Skip to Content

How to Use Infusible Ink: A Cricut Beginner’s Guide!

Learn how to use Infusible Ink and everything else you need to know about using transfer sheets to make permanent projects!

Have you heard the buzz about Cricut’s latest and greatest products?? Infusible Ink is a new product from Cricut and it is a game changer for a crafter!

What is Infusible Ink and how does it differ from iron-on vinyl? How do you use it? Are you asking all these questions like I was? 

Today I’m going to answer those questions for you and show you two projects I made with some fun stuff Cricut sent me.

how to use infusible ink pin

What is Infusible Ink?

Infusible Ink is a revolutionary new group of Cricut products that allows for professional looking heat transfer on compatible blanks like shirts, totes, onesies, mugs, square coasters, and ceramic coasters. The ink actually infuses into the products and they become one like sublimation does. What does that mean? 

You get exceptional bright colors and no more peeling, cracking, fading, or wrinkling! Hallelujah! People will be so impressed by what you make since it will look so professional!

There is no printing involved. The infusible ink transfer sheets are already pre-inked. All you need to do is design, cut, and apply to Cricut blanks.

The application process is quite a bit different so make sure to watch the video tutorial and read to the bottom of the post for all my tips.

cricut infusible ink

Infusible Ink vs. Iron-on Vinyl

Since Infusible Ink actually becomes one with the compatible Infusible Ink blanks, there are no edges or thickness to it.  It is a seamless design that stretches with the shirt and can never come off.

Iron-on or heat transfer vinyl adheres to the top of a material.  While the proper application of iron-on vinyl creates amazing end products that rarely peel, there is still a possibility for it after years of washing and drying.  

Don’t get me wrong, I will still use iron-on!  I love my glitter and holographic HTV and being able to apply iron-on to almost any material.  I am just super excited about the vibrant patterns and possibilities that Infusible Ink offers for different kinds of projects.

infusible ink pillow cover
Infusible Ink transfer sheets on Cricut pillow cover

Can I Use Infusible Ink on any Shirts?

Short answer… I wouldn’t try it. You’ll just be wasting a good shirt.  Infusible Ink transfer sheets and markers can only be guaranteed to create permanent transfers of vibrant colors with the compatible Crictut shirts, totes, onesies, and coasters. 

The ink will not transfer to 100% cotton because the ink needs specially designed polyester-based substrates to accept the ink and become one.

Just like sublimation needs to go on mostly polyester shirts, so does Infusible Ink transfer sheets and pens.

Make sure to check out the FAQ at InfusibleInk.com for much more info.

infusible ink pin

Supplies Needed When Using Infusible Ink

  • Cricut machine and basic Cricut tools – you can use infusible ink with any Cricut cutting machine: the Cricut Explore Air family, Cricut Maker family(read all about the Cricut Maker here), or Cricut Joy.
  • Infusible Ink Transfer Sheets (use with Standardgrip Cricut mats) or Infusible Ink Markers or Infusible Ink Pens
  • Cricut EasyPress 2 – you will get the best results with the Cricut EasyPress 2.  You can use the original EasyPress but it will take longer and the results may not be as vibrant.  Your EasyPress heat plate should cover the entire infusible ink design so you can transfer with only one application of heat.  Check out my post on EasyPress 2 vs a Heat Press for the differences! A regular iron does not get to the high heat and constant pressure needed.
  • EasyPress mats – The EasyPress mats helps direct the heat to the infusible heat design during the transfer project and also helps eliminate moisture.  Unfortunately, a towel will not work with Infusible Ink.
  • Heat Resistant Tape – If you are using Infusible Ink pens or markers, the heat resistant tape helps to hold the design in place during the heating process.  The tape is not needed with the Infusible Ink transfer sheets.
  • Lint Roller – You will need to lint-roll your entire blank, especially the area that will come into contact with the EasyPress plate.  If there are any little fibers left on the blank, the lint can be pressed into the blank causing blue speckles in the blank. Or a lint-free cloth if you are using coasters as your base material.
  • Butcher Paper – a piece of butcher paper comes in every Infusible Ink transfer sheet package.  The butcher paper acts as a barrier to protect the blank, the EasyPress mat and EasyPress heat plate from unwanted transfer.  It is not recommended to reuse the butcher paper since the absorbed ink may be transferred to another project.  If you need more butcher paper, use white butcher paper that is 14-32 lb.  Do not use parchment paper!
  • Cardstock- cardstock acts as another protective barrier.  Make sure to use white or light cardstock so no unwanted dyes in the cardstock get transferred.
  • Tweezers- Tweezers might be needed to lift the corner of the Infusible Ink design after the transfer is complete.  If you lift the warm transfer sheet by hand, you may leave finger-shaped impressions on your project or get a second unwanted transfer (ghosting).
  • Laser paper – only needed if using Infusible Ink pens and markers.  Do not draw directly on the Infusible Ink blanks. Laser copy paper is recommended to transfer the design because it can handle a high level of heat and helps to ensure a crisp clean transfer.  
  • Infusible Ink Blanks – shirts, raglan shirts, baby onesie, ceramic coasters, cork coasters, totes, mugs, wine bag, pillow covers.
infusible ink wine
Cricut wine bags with Infusible Ink tranfser sheets

Other Important Notes Before You Start

  • You must mirror your designs before cutting (Click the mirror button on the preview screen in CDS)
  • When weeding Infusible Ink transfer sheets, slightly bend and roll the cut paper until you hear a slight crack then remove the excess paper.  You actually don’t need to use a weeding tool.  You can peel off the extra pieces with your clean fingers.
  • The Infusible Ink transfer sheets will look dull. That is normal! The vibrant color gets released when heat is added to it.
  • Do not prewash your blanks.
  • Preheat your blank to get the moisture out, but make sure it is cool before you position your design (or else it might start transferring early!)
  • Infusible Ink is perfect to use with the Cricut mug press and Cricut hat press!

Only heat your project with the recommended time from https://cricut.com/en_us/heatguide.  Heating longer than the recommended time can destroy the pigments. I always go to the guide and search my projects for the exact time.  It is a life saver!

easypress heat guide
infusible ink help
infusible ink help
infusible ink help
  • You can use a heat press if the temperature reaches 400F or 205C, but an EasyPress 2 still seems to yield the best results.  Plus it’s lightweight and portable, which makes it my go to press now!
  • You can use both iron-on and Infusible Ink transfers together.  Just make sure that the iron-on is layered on top of the Infusible Ink.

Care Instructions for blanks:  Machine wash inside out with cold water.  Tumble dry low.  Do not use fabric softeners, dryer sheets, or bleach!

Ok, now that you know tons of stuff about it, let’s learn how to use Infusible Ink! For this post, I will be showing you how to use Infusible Ink transfer sheets and then how to layer Infusible Ink. To learn more about Infusible Ink pens, go to my post here!

With Cricut Infusible Ink you can also make dishwasher safe mugs! Learn all about the Cricut Mug Press here.

Yield: 1 shirt

How to Use Infusible Ink Transfer Sheets

infusible ink shirt

I'll show you how to use Infusible Ink with this first project of applying a single transfer sheet to a shirt.

Active Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $10

Tools

Instructions

  1. In Cricut Design Space, insert the image you want on your shirt. Size it to fit. I like to use Templates to help. cricut template
  2. Click Make It. Select Mirror Setting.infusible ink mirror setting on
  3. Find Infusible Ink transfer sheet in the material settings.cricut infusible ink setting
  4. Place an Infusible Ink transfer sheet (size to fit) with the INK SIDE UP on a green cutting mat. Flatten with a brayer.how to use infusible ink transfer sheet
  5. Follow design space prompts to load and cut the material.how to use infusible ink
  6. When done, remove the Cricut mat from the transfer sheet. Trim around the edges of the design.how to use infusible ink sheets
  7. To weed Infusible Ink, fold the transfer sheet in your clean hands and roll it around until you hear some cracking sounds.weeding infusible ink transfer sheet
  8. Use your fingers to pull the excess sheet off.peeling infusible ink tranfser sheetweeding tranfser sheet infusible ink cricut beginners guide to cricut infusible ink
  9. Preheat your EasyPress 2 according to Cricut heat guide. I set mine to 385F for 40 seconds.
  10. Put a piece of white cardstock inside the shirt ( so the ink doesn't go through the to the back!)cricut infusible ink shirts
  11. Lint roll the shirt where the image will be going on well!lint roll infusible ink shirt
  12. Preheat the shirt for 15 seconds to get out any excess moisture and to remove wrinkles.
  13. Center design so that the ink is face down on the shirt. The image should look the correct way now. Tape in place with heat resistant tape (optional)cricut infusible ink for beginners
  14. Place a piece of butcher paper over the design (to protect the heat plate).how to use infusible ink on shirt
  15. Place your EasyPress right on top of the image so that it is entirely covered and with light pressure, press for 40 seconds.easy press infusible ink shirt
  16. Once the timer beeps, lift the press straight up and off your shirt. Remove the butcher paper and then the liner while it is still warm. Use tweezers on any pieces that don't come up.how to use cricut infusible ink
  17. Enjoy your new shirt!infusible ink shirt

Notes

I used a really old piece of Infusible Ink transfer sheet, over 3 years old. As you can see, some of the color faded. It was supposed to be solid grey. I actually like the bluish color showing, but just to be warned that the sheets can fade over time.

Try to keep them in the plastic wrap they came in to preserve for a longer time!

Keep reading on to learn how to layer Infusible Ink!

Did you make this project?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

How to Layer Infusible Ink Transfer Sheets

You can’t actually layer transfer sheets on top of each other. Since you only want one press (multiple presses will diminish the color), you’ll need to add all the Infusible Ink pieces to one transfer sheet.

It’s easiest with a file that already has separate pieces, but if you are wanting to design your own, make sure you slice the top layer out of the bottom.

summer beach bags with cricut infusible ink

Materials Needed for Summer Beach Bags:

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links from Shareasale, Cricut, Awin, and Amazon.com. I receive a small commission at no cost to you when you make a purchase using my links (purple text). As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

cricut infusible ink for diy beach bag

I found a few different designs in Cricut Access that I put together.  You can find the file here. 

You can attach both groups together if you want everything the same color.  I’m using two different Infusible Ink Transfer sheets so I can show you how to layer two different colors.

how to layer infusible ink transfer sheets

Make sure to click the Mirror Setting tab for both mats and set your material to Infusible Ink Transfer Sheet.

screenshot
infusible ink transfer sheet material setting

As I mentioned above, place the Cricut Infusible Ink transfer sheet liner side down (ink side is facing up) on a StandardGrip Cricut Mat and lightly press down.  When CDS prompts you, load the mat and press the blinking Go light for the machine to cut.

infusible ink diy beach bag

When the first mat is done, CDS will prompt you to unload your mat and insert the second mat.  Click Go again to cut out second transfer sheet.

Remove the sheets from the mat and cut off the excess Infusible Ink to save for another project. Weeding Infusible Ink transfer sheets is quite a bit different.

Roll and bend the Infusible Ink until you hear a little cracking sound.  Then pull off the excess infusible ink.

weeding infusible ink how to
pulling off excess infusible ink transfer sheet
infusible ink diy beach bag

You should be left with one big transfer that is a mirror image with the ink facing up along with the second color pieces.

Unlike iron-on vinyl, you want to press Infusible Ink in one step.  You can’t add layers on top of each other or they can bleed together.  This was a perfect turtle because all the pieces were already sliced.  

how to use infusible ink

Now we need to add the smaller pieces onto the large transfer sheet.  Simply take off the pieces of the turtle with your fingers and stick them onto the large transfer sheet in the proper positions.

how to layer infusible ink
layering infusible ink

You should have something that looks like this when you’re done adding all the pieces.

how to use infusible ink transfer sheets

Applying Cricut Infusible Ink to a Tote

Preheat an EasyPress 2 to 385F and set to 40 seconds.

infusible ink diy beach bag

Place the tote on an EasyPress 2 mat and put a piece of white cardstock inside (to prevent the ink bleeding into the other side).

infusible ink diy beach bag

Lint roll the bag anywhere where the EasyPress plate will touch.  Do not skip this step!!

infusible ink diy beach bag

Place a clean piece of butcher paper that is larger than the EasyPress plate on the tote and then place the EasyPress down. Preheat for 15 seconds. Let the tote cool down before adding the design or it might start infusing to early.

Make sure the bottom of the tote is pulled out so that there isn’t a seam in the way.  Any straps or seams will prevent the EasyPress from laying perfectly flat.

I learned this the hard way!  Some of my bottom colors are not quite as vibrant because I pressed it with the bottom folded in:(

diy beach bag

Align the Infusible Ink transfer sheet with the ink facing down on the tote.  Since this is a large design, I added a few pieces of heat resistant tape to the edges (this helps to prevent shadowing which is usually caused by the ink moving).

applying layered infusible ink

Place a clean piece of butcher paper over the entire design and press for 40 seconds.

how to use infusible ink with easypress 2

Slowly lift up the EasyPress.  Let the design cool down.  Then take off butcher paper and peel off the design. 

infusible ink diy beach bag

If any of the pieces do not come up, use tweezers to lift them up.

two colors of infusible ink on beach bag
infusible ink diy beach bag

Now you have a Forever Beach DIY tote bag that will stay forever vibrant and beautiful!

diy beach bag using cricut infusible ink

Infusible Ink Tote Video Tutorial

Here is a video of the application process.  There is also step by step pictures below too! 

I have quite a few other Infusible Ink projects on my site, make sure to browse through my Infusible Ink library here to see how to apply it to aluminum, mugs, and coasters!

If you’d like to save these instructions on how to use Infusible Ink, simply hover over the image below and PIN It now!

diy infusible ink tote

Thanks for stopping by and have a creative day!

leap of faith crafting

Sharing is caring!

Theresa

Monday 14th of November 2022

THANK YOU!!!! I have been searching for an hour trying to find out if I should wash the cricut shirt before using the ink. You are the only one to answer my question. I wonder why that is?????

LeapofFaithCrafting.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Skip to Instructions