When you spend time making a DIY project, you want to know that the materials are going to last and that they will give you the result you want. Some people try to save some money by using generic branded items, but is this really saving you money in the long run? I wanted to put it to the test. Which is better: Cricut Iron on Vs. Generic brand Iron on and materials?
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For my head to head DIY projects, I wanted to make my daughter some adorable shirts for the upcoming holiday seasons. I did one for Valentine’s Day where I used Cricut Iron On with a generic shirt. I made an Easter shirt where I used Cricut Iron On with a Cricut shirt. Finally, I make a St. Patrick’s Day shirt with generic brand iron on vinyl with a Cricut brand shirt.
Why Should You Use Cricut Materials Together?
You may think you can save a few bucks by using Cricut Iron on with other brands of shirts, mugs, tote bags, hats, etc. You may be able to but the final result may be lacking in quality. Cricut materials go through a rigorous testing process to ensure lasting results. They also are stress tested for performance and durability so they will last.
If you are using a Cricut machine, you will want to use Cricut materials so you will get consistent results. Every Cricut material is carefully designed to work flawlessly with your Cricut machine. They are pre-calibrated for compatibility. Plus, if you are using Smart Materials they are specially designed for easier making and continuous or extra-long cuts up to 12 feet long.
You can rest assured that Cricut materials are safe for their intended use and compliant with all applicable regulations for manufacturing operations.
Cricut Iron On Vs. Generic Brand Iron On
The first thing I did for each project was go into Cricut Design Space and customize each one with the colors and materials that I wanted to use. Remember to mirror each image since we are using Iron on vinyl. Here are the links to the projects I used:
Valentine’s Shirt DIY
For this shirt I used Cricut Glitter Iron On on top of a plain white long sleeved shirt that I found in my daughter’ s dresser drawer. I wanted to see how the Cricut Iron on would hold up on a generic branded shirt. I used my Cricut Explore Air 2 and set the dial to Custom and chose Glitter Iron on.
It cut perfectly without any issues and I was able to use my Cricut Brightpad to help me see the cut sections to make weeding even easier. I then used my Cricut Easypress to iron on the materials and it turned out really nice.
We will have to see how it holds up over time through wash cycles but the texture of the print is great and it went on really smoothly.
St. Patrick’s Day Shirt DIY
For the Sassy Lassie shirt, I used some generic brand HTV (iron on) that I found on Amazon. I used both the regular and glitter iron on so I could see how it would hold up against the Cricut brand. The glitter iron on had a completely different texture compared to the Cricut brand. It was more smooth where the Cricut one actually felt more glittery.
I did a side by side comparison to show how the glitter iron on cut at the same setting on my Cricut machine. You can see the cuts a lot easier on the Cricuit brand iron on. I could not see where the generic brand was cut and it took me a lot longer to weed.
Applying the generic brand Iron on to the Cricut brand shirt did not go as smoothly as I would have liked. It was very difficult to get the vinyl lined up just right because it wouldn’t stick to the shirt, it just kept popping up. I didn’t have this problem with the Cricut Iron on, it stayed down and stuck to the shirt for easy application.
Once I applied the iron on with my Easypress and let it cool, it was still very difficult to pull the backing off of the shirt. I felt like I had to fight with it a little. When I pulled the backing off the Cricut Iron on that was on the other shirts it came off very easily.
You can see that some of the generic iron on did not go on very smoothly and left some bumps and creases. I did not have this issue when using Cricut Iron on.
Easter Shirt DIY
For the final shirt I used Cricut Iron On and a Cricut Youth Shirt. I will say that the difference in the Cricut shirts and generic shirts are like night and day. The Cricut shirt is so soft and comfortable and just looks nicer.
I applied the Iron on just like I did with the other shirts and it went on nice and smooth and I didn’t have any problems. Weeding the materials was very easy since the cut was perfect. I just set the dial on my Cricut Explore Air 2 to Iron-On.
Removing the backing on the iron on after it had cooled was very quick and it didn’t pull on the shirt at all. The result was fantastic and I seems more adhered to the shirt compared to the other two. I think this will hold up very well during washes, I won’t have to worry about this one peeling off.
Cricut Iron On Vs. Generic Brand Iron On: The Winner
As you can see from the photos, the clear winner was the Cricut Iron on with the Cricut brand shirt. A close second was the Cricut Iron on with the generic shirt. In last was the Generic Iron on with the Cricut shirt.
I know this would have been even more noticeable of a difference if I was using Infusible Ink instead of Iron on. Cricut formulates their blanks to make the Infusible Ink brighter and more vibrant. Maybe that will be my next head to head experiment. Cricut offers a wide selection of materials and is constantly innovating and adding to an ever-growing product list.
You may be able to save a few dollars by using generic brand HTV and blanks but you will not be getting the same results. I would rather spend the few extra up front than have to redo projects because they didn’t last or kept falling apart.
As you can see, using Cricut brand materials on Cricut brand blanks is the way to go with your next DIY or craft project.