*Updated for 2020* What is Cricut Infusible Ink? What blanks can you use with Infusible Ink? How does Infusible Ink work? What machines can you use with Infusible Ink? I’ll answer all of these questions and more in this complete guide to Cricut Infusible Ink! If you’ve ever wanted to know more about Infusible Ink, keep reading for all of the details.
What is Cricut Infusible Ink?
Cricut Infusible Ink is a brand new line of transfer products that create permanent, vivid, crack-proof, and peel-proof finished projects including shirts, coasters, tote bags, mugs, and more! It launched in June 2019 exclusively at Michaels stores with a line of products and compatible blanks (shirts & coasters). It is now available online at Cricut as well as a variety of retailers including Joann, Michaels, Walmart, and Target. Infusible Ink can be used with either a Cricut Explore Air 2 or the Cricut Maker.
Are you looking for the projects that I’ve made with Cricut Infusible Ink? See those tutorials in the following posts:
- Cricut Infusible Ink Tote Bag
- Infusible Ink Baby Onesie with Transfer Sheets
- How to Make Cricut Infusible Ink Coasters
- Cricut Infusible Ink Watercolor Coasters
- DIY Mermaid Pencil Case with Infusible Ink Pens
- Unicorn Notebook with Infusible Ink and Vinyl
How does Infusible Ink work?
Infusible Ink is basically a transfer product – it works by a physical process called sublimation – turning a solid into gas with heat, skipping the liquid stage. This process creates a permanent bond with the appropriate material you are transferring your design to – it EMBEDS into the material and does not sit on top of the product like iron on or adhesive vinyl! No more fading, cracking, or peeling of your finished project – the results are vivid and permanent! It’s unlike anything else that Cricut offers in its product line.
I was one of the first people to get to use Infusible Ink, and it was incredible to see a new product in action before it launched to the public. From a new line of transfer products including sheets and pens, plus a line of Infusible Ink compatible blanks, there’s so many products you can make!
Cricut Infusible Ink Products
What do you Need to get started with Infusible Ink?
Here are a basic list of supplies you need to use to make Cricut Infusible Ink Projects, like a shirt or coasters.
- Cricut Maker or Cricut Explore Air 2
- Cricut Standard Grip Mat
- Cricut EasyPress 2
- Cricut EasyPress Mat
- Cricut Infusible Ink Transfer Sheet
- Cricut Infusible Ink Markers
- White Laser Copy Paper
- Cricut Blank Shirt
- Cricut Blank Baby Body Suit
- Cricut Infusible Ink Compatible Coasters
- Lint Roller
- Butcher Paper (starter sheets come in transfer sheet package)
- White Cardstock (to protect your EasyPress Mat)
What are Cricut Infusible Ink Transfer Sheets?
Cricut launched a line of Infusible Ink Transfer sheets that seem similar to vinyl, but are actually quite different. The transfer sheets are more like a “paper” than vinyl and requires a different weeding process. It can still be cut into precise designs and applied to a variety of materials, just like vinyl, but the results are permanent! It launched in a variety of patterns and solid colors (with a ton more being added!) I love the new Tropical pattern, and can’t wait to try it!
SHOP Cricut Infusible Ink Transfer Sheets
What are Cricut Infusible Ink Pens?
In addition to transfer sheets, Cricut launched a series of Infusible Ink pens and markers that can be used with the “Draw” feature of your machine, or used freehand. They contain a special kind of sublimation ink that when heated can be applied to compatible sublimation blanks. The Infusible Ink pens are probably my FAVORITE product and I love using them to create artwork like for these DIY Watercolor Coasters.
NEW: Cricut has launched a whole new collection of colors PLUS a set of Infusible Ink pens just for using freehand!
Shop Cricut Infusible Ink Pens and Markers
What Blanks can be used with Cricut Infusible Ink?
Cricut has also designed a line of Infusible Ink Compatible “Blanks” that are specifically designed to be compatible with Infusible Ink products. In the new Infusible Ink Compatible Blank products (with more to come in the future), there are shirts (that are so soft!), baby bodysuits (onesies), tote bags, and coasters. Cricut materials are especially designed to make sure you achieve professional results every time with your Infusible Ink projects – but they are not the only products that work with Infusible Ink sheets and pens.
Because Infusible Ink uses the process of sublimation, it is compatible with a particular material that is in a variety of products. Sublimation works with polyester based materials and coatings, as it can accept the inks that are used in a variety of sublimation products on the market.
Does that mean that all materials or blanks that work with sublimation will work with Infusible Ink? I can’t guarantee that. For best results, definitely use Cricut made blanks. But, here are a list of blanks available on Amazon that should work reasonably well.
- Sublimation Mouse Pads
- Sublimation Puzzles
- Women’s Performance Shirt
- Sublimation Key Rings
- Sublimation Compatible Mugs (MUST use mugs that are poly-coated)
As I find products I like, I also add them to the Infusible Ink and Sublimation list on my Amazon Influencer page.
What Heating Methods can be used with Cricut Infusible Ink?
Because Cricut Infusible Ink materials require a higher heat setting and more precision than traditional irons, it is important to use a heating element like the Cricut EasyPress 2 or a heat press. It heats to 400 degrees, and the heat plate is designed to ensure an even temperature across the whole surface of your design. I have not tried a regular heat press, but I know others that have with good results. You can even get a heat press designed for mugs (available on Amazon)!
Another perk to having a Cricut Easy Press to use with Infusible Ink is that Cricut has an Interactive Heat Guide to show you exactly what temperature and time settings to use for a variety of base materials.
What Cricut Machines can be used with Cricut Infusible Ink?
Although Cricut Infusible Ink materials can be used in both the Cricut Explore models and Cricut Maker, it’s a great time to have a Cricut Maker. It can cut hundreds of materials, from fabric to paper, leather, balsa wood, and more! With its expandable suite of tools with cutting and scoring abilities, your crafting potential is exponential. Cricut Infusible Ink is the latest material in the myriad of cutting materials you can use to create DIY craft projects limited only by your imagination!
Tips and Tricks for using Cricut Infusible Ink
I’ve tested a variety of blanks and Infusible Ink materials, and I have some great tips and tricks for you! (Check out all of my Cricut Infusible Ink ideas).
- You don’t need a sublimation printer for these products. It’s a question I get ALL of the time – Cricut Infusible Ink eliminates the need for a special printer, paper, or ink. The science is all contained right in the Infusible Ink products!
- Make sure your hands are clean and free of lotion or other products when handling transfer sheets – any exposure to moisture can affect the transfer of the ink. Handle them as little as possible and use tweezers to help with weeding.
- Infusible Ink works best on LIGHT colored products. I’ve tried it on a gray shirt and a blue shirt, but only with black Infusible Ink Transfer sheets. It works fine, but is not as vibrant as it is on a white shirt.
- Infusible Ink also works the best on 100% polyester products. It WILL transfer to products that contain less than that, but might appear faded. In addition, the ink can fade in the wash if you use it on a shirt that has less than 100% polyester. I made a shirt for my son that had 60% polyester and it gave it a vintage look that I actually loved. But it is not as vibrant or permanent as other shirts I’ve made.
- Although I’ve achieved results with other kinds of copy paper, I prefer to work with Laser paper because it is a little thicker.
- If you’re making a mug or coasters and don’t have an EasyPress or Heat Press – make sure you’re using an oven that you DON’T prepare food in. Sublimation is a chemical process. A little counter top toaster oven or convection oven is a great idea.
I hope you’ve learned a lot about Cricut Infusible Ink. If you have any questions, let me know in the comments!
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