Explore the best vinyl for your Cricut projects or other cutting and crafting ideas.
We’ll break it down into the basics for understanding which vinyl to use for each crafting situation.
All this will help you to choose the best vinyl for your own Cricut craft project – because I know that when you’re just starting out with vinyl, the options are overwhelming and the terminology can be incredibly confusing.
It’s so easy to make the wrong decision – but if you do, don’t worry, just save it in your stash for a future project!
If you want to see my instructions for a simple vinyl project, click here...
In the meantime, let’s start understanding all about how to use vinyl with your Cricut machine…
Best Vinyl Types
We’ll look first at these 4 basic vinyl types, as this is the most important decision you need to make for choosing your vinyl.
Once you know which of these 4 options you need, the basics are sorted and the rest is just down to your personal preference.
Like it says, this vinyl is for projects where you want the vinyl to stay on – to be permanent. It’s also the best choice for projects that will be exposed to water in some way, whether that’s outdoors or in a bathroom, or in the washing-up bowl.
Permanent vinyl is sometimes also called ‘outdoor’ vinyl' – and people also call it ‘651’ vinyl after the popular brand of vinyl ‘Oracal’ – their permanent premium vinyl is called ‘Oracal 651’.
Oracal also do a permanent economy vinyl ‘641’ – both the 651 and 641 come in both matt and gloss finishes. The premium range offers superior adhesive to the economy vinyl – a stronger stickiness!
Cricut also offer permanent vinyl. You can also check your local hobby or craft store.
Permanent vinyls come in different effects and finishes including special effects such as glitter.
Permanent vinyl is great for:
Permanent vinyl can be removed from many non-porous surfaces, should you need to, with a bit of soapy water and scrubbing. An adhesive removal product may also be helpful, as may heating any remaining residue.
This is non-permanent or removable vinyl - sometimes known as ‘indoor’ vinyl and usually has a matt finish.
This is a great basic vinyl for most Cricut vinyl projects including decals, making signs, decorating boxes or homewares. You can use it on most surfaces including glass and smooth or painted/varnished wood.
The removable vinyl will peel off quite well within about 2 years of applying it – and it’s a distinct advantage to be able to easily reposition the vinyl when applying it, to get it in just the right place.
Oracal 631 is a popular removable vinyl and Cricut also make their own, as do many hobby and craft brands.
Removable vinyls also come in different finishes such as glitter or foil, and with printed patterns.
Use with transfer tape (more about this later).
Use removable vinyl for:
When using on a more porous surface like wood, the best idea is usually to sand the surface so it’s smooth, or use varnish or paint before applying your vinyl. You can also use the popular crafting material ‘Mod Podge’ to paint on before and also after, to seal the vinyl in place.
I've actually used Cricut removable vinyl ('premium') outside and so far (after a few months) it's standing up to rain, snow, and ice!
HTV or ‘Iron-on’ vinyl
This is ‘heat transfer vinyl’ aka ‘iron-on’ vinyl. It’s the vinyl to use for craft projects on softer or more porous surfaces such as fabric, card, paper, wood, or leather.
It comes in regular finishes, but also lots of fun finishes such as glitter, foil, holographic, flock, and glow-in-the-dark.
This vinyl is applied with heat, which helps it to stick to your surface. You can use the Cricut Easy Press or heat press – but you can also use a household iron.
Take your time when crafting with HTV as it’s easy to make mistakes. You need to:
HTV is great for:
Cricut has some useful instructions here - make sure you check down the list for more specialist vinyl types, if applicable to your project. You can also watch the video below which guides you through all the steps for making an iron-on project.
Removing HTV Vinyl
Try heating the reverse of the fabric where the HTV vinyl you want to remove is – then start carefully peeling and picking at it with tweezers or a craft knife to remove it.
You may need to use an adhesive removal product to get the final bits off – check it’s compatible with your fabric type first, and wash your item before trying again with more vinyl.
This is a vinyl that you can print your design onto. It comes in regular or HTV/iron-on vinyl.
With Cricut, they have a removable, printable matt vinyl, ideal for making your own decals. You will need to use an inkjet printer and the ‘print-and-cut’ feature on Explore and Maker machines.
Printable vinyl is great for projects where you want to print your own design onto vinyl.
Cricut's instructions for using printable vinyl with your cutting machine are here...
Flowers & Floral
Learning To Draw & Art Skills
Myth Meaning Folklore
Nature And Wildlife Art
Offers And Freebies
Surface Pattern Design
Svg Cut Files
This website uses marketing and tracking technologies. Opting out of this will opt you out of all cookies, except for those needed to run the website. Note that some products may not work as well without tracking cookies.Opt Out of Cookies