How to Cut HTV and Glitter HTV with a Cricut Explore

First, I’ll just use the term Cricut Explore rather than differentiating from the Explore, Explore One, Explore Air and the new Explore Air 2, since they all function the same for the most part.

Cutting Basics
When placing the HTV on the cutting mat, you place the shiny side down on the mat and the dull side should be facing up. This is the side that will actually adhere to the item you are applying to. After you click GO and move on to the cut preview screen in Design Space be sure to click on each panel and select “Mirror Image” as shown in the screenshot below. If you are cutting multiple colors you must do this for each panel. HTV has it’s own carrier sheet (the shiny side) which serves the same purpose as transfer tape for adhesive vinyl. The HTV carrier sheet is different from transfer tape as it is made to withstand heat. When cutting, the Explore should not cut all the way through the carrier sheet. It merely does a “kiss cut”, only cutting through the layer of vinyl, just as when cutting adhesive vinyl. Once the cut is complete, you simply weed out the unwanted part before pressingthe HTV to the item. Be sure to double and triple-check your weeding. It’s easy to miss a small part and once it’s applied, it’s more difficult to remove than adhesive vinyl.

I have used a few different brands of HTV and they all seem to cut well on these settings.

Regular Heat Transfer Vinyl
Regular Siser EasyWeed Heat Transfer Vinyl (HTV) can be cut using the “Iron-On” setting on the dial of the Cricut Explore.

Glitter Heat Transfer Vinyl
Siser Glitter HTV is a bit thicker so you have to use a custom setting to cut it. On the Cricut Explore set the dial to “Custom”. Once you load the mat in the Explore you will be able to select from a list of choices in the software. Choose “Iron-on, Glitter – 0.5mm (Cricut)” as shown in the screenshot below and continue your cut as normal. To be safe, I will often times press the cut button a second time without unloading the mat after the first cut is finished. This usually ensures all cuts are complete and I can usually see the impression on the carrier sheet when I take it off the mat.

To get even better cuts with Glitter HTV, I have created a custom setting in Design Space called “1. Glitter HTV” (the “1.” makes it always appear at the top) and I used a cut pressure of 250 with multicut off. This gives me perfect cuts every time.