Cricut Holographic Vinyl Explained & Tips for Working With It

If you’re looking to make a statement with your next Cricut project, consider using holographic vinyl. With a multi-color shine, you can create removable decals, window clings, and a whole lot more. Cricut currently sells the vinyl in three different color schemes, blue, opal, and pink, but you can find off-brand holographic vinyl elsewhere as well (more on this later).

Before you think that all vinyl cuts the same way, think again. Sure, the biggest difference between holographic vinyl and regular vinyl is the color effect – see more details in our vinyl for Cricut guide. But there are some structural elements to holographic vinyl that make it more challenging to work with. We’ll go over everything you need to know for using it on your next project.

What is Cricut Holographic Vinyl?

Though it still is Cricut-brand vinyl at the end of the day, holographic vinyl isn’t as pliable as regular vinyl. It works more like an adhesive foil. Adhesive foil is a deceptively thick material and if your blade is dull or you use the wrong mat, you’re going to have a bad time. 

Also, when you remove holographic vinyl, it may take off some of the surface it was adhered to, depending on what it was. However, it does work well with electronics (phones, computers, etc.) and poses no problem to smoother surfaces when you’re peeling it off.

Is it the Same as Adhesive Foil?

Adhesive foil and holographic vinyl are not the same, though both are stunning and somewhat difficult to master. You can tell the two apart immediately. Adhesive foil is one color, holographic foil is iridescent.

What is Permanent Holographic Shimmer Vinyl?

Cricut also makes a permanent holographic shimmer vinyl, but it is not what we would traditionally consider “holographic.” For that reason, we’re only focusing on the removable holographic vinyl today.

Choosing Your Mat and Blade

Cricut recommends using the standard grip mat with holographic viny, but you may find that a strong grip mat will work better with the thicker material. Cricut also suggests using the fine-point blade. Since you will be doing a kiss cut, you may want to have a deep-cut blade on deck, just in case the fine-point doesn’t work.

Cut Settings for Holographic Vinyl

Before you cut your vinyl, make sure your cut settings are set to where they need to be. This will help you avoid needing to cut twice or ruining your vinyl in the process. 

With the Cricut Maker and Cricut Explore series, you don’t have to worry about setting pressure or blade depth. Simply choose “Holographic Vinyl” from your materials list. On the Explore series, you’ll have to turn the dial to “Custom” before you can select the material.

For other machines, you’ll need:

  • Cricut Imagine: pressure and blade depth at 4, speed at medium.
  • Cricut Expression 2: pressure at 5, blade depth at 3, speed at medium.
  • Cricut Personal; Cricut Create; Cricut Expression: pressure at four and blade and speed at medium.

Remember, always test cut first when using a new material. These settings are recommended, but there can be slight variations between machines. You may need to adjust the standard-setting.

You’ll also want to use the kiss cut. A kiss cut cuts through the vinyl and liner, so you don’t have to use transfer tape.

Cutting Your Holographic Vinyl

Once you’ve adjusted your machine’s settings for holographic vinyl, sized your design, and placed your vinyl (liner side down) on the mat, go ahead and press “Cut.”

Using Transfer Tape

If you are using transfer tape, take your weeding tool and remove the negative pieces from the vinyl once you’ve successfully cut your design. The liner should remain intact.

With the liner from the transfer tape removed, gently place it, adhesive side down, on the design. Smooth it over, center out, to remove any bubbles. Once complete, turn the design over and remove the vinyl liner at a 45-degree angle.

Applying Your Design

If you used the kiss cut, you have to remove the liner from the cut vinyl. With transfer tape, place your design, with the transfer tape on top, onto your clean, dry surface. Burnish the tape onto the surface, starting from the center and working outwards. Remove the tape as you did the vinyl liner. If the design doesn’t stick, keep burnishing.

Do I Have to Use the Cricut Holographic Vinyl?

Nothing is saying you have to use Cricut’s holographic vinyl. But know going in that Cricut makes their materials for its machines. You can easily find off-brand holographic vinyl at your local craft store or online.

Wrapping Up

Holographic vinyl may be one of the tricker types of vinyl to work with, but as long as you have the right mat and your settings are correct, you shouldn’t have a problem. Take special care and if you mess up a few times in the beginning, keep trying. Your shimmering DIY can and will happen!

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