Infusible Ink Pens can be used to draw anything you want. I don’t draw well. That’s why I own a Cricut. You can draw AND color anything your Cricut can draw! The hearts below were drawn with the Cricut then colored in. The designs for these projects (and the ones with mistakes fixed below too) can be downloaded here.
You may want to read the infusible ink basics post before starting. Infusible Ink is the same thing as sublimation. This means that the ink from the markers fuse with the fabric. Unlike HTV that sits on top of the fabric, infusible ink blends with the fabric and becomes part of the fabric. That means it doesn’t peel or come off, like HTV can. This also means that it won’t come off if you make a mistake. So practice first. You can see above some of my mistakes. I will talk more about them later.
Types of Markers
The first way to do infusible ink is markers. Cricut makes two types. Regular infusible ink markers and freehand markers. Infusible ink basics say don’t draw with the regular markers, I did it anyway because I couldn’t see paying for markers that wouldn’t work as well in my machine (as I said I don’t draw well). The regular infusible ink markers fit in the pen holder on your cricut. The last project above was drawn on the Cricut then filled in by hand. It worked well. (The uneven color will be discussed below)
The Cricut site says you need “Laser Paper”. I just used paper out of my printer and that worked fine. Do not use cardstock. The ink soaks in too much. And try to use your drawing as quick as you can, or the ink dries out too much.
Drawing With Infusible Ink Pens With Cricut
For those new to Cricut, when using your Cricut to draw, you can use any image, just change it to draw. Just click on the arrow next to Cut at the top and select Draw from the drop down menu. This does mean that filling in doesn’t work well unless the image is specially designed for that, though. And using copy paper limits the design to 8.5 X 11. I am looking for bigger paper and when I find some that works I will let you know.
Blanks, Base Materialsand Special Equipment for Infusible Ink Pens
I used the Cricut coasters and the bags I bought at Michaels for the base material. If you want more information on base materials, see the Into to Infusible Ink post here.
Beside the markers, you will need a heat source of some sort. It needs to heat to 385 – 400 degrees F. Now, I have a very good iron that will reach 385 degrees. But it is small and very expensive (It was my mom’s who sews a lot.) This works but, you can’t move the iron around, so this limits the size it will do. I do recommend an EasyPress or some type of mechanical heat press.
Infusible Ink Pens – Dos and Don’ts
- Mirror the image – If there is text in the project you do need to mirror the project when cutting or drawing the image, both the markers and the sheets. (Yes one of my examples I forgot)
- Pre-warm your blank – It helps the ink transfer and also melts it a little and helps it stay in place.
- Use a mat instead of an ironing board – my first few projects weren’t even colored. I discovered that the middle of my ironing board wasn’t getting as much pressure. I switched to a table and an ironing pad and it did much better
- Never Move your iron -this blurs the image
- Never reuse you drawings. – the ink is transferred with the first press and there is nothing left to transfer.
The Mistakes I Made That You Should Learn From
In the first drawing I move the heat source. I was using my iron and thought that I would just move it to another section. Well it move the drawing just a little but messed up the design. Always use a heat press bigger than your project so you don’t have to move it.
The colored in heart project I used my ironing board and because it was a cheap one it pressed in on the center and that section didn’t get even heat. Always use a table or more solid board and a heat proof barrier. Then apply even pressure.
The second one has so many problems! First of all REMEMBER TO MIRROR!!! I know that you have done it with vinyl. I just proved I have. Secondly, after warming the fabric and placing your design, don’t move it. I tried to re-center it and got a shadow image because the heat of warming caused some ink to transfer.
Whether drawing by hand, filling in or drawing with your Cricut, Infusible Ink Pens are very useable. They do a great job as long as you follow my tips.
The next post will cover using Infusible Ink Sheets and have even more projects.