beginners when using vinyl, and then we will move on to storage, minimizing waste tips, and some unknown ways to use vinyl!

If you love my list below, go ahead and download the FREE printable list of these Cricut Craft Vinyl Hacks to keep by your Cricut machine while crafting!

Craft Vinyl Hacks – Video

Keep reading for all my craft vinyl tips and tricks, and watch the short video of my favorites below!

Weeding Vinyl Tool & Scraps

1. Use a straight cutter to avoid waste

Craft vinyl is not cheap. I have learned where to look to find the best online vinyl resources for cheap vinyl, but even so, it’s not something you want to waste! One of the best ways to avoid vinyl waste is to cut your design on the sheet of vinyl first, then cut the excess off with a straight cutter. Using a straight cutter keeps your edges aligned to your mat, and you can trim closely to the design, maximizing the vinyl material.

A woman's hands load a pink patterned vinyl sheet into a clear craft cutter. Use these 25 vinyl hacks when crafting with your Cricut machine.

2. Weeding berry tool

Tips for weeding Cricut vinyl include using this iVyne Berry Tool. A closeup of the pink berry tool, a standard weeding tool an primary color vinyl rolls on a green table top.

Use a weeding berry! This trendy idea first started when a clever crafter suggested using a nail polish holder as a means of collecting scraps when weeding. Since then lots of craft brands have started to sell weeding berries or finger weeders to make the process less messy.

A woman's hands demonstrate how to weed vinyl with a Cricut weeding tool an a scrap catcher worn like a ring on her left hand. These vinyl hacks will make crafting with your Cricut machine much easier.

3. Use a window or Brightpad for weeding

Some folks enjoy weeding and find it therapeutic, and then there is the rest of us who don’t. The biggest reason is usually that weeding can be a challenge to see. I have used a Brightpad several times to help me see my cut lines. Alternatively, you can also hold your cut vinyl up to a bright window for a similar effect, and it’s free!

A closeup of a vinyl black butterfly, held up to a window to make weeding the vinyl easier. You can use a window or a Brightpad to make vinyl crafting easier.

4. Tabletop trash can

Weeding berries are great for tiny pieces, but what about the larger ones? Sure, you can just opt for a general trash can, or you can go for a cute tabletop trash can to collect your craft vinyl waste and keep your space tidy! Of course, I decorated mine!

A closeup of a cute mini vinyl scraps trashcan. It has a frog, flowers, and butterflies on the white side with the words "Feed me vinyl and tell me I'm cute." Just one vinyl hack of 25 to use with your Cricut machine.

Getting Your Vinyl to Stick to Transfer Tape

I can’t get my vinyl to stick to my transfer tape! I hear it all the time when crafty besties are struggling with their craft vinyl, and the struggle is real. Fortunately, I have learned a few tricks to fix this common issue.

Three stacked picture instructions on how to easily transfer vinyl onto transfer tape, including the importance of burnishing. Pictures show a closeup of a woman's hands burnishing the front and back of the transfer tape and vinyl.

5. Burnish your vinyl correctly

Most people burnish the front of their vinyl and stop there (burnish is a fancy turn for rubbing your design with the intent to transfer it). If you experience trouble with your vinyl not sticking to your transfer tape, try burnishing both the front AND the back!

What if you burnish the front and back, and it still doesn’t work? In that case, I would be willing to bet you are using a textured or glitter vinyl, and it is best to then use a strong grip transfer tape!

6. Lift your liner from the transfer tape

So what if you have burnished well and are using the right transfer tape? Another trick to transferring vinyl is to lift the liner backing away from the transfer tape instead of the transfer tape away from the backing – this makes a HUGE difference!

A closeup demonstration of how to lift your liner from the transfer tape. A woman's hands gently remove the liner from the vinyl. One of 25 hacks to make crafting with your Cricut machine and vinyl more fun.

Cricut Vinyl Storage Ideas

How can I store my Cricut vinyl? What is the best way to organize my vinyl, and what do I do with my craft vinyl scraps? All questions I hear constantly! Cricut vinyl storage is one of my favorite topics. From small stashes to hundreds of rolls, I have the solution to organize your Cricut vinyl collection!

A closeup of a tabletop hosting several craft supplies like the vinyl scraps trashcan, markers and a wooden bin storing glitter vinyl rolls. Storing and organizing vinyl rolls is one tip to make vinyl and Cricut crafting easier.

7. Bookshelf and bins for vinyl storage

Abbi smiles and presents her bookshelf full of vinyl storage bins. Use a bookshelf and clear bins to store large amounts of craft vinyl.

I went through many stages of storing vinyl. Finally, my collection got big enough I needed an all-in-one, easy-to-access, and visually appealing solution. I decided to use these storage bins and a bookshelf to organize all my craft vinyl.

I also created labels for each bin, so I could find what I need quickly. Check out how I made foil labels for my great wall of vinyl here!

A closeup of foil transfer labels on clear bins lined up on a bookcase full of various colors of vinyl rolls. Labelling and organizing helps crafting take less time.

8. Wood bins organized by type or color

Before I had my great wall of vinyl, I used wood bins to store my vinyl. I love wood bins because I can see all my prints and colors at once and easily select the one I want. To stay more organized with bins, label them by type, such as iron-on or vinyl.

And angled closeup of a white bin full of vinyl rolls. White text on a black label says "Adhesive Vinyl."

9. Plastic vinyl storage holder

If bookshelves and wood bins aren’t your style opt for a plastic vinyl holder that can utilize wall space! You can use Ikea plastic bag holders for vinyl rolls or opt for ones like these made to remove the vinyl with ease from the holder.

A picture of an Ikea plastic bag holder for vinyl, hung on the wall. These racks are available to help organize your Cricut vinyl.

10. Organize vinyl scraps in a binder

What about those scraps of vinyl that we all collect? Not large enough to wrap back into the roll but not small enough to toss in the trash. I love to store my vinyl scraps in a large 3-ring binder with zipper pouches labeled with each type of vinyl scrap I am storing.

A photo of a pink binder labelled "craft vinyl scraps" next to blue and green vinyl rolls. A binder is a great vinyl hack to organize scraps.
A clear zipper binder pouch is used to store scraps of glitter vinyl. A binder and zippered pouches are great ways to organize your Cricut vinyl.

11. Slap bands to keep vinyl rolled tight

Craft vinyl gets unraveled very easily. To keep the rolls snug and tiny, I like to use plain slap bands! Plus it’s kinda fun to do.

A woman's hand use slap bands to hold vinyl rolls together. A silver glitter roll and a golden vinyl roll are on a self-healing matt. Use slap bands to keep vinyl rolled.

12. Metal rings to keep your favorite vinyl brands organized

When you find a brand and type of vinyl you love, you need to remember where you got it from! I like to keep swatches of my vinyl on metal rings and label them with the brand, website/store, and type of vinyl on the back of each.

Four groups of swatches of various colors lay spread out on the table. Use metal rings to keep swatches of your favorite vinyl so you can purchase more.

How to Cut Cricut Vinyl

13. Increase pressure

If your vinyl isn’t cutting all the way through, there are a few things to check. First, is your blade fresh and sharp? Clean of debris? Second, do you have the correct setting? When cutting holographic or foil vinyl, don’t just select ‘vinyl’ they are not the same.

If you have done all the above, then try upping the pressure to More with the dropdown option on the cut screen.

A screenshot of the Design Space window where you can adjust your pressure. Use these 25 vinyl hacks with your Cricut cutting machine.

Layering Craft Vinyl

13. How to layer vinyl with parchment paper

Layering vinyl can feel really hard, but there are some easy tricks to successfully layering vinyl. My favorite one is by using parchment paper!

Use parchment paper to layer vinyl and aligned it correctly.  A woman's hands using transfer tape and parchment paper to align layers on a shark vinyl sticker.
  1. Transfer your top layer onto the transfer tape.
  2. Cut a piece of parchment paper and lay it on top of the bottom layer of your design, leaving one side of the liner uncovered by the parchment paper.
  3. Place your top layer and line it up, scooting it around freely with the help of the parchment paper until you are happy with it.
  4. Press the transfer tape down on the uncovered side of the liner.
  5. Remove the parchment paper and allow the design to lay down naturally. Then voila! You have perfectly aligned layers of vinyl!
A woman's hands hold transfer tape over a vinyl sticker of a shark's open mouth. Parchment paper is just one tip to making Cricut vinyl crafts easier.

14. How to layer Cricut vinyl with registration dots

A screenshot of registration dots in Cricut design space, using a mermaid's tail as a sample image. The graphics read "mer mama." Tips and tricks for using vinyl with your Cricut machine.

Here is another hack for layered vinyl. Some may prefer this to the parchment method above.

  1. Before you cut your design out, add a small square or circle for each layer and attach it to each layer of the design in Cricut Design Space. It’s important that your layers are stacked as you want them to be in the final design, and then you have Center stacked your dots or squares before attaching each one to each layer.
  2. Once you have weeded your design and begin to layer, use the dots or squares as your alignment guide.
  3. Trim away the extra dot guidelines before applying your design to your blank item – see how I do this here in my video.
A closeup of a woman's hand layering transfer tape and a vinyl mermaid's tail using parchment paper. One of many vinyl hacks for Cricut crafts.
A woman's hands use scissors to trim down the transfer tape on a vinyl mermaid's tail. Burnishing is a helpful hack for Cricut vinyl crafts.

15. Layering iron-on vinyl with Infusible Ink

I love Infusible Ink! But did you know you can actually use Infusible Ink and HTV together?! It’s great. I made this Lion King design with Infusible Ink and glitter HTV for the words. The most important thing is to know that you need to add the HTV after the Infusible Ink.

Cricut Infusible Ink cartons, a roll of gold glitter vinyl, an Easypress and a white t-shirt with "Hakuna Matata" written across and small African animals dancing in front of a blue floral pattern. Learn the top hacks for using vinyl with Cricut Infusible Ink.

16. How to Layer Heat Transfer Vinyl

Layering heat transfer vinyl is a scary thing for beginners, but it’s actually not too hard! Take a look at my full tutorial on layered iron-on vinyl here! The most important thing to know is to always protect your subsequent layers from direct heat with the carrier sheet and never apply direct heat to your HTV.

You can learn to layer heat vinyl with this tutorial. The table has a tie-dyed sweatshirt with layered vinyl unicorns next to rolls of viny and a Cricut machine.

17. Correct Heat Settings for Your Cricut Easypress

With so many types of iron-on vinyl and materials to use, it can be challenging to know the right temperature settings for your Easypress. Fortunately, Cricut has a full Easypress guide here!

On top of the marble table lies a blue and white Easypress surrounded by green white, pink, gold and blue shimmering heat vinyl rolls. These hacks will help you create great looking Cricut vinyl crafts.

Applying Cricut Craft Vinyl

18. How to Add Vinyl to Curved Surfaces

A woman's hand holds a piece of transfer tape with a Christmas message in vinyl. She is cutting the message so that it can be placed on the large blue green circular ornament next to here. More Cricut vinyl hacks to make crafting more fun.

Getting vinyl to lay smooth on cups, tumblers, and ornaments can be tricky, but there is a little hack that can make the process less painful before placing your design onto a curved surface; add a few shallow slits cut with scissors around the edges of the transfer tape. This allows the transfer tape to become more flexible, and you can work the design on easier – thus achieving smooth results. See how I add vinyl to my glitter ornaments here!

19. Use small vinyl scraps for colorful collages

Those vinyl scraps don’t have to go to waste! Make a scrap collage with the leftover pieces. Go for something as simple as a heart. Kids can help with this too!

A wooden frame with a white background and red, teal, pink and purple colored heart in the center. One Cricut vinyl hack is to create art using your vinyl scraps.

20. Layer Iron-on vinyl with cardstock

Iron-on vinyl on cardstock?! Yes! This is literally my favorite hack ever! Some ask, why don’t you use adhesive vinyl? The reason is that the transfer tape would rip the cardstock, but the liner for the iron-on vinyl won’t!

I have two tutorials on the iron-on vinyl and cardstock process. First, these paper butterflies and second, my favorite crayon box teacher appreciation gift!

A woman's hand holds a black and orange finished butterfly craft using vinyl on cardstock. These 25 vinyl hacks for Cricut crafts can be used to make any kind of gift.

21. Apply iron-on vinyl to canvas

Cotton canvases can be used to add beautiful typography designs and imagery to wrapped canvases and hung in your home – this concept also makes great custom gifts! I used a watercolor iron-on to wrap my canvases and added watercolor printouts of my dogs with printable vinyl.

An array of cards featuring watercolors of Abbi's dogs, with the graphic saying "All you need is love and dogs" and "stay gorgeous." There is no limit to the gifts you can make with a Cricut machine and printable vinyl.

22. Use printable vinyl silky smooth stickers

We all know sticker paper exists, but I only use printable vinyl. It is much smoother and plenty sticky, but I have never had an issue removing it. Give it a try next time you print out some stickers or planner stickers!

Abbi holds a sticker made with silky smooth printable vinyl. In pink, purple, green and yellow, the sticker says "creativity is intelligence having fun."

23. Opt for heat transfer vinyl on wood

Permanent vinyl works great on wood most of the time, but you can also use iron-on vinyl! After some time in the Cricut world, you will notice a significant difference in texture with HTV versus vinyl – especially with glitter HTV. So if you ever have heat transfer vinyl you wish to use on a wood sign, then go for it with an Easypress!

Abbi uses her red Easypress to put iron-on vinyl onto a wood framed picture. Learn how to easily use vinyl with your Cricut machine with these 25 hacks.

24. Easypress Mini for small items

Experiment with adding iron-on vinyl to smaller surfaces, such as shoes, hats, bibs, bandanas, etc, with the Easypress Mini. The Mini allows you to work on tighter surfaces and curved edges much easier than the large Easypress. Check out how I use the Easypress Mini with this DIY Floral Canvas Shoe Tutorial!

An Easypress mini for shoes next to white sneakers with iron-on vinyl floral stickers on the toes. Vinyl is easy to use with these Cricut hacks.

25. How to remove bubbles from Cricut craft vinyl

You have your design weeded and transferred only to discover ugly bubbles popping up on your project. There are two ways to get rid of bubbles without starting over. My first favorite way is to grab a straight pin from your sewing kit and pop them. Now, I mean one gentle little prick, do not dig around, or you will be able to see it then. Once popped, push with your finger or scraper to smooth the area.

Learn the hack to get bubbles out of vinyl. A woman's hand hold a pin above the vinyl tie-dyed paw print that says "Stay Paw-sitive."

If popping didn’t completely rid your project of bubbles, try using a heat gun on low or a hairdryer to warm the vinyl and gently push the air bubbles out with your scraper tool.

Wow, that was a long list of Cricut craft vinyl hacks and tutorials. Do you have any other ideas I should add to this list? Questions? Tell me below in the comments!

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Hey, Crafty bestie! I’m Abbi!

Abbi Kirsten Collections. Abbi smiles in her craft room, surrounded by paper flowers and supplies organized on the wall.

I’m thrilled you are here! I have spent the last 10+ years making messes and magic in my home studio to make the world a more colorful place, one craft at a time! I’m on a mission to nurture the creative magic inside your soul and bring that bursting imagination inside you to life with easy-to-learn tutorials. If you haven’t yet, be sure to join the subscriber community to gain access to all my freebies or visit my signature design shop here!

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