Just about everything Cricut produces is amazeballs–their products are really something you didn’t know you needed in your life so badly until you have them. Especially when you learn to do new things like how to put Cricut vinyl on wood with your EasyPress 2 to make cool signs for Christmas (or any other occasion for that matter!) Which I’m going to show you how to do in just a minute!
The original EasyPress was life changing with the ability to get portable heat press quality iron-on at home. The small size was such an advantage for storage over larger heat press units with the same results.
But Cricut has gone and done one better and upgraded the EasyPress and released the EasyPress 2. If you have the original, keep rocking it, momma! But if you’re in the market for it, here is why you want the EasyPress 2:
It Heats up Faster. And Higher.
When you turn on the EasyPress 2, it heats up up to 25% faster! Great for impatient people like me. And for those of you doing some serious sort of projects, it also heats to temps of 400 degrees.
3 Sizes to choose from.
Again, something you won’t know how wonderful it is until you have 3 sizes to choose from. The EasyPress 2 comes in three sizes, 6”x7”, the original 9”x9”, and 10”x12”. I am completely in love with the smallest size because of all the small projects I’m able to do with it. The 9×9 is amazing for t-shirts and tote bags. The large size is a super time saver when you’re doing the extra large projects! Looking forward to setting up a few pop up tents for my daughter’s high school later this year with this one.
The color shouldn’t be a reason to buy something, but it totally is. (Says the lady who bought her washer/dryer because they were red…) The EasyPress 2 comes in a fun raspberry color! You can get an Explore Air 2 to match!
The mats are a purchase in addition to the EasyPress 2, but they are so worth buying. They’ve been engineered to absorb heat and protect the surfaces you use to craft on with your EasyPress 2. They’re totally portable, and I’ve used them everywhere!
How to Put Cricut Vinyl on Wood with Your EasyPress 2
And you might be asking yourself, why the heck do I want to iron vinyl onto wood anyway?? It’s 100% easier than stenciling and painting your graphics on if you can manage it. And it looks way better than the peel and stick vinyl when the project is done.
In this post, I’m going to use the example of this really really cute Farm Fresh Trees Christmas sign. The instructions aren’t to show you how to make this sign in particular, it’s to show you how to put Cricut Vinyl on wood to make ANY sign. Just substitute your own graphics and own piece of wood where it applies.
One of the new products Cricut launched this year that I LOVE in addition to the EasyPress 2 is Cricut’s SportFlex Iron-on. It’s thinner than regular vinyl and is crazy easy to work with. I like it for the signs because it the vinyl melts right into the wood and looks painted on rather than like vinyl on wood.
Christmas tree sign Materials
- Blank wooden sign – the project sign is 11×26 from Michael’s Craft Store
- Cricut SportFlex Iron-on Vinyl
- Graphic file in Cricut Design space (click here)
- EasyPress 2
- EasyPress Mat
To get the project started, open up the graphic file in Cricut Design space. I really loved this selection from the Holly Jolly Christmas cartridge. Lots of great sign ideas in there! Size the image to fit whatever board you’ll be using to iron the image onto. Remember to leave a border around the graphic (blank space, that is!)
Hit the “Make It” button, and go through the process of selecting your material (SportFlex Iron-On) and confirm you want to use a 12×24 inch mat if you’re making a really large image like the one in this project. Hit the blinking C and let the machine cut everything out for you.
When you set up your mat with Cricut SportFlex Iron-on Vinyl, be sure to use the STICKIEST mat you have. The carrier paper is slick! Most of my mats are not sticky enough, so I add a little washi tape to the edges to help keep the vinyl in place while it’s being cut.
What I have pictured here is Everyday Vinyl, not SportFlex. I’ll get to the reason why in just a little bit, but you can tell the difference because the back of the red SportFlex vinyl is actually white.
After you cut out the vinyl, remove it from the machine and the mat. Pull out your Cricut tools and get weeding. (This is always my favorite part.)
Take the freshly weeded vinyl and put it on the board you intend to iron the image on to. I put down one of my Cricut Mats just in case as I was doing this project on my nice table.
I know the Cricut manual says to press for 40 seconds at 300 degrees for wood, but I was finding that wasn’t quite enough, so I did presses at 325 for that length of time.
The really great part is that I used the LARGE EasyPress for this project, so I only had to press twice!! That’s half what I would have had to do if I had used the 9×9! Such a time saver–can’t wait to use it for a few more ambitious projects.
If your vinyl isn’t slightly melted into the wood, give it a 15 second press at a time to help it along. All woods are not created equal and some might absorb heat more than others and affect the length of time you need to press them for. In the photo above you can see where the vinyl is melting to the wood–it creates lighter colored spaces in the vinyl. When most of your letter looks like that, it’s how you know it’s ready to peel.
When the vinyl is cool to the touch, I like to take my scraper and rub the vinyl into the board a little bit just to make sure everything is going to stick. I then gently peel up the edge to release the vinyl from the carrier sheet. And then magically, the project is done!
HUGELY IMPORTANT TIP: You’re going to want to be impatient and peel the carrier sheet off just as soon as you lift up your EasyPress. But don’t. Put the EasyPress in the safety cradle and go Netflix and Chill for a bit. The vinyl needs to be completely cool before you peel or you’ll have a vinyl catastrophe on your hands.
If you peel when the SportFlex is still hot, you get wrinkly vinyl, vinyl that doesn’t stick to the board and other things that will make you cranky.
This particular piece of wood is made up of slats. I did use the back of my weeding tool to put a bit of a crease in the vinyl that didn’t melt into the dips of the woods on its own.
What if the Vinyl doesn’t stick?
Sometimes you don’t get it on the first shot and the vinyl doesn’t want to come off the way it’s supposed to. It’s a bummer, but you can fix it.
- Fire back up the EasyPress and give your project a press again. It may not have gotten enough heat the first go around. Just be careful if you’re using white SportFlex. It will scorch if you cook it too long.
- Needs more scraper. It’s a technique you use to get the peel and stick vinyl to work, but you’ll actually help your iron-on project along in this instance if you rub the vinyl into the wood.
- The carrier sheet is gone and the vinyl is not sticking to the wood. This obviously is not ideal, but you can use your scraper or the back of one of the weeding tools to gently work the vinyl to the wood with a little more rubbing/scrapering. Those tools are mighty handy! Sometimes the vinyl just needs to be reminded with a little rub where it needs to stick.
Vinyl fails and forewarnings
I am not a perfect crafter. Usually by the time projects end up here on my site, I’ve done quite a bit of trial and error to show you the easiest and most effective way to do things. That means I go and mess stuff up before I show you what to do right. I did a good job of messing up before I shot this project for you!
A few months ago, I made a perfectly lovely iron on vinyl wood sign about coffee. It was easy peasy. I used the SportFlex for that one. Tried to do a direct repeat of that project with a different graphic (except I was shooting a tutorial this time.) I used a different vinyl, and it so didn’t work.
Really guys, I am sure there is a methodology out there that works 100% of the time with other kinds of vinyl, but I got a sticky mess and a ruined board. Use the SportFlex. It is so thin, it looks the most like paint, and it is definitely the easiest of the Cricut Vinyls to iron onto wood. Do easy!
When to peel
The second thing I did so so so wrong was to peel up the carrier sheet too soon. This I think created the biggest catastrophe. The picture is work a thousand words I think. Wait until the vinyl is completely cool!
Too high heat
I am completely impatient. I wanted the vinyl melted NOW when I was doing this project. The vinyl I used the first time around was not that kind of vinyl. I amped up the heat to get it to go faster, and the glue (!) from the vinyl melted out in a sticky pool around the graphics that stained the wood. Yuck. Don’t turn your temperature on your EasyPress up too high when ironing onto wood. It’ll backfire.
If you turn up the heat too much with SportFlex, it will scorch. Don’t do that either.
now you know how to put cricut iron-on vinyl onto wood!
As you can see, it’s not difficult, it just takes a little patience. Feel free to ask questions below –I’m happy to answer!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.