Honest review of the new Cricut Infusible Ink system, plus two fun and easy projects for Infusible Ink beginners.
Have you heard the news? Cricut just launched a brand spankin’ new product, and it’s seriously the coolest thing I’ve ever used from the Cricut family. It’s INFUSIBLE INK! Sounds fancy, and let me tell ya, it is. It allows you to take your iron-on projects to the next level, aka, get print shop results in your own home. I loaded up on the new collection and spent a full day playing with it all. And in true Lela fashion, I documented the whole process, just for YOU!
What Is Cricut Infusible Ink?
If you’ve ever made an iron-on project with a Cricut machine before, you used vinyl material. That vinyl basically just stuck to the base product you used, like a t-shirt or a fabric storage bin (like I used in my linen closet). This works great, but the vinyl is pretty much just a sticker. It can wrinkle, peel, and get damaged when washing.
This is where the new Infusible Ink shines. Instead of sticking on top of your base material, it actually infuses into it! It becomes part of your shirt or bag or whatever you’re using, and you can stretch it, wash it, and wear it out. It is the exact same quality as the screen tee you buy from your favorite clothing store. You get professional, permanent, 100% customizable results from the comfort of your own craft room.
What You Need To Use Cricut Infusible Ink
The Infusible Ink line comes in patterned rolls like the vinyl you’re used to, as well as special markers. I tried both of them, (projects below) and I think I like the patterned sheets just a bit more than the markers, but my son prefers the markers, so I’m sure we’ll continue to use them both equally.
In order for the “infusion” to work, you do have to use Cricut’s special “blanks.” You can currently get blanks in t-shirts, baby onesies, tote bags and ceramic coasters, so you’ve got a nice collection of products to get started with. Just know that the infusible ink products won’t work on other materials, so make sure you pick up Cricut’s Blanks.
In addition to the ink and blanks, you’ll also need a Cricut machine (Makers and Explores both work with the Infusible Ink) and an Easy Press machine (either the classic or the Easy Press 2). The large even hot plate makes the ink transfer evenly, so don’t try any Infusible projects with a regular iron.
Other items you may need based on your specific project include:
- Lint Roller
- Butcher Paper
- White Cardstock
- Easy Press Iron Mats
- Heat Resistant Tape
- Inkjet Copy Paper
- Standard and Light Grip Cutting Mats
How Infusible Ink Works
I could totally tell you how it works, but you know that’s not how I roll. Instead, I’m going to show you. Since I’m at home with a sprained ankle and fractured food (ladder incident, semi-embarrassing) I had a lot of time to try out the new Cricut Infusible Ink line. So I’m showing you the step-by-step process of not one, but two Infusible Ink projects!
I’ll start with a tote bag and patterned sheet transfers, followed by a Marker tutorial on ceramic coasters. So grab a cup of coffee, and get ready to Pin this post because you’ll want to refer back to it when you’re ready to start your own project.
Project 1: Customized Shopping Bag With Cricut Infusible Ink
Start By Creating Your Design in Design Space
Just like any other Cricut project, you’ll create your design in Design Space. For this project, I’m using the Infusible Ink Transfer Sheets, so I’ll need a StandardGrip mat.
Before printing, I made sure I turned on the MIRROR option, like any other iron-on project. I put the Infusible Ink Transfer Sheet on the Standard Grip mat with the pattern side up.
Don’t worry, your pattern may look dull right now, but once it’s transferred it will be much more vibrant.
Once your mat is all queued up, load it into your Cricut machine and print like normal.
Remove Transfer Sheet From Cutting Mat
Here’s a little tip I learned from watching some Infusible Ink tutorial videos on Cricut’s website. Instead of pulling the transfer sheet away from the mat, pull the mat away from the sheet. Just flip it upside down on a large cutting mat and pull away the StandardGrip mat while keeping the transfer sheet flat on the surface with your hand. That way it won’t bend, crease, or wrinkle.
Also, be very careful not to touch it with oily hands. Your hands need to be clean, dry, and free of lotions and other oils to avoid damaging the ink on the sheet.
Remove Negative Space
One cool thing about these sheets is they are SO easy to remove negative space. You don’t even need a weeding tool. You can just lightly bend the sheet and the negative pieces pop up and peel away very easily. If you have a tiny spot that doesn’t come up easily, use your Cricut tweezers to help wiggle it out.
Prep Your Cricut Infusible Ink Compatible Fabric Blank
Each blank has specific instructions for prep before using your Easy Press, so definitely refer to the Interactive EasyPress Heat Guide. One thing that will apply to every fabric project is lint rolling the surface before starting. You may not see any lint, but I promise you, it’s there. And removing it before your iron-on project is imperative to an even result.
For my project, I chose the tote bag. My instructions were to lay the bag on a large EasyPress Mat, then fill the inside with a small Easy Press Mat and a sheet of white cardstock. (This keeps the infusible ink from accidentally transferring onto your EasyPress Mat, so don’t skip that step.)
Then it instructed me to preheat the bag for 40 seconds with a protective sheet of butcher paper in between.
Follow Instructions From The Interactive Heat Guide For Application
After the tote bag was preheated, I applied my Transfer Sheet, followed by a large sheet of butcher paper. Then I placed the EasyPress 2 on top for the temperature and time stated in the Heat Guide.
Carefully Peel Away The Transfer Sheet
The transfer sheet comes off really easily, and the ink is instantly infused into the fabric. No cure time, no worry of messing up an edge while it’s still warm (you know you’ve done that one too many times with vinyl transfers), and no wait. I literally took my bag to the market one hour later and it held up so well!
That’s it! Fabric project DONE! This was SO stinkin’ cool, and I am already dreaming up the next fabric project. (Hint, I’ll probably make a t-shirt!)
Project 2: Customized Ceramic Coasters With Cricut Infusible Ink Markers
Break Out The Markers!
Instead of using the Transfer Sheet like last time, I thought I’d test the Infusible Ink Markers on the Ceramic Coaster blanks. I chose the neon color collection, but there’s also a classic color collection if you don’t want to go this bold.
The cool thing about these markers is that the Cricut machine draws your Design Space design right onto a regular sheet of copy paper. Yep, you literally grab a sheet of paper from your printer and pop it onto a Light Grip mat, then let the Cricut do it’s thing.
(Don’t forget to turn on the MIRROR option before printing, and specify your draw-colors in Design Space before clicking “Make It”. The infusible markers have been added to Design Space tool drop-down, so make sure you choose them and not regular markers.)
Prep The Coasters
There are two different types of Coaster blanks in the Cricut Infusible Ink family, so make sure you refer to the Heat Guide before you start. I used the Ceramic Round Coasters, which have very different instructions than the square ones.
For either Coaster blank, you’ll start by cutting out your designs on the copy paper, and coloring in any areas needed. I chose a simple design so I didn’t have to color anything.
Wipe down your coaster with a lint-free cloth, then tape your design onto the coaster face-down with heat resistant tape (also available in the Infusible Ink product line). Make sure you don’t tape over your design. The tape should only be in empty space containing no marker lines.
Then follow the instructions for the coaster you chose, via the Heat Guide. Make sure you don’t skip the cardstock and butcher paper layers, because these prevent the ink from transferring onto your mats and Easy Press plate.
Let Coasters Cool Before Removing Your Designs
The ceramic coasters I used got super hot under 400 degrees for 240 seconds, so they took quite a while to cool. I went downstairs, ate lunch, cleaned up my mess, and came back upstairs to find them cool to the touch. So about 30 minutes at least.
Once they’re cool, you can remove the heat-resistant tape and pull away the copy paper. The ink transferred completely and the coasters were still very shiny. Since the ink is infused inside the coaster, you can use it immediately. You can also wash them, and you don’t have to worry about drink condensation messing them up. They’re the same quality as the ones you’d buy at the store, so they’re good to go!
I am so happy with how they turned out, and I can’t wait to make more of them. I’m seeing all kinds of personalized gifts and party favors in my future! They would also be so cute for kids to make for parents, grandparents, and teachers.
My Honest Opinion Of The New Cricut Infusible Ink Line
After spending a full day playing with all my new toys, I definitely got a feel for how the new Infusible Ink line works, and I am beyond impressed. I was skeptical at first, and I was worried this was going to be a bit messy. It was actually easier than a regular vinyl iron-on project, and the result is so mind-blowing.
You may not be able to tell from the photos, but this stuff really is infused into the fabric and ceramic. Cricut Machine owners are about to be professional screen printers, and your craft game is about to blow up!
I like the markers, but they are more of a whimsical look and give off a very playful vibe. While this is definitely cute for kids and teens, they don’t give the same professional look that the Transfer Sheets do. So for me personally, I’ll probably stick with the Transfer Sheets and let my son use the Markers. The perfectionist in me just loves a perfectly cut line.
Where To Find Infusible Ink Products
The Cricut Infusible Ink product family is available exclusively at Michael’s Craft Stores. If you don’t have a Michael’s in your town, you can buy all the products you need to get started from the Michael’s website.
And of course, Cricut has compiled some amazingly helpful tutorial videos on their website to show you exactly how you can make all kinds of awesome creations.
Want More Cricut Projects?
Follow this link straight to my Cricut project archive to see everything I’ve shared so far, and keep a good watch because I’ve got some awesome new projects lined up to feature very soon!
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.