Did you know that with an ordinary inkjet home printer, some printable heat transfer sheets and your Cricut you can make an adorable Cricut Print and Cut shirt like this one. Today I am going to show you how easy this process is!
If you have never done a Cricut Print then Cut project I would recommend you start HERE to learn the difference between a cut only image and a print then cut image.
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Cricut Print and Cut Shirt Supplies
- Heat Press
- Cricut cutting mat
- Image or SVG file – I used a volleyball sloth images that I purchased at Crafting Spree
- Koala printable heat transfer paper for dark fabrics
- Inkjet Printer
How to use Flatten In Cricut Design Space
The first step is to pick out what you want to put on your shirt. You can use a SVG file for this. If you have never used a SVG file I have a list of places where you can find free SVG files, along with directions on how to download them, unzip the folder and upload the SVG to Design Space HERE. I found this adorable volleyball sloth image at Crafting Spree, and you can purchase it HERE.
When I bring the SVG into Design Space it will look like the image below. Because this is an SVG it is set up with each color on it’s own layer and all of those layers are set to cut. If you look at all of the different lines of the layers panel you can see that they all say Basic Cut. For this project we want to print the design, from our home printer, and then cut around it with the Cricut. To change the image from a cut image to a print then cut image we want to click the Flatten button in the lower right corner of the screen. I have it pointed out with the blue arrow in the image below.
When you hit the Flatten button in Cricut Design Space and look at the layers panel you will notice a big difference. Look a the layers panel in the image below. Do you see now how the sloth image is all on one layer, and it says Flatten on that layer. Also to the right of the preview of the image on the layers panel it says Print then Cut. That is how you know you did this process correct! You can now adjust your image to be the size you want it to be. Cricut print and cut projects do have a size limit since they do have to fit on a single sheet of paper, so your design cannot be larger than 6.75″ x 9.25″.
Print your Image
I like to use the printable heat transfer sheets for dark shirts for all of my projects, no matter what color the shirt is. I find that the overall coloring of the images comes out a better quality. The other benefit is that you do not need to mirror your image. Simply place a blank sheet of printable heat transfer paper into your home inkjet printer and print your image. If you encounter any issues, I would check out my Cricut Print and Cut troubleshooting tips HERE.
When you do a Cricut Print and Cut project the Cricut program will place a large black box around the outside of your image. This is the registration marks. You can see them in the image above. The Cricut will need those in order to scan your image and know exactly where to cut it. Place the printed heat transfer sheet on to your Cricut cutting mat in the upper left corner as shown in the image above.
In the image below you can see the light come on near the Cricut blade. This light helps the Cricut to find the registration marks and scan them so that it knows exactly where to cut your image.
As you can see by the image below, it created a perfect cut. This all worked perfectly because we used the Flatten button to create this Cricut Print and Cut project.
Once we remove the image from Cricut cutting mat we just have to remove the paper backing from the image, place it on the shirt and press it. I like to place a piece of parchment paper over the top of my image when I press it. I pressed this image for 30 seconds at 360 degrees on my heat press.
And that is your finished Cricut Print and Cut shirt! Remember, your ink jet printer does the Print portion. Your Cricut will do the Cut portion. The Flatten button is what makes this possible.
Other Cricut Print and Cut Shirts
I have done a couple other Cricut Print and Cut shirts over the years. I find that doing a print then cut project is the best option when your image has a lot of colors or layers, and you do not have the perfect shade of solid colored iron on vinyl available. Print then Cut is also a perfect option for you if you do not want to have to layer iron on vinyl.
I have also used it as an option when there is a lot of shading and coloring in an image, which would make it difficult to weed and layer solid colored vinyl. I have an example of that in the first image below, and the tutorial for that can be found HERE. Print then cut might also be a better choice when your image or design is very small. You can also combine Print and Cut images with regular cut vinyl like I did for the Donald Duck shirt on the right below. You can find that tutorial HERE.
The links to the tutorials on the two shirts shown above include videos of the entire Cricut Print and Cut process including scanning the registration marks and cutting the design.
Other Cricut Print and Cut Projects
Let me know what kind of Cricut Print and Cut projects you want to try. Make sure to head over to Crafting Spree on Etsy and check out all of the SVG files she has for sale. I cannot wait to see what you create!
I also have a whole playlist on my YouTube channel just for Print then Cut projects.
Cricut Print and Cut – Which Printer?
One of my readers asked which printer I would recommend for Cricut Print and Cut projects. Any good quality inkjet printer will work. I would recommend looking on Amazon for inkjet printers. By doing this you can look at a variety of prices, sizes and read the reviews to find the one that works best for you and your needs. I use a Epson color inkjet printer that we have had for years, but there are more economical options out there also.
If you are looking for additional suggestions for printers, you can check out this printer buyer’s guide from Crafting Spree.