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I had a friend ask for a project that really flowed and got me excited. She wanted some custom, unique wood signs for her nursery. It was a yes for me because I really wanted to try out iron-on vinyl on wood to make some signs with my Cricut Explore Air 2.
A Learning Curve
I had tried a wood sign when I first got the Cricut, with regular vinyl, and it didn’t work out how I had anticipated. The wood was rough and “rustic” looking and the vinyl didn’t really have anything to stick to. I ended up re-cutting my pattern and reverse weeding (peeling off the design instead of the negative spaces) to use it as a stencil. Then I painted on the design. It still looked alright but just wasn’t what I had been expecting. Honestly, it left me wanting more out of my Cricut.
Apparently if you put a coat of paint first, or even varnish, the vinyl would have something easier to adhere to.
This time I was wondering whether Iron-On Vinyl would work on wood and provide a more polished look than paint. I knew you could use it with a heat press, but I don’t have one of those (yet!).
Images and fonts
For the images I used some from Design Space, like the mountains and trees, and the others I uploaded from a set I bought on Creative Market (I LOVE Creative Market so much!). I would rather spend $5-$15 at Creative Market and buy a whole bunch of graphics to use in different projects, than spend $1-$5 on one image in Design Space. You just need to be careful with the licensing if you are selling products that you make.
Additionally, this project allowed me a chance to play around with some different fonts. I used dafont.com and found a few to download that I liked. I then tested them out in Design Space to see which ones looked good with each word and image.
I designed it with templates for the signs and then clicked the little eye button on each layer so they wouldn’t be in the cut.
I found the wooden signs at Michaels. One day I would like to maybe make signs on my own, but I don’t really have the time for that right now. And I can’t seem to talk my husband into doing it for me!
- Wooden signs (Mine were from Michaels, but this is similar)
- Iron-On Vinyl (I used Siser brand Easy Weed)
- Images from Design Space, Creative Market or other graphics
- Fonts from Design Space or on your system
- Cricut Explore Air 2 (or any Cricut or cutting machine)
- Cricut Easy Press (or an Iron)
Iron-On Vinyl Lessons Learned:
One mistake I did make was that I forgot to hit “Mirror Image” so I ended up printing all the words backwards. I only have about an hour each night when my kids are in bed to work on projects, so my brain is a little tired! Oh well, lesson learned. Persistence and patience are key to crafting projects!
I have used Iron-On with fabric before but not with wood, so I am actually not sure if I ironed for too long. There’s seems to be a lot of factors with Iron-On including how good and hot your iron is. I am not totally sure where my iron stands on the scale of quality or temperature. This is where the Cricut Easy Press would be helpful… one day!
In the end the vinyl ended up looking like it melted down into the cracks of the wood a little. Whether it was too hot or shrivelled a bit, I actually kind of liked the effect it had. It seemed a little more rustic and “paint-y”.
I really love how they turned out in the end. When they are up on the wall they look fantastic. My friend loved them!
Have you ever done Iron-On Vinyl on Wood? If you have any advice on how not to melt the vinyl let me know. It was definitely worth it as I loved the results it had!