Learn how to store all your HTV/iron-on materials, accessories, and base materials so they maintain their best quality and stay organized neatly with these quick, easy tips.
This is a sad, sad story about a blogger who had to throw out 8 packs of Cricut Infusible Ink that she bought with her own money because it wasn’t stored properly. This blogger, let’s call her Eela, thought heat transfer vinyl and Infusible Ink Transfer Sheets were the same as any other kind of vinyl. She didn’t realize that they had special needs when it comes to storage.
Eela is not a smart cookie. Eela did not read the internet. Or the instructions. Don’t be like Eela and flush your hard earned craft supply money down the drain. These 5 tips will help you prolong the life of your HTV/iron-on materials, even your base materials, so they last until you’re ready to use them.
1. Keep Rolled Iron-On Vinyl On The Cardboard Roll
Don’t give in to the temptation to take your rolled vinyl off the cardboard roll. A lot of people see those photos on Instagram and Pinterest of vinyl removed from it’s packaging and stored individually inside a slotted Ikea trash bin on the wall. Those photos are only using regular vinyl.
The packaging and cardboard roll the HTV is wrapped around is the armor that keeps your iron-on vinyl from getting wrinkled, creased, and damaged. These imperfections may not be seen with the naked eye, but once you slap them onto a sweatshirt you’re about to sell at the local craft fair, you’ll be mortified when your Real Housewives quote has tiny veins running through it.
2. Keep Cricut Infusible Ink Transfer Sheets In Their Original Box
If you love using Cricut Infusible Ink, you know it’s a high maintenance type of gal. She doesn’t like weeding tools, she requires clean oil-free hands, and she’s a lot thicker than vinyl but can tear easily. She’s also picky about how she’s stored, and if it’s not how she likes it, she’ll self-destruct. Ask me how I know…
By keeping Cricut Infusible Ink Transfer Sheets in their original box, you’re protecting them from getting scratched, wrinkled, and from heat and humidity. (More on that in a minute) When you open your box, most of the time there are multiple transfer sheets inside. If you’re only using one, don’t be tempted to throw out the packaging and just pop the rolled up leftover sheets on your shelf unprotected. Unless you like taking $20 bills and setting them on fire, of course.
3. Keep Iron-On Vinyl Scraps In A Scrapbook
Some people keep all their scrap vinyl in a scrapbook, and others keep them in a box. Either method is fine when it comes to regular vinyl, but HTV should have a little tighter security. Head to your craft store and buy a cheap scrapbook with plastic sheet protectors inside from the Clearance section. It doesn’t matter what it looks like, just get the least expensive 12×12 scrapbook they have.
You can organize the scraps however you’d like. I divide my scrapbook up by regular vinyl in the front and iron-on vinyl in the back, and they’re in ROYGBIV order, followed by patterns. You can even take it a step further by adding divided sheet protector pages that hold photos. Instead of all the vinyl dropped into one page protector, these have four or five separate slots for better division.
4. Keep Base Materials In A Rolling Drawer Cart
Properly storing all the t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, tote bags, pouches, and other fabric materials you put your HTV onto is also something you should be mindful of. Nothing kills a project faster than a white shirt with black fuzz or a tote bag covered in cat hair. Take time to keep these materials away from dust, fur, and fuzzies.
You don’t want to store them in an airtight container, because they can get kind of musty-smelling. And you also don’t want to store them in open-air lidless containers because dust and hair particles fly through the air.
So what’s the happy medium? A rolling drawer cart. You know the kind college kids have in their dorms? They’re cheap, allow a tiny bit of airflow, and keep materials safe and protected. Divide them by drawer, and never keep white materials with colors. You can divide them by a piece of posterboard if they need to co-mingle in one drawer.
5. Monitor Humidity And Heat Sources
You may not really think about humidity and heat sources, but they’re the biggest hit job on your HTV and Infusible Ink. If the room is too humid, your materials get soft and floppy, and don’t cut or adhere crisply. If the room is too dry, your materials get crunchy and dried out, and don’t adhere evenly. Order a humidity meter for your craft room (they’re only $9 on Amazon for a pack of two) so you can monitor the levels and adjust accordingly.
It’s also important to keep your HTV and Infusible Ink away from heat sources. That includes windows and HVAC vents. Find a storage location that steers clear of those heat sources, and if you can’t avoid it, store them in a solid box with a lid to block out the direct heat and sunlight.
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