Updated: Nov 2, 2021
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How do Infusible Ink Transfer Sheets work?
Before we get into the hacks I think it’s important to understand how Cricut's Infusible Ink Transfer Sheets work.
When Infusible Ink reaches a high enough temperature, it turns into a gas and infuses inside of the project's surface.
Once the design has been transferred it will not crack or peel off because they’re infused into the item! A major bonus is that Infusible Ink projects are machine washable.
It is important to note that you must mirror your design before cutting Infusible Ink; otherwise your design will appear in reverse when transferred.
Also, place your material inked-side up (liner side down) onto a green Cricut StandardGrip Cutting Mat.
Hack #1: More pressure!
A common problem is that the ink sheet does not cut all the way through the paper layer, making it frustrating to weed. I always set my pressure to "More" when cutting Infusible Ink.
I also changed my Custom Material Setting for Infusible Ink to 268.
Depending on your machine and your blades age, you can set yours between 267 and 270.
If you decide to change your material setting, make sure you DO A TEST CUT. Do this by placing a small shape on your canvas in Design Space and have your Cricut cut it from an ink sheet. Then check to see if the shape cuts through cleanly.
The goal is to cut all the way through the ink paper, but not through the plastic carrier sheet.
Here is how to change your Custom Material Settings in Cricut Design Space:
Step 1: Go to "Browse All Materials"
Step 2: Find Infusible Ink Transfer Sheet and click "Edit" and move the dial to your desired pressure.
Hack #2: Remove Design from Cutting Mat Upside Down
Remove the Ink Transfer Sheet from the cutting mat upside down. Let gravity do most of the work for you and gently peel the Infusible Ink Sheet away from the cutting mat. This hack also works great for vinyl too.
Hack #3: Avoid fingerprints and moisture
I live in Florida where it is hot and humid most of the year. So it is hard for me to avoid clammy hands that leave fingerprints on my Infusible Ink sheets.
Because of this, I always wear gloves when handling ink sheets.
Using gloves and/or a brayer can help you get the ink transfer sheet properly adhered onto your cutting mat without having to touch it. Gloves also help with avoiding fingerprints when weeding your project.
Store your Infusible Ink Sheets in a dry cool location. Moisture in the material – can cause uneven ink transfer.
Hack #4: Weed with your hands and not a weeding tool.
Using weeding tools on Ink transfer Sheets – can press tiny amounts of ink into the carrier sheet that then show up in blank areas of your project.
Instead, use what Cricut refers to as the “cracking” method.
Slightly bend and roll the ink sheet; you’ll hear a light cracking sound as cuts separate. Your images may lift off the liner a little – which is what we want!
Once your design starts to pop out, weed your design with your hands. For smaller pieces that don't want to pop out, I recommend using tweezers before reaching for your weeding tool.
Hack #5: Lint roll your surface before application
Lint or fibers on the surface of the blank – can create dots of stain on the project.
Even if you can’t see them, your blank material may have lint or dust particles that can activate when you apply heat, resulting in tiny blue specks.
Use a fresh lint-roller tape sheet on the surface of your blank where you will be applying your design prior to preheating to remove the lint. Take your time and be thorough! You may have to make a few passes to remove all of the lint.
Hack #6: Use the Cricut Heat Guide to look up your settings for your specific project.
Pressing with the wrong temperature or time can result in dulled colors or burned fabric. If you apply heat longer than recommended, pigments can be destroyed. Follow the Cricut Heat Guide to ensure that your project turns out amazing.
Hack #7: Don't use a regular iron for Infusible Ink
An iron has holes in the bottom of the plate and the heating is uneven. Also, an iron does not get hot enough for most Infusible Ink projects and you can not easily control the temperature or set a heat timer. You need an even heat plate, so the Cricut EasyPress 2 is the best option. It can reach the correct temperatures, heats evenly and has a built in timer.
Hack #8: Make your design smaller than your EasyPress
It is best to keep your Infusible Ink design smaller than your heat plate because you need to be able to press the whole design at one time. Infusible Ink projects should receive a single application of heat. Applying heat a second time turns the ink into a gas again and may result in unwanted marks or fading.
This also applies for Cricut Mug Press. Make sure you are using a design that properly fits the mug blank. Trim your design so the ink sheet does not hang off the top or bottom of the mug when pressing. Catty Maker creates designs for Cricut Mug Blanks that come in two sizes; 12oz and 15oz. Here is my Guide to Cricut Mug Press.
Hack #9: Don’t risk reusing your butcher paper.
Reusing butcher paper from another project can transfer ink picked up from a previous press. To reduce the risk of creating press marks on your blank, place a clean sheet of butcher paper between your EasyPress and your blank as instructed in the Cricut Heat Guide.
The butcher paper should be larger than the heat plate so that the heat plate does not come into contact with your blank.
Hack #10: Let your project cool completely
Ink can transfer while it’s still hot. Wait until your project is completely cool before removing your ink sheet. Removing too soon can result in an unwanted – and permanent – ghosting effect.
Final note: Be careful with your manicures! I got anxious to see one of my mug press designs and did not wait for the mug to completely cool. While removing the design on my warm mug my pink nail polish transferred onto the mug and left a permanent mark.