Cricut Infusible Ink Tutorial (Plus: How to Layer HTV with Infusible Ink!)

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Learn the secrets to infusible ink with this Cricut Infusible Ink Tutorial.

Cricut Infusible Ink changed the way crafters made shirts, totes, pillowcases, and even mugs. When Infusible Ink first came out, I was on the fence about it. But once Cricut released Infusible Ink in every color of the rainbow plus gorgeous patterns like these, I couldn’t resist. And since my Facebook community wanted me to create a Cricut Infusible Ink tutorial for them, I decided to give it a go.

When Cricut Infusible Ink first arrived on the scene, everyone wanted to know: what is Infusible Ink and how is it different from heat transfer vinyl, a.k.a iron-on vinyl? Furthermore, what supplies are you going to need to use Infusible Ink? Or maybe you are just curious about this whole Cricut thing and wonder if it’s for you? Let’s explore all that you need to know about Cricut Infusible Ink.

Creativity takes courage, so don’t be afraid to try all the colors Cricut Infusible Ink has available.

What is Infusible Ink?

So, what is Cricut Infusible Ink? Cricut’s Infusible Ink is basically a whole new exciting world of heat transfer for cloth-like canvases. It’s Cricut’s version of sublimation without the need for a sublimation printer.

The Difference Between Infusible Ink and Iron-On Vinyl

So you have lots of vinyl (which we all love) and that trusty EasyPress, and you might be asking yourself, what makes Infusible Ink better than iron-on vinyl?

A lot of things, actually!

Cricut Infusible Ink Is Peel-Proof

Unlike iron-on vinyl, Cricut’s new ink guarantees your projects will not peel off for any reason during their lifetime. The Infusible ink is actually dyeing the design into the fabric of your shirt rather than iron-on vinyl that is adhered on top of the fabric.

Unlike vinyl adhesives, Cricut Infusible Ink won’t peel off the shirt.

Infusible Ink Is Wash-Proof

We all have to wash our clothes. I know I get a little tense when I put my favorite new vinyl project into the wash for fear of the vinyl cracking. But as the Cricut Infusible Ink tutorial will show, the ink is basically dyeing your clothes so you don’t have to fret over laundry days anymore because it cannot crack!

Seamless And Smooth

It’s obvious that heat transfer vinyl is not always seamless and completely smooth since it adheres on top of the material. But because this ink acts as a dye to the cloth, it is actually “one” with your material.

The benefits of this mean no extra vinyl weight to your projects, seamless from one end of the design to another, plus totally smooth – no more wrinkles in your vinyl!

Some Notes About When NOT To Use Infusible Ink

  • While iron-on or HTV materials can be applied to almost any surface, Infusible ink requires a sublimation blank. Cricut makes many compatible blanks. You can also use any sublimation blank or any fabric that is at least 80% polyester (Hint: Look for Dri-Fit clothes! They are usually at least 60-80 polyester!).
  • HTV works well on any color or textured blank but with Infusible Ink you will need to work with light-colored materials only to preserve the vibrant colors. Since there is no such thing as white Infusible Ink, black shirts or dark colors are not an option. Stay with whites, light colors, and light greys for best results
Cricut Infusible Ink directions suggest using light-colored shirts for the best, most vibrant results.

What Cricut Accessories or Supplies Do I Need to Use Infusible Ink?

My first attempt was the Lion King-inspired design you see above. After practicing with Cricut Infusible Ink, I decided to make a complex design with several colors. The Creativity Takes Courage shirt you see below was the result! You can grab the file here!

So many crafters love Infusible Ink because it mimics sublimation, which means the design is IN the shirt and not ON top of the shirt. With the design being in-shirt versus iron-on vinyl, being on top of the shirt or blank allows the beauty of your craft to last 10X longer!

Since the live-action Lion King also had its debut over the summer that Infusible Ink was released, I thought it would be a great example tutorial! In addition to three free Lion King files, I also am giving away my Creativity Takes Courage SVG for free for a limited time.

How to Layer Cricut Infusible Ink

The Cricut Infusible Ink tutorial lists the supplies you need for successful projects.

Before we dive in, let me give you a full rundown of the supplies I used for this project.

Supplies

Free SVG Cut Files for Cricut

DowDownload these free SVG templates by signing up via the form below. If you are already a member, log in right here and find the Lion King files by searching Cricut Infusible Ink. Need help entering the vault? Read this helpful post here. 

Are you someone who is wondering if owning a Cricut is worth it but not sure which one is best for your needs? I can help with that Cricut question here.

Lion King-inspired designs available in the Cricut Infusible Ink tutorial.

Infusible Ink Troubleshooting Tips

Here are some important prompts you need to take note of throughout the project. I mention all these in the videos below, but here is a shortlist for a quicker review for future projects.

Once you read through these, hit play on the videos below!!

  • Never let your Infusible Ink and blank make any contact prior to the intended transfer.
  • Use the “cracking” technique to roll the Infusible Ink transfer sheet around before weeding it for easier removal.
  • Always use a lint roller to clean your blank surface of debris before transferring.
  • Place a piece of cardstock between the layers of your t-shirt or blank in use to prevent bleeding through.
  • Make sure to “iron” your blank and let it cool completely BEFORE transferring the ink to eliminate wrinkles.
  • Never reuse the piece of butcher paper you use during the ink transfer – this could cause ghosting on your blank (your ink will bleed through).
  • Do not move the EasyPress around while transferring the ink. Hold it completely still.

When layering on HTV on top of Infusible Ink make sure to cover the whole project with butcher paper to avoid burning the ink. DO NOT use the same butcher paper you did in the original transfer. Use a fresh sheet because the ink will bleed!

Creating the “Creativity Takes Courage” T-shirt using the Cricut Infusible Ink tutorial.

How to Layer Infusible Ink and HTV

Part 1: Design Space Setup: Slice And Set (Lion King-Inspired Project)

View the full setup video in Design Space here, and look over the key steps below. This is important if you are planning on using more than one color of Infusible Ink. The ink cannot be layered, so we need to do what is called a “Slice and Set” for a good result.

Key Slice and Set Instructions Using Lion King-Inspired SVG Design (via video tutorial)

  1. Upload the SVG file into Design Space.
  2. Select all the characters by holding the shift key while clicking each character and use the WELD tool to group them together.
  3. Duplicate the entire grouped design. Set it next to the original design, and then hide the duplicate. You will need it later.
  4. Back to the first image: Select the welded characters and the blue circle.
  5. The DESLICE tool is now available.
  6. Once you click on the DESLICE tool, you will be able to pull the design apart. Pull the characters off the first image and delete them.
  7. Next, pull the subtraction off of the first image. This is the black outline of the characters in the blue circle.
  8. Now that you have sliced, you need to set. You do this by putting the characters from the second image (the duplicated one) back in place. Unhide the duplicate image. Ungroup it.
  9. Remove the blue circle and the words from the duplicate image and delete them.
  10. Pull the ungrouped characters from the duplicated image back over the top of the first image, right where you sliced off the other characters.
  11. Now you have set up the layers and have a “Sliced and Set” image to use with infusible ink as recommended by Cricut.

How To Layer Infusible Ink and HTV Part 2 (Lion King-Inspired Project)

Part two is layering the Infusible Ink onto a shirt with an EasyPress.

Key Steps to Layer Heat Transfer Vinyl And Cricut Infusible Ink

Notes: Make sure you have the supplies listed above, and that you watched Part 1 for the “Slice and Set” set-up instructions. We will be using infusible ink and heat transfer vinyl (HTV).

  1. Use an exact-o knife to take the Infusible Ink transfer off your mat.
  2. Flip your mat over and carefully peel the mat away from the material.  Make sure your Infusible Ink page is clear of the blank when working with a heat press.
  3. Place a piece of cardstock larger than the size of your design, between the layer of your shirt, underneath the area that will hold your design.
  4. Use a lint roller or masking tape over the shirt to make sure you aren’t pressing on debris and your design area is as clean as possible.
  5. Place butcher paper (included with Cricut Infusible Ink packs) on top of the blank. Make sure the waxy side is facing down.
  6. Heat your material. Use your EasyPress heated to 395 for 40 seconds. Use light pressure to flatten out the area that will take the design.
  7. Take the butcher paper off and set it aside. Leave cardstock in.
  8. Leave everything alone for 4-5 minutes to let your blank cool down. You can’t transfer when the blank is hot.
  9. Once the material is completely cool, put it aside so you can work with your printed design.
  10. You need to remove Pumba from the liner and set it on the blue floral circle. This is how you layer Infusible Ink.
  11. Do the same for the other characters. Don’t worry that they will be hanging off the liner for the moment.
  12. Cut appropriate sections of the empty liner and put it under the parts of the characters that are without liner. Don’t overlap the liners!
  13. Once the design is set and characters are put exactly where they are needed, it’s time to iron and transfer.
  14. Place the design on the t-shirt face-down and press lightly to make sure all of the design is touching the shirt. Once you put the transfer on the blank, you can’t move it again. You can use a ruler or tape measure to make sure you place the design exactly where it needs to be.
  15. Put a fresh sheet of butcher paper on top of your design.
  16. Press down on the butcher paper with your heat press. Do not move the EasyPress like an iron! Your heat press should be the size of your design and set at 395 for about 40 seconds.
  17. Lift EasyPress straight up and set aside. Lift off butcher paper but be careful because it is hot.
  18. Carefully lift off the liner and transfer paper.
  19. Let cool for about 5-6 minutes before moving on to vinyl transfer. While waiting, set your EasyPress for the vinyl you will be using. For example, I am using heat transfer glitter vinyl. My EasyPress is set at 330 for 30 seconds.
  20. Lay down vinyl where you want it and push it down.
  21. Cover the whole design with a fresh piece of butcher paper.
  22. Place EasyPress on the butcher paper as you did with the Infusible Ink design.
  23. Remove butcher paper, and slowly peel back liner from your heat transfer vinyl.
  24. Let the shirt cool. You now have a beautiful Cricut Infusible Ink and HTV layered shirt!
Cricut Infusible Ink Tutorial (How to Layer HTV with Infusible Ink!)

Cricut Infusible Ink Tutorial (How to Layer HTV with Infusible Ink!)

Active Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour
Difficulty: Easy to Intermediate

Do you want permanent t-shirt designs that are cute, vibrant, and long-lasting? This Cricut Infusible Ink tutorial includes step-by-step video instructions on using and layering
infusible ink!

Materials

Instructions

Part 1: Design Space Setup: Slice And Set (Lion King-Inspired Project)

View the full setup video in Design Space here, and look over the key steps below.

Key Slice and Set Instructions Using Lion King-Inspired SVG Design:

  1. Upload the SVG file into Design Space.
  2. Select all the characters by holding the shift key while clicking each character and use the
    WELD tool to group them together. 
  3. Duplicate the entire grouped design. Set it next to the original design, and then hide the
    duplicate. You will need it later.
  4. Back to the first image: Select the welded characters and the blue circle.
  5. The DESLICE tool is now available.
  6. Once you click on the DESLICE tool, you will be able to pull the design apart. Pull the characters off the first image and delete them.
  7. Next, pull the subtraction off of the first image. This is the black outline of the characters
    in the blue circle.
  8. Now that you have sliced, you need to set. You do this by putting the characters from the second image (the duplicated one) back in place. Unhide the duplicate image. Ungroup
    it.
  9. Remove the blue circle and the words from the duplicate image and delete them.
  10. Pull the ungrouped characters from the duplicated image back over the top of the first
    image, right where you sliced off the other characters.
  11. Now you have set up the layers and have a “Sliced and Set” image to use with infusible ink as recommended by Cricut.

Part 2: How To Layer Infusible Ink and HTV (Lion King-Inspired Project)

Part two is layering the Infusible Ink onto a shirt with an EasyPress. Watch the video tutorial here.

Key Steps to Layer Heat Transfer Vinyl And Cricut Infusible Ink

Notes: Make sure you have the supplies listed above, and that you watched Part 1 for the “Slice and Set” set-up instructions. We will be using infusible ink and heat transfer vinyl (HTV).

  1. Use an exact-o knife to take the Infusible Ink transfer off your mat.
  2. Flip your mat over and carefully peel the mat away from the material. Make sure your Infusible Ink page is clear of the blank when working with a heat press.
  3. Place a piece of cardstock larger than the size of your design, between the layer of your shirt, underneath the area that will hold your design.
  4. Use a lint roller or masking tape over the shirt to make sure you aren’t pressing on debris and your design area is as clean as possible.
  5. Place butcher paper (included with Cricut Infusible Ink packs) on top of the blank. Make sure the waxy side is facing down.
  6. Heat your material. Use your EasyPress heated to 395 for 40 seconds. Use light pressure to flatten out the area that will take the design.
  7. Take the butcher paper off and set it aside. Leave cardstock in.
  8. Leave everything alone for 4-5 minutes to let your blank cool down. You can’t transfer when the blank is hot.
  9. Once the material is completely cool, put it aside so you can work with your printed design.
  10. You need to remove Pumba from the liner and set it on the blue floral circle. This is how you layer Infusible Ink.
  11. Do the same for the other characters. Don’t worry that they will be hanging off the liner for the moment.
  12. Cut appropriate sections of the empty liner and put it under the parts of the characters that are without liner. Don’t overlap the liners!
  13. Once the design is set and characters are put exactly where they are needed, it’s time to iron and transfer.
  14. Place the design on the t-shirt face-down and press lightly to make sure all of the design is touching the shirt. Once you put the transfer on the blank, you can’t move it again. You can use a ruler or tape measure to make sure you place the design exactly where it needs to be.
  15. Put a fresh sheet of butcher paper on top of your design.
  16. Press down on the butcher paper with your heat press. Do not move the EasyPress like an iron! Your heat press should be the size of your design and set at 395 for about 40 seconds.
  17. Lift EasyPress straight up and set aside. Lift off butcher paper but be careful because it is hot.
  18. Carefully lift off the liner and transfer paper.
  19. Let cool for about 5-6 minutes before moving on to vinyl transfer. While waiting, set your EasyPress for the vinyl you will be using. For example, I am using heat transfer glitter vinyl. My EasyPress is set at 330 for 30 seconds.
  20. Lay down vinyl where you want it and push it down.
  21. Cover the whole design with a fresh piece of butcher paper.
  22. Place EasyPress on the butcher paper as you did with the Infusible Ink design.
  23. Remove butcher paper, and slowly peel back liner from your heat transfer vinyl.
  24. Let the shirt cool. You now have a beautiful Cricut Infusible Ink and HTV layered shirt!


Did you make this project?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Bonus Instruction: Creativity Takes Courage Full Infusible Ink Video Tutorial

I made another Infusible Ink video tutorial later on with many more complex layers. Take a look at how I made my Creativity Takes Courage t-shirt here!

So how awesome is it that Cricut Infusible Ink not only can be layered but also can be layered with heat transfer vinyl?! I am definitely more excited about the Cricut Infusible Ink now and hope this provided valuable insight for your first project!

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Let me share with you the 3 biggest mistakes Cricut crafters make and my proven steps to not only master your Cricut but also transform yourself into a craft designer! If that sounds like it’s for you, be sure to join me here in my FREE masterclass!

Read the Cricut Infusible Ink tutorial and learn how to layer ink and HTV, plus get free SVG design files.

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I’m thrilled you are here! I have spent the last 10+ years making messes and making magic in my home studio with the goal of making 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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6 Comments

  1. Ok, so when u added the htv, some of the color from your infusible ink came up and was lost…couldnt you do the htv first, and then add the infusible ink as long as the infusible ink gets direct contact with the shirt?

    I’m wanting to do a fox with a hair bow. I was going to print the fox on htv and then wanted the bow to be infusible ink. Couldnt I press the fox first and then the bow in infusible ink? Obviously I would use the slice and print to cut features.
    Just a thought, I am very new to the ink, and this will be the first time I am using the invisible ink transfer sheet. I have only used the pens….
    Any help would be so appreciated!
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Chandra,

      I personally wouldn’t recommend using the HTV under the InK because the additional heat will likely damage or melt the iron-on transfer. 🙂

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