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If you love the look of tooled leather, you have got to check out this ultimate vinyl hack. We are going to show you how to create a faux tooled leather look with Siser Brick and Siser Soft Flex. We’ll add this to a sweatshirt for a really fun look but there are other uses for it too! You are going to love the many different ways you can use this technique with your Cricut machine to create some gorgeous craft projects.
It took a bit of experimenting to get this technique just right and we’re really excited to share it with you so you can make these faux tooled leather projects too. Let’s jump in and start crafting.
Faux Tooled Leather with Cricut
Cut file: https://makersgonnalearn.com/cut_files/mandala/
Siser Brick 600 – https://www.143vinyl.com/12-x-20-sheet-siser-brick-600-htv-black.html
Printable HTV – https://www.143vinyl.com/starcraft-transfers-for-dark-materials-8.5-x-11-sheets.html
Canon Printer – https://amzn.to/3C5oL6H
Weeding tool – https://amzn.to/3jn3Q8I
Cricut – https://amzn.to/3FRIuIe
Strong Grip Mat – https://amzn.to/3jAmPg3 (or use fabric grip or a new standard grip)
Standard Grip Mat – https://amzn.to/3PUIZWq (you’ll need a newer one that’s quite sticky as the Brick 600 material is quite thick)
Heat Press – https://www.143vinyl.com/starcraft-heat-press-15×15-clam-shell-mint.html
Teflon Sheet – https://amzn.to/3vhH058
Butchers Paper – https://amzn.to/3GmEYao
Working in Design Space
1 – In Design Space, type in the text you want to use and change it to your desired font. We used Valery from Makers Gonna Learn. Since we will be adding an offset for this project, we are going to select the whole text and using letter spacing to space out the letters to accommodate it.
2 – Size your design to fit the area of your shirt or other blank where you would like the design to be placed. Be sure it fits within the dimensions of your heat press too. This design is going to be printed on printable vinyl and you’ll see that it’s too big for the Cricut Print then Cut size restrictions. So, we’re going to have to divide the design into pieces that will fit within those size limits. For our design, this means splitting it in half.
3 – To do this, we simply highlighted the portion of the text we wanted to cut off from the word. On a Mac, we then pressed Command X to cut it and then Command V to paste it (now as a separate layer away from the other part of the word). On a PC, you would use Control X and Control V.
4 – Select both parts of your design and duplicate it. You can move the duplicate out of the way or hide it for now.
5 – With each part of your design separately, add an offset. You don’t want a very big one – just enough to add depth. We used 0.1 as our measurement.
6 – Next, you’ll need to change the colors of your design.
7 – Repeat adding the offset and changing the colors for the second half of your design.
8 – Select one half of your design and Flatten. Repeat with the other half. Now, you can hide or put these over to the side so you can work with the duplicate design.
Using the Paisley Pattern to Create a Textured Look
9 – Add the paisley pattern (cut file listed in the supplies as Mandala) to your canvas. Place one half of your design over the pattern. Select the image as well as the letters and choose Slice. Delete the excess slice results.
10 – Repeat with the other half of your design. The sliced letters are going to be the Brick 600 layer. It will go beneath the printable HTV.
PRO TIP: You might want to add a tiny offset (like 0.3) for these letters as well. We didn’t but found later that if we had, it would have eliminated the need for trimming the design before weeding. You’ll see what we mean as you get to the part where we do the actual weeding.
Printing and Cutting Your Design
11 – Press Make It. Luckily for us, with our letters stacked, this actually fits on one sheet of HTV but you might have to cut your design separately on two or more sheets. Since we are using Starcraft for Dark Material, we don’t have to mirror it. If you are using the kind for light material, you will need to mirror as you do with most HTV.
With the Siser Brick 600, you must mirror your design so remember to turn that on for that mat.
12 – For the Print then Cut portion of your design, you will begin by sending it to the printer. We turned on Bleed and used the System Dialog box to feed it from the rear tray and choose Best quality.
13 – Select your material as Printable Iron On Dark. Once printed, load it onto your cutting mat and feed it into the Cricut for cutting. Line it up in the top left corner of the mat and use your brayer to make sure it’s well-adhered before cutting.
14 – Place the Brick 600 on a Strong grip, Fabric grip, or new Standard Grip mat shiny side down. Use your brayer to ensure that it is flat and sticking to the mat well.
15 – Once your Print and Cut has finished cutting, it’s time to weed it.
16 – Back in Design Space, set your material for the Siser Brick 600. We have experimented with several different settings. The Glitter Iron-On setting does cut through it but it has the potential to cut right through the transfer sheet so we used the Medium Cardstock setting instead.
Weeding Your Design
17 – After cutting the Brick 600, it’s time to weed. Remember that you are wanting to create a dimensional design to go under the Print and Cut. So, it helps to start with a True Control knife as we found that there were a few edges that needed to be sliced so they didn’t come up with the weeding process. Note: if you used our tip for adding an offset to these letters, you probably won’t need to do any of this trimming with a knife.
18 – Because we didn’t use an offset on our letters, we need to go in with scissors or a True Control knife and trim all the way around the letters.
Applying Your Design to the Shirt
19 – Press your shirt to warm it up a bit before applying the letters. Our heat press was set to 310 and we pressed the shirt for about 10 seconds.
PRO TIP: We put a piece of butcher’s paper over the shirt because we use the heat press for sublimation and we wanted to ensure that the shirt stayed clean.
20 – Line your letters up on the shirt. We used a t-shirt guide to make this easier. Line up the letters cut from Siser Brick 600 and then remove the t-shirt guide. Cover with a piece of butcher’s paper. If you’re concerned about the letters moving, you can secure them with a little piece of heat-resistant tape on each one. Press your letters using medium pressure at 310 degrees for 10 seconds. This vinyl is a cold peel so it must cool down completely before moving on.
21 – Remove the heat-resistant tape and peel up the transfer sheet.
22 – Peel off the Print then Cut letters and place each one over top of the letters on the shirt. We find it best to do this while the shirt is in the heat press. Top with butcher’s paper. Press for 10 seconds. Normally, we would do a warm peel but we found that caused the letters to want to peel up. So, we did a cool peel instead.
PRO TIP: The butcher’s paper will stick to the letters. That’s okay. Simply peel it off carefully. If any remains, use a damp cotton swab to remove the bits left behind. It is worth trying a Teflon sheet instead of butcher’s paper.
Isn’t it a fun technique? We used printable HTV but some people use Siser SoftFlex instead. Both work really well.