In today’s blog post I’m going to share a quick and easy happy family frame project. I will be adding Heat Transfer Vinyl, or HTV to canvas and placing it in a frame. This is a great idea for a family reunion or adding to your home décor. You only need a few, simple supplies and you're ready to craft.
If you know someone who is moving into a new home, this is a thoughtful gift to give them.
Cutting machine - this can be a Cricut, Silhouette or any cutting machine you have
Fine point blade
Heat transfer vinyl - use a brand you are comfortable with
Heat press or EasyPress
A nice photo frame - skip this if you want to use a canvas on a frame
Canvas - you can use a canvas frame or a piece of canvas. I went looking through a thrift store and found a partially damaged canvas for $1! I cut the canvas off the frame and used that for my project.
Note: if you want to use a framed canvas, you can place stacks of cardboard at the back to create pressure and stability when heat pressing
Rotary cutter - if you are cutting the canvas off the frame
During this tutorial I will be using my Cricut Maker and the Cricut Design Space mobile app.
I cut away my canvas from the frame using the Rotary cutter. Cut on the outside of the staples so it’s easier to remove. Then you can trim the canvas down with a scissors or paper trimmer.
Step 1 - Edit Then Cut Your Design
The design itself is already set up to be cut, I just need to adjust the size for my photo frame. In Cricut Design Space, upload your SVG cut file and add it to your design area.
Measure out the area on your physical canvas and decide where you want to place the design. To edit the size settings, tap on the Edit option at the bottom of the screen.
By default, Cricut Design Space has the Lock icon already unlocked. Tap to lock if you want to keep the aspect ratio when resizing.
I wanted to change the width and height individually. With the Lock deactivated, I change my Height to 32cm and Width to 23cm. This would be around 13” x 9” if you are using inches.
Next, you need to attach the design so it all cuts together in the same place on the mat. If you don’t, Cricut Design Space will re-arrange everything in order to save you material.
First, select the entire design. At the bottom of the screen, tap on the Actions menu, then tap on Attach. Next, tap on the Make It button at the top right corner of the screen.
In the mat window, select your preferred mat size. As this design is bigger than my standard mat, I have to use my longer 30.5cm x 61cm mat. Tap on the green Confirm button top right of the screen.
Now, this next part is very important! With HTV, you cut on the dull side and heat press with the shiny side up. This means that you need to mirror your image before cutting.
In the mat preview window, on the left side, you will see the mat details. See the option for Mirror? Tap on the slider to activate it (shown as green) and the image will be mirrored on the mat. Tap on Next at the top right of the screen.
In the next window, choose your material cut settings. If you have a favorite already selected, tap on that. If not, tap on Browse All Materials and choose the one you want to use.
After choosing your material, follow the rest of the instructions. Place your material on your mat, upload the mat and make sure the Fine Point Blade has been inserted into the carriage.
Your machine will detect the material and blade, then ask you to press the “C” button to proceed with cutting.
Tip: When the cutting is complete, before you unload the mat, quickly check if your design has cut through properly with a weeding tool. Gently lift up a small area. If it hasn’t cut through, press the “C” button again on the machine to run the cut one more time.
If you unload the mat, this won’t be possible as it won’t align correctly.
When the cutting is complete, gently remove the vinyl with the mat side down to prevent curling. Then, start weeding out the unnecessary or unwanted areas of the design. Here I weeded the design and now it's ready for the heat press.
Step 2 - Heat Press The HTV Onto The Canvas
Now comes the fun but slightly tricky part. Canvas is a thick material and the amount of heat and pressure will also depend on your HTV.
With my HTV, I used the recommended heat settings after trying out a higher temperature and failing. A higher temp melted and distorted my HTV before it could adhere to the canvas.
It would be a good idea to start out with the recommended temperature but increase the pressure and time. For example, I increased the pressure from medium to heavy and set the time from 12 seconds to 25 seconds.
Heat up your press then press the canvas for a few seconds without the design to remove any moisture and wrinkles. Be careful, your press will be hot. Allow the canvas to cool for a further few seconds.
Next, place your design on the canvas. I covered everything with parchment paper just in case, as I didn’t know what coating was on the canvas. This will protect my heat press from any possible residue from the canvas. Close the heat press and start the timer.
My HTV required a hot peel, so after pressing I removed the parchment paper and very gently peeled off the backing. If you find that the HTV is not staying put, you may need to increase the pressure a little bit more. Adjust the pressure with the heat press open, then try again.
Remove the back of the frame and anything else inside the frame, then slide in your canvas, close the frame and you’re done! As quickly and as easily as that, you now have a simple but elegant family quote frame.
You can use these family reunion quotes for cards, gift tags, or even placemats for something a little different. At family gatherings, create little cards and place them around the house. It will definitely inspire happy, loving vibes and good memories for your family members.