How to Cut Siser® Heat Transfer Vinyl with the Sizzix® Big Kick™ and Apply HTV with the Cricut® EasyPress
I think one of the best things about crafters is how resourceful they are. Often when they don’t have the exact tool/material/supply called for they find a way to make it work. Sometimes those ways are best left unsaid and unseen, (because the botched project is likely hidden in the back of a closet…trust me) but other times they become a neat little hack!
Another great thing about crafters is they love to share. So today I wanted share how you can use a tool that you might already have in your craft room to cut HTV. If you’re a scrapbooker or a cardmaker, you might be familiar with the Sizzix line of die cutters, but cutting HTV with them is going to be a little different than cardstock. So let’s get started!
How to Cut Siser HTV with the Sizzix Big Kick
While the Big Kick itself comes with two clear cutting pads and a white multipurpose platform, the dies are sold separately. With this model you can use very thin dies (right) and thick steel cut dies (left).
Either one you choose will work, however the cutting process varies slightly. The larger die is thicker so it only needs a cutting pad on the bottom and top. Think of making a “sandwich” out of the pads, HTV, and die.
The thin die on the other hand, needs the multipurpose platform at the bottom of the sandwich to achieve the proper thickness that allows the BigKick to put enough pressure on the sandwich and cut the HTV.
When you’ve set up all your pieces, manually turn the crank until the sandwich pops out on the other side. You might hear a faint cracking sound, don’t worry, that’s just the dies doing their job! You will notice, however that the cutting pads get worn after use, so just like a cutting mat, it’s best to change up the area the design will cut.
Two things to note:
- If you’re working with a thin die and a thick HTV (like Brick™ 600, Glitter, or StripFlock®) you may need to crank the sandwich back through the machine for a second run to fully cut through the material.
- Keep an eye on the orientation of your die if it’s a word. When working with digital die cutters (like the Silhouette Cameo or Cricut Maker) we know to mirror our design and cut on the back (adhesive side) of HTV. So if you want to flip the dye horizontally (mirror) make sure the HTV is laid face down (carrier side), so you don’t end up with a backwards phrase. I prefer to lay the HTV down with the carrier side facing up, so I can place the die on top (like in the photos above.) But just know you can achieve good results either way- it’s ultimately your preference!
After cutting, you may have some pieces of the shape that are stuck in the die. Use your Siser Weeder to poke through the tiny holes of the die to dislodge the HTV.
When all your shapes are cut, it’s time to move on to heat application!
How to Apply Siser HTV with the Cricut EasyPress
The EasyPress is a fairly new tool on the market, but you might already have one and, yes it can absolutely be used with Siser heat transfer vinyl! Just like when you use an iron though, you’ll need a hard, heat resistant application surface. Additional accessories to use are a heat transfer cover sheet and a pressing pad.
The EasyPress’ pressing mat is not available quite yet, but if you’re an embroiderer, it’s possible you already have a tool that can be substituted! Wool pressing pads come in a variety of sizes and are originally used for heat fusing embroidery patches, but they can also be used like a pressing mat or heat transfer pillow to avoid pressing seams, and in this case, the plastic ends of the drawstring on these velvet pouches.
Since I’m going to layer two colors of EasyWeed® heat transfer vinyl, I pressed the first layer for 5 seconds at 335°F, and peeled the carrier hot. But the HTV is die cut, so there isn’t an edge of the carrier (created by the weeding process) to grab onto and peel the rest. This is where your weeder comes in handy again to get under the clear carrier and start the peeling process. This is a useful hack when HTV is hand cut with scissors as well.
Lay the second color, carrier side up, and press for 10 seconds. Repeat the carrier peeling step and your pouch is prettified! Fill it with treats, jewelry, buttons, or whatever other small items you need to store or gift.
Remember when I said crafters love to share? Pinning the image below is a great way to share these tips with fellow crafters!