Weeding Small Letters Htv
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Frustrated with iron on vinyl for projects made using your Cricut or other cutting machine? Here are tips and tricks to make weeding HTV easy!
Weeding Small Letters Htv
Iron on has quickly become one of my favorite materials to work on my Cricut. It can adhere to many different surfaces, especially those that are difficult to use with regular adhesive vinyl, such as wood and cardstock. It makes layering your projects much easier because your material stays attached to your backing plastic. And you can also cut much more complex designs and don’t need to mess around using transfer tape, which is a headache for many users. You just cut out your design and iron it on.
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Oh wait There is one big, important step between cutting and ironing – you have to weed your vinyl. Today I’m going to use one of my files from my taco bundle to show you some of my best tips and tricks when it comes to vinyl weeding.
Vinyl weeding is the process of removing excess material that you don’t want on your project. Let’s take this Taco Belle file (I heard someone make this joke the other day and it made me laugh longer than I care to admit!). I changed the color of the Cricut Design Space words to white so it would work better on my black t-shirt.
You will use a special tool called a weeder or weed hook to remove excess vinyl. It sounds simple, but the more complex your design, the more care you need to take when weeding.
Let’s get one thing out of the way before we actually get to the weeds—when you cut your design into the iron-on vinyl, be sure to look at it in a mirror! Because you are actually cutting the back of your vinyl, if you don’t mirror your image, it will go backwards. You can mirror your iron on vinyl in a ready screen in the Cricut design space, and if you select iron on vinyl as your material, there will be a warning reminding you to mirror your image.
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Exactly! Our taco bell image is cut out. It’s time to weed. Obviously if I ironed this on my shirt as is, I would have a big white rectangle on my shirt, which I absolutely did not want. Let’s get rid of negative space.
Often times, the piece of vinyl you use will be much larger than your actual cut. I like to use my rotary cutter and quilting ruler to cut a straight line from the bottom – this gives me a nice straight edge for my next project! You can also trim with scissors or a craft knife.
There are quite a few weed hooks on the market. Cricut has a complete set of different weeding tools including several hooks. After years of using the basic Cricut weed hook, it’s definitely my favorite. But there are other brands with different shapes—find one that works for you and stick with it. The more you use your hook, the more it will feel like an extension of your arm when you weed. Simply dig the point of the hook into the piece you want to remove and lift it.
99% of the time, I use my weed hook. I just found the tool that works best for me. However, there are other tools you’ll want to have in your weeding arsenal—a good pair of tweezers, a straight pin or needle (for pulling out the tiniest bits), and a craft knife.
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If you have a particularly complex design, you may want to actually print a copy of what you’re weeding. This way, you can see exactly what needs to be removed and what is actually part of the design. This design wasn’t difficult, but it can be very helpful on complicated designs like my lace hearts, it’s a must.
I find it easiest to weed with my baking material still stuck to my Cricut mat. This keeps my project stable and helps hold my support material while I weed the vinyl.
If you’re having trouble seeing your weed lines, give the Cricut BrightPad a shot. It’s basically a very lightbox that you can weed on top of – and it shines light through the cuts to make them easier to see and weed. I don’t use mine very often as I prefer the above matte method, but if I’m struggling to see my cut lines, I’ll break mine down – it really makes things a lot easier!
Speaking of lighting, find good, bright light for weeding. I actually use my studio photography light because it’s quite bright, but swear by the Outlight and other similar work-oriented lights. A little magic behind the scenes here:
Mipremium Pu Heat Transfer Vinyl Htv, Iron On, 12” X 10” Inches 4 Pre Cut Sheets, For T Shirts Hats Caps Bags Sports Clothing And Other Garments And Fabrics, Easy Cut, Easy Weed
That…if you are right-handed. If you are left-handed, start at the top right. I think I can weed down and around, starting at the top left. For example, if I start at the bottom right, and weed up and up, then my hand comes into contact with the sticky baking paper I’ve already weeded and becomes a sticky mess of dog hair and shirt fibers and arm hair. . …but seriously…some of that is supporting material
If you’ve removed too large a section, simply cut off that weedy vinyl with a pair of scissors – this helps it get out of the way while weeding the rest of your project.
I’m not sure where I picked up this trick, but I’ll often take a piece of regular adhesive vinyl, about 2″ square, and place it sticky-side up on my Cricut mat. Then I can use it to collect the little weedy scrap pieces of my project – it’s so easy! Double-sided tape works well, as well.
Some iron on vinyl weeds more easily than others. It doesn’t matter what you’re using, though, I think my best tip is to go slowly and methodically like weed. Your inclination may be to pull up as much as you can at one time. But this is a sure way to lose the dots on your “i” and other small pieces. Just take it slowly and carefully, making sure that what you want on the backing material stays, and what needs to come comes.
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Once you’re done, hold your project up to the light to make sure you haven’t missed any pieces, like those pesky bits inside the letters. I also often place my cut file on a contrasting colored background – that works too. Once those little bits are ironed out, there’s no going back, so you need to get it right the first time!
I know weeding can be frustrating, especially for people with poor eyesight or hand problems (I have carpal tunnel, so I understand!), or for anyone who really doesn’t like weeding all those little bits. do Hope these tips made it a little easier! Once you’ve weeded your vinyl, you can easily adhere it to your material using a Cricut EasyPress (see why I love mine here), a heatpress, or your home iron. Check out more of my tips and tricks for using iron on vinyl here! If you have no idea what weeding even has to do with cutting vinyl, or why your Cricut came with a weeding tool, I’m here to explain!
I’ll cover what weeding is, and give you the basics of how to effectively weed vinyl so you don’t waste any material.
Then I’ll go over the best tools for the job as well as my favorite types of vinyl for different applications. I’ll talk about how to find easy fonts for weed, and then move on to working with difficult scripts or small letters and words.
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Finally, I’ll share tips and tricks that I’ve collected over the years, and put together just for you!
Weeding vinyl is the process of removing unwanted vinyl from your cut design. You can think of it like weeding a garden: you carefully dig out all the little bits that shouldn’t be there, without destroying any of your beautiful flowers.
Weeding is actually one of my favorite parts of cutting vinyl…but I’ve been told that probably makes me officially insane.
I love the big reveal: when my design transforms from empty squares and unformed blobs to fully realized art.
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But many find that removing all the little pieces from a detailed, intricate design is a bit tedious, so I’m here to help make vinyl weeding easy!
On to the tutorial! I cut my vinyl with a Cricut Maker (more details here ), but any machine will work.
After cutting your design, but before you transfer your design, you will need to remove all unwanted vinyl from the backing sheet.
We usually start from the outside and work in: start by removing the largest pieces around your design and attack them all.