If you can’t handle the heat, get out of the craft room..

So, HTV. Yeah, that’s what I’m working with right now…

My first tshirt was for my nephew’s soccer game. Had the team name and logo on the front. Jaxon’s Aunt Koowie (that’s what the niece and nephew call me) and a big number 10 on the back! It was great, I looked awesome, the tshirt gods smiled down from above. A few washes later and my number 10 is peeling right off the shirt. Not like in little pieces, like the numbers are coming off. I did some research (googled it) and discovered a few tidbits.

First, when pressing your HTV, you should be able to see the pattern of the fabric through your vinyl before you know it’s done. I wasn’t getting that stuff NEAR hot enough. Here’s why: I used my home iron. Though you CAN technically use your iron, it is not recommended. It doesn’t apply heat evenly, you have to press down really hard and get it super hot, and it just all around sucks. Okay, so I need a heat press. I checked out the Cricut easy press; runs about $150 new.. Guess what? People are saying the same thing! The heat still isn’t applied evenly and you have to put your back into it. I’m not all about that hard work so I starting looking into a real heat press. Clam shell style. I found out that the table top heat press clamps shut so that the heat is distributed evenly across the plate. Also, if you use your settings for time and temperature correctly, you should be able to close it, wait for the beeps, open it, and ba-da-bing ba-da-boom: you’re done!

Well let me tell you, I was so daggum impressed with what I read- I bought one. Now wait, no judgements yet. This thing comes fully loaded with not only the flat plates for tshirts, but also a hat press attachment (rounded for baseball caps), a MUG press (yes mugs… we’ll come back to this), and two sizes of plate presses (that’s plates, as in dishes). Its tshirt plates are 12″ x 15″ so you can press even the largest size tees and, ahem, even blankets, towels, backpacks, etc…

{Side note: yes, you can use HTV on your ceramic dishes! What?!? Yes, you can! No really. Not only that, but applied correctly, it’s dishwasher safe! As much as I love some Oracal 651, you can’t put it in the dishwasher. I will blog more about HTV on dishes once the press gets here and I give it a go.}

Now, you’ve got to read all about the best way to apply HTV, this great machine and its attachments, and what all you can do with it. And you may still be thinking I’m a crazy person for investing that kind of money in my craft hobby.. but I didn’t get to the best part! Drumroll please…🥁… my grand total (with free shipping, yea FREE) was $155 … yep only $5 more than the Cricut brand “not an iron shaped iron.” Why? Because of the a name…

Do yourself a favor and check eBay for “heat press” (I bought mine from protechfactory.) It’s brand new, it’s off brand, shipping is free, and you will be so happy you didn’t waste your dollar bills on that little green insect logo! Peace out, Crafters ♡

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