Design Your Own Buff for Spring
The cold dark days of winter tend to keep a lot of us indoors and let’s be honest, a little less active too. The good news is now that the days are getting lighter and the freezing temperatures are fewer and far between, it’s a sure sign that winter is finally coming to an end. Using heat transfer vinyl, combined with infusible ink accents, give some flair to your hair with this creative buff that’s perfect for crisp spring walks!
- Blank infusible ink white buff (I used these from Amazon)
- Infusible ink markers (or sheets)
- Font: Spring Sakura and Euphorigenic (optional)
- Software: Inkscape (optional)
- Laser copy paper
- Butcher paper
- Heat-resistant tape
- Lint roller
- Heat transfer vinyl (glitter and/or standard)
- Teflon sheet
- Weeding tools
- Cricut Explore Air 2
- Cricut Easy Press and mat
Let’s Create Your Buff! – A Little Word About Materials
Before jumping into this project, it’s important to understand why some of the materials you will be using will differ from using regular heat transfer vinyl (HTV). Infusible ink, both the markers and transfer sheets, literally infuse ink into your fabric, while HTV places a vinyl on top of it. Because of this, you must make sure that you are using a fabric that can bind with the infusible ink; as opposed to using almost any type of fabric with HTV.
When heated, infusible ink binds best with polyester, so your blank must contain a very high amount of it – whether it’s a blend, or 100% polyester. The infusible ink clothing blanks available from the Cricut shop are mostly made up of 95% polyester and 5% spandex, but knowing this opens the doors to using blanks that you can purchase from just about any store! As long as you ensure that the polyester count is high – you should be fine.
- A Note About Cotton: I do not recommend using cotton at all. 100% Cotton does not bind with the ink and fades dramatically after only a single wash! This being said, if you have your heart set on cotton, you can use a poly/cotton blend but make sure your cotton is at a very low level.
You also will need laser copy paper, which will act as your transfer sheet. With the draw feature, Cricut will use your infusible ink markers to draw your design onto the copy paper. I have heard that regular inkjet copy paper can work – but I recommend sticking with laser as I know that the infusible ink markers on inkjet paper tend to bleed through quite a bit – risking ruining your blank and mat!
- Interesting Note: For some reason, some of the infusible ink colors change after it is transferred. I believe this is due to the type of fabric. I recommend performing a color test if you can!
Let’s Get Started!
Before proceeding, download and install the Spring Sakura font from Creative Fabrica. This font is so pretty and fitting for the spring theme we are creating.
I highly recommend creating your text in the Inkscape program. Doing this in Design Space will cause a lot of headaches with letter spacing, while Inkscape maintains the natural spacing of the font lettering intact. For this reason, we will use Inkscape to create the word “Spring”
Go ahead and open Inkscape (or download it if you do not yet have it) and then choose File>Document Properties. In the pop-up window, make sure you uncheck the “Show page border” box. Now you have a clean unbordered canvas to work on. Click on the text box and type the word “Spring” – change the font if you haven’t done so to the Spring Sakura font that you just installed. To enlarge the word, lock the dimensions, and using the move tool, pull it out from the corner to make it as big as you would like.
If you want to add in some of the gorgeous glyphs that come with this font, use your character map and select your favorites. Then a simple copy and paste will replace your standard letters.
Now we will save it as an SVG file. Using the move tool select your word and then Path>Object to Path. Next, with the word still selected, choose Object>Ungroup. Then back to Path and select Union. Now all that is left is to save it. File>Save As> and enter your file name and make sure Plain SVG is selected. Voila! You just made a text SVG!
Cricut Design Space
Open up Design Space and upload the SVG you just created. Make sure your setting for this design is set to cut, and change the color for a better preview. Now you can add in some flowers, trees, or anything else you would like on your spring buff that will compliment your design. If you want to re-create the same design with the tree attached to the “G” like mine, find a tree in the images library and simply weld it to the SVG you just uploaded. Easy peasy!
I added the words “there’s a” and “in my step” in the Euphorigenic font that I downloaded from the freebies section at Creative Fabrica. If you choose to do this, I recommend using heat transfer vinyl because the infusible ink markers do not make a nice crisp text – in my opinion. For my infusible ink designs, I added in some lovely blossoms and of course, tulips! Get creative and have a lot of fun with this part! If you would like to replicate my designs, all of the images are available within the image library in Design Space.
- Remember! When creating a design that you intend to use with infusible ink markers, always change your design settings from cut to draw, then select the marker and color!
Once you are finished with the arrangement and your color scheme, select everything and size accordingly; I resized mine to 8.75 inches wide. Next, select all of the draw designs and attach, and then select all of the cut designs and attach. Now you can hit that make it button! For the Cricut material setting, choose copy paper for the draw, and then stick your paper onto the light grip mat. Don’t forget to mirror your design before hitting that go button!
Cricut will prompt you when to change the marker color, so don’t walk away from the machine while it is drawing.
When the draw is finished, change your setting to the appropriate vinyl, and again, remember to mirror! Load your vinyl in for the cut and go!
Prepare your Blank, Color, and Finish!
You can now pre-heat your EasyPress to the appropriate temperature and time for your fabric. While you are waiting for the press to heat up, go ahead and color in your infusible ink, if desired, and weed your vinyl.
When you are ready to go, and if you are using glitter HTV as I did, you first will want to put that on your buff. Only press just long enough to get it to stick to the fabric (mine took about 7 seconds). Next, you will add your infusible ink. Using the lint roller, run it over the area of your buff that you will be infusing to remove any oils/lint that could interfere with the transfer. Place a piece of cardstock inside the buff to protect the other side from accidentally getting inked. You already have preheated your fabric so you can skip that step.
Now, place your colored ink design face down on the buff and secure it in place with your heat-resistant tape. Cover it with a large piece of butcher paper and, to protect the glitter vinyl from the high heat, I even used a teflon sheet on top of the butcher paper as an extra precaution. Now you can press for the appropriate time, depending on your fabric – being extra careful not to move it around at all. Let everything cool enough so that you can remove all of the papers/sheets, but leave the cardstock to protect your fabric for the next press.
Now you will add your regular HTV for the final press. Again, use a parchment and teflon sheet and press for the recommended temperature and time. If you are nervous about burning your fabric and vinyl, you can press in time intervals – so first try 15 seconds, lift, test, press again if necessary.
Again, wait for it to cool, and then remove the tape, paper, and cardstock and then step back and marvel at your creation!
Now get out there and enjoy some fresh spring air!
Keep on Crafting!