How to use Iron On Vinyl

Australia themed cushion

It has been over a year since I bought my Cricut vinyl cutter, so thought it was about time I tried something new.  I ordered this very cool looking Holographic sparkle iron-on mosaic vinyl, but I had no idea what to make with it. 

It also happened to be time for our next International Blogger Club (IBC) challenge, this month’s theme was  “Local Love”. My interpretation of this theme is what Australia is great for.  The list is very long so I chose to stick to animals native to Australia. More about IBC at the end of this post.

Australia themed cushion

One of the main things I realised during the COVID 19 crisis is that we are really blessed to be Australian. Like all countries around the world, our lives started to charge from Friday the 13th of March.  But we Australians were very lucky compared to most countries because we all got government assistance to help us through this crisis.  This was the only time in our lives that we could sit at home, watch Netflix, get paid and be a hero for not spreading the virus.

Australia themed cushion

Although I am South African by birth, Australia has offered our family safety, security and lots of wonderful opportunities since 2006. So for my blogger challenge this month I made a small tribute to Australia. My idea for this project was to have the map of Australia cut out in brown leather for the background.  Then on top, I wanted to add some images that make Australia unique using the holographic iron-on vinyl.

How to use Iron-On vinyl

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Create your design

To make this project you will need a vinyl cutter.  I have only used the Cricut Explore Air 2 and the Silhouette Cameo and they are both great machines.  Start by finding the images you would like to add to your cushion and turn them into SVG files. I use Inkscape which is a free online programme to create mine. 

To keep the layers matching you can duplicate the image, one will be for the leather and the other for the images on top. Ignore the flag in the image below, I changed my mind about adding that. On the top layer, you can move the images around until you are happy with the look of the design.

Australia themed cushion

Group the top layer and move it to one side, and change the colour of the second map outline. (Mine is the green one). The reason you do this is so the Cricut will arrange the mats into colours for cutting.

Australia themed cushion

Cutting the leather

The Cricut machine is so cool it will cut the leather for you.  Load the leather onto the purple cutting matt.  The purple mat will prevent the leather from moving during the cutting process.

Australia themed cushion

Once the design is cut, weed the design.  This means you must remove all the excess leather you do not want on the cushion. Remove the leather from the mat and place it to one side for now.

Australia themed cushion

Next, you cut out the images into the holographic iron-on vinyl. You can now ungroup the design and delete only the map shape, and regroup the images and select the attach button.   This will keep all the images in the same position as you wanted them on the leather.

Australia themed cushion

Cutting the Holographic iron-on vinyl

Place the holographic vinyl shiny side down onto your cutting mat.  Before you cut the iron-on vinyl make sure you check the mirror image button on the cutting settings.  This is a very common mistake people make and it is very frustrating if you have text because the text will be backwards. Cut out the design in the same way as the leather.

Australia themed cushion

When your design is cut, you can weed the vinyl by removing all the excess vinyl. Once you have done this you will be left with only the images which should be in the correct position.

Australia themed cushion

Cushion Cover

I must be honest I did not make the cushion cover, because it is a waste of time in my opinion.  By the time I buy the fabric, zipper and sit and sew it, it will take me at least an hour. For $8 on eBay, this one was a bargain. I would also mention that I make up each project as I go along which does not always work.  So I will also show you my failures so you don’t make the same mistakes.


Transfer the images

I keep an old iron for my DIY projects, which works well if you don’t want to splash out on an easy press iron. To transfer iron-on vinyl designs I have always just used parchment paper between the iron and the fabric.  In this case, it did not work.   I placed the holographic vinyl on top of the leather and lined up the design in the correct position.

Using a hot iron with no steam, I use the hottest setting.  Then push down onto the vinyl for about 30 seconds.  Straight away the iron melted my faux leather and ruined my ironing board cover.  All the adhesive from the faux leather melted onto my ironing board cover.

Australia themed cushion

And my faux leather shrivelled up. Sad to say I only had one sheet of silver, so I had to cut the design again onto some gold iron-on vinyl. Because I saved the design I only had to cut out a new one.

Australia themed cushion

Transfer Attempt two

For my second attempt, I lined up the new iron-on vinyl on top of the faux leather using the carrier film.  You can see in this image how my previous attempt melted the faux leather onto the cover.

Australia themed cushion

This time I used a tea towel on top of the parchment paper.  This did work well but the images do take longer to transfer. Using the hot iron I pushed down for 30 seconds in each area. Let the vinyl cool off a bit then remove the carrier sheet.  I did find I had to go back for another 10 to 20 seconds using this holographic vinyl. But this could also be because I used the tea towel in between.

Australia themed cushion

Once the vinyl has cooled down you can remove the transfer film.

Australia themed cushion

Pull the film back slowly across the leather.

Australia themed cushion

Attach the leather to the cushion

My original idea was to sew the leather on to the fabric, but thought it would look tacky. I used some tacky glue instead. Haha. Tacky glue is an all-purpose glue which dries clear and is bendable when dry. To protect the back of the cushion cover from seeping glue you can put some plastic or saran wrap inside the cushion cover.  I covered the back surface of the leather with the tacky glue and placed it onto the cushion cover. To make sure all areas of the leather were glued down, I used another piece of plastic and weighted it down while the glue dried.

Australia themed cushion

Making the tassels

To make the tassel I cut some strips of leather lace and added so beads from some old costume jewellery. These I sewed onto the top corners.

Iron on vinyl cushion

The camera does not pick up the true colours on the cushion, which change depending on the angle you look at it.

Australian themed cushion

About IBC (International Bloggers Club)

If you follow my blog you will know I am part of IBC (International Bloggers Club) which is a group of talented bloggers from around the world. We have members from Spain, South Africa, Australia, the United States, and Canada. Each month we come together and create a project in a common theme.

If you missed last month’s “Sands of time” theme here is the link to my upcycled sand timer.  The contributions from my fellow bloggers are listed below, please feel free to jump over and give them some love.

  1. A Crafty Mix| DIY Ndebele planters
  2.  Raggedy Bits – How to Make A Whitewashed Farmhouse Sign
  3. Me| Unique creations By Anita
  4.  Birdz of a Feather – Pop Art Serving Tray
  5. Interior Frugalista – Alberta Wild Rose Decoupage Napkin Coaster

IBC Challenge

Cricut project ideas

These cool dog bandannas are really easy to make, and you will have the coolest dog in town.

Pet bandanna

This Game of thrones lamp is my favourite Cricut project and can be adapted to any theme.


Pinterest pin

Holographic glitter iron on vinyl

Glitter holographic iron on vinyl project ideas.

If you are looking for any of the items used in this project, please consider using our links. By clicking on the links we will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.  Which helps us come up with new and exciting ideas to share with you.

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  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Michelle Leslie
    September 21, 2020 at 11:32 pm

    Oh my word that holographic stuff is beautiful!!!!!! And the brown leathery vinyl is the perfect backdrop too make it pop too. I know I keep on saying this but I really do need to get myself one of those Cricut thingies. The possibilities seem endless and you’ve shared so many adorable projects too.

    • Reply
      Anita Holland
      September 23, 2020 at 12:26 pm

      Thank you so much Michelle. I can’t praise this machine enough, and no I don’t dell them and get com mission lol

  • Reply
    September 21, 2020 at 11:58 pm

    That holographic vinyl is so fun! I’m with Michelle on this; I need one of those cutters in my life too :). I have to show this project to my husband. He was in Australia for far too short a time when he got a call for a job interview back in Canada. He had to cut his vacation short, but he loved it there. Luckily he got the job lol!

    • Reply
      Anita Holland
      September 23, 2020 at 12:30 pm

      Thank you so much Sara, I love this machine and use it in some way or other in most of my project. I do love it here in Australia, it is a very beautiful country.

  • Reply
    Lori Nell
    September 22, 2020 at 1:38 am

    Great DIY, Anita. I love how that pillow turned out. Just beautiful!!

  • Reply
    Deana Landers
    September 22, 2020 at 2:07 am

    Anita, I love this! You create the coolest projects!

    • Reply
      Anita Holland
      September 23, 2020 at 12:32 pm

      Thank you so much Deanna, this comment just made my day. I do have some “out-there” ideas which luckily turn out most of the time.

  • Reply
    September 22, 2020 at 6:06 am

    Such a cool pillow, Anita! I forgot that you can cut leather, fabric, and other things besides permanent vinyl with the cricut machine. Your awesome tutorial taught this newbie several new tips. I have two Aussie friends that I know would love a pillow like this for our annual Christmas gift exchange. Thanks for the help and inspiration! xo

    • Reply
      Anita Holland
      September 23, 2020 at 12:34 pm

      Thank you so much Marie, I love this machine because I can make my own stencils and embellishments for my mixed media projects. I am glad the tutorial was some help to you.

  • Reply
    September 22, 2020 at 9:11 am

    Thanks for the tips Anita! I am passing them on to my DIL.

    Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too! Please stay safe and healthy. Come party with us at Over The Moon! Catapult your content Over The Moon! @marilyn_lesniak @EclecticRedBarn

  • Reply
    Kim Purvis
    September 22, 2020 at 10:13 am

    I may need a Cricut!! I had no idea it could cut faux leather. The pillow is so cute! Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      Anita Holland
      September 23, 2020 at 12:35 pm

      Thank you Kim there is so much you can do with this machine, vinyl is just a small part.

  • Reply
    Denise/My Home of All Seasons
    September 22, 2020 at 10:39 am

    So pretty Anita! This is a great tutorial which is so important to those of us whose cricut, I’m embarrassed to say, is still in the box! Thanks so much for the inspiration!

    • Reply
      Anita Holland
      September 23, 2020 at 12:36 pm

      Thank you so much Denise, I have lots of friends in the same boat as you. They seem to think they are just for cutting vinyl but there is so much more.

  • Reply
    September 24, 2020 at 12:00 am

    Anita, this is just perfect. My best friend lives in Sydney and this would be perfect for his new place. Love it!

  • Reply
    Lisa | Handmade in Israel
    September 25, 2020 at 3:01 am

    It looks great! I think I prefer the gold anyway.

    • Reply
      Anita Holland
      September 25, 2020 at 7:24 am

      Thank you Lisa, the gold has grown on me now. lol

  • Reply
    Sam - Raggedy Bits
    September 26, 2020 at 2:39 pm

    That is so COOL! I love the gold on the brown with all the sparkles and of coarse because it’s Aussie!! Don’t your projects just explode with all the things you can do with a cutting machine!

    • Reply
      Anita Holland
      September 27, 2020 at 2:31 pm

      Thank you Sam, I really love this machine. I should be a salesman for Cricut the way I promote this machine lol

  • Reply
    Naush Samama
    September 28, 2020 at 6:51 pm

    Wow Anita !!! I love how creative you are !! Your projects are always fascinating. Thank you for linking at Meraki Link Party.

    • Reply
      Anita Holland
      October 2, 2020 at 7:45 pm

      Thank you so much, that is so kind of you to say.

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