There are some things that you can make that are small and easy to
Although we’re making a canvas banner, you can use this tutorial for iron-on vinyl (and a Cricut) to make a custom t-shirt, market bags, create heartwarming home decor, amazing accessories, and other great (and easy) handmade presents. This really is one of my favorite things to do with my Cricut!
What is Iron-On (Heat Transfer Vinyl)?
But first, heat transfer vinyl is a type of vinyl that is a heat-sensitive vinyl. When you apply heat and pressure, it transfers to the surface you placed it on. This is the big difference between regular adhesive vinyl.
An alternative to using heat transfer vinyl is to use Cricut Infusible Ink or to use sublimation. These work differently and may require a different machine.
What is Iron-On Vinyl Used for?
Although you can use iron-on vinyl on wood, paper, and even metal- it’s usually used for fabric. I use the single color black vinyl in this video/tutorial but you can find glitter iron on vinyl, holographic, or even patterned vinyl.
What Tools or Materials Do You Need to Use Iron-On Vinyl?
In this tutorial I use a Cricut cutting machine, the Cricut Maker, but you can use other cutting machines like the Cricut Joy, Cricut Explore Air 2 or 3, Silhouette Cameo or Portrait, or other cutting machine.
To apply heat transfer vinyl, you need a heat source like a Cricut Easy Press, a heat press, or you can use a regular household iron. The heat presses work better because you can control the amount of heat and you can usually cover the entire design so it gets an even pressure across all of it. If your design is small, or you’re creating the mini version of these banners, then using the Cricut easypress mini is a great idea.
You also want a protective sheet, like a Teflon sheet or even a dishtowel works. You’ll also want a surface to iron on- like the cricut easypress mat, an ironing mat, or a folded beach towel on a tabletop surface.
Do You Need to Use Cricut Everyday Iron-On?
No! In fact, Siser is a great brand of HTV that I really like. I’ve also tried the Arteza brand through Amazon. However, I do purchase the Cricut brand too. It just seems harder to transfer and weed.
What Kinds of Design Files Can You Use?
Ideally, for cutting with a Cricut you’ll want to upload an SVG design or you’ll want to use a cut image from Cricut Access (this is a $9.99 subscription fee for thousands of designs). I ALSO have a TON of SVG files as freebies in my Free Resource Library.
No Cricut? No problem!
You can add ready-made iron on’s, stencils with fabric paint, or skip the words altogether and add felt flowers. They really are a blank canvas!
How to Make a Canvas Banner with Cricut Iron On Vinyl
For Cutting and Applying the Iron On Vinyl Design
- Stay Cozy SVG File- Free from the Creative Resource Library (or you can find a design in Cricut Access)
- Iron-On Vinyl- Black (I don’t use Cricut Iron-on often, Siser is often cheaper and has a nice release)
- Cricut Maker or Cricut Explore Air 2 (using Fine Point Blade that’s included)
- Light Blue or Green Cricut Cutting Mat
- Heat Press, Iron, or Cricut Easy Press
- Teflon Sheets (optional- you can use a clean dishtowel as well)
- Easy Press Mat (optional- you can use a beach towel on an ironing board or an ironing mat)
- Cricut Design Space for Desktop or Mobile
For Sewing and Constructing the Banner
- Canvas Duck- Natural*
- Dowel Rod – 1/4″
- Cutting Mat
- Cutting Ruler
- Rotary Cutter
- Sewing Machine
- Thread for Sewing Machine
- Ratchet Pruner or Miter Saw
- Jute Twine
- Mod Podge-Matte or another acrylic medium with a foam brush (optional for Step 12)
*You can use other materials. For material settings and pressing suggestions (like warm or cold peel) check out this Cricut heat guide or check the manufacturer’s website if you are using Siser or another brand of HTV.
Instructions for How to Make a Canvas Banner with Cricut Iron on Vinyl
Step One: Cut the Canvas into a Banner Shape
Using the cutting mat and cutting ruler cut a strip 8″ wide and then cut a rectangle 12″ in length. Cut one side of the rectangle to a point that measures 4″ in from the sides and is at the same angle on both sides.
Tip: Because I make these to sell at craft fairs I streamline production by using a sharpie to draw my template right on my self-healing cutting mat.
Step Two: Sew the Pocket at the Top for a Dowel
Choose either a contrasting or coordinating thread color. It depends on if you want to see your sewing or if you’d like to have it blend in. Fold over the top 2″ of your banner. Using your sewing machine, sew along the edge about 1″ from the top of the banner.
Step Three: Sew the Edge of the Banner
At the edge of the banner, lower the needle on your sewing machine and pivot the banner so that you can sew along the edge, creating about 1/4″ of a seam allowance on right. Continue to sew, following the edge, pivoting as necessary until you reach the point where you started to sew. Anchor stitch or reverse stitch to finish and then trim the threads.
Step Four: Download the .SVG File
(Note: if not using a Cricut or other cutting machine skip to step 10 to finish your banner)
In the Free Creative Resource Library select the Stay Cozy SVG file from the SVG section and download it to your computer.
Step Five: Upload to Cricut Design Space
In Cricut Design Space, open up a new canvas and select “upload” from the side tool bar. Next, select “browse” and grab your .svg file. In your uploads select the new file and click “insert image.”
Step Six: Select All and then Size Your Image and Attach
Drag your cursor over the entire image to select it all and then click attach. In the width box under “size” type in 5″ across.
Step Seven: Make it, Mirror Image, and Prep Your Mat
Go ahead and click on the “Make it” button. On the next screen, make sure to toggle on the “mirror image” so that your design is reversed. Then cut a piece of heat transfer vinyl (htv) the size of your image. Use a green or light blue cutting mat and place the vinyl shiny side down. Check the placement of your image on the screen and use the arrow button on your machine to load your mat.
Step Eight: Cut and Weed the Design
Follow the prompts in Design Space to cut your design. When it’s done cutting, unload your mat. Flip the mat over and peel it from your design. Then using a weeding tool peel off the part of the image you don’t want to keep (the excess vinyl or negative space).
Step Nine: Iron on the Design
You can look online to find the right temps for your iron or heat press. In the video, I show how to find that info using the Easy Press heat settings guide from Cricut. Set the temp and timer and warm up your machine. If you are using a household iron use zero steam.
Next, place a Teflon sheet or clean dish towel over the iron-on heat transfer vinyl. Place on top of stack and turn on machine/timer. Use a medium pressure, following the recommendations. Do either a cold peel or hot peel (depending on the recommendation for your fabric material type). Slowly peel back the plastic transfer sheet and voila! A flawless application. Sweet, huh?
Step Ten: Prep the Dowel
Next step, using a saw or a heavy duty prune cutters, cut the dowel a little shy of 9″. Sand the ends.
ProTip: If you use a pine dowel, staining the dowel is a much richer look. If you choose to use an oak or poplar dowel, you don’t need to stain it, because the wood has natural color.
Step Eleven: Assemble the Banner
Slide the dowel through the pocket at the top of the banner. Using your jute twine (or string), measure out 4-5″ of allowance, and then tie a knot around one end. Measure out approximately 23″, and cut the twine. Again, leaving 4-5″ of allowance, tie a knot around the other side of the dowel.
Step Twelve: Seal the Edges and Hot Glue the Twine to the Dowel (Optional)
This is an optional step to control the fray at the edge of your banner. I do this only when I plan on selling the banners. Using your Mod Podge, fray check, or watered down glue, brush a small amount along the back edge of the banner, using a foam brush. Apply it sparingly, it dries stiff. If the canvas ripples on edge, because of the sealer, you’ll need to either press it gently with a low iron and press cloth, or you’ll have to try and press it flat with some books.
Another little tip is to add a drop of hot glue to the dowel at each end and then slide the twine on top of it. Or you could use the Mod Podge for this as well. This will ensure that the twine doesn’t slide off the ends of the dowel. Which is especially nice when you’re transporting several of them for a show.
Love Me a Freebie!
Again, for the
Also, remember that you can choose to embellish the banner with a stencil or appliqué, an iron-on design, felt florals, and more. You don’t need to use a Cricut for this project!
For More Inspiration…
For more simple projects to create to sell, check out my Crafts to Make and Sell Pinterest Board. And for another simple sewing project featuring canvas, be sure to check out my Super Simple Sewn Bunting post. I’d love to have you check them out, and then follow me on Pinterest too!
Love this? Share it!
If you found this tutorial on how to make a canvas banner with Cricut Iron on Vinyl helpful please consider sharing it. Either by sharing it on social media or by pinning the image below. Thanks for reading- and if you have any ideas of what you would put on these little beauties I’d love to hear it!