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Halloween is around the corner and of course, my son wanted to be something that there isn’t a costume for. (Last year I had to sew my other son a Bowser Jr. costume.) If you have toddlers perhaps you are familiar with “Thomas and Friends”. My three-year old decided he wanted to be Donald and Douglas, the black twin trains from that show. Since there isn’t a Donald and Douglas costume, I decided to try my hand at iron-ons with my Cricut. (Scroll to the bottom to subscribe to my freebies and receive the free SVG file for this) The only problem was that I didn’t know how to layer the different colors.
Layering heat transfer material was easier than I expected. I was doing a pretty simple pattern, so I ended up layering without registration marks (it was just easier to place them by eye) Eventually, I will try something more complicated and add a tutorial with the marks.
Here is what you will need to layer heat transfer vinyl on a T-shirt:
How to layer heat transfer vinyl with your Cricut
First you are going to want to create your design in Design space.
I created a Thomas and friends engine using black, red and gray. I did the design in Illustrator and then saved the file as an SVG.
You don’t need Illustrator to create designs, Design Space will work just fine for creating entire projects. You can draw out shapes, meld them together and add text right there in the app.
A lot of people create registration marks to help them line up the heat transfer vinyl. Mine was simple enough to not need them, but if you are curious on how to do this, I will quickly go over it in the next two paragraphs. If you want to go without, feel free to skip ahead.
To create registration marks, all you will do is create a small square in Cricut Design Space™ and place it on the very top left and create another on the very top left. Create a square for each color of HTV you will be creating.
Once you have all of your colored squares, simply layer them on top of each other so when each color of HTV is printed, each square will be in the same place. This will help you to line everything up exactly. (Just make sure not to iron the squares on to your t-shirt)
Prep your HTV file for Printing
Now that everything is created, you are going to want to group everything that is the same color together. Control click on each color until they are all highlighted, and then hit attach. This allows each color to be printed with the correct placement on each different colored sheet.
This will make everything print out in its rightful place on each color.
Print out your Heat Transfer Vinyl Sheets
Load and print each sheet to the corresponding colors. Make sure your HTV is liner side (shiny side down). Also make sure you print the mirror image of the design.
Once you have everything printed, lay the sheets on top of each other to be sure they line up. Make sure you take into consideration what will be on top and what will be on the bottom to get the layered look you want.
If you used registration marks, it will be super easy to line everything up if you just stack each sheet on top of the squares that you created in Design Space.
Iron on each layer of Heat Transfer Vinyl
Starting with the bottom layer of your design, iron it on the shirt. Make sure to read the directions for whichever heat transfer vinyl you are using (different ones have different instructions.)
I used Cricut Everyday vinyl and learned that you will get the best results if you pre-wash your fabric and then pre-heat your shirt. Next, press firmly for five minutes with your iron on your hottest setting. Then flip the material over and heat it from the back.
Once you let everything cool, you should be OK to peel off the clear backing.
Peel off the backing and give it one more shot of heat. You should now be good to go.
Continue Layering on the Colors
Keep repeating this process for each color. Remember to let each layer cool before peeling off the backing. If you are lining everything up using registration marks be sure not to iron them into the design. I usually place a temporary spot using chalk on the shirt where each square would go and then proceed to line up each layer on top.
Enjoy your new design
Now that you have all of your layers piled on top of each other. you will have an amazing colorful creation that you can enjoy for a long time.
Be sure to take proper care of your new creation. Turn it inside out when washing and use the gentle cycle.
I hope this tutorial shows you how easy layering different colors of Iron on Transfer can be. Be sure to take a moment and subscribe to our newsletter for more awesome DIY projects and Cricut tutorials.
If you are looking for a free download of this file please click here to subscribe to our email and it will take you to our freebies page where you can download your own Donald and Douglas SVG file.