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Using HTV With the Cricut Hat Press

Using HTV With the Cricut Hat Press main article image
Posted on May 25, 2022 by Naomi Garcia

Have you seen the new Cricut heat presses?  More specifically, have you seen the new Hat Press?  I have!  I want to walk you through the features of the hat press, let you know why I decided my craft room needed one, and, of course, show you how I created a fun hat using the Cricut Hat Press.

Why a Heat Press?

So what is a heat press? A heat press utilizes heat at very high temperatures.  Many times, before using a heat press,  we were just using a household iron, right?  And that works fine for many things in the craft room.  I used my household iron for iron-on transfers, sewing, and quilting for over 20 years.  

Completed Hat (Naomi D. Garcia) But why is the heat press more desirable or popular to use than a household iron with a heat transfer iron on?   One of the biggest things is that the bottom pressing plate is smooth.  It’s made to maintain a constant, even temperature. With a household iron, you don’t really know the temperature.  You likely have to choose a setting like cotton or linen. 

However, with your heat press, you can vary it not by fabric type but by the exact temperature.  For instance, if I’m going to sublimate something, I can put it on 400°.  If I’m using regular HTV or iron on, I can program my heat press to 305 degrees or so.  It’s just more specific, more exact and that makes for a better press.

The Cricut Hat Press

So what’s the big deal with Cricut’s new hat press?  After all, I already have the Easy Press Mini.  It came out a few years ago and I was so thrilled when I got it.  I’ve used it on hats and I use it on many other things.  Here’s a thing though: the new Hat Press is made specifically for those hats and other curved surfaces.

What I mean is that while your heat press is flat, the Cricut Hat Press boasts (and does it well) a curved plate.  Not only that; it also comes with a hat pressing pillow.  You put your hat over the pressing pillow and then from there you can press your hat.  It makes it so easy to press around a curved surface.  

Hat Press Pillow

In the past, to avoid burning my hand I would maybe use a rolled up rag on the inside of the hat.  I’ve even seen people use pots and all kinds of stuff to get that form.  You know we crafters make it work with what we have! The pressing pillow included with the Hat Press makes it just so convenient and so easy. It also has a little handle so you can hold it with.  I really think it’s amazing.

Pressing a Hat

You can press not only baseball caps and truckers caps,  but bucket hats or just about anything that you can fit on this hat form. Today I’m going to be pressing on a baseball cap. I do love my caps!  I’ll be using HTV (also known as iron on vinyl) for this hat.

I thought it would be cool if I could use a design that would match a shirt or something that I already have.  I went ahead and chose a really cute baby elephant image from Creative Fabrica.  I had used this design previously to do some shirts for my daughters and me.  

I’m using a hat I had ordered online.  It’s 100% cotton which really doesn’t make a difference since I’m using HTV. You’ll also need your HTV.  I’m using this cool metallic shimmer vinyl from Cricut. You’ll want to have your weeding tools handy and some heat resistant tape.  (Did you know they make heat resistant tape?)  

Blank hat and hat press

Materials and Supplies

Cricut Hat Press

Cricut Heat App (download from your mobile app store)

Hat blank

Lint roller

Heat resistant tape

HTV (iron on) (4” x 4” scrap is all I used)

Baby Elephant SVG design

The Process

Prepping and cutting the design

  1. Download the Cricut Heat App to your device.  (Note:  the first time you use a new hat press, you will need to follow the instructions to pair it with your device.)
  2. Download the Baby Elephant SVG design from Creative Fabrica and upload it into Cricut Design Space.
  3. Add the elephant design to your canvas.
  4. “Weld” the design.
  5. Size the design.  I sized mine to 2.5” high
  6. Select “Make It”
  7. Mirror your design and cut.
  8. Weed your design.

weeding elephant design

weeded elephant

Applying the decal

  1. Place the hat on the hat pressing pillow.  Turn the sweat band down and out of the way first.
  2. Use the lint roller to clean away lint from the hat
  3. Tape the decal to the hat using heat resistant tape. (Tape with plastic liner on top.)
  4. In the Cricut Heat App, follow the prompts to program the type of material you are using and the kind of blank you have.
  5. Press the “Start” button on your Hat Press and press for the indicated amount of time.

100% cotton hat

hat with heat tape ready to press

There you go!

Wrapping Up

Isn’t this so cool?!  There are a couple of things you want to be sure to pay attention to.

  1. Sizing.  One of the biggest mistakes I made was on my sizing for my decal for my cap.  I made my decals about 3 inches the first couple of times. Later I tried 2 1/2 inches. You just want to be sure your sizing is correct for the size hat.
  2. You also want to be aware of your placement for your hat.  I put mine too high. My decal ended up on top of my head as opposed to the front of the hat the first couple of times. So generally what I’ve learned to do is to place my decal about an inch above the sweat band.

What are some other things you can do with a Cricut Hat Press?  How about rhinestones?  Hotfix rhinestones are awesome and add that special BLING to any accessory.  How about sublimation?  You can definitely do sublimation!  The Hat Press goes up to 400 degrees, making it compatible for use with sublimation projects.  You would just need to have a hat that you can use with sublimation. 

You can do so many things and you can find so many decals and so many graphics to use.  Creative Fabrica is FULL of inspiration!  If you have questions, please do not hesitate to leave a comment here.  Also if you make something with your Cricut Hat Press, I’d love to see it so tag me!  I am EJ’s Fun Crafting everywhere. Happy crafting!

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