If you own a Cricut Vinyl Cutter or have ever used one before, then you already know that it is a pretty amazing tool, especially if you love Do-It-Yourself arts and crafts projects. Most people think that all vinyl is the same and that no matter which vinyl you purchase, you’ll get similar results. Did you know that there are different types of adhesive Vinyl for Cricut, and that you should choose a type specific to what you are making?

In this post, we will explain some of the different vinyl types that you can use for your Cricut Vinyl Cutter. By the end, we hope you will learn which adhesive vinyl to choose for your next Cricut project. You might even be inspired to tackle new projects!

The Best Types of Vinyl Available for Your Cricut

Vinyl for your Cricut machine can be categorized into different types, which each have a particular set of benefits. You can use a specific type for T-shirt printing and then use another type for stencils. By understanding the different options available, you’ll be able to get the most out of your vinyl cutter.

1. Oracal 631 Vinyl

Oracal is a brand known for producing high quality vinyl for home crafting. This type is known as indoor vinyl and is most suited for temporary projects, as it is removable.

Oracal 631 vinyl is most often used for projects that are placed indoors, because it’s adhesive is less strong compared to other premium vinyls. 631 is not strong enough to withstand heavy use or the harsh elements of the outdoors. It also has a matte finish that is perfect for indoor wall decals because light won’t reflect off of it.

Many makers also use Oracal 631 to test projects since it is cheaper than other vinyl options and is easily removed from most surfaces. You can print your design on it and check how it looks before printing out your final version on permanent vinyl. Since this can be removed easily and won’t leave any damage on the surface, it is used to check if a certain vinyl art looks good or not. You can easily use this method to check colors, sizes, and designs in order to fine-tune your project.

Oracal 631 Vinyl is ideal for:

  • Removable Wall Decals
  • Phone Cases
  • Stencils
  • Interior decorations

2. Oracal 651 Vinyl

If you are looking for a permanent adhesive vinyl that is sure to last for a long time, then Oracal 651 is the vinyl you’ll want to use with your Cricut. This vinyl will be able to withstand heavy use, which is why they are often used for commercial signs that will be placed outdoors. Since it can be used outside, this means that the adhesive is considered permanent and is extremely strong.

Oracal 651 is also water-resistant, so it is the perfect vinyl type for projects that would be exposed to weather conditions. The only downside to Oracal 651 is that you cannot use this for temporary projects. The adhesive is extremely strong, and it might damage the area where the vinyl was applied if you try to peel it off.

Oracal 651 Vinyl is ideal for:

  • Outdoor signs and decals
  • Car Decals
  • Mugs
  • Glasses
  • Tumblers
  • Outdoor projects
  • Heavy use items

3. Heat Transfer Vinyl (HTV)

Among the different types of vinyl for Cricut Cutters, Heat Transfer Vinyl (HTV), or iron on vinyl, is one of the most popular vinyls. If you are going to make custom t-shirts or other clothing, then this is the vinyl that you want to use, as it is the only vinyl that you can apply to fabrics.

This type of vinyl also comes in different colors and styles, such as metallic, glow in the dark, stretch, glitter, holographic, and more. HTV is popular because not only is it applicable for T-shirt printing, but you can also use it to apply your designs to aprons, canvas shoes, costumes, and many other fabric types.

How Do You Apply HTV?

The application of HTV is different from the other types of vinyl. Since you are putting it on fabric, you will need a heat press or clothing iron to transfer your design. Each brand of HTV has their own recommended settings and there is some trial and error involved when you are first getting started.

Some popular HTV Vinyls are:
  • Siser EasyWeed – This is the most popular type of HTV, since it is iron friendly and comes in 97 colors including 25 Electric colors, 9 fluorescent (neon), and glow in the dark as well. Siser EasyWeed can be layered and adheres to 100% cotton, 100% Polyester, and Poly/Cotton blends.
  • Siser EasyWeed Stretch – This type of HTV is designed to be thinner and stretchy to be able to be applied to tight fitting adult clothing and performance wear.  This vinyl comes in 25 colors, can be layered, and adheres to Spandex, 100% cotton, 100% Polyester, and Poly/Cotton blends.
  • Siser EasyWeed Extra – This vinyl shares most of the benefits of EasyWeed with the bonus of adhering to nylon! 
  • Siser EasyWeed Glow – A white polyurethane heat transfer vinyl that looks great in the daylight and glows in the dark! Applies to 100% Cotton, 100% Polyester, and Poly/Cotton blends.
  • Siser Glitter – A thicker, real glitter feel vinyl for fabric that can still be applied with a press or an iron. Siser Glitter is available in 51 colors and adheres to 100% cotton, 100% Polyester, and Poly/Cotton blends.
  • Siser Holographic – Holographic vinyl that creates the effect of depth and dimension. It is available in 18 special effect colors and finishes.

HTV Vinyl is ideal for:

  • T-shirts
  • Canvas tote bags
  • Canvas Shoes
  • Aprons
  • Socks
  • Costumes
  • Stuffed animals
  • Fabric

4. Window Cling Vinyl

As the name implies, this type of vinyl is designed to put your Cricut designs on windows. This type of vinyl can be used as a temporary design. Best uses for this type is for home windows or mirrors, or even for your car windows.

If you are concerned that this adhesive might damage the surface of your window, don’t be worried. You can easily remove and reapply designs made with window cling vinyl.

The downside to window cling vinyl is that it can only be used indoors. Since it doesn’t have any adhesive, you can only put it on the side of the window that is inside the house or car.

Window Cling Vinyl is ideal for:

  • Temporary designs
  • Interior window designs for house or car

5. Printable Vinyl

This type of vinyl comes in both adhesive and heat transfer varieties, meaning you can use it for T-shirt printing and for general crafting. With all the different types of vinyl, this type combines some benefits.

With printable vinyl, you can print your design on any normal printer, then cut it out with your Cricut machine. Then depending on whether you have the adhesive or heat transfer variety, you can apply your design using either transfer tape or a heat press.

Printable Vinyl is ideal for:

  • T-shirts
  • Walls
  • Multi-color designs
Woman Cutting Vinyl

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Are there different types of vinyl for Cricut?

Yes, as we covered above, there is a vinyl type for every project you can imagine. These various types of vinyl for your Cricut vinyl cutter also come in a wide array of colors and designs, everything from static colors and glitter, to patterns and textures, available in both glossy and matte finish.

What are the different vinyl types?

As detailed above, here are the main types of vinyl available for your Cricut tool:

  • Oracal 631 – An indoor vinyl designed for light-wear projects.
  • Oracal 651 – A heavyweight, outdoor-grade vinyl designed with permanent adhesive.
  • HTV – Heat Transfer Vinyl, also known as iron on vinyl for T-shirts.
  • Window Cling – A lightweight, removable vinyl designed for window art.
  • Printable – Vinyl that you can print on, then cut out with your Cricut tool.

Will I need Transfer Tape?

For most adhesive vinyl, you will want to use transfer tape. This makes the application of the decal much easier and doesn’t take much effort. The exception to this is HTV, in which case no transfer tape is needed, as the vinyl has a clear carrier sheet attached that acts as transfer tape.

What is Weeding?

Weeding vinyl is the process of removing the unwanted vinyl from your cut design. After your design is cut, but before you apply transfer tape or transfer your design to your fabric, you have to remove all the unwanted vinyl from the backing sheet. This leaves you with just your design.

You can think of this process like weeding a garden (duh!). You’ll use your tools to carefully dig out all the little pieces that aren’t supposed to be there, without ruining your plants / design.

What kind of vinyl is best for cups?

Not all cups are the same, so the best type will depend on your project.

For plastic cups, a permanent vinyl like Oracal 651 is recommended. This should be dishwasher safe.

For ceramic or travel mugs, you can move up to a HTV and use a heat gun to apply. This will provide a much tougher design that should withstand any dishwasher.

What is the difference between 651 and 631 vinyl?

Oracal 631 vinyl is indoor vinyl, while Oracal 651 is outdoor vinyl. The adhesive on 631 vinyl is a clear, water-based removable adhesive, and features a matte finish. The adhesive on 651 vinyl is a clear, solvent-based permanent adhesive and features glossy or matte finish, though matte is only available in black and white. Both are available in many different vinyl color options.

Conclusion

When using a Cricut vinyl cutter, you should do your research and make sure you have the right type of vinyl for your project. Making the right choice will save you time and frustration on your next Cricut project. Hopefully the information in this post will help you in your next creative endeavor.