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Best Types of Vinyl for Cricut & Silhouette Projects

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Are you wondering what vinyl to use with your cricut? This guide covers the best types of vinyl for cricut & silhouette machines so you can find the perfect vinyl for your next project. If you are looking for materials to customize, you will find the best blanks for your cricut projects here.

Free Vinyl Cheat Sheet

You will want to go ahead and print or save this vinyl cheat sheet. Using this sheet will save you from ruining vinyl for forgetting to mirror or placing your vinyl the wrong side up. This vinyl cheat sheet shows you exactly how to use each type of vinyl and whether you should mirror your design.

Download your free vinyl cheat sheet

best-types-of-vinyl-for-cricut

Types of Vinyl to Use with Cricut & Silhouette

There are multiple types of vinyl. The vinyl that you choose, will depend on your project type and what material you are using. This will give you an overview of what each vinyl is used for and how to use it so that you can find the best types of vinyl for your cricut project.  All of these vinyls can be used with your cricut or silhouette machine.

Heat Transfer Vinyl

You will use heat transfer vinyl (also know as HTV vinyl) when using fabric type materials. This will include your shirts, aprons, face masks, hats, hair bows, shoes, socks, etc. This type of vinyl is activated by heat and works best with cotton or cotton blends.

If using activewear made from polyester or nylon, you will want to use Cricut’s one of a kind SportFlex Iron-On Vinyl.

You can either use an iron or Cricut Easy Press to apply heat transfer vinyl to your material. If using an iron, you will want to put the heat setting on a cotton or low linen heat setting. I prefer using the Easy Press because you don’t have to worry about the texture of the iron interfering with your design.

If working with unusual items like shoes, hats or bows, the Cricut Easy Press Mini is really the only way to go!

Do you mirror iron on vinyl?
Whenever you cut ANY type of heat transfer or iron-on vinyl, you must always mirror your design before cutting. When you mirror your design, you are flipping your image.

What side goes up on heat transfer vinyl?

When working with heat transfer vinyl, the shiny side of the material always goes face down for cutting.

Permanent Adhesive Vinyl

Permanent adhesive vinyl is used when you want a project to last! This type of vinyl is great for outdoor use, car decals, artwork, tumblers or any other type of dishware. Permanent adhesive is dishwasher friendly and although it’s not truly permanent, it will last for 8 years.

This type of adhesive is easier to apply when you use transfer tape. StrongGrip transfer tape works best with permanent adhesive vinyl.

Do you mirror adhesive vinyl?
Whenever you cut ANY type of adhesive vinyl (permanent or removable), you DO NOT mirror your design before cutting.

What side goes down on adhesive vinyl?

When working with any type of adhesive vinyl, the finished side of the material always faces up for cutting. This finished side is the side that you will see face-up on your project.

Removable Vinyl

Removable vinyl is for your temporary projects. This vinyl is great for wall decals, indoor signs and can even be used as a stencil.

This type of adhesive is easier to apply when you use transfer tape. Standard transfer tape works best with removable adhesive vinyl.

Do you mirror adhesive vinyl?
Whenever you cut ANY type of adhesive vinyl (permanent or removable), you DO NOT mirror your design before cutting.

What side goes down on adhesive vinyl?

When working with any type of adhesive vinyl, the finished side of the material always faces up for cutting. This finished side is the side that you will see face-up on your project.

Stencil Vinyl

Stencil vinyl is made specifically to be used as a stencil. It’s edges will seal to your project better than regular vinyl so there is less likeliness of paint seeping under the edge. This will give you crisper lines. Stencil vinyl acts just like adhesive vinyls when it comes to how to cut and mirror the image.

Do you mirror stencil vinyl?
Since stencil vinyl is an adhesive vinyl, you DO NOT mirror your design before cutting.

What side goes down on stencil vinyl?

When working with any type of adhesive vinyl, the finished side of the material always faces up for cutting. This finished side is the side that you will see face-up on your project.

Printable Vinyl

Printable vinyl is available in both adhesive and heat transfer vinyl. The adhesive printable vinyl is great for making stickers or when you have multiple colors that you don’t want to have to piece together. Heat transfer printable vinyl is great to use for fabrics when you have intricate designs. Just print your image on the vinyl and then your Cricut will cut the image out for you. This type of vinyl requires an inkjet printer.

Do you mirror printable vinyl?
You DO NOT mirror your design before cutting with printable vinyl, not even when using the printable heat transfer vinyl.

What side goes up with printable vinyl?

When working with printed vinyl, the printed side of the material always faces up for cutting. This is for both printable adhesive and heat transfer vinyl.

Best Types of Vinyl by Project Type

Have a specific project in mind and need to find the right type of vinyl to use for it?

Best vinyl for fabrics (apparel, bags, towels)

The best vinyl to use for fabrics is heat transfer vinyl.

Best vinyl for wall decals

When creating wall decals, you will want to use a removable adhesive vinyl.

Best vinyl for tumblers (and other dishware that needs to be washed)

The best vinyl for mugs, tumblers, glass or any other dishware is permanent adhesive vinyl.

Best vinyl for wood and other outdoor signs

When using vinyl outside, you will want to use adhesive vinyl. If you want your wood signs to be permanent, adhesive vinyl is the way to go. If you only want a temporary wood sign, then use a removable adhesive vinyl.

Best vinyl for stencil

Although removable adhesive vinyl is a good choice for stencils, stencil vinyl will give you crisper lines with less spillage under the seams.

Best vinyl for car decals

Since cars are exposed to different weather types, it’s best to use a permanent adhesive vinyl for car deals. You will still be able to remove these when needed, but they will not be reusable.

Best vinyl for stickers

If using more than one color in your sticker design, you will want to use printable adhesive vinyl for your sticker designs. If you are only using one color in your design, printable or permanent adhesive vinyl will work.

FAQ

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions that Cricut users have when they are just getting started.

Can you use any brand of vinyl with Cricut?

You can use any brand of vinyl made for a cutting machine with your Cricut. However, I recommend either the Cricut brand or Siser brand.

What is the difference between Oracal 631 and Oracal 651?

The main difference between Oracal 631 and Oracal 651 is the adhesive stickiness. Oracal 631 is your removable vinyl and has a matte finish. Oracal 651 is your permanent vinyl with a glossy finish to it.

Can Cricut vinyl go in the dishwasher?

Permanent adhesive is dishwasher safe. I don’t recommend using the removable vinyl for items that will go through the dishwasher.

Is it better to use a heat press or is an iron just as good?

Both a heat press and iron will do the job. However, with a heat press, you don’t have to worry about the texture from your iron imprinting on your vinyl. The heat press will also give you more of a consistent heat for a better outcome. Cricut has their own Easy Press (heat press) in multiple sizes which work great for all of your heat transfer projects.

Where to buy vinyl for Cricut and Silhouette?

Vinyl for your Cricut and Silhouette can be purchased in stores like Michaels and JoANN or online at Cricut.com and Amazon. Unless there is a sale on vinyl, it’s typically cheapest to purchase your vinyl from Amazon.

 

 

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