How to Layer Iron-On Vinyl on a Faux Leather Totebag

– Hello everybody, my
name is Jennifer Maker. Welcome to The Great Maker Show and Tell. (soft music) Today we are embellishing tote bags with layered iron-on vinyl. I’m gonna show you how to do this using a Cricut to cut out the vinyl, and a Cricut Easypress to
iron it onto a tote bag. And if you’ve been following
me for any length of time, you know what a big Cricut fan girl I am. I got my very first Cricut
nearly two years ago and it is not an exaggeration to say that it changed my life, which is why I am super
pleased to announce that for this video I
am working with Cricut. Yes, this video is sponsored by Cricut who graciously sent me some iron-on vinyl for today’s project. Isn’t that awesome? Okay so now tote bags are so easy to personalize thanks to the Cricut, and they make great gifts too. So these reversible pleather bags that you can get in many stores these days are perfect because they look classy and yet they’re inexpensive. You can get them for anywhere between like 10 to $30. I got this one from Walmart for $14. And because they’re reversible you can put something on both the inside and the outside for a little versatility, right? So for example you can have a serious work side and a playful fun side. And it’s exactly what
we’re going to do today. I am going to show you how you can make a simple layered iron-on
design for your serious side, and then we’re gonna turn it inside out, and we’re gonna make a more complex layered iron-on for your
crafty playful side. And we’re going to do it
using the new Easypress 2. In fact I just bought this big 12-inch by 10-inch Easypress 2 and I haven’t event unboxed it yet. So I thought we’d unbox
it together, plug it in, and we’ll see how easy
it is to get started right out of the box. And I’ve also created two designs for the tote bag. You’re welcome to use the designs for your own tote bags of course, and you’ll find them on my blog at So head on over to my blog, get the files, and then let’s go to Cricut Design Space to cut out the vinyl. So you can get the tote bag designs over at You’ll find them in my
free Resource Library, and you can get a password to it by signing up for free if you haven’t already done that. So download that ZIP file and open it up, and then head then over
to Cricut Design Space. So at Cricut Design
Space, click New Project, then click Upload,
Upload Image, and Browse. And then you’ll wanna find the SVG file of the design that you wanna make. I’m gonna put both of them in so that you can see that process. So once you’ve uploaded, just click Save. And we’re gonna put the other one in. You can put both files
in on the same canvas. And then we select both
and do Insert Images. So here they are. And there’s really nothing that you have to prepare for these at all unless you wanna resize them, that’s it. Just click Make It and Design Space will separate everything out into the match you need, but you have to mirror. This is super important, don’t forget to mirror. Just click each layer and click the little toggle next to Mirror On. This is important because iron-on vinyl gets cut faced down, right? So we have to have all of
our words in a mirror image in order for it to actually work. People tend to forget to mirror, so that’s why I’m making
a big deal about it. I, myself, forgot to mirror one of my layers when I was cutting this. You’ll notice right now I’m just sort of moving things around on my Mat Preview because it’ll make this
a little bit easier to weed and cut later. So when you’re ready, click Continue, and then select your Cricut. And you’ll want to choose the right kind of iron-on vinyl. I’m using Everyday,
Cricut Everyday Iron-On, so if that’s what you’re using, you’ll want to use that as well. I really don’t recommend that you use Glitter Iron-On for any kind of layered iron-on designs because it doesn’t stick to itself. Now let’s talk about iron-on vinyl. Iron-on vinyl has
actually two parts to it. One side is the vinyl itself, and the other is a carrier sheet which is a clear see-through plastic layer that you can’t really see when you’re first looking at it like this. But the way that you recognize it is the carrier sheet is this shiny side, and the iron-on vinyl
itself is the duller side. So when you cut your iron-on vinyl, you wanna put it faced down so that your shiny side, your carrier side, is against the mat, and your vinyl itself is the one that is actually being cut. So this that you see right here, this is faced up, this is the shiny side, right? You can see it and if it comes off a roll, it has this curve to it
that conforms to the roll. This is the opposite side. This is not the shiny side. And you can see it looks a little duller. Sometimes it’s white and sometimes it’s the
same color as the vinyl. So you really wanna look
for the shininess of it. That’s the best way to tell
whether which side is which. Alright so here we have my Cricut. And I’ve put my vinyl
shiny side down on my mat. Always double check this ’cause you don’t wanna waste vinyl and have to cut it out again. And then there’s nothing
special besides this. You just cut it out just like you normally would cut out anything else. I’m using my fine point blade for this. Okay so here is a piece of my cut vinyl. And I wanna show you a
trick that I figured out. So I had the hardest
time getting the vinyl to separate from the carrier sheet, right? It just doesn’t wanna do it. In the past I have spent so long. So this is my trick. Take a knife, and then the iron-on vinyl side, you cut a small diagonal
strip just to the corner, and then you can fold it, and then you can peel
up your vinyl, right? So it’s similar to like the back of a adhesive sheet of paper like a sticker paper that’s got the precut blinds in it. And so that lets you peel
it up so much easier. And I speak from experience because I cut a lot of
vinyl for this project. So yeah just make sure you’re not cutting into your design when you put that little cut there, and then be sure to cut it off too before you actually put your
design onto your project. There we go, so we need
the rest of our layers. This design is not difficult, really it’s not difficult to weed. Just make you’re getting all the little bits and everything, and that you’re keeping them off your work surface as much as possible so they don’t wanna like stick onto your carrier sheets. And then you’ll want to cut each of the individual
words and letters out. So the words that are
together get cut out together, and then like the craft letters, they get cut out separately. Alright. Okay so let’s unbox this
brand new Cricut Easypress. So this cute little Cricut
vinyl design was at the top. I’m guessing that it’s
for our simple project. And there’s an envelope with instructions in a little manual, a quick start guide, and
all that sort of thing. So it’s helpful, and my license number. And then in the box itself which is really well-packaged, it’s the mats, really it’s not a mat, it’s a tray, the heat protective tray. And then the Easypress itself in a canvas bag, and the power cord. So cool. So it’s in a drawstring bag. And there it is. Cords, take off the plastic, that little shrink wrap, and cut off that extra little warning tag (laughs)
label on the power cord. Put it in its tray. We’re gonna plug this in. So the quick start guide walks you through doing the very first project
with the drawstring bag. Normally I would do this
but we’re not gonna do this, we’re gonna skip right
to our project today so I can get this done for you. Normally I absolutely recommend that you do the starter projects. I already have an Easypress however, so I’m gonna skip over this part. Now I checked it online, in the Interactive Quick Reference Guide to see what temperature and how long I should do a faux leather project. So we’re gonna start there and we’ll work up, and temperature. Generally how I do this, I start with what Cricut recommends, and then if it turns out my material needs a little something different because every material is different, then I adjust as we go. So to set your temperature, you just click the temperature button, and then click the up and down arrows, and then click the temperature again. The same for the timer. Click the timer button, click the up and down
buttons to change the timer, and then click the timer button again, and then that’s it. Aright so here’s our black tote bag. I have filled it full of paper pads to keep a nice firm surface, and raise everything up. Now one tip that I wanna give you is to turn your Cricut Easypress around especially this big one so that your cord doesn’t
get in your way, right? Set your temperature. We’re gonna set our temperature to 300 degrees for 30 seconds. And we’re gonna wanna preheat our faux leather tote bag first. Preheating it really
makes a difference I found in getting the vinyl to stick, and Cricut does recommend that as well. So let’s go ahead and
just heat up the surface. We’re just gonna use the. And then this is our design, so it’s a gold M and a silver maker. So we position our first layer, which is the M, on our tote bag. We cover it up with a protective sheet, and then we press it for 30 seconds. I’m now applying firm pressure. And when it’s done, you wanna just lift up the corner and see if it’s adhered. If it hasn’t, put that sheet back on again and do it again. You just go little bits. 300 degrees is not a
particularly high temperature, and we’re doing that so that we don’t melt or hurt our faux leather bag. So again you check it, and if it’s not good enough, we just try it again. I took about three or four passes to get it to work. I went slow. I did this. I didn’t wanna increase the temperature. If you go too hot, you can not only hurt your surface but you can make it so that your vinyl doesn’t stick at all. So you need to find the sweet spot. So we’re gonna do it one more time. We want that vinyl to
be really well-adhered. If you try to force it, it will probably rip right off, and create a giant mess. So just keep doing these short bursts until you get it. So remember to very gently peel the corner off. And it’s now good. So it took five passes to get that to adhere but it did. So now we layer our next layer of vinyl which is the maker, and press that down, and again we’re going to just keep going. Once that vinyl is adhered, it’s okay to go ahead and put another layer on it. It’s not going to hurt it or anything. So gently pull up the
corner and pull it off. If at any point it seems to come off, put that carrier sheet
back down and try again, but hey it didn’t, and we
have now layered vinyl. This is a really simple easy
design that anybody can do, and it looks really cute too. Alright so let’s take
out these pads of paper and turn our bag inside out so we can do the other side with a more complex layered design. Alright so we’re gonna do the same thing. We’re gonna put these
pads of paper back in. You still want that nice firm surface. So this is the other
side of that tote back, the reversible tote bag. And our first layer will
be this big black layer. And this is where the new big Easypress is gonna come in so handy because this black layer is wider than the original Easypress
that I also have is. We get all our letters in order. Now remember to preheat the
surface of your tote bag, cover it up with your pillowcase
or your protective sheet or whatever you’re using. Keep clear of those straps at the top. And I love how this fits
right on this tote bag. It’s just the right size for it. And I’m just preheating it at 300 degrees for 30 seconds. Alright so now we’re gonna
put our black layer on, make sure it’s on the surface, centered, straight, all that jazz. Press it down, cover it
with your protective sheet, and press it down with your Easypress, and you’re applying firm pressure. Generally that means your
arms shake a little bit, when you’re pressing down. That’s what firm pressure means to me and that’s how I did it. Alright so now we check the corner to see if it’s coming off which it appears to be so we try it again. We press one more time. And basically we just keep pressing and checking until our vinyl is completely adhered. And there we go, it looks like it’s all stuck down this time. Just go nice and slow because if you encounter a problem, you’re gonna wanna cover that back up and try again which I did. Alright so here is our
black layer all adhered and ready for our next layer. So our next layer for
this design is going to be the words and the letters
that have the colors. So it’s important that we don’t let the carrier sheet and
vinyl touch each other. So you see me here
trimming each of the words, that is so that we’re not putting the vinyl on top of a carrier sheet. I have to get the carrier sheet trimmed more at the bottom, so that when I put the next word on, it’s free and clear of the one above it. So you can do multiple layers like this so long as they’re not
touching each other, right? But once they’re touching each other, you have to go one pass at a time. But I want to save some time so I’m putting all of my colors on for the letters and the words at once. Anything that’s at the
same layer I can do. And then it’s important that
when we do these letters, we’re only doing the colored letters, not the designs on top, because that’s definitely a separate layer and that would be two layers touching. So for craft you’re just
doing the solid colors. And again I’m trimming each of the letters to make sure they don’t touch each other. I mean the carrier sheets
can overlap a little bit, just not the vinyl and the carrier sheets, unless the vinyl is under
a carrier sheet, right? So just be mindful of that. And if you’re in doubt, you could just do these one at a time, but it would take a lot longer so I don’t recommend that. Also the more that we press
this faux leather tote bag, the more likely we are to damage it. I mean it’s just plastic so you wanna minimize that as much as possible. Though I want to note I actually saw no damage whatsoever to this faux leather bag in the entire time that I was doing this. It seemed just fine at 300 degrees. So once everything is in place, I’m gonna cover it up with the protective sheet and then press it. Apply a firm pressure. And then check it. At this point your vinyl will at least be sticking and not popping up. But very carefully check
each of these layers. Just like before if they
don’t appear to be adhering, cover it back up, press it again. And there we go, it looks
like two passes did it. I really thought that this
would be the hard part, but this was actually the easier part. I think that it was just really hard to stick the vinyl to the faux leather. I mean and the leather is textured too, so it’s textured and it’s like plastic. But once we got that first layer down, it actually was really
quite easy after that because then we were just
sticking vinyl to vinyl. So it’s just something to keep in mind. Your surface really makes a difference when it comes to applying vinyl. And I chose a challenging
surface. (laughs) But it’s so cute. I mean it looks so great. And there we go. Alright so now we put our little designs on each of the craft
letters at the bottom. So these will be a little bit fiddly. You have to make sure
you got them centered and straight and I did all that, but it wasn’t anything
too difficult really. You just pay attention to
where the lines are falling, so like on the green stripes, the carrier sheet doesn’t really wanna stick down very well. And that could happen. If that happens, just really really do your best to press down on it, but if it still wants
to pop up like mine is, just save it for later and
then do it as the last one so that you can kind of hold it in place as you place your protective sheet on it which will help keep it in place. All my other letters seem
to stick okay though. A lot of it has to do with how
much carrier sheet you have. That’s the only sticky part. Your vinyl itself isn’t sticky. So if you trim away too
much of your carrier sheets, it doesn’t wanna stick so well. So that’s something to keep in mind also. Don’t trim too much of that
away if you can help it. At least leave the parts that
you can leave, leave those, the parts that are off
to the side or descend, and as long as they’re not covering up any other piece that you’re trying to apply at the same time, it’s not an issue to have
that carrier sheet there. Alright and then we’re gonna do that R as the last step so that
we can put our sheet right on top of it and hold it in place, and that will help keep it down. So see, I’m keeping my hand over it, and then I’m just gonna
put it right on top there. Put the Easypress right on top there, and that will help keep it down, and then once it has them heated, it’ll want to stick, because the vinyl will start to melt. Alright let’s check and see how it did. Looks like it needs
one more pass at least. Those little dots. Oh there we go. It looks like it needed two passes for those letters there. And we’ll do that one just, there’s this one little
dot on the edge there because sometimes it’s hard
to get right to the edge, because it’s a little bit folded, but I got it off. I could have done my Jennifer Maker at the same time I did the other letters, but I decided to do it just on its own just so I could concentrate
on those little designs especially since I had that
one that was popping up. Get all the wrinkles out. Make sure everything is in place, just double check it if you have to, and then press it. Again I’m applying firm pressure. I’m not putting all my weight on it, it just means that I’m putting some pressure on it as I press my design, and then gently peel
off the carrier sheet. And we did it, yay! (laughs) I’m super happy with this design too. I love how colorful it
is and bold and fun. I’m looking forward to using this bag. So here are my tote
bags hot off the press. Get it, hot off the press, Easypress? Yeah that was pretty bad, I know. Okay so it turns out the hardest part of making the tote bags was the first layer, not
the subsequent layers as I thought it would be. Getting vinyl to stick to
faux leather is a challenge. And you have to go slow and check to see if the vinyl is adhering as you saw in the video, right? They look great and I’m
really happy with the results, but it took longer than I thought it would because of the difficult material. So if you’re thinking of making a tote bag and it’s your first project or two, I’d recommend you try putting vinyl on a canvas bag first. They are so much easier to work with when it comes to vinyl. I didn’t have any problems with my vinyl bags or my canvas bags. Okay so it was actually
really nice to have the big Cricut Easypress for this project as I could cover the
entire design in one pass. And I know that cut down on
my make time in a major way. And I’m really happy
with how they turned out. I love this design. You may notice that I have two bags. I bought two, the second as a backup just in case anything went wrong ’cause sometimes things go wrong, right? And I decided what the heck, let’s just put the monogram on the second bag, that bag, and then I would have both of them without having to turn them inside out. Okay so if you make a
tote bag using my designs, please share your photos
in our Facebook group or put them on social media
with #makershowandtell. So tomorrow we’re switching back to paper, and I am going to show you how to make an exploding card. This is a huge big requested project. Don’t forget to send
me your project ideas. We have lots and lots
more time to get ideas and make things together. And remember if you can
tell me what you wanna make, I can show you how to make it. Until tomorrow. (soft music)