How to Make Patterned Wall Tiles using your Cricut Digital Cutting Machine and Heat Transfer Vinyl
Are you in the process of redecorating? Perhaps you have been searching for tiles with a specific idea in mind that you're just not finding on the market? Maybe you want the freedom to design your own tiles so that each one can be completely individual?
In this blog post I’m going to walk you through the simple process of making your own patterned wall tiles using heat transfer vinyl.
New to heat transfer vinyl? Check out this handy Introduction to Heat Transfer Vinyl post first.
What you will need:
Heat Transfer Vinyl. This can be plain or patterned. In this example I am going to use the ‘Cricut Filigree Patterned Iron-On 12 x 12 Inches 3 Pack’ which I purchased recently from Hobbycraft.
Ceramic Wall Tiles. I am using these very basic 10 x 10cm white ceramic tiles purchased from B&Q. A pack of 25 tiles cost me £5 so they’re really good value for money!
Heat Press or EasyPress.
Heat Resistant Tape. I purchased mine from Hobbycraft here.
Teflon Sheet. This will protect your vinyl in the heat press. I purchased this pack of 3 sheets from Amazon.
Sealer spray. This is necessary to protect your designs and ensure they last a long time. I purchased an acrylic gloss sealer spray can from Amazon, here. However you could also use clear varnish sealers or matt variants if you didn't want a gloss finish.
SVG design (optional). This will depend on the vinyl you choose and how you want your tiles to look. I used a patterned vinyl and only one of the sheets really suited an SVG design. For the other tile designs I cut simple square shapes and let the vinyl speak for itself.
Step One - Cut your Vinyl Designs
The first step of this DIY is the same as with all HTV projects! So if you’re new to working with heat transfer vinyl, I strongly recommend you pause here and read this post first: An Introduction to Heat Transfer Vinyl.
Open a new design space canvas and either import your SVG file or add a new shape. For some of my tiles I used a tree SVG with a square border which I purchased from Etsy. For the others I simply added a square shape or several squares which I sliced and sized accordingly.
Size your image or shape to fit your tile. You may find your tiles curve towards the edges and so for my 10 x 10cm tiles, I cut the designs at 9 x 9 cm.
If you’re cutting several tile designs at once then you’ll probably find it useful to alter the default positioning when you select ‘Make It’ to space them out to fill the whole cutting mat. Otherwise you’ll struggle to cut between them and separate one design per tile.
As always with HTV, if you have a design which is directional (such as text) make sure the mirror setting is turned on and your vinyl is shiny side down! I also always cut my vinyl on Iron on + as I find it’s much easier to weed!
Step Two - Weeding and Preparing the Tiles
Once you’ve cut your designs you need to separate them into individual tile squares and weed them.
Tip: To create some variation in your tiles, why not alternate the section you weed so the image is inverted on some tiles like I have done with these trees!
Next, place each of your designs onto the tiles. When you’ve positioned them in the right place secure them top and bottom with a small piece of heat resistant tape.
Step Three - Pressing your Tiles
When you’re ready to press, place your tiles on to your heat press or EasyPress Mat and lay the teflon protective sheet over the top of your tiles.
Cricut’s Heat Guide does not give recommended temperature, pressure and time advice for ceramic tiles and heat transfer vinyl. However, I used 190°C for 30 seconds x2 and a medium to firm pressure and it worked well. If you’re unsure, it’s worth carrying out a tester piece first before you work on your real tiles!
Once your press is completed, remove the teflon sheet and allow the tiles to cool slightly. Be careful as your tiles will be extremely hot! When you are able to, remove the heat resistant tape and backing sheet. Ideally you want to do this as a warm peel.
Tip: You might find it useful to use your weeder tool or a pair of tweezers to prise the tape and backing sheet away without touching the tile yourself!
Step Four - Sealing your Tiles
To protect your tiles from dust, cleaning and general wear and tear you’ll want to seal them. I used a gloss acrylic spray to seal my tiles. If you prefer you could used a matt variation and you could also opt for a paintable version over a spray can. I found a few coats of sealant worked best to protect the tiles.
Repeat these steps until you have enough to cover your tiled area, then all that’s left to do is apply them to your wall! Why not use a range of patterned vinyl and designs like I have below?
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